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338 Works of Samuel Johnson

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Adventurer No. 58. Saturday, May 25, 1753. Damnant quod non intelligunt.CIC. They condemn what they do not understand. Euripides, having presented Socrates with the writings of Heraclitus[1], a philosopher famed for involution and obscurity, inquired afterwards his opinion of their merit. “What I understand,” said Socrates, “I find to be excellent; and, therefore, believe that […]

Adventurer No. 62. Saturday, June 9, 1753. O fortuna viris, invida fortibusQuam non aequa bonis praemia dividis.SENECA. Capricious Fortune ever joys,With partial hand to deal the prize,To crush the brave and cheat the wise. TO THE ADVENTURER. Fleet, June 6. SIR, To the account of such of my companions as are imprisoned without being miserable, […]

Adventurer No. 85. Tuesday, August 28, 1753. Qui studet optatam cursu contingere metam,Multa tulit fecitque puer.HOR. De Ar. Poet. 412. The youth, who hopes th’ Olympic prize to gain,All arts must try, and every toil sustain.FRANCIS. It is observed by Bacon, that “reading makes a full man, conversation a ready man, and writing an exact […]

Adventurer No. 92. Saturday, September 22, 1753. Cum tabulis animum censoris sumet honesti.HOR. Lib. ii. Ep. it. 110. Bold be the critick, zealous to his trust,Like the firm judge inexorably just. TO THE ADVENTURER. Sir, In the papers of criticism which you have given to the publick, I have remarked a spirit of candour and […]

Adventurer No. 69. Tuesday, July 3, 1753. Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.Caesar. Men willingly believe what they wish to be true. Tully has long ago observed, that no man, however weakened by long life, is so conscious of his own decrepitude, as not to imagine that he may yet hold his station in […]

Adventurer No. 74. Saturday, July 21, 1753. Insanientis dun sapientaeConsultus erro.–HOR. Lib. i. Od. xxxiv. 2. I miss’d my end, and lost my way,By crack-brain’d wisdom led astray. TO THE ADVENTURER. SIR, It has long been charged by one part of mankind upon the other, that they will not take advice; that counsel and instruction […]

Adventurer No. 81. Tuesday, August 14, 1753. Nil desperandum.Lib. i. Od. vii. 27. Avaunt despair! I have sometimes heard it disputed in conversation, whether it be more laudable or desirable, that a man should think too highly or too meanly of himself: it is on all hands agreed to be best, that he should think […]

Adventurer No. 84. Saturday, August 25, 1753. Tolle periclum,Jam vaga prosiliet frenis natura remotis.HOR. Lib. ii. Sat. vii. 73. But take the danger and the shame away,And vagrant nature bounds upon her prey.FRANCIS. TO THE ADVENTURER. SIR, It has been observed, I think, by Sir William Temple, and after him by almost every other writer, […]

Adventurer No. 67. Tuesday, June 26, 1753. Inventas–vitam excolucre per artes.VIRG. Aen. vi. 663. They polish life by useful arts. That familiarity produces neglect, has been long observed. The effect of all external objects, however great or splendid, ceases with their novelty; the courtier stands without emotion in the royal presence; the rustick tramples under […]

Adventurer No. 111. Tuesday, November 27, 1753. –Quae non fecimus ipsi,Vix ea nostra voco.OVID. The deeds of long descended ancestorsAre but by grace of imputation ours.DRYDEN The evils inseparably annexed to the present condition of man, are so numerous and afflictive, that it has been, from age to age, the task of some to bewail, […]

Adventurer No. 115. Tuesday, December 11, 1753. Scribimus indocti doctique.HOR. Lib. ii. Ep. i. 17. All dare to write, who can or cannot read. They who have attentively considered the history of mankind, know that every age has its peculiar character. At one time, no desire is felt but for military honours; every summer affords […]

Adventurer No. 99. Tuesday, October 16, 1753. — Magnis tamen excidit ausis.OVID. Met. Lib. ii. 328. But in the glorious enterprise he died.ADDISON. It has always been the practice of mankind, to judge of actions by the event. The same attempts, conducted in the same manner, but terminated by different success, produce different judgments: they […]

Adventurer No. 102. saturday, october 27, 1753. — Quid tam dextro pede concipis, ut teConatus non poeniteat votique peracti?JUV. Sat. x. 5. What in the conduct of our life appearsSo well design’d, so luckily begun,But when we have our wish, we wish undone.DRYDEN. TO THE ADVENTURER. Sir, I have been for many years a trader […]

Adventurer No. 107. Tuesday, November 13, 1753. — Sub judice lis est.HOR. De Ar. Poet. 78. And of their vain disputings find no end.FRANCIS. It has been sometimes asked by those who find the appearance of wisdom more easily attained by questions than solutions, how it comes to pass, that the world is divided by […]

Adventurer No. 108. Saturday, November 17, 1753. Nobis, quum semet occidit brevis lux,Nox est perpetua una dormienda.CATULLUS. Lib. v. El. v. When once the short-liv’d mortal dies,A night eternal seals his eyes.ADDISON. It may have been observed by every reader, that there are certain topicks which never are exhausted. Of some images and sentiments the […]

Adventurer No. 95. Tuesday, October 2, 1753. — Dulcique animos novitate tenebo.OVID. Met. iv. 284. And with sweet novelty your soul detain. It is often charged upon writers, that with all their pretensions to genius and discoveries, they do little more than copy one another; and that compositions obtruded upon the world with the pomp […]

Adventurer No. 137. Tuesday, February 26, 1754. [Greek: Ti d erexa];PYTHAG. What have I been doing? As man is a being very sparingly furnished with the power of prescience, he can provide for the future only by considering the past; and as futurity is all in which he has any real interest, he ought very […]

Adventurer No. 138. Saturday, March 2, 1754. Quid pure tranquillet; honos, an dulce lucellum,An secretum iter, et fallentis semita vitae.HOR. Lib, i. Ep.xviii. 102. Whether the tranquil mind and pure,Honours or wealth our bliss ensure:Or down through life unknown to stray,Where lonely leads the silent way.FRANCIS. Having considered the importance of authors to the welfare […]

Adventurer No. 131. Tuesday, February 5, 1754. —MisceErgo aliquid nostris de moribus.JUV. Sat. iv. 322. And mingle something of our times to please.DRYDEN, Jun. Fontanelle, in his panegyrick on Sir Isaac Newton, closes a long enumeration of that great philosopher’s virtues and attainments, with an observation, that “he was not distinguished from other men, by […]

Adventurer No. 128. Saturday, January 26, 1754. Ille sinistrorsum, hic dextrorsum abit; unus utriqueError, sed variis illudit partibus.–HOR. Lib. ii. Sat. iii. 50. When in a wood we leave the certain way,One error fools us, though we various stray,Some to the left, and some to t’other side.FRANCIS. It is common among all the classes of […]

Adventurer No. 119. Tuesday, December 25, 1753. Latius regnes, avidum domandoSpiritum, quam si Libyam remotisGadibus jungas, et uterque PoenusServiat uni.Hor. Lib. ii. Ode ii. 9. By virtue’s precepts to controulThe thirsty cravings of the soul,Is over wider realms to reignUnenvied monarch, than if SpainYou could to distant Lybia join,And both the Carthages were thine.FRANCIS. When […]

Adventurer No. 120. Saturday, December 29, 1753. –Ultima semperExpectanda dies homini: dicique beatusAnte obitum nemo supremaque funera debet.OVID. Met. Lib. iii. 135. But no frail man, however great or high,Can be concluded blest before he die.ADDISON. The numerous miseries of human life have extorted in all ages an universal complaint. The wisest of men terminated […]

Adventurer No. 126. Saturday, January 19, 175. –Steriles nec legit arenasUt caner et paucis, mersitque hoc pulvere verum.LUCAN. Canst thou believe the vast eternal Mind Was e’er to Syrts and Lybian sands confin’d? That he would choose this waste, this barren ground, To teach the thin inhabitants around, And leave his truth in wilds and […]

Idler No. 5. Saturday, May 13, 1758. –[Greek: KallosAnt egcheon hapantonAnt aspidon hapason].ANAC. Our military operations are at last begun; our troops are marching in all the pomp of war, and a camp is marked out on the Isle of Wight; the heart of every Englishman now swells with confidence, though somewhat softened by generous […]

Idler No. 6. Saturday, May 20, 1758. [Greek: Tameion aretaes gennaia gynae].GR. PRO. The lady who had undertaken to ride on one horse a thousand miles in a thousand hours, has completed her journey in little more than two-thirds of the time stipulated, and was conducted through the last mile with triumphal honours. Acclamation shouted […]

Idler No. 7. Saturday, May 27, 1758. One of the principal amusements of the Idler is to read the works of those minute historians the writers of news, who, though contemptuously overlooked by the composers of bulky volumes, are yet necessary in a nation where much wealth produces much leisure, and one part of the […]

Idler No. 8. Saturday, June 3, 1758. TO THE IDLER. Sir, In the time of publick danger, it is every man’s duty to withdraw his thoughts in some measure from his private interest, and employ part of his time for the general welfare. National conduct ought to be the result of national wisdom, a plan […]

Idler No. 1. Saturday, April 15, 1758. –Vacui sub umbraLusimus.–Hor. Lib. i. Ode xxxii. 1. Those who attempt periodical essays seem to be often stopped in the beginning, by the difficulty of finding a proper title. Two writers, since the time of the Spectator, have assumed his name[1] without any pretensions to lawful inheritance; an […]

Idler No. 2. Saturday, April 22, 1758. –Toto non quater annoMembranam.–HOR. Lib. ii. Sat. iii. 1. Many positions are often on the tongue, and seldom in the mind; there are many truths which every human being acknowledges and forgets. It is generally known, that he who expects much will be often disappointed; yet disappointment seldom […]

Idler No. 3. Saturday, April 29, 1758. –Otia vitaeSolamur cantu.STAT. It has long been the complaint of those who frequent the theatres, that all the dramatick art has been long exhausted, and that the vicissitudes of fortune, and accidents of life, have been shown in every possible combination, till the first scene informs us of […]

Idler No. 4. Saturday, May 6, 1758. [Greek: Pantas gar phileeske.]HOM. Charity, or tenderness for the poor, which is now justly considered, by a great part of mankind, as inseparable from piety, and in which almost all the goodness of the present age consists, is, I think, known only to those who enjoy, either immediately […]

Idler No. 13. Saturday, July 8, 1758. TO THE IDLER. Dear Mr. Idler, Though few men of prudence are much inclined to interpose in disputes between man and wife, who commonly make peace at the expense of the arbitrator; yet I will venture to lay before you a controversy, by which the quiet of my […]

Idler No 14. Saturday, July, 1758. When Diogenes received a visit in his tub from Alexander the Great, and was asked, according to the ancient forms of royal courtesy, what petition he had to offer; “I have nothing,” said he, “to ask, but that you would remove to the other side, that you may not, […]

Idler No. 15. Saturday, July 22, 1758. TO THE IDLER. Sir, I have the misfortune to be a man of business; that, you will say, is a most grievous one; but what makes it the more so to me, is, that my wife has nothing to do: at least she had too good an education, […]

Idler No. 9. Saturday, June 10, 1758. TO THE IDLER. Sir, I have read you; that is a favour few authors can boast of having received from me besides yourself. My intention in telling you of it is to inform you, that you have both pleased and angered me. Never did writer appear so delightful […]

Idler No. 10. Saturday, June 17, 1758. Credulity, or confidence of opinion too great for the evidence from which opinion is derived, we find to be a general weakness imputed by every sect and party to all others, and indeed by every man to every other man. Of all kinds of credulity, the most obstinate […]

Idler No. 11. Saturday, June 24, 1758. — Nec te quaesiveris extra.PERS. It is commonly observed, that when two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather; they are in haste to tell each other, what each must already know, that it is hot or cold, bright or cloudy, windy or calm. There are, […]

Idler No. 12. Saturday, July 1, 1758. That every man is important in his own eyes, is a position of which we all either voluntarily or unwarily at least once an hour confess the truth; and it will unavoidably follow, that every man believes himself important to the publick. The right which this importance gives […]

Idler No. 20. Saturday, August 26, 1758. There is no crime more infamous than the violation of truth. It is apparent that men can be social beings no longer than they believe each other. When speech is employed only as the vehicle of falsehood, every man must disunite himself from others, inhabit his own cave, […]

Idler No. 21. Saturday, September 2, 1758. TO THE IDLER. Dear Mr. Idler, There is a species of misery, or of disease, for which our language is commonly supposed to be without a name, but which I think is emphatically enough denominated listlessness, and which is commonly termed a want of something to do. Of […]

Idler No. 22. Saturday, September 16, 1758. Oh nomen dulce libertatis! Oh jus eximium nostra civitatis!CICERO. TO THE IDLER. Sir, As I was passing lately under one of the gates of this city, I was struck with horrour by a rueful cry, which summoned me to remember the poor debtors. The wisdom and justice of […]

Idler No. 23. Saturday, September 23, 1758. Life has no pleasure higher or nobler than that of friendship. It is painful to consider, that this sublime enjoyment may be impaired or destroyed by innumerable causes, and that there is no human possession of which the duration is less certain. Many have talked, in very exalted […]

Idler No. 17. Saturday, August 5, 1758. Surge tandem Carnifex[1].MAECENAS AD AUGUSTUM. The rainy weather, which has continued the last month, is said to have given great disturbance to the inspectors of barometers. The oraculous glasses have deceived their votaries; shower has succeeded shower, though they predicted sunshine and dry skies; and, by fatal confidence […]

