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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'euvre; 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.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 6.
Hoc tolerabile, fi non
Juv. Sat. vi. ver, 613:
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, 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 expreffion which strikes me much, to pronounce it aloud, with that tone of the voice which I think agreeable to the sentiments there exprefled; and
to this. I generally add fome 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 shut myself up in my chamber, and was very deeply engaged in the second book of Milton's Paradise Lost. 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;
- On a sudden open fly,
* 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 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 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 defire your opinion, whe
ther, upon the evidence before you, I am mad
or not. I can bring certificates that'I behave my• felf foberly before company, and I hope there is at least some-njerit in withdrawing to be mad.
* 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'fore 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
that you are not fo; as we generally conclude • that man drunk, who takes pains to be thought
sober. I will therefore leave myself to your de. termination ; but an the more desirous to be " thought in my senses, that it may be no discredit s to you when I assure you that I have always been
• Your admirer.' P.S. If I must be mad, I desire the young ' Lady may believe it is for her.' The humble petition of John a Nokes, and John a
Stiles, « Sheweth, THAT your petitioners have had causes depend
ing in Westminster-Hall above five hundred years, and that we despair of ever seeing them brought to an issue : 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 fce;
that many of the gentlemen of the robe have no VOL. VIII.
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 names in the world.
Your petitioners therefore (being thereunto encouraged by the favourable reception which you lately gave to our kinsinan Blank) do hunibly pray
will put an end to the con. troverfies 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 dispositions. * And your petitioners (as in duty bound) shall ever pray, &c.'
********* MONDAY, AUGUST 9.
Eque feris humana in corpora transit,
Ovid. Met. 1. xv. ver, 167.
*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 person 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