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be had seduced the butler by his table-talk, and staggered his eldest sister. The old gentleman, began to be alarmed at the schisms that arose among bis children, but did not yet believe his son's doctrine to be so pernicious as it really was, until one day talking of his setting dog, the son said, “ he did not question but Trey was as immortal as any one of the family;" and in the heat of the argument told his father, “ that, for his own part, he expected to die like a dog." Upon which, the old man starting up in a very great passion, cried out, “ Then, sirral, you shall live like one;" and taking his cane in his hand, cudgelled him out of his system. This had so good an effect upon him, that he took up from that, day, fell to reading good books, and is now a bencher in the Middle-Temple. · I do not mention this cudgelling part of the story with a design to engage the secular arm in matters of this nature; but certainly, if it ever exerts itself in affairs of opinion and speculation, it ought to do it on such shallow and despicable pretenders to knowledge, who endeavour to give man dark and uncomfortable prospects of his being, and destroy those principles which are the support, happiness, and glory of all public societies, as well as private persons. *. I think it is one of Pythagoras's golden sayings, « That a man should take care above all things to have a due respect for himself.”. And it is certain, that this licentious sort of authors, who are for depreciating mankind, endeavour to disappoint and undo. what the most refined spirits have been labour-, ing to advance since the beginning of the world. The very design of dress, good-breeding, outward ornaments, and ceremony, were to lift up human nature, and set it off to an advantage. Architecture, painting, and statuary, were invented with
the same design; as indeed every art and science contributes to the embellishment of life, and to the wearing off and throwing into shades the mean and low parts of our nature. Poetry carries on this great end more than all the rest, as may be seen in the following passage taken out of Sir Francis Bacon's « Advancement of Learning,” which gives a truer and better account of this art than all the volumes that were ever written upon it.
« Poetry, especially heroical, seems to be raised altogether from a noble foundation, which makes much for the dignity of man's nature. For seeing this sensible world is in dignity inferior to the soul of man, poesy seems to endow human nature with that which history denies; and to give satisfaction to the mind, with at least the shadow of things, where the substance cannot be had. For if the matter be thoroughly considered, a strong argument may be drawn from poesy, that a more stately greatness of things, a more perfect order, and a more beautiful variety, delights the soul of man, than any way can be found in nature since the fall. Wherefore, seeing the acts and events, which are the subjects of true history, are not of that amplitude as to content the mind of man; poesy is ready at hand to: feign acts more heroical. Because true history reports the successes of business not proportionable to the merit of virtues and vices, poesy corrects it, and presents events and fortunes according to desert, and according to the law of Providence: because true history, through the frequent satiety and similitude of things, works at a distaste and misprison in the mind of man; poesy cheareth and refresheth the soul, chanting things rare and various, and full of vicissitudes. So as poesy serveth and conferreth to delectation, magnanimity, and morality; and therefore, it may seem deservedly to have some partici
pation of divineness, because it doth raise the mind, and exalt the spirit with high raptures, by proportioning the shows of things to the desires of the mind, and not submitting the mind to things, as reason and history do. And by these allurements and congruities, whereby it cherisheth the soul of man, joined also with consort of music, whereby it may more sweetly insinuate itself, it hath won such ac, cess, that it hath been in estimation even in rude times and barbarous nations, when other learning stood excluded.”
But there is nothing which favours and falls in with this natural greatness and dignity of human nature so much as religion, which does not only pro, mise the entire refinement of the mind, but the glo. rifying of the body, and the immortality of both.
N° 109. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1709,
Perditur hæc inter miseris lur
HOR. 2. Sat. vi. 59. in this giddy, busy maze, I lose the sun-shine of my days.. FRANCIS.
Sheer-lane, December 19. There has not some years been such a tumult in our neighbourhood as this evening about six. At the lower end of the lane the word was given, that there was a great funeral coming by. The next moment came forward in a very hasty, instead of a solemn manner, a long train of lights, when at last a foot
man, in very high youth and health, with all his force ran through the whole art of beating the door of the house next to me, and ended his rattle with the true finishing rap. This did not only bring one to the door at which he knocked, but to that of every one in the lane in an instant. Among the rest my country-maid took the alarm, and immediately. running to me, told me, " there was a fine, fine lady, who had three men with burial torches making way before her, carried by two men upon poles, with looking-glasses on each side of her, and one. glass also before, she herself appearing the prettiest that ever was.” The girl was going on in her story, when the lady was come to my door in her chair, having mistaken the house. As soon as she entered I saw she was Mr. Isaac's scholar, by her speaking air and the becoming stop she made when she began her apology. “ You will be surprised, Sir,” said she, “ that I take this liberty, who am utterly a stranger to you; besides that it may be thought an indecorum that I visit a man.” She made here a pretty hesitation, and held her fan to her face.-Then, as if recovering her resolution, she proceeded
M" But I think you have said, that men of your age are of no sex; therefore, I may be as free with you as one of my own.” The lady did me the honour to consult me on some particular matters, which
am not at liberty to report. But, before she took her leave, she produced a long list of names, which · she looked upon, to know whither she was to go next. I must confess, I could hardly forbear discovering to her, immediately, that I secretly laughed at the fantastical regularity she observed in throwing away her time; but I seemed to indulge her in it, out of a curiosity to hear her own sense of her way of life. “ Mr. Bickerstaff,” said she, “ you cannot imagine how much you are obliged to me, in staying
thus long with you, having so many visits to make; and, indeed, if I had not hopes that a third part of those I am going to will be abroad, I should be unable to dispatch them this evening."-" Madam,” said I, “ are you in all this haste and perplexity, and only going to such as you have not a mind to see?" Li Yes, Sir,” said she, “ I have several now with whom I keep a constant correspondence, and return visit for visit punctually every week, and yet we have not seen each other since last November was twelvemonth.”
She went on with a very good air, and fixing her eyes on her list, told me, " she was obliged to ride about three miles and a half before she arrived at her own house.” I asked, “after what manner this list was taken, whether the persons writ their names to her, and desired that favour, or how she knew she was not cheated in her muster-roll?"-" The method we take,” says she, “ is, that the porter, or. servant who comes to the door, writes down all the names who come to see us, and all such are entitled to a return of their visit."-" But,” said I, “Madam, I presúme those who are searching for each other, and know one another by messages, may be understood as candidates only for each other's favour; and that after so many how-do-ye-does, you proceed to visit or not, as you like the run of each other's reputation or fortune."-"You understand it right,” said she; " and we become friends, as soon as we are convinced that our dislike to each other may be of any consequence: for to tell you truly,” said she, “for: it is in vain to hide any thing from a man of your penetration, general visits are not made out of goodi-, will, but for fear of ill-will. Punctuality in this case. is often a suspicious circumstance: "and there is no. thing so common as to have a lady say, 'I hope she kas 'heard nothing of what I said of her, that she