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as still delighting in each other's company, and pleased with the exercise of arms. He there
repre. sents the Grecian generals and common soldiers who perished in the siege of Troy, as drawn up in squadrons, and terrified at the approach of Æneas, which renewed in them those impressions of fear they had before received in battle with the Trojans. He afterwards likewise, upon the same notions, gives a view of the Trojan heroes who lived in former ages, amidst a visionary scene of chariots and arms, flowery meadows, shining spears, and generous steeds, which he tells us were their pleasures upon earth, and now make up their happiness in Elysium. For the same reason, also, he' mentions others as singing Pæans, and songs of triumph, amidst a beautiful grove
of laurel.* The chief of the consort was the poet Musæus; who stood enclosed with a circle of admirers, and rose by the head and shoulders above the throng of shades that surrounded him. The habitations of unhappy spirits, to show the duration of their torments, and the desperate condition they are in, are represented as guarded by a Fury, maated round with a lake of fire, strengthened with towers of iron, encompassed with a triple wall and fortified with pillars of adamant, which all the gods together are not able to heave from their foundations. The noise of stripes, the clank of chains, and the groans of the tortured, strike the pious Æneas with a kind of horror. The poet afterwards divides the criminals into two classes. The first and blackest catalogue consists of such as were guilty of outrages against the gods; and the next of such who were convicted of injustice between man and man: the greatest number of whom, says the poet, are those who followed the dictates of avarice.
It was an opinion of the Platonists, that the souls of men having contracted in the body great stains and pollutions of vice and ignorance, there were several purgations and cleansings necessary to be passed through, both here and hereafter, in order to refine and purify them.
Virgil, to give this thought likewise a clothing of poetry, describes some spirits as bleaching in the winds, others as cleansing under great falls of waters, and others as purging in fire, to recover the primitive beauty and purity of their natures.
It was likewise an opinion of the same sect of philosophers, that the souls of all men exist in a separate state, long before their union with their bodies ; and that upon their immersion into flesh, they forget every thing which passed in the state of pre-existence; so that what we here call knowledge, is no. thing else but memory, or the recovery of those things which we knew before.
In pursuance of this scheme, Virgil gives us a view of several souls, who, to prepare
themselves for living upon earth, flock about the banks of the river Lethe, and swill themselves with the waters of oblivion.
The same scheme gives bim an opportunity of making a noble compliment to bis countrymen, where Anchises is represented taking a survey of the long train of heroes that are to descend from him, and giving his son Æneas an account of all the glories of his race.
I need not mention the revolution of the Platonic year, which is but just touched upon in this book ; and as I have consulted no author's thoughts in this explication, shall be very well pleased, if it can make the noblest piece of the most accomplished poet more agreeable to my female readers, when they think fit to look iuto Dryden's translation of it.
N° 155. THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 1710.
Aliena negolia curat,
Hor. 3 Sat, ii. 19.
From my own Apartment, April 5. There lived some years since, within my neighbourhood, a very grave person, an upholsterer who seemed a man of more than ordinary application to business. He was a very early riser, and was often abroad two or three hours before any of bis neighbours. He had a particular carefulness in the knitting of his brows, and a kind of impatience in all his motions, that plainly discovered he was always inteut upon matters of importance. Upon my inquiry into his life and conversation, I found him to be the greatest newsmonger in our quarter ; that he rose before day to read the Postman; and that he would take two or three turns to the other end of the town before his neighbours were up, to see if there were any Dutch mails come in. He had a wife and several children; but was much more inquisitive to know what passed in Poland than in his own family, and was in greater pain and anxiety of
* Mr. Arne, an upholsterer in Covent Garden, was, it is said, the original of the politician exposed in this paper.
Mr. Arne was the father of Dr. Thomas Augustine Arne, an, eminent musician, and a dramatic writer, who died in 1778.
mind for king Augustus's welfare, than that of his nearest relations. He looked extremely thin in a dearth of news, and never enjoyed himself in a westerly wind. This indefatigable kind of life was the ruin of his shop; for, about the time that his favourite prince left the crown of Poland, he broke and disappeared.
This man and his affairs had been long out of my mind, until about three days ago, as I was walking in St. James's-Park, I heard somebody at a distance þemming after me: and who should it be but my. old neighbour the upholsterer? I saw he was reduced to extreme poverty, by certain shabby superfluities in his dress : for, notwithstanding that it was a very sultry day for the time of the year, he wore a loose great coat and a muff, with a long campaign wig out of curl: to which he had added the ornament of a pair of black garters buckled under the knee. Upon his coming up to me, I was going to inquire into his present circumstances; but was prevented by his asking me, with a whisper,
whether the last letters brought any accounts that one might rely upon from Bender " I told him, “ None that I heard of;" and asked him, “ whether he had yet married his eldest daughter?" He told me, No. But pray," says he,
“ tell me sincerely, what are your thoughts of the king of Sweden ?" For though his wife and children were starving, I found his chief concern at present was for this great monarch. I told him, “that I looked upon him as
one of the first heroes of the age.”. “ But pray,” says he, “ do you think there is any truth in the story of his wound?” And finding me surprised at the question, "Nay,” says lie, “I only propose it to you." I answered, " that I thought there was no reason to doubt of it.” “ But why in the heel,” says he,“ more than in any other part of the body?" “ Because," said I, “the bullet chanced to light there.”
This extraordinary dialogue was no sooner ended, but be began to launch out into a long dissertation upon the affairs of the North ; and after having spent some time on then, he told me,
- he was in a great perplexity how to reconcile the Supplement with the English-Post, and had been just now'examining what the other papers say upon the same subject. The Daily Courant,” says he, “ has these words. • We have advices froin very good hands, that a certain prince has some matters of great importance under consideration. This is very mysterious; but the Post-boy leaves us more in the dark; for he tells us, • That there are private inti, mations of measures taken by a certain prince, which time will bring to light. Now the Postman,” says he, “who uses to be very clear, refers to the same news in these words.
The late conduct of a certain prince affords great matter of speculation. This certain prince,” says the upholsterer,“ whom they are all so cautious of naming, I take to be- Upon which, though there was nobody near us, he whispered something in my ear, which I did not hear, or think worth my while to make him repeat.
We were now got to the upper end of the Mall, where were three or four very odd fellows sitting together upon the bench. These I found were all of ihem politicians, who used to sun themselves in that place every day about dinner-time. Observing them to be curiosities in their kind, and my friend's acquaintance, I sat down among them.
The chief politician of the bench was a great asserter of paradoxes. He told us, with a seemning concern, “tbat, by some news be had lately read from Muscovy, it appeared to him that there was a