Idler No. 18. Saturday, August 12, 1758. TO THE IDLER. Sir, It commonly happens to him who endeavours to obtain distinction by ridicule or censure, that he teaches others to practise his own arts against himself; and that, after a short enjoyment of the applause paid to his sagacity, or of the mirth excited by […]

Idler No. 19. Saturday, August 19, 1758. Some of those ancient sages that have exercised their abilities in the inquiry after the supreme good, have been of opinion, that the highest degree of earthly happiness is quiet; a calm repose both of mind and body, undisturbed by the sight of folly or the noise of […]

Idler No. 16. Saturday, July 29, 1758. I paid a visit yesterday to my old friend Ned Drugget, at his country-lodgings. Ned began trade with a very small fortune; he took a small house in an obscure street, and for some years dealt only in remnants. Knowing that light gains make a heavy purse, he […]

Idler No. 28. Saturday, October 28, 1758. TO THE IDLER. Sir, It is very easy for a man who sits idle at home, and has nobody to please but himself, to ridicule or to censure the common practices of mankind; and those who have no present temptation to break the rules of propriety, may applaud […]

Idler No. 29. Saturday, November 4, 1758. TO THE IDLER. Sir, I have often observed, that friends are lost by discontinuance of intercourse without any offence on either part, and have long known, that it is more dangerous to be forgotten than to be blamed; I therefore make haste to send you the rest of […]

Idler No. 30. Saturday, November 11, 1758. The desires of man increase with his acquisitions; every step which he advances brings something within his view, which he did not see before, and which, as soon as he sees it, he begins to want. Where necessity ends, curiosity begins; and no sooner are we supplied with […]

Idler No. 24. Saturday, September 30, 1758. When man sees one of the inferior creatures perched upon a tree, or basking in the sunshine, without any apparent endeavour or pursuit, he often asks himself, or his companion, On what that animal can be supposed to be thinking? Of this question, since neither bird nor beast […]

Idler No. 25. Saturday, October 7, 1758. TO THE IDLER. Sir, I am a very constant frequenter of the playhouse, a place to which I suppose the Idler not much a stranger, since he can have no where else so much entertainment with so little concurrence of his own endeavour. At all other assemblies, he […]

Idler No. 26. Saturday, October 14, 1758. Mr. Idler, I never thought that I should write any thing to be printed; but having lately seen your first essay, which was sent down into the kitchen, with a great bundle of gazettes and useless papers, I find that you are willing to admit any correspondent, and […]

Idler No. 27. Saturday, October 21, 1758. It has been the endeavour of all those whom the world has reverenced for superior wisdom, to persuade man to be acquainted with himself, to learn his own powers and his own weakness, to observe by what evils he is most dangerously beset, and by what temptations most […]

Idler No. 36. Saturday, December 23, 1758. The great differences that disturb the peace of mankind are not about ends, but means. We have all the same general desires, but how those desires shall be accomplished will for ever be disputed. The ultimate purpose of government is temporal, and that of religion is eternal happiness. […]

Idler No. 37. Saturday, December 30, 1758. Those who are skilled in the extraction and preparation of metals declare, that iron is every where to be found; and that not only its proper ore is copiously treasured in the caverns of the earth, but that its particles are dispersed throughout all other bodies. If the […]

Idler No. 38. Saturday, January 6, 1759. Since the publication of the letter concerning the condition of those who are confined in gaols by their creditors, an inquiry is said to have been made, by which it appears that more than twenty thousand[1] are at this time prisoners for debt. We often look with indifference […]

Idler No. 32. Saturday, November 25, 1758. Among the innumerable mortifications that waylay human arrogance on every side, may well be reckoned our ignorance of the most common objects and effects, a defect of which we become more sensible, by every attempt to supply it. Vulgar and inactive minds confound familiarity with knowledge, and conceive […]

Idler No. 33. Saturday, December 2, 1758. [I hope the author of the following letter[1] will excuse the omission of some parts, and allow me to remark, that the Journal of the Citizen in the Spectator has almost precluded the attempt of any future writer.] —Non ita Romuli Praescriptum, et intonsi CatonisAuspiciis, veterumque norma. HOR. […]

Idler No. 34. Saturday, December 9, 1758. To illustrate one thing by its resemblance to another, has been always the most popular and efficacious art of instruction. There is indeed no other method of teaching that of which any one is ignorant, but by means of something already known; and a mind so enlarged by […]

Idler No. 35. Saturday, December 16, 1758. TO THE IDLER. Mr. Idler, If it be difficult to persuade the idle to be busy, it is likewise, as experience has taught me, not easy to convince the busy that it is better to be idle. When you shall despair of stimulating sluggishness to motion, I hope […]

Idler No. 31. Saturday, November 18, 1758. Many moralists have remarked, that pride has of all human vices the widest dominion, appears in the greatest multiplicity of forms, and lies hid under the greatest variety of disguises; of disguises, which, like the moon’s veil of brightness, are both its lustre and its shade, and betray […]

Idler No. 43. Saturday, February 10, 1759. The natural advantages which arise from the position of the earth which we inhabit with respect to the other planets, afford much employment to mathematical speculation; by which it has been discovered, that no other conformation of the system could have given such commodious distributions of light and […]

Idler No. 44. Saturday, February 17, 1759. Memory is, among the faculties of the human mind, that of which we make the most frequent use, or rather that of which the agency is incessant, or perpetual. Memory is the primary and fundamental power, without which there could be no other intellectual operation. Judgment and ratiocination […]

Idler No. 45. Saturday, February 24, 1759. There is in many minds a kind of vanity exerted to the disadvantage of themselves; a desire to be praised for superior acuteness discovered only in the degradation of their species, or censure of their country. Defamation is sufficiently copious. The general lampooner of mankind may find long […]

Idler No. 40. Saturday, January 20, 1759. The practice of appending to the narratives of publick transactions more minute and domestick intelligence, and filling the newspapers with advertisements, has grown up by slow degrees to its present state. Genius is shown only by invention. The man who first took advantage of the general curiosity that […]

Idler No. 41. Saturday, January 27, 1759. The following letter relates to an affliction perhaps not necessary to be imparted to the publick; but I could not persuade myself to suppress it, because I think, I know the sentiments to be sincere, and I feel no disposition to provide for this day any other entertainment. […]

Idler No. 42. Saturday, February 1759. The subject of the following letter is not wholly unmentioned by the Rambler. The Spectator has also a letter containing a case not much different. I hope my correspondent’s performance is more an effort of genius, than an effusion of the passions; and that she hath rather attempted to […]

Idler No. 39. Saturday, January 13, 1759. Nec genus ornatus unun est: quod quamque decebit,Eligat–OVID. Ars. Am. iii. 135. TO THE IDLER. Sir, As none look more diligently about them than those who have nothing to do, or who do nothing, I suppose it has not escaped your observation, that the bracelet, an ornament of […]

Idler No. 51. Saturday, April 7, 1759. It has been commonly remarked, that eminent men are least eminent at home, that bright characters lose much of their splendour at a nearer view, and many, who fill the world with their fame, excite very little reverence among those that surround them in their domestick privacies. To […]

Idler No 52. Saturday, April 14, 1759. Responsare cupidinibus.–HOR. Lib. ii. Sat. vii. 85. The practice of self-denial, or the forbearance of lawful pleasure, has been considered by almost every nation, from the remotest ages, as the highest exaltation of human virtue; and all have agreed to pay respect and veneration to those who abstained […]

Idler No. 53. Saturday, April 21, 1759. TO THE IDL Idler ER. Sir, I have a wife that keeps good company. You know that the word good varies its meaning according to the value set upon different qualities in different places. To be a good man in a college, is to be learned; in a […]

Idler No. 48. Saturday, March 17, 1759. There is no kind of idleness, by which we are so easily seduced, as that which dignifies itself by the appearance of business; and, by making the loiterer imagine that he has something to do which must not be neglected, keeps him in perpetual agitation, and hurries him […]

Idler No. 49. Saturday, March 24, 1759. I supped three nights ago with my friend Will Marvel. His affairs obliged him lately to take a journey into Devonshire, from which he has just returned. He knows me to be a very patient hearer, and was glad of my company, as it gave him an opportunity […]

Idler No. 50. Saturday, March 31, 1759. The character of Mr. Marvel has raised the merriment of some and the contempt of others, who do not sufficiently consider how often they hear and practise the same arts of exaggerated narration. There is not, perhaps, among the multitudes of all conditions that swarm upon the earth, […]

Idler No. 46. Saturday, March 3, 1759. Fugit ad salices, sed, se cupit ante videri.VIRGIL. Mr. Idler, I am encouraged, by the notice you have taken of Betty Broom, to represent the miseries which I suffer from a species of tyranny, which, I believe, is not very uncommon, though perhaps it may have escaped the […]

Idler No. 47. Saturday, March 10, 1759. TO THE IDLER. Mr. Idler, I am the unfortunate wife of a city wit, and cannot but think that my case may deserve equal compassion with any of those which have been represented in your paper. I married my husband within three months after the expiration of his […]

Idler No. 59. Saturday, June 2, 1759. In the common enjoyments of life, we cannot very liberally indulge the present hour, but by anticipating part of the pleasure which might have relieved the tediousness of another day; and any uncommon exertion of strength, or perseverance in labour, is succeeded by a long interval of languor […]

Idler No. 60. Saturday, June 9, 1759. Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at a very small expense. The power of invention has been conferred by nature upon few, and the labour of learning those sciences, which may by mere labour be obtained, is too great to be willingly endured; […]

Idler No. 56. Saturday, May 12, 1759. There is such difference between the pursuits of men, that one part of the inhabitants of a great city lives to little other purpose than to wonder at the rest. Some have hopes and fears, wishes and aversions, which never enter into the thoughts of others, and inquiry […]

Idler No. 57. Saturday, May 19, 1759. Prudence is of more frequent use than any other intellectual quality; it is exerted on slight occasions, and called into act by the cursory business of common life. Whatever is universally necessary, has been granted to mankind on easy terms. Prudence, as it is always wanted, is without […]

Idler No. 58. Saturday, May 26, 1759. Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks. The flowers which scatter their odours, from time to time, in the paths of life, grow up without culture from seeds scattered by chance. Nothing is more hopeless […]

Idler No. 54. Saturday, April 28, 1759. TO THE IDLER. Sir, You have lately entertained your admirers with the case of an unfortunate husband, and, thereby, given a demonstrative proof you are not averse even to hear appeals and terminate differences between man and wife; I, therefore, take the liberty to present you with the […]

Idler No. 55. Saturday, May 5, 1759. TO THE IDLER. Mr. Idler, I have taken the liberty of laying before you my complaint, and of desiring advice or consolation with the greater confidence, because I believe many other writers have suffered the same indignities with myself, and hope my quarrel will be regarded by you […]

Idler No. 67. Saturday, July 28, 1759. TO THE IDLER. Sir, In the observations which you have made on the various opinions and pursuits of mankind, you must often, in literary conversations, have met with men who consider dissipation as the great enemy of the intellect; and maintain, that, in proportion as the student keeps […]

Idler No. 68. Saturday, August 4, 1759. Among the studies which have exercised the ingenious and the learned for more than three centuries, none has been more diligently or more successfully cultivated than the art of translation; by which the impediments which bar the way to science are, in some measure, removed, and the multiplicity […]

Idler No. 64. Saturday, July 1, 1759. Quid faciam, praescribe. Quiescas.–HOR. Lib. ii. Sat. i. 5. TO THE IDLER. Sir, As nature has made every man desirous of happiness, I flatter myself, that you and your readers cannot but feel some curiosity to know the sequel of my story; for though, by trying the different […]

Idler No. 65. Saturday, July 14, 1759. This sequel of Clarendon’s history, at last happily published, is an accession to English literature equally agreeable to the admirers of elegance and the lovers of truth; many doubtful facts may now be ascertained, and many questions, after long debate, may be determined by decisive authority. He that […]

Idler No. 66. Saturday, July 21, 1759. No complaint is more frequently repeated among the learned, than that of the waste made by time among the labours of antiquity. Of those who once filled the civilized world with their renown, nothing is now left but their names, which are left only to raise desires that […]

Idler No. 61. Saturday, June 15, 1759. Mr. Minim had now advanced himself to the zenith of critical reputation; when he was in the pit, every eye in the boxes was fixed upon him; when he entered his coffee-house, he was surrounded by circles of candidates, who passed their noviciate of literature under his tuition: […]

Idler No. 62. Saturday, June 23, 1759. Quid faciam, proescribe. Quiescas.–HOR. Lib. ii. Sat. i. 5. TO THE IDLER. Sir, An opinion prevails almost universally in the world, that he who has money has every thing. This is not a modern paradox, or the tenet of a small and obscure sect, but a persuasion which […]

Idler No. 63. Saturday, June 30, 1759. The natural progress of the works of men is from rudeness to convenience, from convenience to elegance, and from elegance to nicety. The first labour is enforced by necessity. The savage finds himself incommoded by heat and cold, by rain and wind; he shelters himself in the hollow […]

Idler No. 72. Saturday, September 1, 1759. Men complain of nothing more frequently than of deficient memory; and, indeed, every one finds that many of the ideas which he desired to retain have slipped irretrievably away; that the acquisitions of the mind are sometimes equally fugitive with the gifts of fortune; and that a short […]

Idler No. 73. Saturday, September 8, 1759. That every man would be rich if a wish could obtain riches, is a position which I believe few will contest, at least in a nation like ours, in which commerce has kindled an universal emulation of wealth, and in which money receives all the honours which are […]

