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als as sumptuous as possible, or as private; either by obșcurity to elude, or by splendor to employ the attention, that it may not be engaged by the most shocking circumstance of our humanity. It happens, a ļittle unluckily, that the persons who have the most intimate contempt of money are the same that have the strongest appetites for the pleasyres it procures. We are apt to look for those virtues in the characters of noblemen, that are but rarely to be found any where, except in the preambles to their patents. Some shining exceptions may be made to this rule: in general we may consider their appearance with us in public, as one does our wearing apparel. Which lord do you wear to-day? Why I did think to wear my lord **** ; but, as there will be but little company in the Mall, I will e'en content myself to wear the same noble peer I wore yesterday.' The worst inconvenience, of a small fortune is that it will not admit of inadvertenсу. . Inadvertency, however, ought to be placed at the head of most men's yearly accounts, and a suin as regularly allotted to it as to any other article. It is with our judgments, as with our eyes. Some can see objects at a greater distance more distinctly, at the same time less distinctly than others the objects that are near them. Notwithstanding the airs men give themselves, I believe no one sees family to more advantage, than the persons that have no share in it.
How important is the eye to the appearance of a human face! the chief index of temper, understanding, health, and love? What prodigious influence must the same misfortunes have on some persons beyond others ! as the loss of an eye to a mere insolent beauty, without the least philosophy to support herself? The person least reserved in his censure of another's excess in equipage, is commonly the person who would exhibit the same if it had been within his power; the source of both being a disregard to decorum. Likewise he that violently arraigns, or fondly indulges it, agree in considering it a little too seriously. Amid the most mercenary ages, it is but a secondary sort of admiration that is bestowed on magnificence. An order of beauties, as of knights, with a style appropriated to them (as for instance, To the Right Beautiful Lady Such-a-one) would have as good a foundation as any other class, but would, at the same time, be the most invidious of any order that was ever instituted.
The first maxim a child is taught, is that
“ Learning is better than house and land;" but how little is it's influence as he grows up to ma. turity! There is somewbat very astonishing in the record of our most celebrated victories: I mean, the small number of the conquerors killed in proportion to the conquered. At Agincourt, it is said, were ten thousand, and fourteen thousand massacred. Live y's accounts of this sort are so astonishing, that one is apt to disbelieve the historian.--All the explanation one can find is, that the gross slaughter is made when one side takes to flight.
A person that is disposed to throw off all reserve before an inferior, should reflect, that he has also his inferiors, to whom he may be equally communicative.
It is impossible for a man of sense to guard against the mortification that may be given him by fools, or heteroclite characters; because he cannot foresee thein. A wit-would cannot afford to discard a frivolous con
ceit, tho' it tend to affront you: an old maid, a country put, or a college pedant, will ignorantly or wilfully blunder on such hints as must discompose you.
A man that is solicitous about his health, or apprehensive of some acute disorder, should write a journal of his constitution, for the better instruction of his physician. Ghosts have no more connection with darkness, than the mystery of a barber with that of a surgeon; yet we find they go together. Perhaps Nox and Chaos were their mythological parents.
He makes a lady but a poor recompence who marries her, because he has kept her company long after his affection is estranged. Does he not rather increase the injury?
Second thoughts oftentimes are the very worst of all thoughts. First and third very often coincide. Indeed, second thoughts are too frequently formed by the love of novelty, of shewing penetration, of distinguishing ourselves from the mob, and have consequently less of simplicity, and more of affectation. This, how. ever, regards principally objects of taste and fancy. Third thoughts, at least, are here very proper mediators.
“ Set a beggar upon horse-back, and he 'll ride,” is a common proverb and a real truth. The “ novus homo” is an “inexpertus homo,” and consequently inust purchase finery, before be knows the emptiness of it experimentally. The established gentleman disregards it, through babit and familiarity. The foppery of love-verses, when a person is ill and indisposed, is perfect ipecacuanha. Antiquity of family, and distinctions of gentry, have, perhaps, less weight in this age, than they had ever heretofore: the bend dexter or sinister; the chief, the canton, or the cheveron, are greatly out of date.
The heralds are at length discovered to have no legal authority. Spain, indeed, continues to preserve the distinction, and is poor. France (by their dispute about trading nobility) seenis inclined to shake it off. Who now looks with veneration on the ante-diluvian pedigree of a Welchman? Property either is, or is sure to purchase distinction, let the king at arms, or the old maiden aunt, preach as long as either pleases. It is so; perhaps it ought to be so. All honours should lie open, all encouragement be allowed to the members of trade in a trading nation: and as the nobility find it very expedient to partake of their profits, so they, in return, should obtain a share in the others' honours. One would, however, wish the acquisition of learning was as sure a road to digni. ty, as that of riches.
OF BOOKS AND WRITERS.
It is often asserted, by pretenders to singular penetration, that the assistance fancy is supposed to draw from wine is merely imaginary and chimerical: that all which the poets have urged on this head, is absolute rant and enthusiasm ; and has no foundation in truth or nature. I am inclined to think otherwise. Judgment, I readily allow, derives no bene fit from the noblest cordial. But persons of a phleg. matic constitution have those excellencies often suppressed, of which their imagination is truly capable, by reason of a lentor, which wine may naturally re
It raises low spirits to a pitch necessary for the exertion of fancy. It confutes the “ Non est tanti,” so frequently a maxim with speculative per
sons. It quickens that ambition, or that social bias, which makes a person wish to shine, or to please. Ask what tradition says of Mr. Addison's conversation ? But instances in point of conversation come within every one's observance. Why then
it not be allowed to produce the same effects in writ. ing?
The affected phrases I hate most, are those on which your half-wits found their reputation. Such as “pretty trifler, fair plaintiff, lovely architect,” &c. Doctor Young has a surprising knack of bringing thoughts from a distance, from their lurking places, in a moment's time. There is nothing so disagreeable in works of humour as an insipid, unsupported, vivacity; the very husks of drollery; bottled small-beer; a man out-riding his horse; lewdness and impotence; a fiery actor in a pblegmatic scene; an illiterate and stupid preacher discoursing on urim and thummim, and beating the pulpit cushion in such a manner, as tho' he would make the dust and the truth fy out of it at once. An editor, or a translator, collects the merits of different writers; and, forming all into a wreath, bestows it on bis author's tomb. The thunder of Demosthenes, the weight of 'Tully, the judgment of Tacitus, the elegance of Livy, the sublimity of Homer, the majesty of Virgil, the wit of Ovid, the propriety of Horace, the accuracy of Terence, the brevity of Phædrus, and the poignancy of Juvenal (with every naine of note he can possibly recal to mind) are given to some ancient scribbler, in whom affectation and the love of novelty disposes him to find out beauties. Humour and Vanbragh against wit and Congreve. The vacant skull of a pedant generally furnishes out a throne and temple for vani