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foomines ofthe place, and the use to which it is
pled, with the solemnity of the building, and so of the people who lie in it, are apt of the mind with a kihd of melancholy, or ra. ... I her thoughtfulness, that is not disagreeable. I |terday passed a whole afternoon in the church| ord, the cloisters, and the church, amusing myself with the tomb-stones and inscriptions that I met | within those several regions of the dead. Most of ... enrecorded nothing else of the buried person,
| outthat he was born upon one day, and died upon | mother: the whole history of his life being com
o rended in those two circumstances that are innon wall mankind. I could not but look upon h these registers of existence, whether of brass or
| marble, is a kind of satire upon the departed persys; who had left no other memorial of them, butthat they were born, and that they died. They potmein mind of several persons mentioned in | *httles of heroic poems, who have sounding times given them, for no other reason but that ity may be killed, and are celebrated for nothing out being knocked on the head.
The life of these men is finely described in holy witby “the path of an arrow,” which is immedi. “tly closed up and lost. Upon my going into the church, I entertained of with the digging of a grave; and saw in | “to shovel full of it that was thrown up, the frag| *fabone or skull intermixed with a kind of *h mouldering earth, that some time or other oPlace in the composition of an human body. on this I began to consider with myself what *emble multitudes of people lay confused to. | other under the pavement of that ancient cathe. ol; how men and women, friends and enemies, * and soldiers, monks and prebendaries, orumbled amongst one another, and blended *her in the same common mass; how beauty, oth, and youth, with old age, weakness, and *mily, lay undistinguished in the same promis. oshtap of matter. *having thus surveyed this great magazine onally, as it were in the lump, I examined *Particularly by the accounts which I found '*ral of the monuments which are raised in oo:: of that ancient fabric. Some of them "overed with such extravagant epitaphs, that '*** Possible for the dead person to be aco with them, he would blush at the praises o offends have bestowed upon him. There ** so excessively modest, that they deliver o: of the person departed in Greek or ..", and by that means are not understood *** twelvemonth. In the poetical quarter,
conceive an idea of the ignorance or politeness of
So slow th' unprofitable moments roll, That lock up all the functions of my soul, That keep me from myself, and still delay Life's instant business to a future day: 'That task, which as we follow, or despise, The eldest is a tool, the youngest wise: * Which done, the poorest can no wants endure, And which not done, the richest must be poor. POPE. THERE is scarce a thinking man in the world, who is involved in the business of it, but lives under a secret impatience of the hurry and fatigue he suf. fers, and has formed a resolution to fix himself, one time or other, in such a state as is suitable to the end of his being. You hear men every day in conversation profess, that all the honour, power, and riches, which they propose to themselves, cannot give satisfaction enough to reward them for half the anxiety they undergo in the pursuit or possession of them. While men are in this temper (which happens very frequently) how inconsistent are they with themselves! They are wearied with the toil they bear, but cannot find in their hearts to relinquish it; retirement is what they want, but they cannot betake themselves to it. While they pant after shade and covert, they still affect to appear in the most glittering scenes of life: but sure this is but just as reasonable as if a man should call for more light when he has a mind to go to sleep. Since then it is certain, that our own hearts deceive us in the love of the world, and that we cannot command ourselves enough to resign it, though we every day wish ourselves disengaged from its allurements; let us not stand upon a formal taking of leave, but wean ourselves from them while we are in the midst of them. It is certainly the general intention of the greater part of mankind to accomplish this work, and live according to their own approbation, as soon as they possibly can. But since the duration of life is so uheertain, and that has been a