Idler No. 74. Saturday, September 15, 1759. In the mythological pedigree of learning, memory is made the mother of the muses, by which the masters of ancient wisdom, perhaps, meant to show the necessity of storing the mind copiously with true notions, before the imagination should be suffered to form fictions or collect embellishments; for […]

Idler No. 75. Saturday, September 22, 1759. In the time when Bassora was considered as the school of Asia, and flourished by the reputation of its professors and the confluence of its students, among the pupils that listened round the chair of Albumazar was Gelaleddin, a native of Tauris, in Persia, a young man amiable […]

Idler No. 69. Saturday, August 11, 1759. He that reviews the progress of English literature, will find that translation was very early cultivated among us, but that some principles, either wholly erroneous or too far extended, hindered our success from being always equal to our diligence. Chaucer, who is generally considered as the father of […]

Idler No. 70. Saturday, August 18, 1759. Few faults of style, whether real or imaginary, excite the malignity of a more numerous class of readers, than the use of hard words. If an author be supposed to involve his thoughts in voluntary obscurity, and to obstruct, by unnecessary difficulties, a mind eager in pursuit of […]

Idler No. 71. Saturday, August 25, 1759. Celan le selve angui, leoni, ed orsiDentro il lor verde.TASSO, L’AMINTA. Dick Shifter was born in Cheapside, and, having passed reputably through all the classes of St. Paul’s school, has been for some years a student in the Temple. He is of opinion, that intense application dulls the […]

Idler No. 80. Saturday, October 27, 1759. That every day has its pains and sorrows is universally experienced, and almost universally confessed; but let us not attend only to mournful truths; if we look impartially about us, we shall find that every day has likewise its pleasures and its joys. The time is now come […]

Idler No. 81. Saturday, November 3, 1759. As the English army was passing towards Quebec along a soft savanna between a mountain and a lake, one of the petty chiefs of the inland regions stood upon a rock surrounded by his clan, and from behind the shelter of the bushes contemplated the art and regularity […]

Idler No. 82. Saturday, November 10, 1759. TO THE IDLER. Sir, Discoursing in my last letter on the different practice of the Italian and Dutch painters, I observed, that “the Italian painter attends only to the invariable, the great and general ideas which are fixed and inherent in universal nature.” I was led into the […]

Idler No. 83. Saturday, November 17, 1759. TO THE IDLER. Sir, I suppose you have forgotten that many weeks ago I promised to send you an account of my companions at the Wells. You would not deny me a place among the most faithful votaries of idleness, if you knew how often I have recollected […]

Idler No. 77. Saturday, October 6, 1759. Easy poetry is universally admired; but I know not whether any rule has yet been fixed, by which it may be decided when poetry can be properly called easy. Horace has told us, that it is such as “every reader hopes to equal, but after long labour finds […]

Idler No. 78. Saturday, October 13, 1759. I have passed the summer in one of those places to which a mineral spring gives the idle and luxurious an annual reason for resorting, whenever they fancy themselves offended by the heat of London. What is the true motive of this periodical assembly, I have never yet […]

Idler No. 79. Saturday, October 20, 1759. TO THE IDLER. Sir, Your acceptance of a former letter on painting gives me encouragement to offer a few more sketches on the same subject. Amongst the painters, and the writers on painting, there is one maxim universally admitted and continually inculcated. Imitate nature is the invariable rule; […]

Idler No. 76. Saturday, September 29, 1759. TO THE IDLER, Sir, I was much pleased with your ridicule of those shallow criticks, whose judgment, though often right as far as it goes, yet reaches only to inferior beauties, and who, unable to comprehend the whole, judge only by parts, and from thence determine the merit […]

Idler No. 88. Saturday, December 22, 1759. Hodie quid egisti? When the philosophers of the last age were first congregated into the Royal Society, great expectations were raised of the sudden progress of useful arts; the time was supposed to be near, when engines should turn by a perpetual motion, and health be secured by […]

Idler No. 89. Saturday, December 29, 1759. [Greek: Anechou kai apechou.]EPICT. How evil came into the world; for what reason it is that life is overspread with such boundless varieties of misery; why the only thinking being of this globe is doomed to think merely to be wretched, and to pass his time from youth […]

Idler No. 90. Saturday, January 5, 1760. It is a complaint which has been made from time to time, and which seems to have lately become more frequent, that English oratory, however forcible in argument, or elegant in expression, is deficient and inefficacious, because our speakers want the grace and energy of action. Among the […]

Idler No. 85. Saturday, December 1, 1759. One of the peculiarities which distinguish the present age is the multiplication of books. Every day brings new advertisements of literary undertakings, and we are flattered with repeated promises of growing wise on easier terms than our progenitors. How much either happiness or knowledge is advanced by this […]

Idler No. 86. Saturday, December 8, 1759. TO THE IDLER. Sir, I am a young lady newly married to a young gentleman. Our fortune is large, our minds are vacant, our dispositions gay, our acquaintances numerous, and our relations splendid. We considered that marriage, like life, has its youth; that the first year is the […]

Idler No. 87. Saturday, December 15, 1759. Of what we know not, we can only judge by what we know. Every novelty appears more wonderful as it is more remote from any thing with which experience or testimony has hitherto acquainted us; and, if it passes further beyond the notions that we have been accustomed […]

Idler No. 84. Saturday, November 24, 1759. Biography is, of the various kinds of narrative writing, that which is most eagerly read, and most easily applied to the purposes of life. In romances, when the wide field of possibility lies open to invention, the incidents may easily be made more numerous, the vicissitudes more sudden, […]

Idler No. 96. Saturday, February 16, 1760. Qui se volet esse potentem,Animos domet ille feroces:Nec victa libidine collaFoedis submittat habenis.BOETHIUS. Hacho, a king of Lapland, was in his youth the most renowned of the Northern warriors. His martial achievements remain engraved on a pillar of flint in the rocks of Hanga, and are to this […]

Idler No. 93. Saturday, January 26, 1760. Sam Softly was bred a sugar-baker; but succeeding to a considerable estate on the death of his elder brother, he retired early from business, married a fortune, and settled in a country-house near Kentish-town, Sam, who formerly was a sportsman, and in his apprenticeship used to frequent Barnet […]

Idler No. 94. Saturday, February 2, 1760. It is common to find young men ardent and diligent in the pursuit of knowledge; but the progress of life very often produces laxity and indifference; and not only those who are at liberty to choose their business and amusements, but those likewise whose professions engage them in […]

Idler No. 95. Saturday, February 9, 1760. TO THE IDLER. Mr. Idler, It is, I think, universally agreed, that seldom any good is gotten by complaint; yet we find that few forbear to complain, but those who are afraid of being reproached as the authors of their own miseries. I hope, therefore, for the common […]

Idler No. 91. Saturday, January 12, 1760. It is common to overlook what is near, by keeping the eye fixed upon something remote. In the same manner present opportunities are neglected, and attainable good is slighted, by minds busied in extensive ranges, and intent upon future advantages. Life, however short, is made still shorter by […]

Idler No. 92. Saturday, Januray 19, 1760. Whatever is useful or honourable will be desired by many who never can obtain it; and that which cannot be obtained when it is desired, artifice or folly will be diligent to counterfeit. Those to whom fortune has denied gold and diamonds decorate themselves with stones and metals, […]

Idler No. 102. Saturday, March 29, 1760. It very seldom happens to man that his business is his pleasure. What is done from necessity is so often to be done when against the present inclination, and so often fills the mind with anxiety, that an habitual dislike steals upon us, and we shrink involuntarily from […]

Idler No. 103 No. 103. SATURDAY, APRIL 5, 1760. Respicere ad longae jussit spatia ultima vitae. JUV. Sat. x. 275. Much of the pain and pleasure of mankind arises from the conjectures which every one makes of the thoughts of others; we all enjoy praise which we do not hear, and resent contempt which we […]

Idler No. 99. Saturday, March, MARCH 8, 1760. As Ortogrul of Basra was one day wandering along the streets of Bagdat, musing on the varieties of merchandise which the shops offered to his view, and observing the different occupations which busied the multitudes on every side, he was awakened from the tranquillity of meditation by […]

Idler No. 100. Saturday, March 15, 1760. TO THE IDLER. Sir, The uncertainty and defects of language have produced very frequent complaints among the learned; yet there still remain many words among us undefined, which are very necessary to be rightly understood, and which produce very mischievous mistakes when they are erroneously interpreted. I lived […]

Idler No. 101. Saturday, March 22, 1760. Carpe hilaris: fuget heu! non revocanda dies. Omar, the son of Hussan, had passed seventy-five years in honour and prosperity. The favour of three successive califs had filled his house with gold and silver; and, whenever he appeared, the benedictions of the people proclaimed his passage. Terrestrial happiness […]

Idler No. 97. Saturday, February 23, 1760. It may, I think, be justly observed, that few books disappoint their readers more than the narrations of travellers. One part of mankind is naturally curious to learn the sentiments, manners, and condition of the rest; and every mind that has leisure or power to extend its views, […]

Idler No. 98. Saturday, March 1, 1760. TO THE IDLER. Sir, I am the daughter of a gentleman, who during his lifetime enjoyed a small income which arose from a pension from the court, by which he was enabled to live in a genteel and comfortable manner. By the situation of life in which he […]

Idler No. 22 Many naturalists are of opinion, that the animals which we commonly consider as mute, have the power of imparting their thoughts to one another. That they can express general sensations is very certain; every being that can utter sounds, has a different voice for pleasure and for pain. The hound informs his […]

No. 107. Tuesday, March 26, 1751. Alternis igitur contendere versibns amboCoepere: alternos Musoe meminisse volebant.VIRG. Ec. vii. 18 On themes alternate now the swains recite;The muses in alternate themes delight.ELPHINSTON. Among the various censures, which the unavoidable comparison of my performances with those of my predecessors has produced, there is none more general than that […]

No. 108. Saturday, March 30, 1751. –Sapere aude:Incipe. Vivendi recte qui prorogat horam,Rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis; at illeLabitur et labetur in omne volubilis aevum.HOR. Lib. i. Ep. ii. 39. Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise;He who defers this work from day to day,Does on a river’s bank expecting stay,Till the whole stream, […]

No. 106. Saturday, March 23, 1751. Opinionum commenta delet dies, naturae judicia Confirmat.CICERO, vi. Att. 1. Time obliterates the fictions of opinion,and confirms the decisions of nature. It is necessary to the success of flattery, that it be accommodated to particular circumstances or characters, and enter the heart on that side where the passions stand […]

No. 112. Saturday, April 13, 1751. In mea vesanas habui dispendia vires,Et valui paenam fortis in ipse meain.OVID, Am. Lib. i. vii. 25. Of strength pernicious to myself I boast;The pow’rs I have were given me to my cost.F. LEWIS. We are taught by Celsus, that health is best preserved by avoiding settled habits of […]

No. 113. Tuesday, April 16, 1751. –Uxorem, Postume, ducis?Die, qua Tisiphone, quibus exagitere colubris?JUV. Sat. vi. 28. A sober man like thee to change his life!What fury would possess thee with a wife?DRYDEN. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, I know not whether it is always a proof of innocence to treat censure with contempt. We owe […]

No. 114. Saturday, April 20, 1751. —Audi,Nulla umquum de morte hominis cunctatio longa est.JUV. Sat. vi. 220. –When man’s life is in debate,The judge can ne’er too long deliberate.DRYDEN. Power and superiority are so flattering and delightful, that, fraught with temptation, and exposed to danger, as they are, scarcely any virtue is so cautious, or […]

No. 109. Tuesday, April 2, 1751. Gratum est, quod patriae civem populoque dedisti,Si facis, ut patriae sit idoneus, utilis agris,Utilis et bellorum et pacis rebus agendis.Plurimum enim intererit, quibus artibus, et quibus hunc tuMoribus instituasJuv. SAT, xiv. 70. Grateful the gift! a member to the state,If you that member useful shall create;Train’d both to war, […]

No. 110. Saturday, April 6, 1751 At nobis vitae dominum quaerentibus unumLux iter est, et clara dies, et gratia simplex.Spem sequimur, gradimurque fide, fruimurque futuris,Ad quae non veniunt praesentis gaudia vitae,Nec currunt pariter capta, et capienda voluptus.PRUDENTIUS, Cont. Sym. ii. 904. We through this maze of life one Lord obey;Whose light and grace unerring lead […]

No. 111. Tuesday, April 9, 1751. [Greek: phronein gar hoi tacheis, ouk asphaleis.] SOPHOC. Disaster always waits on early wit. It has been observed, by long experience, that late springs produce the greatest plenty. The delay of blooms and fragrance, of verdure and breezes, is for the most part liberally recompensed by the exuberance and […]

No. 119. Tuesday, May 7, 1751. Iliacos intra muros peccatur, et extra.HOR. Lib. i. Ep. ii, 16. Faults lay on either side the Trojan tow’rs.ELPHINSTON. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, As, notwithstanding all that wit, or malice, or pride, or prudence will be able to suggest, men and women must at last pass their lives together, […]

No. 120. Saturday, May 11, 1751. Redditum Cyri solio Phraaten.Dissidens plebi, numero beatorumEiimit virtus, populumque falsisDedocet uti Vocibus.–HOR. Lib. ii. Od. ii. 17. True virtue can the crowd unteachTheir false mistaken forms of speech;Virtue, to crowds a foe profest,Disdains to number with the blestPhraates, by his slaves ador’d,And to the Parthian crown restor’d.FRANCIS. In the […]

