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and left it to the ninety-nine other ways, and consequently had more probability of success. I had arrived at a particular skill in warming a man so far in his narration, as to make him throw in a little of the marvellous, and then, if he has much fire, the next degree is the impossible. Now this is always the time for fixing the wager. But this requires the nicest management, otherwise very probably the dispute may arise to the old determination by battle. In these conceits I have been very fortunate, and have won some wagers of those who have professedly vacib lued themselves upon intelligence, and have put themselves to great charge and expence to be misinformed considerably sooner than the rest of the world.
Having got a comfortable sum by this my opposition to public report, I have brought myself now i to so great a perfection in inattention, more especially to party-relations, that at the same time I seem with greedy ears to devour up the discourse, I cerej tainly do not know one word of it ; but pursue my i own course of thought, whether upon business or < amusement, with much tranquillity : I say inatten. tion, because a late act of parliament has secured all party-liars from the penalty of a wager, and conse. quently made it unprofitable to attend to them. How. ever, good-breeding obliges a man to maintain the figure of the keenest attention, the true posture of which in a coffee-house I take to consist in leaning over a table, with the edge of it pressing hard upon your stomach : for the more pain the narration is received with, the more gracious is your bending over. Besides that the narrator thinks you forget your pain, by the pleasure of hearing him.
•Fort Knock has occasioned several very perplexed and inelegant heats and animosities; and there was one the other day in a coffee house where I was, that took upon him to clear that business to me, for he said he was there. I knew him to be that sort of man
that had not strength of capacity to be informed of any thing that depended merely upon his being an eye-witness, and therefore was fully satisfied he could give me 11o information, for the very same reason he believed he could, for he was there. However, I heard him with the same greediness as Shakspeare describes in the following lines :
“I saw a smith stand on his hammer thus,
I confess of late I have not been so much amazed at the declaimers in coffee-houses as I formerly was, being satisfied that they expect to be rewarded for their vociferations. Of these liars there are two sorts. The genius of the first consists in much impudence and a strong memory; the others have added to these qualifications a good understanding and smooth language. - These therefore have only certain heads, which they are as eloquent upon as they can, and may be called Embellishers ; the others repeat only what they hear from others as literally as their parts or zeal will permit, and are called Reciters. Here was a fellow in town some years ago, who used to divert himself by telling a lye at Charing-Cross in the morning at eight of the clock, and then following it through all parts of the town until eight at night, at which time he came to a club of his friends, and diverted them with an account what censure it had at Will's in Covent-Garden, how dangerous it was believed to be at Child's and what inference they drew from it with relation to stocks at Jonathan's. I have had the honour to travel with this gentleman I speak of in search of one of his falsehoods; and have been present when they have described the very man they have spoken to, as him who first reported it, tall or short, black or fair, a gentleman or a raggamuffin, according as they liked the intelligence. I have heard one of our ingenious writers of news VOL. VII.
say, that when he has had a customer come with an advertisement of an apprentice or a wife run away, he has desired the advertiser to compose himself a little, before he dictated the description of the offender: for when a person is put into a public paper by a man who is angry with him, the real description of such person is hid in the deformity with which the angry man described him; therefore this fellow al. ways made his customers describe him as he would the day before he offended, or else he was sure he would never find him out. These and many other hints I could suggest to you for the elucidation of all fictions ; but I leave it to your own sagacity to improve or neglect this speculation.
“I am, Sir,
Postscript to the Spectator, Number 502.
N. B. There are in the play of the Self-Tormentor of Terence, which is allowed a most excellent comedy, several incidents which would draw tears from any man of sense, and not one which would muve his laughter.
No. DXXII. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29.
.........Adjurɔ nunquam eam me deserturum ; Non, si capiundos mihi sciam esse inimicos omnes homines. Hanc mihi expetivi, contigit: conveniunt mores : valeant, Qui inter nos discidium volunt : hanc nisi mors, mi adimet nemo.
I swear never to forsake her ; no, though I were sure to make
all men my enemies : her I desired ; her I have obtained ; our humours agree : perish all those who would seperate us! Death alone shall deprive me of her.
I SHOULD esteem myself a very happy man, if my speculations could in the least contribute to the rectifying the conduct of my readers in one of the most important affairs of life, to wit, their choice in marriage. This state is the foundation of com. munity, and the chief band of society ; and I do not think I can be too frequent on subjects which may give light to my unmarried readers in a particular which is so essential to their following happiness or misery. A virtuous disposition, a good understand. ing, an agreeable person, and an easy fortune, are the things which should be chiefly regarded on this occasion. Because my present view is to direct a young lady, who, I think, is now in doubt whom to take of many lovers, I shall talk at this time to my female reader. The advantages, as I was going to say, of sense, beauty, and riches, are what are certainly the chief motives to a prudent young woman of fortune, for changing her condition ; but as she is to have her eye upon each of these, she is to ask herself whether the man who has most of these re. commendations in the lurp is not the most desirable. He that has excellent talents, with a moderate estate, and an agreeable person, is preferable to hin who is only rich, if it were only that good faculties may purchase riches, but riches cannot purchase worthy endowments. I do not mean that wit, and a capacity to entertain, is what should be highly valued, except it is founded upon good-nature and humanity. There are many ingenious men, whose abilities do little else but make themselves and those about them uneasy : such are those who are far gone in the pleasures of the town, who cannot support life without quick sensations and gay reflections, and are strangers to tranquillity, to right reason, and a calm motion of spirits without transport or dejection. These ingenious men, of all men living, are most to be avoided by her who would be happy in a husband. They are immediately sated with possession, and must necessarily fly to new acquisitions of beauty, to pass away the whiling moments and intervals of life ; for with them every hour is heavy that is not joyful. But there is a sort of a man of wit and sense, that can reflect upon his own make, and that of his partner with the eyes of reason and honour, and who believes he offends against both these, if he does not look upon the woman, (who chose him to be under his protection in sickness and health) with the utmost grati. tude, whether from that moment she is shining or defective in person or mind : I say there are those who think themselves bound to supply with goodnature the failings of those who love them, and who always think those the objects of love and pity, who came to their arms the objects of joy and admiration.
Of this latter sort is Lysander, a man of wit, learning, sobriety, and good nature, of birth and estate below no woman to accept, and of whom it might be said, should he succeed in his present wishes, his mistress raised his fortune, but not that she made it. When a woman is deliberating with herself whom she shall choose of many near each other in other pretensions, certainly he of best understanding is to be preferred. Life hangs heavily in the repeated