« ZurückWeiter »
sand antick attitudes, and brought together the most ludicrous assemblage of ideas, with all the sprightly frolic of his wild imagination.
Sir Richard Steele fixed his residence under Mr. Addison's roof; where Tickell was encouraged to translate a book of Homer, and Phillips was assisted in finishing the Distressed Mother. Addison had before him several of the Perio. dical Essays which have lately been sent abroad into the world, among which, methought, I saw a paper entitled the Grays-Inn Journal, when
The effect this had upon me was such, that my vision was immediately dissipated, and I awaked in the most pleasing serenity of mind.
GRAY'S-INN JOURNAL, No. 4. No. XCIII.
Studia adolescentiam alunt, senectutem oblectant, secundas res ornant, adversis perfugium et solatium præbent, delectant domi, non impediunt foris, pero noctant nobiscum, peregrinantur, rusticantur.
These studies afford nourishment to our youth, delight our old age, adorn prosperity, supply a refuge in adversity, are a constant source of pleasure at home, are no impediment while abroad, attend us in the night season, and accompany us in our travels and'retirements.
The application of part of our time to letters is recommended by the author of my motto in such glowing colourings, as serve at once elegantly to display the manifold advantages resulting from study, and, at the same time, prove an incentive to every mind to enlarge its views, and increase its store of ideas, by a due attention to the labours of the learned. “ Letters," says the Roman orator, “ cherish and invigorate the mind in its greener years, amuse it in its more advanced periods of life, beam a lustre on prosperity, and soften the shocks of adversity; they yield delight in our domestic hours, and are no incumbrance abroad; they protract the midnight hour, are our fellow-travellers in foreign parts, and make the best part of equipage in all our rural excursions."
I am aware, that the translation which I have here offered falls many degrees short of the purity and graceful strength of the original ; but, such as it is, it may, in some sort, serve to inculcate the real utility of a very pleasurable occupation, which is, at present, too much neglected by people of condition of both sexes. Mr. Addison wonders how men of sense can spend so many hours together, without receiving any other ideas than what are suggested, by an arrangement of black and red spots. But such is the prevailing fashion of the times, that the book of four kings, is the only volume at present perused with any degree of attention ; and, I will venture to affirm, the four motley monarchs, are better beloved by several persons of condition than any real king in Europe. A friend of mine, who has a knack in conforming all his compositions to the prevailing taste of the town, tells me very seriously, that he has often wondered how men of discernment can sit down to performances, which a little experience might inform them will never be read; such as, the History of England, the Life of Harry the Seventh, the History of Charles the
First, the History of Lewis the Fourteenth, &c. For his part, he is determined to avail himself of the favourite passions of his readers, and is now actually employed in compiling Memoirs of the King of Spades, the Annals of the King of Clubs, Anecdotes relating to the King of Hearts, Remarks on the King of Diamonds; including battles more memorable than those of Cressi and Poictiers, fought in the verdant plains of Piquet, Cribbage, Quadrille, Whist, &c. in which will be interwoven the private characters of the Knaves, with the secret history of the Queens, their intrigues, &c. The work to be published in numbers, price One Guinea each Weekly Number; in proper places will be inserted a beautiful Copper-Plate of the Crowned Heads and eminent personages, taken from the original Drawings now in possession of the Club at White's; at the particular desire of several persons of quality, five thousand Copies will be printed upon Royal Paper; the subscribers' names to be annexed, with their places of abode, and how many card-tables each person keeps; which may serve to give posterity some idea of the grandeur of the present age.
I make no doubt but this work, if carried into execution, will be in great demand ; and I
am sensible that a dissuasive from pursuits of this nature will be the jest of every tittering cardtable in town. I must, however, beg leave to inform my pretty readers, that they are highly mistaken if they imagine, that, by dedicating a few hours to literary amusements, they endanger their lovely features, and run the risk of dimming the sparkling lustre of the eye. On the contrary, a page or two in a morning may serve to adjust the countenance, and the acquisition of a new idea may give a more engaging ornament to the head than a new Paris cap; and the eye will certainly beam with more attention when directed by an active principle within, than when it swims round the room in pretty, giddy, vain, senseless, affectations? How finely has Mr. Pope described the consequences attending a life spent thus in a circle of folly:
See how the world its veterans rewards!
How much more eligible, therefore, is it to employ some portion of our time in a way that will furnish the mind with ideas fit to be com!municated to rational creatures, and give an