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his web, it is true, that he only can weave so fine a thread; but it is in the power of the merest drone that has wings, to fly through and destroy it.

Will's Coffee House, June 28. Though the taste of wit and pleasure is at present but

very low in this town, yet there are some that preserve their relish undebauched with common impressions, and can distinguish between reality and imposture. A gentleman was saying here this evening, that he would go to the play to-morrow night, to see heroism as it has been represented by some of our tragedians, represented in burlesque. It seems, the play of Alexander is to be then turned into ridicule for its bombast, and other false ornaments in the thoughts as well as the language. The bluster Alexander makes is as much inconsistent with the character of an hero, as the roughness of Clytus, an instance of the sincerity of a bold artless soldier. To be plain is not to be rude, but rather inclines a man to civility and deference; not indeed to show it in the gestures of the body, but in the sentiments of the mind. It is, among other things, from the impertinent figures unskilful dramatists draw of the characters of men, that youth are bewildered and prejudiced in their sense of the world, of which they have no notions but what they draw from books and such representations. Thus talk to a very young man, let him be of never so good sense, and he shall smile when you speak of sincerity in a courtier, good sense in a soldier, or honesty in a politician. The reason of this is, that you hardly see one play, wherein each of these

ways life is not drawn by hands that know nothing of any one of them; and the truth is so far of the side to what they paint, that it is more impracticable to live in esteem in courts than any where else without sincerity. Good sense is the great requisite in





a soldier, and honesty the only thing that can support a politician. This way of thinking made the gentleman, of whom I was just now speaking, say, he was glad any one had taken upon him to depreciate such unnatural fustian as the tragedy of Alexander. The character of that prince indeed was, that he was unequal, and given to intemperance; but in his sober moments, when he had the precepts of his great instructor warm in his imagination, he was a pattern of generous thoughts and dispositions, in opposition to the strongest desires which are incident to a youth and conqueror. But instead of representing that hero in the glorious character of generosity and chastity, in his treatment of the beauteous family of Darius, he is drawn all along as a monster of lust, or of cruelty; as if the way to raise him to the degree of an hero, were to make his character as little like that of worthy men as possible. Such rude and indigested draughts of things are the proper objects of ridicule and contempt; and depreciating Alexander, as we have him drawn, is the only way of restoring him to what he was in himself. It is well contrived of the players, to let this part be followed by a true picture of life, in the comedy called, “ The Chances,” wherein Don John and Constantia are acted to the utmost perfection. There need not be a greater instance of the force of action than in many incidents of this play, where indifferent passages, and such as conduce only to the tacking of the scenes together, are enlivened with such an agreeable gesture and behaviour, as apparently shows what a play might be, though it is not wholly what a play should be.

N° 192. SATURDAY, JULY 1, 1710.

Tecum vivere amem, tecum abeam libens.

HoR. 3 Od. ix. ver. ult.

-Gladly I
With thee would live, with thee would die. FRANCIS,

From my own Apartment, June 30. SOME years since I was engaged with a coach-full of friends to take journey as far as the Land's End. We were very well pleased with one another the first day; every one endeavouring to recommend himself by his good humour, and complaisance to the rest of the company. This good correspondence did not last long; one of our party was soured the very first evening by a plate of butter which had not been melted to his mind, and which spoiled his temper to such a degree, that he continued upon the fret to the end of our journey. A second fell off from his good humour the next morning, for no other reason, that I could imagine, but because I chanced to step into the coach before him, and place myself on the shady side. This, however, was but my own private guess; for he did not mention a word of it, nor indeed of any thing else, for three days following. The rest of our company held out very near half the way, when on a sudden Mr. Sprightly fell asleep; and instead of endeavouring to divert and oblige us, as he had hitherto done, carried himself with an unconcerned, careless, drowsy behaviour, until we came to our last stage. There were three of us who still held up our heads, and did all we could to make our journey agreeable; .but, to my shame be it spoken, about three miles on this side of Exeter, I was taken with an unaccountable fit of sullenness, that hung upon me for above threescore miles; whether it were for want of respect, or from an accidental tread upon my foot, or from a foolish maid's calling me 6. The old

gentleman,” I cannot tell. In short, there was but one who kept his good humour to the Land's End.

There was another coach that went along with us, in which I likewise observed, that there were many secret jealousies, heart burnings, and animosities : for when we joined companies at night, I could not but take notice that the passengers neglected their own company, and studied how to make themselves esteemed by us, who were altogether strangers to them; until at length they grew so well acquainted with us, that they liked us as little as they did one another. When I reflect


this journey, I often fancy it to be a picture of human life, in respect to the several friendships, contracts, and alliances, that are made and dissolved in the several periods of it. The most delightful and most lasting engagements are generally those which pass between man and woman; and yet upon what trifles are they weakened, or entirely broken! Sometimes the parties fly asunder even in the midst of courtship, and sometimes grow cool in the very honeymonth. Some separate before the first child, and some after the fifth; others continue good until thirty, others until forty; while some few, whose souls are of an happier make, and better fitted to one another, travel on together to the end of their journey in a continual intercourse of kind offices, and mutual endearments.

When we therefore choose our companions for life, if we hope to keep both them and ourselves in good humour to the last stage of it, we must be extremely careful in the choice we make, as well as in the conduct on our own part. When the persons to whom we join ourselves can stand an examination, and bear the scrutiny; when they mend upon our acquaintance with them, and discover new

beauties, the more we search into their characters; our love will naturally rise in proportion to their perfections.

But because there are very few possessed of such accomplishments of body and mind, we ought to look after those qualifications both in ourselves and others which are indispensably necessary towards this happy union, and which are in the power of every one to acquire, or at least to cultivate and improve. These, in my opinion, are cheerfulness and constancy. A cheerful temper joined with innocence will make beauty attractive, knowledge delightful, and wit good-natured. It will lighten sickness, poverty, and affliction; convert ignorance into an amiable simplicity; and render deformity itself agreeable.

Constancy is natural to persons of even tempers and uniform dispositions, and may be acquired by those of the greatest fickleness, violence, and passion, who consider seriously the terms of union upon which they come together, the mutual interest in which they are engaged, with all the motives that ought to incite their tenderness and compassion towards those, who have their dependence upon them, and are embarked with them for life in the same state of happiness or misery. Constancy, when it grows in the mind upon considerations of this nature, becomes a moral virtue, and a kind of good-nature, that is not subject to any change of health, age, fortune, or any of those accidents, which are apt to unsettle the best dispositions that are founded rather in constitution than in reason. Where such a constancy as this is wanting, the most infamed passion may fall away into coldness and indifference, and the most melting tenderness degenerate into hatred and aversion. I shall conclude this

paper with a story, that is well known in the North of England.

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