Sidor som bilder




Per umbages et ministeria deorum
Præcipitandus est liber spiritus.


By fable's aid ungovern'd fancy soars,
And claims the ministry of heav'nly pow'rs.

I WAS lately at a tea-table, where some young ladies entertained the company with a relation of a coquette in the neighbourhood, who had been discovered practising before ber glass. To turn the discourse, which, from being witty, grew to be malicious, the matron of the family took occasion, from the subject, to wish that there were to be found amongst men such faithful monitors to dress the mind by, as we consult to adorn the body. She added, that if a sincere friend were miraculously changed into a looking-glass, she should not be ashamed to ask its advice very often. This whimsical thought worked 30 much upon my fancy the whole evening, that it produced a very odd


Methought, that as I stood before my glass, the image of a youth, of an open and ingenuous aspect, ap. peared in it; who with a small shrill voice spoke in the following manner :

"The looking-glass, you see, was heretofore a man, even I, the unfortunate Fidelio. I had two brothers, whose deformity in shape was made out by the clearness of their understanding: it must be owned, how ever, that (as it generally happens) they had each a perverseness of humour suitable to their distortion of body. The eldest, whose belly sunk in monstrously, was a great coward; and though his splenetic contracted temper made him take fire immediately, he made objects that beset him appear greater than they were.


The second, whose breast swelled into a bold relievo, on the contrary, took great pleasure in lessening every thing, and was perfectly the reverse of his brother. These oddnesses pleased company once or twice, but disgusted when often seen; for which reason the young gentlemen were sent from court to study mathematics at the university,

"I need not acquaint you, that I was very well made, and reckoned a bright polite gentleman. I was the confidant and darling of all the fair; and if the old and ugly spoke ill of me, all the world knew it was because I scorned to flatter them. No ball, no assembly, was attended till I had been consulted. Flavia coloured her hair before me, Celia showed me her teeth, Panthea heaved her bosom. Cleora brandished her diamonds; I have seen Cloe's foot, and tied artificially the garters of Rhodope.

" "Tis a general maxim, that those who doat upon themselves, can have no violent affection for another; but on the contrary, I found that the women's passion for me rose in proportion to the love they bore to themselves. This was verified in my amour with Narcissa, who was so constant to me, that it was pleasantly said, had I been little enough, she would have hung me at her girdle. The most dangerous rival I had, was a gay empty fellow, who by the strength of a long intercourse with Narcissa, joined to his natural endowments, had formed himself into a perfect resemblance with her. I had been discarded, had she not observed that he frequently asked my opinion about matters of the last consequence: this made me still more considerable in her eye.

"Though I was eternally caressed by the ladies, such was their opinion of my honour, that I was never envied by the men. A jealous lover of Narcissa one day thought he had caught her in an amorous conversation; for though he was at such a distance that he could hear nothing, he imagined strange things from her airs and gestures. Sometimes with a serene look

she stepped back in a listening posture, and brightened into an innocent smile. Quickly after she swelled into an air of majesty and disdain, then kept her eyes half shut after a languishing manner, then covered her blushes with her hand, breathed a sigh, and seemed ready to sink down. In rushed the furious lover; but how great was his surprise to see no one there but the innocent Fidelio, with his back against the wall be. twixt two windows!

"It were endless to recount all my adventures. Let me hasten to that which cost me my life, and Narcissa her happiness.

"She had the misfortune to have the small-pox, upon which I was expressly forbid her sight, it being apprehended that it would increase her distemper, and that I should infallibly catch it at the first look. As soon as she was suffered to leave her bed, she stole out of her chamber, and found me all alone in an adjoining apartment. She ran with transport to her darling, and without mixture of fear, lest I should dislike her. But oh me! what was her fury when she heard me say, I was afraid and shocked at so loathsome a spec tacle. She stepped back, swollen with rage, to see if I had the insolence to repeat it. I did, with this addition, that her ill-timed passion had increased her ugli ness. Enraged, inflamed, distracted, she snatched a bodkin, and with all her force stabbed me to the heart. Dying, I preserved my sincerity, and expressed the truth, though in broken words; and by reproachful grimaces to the last I mimicked the defor mity of my murderess.

"Cupid, who always attends the fair, and pitied the fate of so useful a servant as I was, obtained of the Destinies, that my body should be made incorruptible, and retain the qualities my mind had pos sessed. I immediately lost the figure of a man, and became smooth, polished, and bright, and to this day am the first favourite of the ladies." T.

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Cui in manu sit quem esse dementem velit,
Quem sapere, quem sanari, quem in morbum injici,
Quem contra amari, quem accersiri, quem expeti?

Who has it in her power to make any man mad, or in his senses; sick or in health; and who can choose the object of her affection at pleasure?

THE marriage life is always an insipid, a vexatious, or an happy condition. The first is, when two people of no genius or taste for themselves meet toge ther, upon such a settlement as has been thought reasonable by parents and conveyancers from an exact valuation of the land and cash of both parties: in this case the young lady's person is no more regarded, than the house and improvements in purchase of an estate; but she goes with her fortune, rather than her fortune with her. These make up the crowd or vulgar of the rich, and fill up the lumber of human race without beneficence towards those below them, or respect towards those above them; and lead a despicable, independent, and useless life, without sense of the laws of kindness, good-nature, mutual offices, and the elegant satisfaction which flows from reason and virtue.

The vexatious life arises from a conjunction of two people of quick taste and resentment, put together for reasons well known to their friends, in which especial care is taken to avoid, what they think the chief of evils, poverty, and ensure to them riches, with every evil besides. These good people live in a constant constraint before company, and too great familiarity alone; when they are within observation they fret at each other's carriage and behaviour; when alone they

revile each other's person and conduct: in company they are in a purgatory, when only together in an hell.

The happy marriage is, where two persons meet and voluntarily make choice of each other, without principally regarding or neglecting the circumstances of fortune or beauty. These may still love in spite of adversity or sickness: the former we may in some measure defend ourselves from, the other is the portion of our very make. T.


· Locus est et pluribus umbris.

HOR. There's room enough, and each may bring his friend. CREECH.


AM sometimes very much troubled, when I reflect upon the three great professions of divinity, law, and physic; how they are each of them overburdened with practitioners, and filled with multitudes of ingeuious gentlemen that starve one another.

We may divide the clergy into generals, field-officers, and subalterns. Among the first we may reckon bishops, deans, and archdeacons. Among the second are doctors of divinity, prebendaries, and all that wear scarfs. The rest are comprehended under the subalterns. As for the first class, our constitution preserves it from any redundancy of incumbents, notwithstanding competitors are numberless. Upon a strict calcu lation, it is found that there has been a great exceeding of late years in the second division, several brevets having been granted for the converting of subalterns into scarf-officers; insomuch that within my memory the price of lutestring is raised above two-pence in a

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