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pretenders, by a proper assurance in his own vindication. He says it is a civil cowardice to be backward in asserting what you ought to expect, as it is a military fear to be slow in attacking when it is your duty. With this candour does the gentleman speak of himself and others. The same frankness runs through all his conversation. The military part of his life has furnished him with many adventures, in the relation of which he is very agreeable to the company; for he is never overbearing, though accustomed to command men in the utmost degree below him ; nor ever too obsequious, from a habit of obeying men highly above him.

But that our society may not appear a set of humourists, unacquainted with the gallantries and pleasures of the age, we have amongst us the gallant Will Honeycomb, a gentleman who, according to his years, should be in the decline of his life ; but having ever been very careful of his person, and always had a very easy fortune, time has made but very little impression, either by wrinkles on his forehead or traces in his brain. His person is well turned, of a good height. He is very ready at that sort of discourse with which men usually entertain women. He is all his life dressed very well; and remembers habits as others do men. He can smile when one speaks to him, and laugh easily. He knows the history of every mode, and can inform you from which of the French

a

king's Wenches our wives and daughters had this manner of curling their hair, that way of placing their hoods; whose frailty was covered by such a sort of petticoat; and whose vanity to show her foot made that part of the dress so short in such a year. In a word, all his conversation and knowledge have been in the female world. As other men of his age will take notice to you what such a minister said upon such and such an occasion, he will tell you when the Duke of Monmouth danced at court, such a woman was then smitten, another was taken with him at the head of his troop in the park. In all these important relations, he has ever about the same time received a kind glance, or a blow of a fan, from some celebrated beauty, mother of the present Lord Such-a-one. If you speak of a young commoner that said a lively thing in the House, he starts up, “He has good blood in his veins; Tom Mirable begot him; the rogue cheated me in that affair;

fellow's mother used me more like a dog than any woman I ever made advances to." This way of talking of his very much enlivens the conversation among us of a more sedate turn; and I find there is not one of the company, but myself, who rarely speak at all, but speaks of him as that sort of man who is usually called a well-bred fine gentleman. To conclude his character, where women are not concerned, he is an honest worthy man.

that young

I cannot tell whether I am to account him whom I am next to speak of as one of our company; for he visits us but seldom, but when he does it adds to every man else a new enjoyment of himself. He is a clergyman, a very philosophic man, of general learning, great sanctity of life, and the most exact breeding. He has the misfortune to be of a very weak constitution, and, consequently, cannot accept of such cares and business as preferments in his function would oblige him to; he is, therefore, among divines what a chambercounsellor is among lawyers. The probity of his mind, and the integrity of his life, create him followers, as being eloquent or loud advances others. He seldom introduces the subject he speaks upon; but we are so far gone

that he observes, when he is among us, an earnestness to have him fall on some divine topic which he always treats with much authority, as one who has no interest in this world, as one who is hastening to the object of all his wishes, and conceives hope from his decays and infirmities. These are my ordinary companions,

in years

SIR ROGER ON MEN OF PARTS

Credebant hoc grande nefas, et morte piandum,
Si juvenis vetulo non assurrexerat.

Juv., Sat. xiii. 54.
'T was impious then, so much was age revered,
For youth to keep their seats when an old man appeared.

;

common.

I KNOW no evil under the sun so great as the abuse of the understanding; and yet there is no one vice more

It has diffused itself through both sexes, and all qualities of mankind; and there is hardly that person to be found who is not more concerned for the reputation of wit and sense than honesty and virtue. But this unhappy affectation of being wise rather than honest, witty than good-natured, is the source of most of the ill-habits of life. Such false impressions are owing to the abandoned writings of men of wit, and the awkward imitation of the rest of mankind.

For this reason, Sir Roger was saying last night that he was of opinion none but men of fine parts deserved to be hanged. The reflections of such men are so delicate upon all occurrences which they are concerned in that they should be exposed to more than ordinary infamy and punishment for offending

against such quick admonitions as their own souls give them, and blunting the fine edge of their minds in such a manner that they are no more shocked at vice and folly than men of slower capacities. There is no greater monster in being than a very ill man of great parts. He lives like a man in a palsy, with one side of him dead. While perhaps he enjoys the satisfaction of luxury, of wealth, of ambition, he has lost the taste of good-will, of friendship, of innocence. Scarecrow, the beggar in Lincoln's Inn Fields, who disabled himself in his right leg, and asks alms all day to get himself a warm supper and a trull at night, is not half so despicable a wretch as such a man of sense. The beggar has no relish above sensations; he finds rest more agreeable than motion; and, while he has a warm fire, never reflects that he deserves to be whipped. Every man who terminates his satisfactions and enjoyments within the supply of his own necessities and passions is, says Sir Roger, in my eye, as poor a rogue as Scarecrow. “ But,” continued he, for the loss of public and private virtue, we are beholden to your men of parts, forsooth; it is with them no matter what is done, so it is done with an air. But to me, who am so whimsical in a corrupt age as to act according to nature and reason, a selfish man, in the most shining circumstance and equipage, appears in the same condition with the fellow above

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