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These are great calamities; but I met the other day in the Five-Fields, towards Chelsea, a pleasanter tyrant than either of the above represented. A fat fellow was puffing on in his open waistcoat; a boy of fourteen in a livery, carrying after him his cloke, upper coat, hat, wig, and sword. The poor lad was ready to sink with the weight, and could not keep up with his master, who turned back every half furlong, and wondered what made the lazy young dog lag behind.
There is something very unaccountable, that people cannot put themselves in the condition of the persons below them, when they consider the commands they give. But there is nothing more common, than to see a fellow (who if he were reduced to it, would not be hired by any man living) lament that he is troubled with the most worthless dogs in nature.
It would, perhaps, be running too far out of common life to urge, that he who is not master of himself and his own passions, cannot be a proper master of another. Æquanimity in a man's own words and actions will easily diffuse itself through his whole family. PamPHiLio has the happiest household of any man I know, and that proceeds from the humane regard he has to them in their private persons, as well as in respect that they are his servants. If there be any occasion, wherein they may in themselves be supposed to be unfit to attend their master's concerns by reason of any attention to their own, he is so good as to place himself in their condition. I thought it very becoming in him, when at dinner the other day, he made an apology for want of more attendants. He said, “ One of my footmen is gone to the wedding of his sister, and the other I do not expect to wait, because his father died but two days ago.
“ He uses unnecessary proofs in an indisputable point."
FOLLY OF ADDUCING PROOF TO ESTABLISH OBVIOUS
ONE meets now and then with persons who are ex. tremely learned and knotty in expounding clear cases. * Tully tells us of an author that spent some pages to prove that Generals could not perform the great enterprises which have made them so illustrious, if they had not had men. He asserted also, it seems that a minister at home, no more than a commander abroad, could do any thing without other men were his instruments and assistants. On this occasion he produces the example of THEMISTOCLES, PERICULES, CYRUS, and ALEXANDER himself, whom he denies to have been ca. pable of effecting what they did, except they had been followed by others. It is pleasant enough to see such persons contend without opponents, and triumph with, out victory.
The author above-mentioned by the orator is placed for ever in a very ridiculous light, and we meet every day in conversation such as deserve the same kind of renown, for troubling those with whom they converse with the like certainties. The persons that I have always
Frequency of illustration is a proof, that either the speaker or writer is not profoundly skilled in the subject himself, or supposes the hearer or reader to be ignorant.
thought to deserve the highest admiration in this kind are your ordinary story-tellers, who are most religiously careful of keeping to the truth in every particular circumstance of a narration, whether it concerns the main end or not. A gentleman whom I had the honour to be in company with the other day, upon some occasion that he was pleased to take, said, he remembered a very pretty repartee made by a very witty man in King Charles's time upon the like occasion. “I remember (said he, upon entering into the tale) much about the time of Oats's plot, that a cousin-german of mine and I were at the Bear in Holborn. No, I am out, it was at the Cross-Keys; but Jack Thomson was there, for he was very great with the gentleman who made the answer. But I am sure it was spoken somewhere thereabouts, for we drank a bottle in that neighbourhood every evening : but no matter for all that, the thing is the same; but---"
He was going on to settle the geography of the jest when I left the room, wondering at this odd turn of head which can play away its words, with uttering nothing to the purpose, still observing its own impertinencies, and yet proceeding in them. I do not question but he informed the rest of his audience, who had more patience than I, of the birth and parentage, as well as the collateral alliances of his family who made the repartee, and of him who provoked him to it.
It is no small misfortune to any who have a just value for their time, when this quality of being so very circumstantial, and careful to be exact, happens to shew itself in a man whose quality obliges them to attend his proofs, that it is now day, and the like. But this is augmented when the same genius gets into authority, as it often does. Nay, I have known it more than once ascend the very pulpit. One of this sort taking it in his head to be a great admirer of Dr. Tilborson and Dr. BEVERIDGE, never failed of proving out of these great authors, things which no man living would have denied him upon his own single authority. One day resolving
to come to the point in hand, he said, “ according to that excellent divine,” I will enter upon the matter, or in his words, in his fifteenth sermon of the folio edition,
“ I shall briefly explain the words, and then consider the matter contained in them.”
This honest gentleman needed not, one would think, strain his modesty so far as to alter his design of “ tering upon the matter," to that of “ briefly explaining." But so it was, that he would not even be contented with that authority, but added also the other divine to strengthen his method, and told us, With the pious and learned Dr. BEVERIDGE, page 4th of his oth volume, “ I shall endeavour to make it as plain as I can from the words which I have now read, wherein for that purpose we shall consider”. -This wiseacre was reckoned by the parish, who did not understand him, a most excellent preacher; but that he read too much, and was so humble that he did not trust enough to his own parts.
Next to these ingenious gentlemen, who argue for what nobody can deny them, are to be ranked a sort of people who do not indeed attempt to prove insignificant things, but are ever labouring to raise arguments with you about matters you will give up to them without the least controversy. One of these people told a gentleman who said he saw Mr. Such a-one go this morning at nine of the clock towards the Gravel Pits; Sir, I must beg your pardon for that, for though I am very loth to have any dispute with you, yet I must take the liberty to tell you it was nine when I saw him at St. James's. When men of this genius are pretty far gone in learning they will put you to prove that snow is white, and when you are upon that topic, can say that there is really no such thing as colour in nature; in a word, they can turn what little knowledge they have into a ready capacity of raising doubts; into a capacity of being al. ways frivolous, and always unanswerable. It was of two disputants of this impertinent and laborious kind
that the Cynic said, “ One of these fellows is milking a ram, “and the other holds the pail,”
ADVERTISEMENT. “ The exercise of the snuff-box, according to the most fashionable airs and motions, in opposition to tbe exercise of the fan, will be taught with the best plain or perfumed snuff, at Charles LILLIE's, Perfumer, at the corner of Beaufort Buildings in the Strand, and attendance given for the benefit of the young merchants about the Exchange for two hours every day at noon, except Saturdays, at a toy-shop near Garraway's coffee-house. There will be likewise taught the ceremony of the snuffbox, or rules for offering snuff to a stranger, a friend, or a mistress, according to the degrees of familiarity or distance; with an explanation of the careless, the scornful, the politic, and the surly pincb, and the gestures proper to each of them.”
N. B. “ The Undertaker does not question but in a short time to have formed a body of regular snuff-boxes ready to meet and make head against all the regiment of fans which have been lately disciplined, and are now in motion."