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petition the Lord Mayor and Aldermen for a reward,
A letter, dated September the ninth, acquaints me, That the writer being resolved to try his fortune, had fasted all that day; and that he might be fure of dreaming upon fomething at night, procured an handsome slice of bride-cake, which he placed very conveniently under his pillow. In the morning his memory happened to fail him, and he could recollect nothing but an odd fancy that he had eaten his cake ; which being found upon search reduced to a few crums, he is resolved to remember more of his dreams another time, believing from this that there may poflibly be somewhat of truth in them.
I have received numerous complaints from feveral delicious dreamers, defiring me to invent fome method of silencing those noisy slaves whose occupations lead them to take their early rounds about the city in a morning, doing a deal of mischief; and working strange confusion in the affairs of its inhabitants. Several Monarchs have done me the honour to acquaint me, how often they have been 1hook from their respective thrones by the rattling of a coach, or the rumbling of a wheel-barrow, And many private Gentlemen, I find, have been bawled out of vast eftates by fellows not worth three-pence. A fair Lady was just upon the point of being married to a young, handsome, rich, in. genious nobleman, when an impertinent tinker pafling by forbid the banns; and an hopeful youth, who had been newly advanced to great honour and preferment, was forced by a neighbouring cobler to resign all for an old song. It has been represented to me, that those inconsiderable rascals do pothing but go about diffolving of marriages, and spoiling of fortunes, impoverishing rich, and ruining great people, interrupting beauties in the midst of their conquefts, and generals in the course of
their victories. A boisterous peripatetic hardly goes through a street without waking half a dozen Kings and Princes to open their thops or clean fhoes, frequently transforming sceptres into paring shovels, and proclamations into bills. I have by me a letter from a young statesman, who in five or fix hours came to be emperor of Europe, after which he made war upon the Great Turk, routed him horse and foot, and was crowned lord of the universe in Constantinople : The conclusion of all his succeffes is, that on the 12th instant, about seven in the morning, his imperial majesty was deposed by a chimney-sweeper.
On the other hand, I have epiftolary testimonies of gratitude from many miserable people, who owe to this clamorous tribe frequent deliverances, from great misfortunes.
A small-coal-man, by waking of one of these diftreffed Gentlemen, saved him from ten years imprisonment. An honest watch. man, bidding a loud good-morrow to another, freed him from the malice of many potent enemies, and brought all their designs against him to nothinço A certain valetudinarian confeffes he has ofren been cured of a sore throat by the hoarseness of a carman, and relieved from a fit of the gout by the sound of old foces. A noisy puppy, that plagued a sober Gentleman all night long with his impertinence, was filenced by a cinder-wench with a word fpeaking
Instead therefore of fupprefsing this order of mortals, I would propose it to my readers to make the best advantage of their morning salutations. A famous Macedonian Prince, for fear of forgetting himself in the midft of his good fortune, had a youth to wait on him every morning, and bid him remember that he was a man. A citizen who is waked by one of these criers, may regard him as a kind of remembrancer, come to admonish him that it is time to return to the circumstances he has
overlooked all the night-time, to leave off fancy ing himself what he is not, and prepare to act fuitably to the condition he is really placed in.
People may dream on as long as they please, but I shall take no notice of any imaginary adven. tures, that do not happen while the sun is on this fide the horizon. For which reason I stifle Fritilla's dream at church last Sunday, who, while the rest of the audience were enjoying the benefit of an excellent discourse, was losing her money and jewels to a Gentleman at play, until after a strange run of ill luck she was reduced to pawn three lovely pretty children for her last stake. When she had : thrown them away, her companion went off, discovering himself by his usual tokens, a cloven foor and a strong smell of brimstome; which last prov. ed a bottle of fpirits, which a good old Lady aps plied to her nose, to put her in a condition of heareing the preacher's third head concerning time.
If a man has no mind to pafs abruptly from his imagined to his real circumstances, he may employ himself a while in that new kind of observation which my onirocritical correspondent has directed him to make of himself. Pursuing the imaginatis on through all its extravagancieś, whether in sleep. ing or waking, is no improper method of correcting and bringing it to act in subordinacy to reason; so as to be delighted only with such objects as will affect it with pleasure, when it is never so cool and.. fedate.
Jamne igitur laudas, qued de fapientibus alter
Juv. Sat. x. ver. 28.
ANKIND may be divided into the merry and
the serious, who, both of them, make a very good figure in the species, so long as they keep their respective humours from degenerating into the neighbouring extreme ; there being a natural tendency in the one to a melancholy moroseness, and in the other to a fantastic levity.
The merry part of the world are very amiable, while they diffuse a cheerfulness through conversation at proper seasons, and on proper occasions, but, on the contrary, a great grievance to society, when they infect every discourse with insipid mirth, and turn into ridicule such subjects as are not suited to it. For though laughter is looked upon by the philosophers as the property of reason, the ex. cess of it has been always considered as the mark of folly.
On the other fide, seriousness has its beauty while it is attended with cheerfulness and humanity, and does not come in unscasonably to pall the good-humour of those with whom we converse.
These two sets of men, notwithstanding they cach of them shine in their respective characters,
are apt to bear a natural averfion and antipathy to one another.
What is more ufual than to hear men of serious tempers and austere morals, enlarging upon the vanities and follies of the young and gay part of the fpecies ; while they look with a kind of horror upon such
pomps and diversions as are innocent in themselves, and only culpable when they draw the mind too much?
I could not but smile upon reading a passage - in the account which Mr. Baxter gives of his own life, wherein he represents it as a great blefling, that.in. his youth he very narrowly escaped getting a place at court.
It must indeed be confeffed, that levity of temper takes a man off his guard; and opens a pass to his foul for any temptation that affaults it. It favours all the approaches of vice, and weakens all the resistance of virtue. For which reason a renowned statesman in Queen Elisabeth's days, after having retired from court and public, business, inorder to give hiinself up to the duties of religion ; when any of his old friends used to vifit him, had still this word of advice in his mouth, Be serious.
An eminent Italian author of this cast of mind, speaking of the great advantage of a serious and composed temper, wishes very gravely, that for the benefit of mankind he had Trophonius's cave in his poffeffion; which, says he, would contribute more to the reformation of manners than all the work.. houses and Bridewells in Europe.
We have a very particular description of this: cave in Pausanias, who tells us that it was made in the form of a huge oven, and had many particular circumftances which disposed the person who was in it to be more pensive and thoughtful than ordinary ; insomuch that no man was ever observed to' laugh all his life after, who had, once. made his