common topic of discourse ever since there was such a thing as life itself, how is it possible that we should defer a moment the beginning to live according to the rules of reason 2 The man of business has ever some one point to carry, and then he tells himself he will bid adieu to all the vanity of ambition. The man of pleasure resolves to take his leave at least, and part civilly with his mistress; but the ambitious man is entangled every moment in a fresh pursuit, and the lover sees new charms in the object he fancied he could abandon. It is therefore a fantastical way of thinking, when we promise ourselves an alteration in our conduct from change of place, and dif. ference of circumstances; the same passions will attend us wherever we are, till they are conquer. ed; and we can never live to our satisfaction in the deepest retirement, unless we are capable of living so, in some measure, amidst the noise and business of the world. I have ever thought men were better known by what could be observed of them from a perusal of their private letters, than any other way. My friend the clergyman, the other day, upon serious discourse with him concerning the danger of procrastination, gave me the following letters from persons with whom he lives in great friendship and ntimacy, according to the good breeding and good onse of his character. The first is from a man of
“sir, ‘I know not with what words to express to you the sense I have of the high obligation you have laid upon me, in the penance you enjoined me, of doing some good or other to a person of worth every day I live. The station I am in furnishes me with daily opportunities of this kind; and the noble principle with which you have inspired me, of benevolence to all I have to deal with, quickens my application in every thing I undertake. When I relieve merit from discountenance, when I assist a friendless person, when I produce concealed worth, I am displeased with myself for having designed to leave the world in order to be virtuous. I am sorry you decline the occasions which the conqition I am in might afford me of enlarging your fortunes; but know I contribute more to your sotisfaction, when I acknowledge I am the better man, from the influence and authority you have over, * SLR, “Your most obliged and ‘most humble servant, * R. 0.” “sir, ‘I AM entirely convinced of the truth of what you were pleased to say to me, when I was last with you alone. You told me then of the silly way I was in ; but you told me so, as I saw you loved me, otherwise I could not obey your commands in letting you know my thoughts so sincerely as I do at present. I know “the creature, for whom I resign so much of my character,” is all that you said of her; but then the trifler has something in her so undesigning and harmless, that her guilt in one kind disappears by the comparison of her innocence in another. Will you virtuous men allow no alteration of offences * Must dear Chloe be called by the hard name you pious people give to common women.” I keep the solemn promise I -, made you, in writing to you the state of my mind, . after your kind admonition; and will endeavour to get the better of this fondness, which makes me so much her humble servant, that I am almost ashamed to subscribe myself yours, * T. D.’ “si R, ‘The RE is no state of life so anxious as that of a man who does not live according to the dictates of his own reason. It will seem odd to you, when I assure you that my love of retirement first of all brought me to court; but this will be no riddle, when I acquaint you that I placed myself here with a design of getting so much money as might enable me to purchase a handsome retreat in the country. At present my circumstances enable me, and my duty prompts me, to pass away the remain. ing part of my life in such a retirement as I at first proposed to myself: but to my great misfortune 1 have entirely lost the relish of it, and should now return to the country with greater reluctance than 1 at first came to court. I am so unhappy, as to know that what I am fond of are trifles, and that what I neglect is of the greatest importance: in short, I find a contest in my own mind between reason and fashion. I remember you once to me, that I might live in the world, and out of it, at the same time. Let me beg of you to explain this paradox more at large to me, that I may conform my life, if possible, both to my duty and my inch nation. o ‘I am yours, &c. * R. B. J.
