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fufpected that the old draw upon themfelves the greatest part of those infults which they fo much lament, and that age is rarely defpifed but when it is contemptible. If men imagine that excefs of debauchery can be made reve

It is not fufficiently confidered how much he affumes who dares to claim the privilege of complaining: for as every man has, in his own opinion, a full fhare of the miferies of life, he is inclined to confider all clamorous uneafinefs as a proof of impatience rather than of affic-rend by tine, that knowledge is the contion, and to afk, 'What merit has this

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man to show, by which he has acquired a right to repine at the diftributions of nature? Or, why does he imagine that exemptions should be granted him from the general condition of man?' We find ourfelves excited rather to captioufnets than pity; and instead of being in hafte to footh his complaints by fympathy and tenderness, we enquire, whether the pain be proportionate to the lamentation; and whether,fuppofing the affliction real, it is not the effect of vice and folly, rather than calamity.

The queruloufnefs and indignation which is obferved fo often to disfigure the laft fcene of life, naturally leads us to enquiries like thefe. For furely it will be thought, at the first view of things, that if age be thus contemned and ridiculed, infulted and neglected, the crime muft at least be equal on either part. They who have had opportunities of establishing their authority over minds ductile and unrefifting, they who have been the protectors of helpleffuefs, and the inftructors of ignorance, and who yet retain in their own hands the power of wealth, and the dignity of command, muft defeat their influence by their own mifconduct, and make use of all these advantages with very little skill, if they cannot fecure to themfelves an appearance of refpe&t, and ward off open mockery, and declared contempt.

The general ftory of mankind will evince, that lawful and fettled authority is very feldom refiited when it is well employed. Grofs corruption, or evident imbecility, is neceffary to the fuppreffion of that reverence with which the majority of mankind look upon their governors, on thofe whom they fee furrounded by fplendour, and fortified by power. For though men are drawn by their paffions into forgetfulness of invifible rewards and punishments, yet they are eafily kept obedient to those who have temporal dominion in their hands, till their veneration is diffipated by fuch wickedness and folly as can neither be defended nor concealed.

It may, therefore, very reafonably be

fequence of long life, however idly and thoughtlessly employed, that priority of birth will fupply the want of steadiness or honefty, can it raife much wonder that their hopes are difappointed, and that they fee their pofterity rather willing to trust their own eyes in their progrefs into life, than enlift themselves under guides who have loft their way?

There, are, indeed, many truths which time neceffarily and certainly teaches, and which might, by thofe who have learned them from experience, be communicated to their fucceffors at a cheaper rate: but dictates, though liberally enough beftowed, are generally without effect; the teacher gains few profelytes by inftruction which his own behaviour contradiЯs; and young men mifs the benefit of counfel, becaufe they are not very ready to believe that thofe who fall below them in practice can much excel them in theory. Thus the progrefs of knowledge is retarded, the world is kept long in the fame ftate, and every new race is to gain the prudence of their predeceffors by committing and redreffing the fame mifcarriages.

To fecure to the old that influence which they are willing to claim, and which might fo much contribute to the improvement of the arts of life, it is abfolutely neceffary that they give themfelves up to the duties of declining years; and contentedly refign to youth it's levity, it's pleafures, it's frolicks, and it's fopperies. It is a hopeless endeavour to unite the contrarieties of fpring and winter; it is unjutt to claim the privileges of age, and retain the playthings of childhood. The young always form magnificent ideas of the wifdom and gravity of men, whom they confider as placed at a distance from them in the ranks of existence; and naturally look on those whom they find trifling with long beards, with contempt and indignation, like that which women feel at the cffeminacy of men. If dotards will contend with boys in those performances in which boys must always excel them; if they will drefs crippled limbs in einbroidery, endeavour at gaiety with faul

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that is peremptory in every command, and inexorable to every failure. There are many who live merely to hinder happinefs, and whofe defcendants can only tell of long life, that it produces fufpicion, malignity, peevifhnefs, and perfecution: and yet even thefe tyrants can talk of the ingratitude of the age, curfe their heirs for impatience, and wonder that young men cannot take pleasure in their fathers company.

He that would pafs the latter part of life with honour and decency, muft, when he is young, confider that he shall one day be old; and remember, when he is old, that he has once been young. In youth he muft lay up knowledge for his fupport when his powers of acting fhall forfake him; and in age forbear to animadvert with rigour on faults which experience only can correct.



