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NUMB. 34. SATURDAY, March 3, 1753.
Has toties optata exegit gloria pænas.
Such fate purfues the votaries of praife.
To the ADVENTURER.
Fleet-prifon, Feb. 24.
O a benevolent difpofition, every state of life will afford fome opportunities of contributing to the welfare of mankind. Opulence and fplendor are enabled to difpel the cloud of adverfity, to dry up the tears of the widow and the orphan, and to increase the felicity of all around them their example will animate virtue, and retard the progrefs of vice. And even indigence and obfcurity, though without power to confer happinefs, may at least prevent mifery, and apprize those who are blinded by their paffions that they are on the brink of irremediable calamity.
Pleafed, therefore, with the thought of recovering others from that folly which has embittered. my own days, I have prefumed to addrefs the Adventurer from the dreary manfions of wretchedness and defpair, of which the gates are fo wonderfully conftructed, as to fly open for the reception of ftrangers, though they are impervious as a rock of adamant to fuch as are within them:
Facilis defcenfus Averni;
Noctes atque dies patet atri janua Ditis:
The gates of hell are open night and day;
Suffer me to acquaint you, Sir, that I have glittered at the ball, and fparkled in the circle; that I have had the happinefs to be the unknown favourite of an unknown lady at the mafquerade, have been the delight of tables of the firft fafhion, and the envy of my brother beaux; and to defcend a little lower, it is, I believe, ftill remembered, that Meflrs. Velours and d'Espagne ftand indebted for a great part of their prefent influence at Guildhall, to the elegance of my fhape, and the graceful freedom of my carriage.
Sed quæ præclara et profpera tanti,
As I entered into the world very young, with an elegant perfon and a large eftate, it was not long before I difentangled myself from the fhackles of religion; for I was determined to the purfuit of pleasure, which according to my notions confifted in the unrestrained and unlimited gratifications of every paffion and every appetite; and as this could not be obtained under the frowns of a perpetual dictator, I confidered religion as my enemy; and proceeding to treat her with contempt and derision, was not a little delighted, that the unfashionablenefs of her appearance, and the unanimated uniformity of her motions, afforded frequent opportunities for the fallies of my imagination.
Conceiving now that I was fufficiently qualified to laugh away fcruples, I imparted my remarks to those among my female favourites, whofe virtue I intended to attack; for I was well affured, that pride would be able to make but a weak defence, when religion was fubverted; nor was my fuccefs below my expectation: the love of pleasure is too frongly implanted in the female breaft, to fuffer · them fcrupulously to examine the validity of arguments defigned to weaken restraint; all are easily led to believe, that whatever thwarts their inclination must be wrong: little more, therefore, was required, than by the addition of fome circumstances, and the exaggeration of others, to make merriment fupply the place of demonftration; nor was I fo fenfeless as to offer arguments to fuch as could not attend to them, and with whom a repartee or catch would more effectually anfwer the fame purpose. This being effected, there remained only " the "dread
"dread of the world:" but Roxana foared too high, to think the opinion of others worthy her notice; Letitia feemed to think of it only to declare, that "if all her hairs were worlds," fhe fhould reckon them "well loft for love;" and Paftorella fondly conceived, that fhe could dwell for ever by the fide of a bubbling fountain, content with her fwain and fleecy care; without confidering that ftillnets and folitude can afford fatisfaction only to inno
It is not the defire of new acquifitions, but the glory of conquefts, that fires the foldier's breaft; as indeed the town is feldom worth much, when it has fuffered the 'devaftations of a fiege; fo that though I did not openly declare the effects of my own prowefs, which is forbidden by the laws of honour, it cannot be fuppofed that I was very folicitous to bury my reputation, or to hinder accidental difcoveries. To have gained one victory, is an inducement to hazard a fecond engagement: and though the fuccefs of the general fhould be a reafon for increafing the ftrength of the fortification, it becomes, with many, a pretence for an immediate furrender, under the notion that no power is able to withstand fo formidable an adverfary; while others brave the danger, and think it mean to furrender, and daftardly to fly. Melija, indeed, knew better; and though he could not boaft the apathy, steadiness, and inflexibility of a Cato, wanted not the more prudent virtue of Scipio, and gained the victory by declining the conteft.
You must not, however, imagine, that I was, during this ftate of abandoned libertinifm, fo fully convinced
convinced of the fitnefs of my own conduct, as to be free from uneafinefs. I knew very well, that I might justly be deemed the pest of society, and that fuch proceedings must terminate in the deftruction of my health and fortune; but to admit thoughts of this kind was to live upon the rack: I fled, therefore, to the regions of mirth and jollity, as they are called, and endeavoured with burgundy, and a continual rotation of company, to free myfelf from the pangs of reflection. From thefe orgies we frequently fallied forth in queft of adventures, to the no fmall terror and confternation of all the fober ftragglers that came in our way: and though we never injured, like our illuftrious progenitors, the Mobocks, either life or limbs; yet we have in the midst of Covent-Garden buried a taylor, who had been troublesome to fome of our fine gentlemen, beneath a heap of cabbage-leaves and ftalks, with this conceit,
Satia te caule quem femper cupifti.
Glut yourfelf with cabbage, of which you have always been greedy.
There can be no reafon for mentioning the common exploits of breaking windows and bruifing the watch; unless it be to tell you of the device of producing before the juftice broken lanthorns, which have been paid for a hundred times: or their appearances with patches on their heads, under pretence of being cut by the fword that was never drawn: nor need I fay any thing of the more formidable attack of sturdy chairmen, armed with poles; by a flight ftroke of which, the pride of Ned