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Should the whole frame of nature round him
secure amidst a falling warld. The vanity of fear may be yet farther illustrated, if we reflect,
First, What we fear may not come to pass. No human scheme can be fo accurately projected, but fome little circumstance intervening may spoil it. He who directs the heart of man at his pleasure, and understands the thoughts long before, may by ten thousand accidents, or an immediate change in the inclinations of men, disconcert the most subtle project, and turn it to the benefit of his own fervants.
In the next place we should consider, tbough the evil we imagine should come to pass, it may be much more supportable than it appeared to be. As there is no prosperous state of life without its calamities, so there is no adversity without its bene. fits. Ask the great and powerful, if they do not feel the pangs of envy and ambition. Enquire of the poor and needy, if they have not tasted the sweets of quiet and contentment.
Even under the pains of body, the infidelity of friends, or the mifconstructions put upon our laudable actions, our minds (when for fome time accustomed to these preffures) are fenfible of secret flowings of comfort, the present reward of a pious refignation. The evils of this life appear like rocks and precipices, rugged and barren at a distance, but at our nearer approach, we find little fruitful spots, and refreshing springs, mixed with the harshness and deformities of nature..
In the last place, we may comfort ourselves with this consideration; that, as the thing feared may pot reach us, so we may not reach what we fear.
Our lives may not extend to that dreadful point, which we have in view. He who knows all our failings, and will not fuffer us to be tempted beyond our ftrength, is often pleased in his tender severity, to separate the soul from its body and miseries together.
If we look forward to him for help, we shall never be in danger of falling down those precipices which our imagination is apt to create. Like those who walk upon a line, if we keep our eye fixed upon one point, we may step forward fecurely; whereas an imprudent or cowardly glance on either fide will infallibly destroy us.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5.
Qui bellus homo eft, Cotta, fufillus homo eft.
MARTIAL, Epig. x. I. 1. A pretty fellow is but half a man. CICERO Icero bath observed, that a jest is never uttered
with a better grace, than when it is accompanied with a serious countenance. When a pleasant thought plays in the features, before it discovers itself in words, it raises too great an expectation, and loses the advantage of giving surprise. Wit and humour are no less poorly recommended by a levity of phrafe, and that kind of language which may be distinguished by the name of Cant. Ridicule is never more strong, than when it is concealed in gravity. True humour lies in the thought, and ariles from the representation of images in odd circumstances and uncommon lights. A pleasant thought strikes us by the force of its natural beauty; and the mirth of it is generally rather palled than heightened by that ridiculous phraseology which is so much in fashion among the pretenders to hu.
mour and pleasantry. This tribe of men are like our mountebanks; they make a man a wit, by put. ting him in a fantastic habit.
Our little burlesque authors, who are the delight of ordinary readers, generally abound in these pert phrases, which have in them more vivacity than wit.
I lately saw an instance of this kind of writing, which gave me fo lively an idea of it, that I could not forbear begging a copy of the letter from the gentleman who shewed it to me. It is written by a country wit, upon the occasion of the rejoicings on the day of the King's coronation.
Past two o'clock, and a * Dear JACK,
frosty morning. : I Have just left the right worthipful and his
myrmidons about a sneaker of five gallons. • The whole magistracy was pretty well disguised ' before I gave them the flip. Our friend the alderman was half seas over before the bonfire was
We had with us, the attorney, and two or • three bright other fellows. The doctor plays • least in sight.
" At nine o'clock in the evening we set fire to • the whore of Babylon. The devil acted his part
to a miracle. He has made his fortune by it. • We equipped the young dog with a tester apiece. • Honest old Brown of England was very drunk,
and thowed his loyalty to the tune of a hundred • rockets. The mob drank the King's health on • their marrow-bones, in mother Day's double.
They whipped us half a dozen hogsheads. Poor ( Tom Tylor had like to have been demolished • with the end of a sky-rocket that fell upon the
bridge of his nose as he was drinking the King's " health, and spoiled his tip. The mob were very
loyal until about midnight, when they grew a • little mutinous for more liquor. They had like
s to have dumfounded the justice; but his clerk + came in to his aflistance, and took them all down in black and white. When I had been huzza'd out of
seven i senses, I made a visit to the women, who were guzzling very comfortably.
Mrs. Mayoress • Clipped the King's English. Clack was the « word.
• I forgot to tell thee, that every one of the posse had his hat cocked with a distich : The fe
nators sent us down a cargo of ribbon and metre s for the occasion.
• Sir Richard, to fhew his zeal for the protestant religion, is at the expence of a tar-barrel and a • ball. I peeped into the knight's great hall, and • saw a very pretty bevy of spinsters. My dear • relict was amongst them, and ambled in a country-dance as notably as the best of them.
May all his Majesty's liege subjects love him as • well as his good people of this his ancient bo
XXX* No:613. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8.
Torva Mimalloneis implérunt cornua bombis,
PERS. Sat. i. ver. 104.
DRYDEN. THERE are two extremes in the stile of humour,
one of which consists in the use of that little pert phraseology which I took notice of in my last paper ; the other in the affectation of strained and pompous expressions, fetched from the learned languages. The first favours too much of the town, the other of the college.
As nothing illustrates better than example, I shall here present my reader with a letter of pedantic humour, which was written by a young gentleman of the university to his friend, on the same occasion, and from the same place, as the lively epistle published in my laft Spetiator.
« Dear CHUM, IT T is now the third watch of the night, the
greatest part of which I have spent round a * capacious bowl of China, filled with the choiceft.
products of both the Indiesi I was placed at a Vol. VIII.