« НазадПродовжити »
a Spunge in his left Hand. The Dance of so many jarring Natures put me in Mind of the Sun, Moon and Earth, in the Rehearsal, that danced together for no other end but to eclipse one another.
THE Reader will easily suppose, by what has been before faid, that the Lady' on the Throne would have been almost frighted to Diftra&ion, had she seen but any one of these Spectres; what then must have been her Condition when she saw them all in a Body? Shę, fainted and dyed away at the sight.
Et neque jam color eft mifto candore rubori;
Oy. Met. Lib. 3. THERE was a great Change in the Hill of Money Bags, and the Heaps of Money, the former shrinking, and falling into so many empty Bags, that I now found not above a tenth part of them had been filled with Money. The rest that took up the same Space, and made the same Figure as the Bags that were really filled with Money, had been blown up with Air, and called into my Memory the Bags full of Wind, which Homer tells us his Hero received as a Present from Æolus. The great Heaps of Gold on either side the Throne, now appeared to be only Heaps of Paper, or little Piles of notched Sticks, bound up together in Bundles, like Bath-Faggots.
WHILST I was lamenting this sudden Desolation that had been made before me, the whole Scene vanished: In the Room of the frightful Spe&res, there now entered a second Dance of Apparations very agreeably matched together, and made up of very amiable Phantoms. The firit Pair was Liberty with Monarchy at her right Hand: The second was Moderation leading in Religion; and the third a Person whom I had never seen, with the Genius of Great Britain. At the firft Entrance the Lady revived, the Bags swelled to their former Pulk, the Pile of Faggots and Heaps of Paper changed into Pyramids of Gui. neas:: And for my own part I was fo transported with Joy, that I awaked, though I must confess, I would fain have fallen asleep again to have closed my Vision, if I could have done it. 6
Monday, March 5.
Egregii Mortalem, altique silente ! Hor. N Author, when he first appears in the World, is very apt to believe it has nothing to think of but his
Performances. With a good Share of this Vanity in my Heart, I made it my Business these three Days to listen after my own Fame; and as I have sometimes met with Circumstances which did not displease me, I have been encounter'd by others which gave me as much Mortification. It is incredible to think how empty I have in this Time observed some part of the Species to be, what mere Blanks they are when they first come abroad in the Morning, how utterly they are at a Stand till they are set a going by some Paragraph in a News-Paper : Such Persons are very acceptable to a young Author, for they desire no more in any thing but to be new to be agreeable. If I found Consolation among such, I was as much disquieted by the Incapacity of others. These are Mortals who have a certain Curiosity without Power of Reflection, and perused my Papers like Spectators rather than Readers. But there is so little Pleafure in Enquiries that so nearly concern our selves, (it being the worst way in the World to Fame, to be too anxious about it) that upon the whole I resolved for the future to go on in my ordinary Way; and without too much Fear or Hope about the Business of Reputation, to be very careful of the Design of my. A&tions, but very negligent of the Consequences of them.
IT is an endless and frivolous Pursuit to act by any other Rule than the Care of satisfying our own Minds in what we do. One would think a silent Man, who con. cerned himself with no one breathing, should be very little liable to Misrepresentations; and yet I remember í was once taken up for a Jesuit, for no other Reason but my profound Taciturnity. It is from this Misfortune, that
to be out of Harm's Way, I have ever since affected Crowds. He who comes into Assemblies only to gratifie his Curiosity, and not to make a Figure, enjoys the Pleasures of Retirement in a more exquisite Degree, than he possibly could in bis Closet; the Lover, the Ambitious, and the Miser, are followed thither by a worse Crowd than any they can withdraw from. To be exempt from the Passions with which others are tormented, is the only pleasing Solitude. I can very juftly say with the ancient Sage, I am never lefs alone than when alone, As I am insignificant to the Company in publick Places, and as it is visible I do not come thither as most do, to fhew my self; I gratifie the Vanity of all who pretend to make an Appearance, and have often as kind Looks from well-dreffed Gentlemen and Ladies, as a Poet would bestow upon one of his Audience. There are so many Gratifications attend this publick fort of Obscurity, that some little Distates I daily receive have lost their Anguish; and I did the other Day, without the leaft Displeasure, overhear one say of me, That strange gellow; and another answer, I have known the Fellow's Face these twelve Years, and so muft you ; but I believe you are the first ever ask'd who he was. There are, I must confess, many to whom my Person is as well known as that of their nearest Relations, who give themselves no further Trouble about calling me by my Name or Quality, but speak of me very currently by Mr. What-d'ye call him.
