« ZurückWeiter »
W. present thee with a volume of examples of Wir. Whatever be thy humour, its otents must please thee even in spite of thyself. Whatever be thy diseases of mind, thou wilt here find medicine for all of them—antidotes to bad weather, dull neighlourhoods, contrary winds, protracted remittances, chronic disorders, lawsuits, rout, scolding wives, drunken husbands, and all the numerous et cateras in the cata* -ae of life's miseries. With this volume in thy hands, thou mayst always enjoy • the soul's calm sunshine," and be a stranger to ennui, hypochondria, the blue oils, and devils of all colours, which would disturb thy repose and sense of wellong. *
Talk of the Philosopher's Stone, Fortunatus's Wishing-cap, and the diminutive oaliticide's Invisible Coat, these are mere baubles, when compared with this book, or thou wilt be cheerful, merry, and without any wants, while thou hast in thy *ath or pocket this unfailing and omnipotent talisman. “I would rather,” said a ofound philosopher, “have been born with a cheerful disposition, than heir to ten ousand a-year,” and he might have said, twenty or fifty thousand; for what is *alth without that healthful state of mind, which this golden volume will infallibly *re? This Book is the REFore worth Twenty ThousAND A-YEAR ; and its possessor of look down with pity on the man, however wealthy, who nevertheless lacks this *asure. Before breakfast, it will create good spirits for the day; after dinner, it will *ote digestion and healthful secretions; and after supper, it will so weary thy *ies, and exercise thy diaphragm, that repose, sound and sweet, will be the cer**mpanion of thy pillow.
Momus passed a few centuries in Greece, where he speeially dispensed his fa to the lively sons of Attica. He thence crossed into Italy, where the monk's so disgusted him, that he quitted that country for France, and dwelt there ti return of the Bourbons, when, to escape the thraldrom of dulness, he took p: in a steam-boat for England. During the last seven years he has been frisk between Bath, Cheltenham, Leamington, Brighton, Hastings, Buxton, Harrow Sidmouth, and other favoured seats of British gaiety. In these jaunts, how he passed through London, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, and other dens of care, and taking pity on the wretched inhab this godship inspired two Editors of the genuine race of the Bulls to constru work, to cheer and enliven the present gloomy existence of so many mem their family. - - Having received their commission, which authorized them to destroy the melancholy, and to sink, burn, and overwhelm by suitable reaction all the fo mental disease described by Haslam, or suffered by preaching and praying thrifty misers, swallowers of quack medicines, lavyers' clients, and other of misguided reason, they resolved to call a Council of Wits; but Dr. being dead, they could hear of none except George Colman, whose stock wa exhausted, or forestalled by the purveyors of royal amusement. They there sought Momus to evoke a council of his deceased favourites from the Shaw fixed upon Salisbury-plain for the place of rendezvous. The god, on hear burst into a roar of laughter, telling them that the area of Stonehenge wou than suffice. To this lone place the wits of other times one night were su temporarily invested with an unsubstantial garb, resembling in appeara 1nortal forms, and were brought into the presence of the Editors. The lat have felt alarmed, but the numbers in attendance were few, and instead of groans of ghosts, incessant peals of mirth alone were heard. These at let sided, when CERVANTEs demanded “the business of the two knowes who had by fluck to this sorru world." One of the Editors then naued the commission wn
his colleague had received, on which the whole assembly burst into a provoking fit of laughter; till Voltaire was heard inquiring, in a sarcastic tone, “What is that to us 2 He have bequeathed legacies, which mortals may use if they think proper.” “True,” said the second Editor, “but we want the test of true wit, and your several opinions of its essence and nature.” Fresh peals of laughter followed this question, and a full hour elapsed ere silence could be obtained. Several of the plantoms then exclaimed together, “Why trouble us on this subject why not consult our works " “But,” said Steane, “we are sent by the gods at the request of Momus, and it is our duty to obey. I yield for one, but I can only quote my own Tristram ;" and so saying, he delivered, in his sprightly manner, the following passage:
“Men of least wit are reported to be men of most judgment, but it is no more than report, and a vile and malicious report into the bargain. Will you give me leave to illustrate this affair of Wit and Judg-a, by the two knobs on the back of my chair. Here stands wit—and there stands judgment. You see *y are the highest and most ornamental parts of its frame—as wit and judgment are of ours, and like on too, indubitably both made and fitted to go together, in order, as we say in all such cases of dupli--i embellishments—to answer one another. Now, for the sake of an experiment, and for the clearer 4-writing this matter, let us, for a moment, take off one of these two curious ornaments from the point or *acle of the chair it now stauds on. But did you ever, in the whole course of your lives, see such a ridi*-i-s business as this now is Nay, let me ask you, whether this single knob, which stands here like a *head by itself, can serve any purpose, but to put one in mind of the want of the other ? And rather out be as it is, would not the chair be ten times better without any knob at all ? Now these two knobs, ** ornaments of the mind of man, which crown the whole entablature—being, as I said, wit and judg, *u. which of all others, as I have proved it, are the most needful—the most prized—the most calami- late without, and consequently, the hardest to come at ;-for all these reasons put together, there is * * * mortal among us so destitute of a love of fame or feeling—or so ignorant of what will do him good o ***—who does not wish and steadfastly resolve in his own mind to be, or be thought at least, master * * one or the other, or indeed, both of them, if the thing seems any way feasible, or likely to be brought *** Now, your graver gentry, having little or no kind of chance in aiming at the one, unless they **... of the other—pray what do you think would become of them —Why, sirs, in spite of all their ***... they must e'en have been contented to have gone with their insides naked. This was not to be ***, but by an effort of philosophy not to be supposed in the case we are upon,<-so that no one could • **are been angry with them, had they been satisfied with what little they could have snatched up and - o: under their cloaks and Periwigs, had they not raised a hue and cry at the same time against the
! This opinion was warmly seconded by Roehefoucault, who observed, "T"--are mistaken who imagine wit and judgment to be two distinct things. Judgment is only the