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• old age. The cardinal here softens his ambition by the specious pretence of serving his king: Whereas his words, in the proper construction, imply, that if instead of being acted by ambition, he had been acted by religion, he should now have felt the comforts of it, when the whole world turned its back upon him.
Thirdly, Let us compare the pains of the sensual with those of the virtuous, and see which are heavier in the balance. It may seem strange, at the first view, that the men of pleasure thould be advised to change their course, because they lead a painful life. Yet when we see them so active and vigilant in queft of delighrt ; under so many difquicts, and the sport of such various paflions ; let them answer, as they can, if the pains they undergo do not outweigh their enjoyments. The infidelities on the one part between the two fexes, and the caprices on the other, the debafement of reason, the pangs of expectation, the disappointments in poffeffion, the ftings of remorfe, the vanities and vexations attending even the most refined delights that make up this business of life, render it fo filly and uncomfortable, that no man is thought wise until he hath got over it, or happy, but in proportion as he hath cleared himfell from it.
The sum of all is this. Man is made an active being. Whether he walks in the paths of virtue or vice, he is sure to meet with many
difficulties to prove his patience and excite his industry. The fame, if not greater labour is required in the fervice of vice and folly, as of virtue and wisdom : And he hath this eafy choice left him, whether, with the strength he is master of, he will purchase happiness or repentance.
No 625. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26.
Hor. Od. vi..lib. iii, ver. 25. Love, from her tender years, her thoughts em
ployd. "HE Love-Gafuift hath referred to me the follow.
ing letter of queries, with his answers to each question, for my approbation. I have accordingly considered the feveral matters therein contained, and hereby confirm and ratify his answers, and require the gentle querist to conform herfelf there
: I Was thirteen the ninth of November last, and
must now begin to think of settling myself in the world, and fo I would humbly beg your ad
vice, what I must do with Mr. Fondle, who makes « his addresses to me. He is a very pretty man, and hath the blackest eyes and whitest teeth you ever saw. Though he is but a younger brother, he dresses like a man of quality, and no body
comes into the room like him. I know he hath ( refused great offers, and if he cannot marry me, ' he will never have any body else. But my father (hath forbid him the house, because he fent me a copy
of verses; for he is one of the greatest wits • in town. My eldest fifter, who, with her good• will, would call me Miss as long as I live, must be • married before me, they say. She tells them that • Mr. Fondle makes a fool of me, and will spoil the • child, as she calls me, like a confident thing as • fhe isIn short, I am resolved to marry Mr.
Fondle, if it be but to spite her. But, because I • would do nothing that is imprudent, I beg of you
to give me your answers to fome questions I will
write down, and desire you to get them printed • in the SPECTATOR, and I do not doubt but you • will give such advice, as I am sure I shall follow.
" When Mr. Fondle looks upon me for half an • hour together, and calls me Angel, is he not in • love? Answer, No.
May not I be certain he will be a kind huf• band, that has promised me half my portion in
pin-money, and to keep me a coach and fix in • the bargain?
" Whether I, who have been acquainted witla . him this whole year almost, am not a better judge • of his merit than my father and mother, who
never heard him talk but at table ?
" Whether I am not old enough to chuse for myself? No.
· Whether it would not have been rude in me to • refuse a lock of his hair?
No, • Should not I be a very barbarous creature, if • I did not piry a man who is always fighing for
A a 3
" Whether you
would not advise me to run away • with the poor man? No..
Whether you do not think, that if I will not • have him, he will not drówn himself ?
• What shall I fay to him the next time he asks. me if I will marry him?
The following letter requires neither introduction nor answer.
• Mr. SPECTATOR, : I Wonder that, in the present fituation of affairs,
you can take pleasure in writing any thing but news; for, in a word, who minds any thing else! • The pleasure of increafing in knowledge, and
learning something new every hour of life, is the • noblest entertainment of a rational creature. I • have a very good ear for a fecret, and am naturally • of a communicative temper ; by which means I am capable of doing you great fervices in this
In order to make myself useful, I am early • in the antichamber, where I thrust my head into • the thick of the press, and catch the news at the
opening of the door, while it is warm. Some5 times I stand by the beef-eaters, and take the buz • as it passes by me. At other times I lay my ear
clofe to the wall, and suck in many a valuable whisper, as it runs in a strait line from corner to
corner. When I am weary with standing, I re! pair to one of the neighbouring coffee-houses, • where I fit sometimes for a whole day, and have • the news as it comes from court fresh and fresh. • In short, Sir, I spare no pains to know how the world goes. A piece of news lofes its flavour
• when it hath been an hour in the air. I love, if • I may fo fpeak, to have it fresh from the tree ; ' and to convey it to my friends before it is faded. • Accordingly, my expences in coach-hire make no • small article ; which you may believe, when I . affure you, that I post away from coffee-houfe
to coffee house, and forestal the Evening Poft by
two hours. There is a certain gentleman, who • hath given me the flip twice or thrice, and hath
been beforehand with me at Child's. But I have
played him a trick. I have purchased a pair of • the best coach-horses I could buy for money, and
now let hini outstrip me if he can. • Mr. SpecTATOR, let me advise you to deal in ' news. You may depend upon my affiftance. • But I must break off abruptly, for I have twenty 6 letters to write.
• Yours in haste,
• Tho. QUIDNUNC.'
NO 626. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29.
Dulcique animos novitate tenebo.
OVID. Met. l. iv. ver. 284. With sweet novelty your taste I'll pleafe.
Have seen a little work of a learned man, con
fisting of extemporary fpeculations, which owed their birth to the most trifling occurrences of life. His usual method was, to write down any sudden start of thought which arose in his mind upon the fight of any odd gesticulation in a man, any whimfical mimicry of reason in a beast, or whatever appeared remarkable in any object of the visible creation. He was able to moralize upon a fnuff-box, would flourish eloquently upon a tucker, or a pair