No. 121. Tuesday, May 14, 1751. O imitatores, servum pecus! Hor. Lib. i. Ep. xix. 19. Away, ye imitators, servile herd!ELPHINSTON. I have been informed by a letter from one of the universities, that among the youth from whom the next swarm of reasoners is to learn philosophy, and the next flight of beauties to […]

No. 116. Saturday, April 27, 1751. Optat ephippia bos piger: optat arare caballus.HOR. Lib. i. Ep. xiv. 43. Thus the slow ox would gaudy trappings claim;The sprightly horse would plough.–FRANCIS. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, I was the second son of a country gentleman by the daughter of a wealthy citizen of London. My father having […]

No. 117. Tuesday, April 30, 1751. [Greek: Hossan ep Oulumpo memasan Themen autar ep OssaePaelion einosiphullon, in ouranos ambatos eiae.]HOMER, Od.[Greek: L] 314. The gods they challenge, and affect the skies:Heav’d on Olympus tott’ring Ossa stood;On Ossa, Pelion nods with all his wood.POPE. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, Nothing has more retarded the advancement of learning […]

No. 118. Saturday, May 4, 1751. –Omnes illacrymabilesUrgentur, ignotique longaNocte. Hon. Lib. iv. Ode ix. 26. In endless night they sleep, unwept, unknown.FRANCIS. Cicero has, with his usual elegance and magnificence of language, attempted, in his relation of the dream of Scipio, to depreciate those honours for which he himself appears to have panted with […]

No. 115. TUESDAY, APRIL 23, 1751. Quaedam parvu quidem; sed non toleranda maritis.JUV. Sat vi. 184. Some faults, though small, intolerable grow.DRYDEN. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, I sit down, in pursuance of my late engagement, to recount the remaining part of the adventures that befel me in my long quest of conjugal felicity, which, though […]

No. 126. Saturday, June 1, 1751. –Nihil est aliud magnum quam multa minuta.VET. AUCT. Sands form the mountain, moments make the year.YOUNG. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, Among other topicks of conversation which your papers supply, I was lately engaged in a discussion of the character given by Tranquilla of her lover Venustulus, whom, notwithstanding the […]

No. 127. Tuesday, June 4, 1751. Capisti meliust, quam desinis. Ultima primisCedunt: dissimiles hic vir et ille puer.Ovid. Ep. ix. 24. Succeeding years thy early fame destroy;Thou, who began’st a man, wilt end a boy. Politian, a name eminent among the restorers of polite literature, when he published a collection of epigrams, prefixed to many […]

No. 128. Saturday, June 8, 1751. [Greek:Aion d asphalaesOuk egent, out Aiakida para Paelei,Oute par antitheoKadmo legontai man brotonOlbon hupertaton hoiSchein.]PIND. Py. iii. 153. For not the brave, or wise, or great,E’er yet had happiness complete:Nor Peleus, grandson of the sky,Nor Cadmus, scap’d the shafts of pain,Though favour’d by the Pow’rs on high,With every bliss […]

No. 123. TUESDAY, MAY 21, 1751. Quo semet est imbuta recens, servabit odoremTesta din.–HOR. Lib. i. Ep. ii. 69. What season’d first the vessel, keeps the taste.CREECH. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, Though I have so long found myself deluded by projects of honour and distinction, that I often resolve to admit them no more into […]

No. 124. Saturday, May 25, 1751. –Taciturn sylvas inter reptare salubres,Curantem quicquid dignim sapiente bonoque est?HOR. Lib. i. Ep. iv. 4. To range in silence through each healthful wood,And muse what’s worthy of the wise and good.ELPHINSTON. The season of the year is now come, in which the theatres are shut, and the card-tables forsaken; […]

No. 125. Tuesday, May 28, 1751. Descriptas servare vices, operumque colores,Cur ego, si nequeo ignoroque, poeta salutor?HOR. De Ar. Poet. 86. But if, through weakness, or my want of art,I can’t to every different style impartThe proper strokes and colours it may claim,Why am I honour’d with a poet’s name?FRANCIS. It is one of the […]

No. 122. Saturday, May 18, 1751. Nescio qua natale solum dulcedine captosDucit.OVID, Ex Pon. Lib. i. Ep. iii. 35. By secret charms our native land attracts. Nothing is more subject to mistake and disappointment than anticipated judgment concerning the easiness or difficulty of any undertaking, whether we form our opinion from the performances of others, […]

No. 132. SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 1751. –Dociles imitandisTurpibus ac pravis omnes sumus.–JUV. Sat. xiv. 40. The mind of mortals, in perverseness strong,Imbibes with dire docility the wrong. TO THE RAMBLER. MR. RAMBLER, I was bred a scholar, and after the usual course of education, found it necessary to employ for the support of life that […]

No. 133. Tuesday, June 25, 1751. Magna quidem, sacris quae dat praecepta libellisVictrix fortune sapientia. Dicimus autemHos quoque felices, qui ferre incommoda vitae,Nec jactare jugum, vita didicere magistra.Juv. Sat. xiii. 19. Let Stoicks ethicks’ haughty rules advanceTo combat fortune, and to conquer chance:Yet happy those, though not so learn’d are thought,Whom life instructs, who by […]

No. 134. Saturday, June 29, 1751. Quis scit an adjiciant hodiernae crastina summaeTempora Dii superi?HOR. Lib. iv. Ode vii. 16. Who knows if Heav’n, with ever-bounteous pow’r,Shall add to-morrow to the present hour?FRANCIS. I sat yesterday morning employed in deliberating on which, among the various subjects that occurred to my imagination, I should bestow the […]

No. 129. Tuesday, June 11. 1751. –Nunc, O nunc, Daedale, dixit,Materiam, qua sis ingeniosus, habes.Possidet en terras, et possidet aequara, Minos:Nec tellus nostrae, nec patet undo fugae.Restat iter coelo: tentabimus ire.Da veniam caepto, Jupiter alte, meo.OVID. Ar. Am. Lib. ii. 33. Now, Daedalus, behold, by fate assign’d,A task proportion’d to thy mighty mind!Unconquer’d bars on […]

No. 130. Saturday, June 15, 1751. Non sic prata novo vere decentiaAEstatis calidtae dispoliat vapor:Saevit solstitio cum medius dies;–Ut fulgor teneris qui radiat genisMomento rapitur! nullaque non diesFormosi spolium corporis abstulit.Res est forma fugax: quis sapiens bonoConfidat fragili?SENECA, Hippol. act. ii. 764. Not faster in the summer’s rayThe spring’s frail beauty fades away,Than anguish and […]

No. 131. Tuesday, June 18, 1751. –Fatis accede, Deisque,Et cole felices, miseros fuge. sidera terraeUt distant, ut flamma mari, sic utile recto.LUCAN. Lib. viii. 486. Still follow where auspicious fates invite;Caress the happy, and the wretched slight.Sooner shall jarring elements unite,Than truth with gain, than interest with right.F. LEWIS. There is scarcely any sentiment in […]

No. 139. Tuesday, July 16, 1751. –Sit quod vis simplex duntanat et unum.Hor. Art. Poet. 23. Let ev’ry piece be simple and be one. It is required by Aristotle to the perfection of a tragedy, and is equally necessary to every other species of regular composition, that it should have a beginning, a middle, and […]

No. 141. Tuesday, July 23, 1751. Hilarisque, tamen cum pondere, virtus.STAT. Greatness with ease, and gay severity. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, Politicians have long observed, that the greatest events may be often traced back to slender causes. Petty competition or casual friendship, the prudence of a slave, or the garrulity of a woman, have hindered […]

No. 142. Saturday, July 27, 1751. [Greek: Entha d aner eniaue pelorios––oude, met allousPoleit, all apaneuthen eon athemistia ede.Kai gar Oaum etetukto pelorion oude epskeiAndri ge sitophagps.]HOMER. Od. [Greek: I’.] 187. A giant shepherd here his flock maintainsFar from the rest, and solitary reigns,In shelter thick of horrid shade reclin’d;And gloomy mischiefs labour in the […]

No. 135. Tuesday, July 2, 1751. Coelum, non animum, mutant. HOR. Lib. i. Ep. xi. 27. Place may be chang’d; but who can change his mind? It is impossible to take a view on any side, or observe any of the various classes that form the great community of the world, without discovering the influence […]

No. 136. Saturday, July 6, 1751. [Greek: Echthrus gar moi keimos, omos aidao pulusin,Os ch eteron men keuthei eni phresin, allo de bazei.]HOMER, [Greek: I’.] 313. Who dares think one thing, and another tell,My heart detests him as the gates of Hell.POPE. The regard which they whose abilities are employed in the works of imagination […]

No. 137. Tuesday, July 9, 1751. Dum vitant stulti vitia, in contraria currunt.Hor. Lib. i. Sat. ii. 24. –Whilst fools one vice condemn,They run into the opposite extreme.CREECH. That wonder is the effect of ignorance, has been often observed. The awful stillness of attention, with which the mind is overspread at the first view of […]

No. 138. Saturday, July 13, 1751. O tantum libeat mecum tibi sordida rura,Atque humiles habitare casas, et figere cervos.VIRG. EC. ii 28. With me retire, and leave the pomp of courtsFor humble cottages and rural sports. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, Though the contempt with which you have treated the annual migrations of the gay and […]

No. 147. Tuesday, August 13, 1751. Tu nihil invita dices faciesve Minerva.Hon. Ar. Poet. 385. –You are of too quick a sight,Not to discern which way your talent lies.ROSCOMMON. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, As little things grow great by continual accumulation, I hope you will not think the dignity of your character impaired by an […]

No. 148. Saturday, August 17, 1751. Me pater saevis oneret catenis,Quod viro clemens misero peperci:Me vel extremis Numidarum in agrosClasse releget.HOR. Lib. iii. Od. xi. 45. Me let my father load with chains,Or banish to Numidia’s farthest plains!My crime, that I, a loyal wife,In kind compassion sav’d my husband’s life.FRANCIS. Politicians remark, that no oppression […]

No. 149. Tuesday, August 20, 1751. Quod non sit Pylades hoc tempore, non sit Orestes,Miraris? Pylades, Marce, bibebat idem.Nec melior panis, turdusve dabatur Oresti:Sed par, atque eadem coena duobus erat.–Te Cadmea Tyrus, me pinguis Gallia vestit:Vis te purpureum, Marce, sagatus amem?Ut praestem Pyladen, aliquis mihi praestet Orestem.Hoc non fit verbis, Marce: ut ameris, ama.MART. Lib. […]

No. 143. Tuesday, July 30, 1751. –Moveat cornicula risumFurtivis nudata coloribus.–HOR. Lib. i. Ep. i. 19. Lest when the birds their various colours claim,Stripp’d of his stolen pride, the crow forlornShould stand the laughter of the publick scorn.FRANCIS. Among the innumerable practices by which interest or envy have taught those who live upon literary fame […]

No. 144. Saturday, August 3, 1751. –Daphnidis arcumFregisti et calamos: quae tu, perverse Menalea,Et quum vidisti puero donata, dolebas;Et si non aliqua nocuisses, mortuus esses.VIRG. EC. iii. 12. The bow of Daphnis and the shafts you broke;When the fair boy receiv’d the gift of right;And but for mischief, you had dy’d for spite.DRYDEN. It is […]

No. 145. Tuesday, August 6, 1751. Non, si priores Maeonius tenetSedes Homerus, Pindaricae latent,Ceaeque, et Alcaei minaces,Stesichorique graves Camoenae.HOR. Lib. iv. Od. ix. 5. What though the muse her Homer thronesHigh above all the immortal quire;Nor Pindar’s raptures she disowns,Nor hides the plaintive Caean lyre;Alcaeus strikes the tyrant soul with dread,Nor yet is grave Stesichorus […]

Rambler 146

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No. 146. Saturday, August 10, 1751. Sunt illic duo, tresve, qui revolvantNostrarum tineas ineptiarum;Sed cum sponsio, fabultaeque lassaeDe scarpo fuerint incitato.MART. ‘Tis possible that one or twoThese fooleries of mine may view;But then the bettings must be o’er,Nor Crab or Childers talk’d of more.F. LEWIS. None of the projects or designs which exercise the mind […]

No. 153. Tuesday, September 3, 1751 Turba Remi? Sequitur Fortunam, ut semper, et oditDamnatos.JUV. Sat. x. 73. The fickle crowd with fortune comes and goes;Wealth still finds followers, and misfortune foes. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, There are occasions on which all apology is rudeness. He that has an unwelcome message to deliver, may give some […]

No. 154. Saturday, September 7, 1751. –Tibi res antiquae laudis et artisIngredior, sanctos ausus recludere fontes.VIR. Geo. ii. 174. For thee my tuneful accents will I raise,And treat of arts disclos’d in ancient days;Once more unlock for thee the sacred spring.DRYDEN. The direction of Aristotle to those that study politicks, is first to examine and […]

No. 155. Tuesday, September 10, 1751. –Steriles transmisimus annos,Haec aevi mihi prima dies, haec limina vitae.STAT. i. 362. –Our barren years are past;Be this of life the first, of sloth the last.ELPHINSTON. No weakness of the human mind has more frequently incurred animadversion, than the negligence with which men overlook their own faults, however flagrant, […]

No. 150. Saturday, August 24, 1751. —O munera nondumIntellecta Deum!LUCAN. –Thou chiefest good!Bestow’d by Heav’n, but seldom understood.ROWE. As daily experience makes it evident that misfortunes are unavoidably incident to human life, that calamity will neither be repelled by fortitude, nor escaped by flight; neither awed by greatness, nor eluded by obscurity; philosophers have endeavoured […]

