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in noise and smoke. The freshness of the dews
same provocation as if she had called him
I cannot, with all the help of science and astrology, find any other remedy for this evil, but what was the medicine in this first quarrel; which was, as appears in the next book, that they were convinced of their being both weak, but the one weaker than the other.
If it were possible that the beauteous could but rage a little before a glass, and see their pretty countenances grow wild, it is not to be doubted but it would have a very good effect: but that would require temper; for lady Firebrand, upon observing her features swell when her maid vexed her the other day, stamped her dressing-glass under her feet. In this case, when one of this temper is moved, she is like a witch in an operation, and makes all things turn round with her. The very fabric is in a vertigo when she begins to charm. In an instant, whatever was the occasion that moved
her blood, she has such intolerable servants, Betty is so awkward, Tom cannot carry a message, and her husband has so little respect for her, that she, poor woman, is weary of this life, and was born to be unhappy.
No. 218.] Thursday, August 31, 1710.
Scriptorum chorus oinnis amat nemus, et fugit urbes.
The tribe of writers, to a man, admire
I CHANCED to rise very early one particular morning this summer, and took a walk into the country to divert myself among the fields and meadows, while the green was new, and the flowers in their bloom. As at this season of the year every lane is a beautiful walk, and every hedge full of nosegays; I lost myself with a great deal of pleasure among several thickets and bushes, that were filled with a great variety of birds, and an agreeable confusion of notes, which formed the pleasantest scene in the world to one who had passed a whole winter
As one who long in populous city pent,
I was thinking of the foregoing beautiful
the Great and Artaxerxes; and as their talk
seemed to run on ancient heroes, I concluded
After several parallels between great men, which appeared to me altogether groundless and chimerical, I was surprised to hear one say, that he valued the Black Prince more than the duke of Vendosme. How the duke of Vendosine should become a rival of the Black Prince, I could not conceive: and was more startled when I heard a second affirm with great vehemence, that if the emperor of Germany was not going off, he should like him better than either of them. He added, that though the season was so changeable, the duke of Marlborough was in blooming beauty. I was wondering to myself from whence they had received this odd intelligence; especially when I heard them mention the names of several other great generals, as the prince of Hesse, and the king of Sweden, who, they said, were both running away. To which they added, what I entirely agreed with them in, that the crown of France was very weak, but that the marshal Villars still kept his colours. At last one of them told the company, if they would go along with him, he would show them a chimney-sweeper and a painted lady in the same bed, which he was sure would very much please them. The shower,
I accepted the offer, and immediately found that they had been talking in terms of gardening, and that the kings and generals they had mentioned were only so many tulips, to which the gardeners, according to their usual custom, had given such high titles and appellations of honour.
Sir Isaac Newton.
land in England;' and added,' that it would have been worth twice the money it is, if a foolish cook-maid of his had not almost ruined him the last winter, by mistaking a handful of tulip-roots for a heap of onions, and by that means,' says he, made me a dish of porridge that cost me above a thousand pounds sterling.' He then showed me what he thought the finest of his tulips, which I found received all their value from their rarity and oddness, and put me in mind of your great fortunes, which are not always the greatest beauties.
I have often looked upon it as a piece of happiness, that I have never fallen into any of these fantastical tastes, nor esteemed any thing the more for its being uncommon and hard to be met with. For this reason, I look upon the whole country in spring-time as a spacious garden, and make as many visits to a spot of daisies, or a bank of violets, as a florist does to his borders or parterres. There is not a bush in blossom within a mile of me which I am not acquainted with, nor scarce a daffodil or cowslip that withers away in my neighbourhood without my missing it. I walked home in this temper of mind through several fields and meadows with an unspeakable pleasure, not without reflecting on the bounty of Providence, which has made the most pleasing and most beautiful objects the most ordinary and most common.
I was very much pleased and astonished at
I was awakened out of these my philosophical
From my own Apartment, September 1. NEVER were men so perplexed as a select company of us were this evening with a couple of professed wits, who, through our ill fortune, and their own confidence, had thought fit to pin themselves upon a gentleman who had owned to them, that he was going to meet such and such persons, and named us one by one. These pert puppies immediately resolved to come with him; and from the beginning to the end of the night entertained each other with impertinences, to which we were perfect strangers. I am come home very much tired; for the affliction was so irksome to me, that it surpasses all other I ever knew, insomuch that I cannot reflect upon this sorrow with pleasure, though it is past.
An easy manner of conversation is the most desirable quality a man can have; and for that reason coxcombs will take upon them to be familiar with people whom they never saw be
fore. What adds to the vexation of it is, that they will act upon the foot of knowing you by fame; and rally with you, as they call it, by repeating what your enemies say of you; and court you, as they think, by uttering to your face, at a wrong time, all the kind things your friends speak of you in your absence.
