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No. 223.

Tho' now thy Off'rings he despise, Thursday,

He soon to Thee shall Sacrifice : Nov. 15,

Tho' now he freeze, he soon shall bura,
And be thy Victim in his turn.

Celestial Visitant, once more
Thy needful Presence I implore!
In Pity come and ease my Grief,
Bring my distemper'd Soul Relief,
Favour thy Suppliant's hidden Fires,

And give me All my Heart desires,
Madam Dacier observes there is something very
pretty in that Circumstance of this Ode, wherein Venus
is described as sending away her Chariot upon her
Arrival at Sappho's Lodgings, to denote that it was
not a short transient Visit which she intended to make
her. This Ode was preserved by an Eminent Greek.
Critick, who inserted it intire in his Works, as a Pattern
of Perfection in the Structure of it.

Longinus has quoted another Ode of this great Poetess, which is likewise admirable in its kind, and has been translated by the same Hand with the forer going one. I shall oblige my Reader with it in another Paper. In the mean while, I cannot but wonder, that these two finished Pieces have never been attempted before by any of our own Countrymen. But the Truth of it is, the Compositions of the Ancients, which have not in them any of those unnatural Witicisms, that are the Delight of ordinary Readers, are extreamly difficult to render into another Tongue, so as the Beauties of the Original may not appear weak and faded in the Translation


No. 224.

Friday, November 16.
-Fulgente trahit constrictos Gloria curru
Non minus ignotos generosis-

-Hor. Sat. 6.
F we look abroad upon the great Multitude of Man

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Action in every Individual, it will, I think, seem highly probable that Ambition runs through the whole Species



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and that every Man in Proportion to the Vigour of No. 224. his Complection is more or less actuated by it. It is Friday,

Nov. 16, indeed no uncommon thing to meet with Men, who,

1711. by the natural Bent of their Inclinations, and without the Discipline of Philosophy, aspire not to the Heights of Power and Grandeur ; who never set their Hearts upon a numerous Train of Clients and Dependancies, nor other gay Appendages of Greatness who are con tented with a Competency, and will not molest their Tranquility to gain an Abundance : But it is not there fore to be concluded that such a Man is not ambitious : his Desires may have cut out another Channel, and determin'd him to other Pursuits; the Motive however may be still the same, and in these Cases likewise the Man may be equally pushed on with the Desire of Distinction

Though the pure Consciousness of worthy Actions, abstracted from the Views of popular Applause, be to a generous Mind an ample Reward, yet the Desire of Distinction was doubtless implanted in our Natures as an additional Incentive to exert our selves in virtuous Excellence.

This Passion indeed, like all others, is frequently perverted to evil and ignoble

Purposes ; so that we may account for many of the Excellencies and Follies of Life upon the same innate Principle, to wit, the Desire of being remarkable : For this as it has been differently cultivated by Education, Study, and Converse, will bring forth suitable Effects as it falls in with an ingenuous

Disposition or a corrupt Mind; it does accordingly ex-
press it self in Acts of Magnanimity or selfish Cunning,
as it meets with a good or a weak Understanding. As
it has been employed in embellishing the Mind or
adorning the Outside ; it renders the Man eminently
Praise-worthy or ridiculous. Ambition therefore is not
to be confined only to one Passion or Pursuit; for as
the same Humours in Constitutions otherwise different
affect the Body after different Manners, so the same
aspiring Principle within us sometimes breaks forth
upon one Object, sometimes upon another.
It cannot be doubted but that there is as great a

No. 224. Desire of Glory in a Ring of Wrestlers, or Cudgel, Friday, Players, as in any other more refined Competition for Nov. 16, Superiority. No Man that could avoid it, would ever

suffer his Head to be broken but out of a Principle
of Honour; this is the secret Spring that pushes them
forward, and the Superiority which they gain above
the undistinguished Many, does more than repair those
Wounds they have received in the Combat.' 'Tis Mr.
Waller's Opinion, that Julius Caesar, had he not been
Master of the Roman Empire, would in all Probability
have made an excellent Wrestier,

Great Julius on the Mountains bred,
A Flock perhaps or Herd had led,
He that the World subdued, had been

