Page images

family. Pamphilio has the happiest household of any man I know, and that proceeds from the humane regard he has to them in their private persons, as well as in respect that they are his servants. If there be any occasion, wherein they may in themselves be supposed to be unfit to attend their master's concerns by reason of any attention to their own, he is so good as to place himself in their condition. I thought it very becoming in him, when at dinner the other day, he made an apology for want of more attendants. He said, ' one of my footmen is gone to the wedding of his sister, and the other I do not expect to wait, because his father died but two days ago.'


N° 138. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, 1711.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

One meets now and then with


who are extremely learned and knotty in expounding clear cases. Tully tells us of an author that spent some pages to prove that generals could not perform the great enterprises which have made them so illustrious, if they had not men.

He asserted also, it seems, that a minister at home, no more than a commander abroad, could do any thing without other men were his instruments and assistants. On this occasion he produces the example of Themistocles, Pericles, Cyrus, and Alexander himself, whom he denies to have been capable of affecting what they did, except they had been followed by others. It is pleasant enough to see such


contend without opponents, and triumph without victory.

The author above mentioned by the orator is placed for ever in a very ridiculous light, and we meet every day in conversation such as deserve the same kind of renown, for troubling those with whom they converse with the like certainties. The persons that I have always thought to deserve the highest admiration in this kind are your ordinary storytellers, who are most religiously careful of keeping to the truth in every particular circumstance of a narration, whether it concerns the main end or not. A gentleman whom I had the honour to be in company with the other day, upon some occasion that he was pleased to take, said, he remembered a very pretty repartee made by a very witty man in king Charles's time upon

the like occasion. • I remember (said he, upon entering into the tale) much about the time of Oates's plot, that a cousin-german of mine and I were at the Bear in Holborn. No, I am out, it was at the Cross-keys; but Jack Thomson was there, for he was very great with the gentleman who made the answer. But I am sure it was spoken somewhere thereabouts, for we drank a bottle in that neighbourhood every evening; but no matter for all that, the thing is the same; but

He was going on to settle the geography of the jest when I left the room, wondering at this odd turn of head which can play away its words, with uttering nothing to the purpose, still observing its own impertinencies, and yet proceeding in them. I do not question but he informed the rest of his audience, who had more patience than I, of the birth and parentage, as well as the collateral alliances of

[ocr errors]

his family who made the repartee, and of him who provoked him to it.

It is no small misfortune to any who have a just value for their time, when this quality of being so very circumstantial, and careful to be exact, happens to shew itself in a man whose quality obliges them to attend his proofs, that it is now day, and the like. But this is augmented when the same genius gets into authority, as it often does. Nay, I have known it more than once ascend the very pulpit. One of this sort taking it in his head to be a great admirer of Dr. Tillotson and Dr. Beveridge, never failed of proving out of these great authors, things which no man living would have denied him upon his own single authority. One day resolving to come to the point in hand, he said, according to that excellent divine' I will enter upon the matter, or in his words, in his fifteenth sermon of the folio edition, page 160,

“ I shall briefly explain the words, and then consider the matter contained in them.'

This honest gentleman needed not, one would think, strain his modesty so far as to alter his design of entering upon the matter,' to that of briefly explaining.' But so it was, that he would not even be contented with that authority, but added also the other divine to strengthen his method, and told us,

with the pious and learned Dr. Beveridge, page 4th of his ninth volume, “ I shall endeavour to make it as plain as I can from the words which I have now read, wherein for that purpose we shall consider- This wiseacre was reckoned by the parish, who did not understand him, a most excellent preacher; but that he read too much, and was so humble that he did not trust enough to his own parts.

Next to these ingenious gentlemen, who argue


for what nobody can deny them, are to be ranked a sort of people who do not indeed attempt to prove insignificant things, but are ever labouring to raise arguments with you about matters you will give up to think?. without the least controversy. One of these people told a gentleman who said he saw Mr. Sucha-One this morning at nine of the clock towards the Gravel-pits : Sir, I must beg your pardon for that, for though I am very loth to have any dispute with you, yet I must take the liberty to tell you it was nine when I saw him at St. James's. When men of this genius are pretty far gone in learning they will put you to prove that snow is white, and when

you are upon that topic can say that there is really no such thing as colour in nature; in a word, they can turn what little knowledge they have into a ready.capacity of raising doubts; into a capacity of being always frivolous and always unanswerable. It was of two disputants of this impertinent and laborious kind that the cynic said, one of these fellows is milking a ram, and the other holds the pail.'


The exercises of the snuff-box, according to the most fashionable airs and motions, in opposition to the exercise of the fan, will be taught with the best plain or perfumed snuff, at Charles Lillie's, perfumer, at the corner of Beaufort-buildings in the Strand, and attendance given for the benefit of the young merchants about the Exchange for two hours every day at noon, except Saturdays, at a toy-shop near Garraway's coffee-house. There will be likewise taught the ceremony of the snuff-box, or rules for offering snuff to a stranger, a friend, or a mistress, according to the degrees of familiaity or distance; with an explanation of the careless, the scornful, the

politic, and the sarly pinch, and the gestures proper to each of them.

· N. B. The undertaker does not question but in a short time to have formed a body of regular snuffboxes ready to meet and make head against all the regiment of fans which have been lately disciplined, and are now in motion.'


No 139. THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, 1711.

Vera gloria rudices agit, atque etiam propagatur ; ficla omniu celeriter, tanquam flosculi, decidunt, nec simulatum potest quidquam esse diuturnum.

TULL. 'True glory takes root, and even spreads: all false pretences, like flowers, fall io the ground; nor can any counterfeit last long.

Of all the affections which attend human life, the love of glory is the most ardent. According as this is cultivated in princes, it produces the greatest good or the greatest evil. Where sovereigns have it by impressions received from education only, it creates an ambitious rather than a noble mind : where it is the natural bent of the prince's inclination, it prompts him to the pursuit of things truly glorious. The two greatest men now in Europe (according to the common acceptation of the word great) are Lewis King of France, and Peter Emperor of Russia. As it is certain that all fame does not arise from the practice of virtue, it is, methinks, no unpleasant amusement to examine the glory of these potentates, and distinguish that which is empty, perishing,

« PreviousContinue »