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intimate friend, who for certain reasons was given out to be dead, while he was preparing to leave his country in quest of adventures. The hero having heard of his friend's death, immediately repaired to his mistress to condole with her and comfort her. Upon his arrival in her garden, he discovered at a distance a man clasped in her arms, and embraced with the most endearing tenderness. What should he do? It did not consist with the gentleness of a knight errant either to kill his mistress, or the man whom she was pleased to favour. At the same time, it would have spoiled a romance, should he have laid violent hands on himself. In short, he immediately entered upon his adventures, and after a long series of exploits, found out by degrees, that the person he saw in his mistress's arms was her own brother, taking leave of her before he left his country, and the embrace she gave him nothing else but the affectionate farewell of a sister : so that he had at once the two greatest satisfactions that could enter into the heart of man, in finding his friend alive, whom he thought dead! and his miftress faithful, whom he had believed inconstant.
There are indeed some disasters so very fatal, that it is impossible for any accidents to rectify them. Of this kind was that of
Lucretia ; and yet we see Ovid has found an expedient even in this case. He describes a beautiful and royal virgin walking on the sea-lhore, where she was discovered by Neptune, and violated after a long and unsuccessful importunity. To mitigate her forrow, he offers her whatever the could wish for. Never certainly was the wit of woman more puzzled in finding out a stratagem to retrieve her honour. Had the desired to be changed into a stock or stone, a beast, fish, or fowl, she would have been a loser by it: or had she desired to have been made a sea-nymph, or a goddess, her immortality would but have perpetuated her disgrace. Give me, therefore, said she, such a shape as may make me incapable of fuffering again the like calamity, or of being reproached for what I have already suffered. To be short, she was turned into a man, and by that only means avoided the danger and imputation she so much dreaded.
I was once myself in agonies of grief that are unutterable, and in fo great a distraction of mind, that I thought myself even out of the possibility of receiving comfort. The occasion was as follows: When I was a youth in a part of the army which was then quartered at Dover, I fell in love with an agreeable young woman, of a good family in those parts, and had the fatisfaction of seeing my addresses kindly received, which occafioned the perplexity I am going to relate.
We were, in a calm evening, diverting ourselves upon the top of the cliff with the prospect of the sea, and trifling away the time in such little fondnesses as are most ridiculous to people in business and most agreeable to those in love.
In the midst of these our innocent endearments, she snatched a paper of verses out
hand and ran away with them. I was following her, when on a sudden the ground, though at a considerable distance from the verge of the precipice, sunk under her, and threw her down from so prodigious a height, upon such a range
of rocks, as would have dashed her into ten thousand pieces, had her body been made of adamant. It is much easier for my reader to imagine my state of mind upon such an occasion than for me to express it. I said to myself, “ It is not in the power of heaven to relieve me!” When I awoke, equally transported and astonished, to see myself drawn out of an affliction which, the very moment before, appeared to me altogether inextricable,
The impressions of grief and horror were so lively on this occasion, that, while they lasted, they made me more miserable than I was at the real death of this beloved person (which happened a few months after, at a time when the match between us was concluded), inasmuch as the imaginary death was untimely, and I myself in a fort an accessory; whereas her real decease had at least these alleviations, of being natural and inevitable.
The memory of the dream I have related still dwells fo strongly upon me, that I can never read the description of Dover cliff in Shakespeare's tragedy of King Lear, without a fresh sense of my escape. The prospect from that place is drawn with such proper incidents, that whoever can read it without growing giddy must have a good head or a very bad or
“Come on, for, here's the place; stand still ! how fearful
And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low?
. Half-way down
Senilis Aultitia, qua deliratio appellari folet, fenum levium eft, non omnium.-M. T. Cic.
That which is usually called dotage is not the foible of all old men, but only of such as are remarkable for their levity and incona fancy.
T is my frequent practice to visit places of resort in this town where I am least known, to observe what reception my works meet with in the world, and what good effects I may promise myself from my
labours; and it being a privilege asserted by Monsieur Montaigne and others, of vain-glorious memory, that we writers of essays may talk of ourselves, I take the liberty to give an account of the remarks which I find are made by some of my gentle readers upon these my dissertations.
I happened this evening to fall into a coffee-house near the 'Change, where two persons were reading my account of the « Table of Fame.” The one of these was commenting as he read, and explaining who was meant by this and the other worthy, as he passed on. I observed the person over against him wonderfully intent and satisfied with his explanation. When he came to Julius Cæfar, who is said to have refused any conductor to the table, “No, no," said he," he is in the right of it, he has money enough to be welcome wherever he comes ;” and then whispered, “he means a certain colonel of the Train Bands.” Upon reading that Aristotle made his claim with some rudeness, but great strength of reason, “Who can that be, so rough and so reasonable? It must be some Whig, I warrant you. There is nothing but party in these public papers.” Where Pythagoras is said to have a golden thigh, “Ay, ay,” said he, “ he has money enough in his breeches; that is the alderman of our ward.” You must know, whatever he read, I found he interpreted from his own way of life and acquaintance. I am glad my readers can con strue for themselves these difficult points ; but, for the benefit of posterity, I design, when I come to write my last paper of this kind, to make it an explanation of all my former. In that piece you shall have all I have commended, with their proper names. The faulty characters must be left as they are, because we live in an age wherein vice is very general and virtue very particular, for which reason the latter only wants explanation.
But I must turn my present discourse to what is of yet greater regard to me than the care of my writings, that is to say, the preservation of a lady's heart. Little did I think I should ever have business of this kind on my hands more; but as little as any one who knows me would believe it, there is a lady at this time who professes love to me. Her passion and good humour you shall have in her own words. « MR. BICKERSTAFF,
“I had formerly a very good opinion of myself, but it is now withdrawn, and I have placed it upon you, Mr. Bickerstaff, for whom I am not ashamed to declare, I have a very great passion and tenderness. It is not for your face, for that I never saw; your shape and height I am equally a stranger to; but your understanding charms me, and I am lost if you do not dissemble a little love for me. I am not without hopes, because I am not like the tawdry gay things that are fit only to make bone-lace. I am neither childish-young nor bedlamold, but (the world says) a good agreeable woman.
“Speak peace to a troubled heart, troubled only for you; and in your next paper let me find your thoughts of me.
“ Do not think of finding out who I am, for, notwithstand