« السابقةمتابعة »
to all conversation, a sense that every one of us liked cach other. I went home, considering the different conditions of a married life and that of a bachelor; and I must confess it struck me with a secret concern, to reflect, that whenever I go off I shall leave. no traces behind me. In this pensive mood I return to my family; that is to say, to my maid, my dog, and my cat, who only can be the better or worse for what happens to me.
No 96. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1709.
Is mihi demum vivere et frui animâ videtur, qui aliquo negotio intentus, præclari facinoris aut artis bonæ famam quærit." ;
SALL. Bell. Cat.
In my opinion, be only may be truly said to live, and enjoy his * being, who is engaged in some laudable pursuit, and acquires
a name by some illustrious action, or useful art.:
From my own Apartment, November 17. It has cost me very much care and thought to mạrshal and fix the people under their proper denominations, and to range them according to their respective characters. These my endeavours have been received with unexpected success in one kind, but neglected in another: for though I have many readers, I have but few converts. This inust certainly proceed from a false opinion, that what I write is designed rather to amuse and entertain, than convince and instruct. I entered upon my Essays with a declaration that I should consider mankind
in quite another manner than they had hitherto been represented to the ordinary world; and asserted, that none but an useful life should be, with me, any life at all. But, lest this doctrine should have made this small progress towards the conviction of man. kind, because it may have appeared to the unlearned light and whimsical, I must take leave to unfold the wisdom and antiquity of my proposition, in these my Essays, to wit, that “every worthless man is a dead man.” This notion is as old as Pythagoras, in whose school it was a point of discipline, that if among the 'Ax80Tixol, or probationers, there were any who grew weary of studying to be useful, and rea turned to an idle life, they were to regard them as dead; and, upon their departing, to perform their obsequies, and raise them tombs, with inscriptions to warn others of the like mortality, and quicken them to resolutions of refining their souls above that wretched state. It is upon a like supposition, that young ladies, at this very time, in Roman Catholic countries, are received into some nunneries with their coffins, and with the pomp of a formal funeral, to signify, that henceforth they are to be of no further use, and consequently dead. Nor .was Pytha, goras himself the first author of this symbol, with whom, and with the Hebrews, it was generally received. Much more might be offered in illustration of this doctrine from sacred authority, which I recommend to my reader's own reflexion; who will easily recollect, from places which I do not think fit to quote here, the forcible manner of applying the words dead and living to meri, as they are good or bad. · I have, therefore, composed the following scheme of existence for the benefit both of the living and the dead; though chiefly for the latter, whom I must desire to read it with all possible atte.ition. In
the number of the dead I comprehend all persons, of what title or dignity soever, who bestow most of their time in eating and drinking, to support that iinaginary existence of theirs, which they call life; or in dressing and adorning those shadows and apparitions, which are looked upon by the vulgar as real men and women. In short, whoever resides in the world without having any business in it, and passes away an age without ever thinking on the errand for which he was sent hither, is to me a dead man to all intents and purposes; and I desire that he may be so reputed. The living are only those that are some way or other laudably employed in the improvement of their own minds, or for the advantage of others; and even amongst these, I shall only reckon into their lives that part of their time which has been spent in the manner above-mentioned. By these means, I am afraid, we shall find the longest lives not to consist of many months, and the greatest part of the earth to be quite unpeopled. According to this system we may observe, that some men are born at twenty years of age, soine at thirty, some at threescore, and some not above an hour before they die: nay, we may observe multitudes that die without ever being born, as well as many dead persons that fill up the bulk of mankind, and make a better figure in the eyes of the ignorant, than those who are alive, and in their proper and full state of health. However, since there may be many good subjects, that pay their taxes, and live peaceably in their habitations, who are not yet born, or have departed this life several years since, my design is, to encourage both to join themselves as soon as possible to the number of the living. For as I invite the former to break forth into being, and become good for some
thing; so I allow the latter a state of resuscitation; ..which I chiefly mention for the sake of a person who
has lately published an advertisement, with several scurrilous terms in it, that du by no means become à dead man to give: it is my.departed friend John Partridge, who concludes the advertisement of his next year's almanack, with the following note :
" Whereas it has been industriously given out by Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, and others, to prevent the sale of this year's almanack, that John Partridge is dead: this may inform all his loving countrymen, that he is still living in health, and they are knavés that reported it otherwise.
« J. P.”
. From n. y own Apartment, November 18.
When an engineer finds his guns have not bad their intended effect, he changes his batteries. I am forced at present to take this method; and instead of continuing to write against the singularity some are guilty of in their habit and behaviour, I shall henceforward desire them to persevere in it; and not only so, but shall take it as a favour of all the cox combs in the town, if they will set marks upon themselves, and by some particular in their dress show to what class they belong. It would be very obliging in all such persons, who feel in themselves that they are not of sound understanding to give the world notice of it, and spare mankind the pains of finding them out. A cane upon the fifth button shall from henceforth be the type of a Dapper; redheeled shoes, and an hat hung upon one side of the head, shall signify a Smart; a good periwig made into a twist, with a brisk cock, shall speak a Mettled Fellow; and an upper lip covered with souff, denote à Coffee-house Statesman. But as it is required that all coxcombs hang out their signs, it is on the other hand expected that men of real merit should avoid anything particular in their dress, gait, or beba
viour. For, as we old men delight in proverbs, I cannot forbear bringing out one on this occasion, “ That good wine needs no bush.” I must not leave this subject without reflecting on seyeral, persons I have lately met with, who at a distânce seem very terrible; but upon a stricter inquiry into their looks and features, appear as meek and harmless as any of my own neighbours. These are country gentlemen, who of late years have taken up an humour of coming to town in red coats, whom an arch wag of my acquaintance used to describe very well, by calling them, “ sheep in wolves' cloathing.” I have often wondered, that honest gentlemen, who are good neighbours, and live quietly in their own possessions, should take it in their heads to frighten the town after this unreasonable manner. I shall think myself obliged, if they persist in so unnatural a dress, notwithstanding any posts they may have in the militia, to give away their red coats to any of the soldiery who shall think fit to strip them provided the said soldiers can make it appear that they belong to a regiment where there is a deficiency in the cloathing. . . : : .
About two days ago I was walking in the Park, and accidentally met a rural esquire, cloathed in all the types above mentioned, with a carriage and behaviour made entirely out of his own head. He was of a bulk and stature larger than ordinary, had a red coat, flung open to show a gay calamanco waistcoat. His periwig fell in a very considerable bush upon each shoulder. His arms naturally swang at an un, reasonable distance from his sides; which, with the advantage of a cane that he brandished in a great variety of irregular motions, made it unsafe for any one to walk within several yards of him. In this manner he took up the whole Mall, his spectators moving on each side of it, .whilst he cocked up hiş