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tification. It is incredible to think how empty I have in this time obferved fome part of the fpecies to be, what mere blanks they are when they first come abroad in the morning, how utterly they are at a stand, until they are fet agoing by fome paragraph in a newspaper.

Such perfons are very acceptable to a young author, for they defire no more in any thing but to be new, to be agreeable. If I found confolation among fuch, I was as much difquieted by the incapacity of others. These are mortals who have a certain curiofity without power of reflection, and perufed my papers like fpectators rather than readers. But there is fo little pleafure in enquiries that so nearly concern ourselves (it being the worst way in the world to fame, to be too anxious about it) that upon the whole I resolved for the future, to go on in my ordinary way; and without too much fear or hope about the business of reputation, to be very careful of the defign of my actions, but very negligent of the confequences of them.

It is an endless and frivolous pursuit to act by any other rule, than the care of fatisfying our own minds in what we do. One would think a filent man, who concerned himself with no one breathing, fhould be very little liable to mifrepresentations; and yet I remember I was once taken up for a jefuit, for no other reafon but my profound taciturnity. It is from this misfortune that to be out of harm's way, I have ever fince affected crowds. He who comes into affemblies only to gratify his curiofity, and not to make a

figure, enjoys the pleasures of retirement in a more exquifite degree, than he poffibly could in his clofet; the lover, the ambitious, and the mifer, are followed thither by a worse crowd than any they can withdraw from. To be exempt from the paffions with which others are tormented, is the only pleafing folitude. I can very justly fay with the ancient fage, I am never lefs alone than when alone.'

As I am infignificant to the company in public places, and as it is vifible I do not come thither as most do, to shew myself, I gratify the vanity of all who pretend to make an appearance, and have often as kind looks from well-dreffed gentlemen and ladies, as a poet would bestow upon one of his audience. There are so many gratifications attend this public fort of obscurity, that some little diftaftes I daily receive have lost their anguish; and I did the other day, without the leaft difpleasure, over-hear one fay of me, that strange fellow; and another answer, I have known the fellow's face thefe twelve years, and so must you; but I believe you are the first ever afked who he was. There are, I must confess, many to whom my perfon is as well known as that of their nearest relations, who give themfelves no farther trouble about calling me by my name or quality, but speak of me very currently by the appellation of Mr. What d'ye call him.

To make up for these trivial difadvantages, I have the highest fatisfaction of beholding all nature with an unprejudiced eye; and having nothing to do with men's paffions or interefts,

I can, with the greater fagacity, confider their talents, manners, failings, and merits.

It is remarkable, that those who want any one fense, poffefs the others with greater force and vivacity. Thus my want of, or rather refignation of fpeech, gives me all the advantages of a dumb man. I have, methinks, a more than ordinary penetration in feeing; and flatter myfelf that I have looked into the highest and lowest of mankind, and made fhrewd gueffes, without being admitted to their converfation, at the inmoft thoughts and reflections of all whom I behold. It is from hence that good or ill-fortune has no manner of force towards affecting my judgment. I fee men flourishing in courts, and languifhing in jails, without being prejudiced, from their circumftances, to their favour or disadvantage; but from their inward manner of bearing their condition, often pity the prosperous, and admire the unhappy.

Those who converfe with the dumb, know from the turn of their eyes, and the changes of their countenance, their fentiments of the ob

jects before them. I have indulged my filence

to fuch an extravagance, that the few who are intimate with me, anfwer my fmiles with concurrent fentences, and argue to the very point I shaked my head at, without my fpeaking. Will Honeycomb was very entertaining the other night at a play, to a gentleman who fat on his right hand, while I was at his left. The gentleman believed Will was talking to himself, when upon my looking with great approbation


at a young thing in a box before us, he said, I am quite of another opinion. She has, I will allow, a very pleafing afpect, but, methinks, that fimplicity in her countenance is rather childish than innocent.' When I obferved her a second

time, he faid, 'I grant her dress is very becoming, but perhaps the merit of that choice is owing to her mother; for though,' continued he, I allow a beauty to be as much to be commended for the elegance of her drefs, as a wit for that of his language; yet if she has stolen the colour of her ribbands from another, or had advice about her trimmings, I shall not allow her the praise of drefs, any more than I would call a plagiary an author.' When I threw my eye towards the next woman to her, Will spoke what I looked, according to his romantic imagination, in the following manner:

• Behold you who dare, that charming virgin; behold the beauty of her perfon chastised by the innocence of her thoughts. Chastity, good-nature, and affability, are the graces that play in her countenance; fhe knows fhe is handfome, but she knows she is good. Conscious beauty adorned with confcious virtue! What a spirit is there in those eyes! What a bloom in that perfon! How is the whole woman expreffed in her appearance! Her air has the beauty of motion, and her look the force of language."

It was prudence to turn away my eyes from this object, and therefore I turned them to the thoughtless creatures who make up the lump of that sex, and move a knowing eye no more than

the portraiture of infignificant people by ordinary painters, which are but pictures of pictures.

Thus the working of my own mind is the general entertainment of my life I never enter into the commerce of discourse with any but my particular friends, and not in public even with them. Such an habit has perhaps raised in me uncommon reflections; but this effect I cannot communicate but by my writings. As my pleasures are almost wholly confined to those of the fight, I take it for a peculiar happiness that I have always had an easy and familiar admittance to the fair fex. If I never praised or flattered, I never belied or contradicted them. As these compofe half the world, and are, by the juft complaifance and gallantry of our nation, the more powerful part of our people, I fhall dedicate a confiderable fhare of these my fpeculations to their fervice, and shall lead the young through all the becoming duties of virginity, marriage, and widowhood. When it is a woman's day, in my works, I fhall endeavour at a ftyle and air fuitable to their understanding. When I fay this, I must be understood to mean, that I fhall not lower but exalt the fubjects I treat upon. Discourse for their entertainment, is not to be debafed, but refined. A man may appear learned without talking fentences, as in his ordinary gefture he discovers he can dance, though he does not cut capers. In a word, I fhall take it for the greatest glory of my work, if among reasonable women this paper may furnish tea-table talk. In order to it, I fhall treat

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