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- From my own Apartment. . After the lassitude of a day, spent in the strolling man. ner, which is usual with men of pleasure in this town, and with a head full of a million of impertinencies, which had danced round it for ten hours together, I came to my lodging, and haftened to bed. My Valet de Chambre knows my university-trick of reading there ; and he, being a good scholar for a Gentleman, ran over the names of Horace, Tibullus, Ovid, and others, to know which I would have. Bring Virgil, said I ; and, af I fall asleep, take care of the candle. I read the fixth book over with the most exquifite delight, and had gone half through it a fecond time, when the pleasant ideas of Elysian fields, deceafed Worthies walking in them, fincere lovers enjoying their languishment with. out pain, compassion for the unhappy spirits who had mispent their fhort day-light, and were exiled from the seats of bliss for ever; I say, I was deep again in my reading, when this mixture of images had taken place of all others in my imagination before, and lulled me into a dream, from which I am juft awake, to my great disadvantage. The happy mansions of Elyfium, by degrees, seemed to be wafted from me, and the very traces of my late-waking thoughts began to fade away, when I was cast by a suddon whirlwind upon an island, encompared with a roaring and troubled fea, which Shaked its very centre, and rocked its inhabitants as in a cradle. The islanders lay on their faces without offering to look up, or hope for preservation; all the harbours were crowded with mariners, and tall vefsels of war lay in danger of being driven to pieces on her Thores. Bless me! said I, why have I lived in such a manner, that the convulsion of Nature fhould be só tersible to me, when I feel in myself that the better part of me is to survive it! Oh! may that be in happiness. A sudden shriek, in which the whole people on their faces joined, interrupted my soliloquy, and turned my eyes and attention to the object which had given us that fudden start, in the midst of an inconsolable and speechlefs affliction. Immediately the winds grew calm, the
waves fubfided, and the people stood up, turning cheir faces upon a magnificent pile in the midst of the island. .. There we beheld an Hero of a comely and erect aspect, but pale and languid, fitting under a canopy of state. By the faces and dumb sorrow of those who attended, we thought him in the article of death. At a distauce fat a 'Lady, whole life seemed to hang upon the same thread with his : She kept her eyes fixed upon him, and feemed to smother ten thousand thousand nameless things, which urged her tenderness to clasp him in her arms: But her greatness of spirit overcame those sentiments, and gave her power to forbear disturbing his last moment, which immediately approached. The Hero looked up with an air of negligence, and satiety of Being, rather than of pain to leave it; and, leaning back his head, expired.
When the Heroine, who fat at a distance, saw his last instant come, the threw herself at his feet, and kneeling, pressed his hand to her lips, in which posture she continued under the agony of an unutterable forrow, until conducted from our fight by her attendants. That commanding awe, which accompanies the grief of great minds, restrained the multitude while in her presence; but as soon as the retired, they gave way to their distraction, and all the islanders called upon their deceased Hero. To him, methought, they cried out, as to a guardian Being; and I gathered from their broken accents, that it was he who had the empire over the Ocean and its powers, by which he had long protected the island from shipwreck and invasion. They now give a loose to their moan, and think themselves exposed without hopes of human or divine aslistance. While the people ran wild, and expressed all the diffe. rent forms of lamentation, methought a fable cloud overshadowed the whole land, and covered its inhabi. tants with darkness : No glimpse of light appeared, except one ray from heaven upon the place in which the Heroine now fecluded herself from the world, with her eyes fixed on those abodes to which her Confort was afcended. Methought a long period of time had passed away in murning and in darkness, when a twilight began by degrees to enlighten the hemisphere ; and, VOLI.
looking round me, I saw a boat rowed towards the shore, in which fat a personage adorned with warlike trophies, bearing on his left arm a fhield, on which was engraven the image of Victory, and in his righthand a branch of olive. His visage was at once so winning and so awful, that the shield and the olive seemed equally suitable to his genius.
When this illustrious person touched on the shore, he was received by the acclamations of the people, and followed to the palace of the Heroine. No pleasure in the glory of her arms, or the acclamations of her ap. plauding subjects, were ever capable to suspend her forsow for one moment, until she saw the olive-branch in the hand of that auspicious messenger. At that fight, as Heaven beflows its blessings on the wants and impor. tunities of mortals, out of its native bounty, and not to increase its own power or honour, in compassion 10 the world, the celestial Mourner was then firit feen to turn her regard to things below; and taking the branch out of the warrior's hand, looked at it with much fa. tisfaction, and spoke of the blessings of peace, with a voice and accent, such as that in which guardian Spirits whisper to dying penitents assurances of happiness. The air was hushed, the multitude attentive, and all Nature in a pause while she was speaking. But as soon as the messenger of peace had made some low reply, in which, methought I heard the word Iberia, the Heroine as. suming a more severe air, but such as spoke resolution without rage, returned him the olive, and again veiled her face. Loud cries and clashing of arms immediately followed, which forced me from my charming vision, and drove me back to these mansions of care and sorrow.
• About this time the Duke of Marlborougb returned from Holo Band, with the preliminaries of a peace.
Saturday, April 30, 1709.
Will's Coffee-house, April 28.
THIS Evening we were entertained with The Ola
Bachelor, a Comedy of deserved reputation. In the character which gives name to the Play, there is excellently represented the reluctance of a battered de bauchee to come into the trammels of order and decency : He neither languishes nor burns, but frets for love. The Gentlemen of more regular behaviour are drawn with much spirit and wit, and the drama introduced by the dialogue of the first scene with uncommon, yet na. tural conversation. The part of Fondlewife is a lively image of the unseasonable fondness of age and impo-tence. But instead of such agreeable works as these, the town has for half an age, been tormented with infects called Easy Writers, whose abilities Mr. Wycherly one day described excellently well in one word: “ That, " said he, among these fellows is called Easy Writing, "s which any one may easily write.” Such janty scribblers are so juftly laughed at for their sonnets on Phillis and Chloris, and fantastical descriptions in them, that an ingenious kinsman of mine, of the family of the Staffs, Mr. Humphrey Wagfaff by name, has, to avoid their strain, run into a way perfectly new, and described things exactly as they happen: He never forms fields, or nymphs, or groves, where they are not ; but makes the incidents just as they really appear. For an example of it; 'I stole out of his manuscript the following lines : They are a description of the morning, but of the morning in town; nay, of the morning at this end of the town, where my kinsman at present lodges..
Now hardyy here and there an hackney-coach
Now Betty from her master's bed had flown,
All that I apprehend is, that dear Numps will be angry I have published these lines; not that he has any reason to be ashamed of them, but for fear of those rogues, the bane to all excellent performances, the Imitators. Therefore, before-hand, I bar all descriptions of the Evening ; as, a medley of verses fignifying grey-peas are now cried warm; that wenches now begin to amble round the passages of the playhouse : Or of Noon; as, that fine Ladies and great Beaus are juft yawning out of their beds and windows in Pall-Mall, and so forth. I forewarn also all persons from encouraging any draughts after my cousin ; and foretel any man who shall go about to imitate him, that he will be very insipid. The family-ftock is embarked in this design, and we will not admit of counterfeits : Dr. Anderson and his heirs enjoy his pills ; Sir William Read has the cure of eyes, and Monsieur Roselli only. can çure the gout. We pretend to none of these things; but to examine who and who are together, to tell any mistaken man he is not what he believes he is, to distinguish me. rit, and expose false pretences to it, is a liberty our fa. mily has by law in them, from an intermarriage with a daughter of Mr. Scoggin, the famous Droll of the last century. This Right I design to make use of; but I will not encroach upon the above-mentioned adepts, or