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conversation of one who has no imagination to be fired at the several occasions and objects which come before him, or who cannot strike out of his reflections new paths of pleasing discourse. Honest Will Thrash and his wife, though not married above four months, have scarce had a word to say to each other these six weeks; and one cannot form to one's self a sillier picture than these two creatures in solemn pomp and plenty unable to enjoy their fortunes, and at a full stop among a crowd of servants, to whose taste of life they are beholden for the little satisfactions by which they can be understood to be so much as barely in being. The hours of the day, the distinctions of noon and night, dinner and supper, are the greatest notices they are capable of. This is perhaps representing the life of a very modest woman, joined to a dull fellow, more insipid than it really deserves ; but I am sure it is not to exalt the commerce with an ingenious companion too high, to say that every new accident or object, which comes into such a gentleman's way gives his wife new pleasures and satisfactions. The approbation of his words and actions is a continual new feast to her, nor can she enough applaud her good fortune in having her life varied every hour, her mind more improved, and her heart more glad from every circumstance which they meet with. He will lay out his invention in forming new pleasures and amusements, and make the fortune she had brought him subservient to the reputation of her and hers. A man of sense. who is thus obliged, is ever contriving the happiness of her who did him so great a distinction; while the fool is ungrateful without vice, and never returns a favour because he is not sensible of it. I would methinks, have so much to say for myself, that if I fell into the hands of him who treated me ill, he should be sensible when he did so: his conscience should be of my side whatever became of his inclination. I do not know but it is the insipid choice which has been made by those who have the care of young women, that the marriage state itself has been liable to so much ridicule. But a well chosen love, moved by passion on both sides, and perfected by the generosity of one party, must be adorned with so many handsome incidents on the other side, that every particular couple would be an example in many circumstances to all the rest of the species. I shall end the chat upon this subject with a couple of letters, one from a lover, who is very well acquainted with the way of bargaining on these occasions; and the other from his rival, who has a less estate, but great gallantry of temper. As for my man of produce, he makes love, as he says, as if he were already a father, and laying aside the passion, comes to the reason of the thing.
"MY counsel has perused the inventory of your estate, and considered what estate you have, which it seems, is only yours, and to the male heirs of your body; but, in default of such issue, to the right heirs of your uncle Edward for ever. Thus, Madam, I am advised you cannot (the remainder not being in you) dock the entail ; by which means my estate, which is fee. simple, will come by the settlement proposed to your children begotten by me, whether they are males or females : but my children begotten upon you will not inherit your lands, except I beget a son. Now, Madam, since things are so, you are a woman of that prudence, and understand the world so well, as not to expect I should give you more than you can give nie.
"I am, Madam,
The other lover's estate is less than this gentle. man's, but he expressed himself as follows.
I HAVE given in my estate to your counsel, and desired my own lawyer to insist u; on no terms which your friends can propose for your certain ease and advantage ; for indeed I have no notion of making difficulties of presenting you with what cannot make me happy without you.
I am, Madam,
You must know the relations have met upon this, and the girl being mightily taken with the latter epistle, she is laughed at, and uncle Edward is to be dealt with to make her a suitable match to the worthy gentleman who has told her he does not care a farthing for her. All I hope for is, that the Lady Fair will make use of the first light night to show B. T. she understands a marriage is not to be consi. dered as a common bargain.
No. DXXIII. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30.
...... Nunc augur Apollo,
Now Lycian lots, and now the Delian god;
I AM always highly delighted with the discovery of any rising genius among my countrymen. For this reason I have read over, with great pleasure, the late miscellany published by Mr. Pope, in which there are many excellent compositions of that ingenious gentleman. I have had a pleasure of the same kind in perusing a poem that is just published on the prospect of peace, and which, I hope, will meet with such a reward from its patrons, as so noble a performance deserves. I was particularly well pleas. ed to find that the author had not amused himself with fables out of the pagan theology, and that when he hints at any thing of this nature he alludes to it only as to a fable.
Many of our modern authors, whose learning very often cxtends no farther than Ovid's Metamorphoses, do not know how to celebrate a great man, without mixing a parcel of school-boy tales with the recital of his actions. If you read a poem on a fine woman, among the authors of this class, you shall see that it turns more upon Venus or Helen, than on the party concerned. I have known a copy of verses on a great hero highly commended ; but upon asking to hear some of the beautiful passages, the admirer of it has repeated to me a speech of Apollo, or a description
of Polypheme. At other times when I have searched for the actions of a great man, who gave a subject to the writer, I have been entertained with the exploits of a river-god, or have been forced to attend a fury in her mischievous progress from one end of the poem to the other. When we are at school it is necessary for us to be acquainted with the system of pagan theology, and may be allowed to enliven a theme, or point an epigram with a heathen god; but when we would write a manly panegyric, that should carry in it all the colours of truth, nothing can be more ridiculous than to have recourse to our Jupiters and Junos.
No thought is beautiful which is not just, and no thought can be just which is not founded in truth, or at least in that which passes for such.
In mock heroic poems, the use of the heathen mythology is not only excusable but graceful, because it is the design of such compositions to divert, by adapting the fabulous machines of the ancients to low subjects; and at the same time by ridiculing such kinds of machinery in modern writers. If any are of opinion, that there is a necessity of admitting these classical legends into our serious compositions, in order to give them a more poetical turn; I would recommend to their consideration the pastorals of Mr. Philips. One would have thought it impossible for this kind of poetry, to have subsisted without fawns and satyrs, wood-nymrphs and water-nymphs, with all the tribe of rural deities. But we see he has given a new life, and a more natural beauty to this way of writing, by substituting in the place of these antiquated fables, the superstitious mythology which prevails among the shepherds of our own country.
Virgil and Homer might compliment their heroes, by interweaving the actions of deities with their achievements ; but for a christian author to write in the pagan creed, to make prince Eugene a fa