No. 151. Tuesday, August 27, 1751. [Greek:–Amphi d anthro-pon phresin amplakiaiAnarithmatoi kremantaiTouto d amachanon eurein,O ti nun, kai en teleu-ta, phertaton andri tuchein.]PINDAR, Ol. vii. 43. But wrapt in error is the human mind,And human bliss is ever insecure:Know we what fortune yet remains behind?Know we how long the present shall endure?WEST. The writers of […]

No. 152. Saturady, August 31, 1751. –Tristia maestumVullum verba decent, iratum plena minarum.HOR. De Ar. Poet. 105. Disastrous words can best disaster shew;In angry phrase the angry passions glow.ELPHINSTON. “It was the wisdom,” says Seneca, “of ancient times, to consider what is most useful as most illustrious.” If this rule be applied to works of […]

No. 159. Tuesday, September 24, 1751. Sunt verba et voces, quibus hunc lenire doloremPossis, et magnuum morbi deponere partem.HOR. Ep. Lib. i. 34. The power of words, and soothing sounds, appeaseThe raging pain, and lessen the disease.FRANCIS. The imbecility with which Verecundulus complains that the presence of a numerous assembly freezes his faculties, is particularly […]

No. 160. Saturday, September 28, 1751 –Inter se convenit ursis. JUV. Sat. xv. 164. Beasts of each kind their fellows spare;Bear lives in amity with bear. “The world,” says Locke, “has people of all sorts.” As in the general hurry produced by the superfluities of some, and necessities of others, no man needs to stand […]

No. 161. Tuesday, October 1, 1751. [Greek: Oiae gar phullon geneae, toiaede kai Andron.]HOM. Il. [Greek: T.] Frail as the leaves that quiver on the sprays,Like them man flourishes, like them decays. MR. RAMBLER. SIR, You have formerly observed that curiosity often terminates in barren knowledge, and that the mind is prompted to study and […]

No. 156. Saturday, September 14, 1751. Nunquam aliud Natura, aliud Sapientia dicit.Juv. Sat. xiv. 321. For Wisdom ever echoes Nature’s voice. Every government, say the politicians, is perpetually degenerating towards corruption, from which it must be rescued at certain periods by the resuscitation of its first principles, and the re-establishment of its original constitution. Every […]

No. 157. Tuesday, September 17, 1751. [Greek:–Oi aidosGinetai ae t’ andras mega sinetai aed’ oninaesi.]HOM. Il. [Greek: O.] 44. Shame greatly hurts or greatly helps mankind.ELPHINSTON. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, Though one of your correspondents has presumed to mention with some contempt that presence of attention and easiness of address, which the polite have long […]

No. 158. Saturady, September 21, 1751. Grammatici certunt, et adhuc sub judice lis est.HOR. Ar. Poet. 78. –Criticks yet contend,And of their vain disputings find no end.FRANCIS. Criticism, though dignified from the earliest ages by the labours of men eminent for knowledge and sagacity, and, since the revival of polite literature, the favourite study of […]

No. 168. Saturday, October 26, 1751. –DecipitFrons prima multos: rara mens intelligit,Quod interiore condidit cura angulo.PHAEDRUS, Lib. iv. Fab. i. 5. The tinsel glitter, and the specious mien,Delude the most; few pry behind the scene. It has been observed by Boileau, that “a mean or common thought expressed in pompous diction, generally pleases more than […]

No. 165. Tuesday, October 15, 1751. [Greek: Aen neos, alla penaes nun gaeron, plousios eimiO monos ek panton oiktros en amphoterois,Os tote men chraesthai dunamaen, hopot oud’ en eichon.Nun d’ opote chraesthai mae dunamai, tot echo.]ANTIPHILUS. Young was I once and poor, now rich and old;A harder case than mine was never told;Blest with the […]

No. 166. Saturday, October 19, 1751. Semper, eris pauper si pauper es, Aemiliane:Dantur opes nullis nunc nisi divitibus.MART. Lib. v. Ep. xxxi. Once poor, my friend, still poor you must remain,The rich alone have all the means of gain.EDW. CAVF. No complaint has been more frequently repeated in all ages than that of the neglect […]

No. 167. Tuesday, October 22, 1751. Candida perpetuo reside, Concordia, lecto,Tamque pari semper sit Venus aequa jugo.Diligat illa senem quondam: sed et ipsa marito,Tum quoque cum fuerit, non videatur, anus.MART. Lib, w. xii. 7. Their nuptial bed may smiling concord dress,And Venus still the happy union bless!Wrinkled with age, may mutual love and truthTo their […]

No. 162. Saturday, October 5, 1751. Orbus es, et locuples, et Bruto consule natus,Esse tibi veras credis amicitias?Sunt verae: sed quas juvenis, quas pauper habebas:Qui novus est, mortem diligit ille tuam.MART. Lib. xi. Ep. 44. What! old, and rich, and childless too,And yet believe your friends are true?Truth might perhaps to those belong,To those who […]

No. 163. Tueday, October 8, 1751. Mitte superba pati fastidia, spemque caducamDespice; vive tibi, nam moriere tibi.SENECA. Bow to no patron’s insolence; relyOn no frail hopes, in freedom live and die.F. LEWIS. None of the cruelties exercised by wealth and power upon indigence and dependance is more mischievous in its consequences, or more frequently practised […]

No. 164. Saturday, October 12, 1751. –Vitium, Gaure, Catonis habes.MART. Lib. ii. Ep. lxxxix. 2. Gaurus pretends to Cato’s fame;And proves–by Cato’s vice, his claim. Distinction is so pleasing to the pride of man, that a great part of the pain and pleasure of life arises from the gratification or disappointment of an incessant wish […]

No. 172. Saturday, November 9, 1751. Saepe rogare soles, qualis sim, Prisce, futurus,Si fiam locuples, simque repente potens.Quemquam posse putas mores narrare futuros?Die mihi, si fias tu leo, qualis eris?MART. Lib. xii. Ep. 93. Priscus, you’ve often ask’d me how I’d live,Should fate at once both wealth and honour give.What soul his future conduct can […]

No. 173. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1751. Quo virtus, quo ferat error.HOR. De Ar. Poet. 308. Now say, where virtue stops, and vice begins? As any action or posture, long continued, will distort and disfigure the limbs; so the mind likewise is crippled and contracted by perpetual application to the same set of ideas. It is […]

No. 174. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1751. Faenum habet in cornu, longe fuge; dummodo risumExcutiat sibi, non hic cuiquam parcet amico.HOR. Lib. i. Sat. iv. 34. Yonder he drives–avoid that furious beast:If he may have his jest, he never caresAt whose expense; nor friend nor patron spares.FRANCIS. TO THE RAMBLER. MR. RAMBLER, The laws of social […]

No. 175. Tuesday, November 19, 1751. Rari quippe boni: numerus vix est totidem quotThebarum portae, vel divitis ostia Nili.Juv. Sat. xiii. 26. Good men are scarce; the just are thinly sown:They thrive but ill, nor can they last when grown;And should we count them, and our store compile,Yet Thebes more gates could show, more mouths […]

No. 169. Tuesday, October, 1751. Nec pluteum caedit, nec demorsos sapit ungues.PER. Sat. i. 106. No blood from bitten nails those poems drew;But churn’d, like spittle, from the lips they flew.DRYDEN. Natural historians assert, that whatever is formed for long duration arrives slowly to its maturity. Thus the firmest timber is of tardy growth, and […]

No. 170. Saturday, November 2, 1751. Confiteor; si quid prodest delicta fateri.OVID. Am. Lib. i. El. iv. 3. I grant the charge; forgive the fault confess’d. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, I am one of those beings from whom many, that melt at the sight of all other misery, think it meritorious to withhold relief; one […]

No. 171. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1751. Taedet coeli convexa tueri.VIRG. AEn. iv. 451. Dark is the sun, and loathsome is the day. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, Misella now sits down to continue her narrative. I am convinced that nothing would more powerfully preserve youth from irregularity, or guard inexperience from seduction, than a just description […]

No. 180. Saturday, December 7, 1751. [Greek: Taut eidos sophos isthi, mataen d’ Epikouron easonPoy to kenon zaetein, kai tines ai monades.]AUTOMEDON. On life, on morals, be thy thoughts employ’d;Leave to the schools their atoms and their void. It is somewhere related by Le Clerc, that a wealthy trader of good understanding, having the common […]

No. 181. Tuesday, December 10, 1751. –Neu fluitem dubue spe pendulus horae.HOR. Lib. i. Ep. xviii. 110. Nor let me float in fortune’s pow’r,Dependent on the future hour.FRANCIS. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, As I have passed much of my life in disquiet and suspense, and lost many opportunities of advantage by a passion which I […]

No. 182. Saturday, December 14, 1751 –Dives qui fieri vult,Et cilo vult fieri.–JUV. Sat. xiv. 176 The lust of wealth can never bear delay. It has been observed in a late paper, that we are unreasonably desirous to separate the goods of life from those evils which Providence has connected with them, and to catch […]

No. 177. Tuesday, November 26, 1751. Turpe est difficiles habere nugas.MART. Lib. ii. Ep. lxxxvi. 9. Those things which now seem frivolous and slight,Will be of serious consequence to you,When they have made you once ridiculous.ROSCOMMON. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, When I was, at the usual time, about to enter upon the profession to which […]

No. 178. Saturday, November 30, 1751. Purs sanitatis velle sanuria fuit.SENECA. To yield to remedies is half the cure. Pythagoras is reported to have required from those whom he instructed in philosophy a probationary silence of five years. Whether this prohibition of speech extended to all the parts of this time, as seems generally to […]

No. 179. Tuesday, December 3, 1751. Perpetuo risu pulmonem agitare solebat.JUV. Sat. x. 33. Democritus would feed his spleen, and shakeHis sides and shoulders till he felt them ake.DRYDEN Every man, says Tully, has two characters; one which he partakes with all mankind, and by which he is distinguished from brute animals; another which discriminates […]

No. 176. Saturday, November 23, 1751 —Naso suspendis adunco. HOR. Lib. i. Sat. vi. 5. On me you turn the nose.– There are many vexatious accidents and uneasy situations which raise little compassion for the sufferer, and which no man but those whom they immediately distress can regard with seriousness. Petty mischiefs, that have no […]

No. 187. Tuesday, December 31, 1751. Non illum nostri possunt mutare labores;Non si frigoribus mediis Hebrunique bibamus,Sithoniasque nives hyemis subeamus aquosae:–Ominia vincit amor.Vinc. Ec. x. 64. Love alters not for us his hard decrees,Not though beneath the Thracian clime we freeze,Or the mild bliss of temperate skies forego,And in raid winter tread Sithonian snow:–Love conquers […]

No. 188. Saturday, January 4, 1751. Si te colo, Sexte, non amabo.MART. Lib. ii. Ep. lv. 33. The more I honour thee, the less I love. None of the desires dictated by vanity is more general, or less blamable, than that of being distinguished for the arts of conversation. Other accomplishments may be possessed without […]

No. 189. Tuesday, January 7, 1752. Quod tam grande Sophos clamat tibi turba togata;Non tu, Pomponi; caena diserta tua est.MART. Lib. vi. Ep. xlviii. Resounding plaudits though the crowd have rung;Thy treat is eloquent, and not thy tongue.F. LEWIS. The world scarcely affords opportunities of making any observation more frequently, than on false claims to […]

No. 184. Saturday, December 21, 1751 Permittes ipsis expendere numinibus, quidConveniat nobis, rebusque sit utile nostris.JUV. Sat. x. 347. Intrust thy fortune to the pow’rs above;Leave them to manage for thee, and to grantWhat their unerring wisdom sees thee want.DRYDEN. As every scheme of life, so every form of writing, has its advantages and inconveniencies, […]

No. 185. Tuesday, December 24, 1751. At vindicta bonum vita jucundius ipsa,Nempe hoc indocti.–Chrysippus non dicet idem, nec mite ThaletisIngenium, dulcique senex vicinus Hymetto,Qui partem adceptae saeva inter vincla CicutaeAdcusatori nollet dare.––Quippe minutiSemper et infirmi est animi exiguique voluptasUltio. JUV. Sat. xiii. 180. But O! revenge is sweet.Thus think the crowd; who, eager to engage,Take […]

No. 186. Saturday, December 28, 1751. Pone me, pigris ubi nulla campisArbor aestica recreatur aura–Dulce ridentem Lalagen amabo,Dulce loquentem.HOR. Lib. i. Ode xxii. 17. Place me where never summer breezeUnbinds the glebe, or warms the trees;Where ever lowering clouds appear,And angry Jove deforms th’ inclement year:Love and the nymph shall charm my toils,The nymph, who […]

No. 183. Tuesday, December 17, 1751. Nidla fides regni sociis, omnisque potestasImpatiens consortis erit.LUCAN. Lib. i. 92. No faith of partnership dominion owns;Still discord hovers o’er divided thrones. The hostility perpetually exercised between one man and another, is caused by the desire of many for that which only few can possess. Every man would be […]

No. 194. Saturday, January 25, 1752. Si damnosa senem juvat alea, ludit et heresBullatus, parvoque eadem movet arma fritillo.JUV. Sat. xiv. 4. If gaming does an aged sire entice,Then my young master swiftly learns the vice,And shakes in hanging sleeves the little box and dice.J. DRYDEN, jun. TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, That vanity which keeps […]

