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with. This, however, was little to one of Drexelius's fortune. On former occasions, he had lost more upon one adventure in trade, without being much affected by the loss; but then he had different objects to interest him, and he expected to make up by other adventures what he had lost upon one; now, he had nothing else to think of but the daily expenditure. This took possession of his imagination ; he thought he saw poverty and ruin before him; and his health began to sink under the vexations of his mind. In vain did his friends represent to him the greatness of his fortune; that the money he was laying out was a trifle to what he possessed; and that, after all his plans were finished, he would still have more than he could spend. It is to no purpose to reason with a diseased imagination; the only thing which can relieve it is a change of objects and a variety of amusements. But this method could not be followed by Drexelius ; there was no object to interest him; and his mind was incapable of amusement. His disease, therefore, increased upon him every day. The proprietor of a fine place, possessed of a great fortune, in short, with all the means of pleasure and enjoyment, he was haunted with the demon of Poverty, and actually believed, that, if he lived many years, he should die of want.
Clavius was a partner in trade with Drexelius, whose example he followed in the scheme of enjoying a retreat in the country. But his mind was as empty and uneducated as that of Drexelius, equally incapable of amusing itself in solitude, or of receiving pleasure from those enjoyments which a country life is calculated to bestow. He was, however, a man of greater natural spirits, and was not therefore so apt to become a prey to listlessness, or
to the effects of gloomy avarice. Company was his resource; and that the hours might not lie heavy upon him, he took care never to be alone. But as he had no talent for conversation, every sort of company was equally welcome to him; and, where conversation was not the object, it became necessary to support the society by some adventitious aid. The bottle, therefore, was had recourse to. This was the employment during the finest summerevenings ; and the morning sun often rose upon the same company on which it had gone down. Men flocked to Clavius's country seat, not to enjoy the charms of the country, but the charms of society, and what they called good fellowship. Thus were Clavius's nights spent in getting intoxicated, and his mornings in sleeping off that intoxication. His constitution was not long able to support this course of life; he died, a few years after he had quitted business, a martyr to that fortune which his wishes had formerly represented as the certain source of felicity.
Pomponius took a different turn from the persons I have mentioned. He was equally ignorant and uneducated as they ; but, when he had acquired his fortune, as he had heard much of taste, of elegance, and of refinement, he resolved to be a man of taste. The estate he purchased had been the old hereditary possession of a man of considerable rank. Pomponius gave several years' purchase more than its value, that he might be possessed of the demesne of an ancient family, and have the pleasure of adding to his name
“ Esquire of —" When he came to live at this estate, he found the old mansion-house must be pulled down and a new one erected. But instead of trusting to the skill and taste of his architect, the plan must be his own. In this he heaped
ornament upon ornament, and pillar upon pillar. The columns are large enough to have supported a Gothic cathedral ; the inside is crowded with painted compartments; and every pannel and window is bedaubed with gilding. His fields are laid out in the most absurd taste. A clay-coloured ditch, which he calls a canal, made at an exorbitant expense, runs parallel with the front of his house ; at each end is a circular puddle called a bason, in which is a little bank of rubbish, dignified with the name of island. Not a walk but is stuck full of statues; and temples and grottos appear in every field. In showing you his grounds, he tells you the price of every statue; and every temple is honoured with the account of what it cost. Not satisfied with being a man of taste out of doors, he pretends to connoisseurship and to literature within. He shows pictures painted, as he thinks, by masters, whose names he has not learned to pronounce. If doubts are started of their originality, Pomponius stops all further questions by the mention of the sum he paid for them. His library has its statues like his fields; it is furnished with a profusion of bronzes and busts ; and the books are as liberally gilded as the rest of his furniture. In talking of them, for he runs all risks to be thought a man of learning, he gets into the most ridiculous blunders. He mistakes a Greek for a Roman author; and to show himself a philosopher praises a writer, in the belief that he is an infidel, when, in fact, his books are written in defence of religion. The other day, somebody happening to mention The World, he asked if the author, Mr. Fitz-Adam, was still alive, and if he had written any other book.
Drexelius and Clavius were miserable in the midst of their wealth ; Pomponius is ridiculous in the enjoyment of his.
How much is it to be regretted, that these persons had not in their earlier years received the benefit of a liberal education ! Had their minds been cultivated in their youth, had they then acquired the first principles of elegance and taste, they would have been enabled, after attaining a fortune, to have enjoyed it with propriety and dignity; while they were reaping the fruits of their honest industry and success, they might have been useful to others and proved ornaments to their country.
No. 107. TUESDAY, MAY 16, 1780.
And love and war take turns like day and night.
In every art and science, practitioners complain how often they are deceived by specious theories and delusive speculation. Learned men, in the solitude of their studies, are apt to imagine, that nothing which they can reconcile to their own ideas upon paper can fail to be evinced by actual experiment, or to be reduced into easy and constant practice. But those who are to apply the doctrine to the fact, too often find, that what was infallible in the brain of the demonstrator, is sadly fallacious in the hands of him who is to execute it.
There is something, however, so delightful in this art of theory-building, that the experience of a thousand disappointments will never be able to extinguish it. Nor indeed, should anybody wish
for its extinction, when it is remembered that the person who builds is delighted with the expectation of success, and that other people are often little less pleased with tracing the disappointment. The last are flattered by seeing the superiority of science thus levelled and brought down; the first solaces himself by imputing the failure to errors in the execution, and, shutting his closet-door, returns to fresh theories, and new speculation.
In the course of my reading, I have met with two theoretical descriptions, which pleased me so much by the appearance they exhibited of selfsatisfaction in the sages who composed them, that I cannot resist the desire of laying them before my readers in this day's paper. The first I found in an obscure author of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who, in tracing the progress of certain affections of the mind, thus personifies his ideas of Honourable Love.
“ When a young man,” says he, “ of illustrious descent, rarely gifted by Nature in mind and body, the which he hath, through the care of his noble parents and his own special industry, much helped by art, first cometh from the retired haunts of learning into the resort of the world, he is suddenly smitten by the beauty and rare accomplishments of some young damsel, of parentage no less honourable than his own, and of endowments no less precious than those wherewith he himself is graced. He seeketh all opportunities of converse with, and of courtesy towards, her; which nevertheless she, out of maiden-shyness, whereof her lady-mother hath well instructed her, doth, with a determined stateliness of aspect, most constantly avoid ; whereat the young man being grieved in his mind, but nowise