lieves everything to be what it appears, and rarely suspects that external splendour conceals any latent sorrow or vexation. He never imagines that there may be greatness without safety, affluence without content, jollity without friendship, and solitude without peace. He fancies himself permitted to cull the blessings of every condition, and to leave its inconveniences to the idle and the ignorant. He is inclined to believe no man miserable but by his own fault, and seldom looks with much pity upon failings or miscarriages, because he thinks them willingly admitted, or negligently incurred. It is impossible, without pity and contempt, to hear a youth of generous sentiments and warm imagination, declaring, in the moment of Openness and confidence, his designs and expectations; because long life is possible, he considers it as certain, and therefore promises himself all the changes of happiness, and provides gratifications for every desire. He is, for a time, to give himself wholly to frolick and diversion, to range the world in search of pleasure, to delight every eye, to gain every heart, and to be celebrated equally for his pleasing levities and Solid attainments, his deep reflections and his sparkling repartees. He then elevates his views to nobler enjoyments, and finds all the scattered excellencies of the female world united in a woman, who prefers his addresses to wealth and titles; he is afterwards to engage in business, to dissipate difficulty, and overpower opposition: to climb, by the mere force of merit, to fame and greatness; and reward all those

who countenanced his rise, or paid due regard to
his early excellence. At last he will retire in peace
and honour; contract his views to domestick pleas-
ures; form the manners of children like himself;
observe how every year expands the beauty of his
daughters, and how his sons catch ardour from their
father’s history; he will give laws to the neighbour-
hood; dictate axioms to posterity; and leave the
world an example of wisdom and happiness.
With hopes like these, he sallies jocund into life;
to little purpose is he told, that the condition of
humanity admits no pure and unmingled happiness;
that the exuberant gaiety of youth ends in poverty
or disease; that uncommon qualifications and con-
trarieties of excellence, produce envy equally with
applause; that whatever admiration and fondness
may promise him, he must marry a wife like the
wives of others, with some virtues and some faults,
and be as often disgusted by her vices, as delighted
by her elegance; that if he adventures into the cir-
cle of action, he must expect to encounter men as
artful, as daring, as resolute as himself; that of his
children, some may be deformed, and others vicious;
some may disgrace him by their follies, some offend
him by their insolence, and some exhaust him by
their profusion. He hears all this with obstinate in-
credulity, and wonders by what malignity old age
is influenced, that it cannot forbear to fill his ears
with predictions of misery.
Among other pleasing errours of young minds,
is the opinion of their own importance. He that has

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not yet remarked, how little attention his contem-
poraries can spare from their own affairs, conceives
all eyes turned upon himself, and imagines every
one that approaches him to be an enemy or a fol-
lower, an admirer or a spy. He therefore considers
his fame as involved in the event of every action.
Many of the virtues and vices of youth proceed
from this quick sense of reputation. This it is that
gives firmness and constancy, fidelity, and disinter-
estedness, and it is this that kindles resentment for
slight injuries, and dictates all the principles of san-
guinary honour.
But as time brings him forward into the world,
he soon discovers that he only shares fame or re-
proach with innumerable partners; that he is left
unmarked in the obscurity of the crowd; and that
what he does, whether good or bad, soon gives way
to new objects of regard. He then easily sets him-
self free from the anxieties of reputation, and con-
siders praise or censure as a transient breath, which,
while he hears it, is passing away, without any last-
ing mischief or advantage.
In youth, it is common to measure right and
wrong by the opinion of the world, and, in age, to
act without any measure but interest, and to lose
shame without substituting virtue.
Such is the condition of life, that something is
always wanting to happiness. In youth, we have
warm hopes, which are soon blasted by rashness and
negligence, and great designs, which are defeated

by inexperience. In age, we have knowledge and


prudence without spirit to exert, or motives to prompt them; we are able to plan schemes and regulate measures, but have not time remaining to bring them to completion.

No. 197. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 1752 Cujus culturis hoc erit cadaver? MART. Lib. vi. Ep. lxii. 4. Say, to what vulture's share this carcase falls? F. Lewis. SIR, TO THE RAMBLER. BELONG to an order of mankind, considerable at least for their number, to which your notice has never been formally extended, though equally entitled to regard with those triflers, who have hitherto supplied you with topicks of amusement or instruction. I am, Mr. Rambler, a legacy-hunter; and, as every man is willing to think well of the tribe in which his name is registered, you will forgive my vanity, if I remind you that the legacyhunter, however degraded by an ill-compounded appellation in our barbarous language, was known, as I am told, in ancient Rome, by the sonorous titles of Captator and Haeredipeta. My father was an attorney in the country, who married his master's daughter in hopes of a fortune which he did not obtain, having been, as he afterwards discovered, chosen by her only because she had no better offer, and was afraid of service. I was the first offspring of a marriage, thus reciprocally fraudulent, and therefore could not be expected to inherit much dignity or generosity, and if I had

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them not from nature, was not likely ever to attain them; for, in the years which I spent at home, I never heard any reason for action or forbearance, but that we should gain money or lose it; nor was taught any other style of commendation, than that Mr. Sneaker is a warm man, Mr. Gripe has done his business, and needs care for nobody. My parents, though otherwise not great philosophers, knew the force of early education, and took care that the blank of my understanding should be filled with impressions of the value of money. My mother used, upon all occasions, to inculcate some Salutary, axioms, such as might incite me to keep what I had, and get what I could; she informed me that we were in a world, where all must catch that catch can; and as I grew up, stored my memory with deeper observations; restrained me from the usual puerile expenses, by remarking that many a little made a mickle; and, when I envied the finery of my neighbours, told me that brag was a good dog, but holdfast was a better. I was soon sagacious enough to discover that I was not born to great wealth; and having heard no other name for happiness, was sometimes inclined to repine at my condition. But my mother always relieved me, by saying, that there was money enough in the family, that it was good to be qf kin to means, that I had nothing to do but to please my friends, and I might come to hold up my head with the best squire in the country. These splendid expectations arose from our al

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