No. 195. Tuesday, January 28, 1752. Nescit equo rudisHaerere ingenuus puer,Venarique timet; ludere doctior,Seu Graeco jubeas trocho,Seu malis vetita legibus alea.HOR. Lib. iii. Ode xxiv. 54. Nor knows our youth, of noblest race,To mount the manag’d steed, or urge the chace;More skill’d in the mean arts of vice,The whirling troque, or law-forbidden dice.FRANCIS. TO THE […]

No. 191. Tuesday, January 14, 1752. Cereus in vitium flecli, monitoribus asper.HOR. Art. Poet. 163. The youth–Yielding like wax, th’ impressive folly bears;Rough to reproof, and slow to future cares.FRANCIS. TO THE RAMBLER. DEAR MR. RAMBLER, I have been four days confined to my chamber by a cold, which has already kept me from three […]

No. 192. Saturday, January 18, 1752. [Greek:Genos ouden eis Erota;Sophiae, tropos pateitai;Monon arguron blepousin.Apoloito protos autosHo ton arguron philaesas.Dia touton ou tokaees,Dai touton ou tokaees;Polemoi, phonoi di auton.To de cheiron, ollymesthaDia touton oi philountes.]ANACREON. [Greek: ODLI Ms.] 5. Vain the noblest birth would prove,Nor worth or wit avail in love;‘Tis gold alone succeeds–by goldThe venal […]

No. 193. Tuesday, January 21, 1752. Laudis amore tumes? sunt certa piacula, quoe teTer pure lecto poterunt recreare libello.HOR. Lib. i. Ep. i. 36. Or art thou vain? books yield a certain spellTo stop thy tumour; you shall cease to swellWhen you have read them thrice, and studied well.CREECH. Whatever is universally desired, will be […]

No. 190. Saturday, December 11, 1752. Ploravere suis non respondere favoremSperatum meritis.–HOR. Lib. ii. Ep. i. 9. Henry and Alfred–Clos’d their long glories with a sigh, to findTh’ unwilling gratitude of base mankind.POPE. Among the emirs and visiers, the sons of valour and of wisdom, that stand at the corners of the Indian throne, to […]

No. 200. Saturday, February 15, 1752. Nemo petit, modicis quae mittebantur amicisA Seneca, quae Piso bonus, quae Cotta solebutLargiri; namque et titulis, et fascibus olimMajor habebatur donandi gloria: solumPoscimus, ut caenes civiliter. Hoc face, el esto,Esto, ut nunc multi, dives tibi, pauper amicis.JUV. Sat. v. 108. No man expects (for who so much a sotWho […]

No. 201. Tuesday, February 18, 1752. –Sanctus haberiJustitiaeque tenat factis dictisque mereris,Adnosco procerem.JUV. Sat. Lib. viii. 24. Convince the world that you’re devout and true;Be just in all you say, and all you do;Whatever be your birth, you’re sure to beA peer of the first magnitude to me.STEPNEY. Boyle has observed, that the excellency of […]

No. 202. Saturday, February 22, 1752. [Greek: Pros apanta deilos estin o penaes pragmata,Kai pantas autou kataphronein upolambaneiO de metrios pratton periskegesteronApanta t aniara, dampria, phepei.]CALLIMACHUS. From no affliction is the poor exempt,He thinks each eye surveys him with contempt;Unmanly poverty subdues the heart,Cankers each wound, and sharpen’s[1] ev’ry dart.F. LEWIS.[1] Transcriber’s note: sic. Among […]

No. 197. Tuesday, February 4, 1752. Cujus vulturis hoc erit cadaver?MART. Lib. vi. Ep. lxii. 4. Say, to what vulture’s share this carcase falls?F. LEWIS TO THE RAMBLER. SIR, I belong to an order of mankind, considerable at least for their number, to which your notice has never been formally extended, though equally entitled to […]

No. 198. Saturday, February 8, 1752 Nil mihi das vivus: dicis, post fata daturum.Si non es stultus, scis, Maro, quid cupiam.MART. Lib. xi. 67. You’ve told me, Maro, whilst you live,You’d not a single penny give,But that whene’er you chance to die,You’d leave a handsome legacy:You must be mad beyond redress,If my next wish you […]

No. 199. Tuesday, February 11, 1752. Decolor, obscurus, cilis. Non ille repexamCaesariem Regum, nec Candida virginis ornatColla, nec insigni splendet per cingula morsu:Sed nova si nigri videas miracula suai,Tum pulcros superat cultus, et quldquid EvisIndus litoribus rubra scrutatur in alga.CLAUDIANUS, xlviii. 10. Obscure, unpris’d, and dark, the magnet lies,Nor lures the search of avaricious eyes,Nor […]

No. 196. Saturday, February 1, 1752. Multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum,Multa recedentes adimunt.— HOR. De Ar. Poet. 175. The blessings flowing in with life’s full tide,Down with our ebb of life decreasing glide.FRANCIS. Baxter, in the narrative of his own life, has enumerated several opinions, which, though he thought them evident and incontestable at […]

No. 208. Saturday, March 14, 1752. [Greek: Aerakleitos ego ti me o kato helket amousoi,Ouch hymin eponoun, tois de m’ episgamenoi;Eis emoi anthropos trismurioi; oi d’ anarithmoiOudeis; taut audo kai para Persephonae]DIOG. LAERT. Begone, ye blockheads, Heraclitus cries,And leave my labours to the learn’d and wise;By wit, by knowledge, studious to be read,I scorn the […]

No. 206. Saturday, March 7, 1752. –Propositi nondum pudet, atque eadem est mens,Ut bona summa putes, aliena vivere quadra.JUV. Sat. v. 1. But harden’d by affronts, and still the same,Lost to all sense of honour and of fame,Thou yet canst love to haunt the great man’s board,And think no supper good but with a lord.BOWLES. […]

No. 207. Tuesday, March 10, 1752. Solve senescentem mature sanus equum, nePeccet ad extremum ridendus.–HOR. Lib. i. Ep. i. 8. The voice of reason cries with winning force,Loose from the rapid car your aged horse,Lest, in the race derided, left behind,He drag his jaded limbs, and burst his wind. FRANCIS. Such is the emptiness of […]

No. 203. Tuesday, February 25, 1752. Cum volet illa dies, quae nil nisi corporis hujusJus habet, incerti spatium mihi finiat avi.OVID. Met. xv. 873. Come, soon or late, death’s undetermin’d day,This mortal being only can decay.WELSTED. It seems to be the fate of man to seek all his consolations in futurity. The time present is […]

No. 204. Saturday, February 29, 1752. Nemo tam divos habuit faventes,Crastinum ut possit sibi polliceit.SENECA. Of heaven’s protection who can beSo confident to utter this?–To-morrow I will spend in bliss.F. LEWIS. Seged, lord of Ethiopia, to the inhabitants of the world: To the sons of Presumption, humility and fear; and to the daughters of Sorrow, […]

No. 205. Tuesday, March 3, 1752. Volat ambiguisMobilis alis hora, nec ulliPraestat velox Fortuna fidem.SENECA. Hippol. 1141. On fickle wings the minutes haste,And fortune’s favours never last.F. LEWIS. On the fourth morning Seged rose early, refreshed with sleep, vigorous with health, and eager with expectation. He entered the garden, attended by the princes and ladies […]

From Portsmouth to Kingston upon Thames, through Southampton, Wiltshire, etc. with miscellaneous thoughts, moral and religious; in sixty-four letters: addressed to two ladies of the partie. To which is added, an Essay On Tea, considered as pernicious to health, obstructing industry, and impoverishing the nation; with an account of its growth, and great consumption in […]

REVIEW OF FOUR LETTERS FROM SIR ISAAC NEWTON TO DR BENTLEY Containing some arguments in proof of a Deity. It will certainly be required, that notice should be taken of a book, however small, written on such a subject, by such an author. Yet I know not whether these letters will be very satisfactory; for […]

[1] The first effect, which this book has upon the reader, is that of disgusting him with the author’s vanity. He endeavours to persuade the world, that here are some new treasures of literature spread before his eyes; that something is discovered, which, to this happy day, had been concealed in darkness; that, by his […]

The universal regard, which is paid by mankind to such accounts of publick transactions as have been written by those who were engaged in them, may be, with great probability, ascribed to that ardent love of truth, which nature has kindled in the breast of man, and which remains even where every other laudable passion […]

LETTER ON DU HALDE’S HISTORY OF CHINA, 1738. There are few nations in the world more talked of, or less known, than the Chinese. The confused and imperfect account which travellers have given of their grandeur, their sciences, and their policy, have, hitherto, excited admiration, but have not been sufficient to satisfy even a superficial […]

Account of a book entitled an historical and critical enquiry into the evidence produced by the earls of Moray and Morton against Mary queen of Scots, etc. With an examination of the reverend Dr. Robertson’s Dissertation, and Mr. Hume’s History, with respect to that evidence. We live in an age, in which there is much […]

REVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON, FOR IMPROVING OF NATURAL KNOWLEDGE, FROM ITS FIRST RISE; In which the most considerable papers communicated to the society, which have, hitherto, not been published, are inserted, in their proper order, as a supplement to the Philosophical Transactions. By Thomas Birch, D. D. secretary to […]

REVIEW OF A FREE ENQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF EVIL [1] This is a treatise, consisting of six letters, upon a very difficult and important question, which, I am afraid, this author’s endeavours will not free from the perplexity which has entangled the speculatists of all ages, and which must always continue while […]

REVIEW [1] OF AN ESSAY ON THE WRITINGS AND GENIUS OF POPE. This is a very curious and entertaining miscellany of critical remarks and literary history. Though the book promises nothing but observations on the writings of Pope, yet no opportunity is neglected of introducing the character of any other writer, or the mention of […]

REPLY TO A PAPER IN THE GAZETTEER OF MAY 26, 1757 [1]. It is observed, in Le Sage’s Gil Bias, that an exasperated author is not easily pacified. I have, therefore, very little hope of making my peace with the writer of the Eight Days’ Journey; indeed so little, that I have long deliberated, whether […]

INTRODUCTION TO THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE,Appointed to manage the contributions begun at London, December 18, 1758, for clothing French prisoners of war. The committee intrusted with the money, contributed to the relief of the subjects of France, now prisoners in the British dominions, here lay before the publick an exact account of all the […]

Observations On The Treaty between his Britannick majesty and imperial majesty of all the Russias, signed at Moscow, Dec. 11, 1742; the treaty between his Britannick majesty and the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, signed June 18, 1755; and the treaty between his Britannick majesty and her imperial majesty of all the Russias, signed at St. […]

Written in the year 1756. The present system of English politicks may properly be said to have taken rise in the reign of queen Elizabeth. At this time the protestant religion was established, which naturally allied us to the reformed state, and made all the popish powers our enemies. We began in the same reign […]

The time is now come, in which every Englishman expects to be informed of the national affairs, and in which he has a right to have that expectation gratified. For whatever may be urged by ministers, or those whom vanity or interest make the followers of ministers, concerning the necessity of confidence in our governours, […]

Marmor Norfolciense; or, an essay on an ancient prophetical inscription, in monkish rhyme, lately discovered near Lynn, in Norfolk. By Probus Britannicus. In Norfolk, near the town of Lynn, in a field, which an ancient tradition of the country affirms to have been once a deep lake, or meer, and which appears, from authentick records, […]

An answer [1] to the resolutions and address of the American congress. 1775. In all the parts of human knowledge, whether terminating in science merely speculative, or operating upon life, private or civil, are admitted some fundamental principles, or common axioms, which, being-generally received, are little doubted, and, being little doubted, have been rarely proved. […]

The Patriot

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ADDRESSED TO THE ELECTORS OF GREAT BRITAIN. 1774. They bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,Yet still revolt when truth would set them free;License they mean, when they cry liberty,For who loves that must first be wise and good. MILTON. To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our […]

[The following thoughts were published in 1771; from materials furnished to the author by the ministry. His description of the miseries of war is most eloquently persuasive, and his invectives against the opposition, and their mysterious champion, abound with the most forcible and poignant satire. In a letter to Mr. Langton, from Johnson, we find […]

[Note: On Johnson’s character, as a political writer, we cannot dwell with pleasure, since we cannot speak of it with praise. In the following pamphlets, however, though we cannot honestly subscribe to their doctrines, we must admire the same powers of composition, the same play of imagination, the same keen sarcasm and indignant reproof, that […]

By those who have compared the military genius of the English with that of the French nation, it is remarked, that “the French officers will always lead, if the soldiers will follow;” and that “the English soldiers will always follow, if their officers will lead.” In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be […]


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Having not been able to procure materials for a complete life of Mr. Barretier, and being, nevertheless, willing to gratify the curiosity justly raised in the publick by his uncommon attainments, we think the following extracts of letters written by his father, proper to be inserted in our collection, as they contain many remarkable passages, […]

Francis Drake was the son of a clergyman, in Devonshire, who being inclined to the doctrine of the protestants, at that time much opposed by Henry the eighth, was obliged to fly from his place of residence into Kent, for refuge, from the persecution raised against him, and those of the same opinion, by the […]


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The following account of the late Dr. Boerhaave, so loudly celebrated, and so universally lamented through the whole learned world, will, we hope, be not unacceptable to our readers: we could have made it much larger, by adopting flying reports, and inserting unattested facts: a close adherence to certainty has contracted our narrative, and hindered […]

Father Paul, whose name, before he entered into the monastick life, was Peter Sarpi, was born at Venice, August 14, 1552. His father followed merchandise, but with so little success, that, at his death, he left his family very ill provided for; but under the care of a mother, whose piety was likely to bring […]


