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a remark in Monsieur Fontenelle's dialogues of the dead. The ambitious and the covetous (says he) are madmen to all intents and purposes, as much as those who are fout up in dark rooms : but they have the good luck to have numbers on their file, whereas the frenzy of one who is given up for a lunatic, is a frenzy hors d'ouvre; that is, in other words, fome. thing which is fingular in its kind, and does not fall in with the madness of a multitude.
The subject of this essay was occasioned by a let. ter which I received not long since, and which, for want of room at present, I shall insert in my next paper.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 6.
Hoc tolerabile, fi non
Jur. Sat. vi. ver. 613.
You have so lately decried that custom, too • much in use amongit most people, of making " themselves the subjects of their writings and con. ( versation, that I had fome difficulty to persuade ' myself to give you this trouble, until I had confidered, that though I should speak in the first • person, yet I could not be justly charged with va« nity, since I fhall not add my name; as also, be
cause what I Thall write will not, to say the best, • redound to my praise ; but is only designed to remove a prejudice conceived againit me, as I
• hope, with very little foundation. My short history
is this. i I bave lived for some years last past altogether « in London, until about a month ago an acquaint
ance of mine, for whom I have done soine small • services in town, invited me to pass part of the « summer with him at his house in the country. I " accepted his invitation, and found a very hearty ( welcome. My friend, an honest plain man, not being qualified to pass away his time without the
reliefs of business, has grafted the farmer upon the i
gentleman, and brought himself to submit even to
the servile parts of that employment, such as in' fpecting his plough, and the like. This necessari
ly takes up some of his hours every day; and, as I " have no relish for such diversions, I used at these <times to retire either to my chamber, or a fhady "walk near the house, and entertain myself with ' fome agreeable author. Now you must know, Mr.
SPECTATOR, that when I read, especially if it be • poetry, it is very usual with me, when meet s with any paliage or expression which strikes me
much, to pronounce it aloud, with that tone of " the voice which I think agreeable to the sentiments " there expressed ; and to this I generally add some « motion or action of the body. It was not long • before I was observed by some of the family in one • of these heroic fits, who thereupon received im • preffions very much to my disadvantage. This,
however, I did not soon discover, nor should have • done probably, had it not been for the following ('accident. I had one day shut myself up in my
chamber, and was very deeply engaged in the se(cond book of Milton's Paradise Lost. I walked to o and fro with the book in my hand, and, to speak o the truth, I fear I made no little noise ; when pre
fently coming to the following lines ;
-On a sudden open fly,
I in great transport threw open the door of
my • chamber, and found the greatest part of the fami"ly standing on the outside in a very great conster( nation. I was in no less confusion, and begged
pardon for having disturbed them; addressing myi felf particularly to comfort one of the children,
who received an unlucky fall in this action, while he was too intently surveying my meditations
through the key-hole. To be short, after this • adventure I easily observed that great part of the
family, especially the women and children, look. ied upon me with some apprehensions of fear; and ' my friend himself, though he still continued his
civilities to me, did not seem altogether easy : I o took notice, that the butler was never after this ac. o cident ordered to leave the bottle upon the table s after dinner. Add to this, that I frequently over• heard the servants mention me by the name of the • crazed gentleman, the gentleman a little touched,
the mad Londoner, and the like. This made me * think it high time for me to shift my quarters, which il resolved to do the first favourable opportunity ; s and was confirmed in this resolution by a young *lady in the neighbourhood, who frequently visited ' us, and who one day after having heard all the fine • things I was able to say, was pleased, with a scornful smile, to bid me go to sleep.
'The first minute I got to my lodgings in town, • I set pen to paper, to desire your opinion, wheI ther, upon the evidence before
I am mad or I can bring certificates that I behave my• self soberly before company, and I hope there at least some merit in withdrawing to be mad.
• Look you, Sir, I am contented to be esteemed å
little touched, as they phrase it, but should be for o ry to be madder than my neighbours ; therefore,
pray let me be as much in my senses as you can
afford. I know I coukl bring yourself as an in• Itance of a man who has confessed talking to him• self; but yours is a particular case, and cannot ju• tify me, who have not kept silence any part of my • life. What if I should own myself in love? You
know lovers are always allowed the comfort of to: sliloquy. --But I will say no more upon this sub
ject, because I have long fince observed, the ready way to be thought mad is to contend that
are not so; as we generally conclude that man drunk,
who takes pains to be thought sober. I will there• fore leave myself to your determination ; but am • the more desirous to be thought in my senses, that 6.it may difcredit to you
when I assure you, • that I have always been very much
. Your admirer. P. S. If I must be mad, I desire the young La• dy may believe it is for her.'
The humble Petition of John a Nokes, and John a
Stiles, Sheweth, • That your petitioners have had causes depending ! in Westminster. Hall above five hundred years, and
that we despair of ever seeing them brought to an <iffue: that your petitioners have not been involved « in these law-suits out of any litigious temper of ( their own, but by the instigation of contentious
persons; that the young lawyers in our inns of • court are continually setting us together by the ears,
and think they do us no hurt, because they plead « for us without a fee; that many of the gentlemen c of the robe have no other clients in the world be: < fides us two; that when they have nothing else to VOL. VIII. t I
! do, they make us plaintiffs and defendants, though • they were never retained by any of us : that they o traduce, condemn, or acquit us, without any man(ner of regard to our reputations and good names ' in the world. Your petitioners therefore (being
thereunto encouraged by the favourable reception ! which you lately gave to our kinsman Blank) do • humbly pray that you will put an end to the con
troverlies which have been so long depending be.
tween us your faid petitioners, and that our enmi(ty may not endure from generation to generation ;
it being our resolution to live hereafter as it bea
• ever pray, &c.'
Eque feris humana in corpora transit, Inque feras nofter.
Ovid. Met. !. xv, ver. 167. - Th' unbodied fpirit fliesAnd lodges where it lights in man or beast.
HERE has been very great reason, on several
at fettling what it was that might be said to compose personal identity.
Mr. Ločke, after having premised that the word person properly signifies a thinking intelligent being that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as iffeif; concludes, that it is consciousness alone, and not an identity of substance, which makes this personal identity or sameness. Had I the same con