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paralleled. She detected him in the arms of a disagreeable and affected prostitute, and was driven to distraction. Is my
old friend the commentator here likewise ? Alas! he has lost his wits in inquiring whether or no the ancients wore perukes; as did his neighbour Cynthio, by receiving a frown from his patron at the last levee.
The fat lady, upon whom you look so earnestly, is a grocer's wife in the city. Her disorder was occasioned by her seeing at court, last Twelfth night, the daughter of Mr. Alderman Squeeze, oilman, in a sack far richer and more elegant than her own.
The next chamber contains an adventurer who purchased thirty tickets in the last lottery. As he was a person of a sanguine complexion and lively imagination, he was sure of gaining the ten thousand pounds by the number of his chances. He spent a month in surveying the counties that lie in the neighbourhood of the metropolis, before he could find out an agreeable site for the fine house he intended to build. He next fixed his eye on a most blooming and beautiful girl, whom he designed to honour as his bride. He bespoke a magnificent coach, and the ornaments of his harness were to be of his own invention. Mr. Degagee, the tailor, was ordered to send to Paris for the lace with which his wedding clothes were to be adorned. But in the midst of these preparations for prosperity, all his tickets were drawn blanks; and instead of his villa on the banks of the Thames, you now see him in these melancholy lodgings.
His neighbour in the next apartment was an honest footman, who was persuaded likewise to try his fortune in the same lottery: and who, obtaining a very large and unexpected sum, could not stand
the shock of such sudden good fortune, but grew mad with excess of joy.
You wonder to see that cell beautified with Chinese vases and urns. It is inhabited by that famous virtuoso Lady Harriet Brittle, whose opinion was formerly decisive at all auctions, where she was usually appealed to about the genuineness of porcelain. She purchased, at an exorbitant price, a Mandarin and a Jos, that were the envy of all the female connoisseurs, and were allowed to be inestimable. They were to be placed at the upper end of a little rock-work temple of Chinese architecture, in which neither propriety, proportion, nor true beauty were considered, and were carefully packed up in different boxes; but the brutish waggoner happening to overturn his carriage, they were crushed to pieces. The poor lady's understanding could not survive so irreparable a loss; and her relations, to soothe her passion, have provided those Chelsea urns with which she has decorated her chamber, and which she believes to be the true Nanquin.
Yonder miserable youth, being engaged in a hot contention at a fashionable brothel about a celebrated courtezan, killed a sea-officer with whose face he was not acquainted; but who proved upon inquiry to be his own brother, who had been ten years absent in the Indies.
Look attentively into the next cell; you will there discover a lady of great worth and fine accomplishments, whose father condemned, her to the arms of a right honourable debauchee, when he knew she had fixed her attentions irrevocably on another who possessed an unincumbered estate, but wanted the ornament of a title. She submitted to the orders of a stern father with patience, obedience, and a breaking heart. Her husband treated her with that contempt which he thought due to a citizen's
daughter; and besides communicated to her an infamous distemper, which her natural modesty forbade her to discover in time; and the violent medicines which were afterwards administered to her by an unskilful surgeon, threw her into a delirious fever, from which she could never be recovered.
Here the Dean paused ; and looking upon me with great earnestness, and grasping my hand closely, spoke with an emphasis that awakened me; Think me not so insensible a monster, as to deride the lamentable lot of the wretches we have now surveyed. If we laugh at the follies, let us at the same time pity the manifold miseries of man.' Z.
I am, Sir,
N. 110. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1753.
Mens immota manet, lachrymæ voluuntur inunes. VIRG. Sighs, groans, and tears, proclaim his inward pains;
But the firm purpose of his heart remains. DRYDEN. Pity has been generally considered as the passion of gentle, benevolent, and virtuous minds; although it is acknowledged to produce only such a participation of the calamity of others, as upon the whole is pleasing to ourselves.
As a tender participation of foreign distress, it has been urged to prove, that man is endowed with social affections, which, however forcible, wholly disinterested; and as a plearing sensation, it
has been deemed an example of unmixed selfishness and malignity. It has been resolved into that power of imagination, by which we apply the misfortunes of others to ourselves : we have been said to pity no longer than we fancy ourselves to suffer, and to be pleased only by reflecting that our sufferings are not real; thus indulging a dream of distress,
from which we can awake whenever we please, to exult in our security, and enjoy the comparison of the fiction with truth.
I shall not perplex my readers with the subtilties of a debate, in which human nature bas, with equal zeal and plausibility, been exalted and degraded. It is sufficient for my purpose to remark, that Pity is generally understood to be that passion, which is excited by the sufferings of persons with whom we have no tender connexion, and with whose welfare the stronger passions have not united our felicity; for no man would call the anguish of a mother, whose infant was torn from her breast, and left to be devoured in a desert by the name of Pity; although the sentiment of a stranger, who should drop a silent tear at the relation, which yet might the next hour be forgotten, could not otherwise be justly denominated.
If Pity, therefore, is absorbed in another passion, when our love of those that suffer is strong; Pity is rather an 'evidence of the weakness than the strength of that general philanthropy, for which some have so eagerly contended, with which they have flattered the pride and veiled the vices of mankind, and which they have affirmed to be alone sufficient to recommend them to the favour of Heaven, to atone for the indulgence of every appetite and the neglect of every duty.
If human benevolence was absolutely pure and social, it would not be necessary to relate the ra
vages of a pestilence or a famine with minute and discriminating circumstances to rouse our sensibility; we should certainly deplore irremediable calamity, and participate temporary distress, without any mixture of delight; that deceitful sorrow, in which pleasure is so well known to be predominant, that invention has been busied for ages in contriving tales of fictitious sufferance for no other end than to excite it, would be changed into honest commiseration, in which pain would be unmixed, and which, therefore, we should wish to lose.
Soon after the fatal battle of Fontenoy, a young gentleman, who came over with the officer that brought the express, being expected at the house of a friend, a numerous company of gentlemen and ladies were assembled to hear an account of the action from an eye-witness.
The gentleman, as every man is flattered by commanding attention, was easily prevailed upon to gratify the company, as soon as they were seated, and the first ceremonies past. He described the march of many thousands of their countrymen into a field, where batteries had been concealed on each side, which in a moment strewed the ground with mangled limbs and carcasses that almost floated in blood, and obstructed the path of those who followed to the slaughter. He related, how often the decreasing multitude returned to the mouth of the cannon: how suddenly they were rallied, and how suddenly broken: he repeated the list of officers who had fallen undistinguished in the carnage, men whose eminence rendered their names universally known, their influence extensive, and their attachments numerous; and he hinted the fatal effects which this defeat might produce to the nation, by turning the success of the war against us. But the company, however amused by the relation, appeared not to be affected by the