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CHEYNEL [54]. There is always this advantage in contending with illustrious adversaries, that the combatant is equally immortalized by conquest or defeat. He that dies by the sword of a hero will always be mentioned, when the acts of his enemy are mentioned. The man, of whose life the following account is offered to the […]


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SYDENHAM [52]. Thomas Sydenham was born in the year 1624, at Windford Eagle, in Dorsetshire, where his father, William Sydenham, esq. had a large fortune. Under whose care he was educated, or in what manner he passed his childhood, whether he made any early discoveries of a genius peculiarly adapted to the study of nature, […]


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Peter Burman was born at Utrecht, on the 26th day of June, 1668. The family from which he descended has, for several generations, produced men of great eminence for piety and learning; and his father, who was professor of divinity in the university, and pastor of the city of Utrech’t, was equally celebrated for the […]


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MORIN [47]. Lewis Morin was born at Mans, on the 11th of July, 1635, of parents eminent for their piety. He was the eldest of sixteen children; a family to which their estate bore no proportion, and which, in persons less resigned to providence, would have caused great uneasiness and anxiety. His parents omitted nothing […]



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It often happens to writers, that they are known only by their works; the incidents of a literary life are seldom observed, and, therefore, seldom recounted: but Ascham has escaped the common fate by the friendship of Edward Grauut, the learned master of Westminster school, who devoted an oration to his memory, and has marked […]


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Though the writer of the following essays [64] seems to have had the fortune, common among men of letters, of raising little curiosity after his private life, and has, therefore, few memorials preserved of his felicities and misfortunes; yet, because an edition of a posthumous work appears imperfect and neglected, without some account of the […]

King Of Prussia

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Charles Frederick, the present king of Prussia, whose actions and designs now keep Europe in attention, is the eldest son of Frederick William, by Sophia Dorothea, daughter of George the first, king of England. He was born January 24, 1711-12. Of his early years nothing remarkable has been transmitted to us. As he advanced towards […]


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CAVE [59] The curiosity of the publick seems to demand the history of every man who has, by whatever means, risen to eminence; and few lives would have more readers than that of the compiler of the Gentleman’s Magazine, if all those who received improvement or entertainment from him should retain so much kindness for […]

PREFACE TO THE OCTAVO EDITION OF THE ENGLISH DICTIONARY[1]. Having been long employed in the study and cultivation of the English language, I lately published a dictionary, like those compiled by the academies of Italy and France, for the use of such as aspire to exactness of criticism or elegance of style. But it has […]

ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FOURTH EDITION OF THE ENGLISH DICTIONARY[1]. Many are the works of human industry, which to begin and finish are hardly granted to the same man. He that undertakes to compile a dictionary, undertakes that, which, if it comprehends the full extent of his design, he knows himself unable to perform. Yet his […]

It is the fate of those, who toil at the lower employments of life, to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the prospect of good; to be exposed to censure, without hope of praise; to be disgraced by miscarriage, or punished for neglect, where success would have been without applause, […]

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLEPHILIP DORMER, EARL OF CHESTERFIELD,One of his Majesty’s principal Secretaries of State. MY LORD, When first I undertook to write an English Dictionary, I had no expectation of any higher patronage than that of the proprietors of the copy, nor prospect of any other advantage than the price of my labour. I […]

To solicit a subscription for a catalogue of books exposed to sale, is an attempt for which some apology cannot but be necessary; for few would willingly contribute to the expense of volumes, by which neither instruction nor entertainment could be afforded, from which only the bookseller could expect advantage, and of which the only […]

TEMPEST. It is observed of The Tempest, that its plan is regular; this the author of The Revisal[1] thinks, what I think too, an accidental effect of the story, not intended or regarded by our author. But whatever might be Shakespeare’s intention in forming or adopting the plot, he has made it instrumental to the […]

PUBLISHED IN THE YEAR 1768[1]. That praises are without reason lavished on the dead, and that the honours due only to excellence are paid to antiquity, is a complaint likely to be always continued by those, who, being able to add nothing to truth, hope for eminence from the heresies of paradox; or those, who, […]

PROPOSALS FOR PRINTING THE DRAMATICK WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1756. When the works of Shakespeare are, after so many editions, again offered to the publick, it will, doubtless, be inquired, why Shakespeare stands in more need of critical assistance than any other of the English writers, and what are the deficiencies […]

MISCELLANEOUS OBSERVATIONS ON THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH: WITH REMARKS ON SIR T. HANMER’S EDITION OF SHAKESPEARE. FIRST PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1745. [Transcriber’s note: There are two footnote systems in use in this section. The numbered footnotes in square brackets, [1], [2], etc, are those of the editor, and are to be found at the […]

INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD DISPLAYED[1]. Navigation, like other arts, has been perfected by degrees. It is not easy to conceive that any age or nation was without some vessel, in which rivers might be passed by travellers, or lakes frequented by fishermen; but we have no knowledge of any ship that could endure the violence […]

JANUARY 1, 1757. It has always been lamented, that of the little time allotted to man, much must be spent upon superfluities. Every prospect has its obstructions, which we must break to enlarge our view; every step of our progress finds impediments, which, however eager to go forward, we must stop to remove. Even those […]

A VIEW OF THE CONTROVERSY BETWEEN MONS. CROUSAZ AND MR. WARBURTON, ON THE SUBJECT OF MR. POPE’S ESSAY ON MAN In a Letter to the Editor of the Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. xiii. 1743. Mr. Urban, It would not be found useless in the learned world, if in written controversies as in oral disputations, a moderator […]

PREFACE TO THE CATALOGUE OF THE HARLEIAN LIBRARY, VOL. III. Having prefixed to the former volumes of my catalogue an account of the prodigious collection accumulated in the Harleian library, there would have been no necessity of any introduction to the subsequent volumes, had not some censures, which this great undertaking has drawn upon me, […]

AN ESSAY ON THE ORIGIN AND IMPORTANCE OF SMALL TRACTS AND FUGITIVE PIECES. WRITTEN FOR THE INTRODUCTION TO THE HARLEIAN MISCELLANY. Though the scheme of the following miscellany is so obvious, that the title alone is sufficient to explain it; and though several collections have been formerly attempted, upon plans, as to the method, very […]

AN ESSAY ON EPITAPHS[1]. [1] From the Gentleman’s Magazine. Though criticism has been cultivated in every age of learning, by men of great abilities and extensive knowledge, till the rules of writing are become rather burdensome than instructive to the mind; though almost every species of composition has been the subject of particular treatises and […]

Translation[1] The following relation is so curious and entertaining, and the dissertations that accompany it so judicious and instructive, that the translator is confident his attempt stands in need of no apology, whatever censures may fall on the performance. The Portuguese traveller, contrary to the general vein of his countrymen, has amused his reader with […]

PREFACE TO ROLT’S DICTIONARY[1]. No expectation is more fallacious than that which authors form of the reception which their labours will find among mankind. Scarcely any man publishes a book, whatever it be, without believing that he has caught the moment when the publick attention is vacant to his call, and the world is disposed, […]

THE PREFACE TO THE PRECEPTOR, CONTAINING A GENERAL PLAN OF EDUCATION[1] The importance of education is a point so generally understood and confessed, that it would be of little use to attempt any new proof or illustration of its necessity and advantages. At a time, when so many schemes of education have been projected, so […]

In three letters, to the printer of the Gazetteer. LETTER I. Dec. 1, 1759. SIR, The plans which have been offered by different architects, of different reputation and abilities, for the construction of the bridge intended to be built at Blackfriars, are, by the rejection of the greater part, now reduced to a small number; […]

AN ACCOUNT OF AN ATTEMPT TO ASCERTAIN THE LONGITUDE[1]. FIRST PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1755. It is well known to seamen and philosophers, that, after the numerous improvements produced by the extensive commerce of the later ages, the great defect in the art of sailing is ignorance of longitude, or of the distance to which […]

Edinb. May 22, 1734. These are certifying, that Mr. William Lauder past his course at this university, to the general satisfaction of these masters, under whom he studied. That he has applied himself particularly to the study of humanity[1] ever since. That for several years past, he has taught with success, students in the humanity […]

To which are subjoined several curious original letters from the authors of the Universal History, Mr. Ainsworth, Mr. Mac-Laurin, etc. BY WILLIAM LAUDER, A.M. Quem paenitet peccasse pene est innocens.SENECA. Corpora magnanimo satis est prostrasse Leoni:Pugna suum finem, quum jacet hostis, habet.OVID. —Praetuli clementiamJuris rigori.–GROTII Adamus Exul. FIRST PRINTED THE YEAR 1751. PREFATORY OBSERVATIONS. Dr. […]

PREFACE TO AN ESSAY[1] ON MILTON’S USE AND IMITATION OF THE MODERNS IN HIS PARADISE LOST. FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE YEAR 1750. It is now more than half a century since the Paradise Lost, having broke through the clouds with which the unpopularity of the author, for a time, obscured it, has attracted the general […]

The usual design of addresses of this sort is to implore the candour of the publick: we have always had the more pleasing province of returning thanks, and making our acknowledgments for the kind acceptance which our monthly collections have met with. This, it seems, did not sufficiently appear from the numerous sale and repeated […]

[A complete vindication of the licensers of the stage from the malicious and scandalous aspersions of Mr. Brooke, author of Gustavus Vasa; with a proposal for making the office of licenser more extensive and effectual.] BY AN IMPARTIAL HAND.[A] It is generally agreed by the writers of all parties, that few crimes are equal, in […]

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE CORN LAWS[1]. By what causes the necessaries of life have risen to a price, at which a great part of the people are unable to procure them, how the present scarcity may be remedied, and calamities of the same kind may, for the future, be prevented, is an inquiry of the first […]

FURTHER THOUGHTS ON AGRICULTURE[1]. [1] From the Visiter for March, 1756, p. 111. At my last visit, I took the liberty of mentioning a subject, which, I think, is not considered with attention proportionate to its importance. Nothing can more fully prove the ingratitude of mankind, a crime often charged upon them, and often denied, […]

Some thoughts on agriculture, both ancient and modern; with an account of the honour due to an English farmer[1]. Agriculture, in the primeval ages, was the common parent of traffick; for the opulence of mankind then consisted in cattle, and the product of tillage, which are now very essential for the promotion of trade in […]

TO THE PUBLICK. There are some practices which custom and prejudice have so unhappily influenced, that to observe or neglect them is equally censurable. The promises made by the undertakers of any new design, every man thinks himself at liberty to deride, and yet every man expects, and expects with reason, that he who solicits […]

A PROJECT FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF AUTHORS.[1] TO THE VISITER. SIR, I know not what apology to make for the little dissertation which I have sent, and which I will not deny that I have sent with design that you should print it. I know that admonition is very seldom grateful, and that authors are […]

BY ANNA WILLIAMS.[1] [1] From the Gentleman’s Magazine, Sept. 1750. When a writer of my sex solicits the regard of the publick, some apology seems always to be expected; and it is, unhappily, too much in my power to satisfy this demand; since, how little soever I may be qualified, either by nature or study, […]

LETTER ON FIREWORKS.[1] MR. URBAN, Among the principal topicks of conversation which now furnish the places of assembly with amusement, may be justly numbered the fireworks, which are advancing, by such slow degrees, and with such costly preparation. The first reflection, that naturally arises, is upon the inequality of the effect to the cause. Here […]

From the Gentleman’s Magazine, March, 1739. Men’ moveat cimex Pantilius? aut crucier, quodVellicet absentem Demetrius–HOR. Laudat, amat, cantat nostros mea Roma libellos,Meque sinus omnes, me manus omnis habet.Ecce rubet quidam, pallet, stupet, oscitat, odit.Hoc volo, nunc nobis carmina nostra placent.MARTIAL. It is plain from the conduct of writers of the first class, that they have […]

Or, reasons offered against confining the procession to the usual track, and pointing out others more commodious and proper. To which are prefixed, a plan of the different paths recommended, with the parts adjacent, and a sketch of the procession.–Most humbly submitted to consideration[1]. All pomp is instituted for the sake of the publick. A […]

PREFACE TO NEW TABLES OF INTEREST: Designed to answer, in the most correct and expeditious manner, the common purposes of business, particularly the business of the publick funds. BY JOHN PAYNE, OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND. 1758. Among the writers of fiction, whose business is to furnish that entertainment which fancy perpetually demands, it is […]


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Dr. James’s Medicinal Dictionary, 3 vols. folio. 1743. To Dr. Mead. SIR, That the Medicinal Dictionary is dedicated to you, is to be imputed only to your reputation for superiour skill in those sciences, which I have endeavoured to explain and facilitate; and you are, therefore, to consider this address, if it be agreeable to […]

1. SUMMARY OF THE FOUR ARTICLES TREATED OF IN THIS DISCOURSE. Thus I have given a faithful extract of the remains of Aristophanes. That I have not shown them in their true form, I am not afraid that any body will complain. I have given an account of every thing, as far as it was […]

TRANSLATED FROM BRUMOY[1]. ADVERTISEMENT. I conclude this work, according to my promise, with an account of the comick theatre, and entreat the reader, whether a favourer or an enemy of the ancient drama, not to pass his censure upon the authors or upon me, without a regular perusal of this whole work. For, though it […]

[The following argument, on school chastisement, was dictated to Mr. Boswell, who was counsel in the case. It originated in 1772, when a schoolmaster at Campbelltown was deprived, by a court of inferior jurisdiction, of his office, for alleged cruelty to his scholars. The court of session restored him. The parents or friends, whose weak […]

