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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 fide ; whereas the frenzy of one who is given up for a lunatick, is a frenzy hors d'œuvre; that is, in other words, fome. thing which is singular in its kind, and does not fall in with the madness of a multitude.

The subject of this essay was occafioned by a letter' which I received not long fince, and which, for want of room at present, I shall insert in my next paper.

No 577

FRIDAY, AUGUST 6.

Hoc tolerabile, fi non
Et furere incipias

Juv. Sat. vi. ver. 613;
This might be borne with, if you did not rave.
THE
HE letter mentioned in my last paper is as

follows.

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YOU have fo lately decried that custom, too

much in use amongst most people, of making themselves the subjects of their writings and con.

verfation, that I had some difficulty to persuade smyself to give you this trouble, until I had con. "fidered that though I should speak in the first • person; yet I could not be justly charged with va.

nity, fince I shall not add my name ; as also, be. • caufe what I shall write will not, to say.the best, · redound to my praise ; but it is only designed to semove a prejudice conceived against me, as I

hope,

* hope, with very little foundation. My short his'tory

is this. • I have lived for some years last past altogether -- in London, until about a month ago an acquaint• ance of mine, for whom I have done some imall "fervices in town, invited me to pass part of the • fummer 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 gentleman, and brought himself to submit * even to the servile parts of that employment, such 'as inspecting his plough, and the like. This ne

cessarily takes up some of his hours every day; ' and, as I have no relish for such diverfions, I - used at these times to retire either to my cham*ber, or a shady walk near the house, and enter

tain myself with some agreeable author. Now you must know, Mr. SPECTATOR, that-when I * read, especially if it be poetry, it is very usual "-with me, when I meet with any passage or expression which strikes me much, to pronounce it aloud, with that tone of the voice which I think agreeable to the sentiments there expreffed ; 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 impreffions very much

to my disadvantage. This however I did not - foon discover, for should I have done, probably, had it not been for the following accident. I had one day flut myfelf-up in my chamber, and was very deeply engaged in the second book of Milton's Paradise Loft, I walked to and fro with the book • in my hand, and, to speak the truth, I fear I ... made oo little noise;" when presently coming to " the following lines;

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- On a sudden open fly,
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound,
Th' infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Harsb thunder, &c.

* I in great transport threw open the door of my

chamber, and found the greatest part of the fa"mily standing on the outside in a very great con

[ternation. I was in no less confufion, and beg.

ged pardon for having disturbed them ; addrett• ing myself 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, looked upon me with some apprehen* fions of fear; and my friend himself, though he « still continues his civilities to mé, did not seem.

altogether easy: I took notice, that the butler

was never after this accident ordered to leave the • bottle upon the table after dinner. Add to this, * that I frequently overheard 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 6 for to shift my quarters, which I resolved to « do the first favourable opportunity; and was

confirmed in this refolution 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 scorn• ful 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, whe

ther, upon the evidence before you, I am mad

or not. I can bring certificates that'I behave my• self soberly before company, and I hope there is at least some-njerit in withdrawing to be mad.

+ Look

I fore

* Look you, Sir, I am contented to be esteemed a • little touched, as they phrase it, but should be ' forry to be madder than my neighbours; there

pray let me be as much in my senses as you can afford. I know I could bring yourfelf as an . instance of a man who has confeffed talking to himself; but yours is a particular case, and cannot justify 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 soliloquy. - But I will say no more upon this subject, because I have long since observed, 'the ready way to be thought mad is to contend

you are not fo; as we generally conclude that man drunk, who takes pains to be thought * fober. I will therefore leave myself to your de. "termination ; but am the more desirous to be thought in my senses, that it may be no discredit to you when I assure you that I have always been

that

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Pery much

• Your admirer.'
P.S. If I must be mad, I desire the young
Lady may believe it is for her.'
The humbla petition of John a Nokes, and John a

Stiles,
· Sheweth,
* THat your petitioners have had causes depend-

ing in Weftminster. Hall above five hundred years, and that we despair of ever seeing them brought to an istue: That your petitioners have

not been involved in these law-suits out of any litigious temper of their own, but by the instiga'tion 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 fçe; that many of the gentlemen of the robe have no VOL. VIII.

I

• other

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other clients in the world besides us two; that when they have nothing else to do, they make us plaintiffs and defendants, though they were never retained by any of us : That they traduce, condemn, or acquit us, without any manner of regard to our reputations and good namnes in the world. Your petitioners therefore (being thereunto encouraged by the favourable reception which

you lately gave to our kinsinan Blank:) do hunibly pray

that
you

will put an end to the con. troverlies which have been so long depending between us your faid petitioners, and that our enmity may not endure from generation to generaration ; it being our resolution to live hereafter as it becometh inen of peaceable dispolitions. And your petitioners (as in duty bound) shall

ever pray, &c.'

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No 578.

MONDAY, AUGUST 9.

THERE

Eque feris humana in corpora transit,
Inque feras nofter

Ovid. Met. 1. XV. ver, 1676
- Th' unbodied spirit flies
And lodges where it lights in man or beast.

DRYDEN "Here has been very great reason, on several

accounts, for the learned world to endeavour at settling what it was that might be said to compose personal identity.

Mr. Locke, after having premised that the word perfon properly signifies a thinking intelligent being that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself; concludes, that it is consciousness alone, and not an identity of substance, which makes this personal identity of famenefs. Had I the fame

confcioufness

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