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the world will, indeed, be generally found fuch as excite neither jealoufy nor fear, and are not confidered as candidates for any eminent degree of repu tation, but content themselves with common accomplishments, and endeavour rather to folicit kindness than to raise esteem; therefore, in affemblies and places of refort, it seldom fails to happen, that though at the entrance of fome particular perfon, every face brightens with gladnefs, and every hand is extended in falutation, yet if you purfue him beyond the first exchange of civilities, you will find him of very fmall importance, and only welcome to the company, as one by whom all conceive themselves admired, and with whom any one is at liberty to amuse himself when he can find no other auditor or companion; as one with whom all are at ease, who will hear a jest without criticism, and a narrative without contradiction, who laughs with every wit, and yields to every disputer.

There are many whofe vanity always inclines them to affociate with those from whom they have no reafon to fear mortification; and there are times in which the wife and the knowing are willing to receive praise without the labour of deferving it, in which the most elevated mind is willing to defcend, and the most active to be at reft. All therefore are at fome hour or another fond of companions whom they can entertain upon eafy terms, and who will relieve them from folitude, without condemning them to vigilance and caution. We are moft inclined to love when we have nothing to fear, and he that encourages us to pleafe ourselves, will not be long without preference in our affection to thofe whofe learn

ing holds us at the distance of pupils, or whofe wit calls all attention from us, and leaves us without importance and without regard.

It is remarked by prince Henry, when he fees FalStaff lying on the ground, that he could have better Spared a better man. He was well acquainted with the vices and follies of him whom he lamented; but while his conviction compelled him to do justice to fuperior qualities, his tenderness ftill broke out at the remembrance of Falstaff, of the cheerful companion, the loud buffoon, with whom he had paffed his time in all the luxury of idlenefs, who had gladded him with unenvied merriment, and whom he could at once enjoy and defpife.

You may perhaps think this account of thofe who are diftinguished for their good-humour, not very confiftent with the praises which I have beftowed upon it. But furely nothing can more evidently fhew the value of this quality, than that it recommends those who are deftitute of all other excellencies, and procures regard to the trifling, friendship to the worthless, and affection to the dull.

Good-humour is indeed generally degraded by the characters in which it is found; for, being confidered as a cheap and vulgar quality, we find it often neglected by thofe that, having excellencies of higher reputation and brighter fplendour, perhaps imagine that they have fome right to gratify themselves at the expence of others, and are to demand compliance rather than to practise it. It is by fome unfortunate mistake that almoft all thofe who have any claim to esteem or love, press their pretenfions with too little confideration of others. This mistake, my

own

own intereft, as well as my zeal for general happi ness, makes me defirous to rectify; for I have a friend, who, because he knows his own fidelity and usefulness, is never willing to fink into a companion : I have a wife whose beauty first fubdued me, and whose wit confirmed her conqueft, but whofe beauty now ferves no other purpose than to entitle her to tyranny, and whofe wit is only used to justify perverseness.

Surely nothing can be more unreasonable than to lofe the will to please, when we are conscious of the power, or show more cruelty than to chufe any kind of influence before that of kindness. He that regards the welfare of others, fhould make his virtue approachable, that it may be loved and copied; and he that confiders the wants which every man feels, or will feel, of external affistance, must rather wish to be furrounded by those that love him, than by those that admire his excellencies, or folicit his favours; for admiration ceafes with novelty, and intereft gains its end and retires. A man whose great qualities want the ornament of fuperficial attractions, is like a naked mountain with mines of gold, which will bę frequented only till the treasure is exhausted.

I am, &c.

PHILOMIDES.

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NUMB. 73. TUESDAY, November 27, 1750.

Stulte, quid O fruftra votis puerilibus optas
Que non ulla tulit, fertve, feretve dies.

Why thinks the fool with childish hope to see
What neither is, nor was, nor e'er shall be?

To the RAMBLER.

OVID.

ELPHINSTONE.

SIR,

IF you feel any of that compaffion which you

recommend to others, you will not difregard a cafe which I have reason from obfervation to believe very common, and which I know by experience to be very miferable. And though the querulous are feldom received with great ardour of kindness, I hope to escape the mortification of finding that my lamentations fpread the contagion of impatience, and produce anger rather than tenderness. I write not merely to vent the fwelling of my heart, but to enquire by what means I may recover my tranquillity; and fhall endeavour at brevity in my narrative, having long known that complaint quickly tires, however elegant, or however juft.

I was born in a remote county, of a family that boafts alliances with the greatest names in English hiftory, and extends its claims of affinity to the Tudors and Plantagenets. My ancestors, by little and little, wafted their patrimony, till my father had not enough left for the fupport of a family, without defcending

fcending to the cultivation of his own grounds, being condemned to pay three fifters the fortunes allotted them by my grandfather, who is fufpected to have made his will when he was incapable of adjusting properly the claims of his children, and who, perhaps without defign, enriched his daughters by beggaring his fon. My aunts being, at the death of their father, neither young nor beautiful, nor very eminent for foftness of behaviour, were fuffered to live unsolicited, and by accumulating the interest of their portions grew every day richer and prouder. My father pleafed himself with foreseeing that the poffeffions of those ladies must revert at last to the hereditary estate, and that his family might lose none of its dignity, refolved to keep me untainted with a lucrative employment; whenever therefore I discovered any inclination to the improvement of my condition, my mother never failed to put me in mind of my birth, and charged me to do nothing with which I might be reproached when I fhould come to my aunts' eftate.

In all the perplexities or vexations which want of money brought upon us, it was our conftant practice to have recourfe to futurity. If any of our neighbours furpaffed us in appearance, we went home and contrived an equipage, with which the death of my aunts was to fupply us. If any purfe proud upstart was deficient in refpect, vengeance was referred to the time in which our eftate was to be repaired. We registered every act of civility and rudeness, enquired the number of dishes at every feaft, and minuted the furniture of every house, that we might, when the hour of affluence fhould

come,

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