'sta, Orsinying that you have thoughts of creating train officers under you, for the inspection of seof petty enormities which you yourself cannot send to and finding daily absurdities hung out on the sign posts" of this city, to the great scanalos foreigners, as well as those of our own couno, who are curious spectators of the same : I do only propose thatyou would be pleased to make to your superintendent of all such figures and deotes, as are or shall be made use of on this occaon, with full powers to rectify or expunge what* I shall find irregular or defective. For want to thanofficer, there is nothing like sound litera. to and good sense to be met with in those obo, that are every where thrusting themselves onto the eye, and endeavouring to become visible. his streets are filled with blue boars, black swans, olted hois; not to mention flying pigs, and hogs in armour, with many other creatures more exonly than any in the deserts of Afric, Songe! that one who has all the birds and beasts oute to choose out of, should live at the sign to En l'asionis ' "My first task therefore should be, like that of joules, to clear the city from monsters. In the !place I would forbid, that creatures of jar. on incongruous natures should be joined to: or in the same sign; such as the bell and the *ogue, the dog and the gridiron. The fox oose may be supposed to have inet, but what ** fox and the scwen stars to do together *4 when did the lamb and dolphin ever meet, oupon a sign-post? As for the cat and fiddle; *is a conceit in it; and therefore I do not intend “anything I have here said should affect it. *however observe to you upon this subject, ots usual for a young tradesman, at his first og up, to add to his own sign that of the inas*hom he served; as the husband after mar-** gives a place to his mistress's arms in his out. This I take to have given rise to many "c absurdities which are cominitted over our * and, as I am informed, first occasioned ** nuns and a hare, which we see so fre"joined together. I would therefore esta. otain rules, for the determining how far onlesman may give the sign of another, and o he may be allowed to quarter it with
* third place, I would enjoin every shop o of a sign which bears some affinity to ... in which it deals. What can be more * than to see a bawd at the sign of the
“Haviso heard that this nation is a greate rager of ingenuity, I have brought with me a dancer that was caught in one of the wo
angel, or a tailor at the 1ion ? A cook should not live at the boot, nor a shoemaker at the roasted pig , and yet, for want of this regulation, I have seen a goat set up before the door of a perfumer, and the French king's head at a sword-cutler's. “An ingenious foreigner observes, that several of those gentlemen who value themselves upon their families, and overlook such as are bred to trade, bear the toils of their forefathers in their coats of arms, I will not examine how true this is in fact. But though it may not be necessary for posterity thus to set up the sign of their forefathers, I think it highly proper for those who actually profess the trade, to show some such marks of it before their doors. “When the name gives an occasion for an ingenious sign-post, I would likewise advise the owner to take that opportunity of letting the world know who he is. It would have been ridiculous for the ingenious Mrs. Salmon to have lived at the sign of the trout; for which reason she has erected before her house the figure of the fish that is her namesake. Mr. Bell has likewise distinguished himself by a device of the same nature ; and here, sir, I must beg leave to observe to you, that this particular figure of a bell has given occasion to several pieces of wit in this kind. A man of your reading must know, that Abel Drugger gained great applause by it in the time of Ben Jonson. Our apocryphal heathen god" is also represented by this figure; which, in conjunction with the dragon, makes a very handsome picture in several of our streets. As for the bell-savage, which is the sign of a savage man standing by a bell, I was formerly very much puzzled upon the conceit of it, till i accidentally fell into the reading of an old romance, translated out of the French : which gives an account of a very beautiful woman who was found in a wilderness, and is called in the French La telle Sauvage, and is every where translated by our countrymen the bell-savage. This piece of philosophy will, I hope, convince you that I have made sign-posts my study, and consequently qualified myself for the employment that I solicit at your hands. But before I conclude my letter, I must communicate to you another remark, which I have made upon the subject with which I am now entertaining you, namely, that I can give a shrewd guess at the humour of the inhabitant by the sign that hangs before his door. A surly choleric fel
milder dispositions frequently live at the lamb. Seeing a punch-bowl painted upon a sign near haring-cross, and very curiously garnished, with a couple of angels hovering over it, and squeezing a lemon into it, I had the curiosity to ask after the master of the house, and found upon inquiry, as 1 had guessed by the little agremens upon his sign, that he was a Frenchman. I know, sir, it is not requisite for me to enlarge upon these hints to a gentleman of your great abilities; so hunably re
commending nyself to your favour and patronage,
I shall add to the foregoing letter anothe which came to me by the same penny post.
