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* a politician, a traitor, an enemy to his country, and a bl-nd-rb-fs, &c. &c.'
The remaining part of this political treatife, which is written after the manner of the most celebrated authors in Great Britain, I may communicate to the public at a more convenient season. In the mean while I shall leave this with my curious reader, as some ingenious writers do their enigmas, and if any fagacious person can fairly anriddle it, I will print his explanation, and, if he pleafes, acquaint the world with his name.
I HOPE this short essay will convince my readers, it is not for want of abilities that I avoid state-tracts, and that if I would apply my mind to it, I might in a little time be as great a master of the political scratch as any the moft eminent writer of the age. I shall only add, that in order to outshine all the modern race of Syncopifts, and thoroughly content my English readers, I intend shortly to publish a Spectator, that shall not have a single rowel in it.
Friday, July 16.
------Dum recitas, ircipit esse tuus.
Mart. Epig. 39. 1. ri
Reciting makes it thine.
Was yesterday in a coffeehouse not far from the Royal
conference over a pipe of tobacco; upon which, having filled one for my own use, T lighted it at the little waxcandle that stood before them: and after having thrown in two or three whiffs amongst them, sat down and made one of the company. I need not tell my reader, that lighting a man's pipe at the same candle, is looked upon among brother-smokers as an overture to conversation and friendship. As we here laid our heads together in a very amicable manner, being intrenched under a cloud of our own raising, I took up the last Spectator, and casting my eye over it, “The Spectator,' says I, is very witty VoL, VIH. E
• to-day;' upon which a lufty lethargic old gentleman, who . Iat at the upper end of the table, having gradually blown mut of his mouth a great deal of smoke, which he had Bomen collecting for some time before. “Ay,' says he, • more witty than wise, I am afraid.' His neighbour, who fat at his right hand, immediately coloured, and being an angry politician, laid down his pipe with so much wrath that he broke it in the middle, and by that means furnished me with a tobacco-stopper. I took it up very Yedately, and looking him full in the face, made use of it from time to time all the while he was speaking: “This « fellow',' says he, 'can't for his life keep out of politics. • Do you see how he abuses four great men here?” I fixed my eye very attentively on the paper, and asked him if le mcant those who were represented by asterisks. 'A* sterisks,' says he, do you call them ? they are all of o them stars. Ile might as well have put garters to them. « Then pray do but mind the two or three next lines ; • ch-rch and p-dd-ng in the fame sentence! our clergy are
very much beholden to him.' pon this the third gentlcman, who was of a mild difpofition, and, as I found, a Whig in his heart, desired him not to be too severe upon the Spectator neither: For,' says he, -- you find he.is very cautious of giving offcnce, and has therefore
put • two dashes into his pudding.' 'A fig for his dash,' says the angry politician. . In his next fentence he gives a
plain innuendo, that our pofterity will be in a sweet *p-ckle. What does the fool mean by his pickle? Why • does not he write at length, if he means honefly?' I s have read over the whole fentence,' fuys I ; 'but I look
upon the parenthesis in the belly of it to be the mcít dan
gerous part, and as full of infinuations as it can hold. * But who,' says I, “is my lady Q-p-t-s?' 'Ay, answer
that if you can, Sir,' says the furious statesman to the poor Whig that sat over against him. But withuut giving Înim time to reply, “I do assure you,' says he, were I *my lady Q-P-t-s, I would sue him for fcandalum magWhat is the world come to ? Mult
body be allowed to ?? He had by this time filled a new pipe, and applying it to his lips, when we expected the last word of his sentence, put us off with a whiff of tobacco; which he redoubled with so much rage and tre
pidation, that he almost stifled the whole company, After a short pause, I owned that I thought the Spectator had gone too far in writing so many letters of my lady 2-p-t-s's name : • But however,' says I, he has made a • little amends for it in his next fentence, where he leaves blank space without so much as a consonant to direct
I mean,' says I, after those words, the fleet that used to be the terror of the ocean, should be wind-bound for the sake of a
" ; after which cnsues a chasm, that ' in my opinion looks modest enough.' 'Sir,' says my antagonist, you may easily know his meaning by his gaping;
I fuppofe he designs his chasm, as you call it, for an hola to creep out at; but I believe it will hardly serve his turn. "Who can endure to see the great officers of state, the • B---ys and T...fs treated after so scurrilous a manner?' ' I can't for my life,' says I, 'imagine who they are the
Speclator means?? "No !' says he, --Your hun• ble fervant, Sir!' Upon which he flang himself back in his chair' after a contemptuous manner, and finiled upon the old lethargic gentleman on his left hand, who, I found, was his grcat admirer. The Whig however had begun to conceive a good will towards me, and seeing my pipe out, very generously offered me the use of his box; but I declined it with great civility, being obliged to meet a friend about that time in another quarter of the city.
