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and modestly desired they would not conclude, but that strength of argument and force of reason may be consistent with grace of action and comeliness of person.
To me (who fee people every day in the midst of crowds, whomsoever they seem to address to, talk only to themselves and of themselves) this orator was not so extravagant a man as perhaps another would have thought him; but I took part in his fuccefs, and was very glad to find he had, in his favour, judgment and costs, without any manner of opposition.
The effects of pride and vanity are of consequence only to the proud and vain, and tend to no further ill than what is personal to themselves, in preventing their progress in anything that is worthy and laudable, and creating envy, instead of emulation of fuperior virtue. These ill qualities are to be found only in such as have so little mind as to circumscribe their thoughts and designs within what properly relates to the value which they think due to their dear and amiable selves; but ambition, which is the third great impediment to honour and virtue, is a fault of such as think themselves born for moving in a higher orb, and prefer being powerful and mifchievous to being virtuous and obscure. The parent of this mischief in life, so far as to regulate it into schemes and make it possess a man's whole heart, without his believing himself a demon, was Machiavel. He first taught that a man must necessarily appear weak to be honest. Hence, it gains upon the imagination, that a great is not so despicable as a little villain ; and men are insensibly led to a belief, that the aggravation of crimes is the diminution of them. Hence the impiety of thinking one thing and speaking another. In pursuance of this empty and unsatisfying dream, to betray, to undermine, to kill in themselves all natural sentiments of love to friends or country, is the willing practice of such as are thirsty power for any other reason than that of being useful and acceptable to mankind.
Rideat et pulset lasciva decentius ætas.
HOR. 2 EP. ii. ult.
T would be a good appendix to “The art of living and dying,” if any one would write “The art of growing old,” and teach men to resign their pretenfions to the pleasures and gallantries of youth,
in proportion to the alteration they find in themselves by the approach of age and infirmities. The infirmities of this stage of life would be much fewer if we did not affect those which attend the more vigorous and active part of our days; but instead of studying to be wiser, or being contented with our present follies, the ambition of many of us is also to be the same sort of fools we formerly have been. I have often argued, as I am a professed lover of women, that our sex grows old with a much worse grace than the other does, and have ever been of opinion that there are more well-pleased old women than old men. I thought it a good reason for this that the ambition of the fair sex being confined to advantageous
marriages, or shining in the eyes of men, their parts were over sooner, and consequently the errors in the performances of them. The conversation of this evening has not convinced me of the contrary, for one or two fop-women shall not make a balance for the crowds of coxcombs among ourselves, diversified according to the different pursuits of pleasure and business.
Returning home this evening a little before my usual hour, I scarce had seated myfelf in my eafy chair, stirred the fire, and stroked my cat, but I heard somebody come rumbling up stairs. I saw my door opened, and a human figure advancing towards me so fantastically put together, that it was some minutes before I discovered it to be my old and intimate friend Sam. Trusty. Immediately I rose up and placed him in my own feat, a compliment I pay to few. The first thing he uttered was, “ Ifaac, fetch me a cup of your cherry-brandy before you offer to ask any question. He drank a lusty draught, fat silent for fome time, and at last broke out: “I am come,” quoth he, “to insult thee for an old fantastic dotard, as thou art, in ever defending the women. I have this evening visited two widows who are now in that state I have often heard you call an after-life; I suppose you mean by it, an existence which grows out of past entertainments, and is an untimely delight in the satisfactions which they once set their hearts upon too much to be ever able to relinquish. Have but patience," continued he,“ until I give you a succinct account of my ladies, and of this night's adventure. They are much of an age, but very different in their characters. The one of them, with all the advances which years have made upon her, goes on in a certain romantic road of love and friendship which she fell into in her 'teens; the other has transferred the amorous passions of her first years to the love of cronies, pets, and favourites with which she is always surrounded; but the genius of each of them will best appear by the account of what happened to me at their houses. About five this afternoon, being tired with study, the weather inviting, and time lying a little upon my hands, I resolved, at the instigation of my evil genius, to visit them, their husbands having been our contemporaries. This I thought I could do without much trouble, for both live in the very next street. I went first to my lady Camomile, and the butler, who had lived long in the family, and seen me often in his master's time, ushered me very civilly into the parlour, and told me, though my lady had given strict orders to be denied, he was sure I might be admitted, and bid the black boy acquaint his lady that I was come to wait upon her. In the window lay two letters, one broke open, the other fresh sealed with a wafer; the first directed to the divine Cosmelia, the second to the charming Lucinda ; but both, by the indented characters, appeared to have been writ by very unsteady hands. Such uncommon addresses increased my curiofity, and put me upon asking my old friend the butler, if he knew who those persons were ? Very well,' says he; this is from Mrs. Furbifh to my lady, an old schoolfellow and great crony of her ladyship’s; and this is the answer. I inquired in what county the lived. • Oh dear !' says he, but just by in the neighbourhood. Why, The was here all this morning, and that letter came and was answered within these two hours. They have taken an odd fancy, you must know, to call one another hard names; but, for all that, they love one another hugely. By this time the boy returned with his lady's humble service to me, defiring I would excuse her, for she could not possibly see me or anybody elle, for it was opera night.”
“Methinks,” fayz I, “ fuch innocent folly as two old women's courtship to each other should rather make you merry than put you out of humour.” “Peace, good Ifaac," says he; "no interruption, I beseech you. I got foon to Mrs. Feeble's—she that was formerly Betty Frisk; you must needs remember her— Tom Feeble, of Brazen Nofe, fell in love with her for her fine dancing. Well, Mrs. Ursula, without further ceremony, carries me directly up to her mistress's chamber, where I found her environed by four of the most mischievous animals that can ever infest a family—an old shock dog with one eye, a monkey chained to one side of the chimney, a great squirrel to the other, and a parrot waddling in the middle of the room. However, for a while, all was in