But the best Wrestler on the Green.
That he subdued the World, was owing to the Ac
cidents of Art and Knowledge, had he not met with
those Advantages, the same Sparks of Emulation would
have kindled within him, and prompted him to distin
guish himself in some Enterprize of a lower Nature
Since therefore no Man's Lot is so unalterably fixed
in this Life, but that a thousand Accidents may either
forward or disappoint his Advancement, it is, methinks,
a pleasant and inoffensive Speculation, to consider a
great Man as divested of all the adventitious Circum
stances of Fortune, and to bring him down in one's
Imagination to that low Station of Life, the Nature of
which bears some distant Resemblance to that high
one he is at present possessed of Thus one may,
view him exercising in Miniature those Talents of
Nature, which being drawn out by Education to their
full Length, enable him for the Discharge of some
important Employment On the other Hand, one
may raise uneducated Merit to such a Pitch of Great
ness, as may seem equal to the possible Extent of his
improved Capacity:

Thus Nature furnishes a Man with a general Appetite of Glory, Education determines it to this or that particular Object The Desire of Distinction is not, I think, in any Instance more observable than in the variety of Out-sides and new Appearances

which the Modish part of the World are oblig'd to No. 224. provide, in order to make themselves remarkable ; Friday, for any thing glaring and particular, either in Bed Nov. 16,

1711 haviour or Apparel, is known to have this good Effect that it catches the Eye, and will not suffer you to pass over the Person so adorned without due Notice and Observation. It has likewise, upon this Account, been frequently resented as a very great Slight, to leave any Gentleman out of a Lampoon or Satyr, who has as much right to be there as his Neighbour, because it

supposes the Person not eminent enough to be taken notice of. To this passionate fondness for Distinction are owing various frolicksome and irregular Practises, as sallying out into Nocturnal Exploits, breaking of Windows, singing of Catches, beating the Watch, getting Drunk twice a Day, killing a great Number

of Horses; with many other Enterprizes of the like fiery Nature: For certainly many a Man is more Rakish and Extravagant than he would willingly be, were there not others to look on and give their Apa probation

One very common, and at the same time the most Cabsurd Ambition that ever shew'd it self in Humane Nature, is that which comes upon a Man with Experience and old Age, the Season when it might be expected he should be wisest, and therefore it cannot receive any of those lessening Circumstances which do, in some measure, excuse the disorderly Ferments of youthful Blood: I mean the passion for getting Money, exclusive of the Character of the Provident Father, the Affectionate Husband, or the Generous Friend. It may be remarked, for the Comfort of honest Poverty, that this Desire reigns most in those who have but few good Qualities to recommend 'em. This is a Weed that will grow in a barren Soil Humanity, Good Nature, and the Advantages of a Liberal Education, are incompatible with Avarice. 'Tis strange to see how suddenly this abject Passion kills all the noble Senti-ments and generous Ambitions that adorn Humane

Nature ; it renders the Man who is over-run with it a peevish and cruel Master, a severe Parent, an unsociable


No. 224. Husband, a distant and mistrustful Friend But it is Friday, is more to the present Purpose to consider it as an Nov. 16,

absurd Passion of the Heart, rather than as a vicious 1711.

Affection of the Mind. As there are frequent Instances to be met with of a Proud Humility, so this Passion, contrary to most others, affects Applause, by avoiding all Shew and Appearance; for this reason it will not sometimes endure even the common Decencies of Apparel. A Covetous Man will call himself poor, that you may sooth his Vanity by contradicting him. Love, and the Desire of Glory, as they are the most natural, so they are capable of being refined into the most delicate and rational Passions, 'Tis true, the wise Man who strikes out of the secret Paths of a private Life for Honour and Dignity, allured by the Splendor of a Court, and the unfelt Weight of publick Employment, whether he succeeds in his Attempts or no, usually comes near enough to this painted Great ness to discern the Dawbing; he is then desirous of extricating himself out of the Hurry of Life, that he may pass away the Remainder of his Days in Tran quility and Retirement

It may be thought then but common Prudence in a Man not to change a better State for a worse, nor ever to quit that which he knows he shall take up again with Pleasure, and yet if human Life be not a little moved with the gentle Gales of Hopes and Fears, there may be some Danger of its stagnating in an unmanly Indolence and Security. It is a known Story of Domitian, that after he had possessed himself of the Roman Empire his Desires turn'd upon catch ing Flies. Active and Masculine Spirits in the Vigour of Youth neither can nor ought to remain at Rest: Il they debar themselves from aiming at a noble Object, their Desires will move downwards, and they will feel themselves actuated by some low and abject Passion Thus if you cut off the top Branches of a Tree, and will not suffer it to grow any higher, it will not therefore cease to grow, but will quickly shoot out at the Bottom The Man indeed who goes into the World only with the narrow Views of Self-Interest,


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