ABRIDGED BY MR. CAVE, 1739. 1. That the copy of a book is the property of the author, and that he may, by sale, or otherwise, transfer that property to another, who has a right to be protected in the possession of that property, so transferred, is not to be denied. 2. That the complainants […]

The following opinions on cases of law may be regarded as among the strongest proofs of Johnson’s enlarged powers of mind, and of his ability to grapple with subjects, on general principles, with whose technicalities he could not be familiar. Of law, as a science, he ever expressed the deepest admiration, and an author who […]

The publick may justly require to be informed of the nature and extent of every design, for which the favour of the publick is openly solicited. The artists, who were themselves the first projectors of an exhibition in this nation, and who have now contributed to the following catalogue, think it, therefore, necessary to explain […]

Adventurer No. 39. Tuesday, March 20, 1753. –[Greek: Oduseus phulloisi kalupsato to d ar AthaenaeHypnon ep ommasi cheu, ina min pauseie tachistaDusponeos kamatoio.]–HOM. E. 491 –Pallas pour’d sweet slumbers on his soul;And balmy dreams, the gift of soft repose,Calm’d all his pains, and banish’d all his woes.POPE. If every day did not produce fresh instances […]

Adventurer No. 34. Saturday, March 3, 1753. Has toties optata exegit gloria paenas.Juv. Sat. x. 187.Such fate pursues the votaries of praise. TO THE ADVENTURER. SIR, Fleet Prison, Feb. 24. To a benevolent disposition, every state of life will afford some opportunities of contributing to the welfare of mankind. Opulence and splendour are enabled to […]

[This case shall be introduced by Mr. Boswell himself. “In the course of a contested election for the borough of Dumfermline, which I attended as one of my friend Sir Archibald Campbell’s counsel, one of his political agents, who was charged with having been unfaithful to his employer, and having deserted to the opposite party […]

[Dr. Johnson has treated this delicate and difficult subject with unusual acuteness. As Mr. Boswell has recorded the argument, we will make use, once more, of his words to introduce it; observing, by the way, that it did not convince Mr. Boswell’s own mind, who was himself a lay patron. “I introduced a question which […]

[This argument cannot be better prefaced than by Mr. Boswell’s own exposition of the law of vitious intromission. He was himself an advocate at the Scotch bar, and of counsel in this case. “It was held of old, and continued for a long period, to be an established principle in Scotch law, that whoever intermeddled […]

Adventurer No. 53. Tuesday, May 8, 1753. Quisque suos patimur manes.VIRG. Aen. Lib. vi. 743. Each has his lot, and bears the fate he drew. Sir, Fleet, May 6. In consequence of my engagements, I address you once more from the habitations of misery. In this place, from which business and pleasure are equally excluded, […]

Adventurer No. 50. Saturday, April 28, 1753. Quicunque turpi fraude semel innotuit, Etiamsi verum dicit, amittit fidem.PHAED. Lib. i. Fab. x. l. The wretch that often has deceiv’d,Though truth he speaks, is ne’er believ’d. When Aristotle was once asked, what a man could gain by uttering falsehoods? he replied, “Not to be credited when he […]

Adventurer No. 45. Tuesday, April 10, 1753 Nulla fides regni sociis, omnisque potestas Impatiens consortis erit.–LUCAN. Lib. i. 92. No faith of partnership dominion owns:Still discord hovers o’er divided thrones. It is well known, that many things appear plausible in speculation, which can never be reduced to practice; and that of the numberless projects that […]

Adventurer No. 41. Tuesday, March 27, 1753. — Si mutabile pectus Est tibi, consiliis, non curribus, utere nostris; Dum potes, et solidis etiamnum sedibus adstas, Dumque male optatos nondum premis inscius axes.OVID. Met. ii. 143. –Th’ attempt forsake,And not my chariot but my counsel take;While yet securely on the earth you stand;Nor touch the horses […]

IN IMITATION OF THE TENTH SATIRE OF JUVENAL. Let[a] observation, with extensive view,Survey mankind, from China to Peru;Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;Then say, how hope and fear, desire and hateO’erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate,Where wav’ring man, betray’d by vent’rous prideTo tread the dreary […]

When learning’s triumph o’er her barb’rous foesFirst rear’d the stage, immortal Shakespeare rose;Each change of many-colour’d life he drew,Exhausted worlds, and then imagin’d new:Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,And panting time toil’d after him in vain:His pow’rful strokes presiding truth impress’d,And unresisted passion storm’d the breast.Then Jonson came, instructed from the schoolTo please in […]

Prest by the load of life, the weary mindSurveys the gen’ral toil of human kind;With cool submission joins the lab’ring train,And social sorrow loses half its pain:Our anxious bard, without complaint, may shareThis bustling season’s epidemick care;Like Caesar’s pilot, dignify’d by fate,Tost in one common storm with all the great;Distrest alike the statesman and the […]

Acted at Drury lane theatre, for the benefit of Milton’s granddaughter [A]. Ye patriot crowds, who burn for England’s fame,Ye nymphs, whose bosoms beat at Milton’s name;Whose gen’rous zeal, unbought by flatt’ring rhymes,Shames the mean pensions of Augustan times;Immortal patrons of succeeding days,Attend this prelude of perpetual praise;Let wit, condemn’d the feeble war to wageWith […]

PROLOGUE TO THE COMEDY OF A WORK TO THE WISE [a] SPOKEN BY MR. HULL. This night presents a play, which publick rage,Or right, or wrong, once hooted from the stage [b].From zeal or malice, now, no more we dread,For English vengeance wars not with the dead.A gen’rous foe regards, with pitying eye,The man whom […]

Midsummer; An Ode

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O Phoebus! down the western sky,Far hence diffuse thy burning ray,Thy light to distant worlds supply,And wake them to the cares of day.Come, gentle eve, the friend of care,Come, Cynthia, lovely queen of night!Refresh me with a cooling air,And cheer me with a lambent light:Lay me, where o’er the verdant groundHer living carpet nature spreads;Where […]

Spring; An Ode

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Stern winter now, by spring repress’d,Forbears the long-continued strife;And nature, on her naked breast,Delights to catch the gales of life.Now o’er the rural kingdom rovesSoft pleasure with the laughing train,Love warbles in the vocal groves,And vegetation plants the plain.Unhappy! whom to beds of pain,Arthritick [A] tyranny consigns;Whom smiling nature courts in vain,Though rapture sings, and […]

Winter; An Ode

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No more tire morn, with tepid rays,Unfolds the flow’r of various hue;Noon spreads no more the genial blaze,Nor gentle eve distils the dew.The ling’ring hours prolong the night,Usurping darkness shares the day;Her mists restrain the force of light,And Phoebus holds a doubtful sway.By gloomy twilight, half reveal’d,With sighs we view the hoary hill,The leafless wood, […]

Autumn; An Ode

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Alas! with swift and silent pace,Impatient time rolls on the year;The seasons change, and nature’s faceNow sweetly smiles, now frowns severe,‘Twas spring, ’twas summer, all was gay,Now autumn bends a cloudy brow;The flow’rs of spring are swept away,And summer-fruits desert the bough.The verdant leaves, that play’d on high,And wanton’d on the western breeze,Now, trod in […]

Though gold and silk their charms uniteTo make thy curious web delight,In vain the varied work would shine,If wrought by any hand but thine;Thy hand, that knows the subtler artTo weave those nets that catch the heart. Spread out by me, the roving coinThy nets may catch, but not confine;Nor can I hope thy silken […]

Behold, my fair, where’er we rove,What dreary prospects round us rise;The naked hill, the leafless grove,The hoary ground, the frowning skies!Nor only through the wasted plain,Stern winter! is thy force confess’d;Still wider spreads thy horrid reign,I feel thy pow’r usurp my breast.Enliv’ning hope, and fond desire,Resign the heart to spleen and care;Scarce frighted love maintains […]

TO MISS **** ON HER PLAYING UPON THE HARPSICHORD, IN A ROOM HUNG WITH FLOWER-PIECESOF HER OWN PAINTING [a]. When Stella strikes the tuneful string,In scenes of imitated spring,Where beauty lavishes her pow’rsOn beds of never-fading flow’rs,And pleasure propagates aroundEach charm of modulated sound;Ah! think not, in the dang’rous hour,The nymph fictitious as the flow’r;But […]

Whether Stella’s eyes are foundFix’d on earth, or glancing round,If her face with pleasure glow,If she sigh at others’ woe,If her easy air expressConscious worth, or soft distress,Stella’s eyes, and air, and face,Charm with undiminish’d grace.If on her we see display’dPendent gems, and rich brocade;If her chints with less expenseFlows in easy negligence;Still she lights […]

Ev’ning now from purple wingsSheds the grateful gifts she brings;Brilliant drops bedeck the mead,Cooling breezes shake the reed;Shake the reed, and curl the stream,Silver’d o’er with Cynthia’s beam;Near the checquer’d, lonely grove,Hears, and keeps thy secrets, love.Stella, thither let us stray,Lightly o’er the dewy way.Phoebus drives his burning carHence, my lovely Stella, far;In his stead, […]

When lately Stella’s form display’dThe beauties of the gay brocade,The nymphs, who found their pow’r decline,Proclaim’d her not so fair as fine.“Fate! snatch away the bright disguise,And let the goddess trust her eyes.”Thus blindly pray’d the fretful fair,And fate malicious heard the pray’r;But, brighten’d by the sable dress,As virtue rises in distress,Since Stella still extends […]

VERSES,WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF A GENTLEMAN, TO WHOM A LADY HAD GIVEN A SPRIGOF MYRTLE [a]. What hopes, what terrours, does thy gift create!Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate!The myrtle (ensign of supreme command,Consign’d by Venus to Melissa’s hand)Not less capricious than a reigning fair,Oft favours, oft rejects, a lover’s pray’r.In myrtle shades oft sings […]

To Stella

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Not the soft sighs of vernal gales,The fragrance of the flow’ry vales,The murmurs of the crystal rill,The vocal grove, the verdant hill;Not all their charms, though all unite,Can touch my bosom with delight. Not all the gems on India’s shore,Not all Peru’s unbounded store,Not all the power, nor all the fame,That heroes, kings, or poets […]

Ye nymphs, whom starry rays invest,By flatt’ring poets given;Who shine, by lavish lovers drest,In all the pomp of heaven; Engross not all the beams on high,Which gild a lover’s lays;But, as your sister of the sky,Let Lyce share the praise. Her silver locks display the moon,Her brows a cloudy show,Strip’d rainbows round her eyes are […]

TO LADY FIREBRACE[a].AT BURY ASSIZES. At length, must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,So long renown’d in B–n’s deathless strain?Thy charms, at least, fair Firebrace, might inspireSome zealous bard to wake the sleeping lyre;For, such thy beauteous mind and lovely face,Thou seem’st at once, bright nymph, a muse and grace. NOTE:[a] This lady was Bridget, third […]

ON THE DEATH OFMR. ROBERT LEVET[a],A PRACTISER IN PHYSICK. Condemn’d to hope’s delusive mine,As on we toil, from day to day,By sudden blasts, or slow decline,Our social comforts drop away. Well try’d, through many a varying year,See Levet to the grave descend,Officious, innocent, sincere,Of ev’ry friendless name the friend. Yet still he fills affection’s eye,Obscurely […]

EPITAPH ON CLAUDE PHILLIPS,AN ITINERANT MUSICIAN[a]. Phillips! whose touch harmonious could removeThe pangs of guilty pow’r, and hapless love,Rest here, distress’d by poverty no more,Find here that calm thou gay’st so oft before;Sleep, undisturb’d, within this peaceful shrine,Till angels wake thee, with a note like thine. NOTES:[a] These lines are among Mrs. Williams’s Miscellanies: they […]

TO MISS HICKMAN[A],PLAYING ON THE SPINET. Bright Stella, form’d for universal reign,Too well you know to keep the slaves you gain;When in your eyes resistless lightnings play,Aw’d into love our conquer’d hearts obey,And yield reluctant to despotick sway:But, when your musick sooths the raging pain,We bid propitious heav’n prolong your reign,We bless the tyrant, and […]

EPITAPHIUM[a]INTHOMAM HANMER, BARONETTUM. Honorabilis admodum THOMAS HANMER,Baronnettus, Augustus still survives in Maro’s strain,And Spenser’s verse prolongs Eliza’s reign;Great George’s acts let tuneful Gibber sing;For nature formed the poet for the king. Wilhelmi Hanmer armigeri, e Peregrina HenriciNorthDe Mildenhall, in Com. Suffolciae, baronetti sororeet haerede,Filius;Johannis Hanmer de Hanmer baronettiHaeres patruelisAntiquo gentis suae et titulo et patrimonio […]

PARAPHRASE OF PROVERBS, CHAP. VI.VERSES 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. “Go to the ant, thou sluggard[A].” Turn on the prudent ant thy heedful eyes,Observe her labours, sluggard, and be wise:No stern command, no monitory voice,Prescribes her duties, or directs her choice;Yet, timely provident, she hastes away,To snatch the blessings of the plenteous day;When fruitful […]

The snow, dissolv’d, no more is seen,The fields and woods, behold! are green;The changing year renews the plain,The rivers know their banks again;The sprightly nymph and naked graceThe mazy dance together trace;The changing year’s successive planProclaims mortality to man;Rough winter’s blasts to spring give way,Spring yields to summer’s sov’reign ray;Then summer sinks in autumn’s reign,And […]