ページの画像
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

clamoured vehemently for a prologue, and clapped
with great dexterity at the first entrance of the
players.
Two scenes they heard without attempting inter-
ruption; but, being no longer able to restrain their
impatience, they then began to exert themselves in
groans and hisses, and plied their catcalls with inces-
sant diligence; so that they were soon considered by
the audience as disturbers of the house; and some
who sat near them, either provoked at the obstruc-
tion of their entertainment, or desirous to preserve
the author from the mortification of seeing his hopes
destroyed by children, snatched away their instru-
ments of criticism, and, by the seasonable vibration
of a stick, subdued them instantaneously to decency
and silence.
To exhilarate themselves after this vexatious de-
feat, they posted to a tavern, where they recovered
their alacrity, and, after two hours of obstreperous
jollity, burst out big with enterprize, and panting
for some occasion to signalize their prowess. They
proceeded vigorously through two streets, and with
very little opposition dispersed a rabble of drunkards
less daring than themselves, then rolled two watch-
men in the kennel, and broke the windows of a tav-
ern in which the fugitives took shelter. At lastit was
determined to march up to a row of chairs, and de-
molish them for standing on the pavement; the
chairmen formed a line of battle, and blows were ex-
changed for a time with equal courage on both sides.
At last the assailants were overpowered, and the

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

chairmen, when they knew their captives, brought
them home by force.
The young gentleman, next morning, hung his
head, and was so much ashamed of his outrages and
defeat, that perhaps he might have been checked in
his first follies, had not his mother, partly in pity of
his dejection, and partly in approbation of his spirit,
relieved him from his perplexity by paying the dam-
ages privately, and discouraging all animadversion
and reproof.
This indulgence could not wholly preserve him
from the remembrance of his disgrace, nor at once
restore his confidence and elation. He was for three
days silent, modest, and compliant, and thought
himself neither too wise for instruction, nor too
manly for restraint. But his levity overcame this
salutary sorrow; he began to talk with his former
raptures of masquerades, taverns, and frolicks; blus-
tered when his wig was not combed with exactness;
and threatened destruction to a tailor who had mis-
taken his directions about the pocket.
I knew that he was now rising again above con-
trol, and that his inflation of spirits would burst
out into some mischievous absurdity. I therefore
watched him with great attention; but one evening,
having attended his mother at a visit, he withdrew
himself, unsuspected, while the company was en-
gaged at cards. His vivacity and officiousness were
Soon missed, and his return impatiently expected;
Supper was delayed, and conversation suspended;
every coach that rattled through the street was ex-

[ocr errors][graphic]

pected to bring him, and every servant that entered the room was examined concerning his departure. At last the lady returned home, and was with great difficulty preserved from fits by spirits and cordials. The family was despatched a thousand ways without success, and the house was filled with distraction, till, as we were deliberating what further measures to take, he returned from a petty gaming-table, with his coat torn and his head broken; without his sword, snuff-box, sleeve-buttons, and watch. Of this loss or robbery, he gave little account; but, instead of sinking into his former shame, endeavoured to support himself by surliness and asperity. “He was not the first that had played away a few trifles, and of what use were birth and fortune if they would not admit some sallies and expenses?” His mamma was so much provoked by the cost of this prank, that she would neither palliate nor conceal it; and his father, after some threats of rustication which his fondness would not suffer him to execute, reduce the allowance of his pocket, that he might not be tempted by plenty to profusion. This method would have succeeded in a place where there are no panders to folly and extravagance, but was now likely to have produced pernicious consequences; for we have discovered a treaty with a broker, whose daughter he seems disposed to marry, on condition that he shall be supplied with present money, for which he is to repay thrice the value at the death of his father. There was now no time to be lost. A domestick ditio - - e * consultation was immediately held, and he was

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

iss - • : doomed to pass two years in the country; but his WIslso - o mother, touched with his tears, declared, that she

... thought him too much of a man to be any longer assi: e e .." confined to his book, and he therefore begins his Sos. s travels to-morrow under a French governour. |||{\| iglo I am, &c. ill EUMATHEs. h

to: No. 196. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1752 ||||||| Multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum,

h ti. Multa recedentes adimunt.— HoR. De Ar. Poet. 175. so The blessings flowing in with life's full tide, Włł Down with our ebb of life decreasing glide. FRANCIS. | re: AXTER, in the narrative of his own life, has

ol e to • |E|3: enumerated several opinions, which, though he

* thought them evident and incontestable at his first To entrance into the world, time and experience disto posed him to change. 1. Whoever reviews the state of his own mind from o the dawn of manhood to its decline, and considers who what he pursued or dreaded, slighted or esteemed, ** at different periods of his age, will have no reason * to imagine such changes of sentiment peculiar to do any station or character. Every man, however carewo less and inattentive, has conviction forced upon * him; the lectures of time obtrude themselves upon * the most unwilling or dissipated auditor; and, ro by comparing our past with our present thoughts, we perceive that we have changed our minds, * though perhaps we cannot discover when the alteration happened, or by what causes it was produced. This revolution of sentiments occasions a perpetual contest between the old and young. They who imagine themselves entitled to veneration by the prerogative of longer life, are inclined to treat the notions of those whose conduct they superintend with superciliousness and contempt, for want of considering that the future and the past have different appearances; that the disproportion will always be great between expectation and enjoyment, between new possession and satiety; that the truth of many maxims of age gives too little pleasure to be allowed till it is felt; and that the miseries of life would be increased beyond all human power of endurance, if we were to enter the world with the same opinions as we carry from it. We naturally indulge those ideas that please us. Hope will predominate in every mind, till it has been suppressed by frequent disappointments. The youth has not yet discovered how many evils are continually hovering about us, and when he is set free from the shackles of discipline, looks abroad into the world with rapture; he sees an elysian region open before him, so variegated with beauty, and so stored with pleasure, that his care is rather to accumulate good, than to shun evil; he stands distracted by different forms of delight, and has no other doubt, than which path to follow of those which all lead equally to the bowers of happiness. He who has seen only the superficies of life be

[graphic][graphic]
[graphic]
« 前へ次へ »