At my leaving the coffeehouse, I could not forbear reflecting with myself upon that gross tribe of fools who may be termed the overwise, and upon the difficulty of writing any thing in this censorious age, which a weak head may not construe into private satire and personal refestion.
A Man who has a good nose at an innuendo, smells treafon and fedition in the most innocent words that can be put together, and never sees a vice or folly stigmatized, but finds out one or other of his acquaintance pointed at by the writer. I remember an empty pragmatical fellow in the country, who, upon reading over The whole duty of man, had written the names of several persons in the village at the side of every sin which is mentioned by that excellent author; so that he had converted one of the best books in the world into a libel against the squire, churchwardens, overseers of the poor, and all other the muíz
considerable persons in the parih. This book, with these extraordinary marginal notes, fell accidentally into the hands of one who had never seen it before; upon which there arose a current report that somebody had written a bouk against the squire and the whole parish. The minifter of the place having at that time a controversy with some of his congregation upon the account of his tithes, was under fome fufpicion of being the author, till the good man fet his people right, by shewing them that the fatirical passages might be applied to several others of two or three neighbouring villages, and that the book was writ against all the sinners in England.
Monday, July 19.
Reges dicuntur multis
culullis Et torquere mero, quem perfpexiffe laborent, An fit amicitia dignus--
Hor. Ars poet. V. 434.
Wise were the kings, who never chofe a friend,
O vices are so incurable as those which men are apt
to glory in. One would wonder how drunkenness should have the good luck to be of this number. Anacharsis, being invited to a match of drinking at Corinth, demanded the prize very humorously, because he was drunk before any of the rest of the company; for, says he, when we run a race, he who arrives at the goal first is intitled to the reward: on the contrary, in this thirsty generation, the honour falls upon him who carries off the greatest quantity of liquor, and knocks down the rest of the
company. I was the other day with honest Will. Funnell the West Saxon, who was reckoning up how much liquor had paired through him in the last twenty years of his life, which, according to his computation, amounted to twenty-three hogsheads of October, four ton of Port,
half a kilderkin of small beer, nineteen barrels of cyder, and three glasses of Champagne; besides which he had assisted at four hundred bowls of punch, not to mention sips, drams, and whets without number. I question not but every.reader's memory will suggest to him several anbitious young men, who are as vain in this particular as Will, Funnell, and can boast of as glorious exploits.
Our modern philosophers observe, that there is a general decay of moisture in the globe of the earth. This they chiefy ascribe to the growth of vegetables, which incorporate into their own substance many Auid bodies that never return again to their former nature; but, with submission, they ought to throw into their account those innumerable rational beings which fetch their nourishment chiefly out of liquids ; especially when we consider that men, compared with their fellow-creatures, drink much more than conies to their share.
But however highiy this tribe. of people may think of themselves, a drunken man is a greater monster than any that is to be found among all the creatures which God has : made; as indeed there is no character which appears more despicable and deformed, in the eyes of all reasonable persons, than that of a drunkard. Bonofiis, one of our own countrynien, who was addicted to this vice, having set up for a share in the Roman empire, and being defeated in a great battle, hanged himself. When he was seen by the army in this melancholy situation, notwithstanding he had behaved himself very bravely, the common jest was, that the thing they saw hanging upon the tree before them was not a man but a bottle. :
This vice has very fatal effects on the mind, the body, and fortune of the person who is deroted to it. In regard to the mind, it first of all discovers
flaw in it. The fober man; by the strength of reason, may keep under and subdue every vice or folly to which he is most inclined; but wine makes every latent feed sprout np in the foul, and shew itself; it gives fury to the par sions, and force to those objects which are apt to produce them. When a young fellow complained to an old philosopher that his wife was not handsome, Put less water in your wine, says the philosopher, and you will quickly make her fo: Wine heighters in difcrerce into love, love