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when any one carried a more than ordinary gloominess in his features, to tell him that he looked like one just come out of Trophonius's cave.
On the other hand, writers of a more merry complexion have been no less severe on the opposite parity, and have had one advantage above them, that they have attacked them with more turns of wit and humour.
After all, if a man's temper was ať his own difposal, I think he would not chuse to be of either of these parties; since the most perfect character is that which is formed out of both of them. A man would neither chuse to be a hermit nor a buffoon : human nature is not so miserable, as that we should be always melancholy; nor so happy, as that we should be always merry. In a word, a man should not live as if there was no God in the world ; nor, at the same time, as if there were no men in it.
No. 599. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27.
VIRG. Æn. ii. ver. 369.
T has been my custom, as I grew old, to allow
myself in some little indulgences which I never took in my youth. Among others is that of an afternoon's nap, which I fell into in the fifty-fifth year of my age, and have continued for the three years last past. By this means I enjoy a double morning,
and rise twice a day fresh to my fpeculations. It happens very luckily for me, that some of my dreams have proved instructive to my countrymen, so that I may be said to sleep as well as to wake, for the good of the public. I was yesterday meditating on the account with which I have already entertained my readers concerning the cave of Trophonius. I was no fooner fallen into my usual slumber, but I dreamt that this cave was put into my poffeffion, and that I gave public notice of its virtue, inviting every one to it who had a mind to be a serious man for the remaining part of his life. Great multitudes imme. diately resorted to me. The first who made the ex. periment was a Nlerry. Andrew, who was put into my hands by a neighbouring justice of peace, in or. der to reclaim him from that profligate kind of life. Poor pickle-herring had not taken above one turn in it, when he came out of the cave like a hermit from his cell, with a penetintial look, and a most rueful countenance. I then put in a young laughing fop, and, watching for his return, asked him with a smile how he liked the place? He replied, Prythee, friend, be not impertinent; and stalked by me as grave as a judge. A citizen then desired me to give free ingress and egress to his wife, who was dressed in the gayeft coloured ribbons I had ever seen. She went in with a flirt of her fan, and a smirking countenance, but came out with the severity of a vestal, and throwing from her several female gewgaws, told me with a ligh, that she resolved to go into deep mourning, and to wear black all the rest of her life. As I had many coquettes recommended to me by their parents, their husbands, and their lovers, 'I let them in all at once, defiring them to divert them. felves together as well as they could. Upon their emerging again into day-light, you would have fancied my cave to have been a nunnery, and that you had seen a folemn procession of religious marching out, one behind another, in the most
profound filence, and the most exemplary decency. As I was very much delighted with so edifying a fight, there came towards me a great company of males and females, laughing, finging, and dancing, in such a manner, that I could hear them a great while before I saw them. Upon my asking their leader what brought them thither? They told me all at once, that they were French Protestants lately arrived in Great Britain, and that finding themselves of too gay a humour for my country, they applied themfelves to me, in order to compose them for British conversation. I told them, that to oblige them I would soon spoil their mirth ; upon which I admitted a whole shoal of them, who, after having taken a survey of the place, came out in very good order, and with looks entirely English. I afterwards put in a Dutchman, who had a great fancy to see the Kelder, as he called it, but I could not observe that it had made any manner of alteration in him.
A comedian, who had gained great reputation in parts of humour, told me that he had a mighty mind to act Alexander the Great, and fancied that he should succeed
very well in it, if he could strike'two or three laughing features out of his face: he tried the experiment, but contracted so very solid a look by it, that I am afraid he will be fit for no part hereafter, but a Timon of Athens, or a mute in the Funeral.
I then clapt up an empty fantastic citizen, in order to qualify him for an alderman. He was succeeded by a young rake of the Middle-Temple, who was brought to me by his grand-mother ; but, to her great forrow and surprise, he came out a Quaker. Seeing myself surrounded with a body of Free-thinkers, and scoffers at religion, who were making themselves merry at the sober looks and thoughtful brows of those who had been in the cave; I thrust them all in, one after another, and locked the door
them. Upon my opening it, they all looked as if they had been frighted out of their wits, and were marching Vol. VIII. + Q
away with ropes in their hands to a wood that was within light of the place. I found they were not able to bear themselves in their frit serious thoughts; but knowing these would quickly bring them to a better frame of mind, I gave them into the custody of their friends until that happy change was wrought in them.
The last that was brought to me was a young woman, who, at the first light of my short face, fell into an immoderate fit of laughter, and was forced to hold her fides all the while her mother was speak. ing to me. Upon this I interrupted the old lady, and taking her daughter by the hand, Madam, said I, be pleased to retire into my closet, while your mother tells me your case. I then put her into the mouth of the cave, when the mother, after having begged pardon for the girl's rudeness, told me, that the often treated her father, and the gravest of her relations in the same manner; that she would fit giggling and laughing with her companions from one end of a tragedy to the other; nay, that she would sometimes burst out in the middle of a fermon, and set the whole congregation a staring at her. The mother was going on, when the young lady came out of the cave to us, with a composed countenance, and a low courtsey. She was a girl of such exuberant mirth, that her visit to Trophonius only reduced her to a more than ordinary decency of behaviour, and made a very pretty prude of her. After having performed innumerable cures, I looked about me with great fatisfaction, and saw all my patients walking by themfelves in a very pensive and musing pofture, so that the whole place seemed covered with philosophers. I was at length resolved to go into the cave myself, and see what it was that had produced such wonderful effects upon the company; but, as I was stooping at the entrance, the door being something low, I gave such a nod in my chair, that I awaked. After hav., ing recovered myself from my first startle, I was very well pleased at the accident which had befallen me,
as not knowing but a little stay in the place might have spoiled my SPECTATORS.
No. 600. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29.
--Solemque fuum, sua fidera norunt.
Virg. Æn, vi. ver. 641, Stars of their own, and their own suns they know.
HAVE always taken a particular pleasure in exa
mining the opinions which men of different religions, different ages, and different countries, have entertained concerning the immortality of the foul, and the state of happiness which they promise themfelves in another world. For whatever prejudices : and errors human nature lies under, we find that ei. ther reason, or tradition from our firit parents, has discovered to all people fomething in these great points which bears analogy to truth, and to the docuines opened to us by divine revelation. I was lately discourfing on this subject with a learned person, who has been very much conversant among the inhabitants of the more western parts of Afric. Upon: his conversing with several in that country, he tells me that their notion of heaven, or of a future ftate of happiness, is this, that every thing we there willy for will immediately present itself to us. We finde say they, our souls are of such a Nature, that they require variety, and are not capable of being always delighted with the fame objucts. The Supreme Be. ing, therefore, in compliance with this talle of hap'piness which he has planted in the foul of man, will raise up from time to time, say they, cvery gratif