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Cicero took the occasion to make a long discourse in praise of Cato, which he uttered with much vehemence. Cersar answered him with a great deal of seeming temper; but as I stood at a great distance from.them, I was not able to hear one word of what they said. But I could not forbear taking notice, that in all the discourse which passed at the table, a word or nod from Homer decided! the controversy.

Aster a short pause Augustus appeared, looking round him with a serene and affable countenance upon all the writers of his age, who strove among themselves which of them should (hew him the greatest marks of gratitude and refpect. Virgil rose from the table to meet him; and though he was an acceptable guest to all, he appeared more such to the learned, than the military Worthies. The next man astoniflied the whole t.ible with his appearance-: He was flow, solemn, and silent in his behaviour, and wore a raiment curiously wrought with Hieroglyphics. As he came into the middle of the room, he threw up the lkirt of it, and discovered a golden thigh. Socrates, at the sightof it, declared against keeping company with any who were not made of flesh and blood; and therefore desired Diogenes the Laertian to lead him to the apartment allotted for fabulous Heroes, and Worthies of dubious existence. At his going out, he told them, that they did not know whom they dismissed; that he was now Pythagoras, the first of Philosophers, and that formerly he had been a very brave man at the siege of Troy. That may be very true, said Sccrales; but you forget that you have likewise been a very great harlot in your time. This exclusion made way for J/rchimedes, who came forward with a scheme of mathematical figures in his hand; among which I observed a Cone and Cylinder.

Seeing this table full, I desired my guide, for variety, to lead me to the fabulous apartment, the roof of which was painted with Gorgons, Chimæra't, and Centaurs, with many other emblematical figures, which 1 wanted both time and (kill to unriddle. The first table was almost full: At the upper end fat Hercules leaning an arm upon his club; on his right hand were Achilles and Vhjses, and between them Æjieas; on his left were

Heeler, Htilor, Theseus, and Jason: The lower end had Orpheus, Æsop, Phalaris, and Musaus. The ushers seemed at a loss for a twelfth man, when, methought, to my gre;tt joy and surprize, I heard some at the lower end of the table mention Isaac Bickersaff: But those of the upperend received it with disdain; and said, if they must hav e a Britijh Worthy, they would have Robin Hood.

While I was transported with the honour that was doneme, and burning with envy against my competitor, I was awakened by the noise of the cannon which were then sired for the taking of Mons. I should have been very much troubled at being thrown out of so pleasing a vision on any other occasion; but thought it an agreeable change to have my thoughts diverted from the greatest among the dead and fabulous Heroes, to the most famous among the real and the living.

N° 82. Tuesday, October 18, 1709*

Vii idem £ff maximus 13 honestijjsimus amor eft, aliquando prasiat rnorte jungi, quam vita distrabi. Val. Max.

Where there is the greatest and most honourable love, it is sometimes better to be joined in death, than separated in life.

From my own Apartment; Ocloher 17.

AFTER the mind has been employed on contemplations suitable to its greatness, it is unnatural to run into sudden mirth or levity; but we must let ths Soul subside, as it rosi^ by proper degrees; My late considerations of the ancient Heroes impressed a certain gravity upon my mind, which is much above the little gratification received from starts of humour and fancy, and threw me into a pleasing sadness. In this state of thought I have been- looking at the fire, and in a peirsive I 5 Bianner

manner reflecting upon the great misfortunes and calamities incident to human life; among which there are none that touch so sensibly as those which befal persons who eminently love, and meet with fatal interruptions of their happiness when they leaf! expect it. The piety of children to parents, and the affection of parents to their children, are the effects of instinct: But the affection between lovers and friends is founded on reason and choice, which has always made me think the sorrows of the latter much more to be pitied than those of the former. The contemplation of distresses of this fort softens the mind of man, and makes the heart better. It extinguishes the feeds of envy and ill-will towards mankind, corrects the pride of prosperity, and beats down all that fierceness and insolence which are apt to get into the minds of the daring and fortunate.