These people are the more dreadful, the more they have of what is usually called wit: for a lively imagination, when it is not governed by a good understanding, makes such miserable havock both in conversation and business, that it lays you defenceless, and fearful to throw the least word in its way, that may give it new matter for its further errors.
Tom Mercet has as quick a fancy as any one living; but there is no reasonable man can bear him half an hour. His purpose is to entertain, and it is of no consequence to him what is said, so it be what is called well said; as if a man must bear a wound with patience, because he that pushed at you came up with a good air and mien. That part of life which we spend in company is the most pleasing of all our moments; and therefore I think our behaviour in it should have its laws, as well as the part of our being which is generally esteemed the more important. From hence it is, that from long experience I have made it a maxim, That however we may pretend to take satisfaction in sprightly mirth and high jollity, there is no great pleasure in any company where the basis of the society is not mutual good-will. When this is in the room, every trifling circumstance, the most minute accident, the absurdity of a servant, the repetition of an old story, the look of a man when he is telling it, the most indifferent and the most ordinary occurrences, are matters which produce mirth and good-humour. I went to spend an hour after this manner with some friends, who enjoy it in perfection whenever they meet, when those destroyers above-mentioned came in upon us. There is not a man among them who has any notion of distinction of superiority to one another, either in their fortunes or their talents, when they are in company. Or if any reflection to the contrary occurs in their thoughts, it only strikes a delight upon their minds, that so much wisdom and power is in possession of one whom they love and
that sprightliness would have a new turu; and we should expect what he is going to say with satisfaction instead of fear. It is no excuse for being mischievous, that a man is mischievous without malice; nor will it be thought an atonement, that the ill was done not to injure the party c erned, but to divert the indifferent.
It is, methinks, a very great error, that we should not profess honesty in conversation, as much as in commerce. If we consider, that there is no greater misfortune than to be ill received; where we love the turning a man to ridicule among his friends, we rob him of greater enjoyments than he could have purchased by his wealth; yet he that laughs at him would, perhaps, be the last man who would burt him in this case of less consequence. It has been said, the history of Don Quixotte utterly destroyed the spirit of gallantry in the Spanish nation; and I believe we may say much more truly, that the humour of ridicule has done as much injury to the true relish of company in England.
Such satisfactions as arise from the secret comparison of ourselves to others, with relation to their inferior fortunes or merit, are mean and unworthy. The true and high state of conversation is, when men communicate their thoughts to each other upon such subjects, and in such a manner, as would be pleasant if there were no such thing as folly in the world; for it is but a low condition of wit in one man, which depends upon folly in another.
P. S. I was here interrupted by the receipt of my letters, among which is one from a lady, who is not a little offended at my translation of the discourse between Adam and Eve. She pretends to tell me my own, as she calls it, and quotes several passages in my works, which tend to the utter disunion of man and wife. Her epistle will best express her. I have made an extract of it, and shall insert the most material passages.
In these my lucubrations, I have frequently dwelt upon this one topic. The above maxim would make short work for us reformers; for it is only want of making this a position that renders some characters bad, which would otherwise be good. Tom Mercet means no man ill, but does ill to every body. His ambi. tion is to be witty; and to carry on that design, he breaks through all things that other people hold sacred. if he thought that wit was no way to be used but to the advantage of society,
'I suppose you know we women are not too apt to forgive: for which reason, before you concern yourself any further with our sex, I would advise you to answer what is said against you by those of your own. I iuclose to you business enough, until you are ready for your promise of being witty. You must not expect to say what you please, without admitting others to take the same liberty. Marry come up! you a Censor? Pray read over all these pamphlets, and these notes upon your lucubrations; by that time you shall hear further. It is, I suppose, from such as you, that people learn to be censorious, for which I and all our sex have an utter aversion; when once people come to take the liberty to wound reputations
This is the main body of the letter; but she bids me turn over, and there I find
That your petitioner is a general lover, who for some months last past has made it his whole business to frequent the by-paths and roads near his dwelling, for no other purpose but to hand such of the fair sex as are obliged to pass through them.
It is well known, that Toricellius, the inventor of the common weather-glass, made the experiment in a long tube, which held thirty
That he has been at great expense for two feet of water; and that a more modern clean gloves to offer his hand with.
