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another into distant countries, they agreed to withdraw themselves punctually into their closets at a certain hour of the day, and to converse with one another by means of this their invention. Accordingly, when they were some hundred miles asunder, each of them shut himself up in his closet at the time appointed, and immediately cast his eyes upon his dial-plate. If he had a mind to write any thing to his friend, he directed his needle to every letter that form: ed the words which he had occasion for, making a little pause at the end of every word or sentence to avoid confusion. The friend, in the mean while, saw his own sympathetic needle moving of itself to every letter, which that of his correspondent pointed at. By this means they talked together across a whole continent, and conveyed their thoughts to one another in an instant over cities or mountains, seas or deserts.
The whole audience were pleased with the artifice of the poet who represented Lucretius, observing very well how he had laid asleep their attention to the simplicity of his style in some of his verses, and to the want of harmony in others, by fixing their minds to the novelty of his subject, and to the experiment which he related. Without such an artifice they were of opinion that nothing would have sounded more harsh than Lucretius's diction and numbers. But it was plain that the more learned part of the assembly were quite of another mind." These allowed that it was peculiar to Lucretius, above all other poets, to be always doing or teaching something, that no other style was so proper to teach in, or gave a greater pleasure to those who had a true relish for the Roman tongue. They added further, that if Lucretius had not been embarrassed with the difficulty of his matter, and a little led away by an affectation of antiquity, there could not have been any thing more perfect than his poem.
Claudian succeeded Lucretius, having chosen for his subject the famous contest between the nightingale and the lutanist, wisich every one is acquainted with, especially since Mr. Philips has so finely improved that hint in one of his pastorals.
He had so sooner finished, but the assembly rung with acclamations made in his praise. His first beauty, which every one owned, was the great clearness and perspicuity which appeared in the plan of his poem. Others were wonderfully charmed with the smoothness of his verse and the flowing of his numbers, in which there were none of those elisions and cuttings off so frequent in the works of other poets. There were several however of a more refined judgment, who ridiculed that infusion of foreign phrases with which he had corrupted the Latin tongue, and spoke with contempt of the equabil. ity of his numbers, that cloyed and satiated the ear for want of variety : to which they likewise added, a frequent and unseasonable affectation of appearing sonorous and sublime.
The sequel of this prolusion shall be the work of another day.*
* See Strada, lib. ii. Prol, 6.
N° 120. WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 1713.
-Nothing lovelier can be found
A BIT FOR THE LIQN.
SIR, • As soon as you have set up your unicorn,* there is no question but the ladies will make him push very furiously at the men; for which reason I think it is good to be before-hand with them, and make the lion roar aloud at female irregularities. Among these, I wonder how their gaming has so long escaped your notice. You who converse with the sober family of the Lizards, are perhaps a stranger to these viragos; but what would you say, should you see the Sparkler shaking her elbow for a whole night together, and thumping the table with a dice-box? Or how would you like to hear the good widow-lady herself returning to her house at midnight, and alarming the whole street with a most enormous rap, after having sat up until that time at crimp, or ombre ? Sir, I am the husband of one of these female gamesters, and a great loser by it, both in my rest, and my pocket. As my wife reads your papers, one upon this subject might be of use both to her, and
Your humble Servant.'
* No. 114.
I should ill deserve the name of Guardian, did I not caution all my fair wards against a practice which when it runs to excess, is the most shameful, but one, that the female world can fall into. The ill consequences of it are more than can be contained in this paper. However, that I may proceed in method, I shall consider them ; first, as they relate to the mind; secondly, as they relate to the body.
Could we look into the mind of a female gamester, we should see it full of nothing but trumps and mattadores. Her slumbers are haunted with kings, queens and knaves. The day lies heavy upon her until the play-season returns, when for half a dozen hours together all her faculties are employed in shuffling, cutting, dealing, and sorting out a pack of cards, and no ideas to be discovered in a soul which calls itself rational, excepting little square figures of painted and spotted paper. Was the understanding, that divine part in our composition, given for such an use? Is it thus that we improve the greatest talent human nature is endowed with? What would a superior being think were he shown this intellectual faculty in a female gamester, and at the same time told, that it was by this she was distinguished from brutes, and allied to angels ?
When our women thus fill their imaginations with pips and counters, I cannot wonder at the story I have lately heard of a new-born child that was marked with the five of clubs.
Their passions suffer no less by this practice than their understandings and imaginations. What hope and fear, joy and anger, sorrow and discontent, break out all at once in a fair assembly upon so noble an occasion as that of turning up a card! Who can consider without a secret indig
nation that all those affections of the mind which should be consecrated to their children, husbands and parents, are thus vilely prostituted and thrown away upon a hand of loo ! For my own part, I cannot but be grieved when I see a fine woman fretting and bleeding inwardly from such trivial motives; when I behold the face of an angel agitated and discomposed by the heart of a fury.
Our minds are of such a make, that they naturally give themselves up to every diversion which they are much accustomed to, and we always find that play, when followed with assiduity, engrosses the whole woman.
She quickly grows uneasy in her family, takes but little pleasure in all the domestic innocent endearments of life, and grows more fond of Pam than of her hus-band. My friend Theophrastus, the best of husbands and of fathers, has often complained to me, with tears in his eyes, of the late hours he is forced to keep if he would enjoy his wife's conversation. When she returns to me with joy in her face, it does not arise, says he, from the sight of her husband, but from the good luck she has had at cards. On the contrary, says he, if she has been a loser I am doubly a sufferer by it. She comes home out of humour, is angry body, displeased with all I can do or say, and in reality for no other reason but because she has been throwing away my estate. What charming bedfellows and companions for life are men likely to meet with, that choose their wives out of such women of vogue and fashion? What a race of worthies, what patriots, what heroes must we expect from mothers of this make ?
I come in the next place to consider the ill consequences which gaming has on the bodies of our female adventurers. It is so ordered that al