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man society are most effectually prevailed upon this way than can easily be imagined." I have more than one in my thoughts at this time, capable of doing this against all the opposition of the most witty, as well as the most voluptuous. There may possibly be more acceptable subjects ; but sure there are none more useful. It is visible, that though meo's fortunes, circumstances, and pleasures, give them prepossessions too strong to regard any mention either of punishments or rewards, they will listen to what makes them inconsiderable or mean in the imaginations of others, and by degrees in their own.
It is certain such topics are to be touched upon, in the light we mean, only by men of the most consummate prudence, as well as excellent wit : for these discourses are to be made, if made, to run into example, before such as have their thoughts more intent upon the propriety, than the reason of the disWhat indeed leads me into this way
of thinking is, that the last thing I read was a sermon of the learned Dr. South, upon “ The Ways of Pleasantness.” This admirable discourse was made at court, where the preacher was too wise a man not to believe, the greatest argument in that place against the pleasures then in vogue, must be, that they lost greater pleasures by prosecuting the course they were in. The charming discourse has in it whatever wit and wisdom can put together. This gentleman has a talent of making all his faculties bear to the great end of his hallowed profession. Happy genius! he is the better man for being a wit. The best way to praise this author is to quote him ; and, I think, I may defy any man to say a greater thing of him, or bis ability, than that there are no paragraphs in the whole discourse I speak of below these which follow.
After having recommended the satisfaction of the mind, and the pleasure of conscience, he proceeds :
“ An ennobling property of it is, that it is such a pleasure as never satiates or wearies; for it properly affects the spirit; and a spirit feels no weariness, as being privileged from the causes of it. But can the epicure say so of any of the pleasures that he so much dotes upon? Do they not expire while they satisfy, and, after a few minutes refreshment, determine in loathing and unquietness? How short is the interval between a pleasure and a burden! How undiscernible the transition from one to the other! Pleasure dwells no longer upon the appetite than the necessities of nature, which are quickly and easily provided for; and then all that follows is a load and an oppression. Every morsel to a satisfied Hunger, is only a new labour to a tired digestion. Every draught to him that has quenched his thirst, is but a further quenching of nature, and a provision for rheum and diseases ; a drowning of the quickness and activity of the spirits.
“ He that prolongs his meals, and sacrifices his time, as well as his other conveniences, to his luxury, how quickly does he outset bis pleasure! And then, how is all the following time bestowed upon ceremony and surfeit! until at length, after a long fatigue of eating, and drinking, and babbling, he concludes the great work of dining genteelly, and so makes a shift to rise from table, that be may lie down upon his bed; where, after he has slept himself into some use of himself, by much ado be staggers to his table again, and there acts over the same brutish scene: so that he passes bis whole life in a dozed condition, between sleeping and waking, with a kind of drowsiness and confusion upon his senses, which, what pleasure it can be, is hard to conceive, All that is of it, dwells upon the tip of his tongne, and within the compass of his palate. A woriby prize for a man to purchase with the loss of his time, his reason, and himself !”
N° 206. THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 1710.
Metiri se quemque suo modulo ac peile verum est.
Hor. 1 Ep. vii. ver. ult.
From my own Apartment, August 2. The general purposes of men in the conduct of their lives, I mean with relation to this life only, end in gaining either the affection or the esteem of those with whom they converse.
Esteem makes a man powerful in business, and affection desirable in conversation; which is certainly the reason that very agreeable men fail of their point in the world, and those who are by no means such arrive at it with much ease.
If it be visible in a man's carriage that he has a strong passion to please, no one is much at a loss how to keep measures with bim; because there is always a balance in people's hands to make up with him, by giving him what he still wants in exchange for what you think fit to deny him. Such a person asks with diffidence, and ever leaves room for denial by that softness of his complexion. At the same time he himself is capable of denying nothing, even what he is not able to perform. The other sort of man who courts esteem, having a quite different view, has as different a behaviour; and acts as much by the dictates of his reason, as the other does by the impulse of his inclination. You must pay for every thing you have of him. He considers mankind as a people in commerce, and never gives out of himself what he is sure will not come in with interest from another. All his words and actions tend to the advancement of his reputation and his fortune, towards which he makes hourly progress, because he lavishes no part of his good-will upon such as do not make some advances to merit it. The man who values affection, sometimes becomes popular; he who aims at esteem, seldom fails of growing rich.
Thus far we have looked at these different men, as persons who endeavoured to be valued and beloved from design or ambition; but they appear quite in another figure, when you observe the men who are agreeable and venerable from the force of their natural inclinations. We affect the company of him who has least regard of himself in his carriage, who throws himself into unguarded gaiety, voluntary mirth, and general good. humour; who has nothing in his bead but the present hour, and seems to have all his interest and passions gratified, if every man else in the room is as unconcerned as himself. This inan usually has no quality or character among his companions : let him be born of whom he will, have what great qualities he please ; let hint be capable of assuming for a moment what figure he pleases, he still dwells in the imagination of all who know him but as Jack such a one. This makes Jack brighten up the room wherever he enters, and change the
severity of the company into that gaiety and good humour, into which his conversation generally leads them. It is not unpleasant to observe even this sort of creature go out of his character, to check himself sometimes for his familiarities, and pretend so awk. wardly at procuring to himself more esteem than he finds he meets with. I was the other day walking with Jack Gainly towards Lincoln's-inn-walks : we met a fellow who is a lower officer where Jack is in the direction. Jack cries to him, “So, how is it, Mr.----?" He answers, “Mr. Gainly, I am glad to see you well.” This expression of equality gave my friend a pang which appeared in the flush of his countenance. “Pr'ythee, Jack,” says I, "do not be angry at the man; for do what you will, the inan can only love you; be contented with the image the man has of thee; for if thou aimest at any other, it must be hatred or contempt.” I went on, and told him, “ Look you, Jack, I have heard thee sometimes talk like an oracle for half an hour, with the sentiments of a Roman, the closeness of a schoolman, and the integrity of a divine, but then, Jack, while I admired thee, it was upon topics which did not concern thyself; and where the greatness of the subject, added to thy being personally unconcerned in it, created all that was great in thy discourse." I did not mind his being a little out of humour; but comforted him, by giving him several instances of men of our acquaintance, who had no one quality in any eminence, that were much more esteemed than he was with very many: “ but the thing is, if your character is to give pleasure, men will consider you only in that light, and not in those acts which turn to esteem amd veneration.
When I think of Jack Gainly, I cannot but reflect also upon his sister Gatty. She is young, witty, pleasant, innocent. This is her natural character,