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is a wonder to see people endeavouring after it. But at the same time it is so very hard to hit, when it is not born with us, that people often make themselves ridiculous in attempting it. A very ingenious French author tells us, that the ladies of the
of France, in his time, thought it ill breeding, and a kind of female pedantry, to pronounce a hard word right; for which Trash they took frequent occasion to use hard words, that they taigat stev a politeness in murdering them. He further adds, itat a lady of some quality at court, having accidentally made use of a hard word in a proper place, and pronounced it right, the rholz soxmbly was out of countenance for her.
I must however be so just as to own, that there are many ladies who have travelled several thousands of miles without being the Forse for it, and have brought home with them all the modesty, discretion, and good sense, that they went abroad with. As, on the contrary, there are great numbers of travelled ladies, who have lived all their days within the smoke of London. I have known a woman that never was out of the parish of St. James's, ay as many foreign fopperies in her carriage as she could have Cesped up in half the countries of Europe. ADDISON.
No. 46. MONDAY, APRIL 23, 1711.
Non bene junctarum discordia semina rerum.
OVID. MET. I. i. VER. 9. The jarring seeds of ill-consorted things. WHEY I want materials for this paper, it is my custom to go ad in quest of game; and when I meet any proper subject, I 'ake the first opportunity of setting down a hint of it upon paper. At the same time I look into the letters of my correspondents, ed if I find any thing suggested in them that may
afford matter of speculation, I likewise enter a minute of it in my collection of materials. By this means I frequently carry about me a whole beetful of hints that would look like a rhapsody of nonsense to ut body but myself. There is nothing in them but obscurity ad confusion, raving and inconsistency. In short, they are my peculations in the first principles, that (like the world in its 2008) are void of all light, distinction, and order. About a week since there happened to me a very odd accident, TOL I.
Upon my going into the church, I entertained myself with the digging of a grave; and saw in every shovelfull of it that was thrown up, the fragment of a bone or skull intermixt with a kind of fresh mouldering earth, that some time or other had a place in the composition of an human body. Upon this I began to consider with myself, what innumerable multitudes of people lay confused together under the pavement of that ancient cathedral; how men and women, friends and enemies, priests and soldiers, monks and prebendaries, were crumbled amongst one another, and blended together in the same common mass; how beauty, strength, and youth, with old age, weakness, and deformity, lay undistinguished in the same promiscuous heap of matter.
After having thus surveyed this great magazine of mortality, as it were in the lump, I examined it more particularly by the ac counts which I found on several of the monuments which are raised in every quarter of that ancient fabric. Some of them were covered with such extravagant epitaphs, that if it were possible for the dead person to be acquainted with them, he would blush at the praises which his friends have bestowed upon him. There are others so excessively modest, that they deliver the character of the person departed in Greek or Hebrew, and by that means are not understood once in a twelvemonth. In the poetical quarter, I found there were poets who had no monuments, and monuments which had no poets. I observed, indeed, that the present war had filled the church with many of these uninhabited monuments, which had been erected to the memory of persons whose bodies were perhaps buried in the plains of Blenheim, or in the bosom of the ocean.
I could not but be very much delighted with several modern epitaphs which are written with great elegance of expression and justness of thought, and therefore do honour to the living as well as the dead. As a foreigner is very apt to conceive an idea of the ignorance or politeness of a nation from the turn of their public monuments and inscriptions, they should be submitted to the perusal of men of learning and genius before they are put in execution. Sir Cloudesly Shovel's monument has very often given me great offence. Instead of the brave rough English admiral, which was the distinguishing character of that plain gallant man, he is represented on his tomb by the figure of a beau, dressed in a long periwig, and reposing himself upon velvet cushions under a canopy of state. The inscription is answerable to the monument; for, instead of celebrating the many remarkable actions he had performed in the service of his country, it acquaints us only with the manner of his death, in which it was impossible for him to reap any honour. The Dutch, whom we are apt to despise for want of
Derry; some of them concluded it was written by a madman, and duen by somebody that had been taking notes out of the SPECTATor. One who had the appearance of a very substantial citizen told us with several political winks and nods, that he wished there was no more in the paper than what was expressed in it: bas for his part, he looked upon the dromedary, the gridiron, and the tarber's pole, to signify something more than what was usually meant by those words; and that he thought the coffeeDan could not do better than to carry the paper to one of the secretaries of state. He further added, that he did not like the name of the outlandish man with the golden clock in his stockinga. A young Oxford scholar, who chanced to be with his unele at the coffee-house, discovered to us who this Pactolus was: and by that means turned the whole scheme of this worthy citizen into ridieule. While they were making their several conjectures upon this innocent paper, I reached out my arm to the boy as he was coming out of the pulpit, to give it to me; which he did accordingis. This drew the eyes of the whole company upon me; but after having cast a cursory glance over it, and shook my head Ivice or thrice at the reading of it, I twisted it into a kind of Dateb, and lighted my pipe with it. My profound silence, togalder with the steadiness of my countenance, and the gravity of ay behaviour during this whole transaction, raised a very loud laugh on all sides of me; but as I had escaped all suspicion of being the author, I was very well satisfied, and, applying myself to my pipe and the Postman, took no farther notice of any thing that passed about me.
