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to entertain him with his own commendations : if this simple medicine will not serve, I am forced to dash it with a few drops of slander, which is the best appeaser I know; for many of my patients will listen to that, when nothing else can silence them. This recipe however is not palatable, nor ought it to be used but with caution and discretion'; I keep it therefore in reserve like laudanum for special occasions. When a patient is far advanced towards his cure, I take him with me to the gallery of the House of Commons, when certain orators, whom I have in my eye, are upon their legs to harangue; and I have always found if a convalescent can hear that, he can hear
I am not so partial to my correspondent, as to defend him in all his proceedings, and I suspect, that, whilst he is labouring to restore his patients to their
may chance to take away their lives. Men who act upon system, are apt to strain it too far; and as prevention is always to be preferred to remedy, I could wish that parents would take early care to instruct their children in the art of hearing, if it were only to guard them against falling into Mr. Fish's hands, when the malady may become stubborn.
I shall suggest one hint in the way of advice to fathers and mothers, which, if they are pleased to attend to it, may perhaps save some future trouble and vexation.
I would wish all parents to believe, that the human character begins to fix itself much earlier in life than they are generally aware of. There is something very captivating in the dawning ideas of our children ; we are apt to flatter and caress them for their early vivacity ; we tell their smart sayings and repartees with a kind of triumph even in their
presence, and the company we tell them to are always polite enough to applaud and admire them. By these means we instil our own vanity into their infant minds, and push their genius into prematurity. The forwardness which this practice of ours is sure to create, passes off agreeably for a time; but, when infancy ceases, it begins to annoy us, and Miss or Master appear insupportably pert. The parent then finds himself obliged to turn the other side of his countenance upon the witticisms of his child; this is not only a painful task, but probably a fruitless one; for the child by this time has made its party, and can find its admirers elsewhere : every obliging visitor makes interest with the clever little creature; the nursery, the kitchen, the stables, echo with applause; it can chatter, or mimic, or act its tricks before the servants, and be sure of an audience: the mischief is done, and the parent may snub to no purpose.
Let parents, therefore, first correct themselves, before they undertake that office for their children; education is incompatible with self-indulgence, and the impulse of vanity is too often mistaken for the impulse of nature : when Miss is a wit, I am apt to suspect that her mother is not over-wise,
Primùm Graius homo mortales tollere contra
T' assert the natural liberty of man.-Creech. THERE are so many young men of fortune and spirit in this kingdom, who, without the trouble of re
sorting to the founder of their philosophy, or giving themselves any concern about the Graius homo in my motto, have nevertheless fallen upon a practice so consentaneous to the doctrines, which he laid down by system, that I much question if any of his profest scholars ever did him greater credit, since the time he first struck out the popular project of driving all religion out of the world, and introducing pleasure and voluptuousness in its stead.
Quare religio pedibus subjecta vicissim
With self-created glory to the skies. So far from ineaning to oppose myself to such a host of gay and happy mortals, I wish to gain a merit with them by adding to their stock of pleasures, and suggesting some hints of enjoyments, which may be new to them; a discovery which they well know was considered by the kings of Persia (who practised their philosophy in very ancient times), as a service of such importance to all the sect (who had even then woru out most of their old pleasures), that a very considerable reward was offered to the inventor of any new one.
How the stock at present stands with our modern voluptuaries I cannot pretend to say, but I suspect from certain symptoms, which have fallen under my observation, that it is nearly run out with some amongst them ; to such in particular I flatter myself my discoveries will prove of value, and I have for their use composed the following meditation, which I have put together in the form of a soliloquy, solving it step by step as regularly as any proposition in Euclid, and I will boldly vouch it to be as mathematically true.
If there is any one postulatum in the whole, which the truest voluptuary will not admit to be orthodox Epicurism, I will consent to give up my system for nonsense and
myself for an impostor; I condition only with the pupil of pleasure, that whilst he reads he will reflect, that he will deal candidly with the truth, and that he will once in his life permit a certain faculty called reason, which I hope he is possessed of, to come into use upon this occasion; a faculty, which though he may not hitherto have employed, is yet capable of supplying him with more true and lasting pleasures, than
any his philosophy can furnish. I now recommend him to the following meditation, which I have entitled
THE VOLUPTUARY'S SOLILOQUY. • I find myself in possession of an estate, which has devolved upon me without any pains of my own: I have youth and health to enjoy it, and I am determined so to do: pleasure is my object, and I must therefore so contrive as to make that object lasting and satisfactory: if I throw the means away, I can no longer compass the end; this is self-evident; I perceive therefore that I must not game; for though I like play, I do not like to lose that, which alone can purchase every pleasure I propose to enjoy; and I do not see that the chance of winning other people's money can compensate for the pain I must suffer if I lose my own: an addition to my fortune can only give superfluities; the loss of it may take away even necessaries; and in the mean time I have enough for every other gratification but the desperate one of deep play: it is resolved therefore that I will not be a gamester : there is not common sense in the thought, and therefore I renounce it.
• But if I give up gaming, I will take my swing of pleasure; that I am determined upon. I must therefore ask myself the question, what is pleasure ? Is it high living and hard drinking? I have my own choice to make, therefore I must take some time to
consider it. There is nothing very elegant in it I must confess; a glutton is but a sorry fellow, and a drunkard is a beast: besides I am not sure my constitution can stand against it; I shall get the gout, that would be the devil; I shall grow out of all shape ; I shall have a red face full of blotches, foul breath, and be loathsome to the women: I cannot bear to think of that, for I dote upon the women, and therefore adieu to the bottle and all its concomitants ; I prefer the favours of the fair sex to the company of the soakers, and so there is an end to all drinking; I will be sober only because I love plea
• But if I give up wine for women, I will repay myself for the sacrifice; I will have the finest girls that money can purchase-Money, did I say? What a sound has that !-Am I to buy beauty with money, and cannot I buy love too? for there is no pleasure even in beauty without love. I find myself gravelled by this unlucky question : mercenary love! That is nonsense; it is flat hypocrisy; it is disgusting. I should loath the fawning caresses of a dissembling harlot, whom I pay for false fondness: I find I am wrong again : I cannot fall in love with a harlot; she must be a modest woman : and when that befals me, what then? Why then, if I am terribly in love indeed, and cannot be happy without her, there is no other choice left me; I think I must even marry her! Nay, I am sure I must; for if pleasure leads that way, pleasure is my object, and marriage is my lot: I am determined therefore to marry, only because I love pleasure.
• Well! now that I have given up all other women for a wife, I am resolved to take pleasure enough in the possession of her ; I must be cautious therefore that nobody else takes the same pleasure too; for otherwise how have I bettered myself? I might