**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

No. 317 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

No. 317.
Tuesday, March 4, 1712. Addison.

–fruges consumere nati.


Augustus, a few Moments before his Death, asked his Friends who stood about him, if they thought he had acted his Part well; and upon receiving such an Answer as was due to his extraordinary Merit, Let me then, says he, go off the Stage with your Applause; using the Expression with which the Roman Actors made their Exit at the Conclusion of a Dramatick Piece. I could wish that Men, while they are in Health, would consider well the Nature of the Part they are engaged in, and what Figure it will make in the Minds of those they leave behind them: Whether it was worth coming into the World for; whether it be suitable to a reasonable Being; in short, whether it appears Graceful in this Life, or will turn to an Advantage in the next. Let the Sycophant, or Buffoon, the Satyrist, or the Good Companion, consider with himself, when his Body shall be laid in the Grave, and his Soul pass into another State of Existence, how much it will redound to his Praise to have it said of him, that no Man in England eat better, that he had an admirable Talent at turning his Friends into Ridicule, that no Body out-did him at an Ill-natured Jest, or that he never went to Bed before he had dispatched his third Bottle. These are, however, very common Funeral Orations, and Elogiums on deceased Persons who have acted among Mankind with some Figure and Reputation.

But if we look into the Bulk of our Species, they are such as are not likely to be remembred a Moment after their Disappearance. They leave behind them no Traces of their Existence, but are forgotten as tho they had never been. They are neither wanted by the Poor, regretted by the Rich, [n]or celebrated by the Learned. They are neither missed in the Commonwealth, nor lamented by private Persons. Their Actions are of no Significancy to Mankind, and might have been performed by Creatures of much less Dignity, than those who are distinguished by the Faculty of Reason. An eminent French Author speaks somewhere to the following Purpose: I have often seen from my Chamber-window two noble Creatures, both of them of an erect Countenance and endowed with Reason. These two intellectual Beings are employed from Morning to Night, in rubbing two smooth Stones one upon another; that is, as the Vulgar phrase it, in polishing Marble.

My Friend, Sir ANDREW FREEPORT, as we were sitting in the Club last Night, gave us an Account of a sober Citizen, who died a few Days since. This honest Man being of greater Consequence in his own Thoughts, than in the Eye of the World, had for some Years past kept a Journal of his Life. Sir ANDREW shewed us one Week of it. [Since [1]] the Occurrences set down in it mark out such a Road of Action as that I have been speaking of, I shall present my Reader with a faithful Copy of it; after having first inform’d him, that the Deceased Person had in his Youth been bred to Trade, but finding himself not so well turned for Business, he had for several Years last past lived altogether upon a moderate Annuity.

MONDAY, Eight-a-Clock. I put on my Cloaths and walked into the Parlour.

Nine a-Clock, ditto. Tied my Knee-strings, and washed my Hands.

Hours Ten, Eleven and Twelve. Smoaked three Pipes of Virginia. Read the Supplement and Daily Courant. Things go ill in the North. Mr. Nisby’s Opinion thereupon.

One a-Clock in the Afternoon. Chid Ralph for mislaying my Tobacco-Box.

Two a-Clock. Sate down to Dinner. Mem. Too many Plumbs, and no Sewet.

From Three to Four. Took my Afternoons Nap.

From Four to Six. Walked into the Fields. Wind, S. S. E.