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number of books distracts the mind. He then lays down rules to enable the reader to judge of ill-written books, such as those that are written in haste rather pro fame than pro fama. As to the style, he says, that it ought to be modest, moderate, and flowing, sometimes elevated, according to the subject. In the third, he lays it down as an invariable maxim, that order is the soul of all writings, and that method is the only mean of avoiding confusion. In the fourth chapter he treats of the solidity of a writer, and in what it consists ; in the fifth, of perspicuity; in the sixth, of brevity, and of the difference between a plagiarist, and those who make a judicious use of their reading.
The seventh is confined to reading in general, the advantages of which he points out in the learned professions. The eighth chapter treats of the choice of books, and the manner of reading the best writers to advantage: in the ninth, he takes a retrospect of many celebrated collections of books, and of different princes who have patronized science,
The second part is divided into five chapters; first, of the indifference which many persons have shewn for books, and its principal causesidleness and avarice.
Secondly, the love of novelty, which insensibly supersedes all affection for works of antiquity.
Thirdly, Thirdly, pride, and the silly vanity of the learned, who affect to despise, and tarnish the merit of each other, the poison of literature.
Fourthly, envy, that rankles in the breasts of the learned.
Fifthly, Salden, in the last chapter, gives a list of those writers who have fallen a sacrifice to envy and malice.
BISHOP EARLE'S CHARACTER OF A COMMON
A POOR fiddler is a man and fiddle out of case, and he in worse case than his fiddle; one that rubs two sticks together (as the Indians strike fire), and rubs a poor living out of it, partly from this, and partly from your charity, which is more in the hearing than giving him, for he sells nothing dearer than to be gone.
He is just so many strings above a beggar, though he have but two; and yet he begs too, only not in the downright “ For God's sake,” but with a shrugging “God bless you!” and his face is more pined than the blind man's. Hunger is the greatest pain he takes, except a broken head, sometimes, and the labouring John Dory; otherwise his life is so many fits of mirth; and 't is
some mirth to see him : a good feast shall draw him five miles by the nose, and you shall track him again by the scent. His other pilgrimages are fairs and good houses, where his devotion is great to the Christmas, and no man loves good times better : he is in league with the tapsters for the worshipful of the inn, whom he torments next morning with his art, and has their names more perfect than their men. A new song is better to him than a new jacket, especially of bawdy, which he calls merry, and hates naturally
, the Puritan, as an enemy to his mirth. A country, wedding and wholesome ale are the two main places he domineers in, where he goes for a mu
, sician, and overlooks the bagpipe : the rest of him is drunk and in the stocks.
IN the time of the late civil wars, King Charles I. was at leisure for a little diversion. A motion was made to go to the Sortes Virgilianæ ; that is, to take a Virgil, and either with the finger, or sticking a pin, or the like, upon any verses, at a venture, and the verses touched shall declare his destiny that toucheth, which sometimes makes sport, and at other times is significant, or not, as the gamesters choose to apply. The King laid his
finger upon the place towards the latter end of the fourth Æneid, which contains Dido's curse to Æneas :
“ At bello audacis populi vexatus et armis,
This made the sport end in vexation, as much as it began in merriment: the King read the fate which followed him in too many particulars, as time discovered. He was then, and afterwards, vexed with the conquering arms of his subjects ; he would have been glad to have escaped with banishment; he was torn from his son, the Prince ; he saw the deaths of most of his friends; he would gladly have made peace (at the Isle of Wight) upon hard terms ; he neither enjoyed his crown nor life long, but was beheaded on a scaffold before his own door, and God knows where buried! Mr. Cowley was desired to translate the above lines into English (without being informed that the King had drawn them), which he did, as follows:
By a bold people's stubborn arms oppress’d,
Let him to base unequal terms submit,
Lord Falkland and some others were with the King at the time.
This anecdote is taken from the first leaf of Bishop Wilkins's Virgil, where it is written in his own hand-writing.
PORTRAIT OF BUONAPARTE.
BUONAPARTE is of the middle size, a little stooping, thin, of somewhat a delicate frame, and nervous; his hair is of a deep chesnut, falling over a large forehead ; his eyes are large, dark, quick, and piercing; aquiline nose ; a raised chin, like that of the Apollo Belvidere ; pale complexion, hollow cheeks, a voice unrestrained and composed; he listens attentively to those who speak to him, and answers briefly; his air is solemn, but open; he has not the austerity which characterizes the head of Brutus : you may judge from his address that he is a tem. perate meditative man, but tenacious in the point