TO make up for these trivial Disadvantages, I have the high Satisfa&tion of beholding all Nature with an unprejudiced Eye; and having nothing to do with Mens Pallions or Interests, I can with the greater Sagacity consider their Talents, Manners, Failings, and Merits.
IT is remarkable, that those who want any one Sense, possess the others with greater Force and Vivaci, ty. Thus my Want of, or rather Resignation of Speech, gives me all the Advantages of a dumb Man. I have, methinks, a more than ordinary Penetration in Seeing; and flatter my self that I have looked into the Higheft and Lowest of Mankind, and make shrewd Guesses, without being admitted to their Conversation, at the inmod Thoughts and Reflections of all whom I be
hold. It is from hence that good or ill Fortune has no manner of Force towards affecting my Judgment. I see Men flourishing in Courts, and languishing in Jayls, without being prejudiced from their Circumstances to their Favour or Disadvantage; but from their inward Manner of bearing their Condition, often pity the Profperous, and admire the Unhappy.
THOSE who converse with the Dumb, know from the Turn of their Eyes, and the Changes of their Countenance, their Sentiments of the Objects before them. I have indulged my Silence to such an Extravagance, that the few who are intimate with me, answer my
Smiles with concurrent Sentences, and argue to the very Point I Maked my Head at, without my speaking WILL. HONEYCOMB was very entertaining the other Night at a Play, to a Gentleman who sat on his right Hand, while I was at his Left. The Gentleman believed WILL. was talking to himself, when upon my looking with great Approbation at a young thing in a Box before us, he said,
I am quite of another Opinion. She has, I will als 'low, a very pleasing Afpect, but methinks that Sim
plicity in her Countenance is rather childish than in.
nocent. When I observed her a second time, he said, • I grant her Dress is very becoming, but perhaps the • Merit of that Choice is owing to her Mother; for
though, continued he, I allow a Beauty to be as ' much to be commended for the Elegancë of her • Dress, as a Wit for that of his Language ; yet if she • has stolen the Colour of her Ribands from another,
had Advice about her Trimmings, I shall not allow • her the Praise of Dress, any more than I would call
a Plagiary an Author." When I threw my Eye towards the next Womani to her, WILL, spoke what I looked, according to his Romantick Imagination, in the following Manner.
• BEHOLD, you who dare, that charming Virgin ; • Behold the Beauty of her Person chastised by the In
nocence of her Thoughts. Chastity, Good-Nature, and Affability, are the Graces that play in her Countenance;
she knows she is handsome, but she knows she is good. 'Conscious Beauty adorned with conscious. Virtue ! : What a Spirit is there in those Eyes! What a Bloom in
that Person! How is the whole Woman expressed in * her Appearance: Her Air has the Beauty of Motion, rand her Look the Force of Language.
IT was Prudence to turn away my Eyes from this Object, and therefore I turned them to the thoughtlels Creatures who make up the Lump of that Sex, and move a knowing Eye no more than the Portraiture of insignifiCant People by ordinary Painters, which are but Pi&uren of Piatures.
THUS the working of my own Mind is the general Entertainment of my Life; I never enter into the Commerce of Discourse with any but my particular Friends, and not in Publick eyen with them. . Such an Habit has perhaps raised in me uncommon Reflections; but this Effect I cannot communicate but by my Writings. As my Pleasures are almost wholly confined to those of the Sight, I take it for a peculiar Happiness that I have always had an easie and familiar Admittance to the fair Sex.' If I never praised or flattered, I never belyed or contradicted them. As these compose half the World, and are by the just Complaisance and Gallantry of our Nation the more powerful Part of our People, I shall dedicate a considerable Share of these my Speculations to their Service, and shall lead the Young through all the becoming Duties of Virginity, Marriage, and Widowhood. When it is a Woman's Day, in my Works, I shall endeavour at a Style and Air suitable to their Understanding. When I say this, I must be understood to mean, that I shall not lower but exalt the Subjects I treat upon. Discourse for their Entertainment, is not to be debased but refined. A Man may appear learned, without talk. ing Sentences; as in his ordinary Gesture he discovers he can Dance, though he does not cut Capers. In a Word, I shall take it for the greatest Glory of my Work, if among reasonable Women this Paper may furnish Tea-Table Talk. In order to it, I shall treat on Matters which relate to Females, as they are concerned to approach or fly from the other Sex, or as they are tyed to them by Blood, Interest, or Affection. Upon this Occasion I think it but reasonable to declare, that whatever Skill I nay have in Speculation, I shall never betray what the Eyes of Lovers say to each other in my PreVol. I.