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and prevents our receiving or communicating any pleasure in society. A whimsical person complains of the fickleness of his acquaintance, and constantly accuses them of fancy and caprice; and there never was an instance of a positive untoward man, that did not continually rail at the perverseness and obstinacy of the world. A modern buck damns you for a sullen fellow, if you refuse a pint bumper, and looks upon you as a sneaking scoundrel, if you decline entering into any of his wild pranks, and do not chuse to lay all night in the round-house. The untractable humourist, while he disgusts all that are about him, conceives himself to be the person affronted, and laments that there is no harmony in the conversation, though he is himself the only one that plays out of tune. It is true, indeed, that "the eye sees not itself:" but when this blind partiality is carried so far, as to induce us to believe those guilty of the folly, who make us sensible of it, it is surely as absurd as to imagine, that the hair-lip or carbuncled nose a man sees in the glass, belongs to the figure in the mirror, and not to his own face.
Perfection is no more to be expected in the minds of men than in their persons: natural defects and irregularities in both must be overlooked and excused: but then equal attention should be paid to both : and we should not be anxious to clothe the person, and at the same time let the mind go naked. We should be equally assiduous to obtain knowledge and virtue, as to put on lace and velvet; and when our minds are completely dressed, we should take care that good-nature and complacency influence and direct the whole; which will throw the same grace over our virtues and good qualities, as fine cloaths receive from being cut according to the fashion. In order to acquire these good qualities, we should examine ourselves impartially, and not erect ourselves into judges, and treat all the rest of mankind like criminals. Would it not be
highly ridiculous in a person of quality to go to court in a ruff, a cloak, a pair of trunk hose, and the habit worn in the days of queen Elizabeth, and while he strutted about in this antiquated garb, to accuse all the rest of the world of being out of the fashion?
I cannot conclude better than with a passage from Swift's Tale of a Tub, where the strict analogy between the cloathing of the mind and the body is humorously pointed out. "Man (says he) is a Micro"Coat. As to his body there can be no doubt: but "examine even the acquirements of his mind, you "will find them all contribute in their order towards "furnishing out an exact dress. To instance no more; " is not Religion a Cloak, Honesty a pair of Shoes worn out in the dirt, Self-Love a Surtout, Vanity a "Shirt, and Conscience a Pair of Breeches, which, "though a cover for lewdness as well as nastiness, is "easily slipped down for the service of both?"
No. LXXVI. THURSDAY, JULY 10.
Vomeris huc et falcis honos, huc omnis aratri
The scythe neglected, and forgot the plough,
The rustic knits his politician brow :
His grandsire's rusty sword he longs to wield,
While guns, drums, trumpets call him to the field.
THE British lion, who has for a long time past been a passive couchant beast, or at most been heard to growl and grumble, now begins to roar again. His tremendous voice has roused the whole nation, and
the meanest of the people breathe nothing but war and revenge. The encroachments of the French on our colonies are the general topic of conversation, and the popular cry now runs, New-England for ever! Peace or war has been the subject of bets at White's as well as the debates at the Robin Hood; and “a fleet roasting, new world's, new dress, the colonies in a rope,” &c. were, last Sunday, the subjects of a prayer and lecture at the oratory in Clare-Market. The theatres also, before they closed the season, entertained us with several warlike dramas: the press-gang was exhibited at Covent-Garden; and at Drury-Lane the same sea, that rolled its canvas billows in pantomime at the beginning of the season to carry Harlequin to China, was again put in motion to transport our sailors to NorthAmerica. At present the streets ring with the martial strains of our ballad singers, who are endeavouring, like Tyrtæus of old, to rouse their fellow countrymen to battle; while all the polite world are hurrying to Portsmouth to see mock-fights, and be regaled with pickled pork and sea-biscuit on board the Admiral.
This posture of affairs has occasioned politics, which have been long neglected, as studies useless and impertinent, to become once more fashionable. Religion and politics, though they naturally demand our constant attention, are only cultivated in England by fits. Christianity sleeps among us unless roused by the apprehensions of a plague, an earthquake, or a Jew-bill: and we are alarmed for a while at the sudden news of an invasion or a rebellion; but, as soon as the danger is over, the Englishman, like the soldier recovered from his fright occasioned by queen Mab's drumming in his ear, "swears a prayer or two and sleeps again." To preach up public spirit, is at some seasons only blowing a dead coal; but at others, an accidental blast kindles the embers, and they mount into flame in an
instant. The reign of politics seems at present to be recommencing. Our newspapers contain dark hints and shrewd conjectures from the Hague, Paris, and Madrid; and the lie of the day is artfully contrived to influence the rise and fall of the money-barometer in Change-alley. This is the present state of politics within the bills of mortality; of which I shall now take no farther notice, but submit to the perusal of my readers the following letter from my cousin Village on the same important subject.
Dear Cousin !
June 30, 1755.
WAR, though it has not laid our fields waste or made our cities desolate, engrosses almost all the attention of this place. Every farm house swarms with politicians, who lay their wise heads together for the good of the nation; and at every petty chandler's shop in town, while the half quarterns of tea are weighed out, the balance of Europe is adjusted. The preparations now making by sea and land are as popular subjects as the price of corn or the broad-wheel act. Success
to our noble admirals, and a speedy war, are also as common toasts over a mug of ale, as God speed the plough, or a good harvest: though it must be owned, that some selfish country squires, who have not an equal share of public spirit and love of their country with their fellow rustics, are somewhat apprehensive of the influence which a war may have upon the land
I am at present on a visit to Sir Politic Hearty, who is one of those country gentlemen, who so much prefer the public welfare to their own private interest, that they are more anxious about the affairs of the nation than the care of their own estates. Sir Politic is miserable three days in the week for want of intelligence; but his spirits revive at the sound of the post-horn, when the mail brings him the London Evening Post,
and a long letter of news from his nephew at the Temple. These Sir Politic himself reads after dinner to me, the curate of the parish, and the town-apothecary, whom he indulges with the run of his table for their deep insight into the proceedings of the government. He makes many shrewd remarks on every paragraph, and frequently takes the opinion of the two doctors (for he honours both the curate and apothecary with that title) on the asterisks, dashes, and italics. Nothing at first puzzled the honest baronet, and his privy council, so much as the new seat of war. They very well knew the situation of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, and other scenes of action in Flanders; but Virginia, the Ohio, Oswego, &c. (to use a common phrase) were quite out of their latitude. But this difficulty is at length surmounted by the Templar's having transmitted to his uncle one of D'Anville's maps; by the help of which the baronet sometimes delineates the progress of the French up the Ohio, in meanders of port winding along the table, and sometimes demolishes the forts lately raised by the enemy in different parts of our colonies. At present writing I am but just withdrawn from the taking of Crown Point, represented by a cork, and stormed by Sir Politic at the head of an army of cherry stones.
Sir Politic has, indeed, studied Monsieur D'Anville thoroughly: he has also been very much taken up of late with the perusal of the history of the six nations: so that he has scarce one idea in his head, that does not bear some relation to the West-Indies. We had some boiled beef the other day for dinner, when the good knight observed, that he should be glad to partake of a buttock, boiled in the war-kettle; and he had no sooner lighted his pipe, than the first puff of the tobacco threw him into some reflections on the danger of Virginia. "By the bye (said the baronet,) I am 66 a great admirer of the Indian oratory; and I dare