My reader will find, that I have already made use of above half the contents of the foregoing paper; and will easily suppose, that those subjects, which are yet untouched, were such provisions as I had made for his future entertainment. But as I have been unluckily prevented by this accident, I shall only give him the letters wbich relate to the two last hints. The first of them I should not have published, were I not informed that there is many an husband who suffers very much in his private affairs by the indiscreet zeal of such a partner as is hereafter mentioned; to whom I may apply the barbarous inscription quoted by the Bishop of Salisbury in his travels : * " Dum nimis pia est, facta tai impia.” “ Through too much piety she became impious.”
"Sir, "I am one of those unhappy men, that are plagued with a gospel-gossip, so common among dissenters (especially friends). Lectures in the morning, church-meetings at noon, and prepara . Dr. Burnet's Letters, &c. Let. I.
No. 27. SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 1711:
Ut nox longa, quibus mentitur amica, diesque
H0R. 1. EP. i. 20.
THERE is scarce a thinking man in the world, who is involved in the business of it, but lives under a secret impatience of the hurry and fatigue he suffers, and has formed a resolution to fix himself, one time or other, in such a state as is suitable to the end of his being You hear men every day in conversation profess, that all the honour, power, and riches, which they propose to themselves, cannot give satisfaction enough to reward them for half the anxiety they undergo in the pursuit or possession of them. While men are in this temper (which happens very frequently) how inconsistent are they with themselves! They are wearied with the toil they bear, but cannot find in their hearts to relinquish it; retirement is what they want, but they cannot betake themselves to it. While they pant after shade and covert, they still affect to ap pear in the most glittering scenes of life: but sure this is but just as reasonable as if a man should call for more lights when he has a mind to go to sleep.
Since then is certain, that our hearts deceive us in the love of the world, and that w cannot command ourselves enough to resign it, though we every day wish ourselves disengaged from its
allurements; let us not stand upon a formal taking of leave, but wean ourselves from them while we are in the midst of them.
It is certainly the general intention of the greater part of mankind to accomplish this work, and live according to their own approbation, as soon as they possibly can. But since the duration of life is so uncertain, and that has been a common topic of discourse ever since there was such a thing as life itself, how is it possible that we should defer a moment the beginning to live according to the rules of reason?
The man of business has ever some one point to carry, and then he tells himself he will bid adieu to all the vanity of ambition. The man of pleasure resolves to take his leave at least, and part civilly with his mistress; but the ambitious man is entangled every moment in a fresh pursuit, and the lover sees new charms in the object he fancied he could abandon. It is, therefore, a fantastical way of thinking, when we promise ourselves an alteration in our conduct from change of place and difference of circumstances; the same passions will attend us wherever we are, till they are conquered; and we can never live to our satisfaction in the deepest retirement, unless we are capable of living so, in some measure, amidst the noise and business of the world.
I have ever thought men were better known by what could be observed of them from a perusal of their private letters, than any other way. My friend the clergyman, the other day, upon serious discourse with him concerning the danger of procrastination, gave me the following letters from persons with whom he lives in great friendship and intimacy, according to the good breeding and good sense of his character. The first is from a man of business, who is his convert: the second from one of whom he conceives good hopes : the third from one who is in no state at all, but carried
way and another by starts.
“SIR, "I know not with what words to express to you the sense I have of the high obligation you have laid upon me, in the penance you enjoined me, of doing some good or other to a person of worth every day I live. The station I am in furnishes me with daily opportunities of this kind; and the noble principle with which you have inspired me, of benevolence to all I have to deal with, quickens my application in every thing I undertake. When I reheve merit from discountenance, when I assist a friendless person, when I produce concealed worth, I am displeased with myself
, for having designed to leave the world in order to be virtuous. I am sorry you decline the occasions which the condition I am in might afford me of enlarging your fortunes; but know I contribute more