That towards the evening he approaches near London, and employs hi.nself as a convoy
virtuoso, finding such a machine altogether unwieldy and useless, and considering that thirty-two inches of quicksilver weighed as much as so many feet of water in a tube of the same circumference, invented that sizeable instrument which is now in use. After this manner, that I might adapt the thermometer I am now speaking of to the present constitution of our Church, as divided into High and Low, I have made some necessary variations both in the tube and the fluid it contains. In the first place, I ordered a tube to be cast in a planetary bour, and took care to seal it hermetically, when the sun was in conjuction with Saturn. I then took the proper precautions about the fluid, which is a compound of two very different liquors; one of them a spirit drawn out of a strong heady wine; the other a particular sort of rock-water, colder than ice, and clearer than crystal. The spirit is of a red fiery colour, and so very apt to ferment, that unless it be mingled with a proportion of the water, or pent up very close, it will burst the vessel that holds it, and fly up in fume and smoke. The water, on the contrary, is of such a subtle piercing cold, that, unless it be mingled with a proportion of the spirits, it will sink almost through every thing that it is put into; and seems to be of the same nature as the water mentioned by Quintus Curtius, which, says the historian, could be contained in nothing but in the hoof, or, as the Oxford manuscript bas it, in the skull of an ass. The thermometer is marked according to the following figure; which I set down at length, not only to give my reader a clear idea of it, but also to fill up my paper:
Your petitioner therefore most humbly
Mr. Morphew has orders to carry the proper instruments; and the petitioner is hereafter to be writ to upon gilt paper, by the title of Joshua Fairlove, Esquire.
No. 220.] Tuesday, September 5, 1710.
Insani sapiens nomen ferat, æquus iniqui,
From my own Apartment, September 4. HAVING received many letters filled with compliments and acknowledgments for my late useful discovery of the political barometer, I shall here communicate to the public an account of my ecclesiastical thermometer, the latter giving as manifest prognostications of the changes and revolutions in Church, as the former does of those in State; and both of them being absolutely necessary for every prudent subject who is resolved to keep what he has, and get what he can.
or banished, departed this life with the satisfaction of having never deserted his flock, and died vicar of Bray. As this glass was first designed to calculate the different degrees of heat in religion, as it raged in popery, or as it cooled and grew temperate in the Reformation; it was marked at several distances, after the manner our ordinary thermometer is to this day, viz. ' Extreme He Sultry Heat, Very Hot, Hot, Warm, Temperate, Cold, Just freezing, Frost, Hard Frost, Great Frost, Extreme Cold.'
The church-thermometer, which I am now to treat of, is supposed to have been invented in the reign of Henry the Eighth, about the time when that religious prince put some to death for owning the pope's supremacy, and others for denying transubstantiation. I do not find, however, any great use made of this instrument, until it fell into the hands of a learned and vigilant priest or minister, for he frequently wrote himself both one and the other, who was some time vicar of Bruy. This gentleman lived in his vicarage to a good old age; and, after having seen several successions of his neighbouring clergy either burned
The reader will observe, that the church is placed in the middle point of the glass, between Zeal and Moderation; the situation in which she always flourishes, and in which every good Englishman wishes her, who is a friend to the constitution of his country. However, when it mounts to Zeal, it is not amiss; and when it sinks to Moderation, is still in a most admirable temper. The worst of it is, that when once it begins to rise, it has still an inclination to ascend; insomuch that it is apt to climb up from Zeal to Wrath, and from Wrath to Persecution, which always ends in Ignorance, and very often proceeds from it. In the same manner it frequently takes its progress through the lower half of the glass; and when it has a tendency to fall, will gradually descend from Moderation to Lukewarmness, and from Luke-overshoot ourselves in the pursuits even of warmness to Infidelity, which very often ter- virtue. Whether Zeal or Moderation be the minates in Ignorance, and always proceeds point we aim at, let us keep fire out of the from it. one, and frost out of the other. But, alas! the world is too wise to want such a precau
The point of doctrine which I would propagate by this my invention, is the same which was long ago advanced by that able teacher Horace, out of whom I have taken my text for this discourse. We should be careful not to
It is a common observation, that the ordinary
Rainbow it still ascended two degrees; Child's No. 221.] Thursday, September 7, 1710.
It fell in the lower half of the glass as I went further into the city, until at length it settled at Moderation, where it continued all the time I staid about the Exchange, as also while I passed by the Bank. And here I cannot but take notice that, through the whole course of my remarks, I never observed my glass to rise at the same time the stocks did.
glass is true to this day as to the latter part of
To complete the experiment, I prevailed upon a friend of mine, who works under me in the Occult Sciences, to make a progress with my glass through the whole island of Great Britain; and after his return, to present me with a register of his observations. I guessed beforehand at the temper of several places he passed through, by the characters they have had time out of mind. Thus that facetious divine Dr. Fuller, speaking of the town of Banbury, near a hundred years ago, tells us, it was a place famous for cakes and zeal, which I find by my
I must confess I have considered, with some little attention, the influence which the opinions of these great national sects have upon their practice; and do look upon it as one of the unaccountable things of our times, that multitudes of honest gentlemen, who entirely agree in their lives, should take it in their heads to differ in their religion.
Sicut meus est mos,
Musing, as wont, on this and that,
From my own Apartment, September 6.