“From my own apartment near Charing-cr * Hoxotited siR,
* Ah - - *:::::::: on the subject of sign-posts, &c. will be
man's Magazine, vol. xi. 393.
low generally makes choice of a bear; as men of
longing to the Great Mogul. He is by birth a
"THERE is nothing that has more startled our Eng-
properly express a passion in one language will
Let the infusion be as strong a as you please, but still let the subject-matter of it
those sounds, which every country abounds with. .
a gy, airy people.” The chorus in which that opera abounds, gives the parterref frequent op. portunities of joining in concert with the stage This inclination of the audience to sing along with the actors, so prevails with them, that I have sometimes known the performer on the stage do no more in a celebrated song, than the clerk of a parish church, who serves only to raise the psalm, and is afterwards drowned in the music of the congregation. Every actor that comes on the stage beau. The queens and heroines are so painted, "at they appear as ruddy and cherry-cheeked as k-maids. The shepherds are all embroidered, d acquit themselves in a ball better than our glish dancing-masters, I have seen a couple of overs appear in red stockings; and Alpheus, ind of having his head covered with sedge and ushes, making love in a full-bottomed perig, and a plume of feathers; but with a voice ofull of shakes and quavers, that I should have "ght the murmurs of a country brook the much ore agreeable music, remember the last opera I saw in that merry on was the Rape of Proserpine, where Pluto, make the more tempting figure, puts himself in Foch equipage, and brings Ascalaphus along on him as his valet de chambre. This is what we oly and impertinence; but what the French open as gay and polite. shalladd no more to what I have here offered, * that music, architecture, and painting, as well Poetry and oratory, are to deduce their laws * miles from the general sense and taste of ol, and not from the principles of those arts *elves; or, in other words, the taste is not to orm to the art, but the art to the taste. Music "designed to please only chromatic ears, but that are capable of distinguishing harsh from Seeable notes. A man of an ordinary ear is ge whether a passion is expressed in proper o, and whether the melody of those sounds more or less pleasing.
stoshing, as Minnermus strives to prove,
of his own thoughts, “She gave me glance, she never looked so well in evening;’ or the like reflection, withouany other member of the society; for in this a»ly they do not meet to talk to each other, but every man claims the full liberty of talking to himself. Instead of snuff-boxes and canes, which are the usual helps to discourse with other young fellows, these have each some piece of ribbon, a broken fan, or an old girdle, which they play with while they talk of the fair person remembered by each respective token According to the representation of the matter from my letters, the company appear like so many players rehearsing behind the scenes; one is sighing and lamenting his destiny in beseeching terms, another declaring he will break his chain, and another, in dumb-show, striving to express his passion by his gesture. It is very ordinary in the assembly for one of a sud
den to rise and make a discourse concerning his passion in general, and describe the temper of his mind in such a manner, as that the whole company shall join in the description, and feel the force of it. In this case, if any man has declared the violence of his flame in more pathetic terms, he is made president for that night, out of respect to his superior passion,
We had some years ago in this town a set of people who met and dressed like lovers, and were distinguished by the name of the Fringeglove club; but they were persons of such moderate intellects, even before they were impaired by their passion, that their irregularities could not furnish sufficient variety of folly to afford daily new impertinences; by which means that institution dropped. These fellows could express their passion in nothing but their dress; but the Oxonians are fantastical, now they are lovers, in proportion to their learning and understanding before they became such. The thoughts of the ancient poets on this agreeable phrensy, are translated in honour of some modern beauty; and Chloris is won to-day by the same compliment that was made to Lesbia a thousand years ago. But as far as I can learn, the patron of the club is the renowned Don Quixotte. The adventures of that gentle knight are frequently mentioned in the society, under the colour of laughing at the passion and themselves: but at the same time, though they are sensible of the extravagancies of that unhappy warrior, they do not observe, that to turn all the reading of the best and wisest writings into rhapsodies of love is a phrensy no less diverting than that of the aforesaid accomplished Spaniard. A gentleman who, I hope, will continue his correspondence, is lately admitted into the fraternity, and sent me the foi. lowing letter:
“sin, ‘Sisce I find you take notice of clubs, I beg leave to give you an account of one in Oxford, which you have no where mentioned, and perhaps never heard of We distinguish ourselves by the title of the Amorous club, are all votaries of Cupid, and admirers of the fair sex. The reason that we are so little known in the world, is the secrecy which we are obliged to live under in the universi Our constitution runs counter to that of the pi wherein we live : for in love there are no doc
metre of the French, is the pit of the English the
those of the Druids, recorded in our ow organ's