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are obtruded upon an attention thus bufy with its favourite amusement, and impatient of interruption or disturbance.

But not only fuch employments as feduce attention by appearances of dignity, or promises of happiness, may restrain the mind from excurfion and inquiry; curiofity may be equally destroyed by less formidable enemies; it may be diffipated in trifles, or congealed by indolence. The sportsman and the

man of dress have their heads filled with a fox or a horse-race, a feather or a ball; and live in ignorance of every thing befide, with as much content as he that heaps up gold, or folicits preferment, digs the field, or beats the anvil; and fome yet lower in the ranks of intellect, dream out their days without pleasure or business, without joy or forrow, nor ever rouse from their lethargy to hear or think.

Even of thofe who have dedicated themselves to knowledge, the far greater part have confined their curiofity to a few objects, and have very little inclination to promote any fame, but that which their own ftudies entitle them to partake. The naturalist has no defire to know the opinions or conjectures of the philologer: the botanist looks upon the aftronomer as a being unworthy of his regard: the lawyer fcarcely hears the name of a phyfician without contempt; and he that is growing great and happy by electrifying a bottle, wonders how the world can be engaged by trifling prattle about war or peace.

If, therefore, he that imagines the world filled with his actions and praifes, fhall fubduct from the number of his encomiafts, all thofe who are placed below the flight of fame, and who hear in the vallies of life

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no voice but that of neceffity; all those who imagine themselves too important to regard him, and confider the mention of his name as an ufurpation of their time; all who are too much or too little pleased with themselves, to attend to any thing external; all who are attracted by pleasure, or chained down by pain, to unvaried ideas; all who are withheld from attending his triumph by different purfuits; and all who flumber in univerfal negligence; he will find his renown straitened by nearer bounds than the rocks of Caucafus, and perceive that no man can be venerable or formidable, but to a small part of his fellow-crea

tures.

That we may not languish in our endeavours after excellence, it is neceffary, that, as Africanus counsels his defcendant, "we raife our eyes to higher pro"fpects, and contemplate our future and eternal "state, without giving up our hearts to the praise "of crowds, or fixing our hopes on fuch rewards as "human power can bestow."

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NUMB. 119. TUESDAY, May 7, 1751.

Iliacos intra muros peccatur, et extra.
Faults lay on either fide the Trojan tow'rs.

HOR.
ELPHINSTON,

To the RAMBLER.

SIR,

AS, notwithstanding all that wit, or malice, or pride, or prudence, will be able to fuggeft, men and women must at last pass their lives together, I have never therefore thought thofe writers friends to human happiness, who endeavour to excite in either fex a general contempt or fufpicion of the other. To perfuade them who are entering the world, and looking abroad for a fuitable affociate, that all are equally vicious, or equally ridiculous; that they who truft are certainly betrayed, and they who esteem are always difappointed; is not to awaken judgment, but to inflame temerity. Without hope, there can be, no caution. Those who are convinced, that no reafon for preference can be found, will never harass their thoughts with doubt and deliberation; they will refolve, fince they are doomed to mifery, that no needlefs anxiety fhall difturb their quiet; they will plunge at hazard into the crowd, and fnatch the first hand that shall be held toward them.

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That the world is over-run with vice, cannot be denied; but vice, however predominant, has not

yet gained an unlimited dominion. Simple and unmingled good is not in our power, but we may generally escape a greater evil by fuffering a lefs ; and therefore, thofe who undertake to initiate the young and ignorant in the knowledge of life, fhould be careful to inculcate the poffibility of virtue and happiness, and to encourage endeavours by profpects of fuccefs.

You, perhaps, do not fufpect, that these are the fentiments of one who has been fubject for many years to all the hardships of antiquated virginity; has been long accustomed to the coldnefs of neglect, and the petulance of infult; has been mortified in full af femblies by enquiries after forgotten fashions, games long difufed, and wits and beauties of ancient renown; has been invited, with malicious importu nity, to the second wedding of many acquaintances; has been ridiculed by two generations of coquets in whifpers intended to be heard; and been long confidered by the airy and gay, as too venerable for familiarity, and too wife for pleasure. It is indeed natural for injury to provoke anger, and by continual repetition to produce an habitual afperity; yet I have hitherto ftruggled with fo much vigilance against my pride and my refentment, that I have preferved my temper uncorrupted. I have not yet made it any part of my employment to collect fentences against marriage; nor am inclined to leffen the number of the few friends whom time has left me by obstructing that happiness which I cannot partake, and venting my vexation in cenfures of the forwardness and indiscretion of girls, or the inconftancy, tasteleffness, and perfidy of men.

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It is, indeed, not very difficult to bear that condition to which we are not condemned by neceffity, but induced by obfervation and choice; and therefore I, perhaps, have never yet felt all the malignity with which a reproach, edged with the appellation of old maid, fwells fome of thofe hearts in which it is infixed. I was not condemned in my youth to folitude, either by indigence or deformity, nor paffed the earlier part of life without the flattery of courtship, and the joys of triumph. I have danced the round of gaiety amidst the murmurs of envy, and gratulations of applaufe; been attended from pleasure to pleasure by the great, the fprightly, and the vain; and feen my regard folicited by the obfequiousness of gallantry, the gaiety of wit, and the timidity of love. If, therefore, I am yet a stranger to nuptial happiness, I fuffer only the confequences of my own refolves, and can look back upon the fucceffion of lovers, whose addreffes I have rejected, without grief, and without malice.

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When my name first began to be infcribed upon glaffes, I was honoured with the amorous profeffions of the gay Venuftulus, a gentleman, who, being the only fon of a wealthy family, had been educated in all the wantonnefs of expence, and softness of effeminacy. He was beautiful in his perfon, and easy in his address, and, therefore, foon gained upon my eye at an age when the fight is very little over-ruled by the understanding. He had not any power in himself of glad dening or amufing; but supplied his want of converfation by treats and diverfions; and his chief

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