For this reason the wife Athenians, in their theatrical performances, laid before the- eyes.of the people the greatest afflictions which could befal human life, and insensibly polished their tempers by such representations. Among the moderns, indeed, there has arose a chimerical method of disposing the fortune of the persons represented, according to what they call poetical justice; and letting none be unhappy but those who deserve it. In such cases, an intelligent spectator, if he is concerned, knows he ought not to be so; and can learn nothing from such, a tenderness, but that he is a weak creature, whose passions cannot follow the dictates of his understanding. It is very natural, when one is got into such a way of thinking, to recollect those examples of sorrow which have made the strongest impression upon our imaginations. An instance or two of such you will give me leave to communicate.

. A young Gentleman and Lady of ancient and honourable houses in Cornwall, had from their childhood entertained for each other a generous and noble passion, which had been long opposed by their friends, by reason of the inequality of their fortunes; but their constancy to each other, and obedience to those on whom they depended, wrought so much upon their relations, that these celebrated lovers were at length joined in marriage. Soon after their nuptials, the bridegroom was obliged to


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go into a foreign country to take care of a considerable fortune, which was left him by a relation, and came very opportunely t,o improve their moderate circumstances. They received the congratulations of all the country on this occasion-; and I rememberit was a common sentence in every one's mouth, " You fee how faithful love is "rewarded."

He took this agreeable voyage, and sent home every post fresh accounts of his success in his affairs abroad; but at last, though he designed to return with the next ship, he lamented in his Letters, that business would detain him some time longer from home; because he would give himself the pleasure of an unexpected arrival.

The young Lady, after the heat of the day, walked every evening on the sea-(hore, near which me lived, with a familiar friend, her husband's kinswoman; and diverted herself with what objects they met there, or upon discourse of the future methods of life, in the happy change of their circumstances. They stood one evening on the shore together in a perfect tranquillity, observing the setting of the sun, the calm face of the Deep, and the silent heaving of the waves, which gently rolled towards them, and .broke at their feet; when at a distance her kinswoman fjw something float on the waters, which she fancied was a chest; and with a smile told her, {he saw it fiist, and if it came ashore full of jewels, she had a right to it. They both fixed their eyes upon it, and entertained themselves with the subject of the wreck, the cousin still asserting her right; but promising, if it was a prize, to give her a very rich coral for the child of which she was then big, provided she might be godmother. Their mirth soon abated, when they observed, upon the nearer approach, that it was a human body. The young Lady, who had a heart naturally filled with pity and compassion, made many melancholy reflections on the occasion. Who knows, said she, but this man may be the only hope and heir of a wealthy house; the darling of indulgent parents, who are now in impertinent mirth, and pleasing themselves with the thoughts of offering him a bride they have got ready for him ? or, may he not be the master of a family that wholly depended upon his life f There may, for aught we know, be half 16 a dozen ■a dozen fatherless children, and a tender wife, now exposed to poverty by his death. What pleasure might he have promised himself in the different welcome he was to have from her and them? But let us go away ; it is a dreadful fight! The best office we can do, is to takecare that the poor man, whoever he is, may be decently batted. She turned away, when a wave threw the carcass on the shore. The kinswoman immediately lhriekedour, Oh, my cousin! and fell upon the ground. The unhappy wife went to help her friend, when she saw her own husband at her feet, and dropped in a swoon upon the body. An old woman, who had been the Gentleman's nurse, came out about this time to call the Ladies in to supper, and found her child, as lhe always called him, dead on the shore, her mistress and kinswoman both lying dead by him. Her loud lamentations, and calling her young master to life, soon awaked the friend from her trance; but the wife was gone for ever.

When the family and neighbourhood got together round the bodies, no one asked any question, but the objects before them told the story.

Incidents of this nature are the more moving when they are drawn by persons concerned in the catastrophe, notwithstanding they are often oppressed beyond the power of giving them in a distinct light, except we gather their sorrow from their inability to speak it.

1 have two original letters written both on the fame day, which arc to me exquisite in their different kinds. The occasion was this: A Gentleman who had courted a most agreeable young woman, and won her heart, obtained also the consent of her father, to whom lhe was an only child. The old man had a fancy that they should be married in the fame church where he himself was, in a village in Westmorland, and made them set out while lie was laid up with the gout at London. The Bridegroom took only his man, and the Bride her maid: They had the most agreeable journey imaginable to the place of marriage; from whence the Bridegroom writ the following Letter to his wife's father.

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