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S you have allowed a place in your paper to Euphelia's letters from the country, and appear to think no form of human life unworthy of your attention, I have refolved, after many ftruggles with idleness and diffidence, to give you fome account of my entertainment in this fober feafon of univerfal retreat, and to defcribe to you the employments of thofe who look with contempt on the pleafures and diverfions of polite life, and employ all their powers of cenfure and invective upon the ufeleffnefs, vanity, and folly, of drefs, vifits, and conversation.

When a tirefome and vexatious journey of four days had brought me to the house, where invitation, regularly fent for feven years together, had at last induced me to pafs the fummer, I was furprifed, after the civilities of my first reception, to find, inftead of the leifure and tranquillity which a rural life always promifes, and, if well conducted, might always afford, a confused wildness of care, and a tupultuous hurry of diligence, by which




face was clouded, and every motion agitated. The old lady, who was my father's relation, was, indeed, very full of the happiness which he received from my vifit, and, according to the forms of obfolete breeding, infiited that I should recompence the long delay of my company with a promise not to leave her till winter. But, amidst all her kindnefs and careffes, fhe very frequently turned her head atide, and whispered, with anxious earneftnefs, fome order to her daughters, which never failed to fend them out with unpolite precipitation. Sometimes her impatience would not fuffer her to ftay behind; fhe begged my pardon, the muft leave me for a momeat; fhe went, and returned and fat down again, but was again difturbed by fome new care, difimiffed her daughters with the fame trepidation, and followed them with the fame countenance of busi nefs and folicitude.

However I was alarmed at this fhew of eagernels and disturbance, and how ever my curiofity was excited by fuch buy preparations as naturally promifed feme great event, I was yet too much a fanger

ftranger to gratify myfelf with enquiries; but finding none of the family in mourning, I pleafed myself with imagining that I fhould rather fee a wedding than a funeral.

At last we fat down to fupper, when I was informed that one of the young ladies, after whom I thought myself obliged to enquire, was under a neceffity of attending fome affair that could not be neglected: foon afterward my relation began to talk of the regularity of her family, and the inconvenience of London hours; and at last let me know that they had propofed that night to go to bed fooner than was ufual, because they were to rife early in the morning to make cheesecakes. This hint fent me to my chamber, to which I was accompanied by all the ladies, who begged me to excufe fome large fieves of leaves and flowers that covered two thirds of the floor, for they intended to diftil them when they were dry, and they had no other room that fo conveniently received the rifing fun.

The scent of the plants hindered me from reft, and therefore I rofe early in the morning with a refolution to explore my new habitation. I ftole unperceived by my bufy coufins into the garden, where I found nothing either more great or elegant, than in the fame number of acres cultivated for the market. Of the gardener, I foon learned that his lady was the greatest manager in that part of the country, and that I was come hither at the time in which I might learn to make more pickles and conferves, than could be feen at any other house a hundred miles round.

It was not long before her ladyfhip gave me fufficient opportunities of knowing her character, for fhe was too much pleafed with her own accomplishments to conceal them; and took occasion, from fome fweetmeats which fhe fet next day upon the table, to difcourfe for two long hours upon robs and gellies; laid down the best methods of conferving, referving, and preferving all forts of fruit; told us with great contempt of the London lady in the neighbourhood, by whom thefe terms were very often confounded; and hinted how much the should be afhamed to fet before company, at her own house, fweetmeats of fo dark a colour as the had often feen at Miftrefs Sprightly's.

It is, indeed, the great business of her

life, to watch the fkillet on the fire, to fee it fimmer with the due degree of heat, and to fnatch it off at the moment of projection; and the employments to which fhe has bred her daughters, are to turn rofe-leaves in the fhade, to pick out the feeds of currants with a quill, to gather fruit without bruifing it, and to extract bean-flower water for the fkin. Such are the tasks with which every day, fince I came hither, has begun and ended, to which the early hours of life are facrificed, and in which that time is paffing away which never shall return.

But to reafon or expoftulate, are hopelefs attempts. The lady has fettled her opinions, and maintains the dignity of her own performances with all the firmnefs of ftupidity accustomed to be flattered. Her daughters having never seen any houfe but their own, believe their mother's excellence on her own word. Her husband is a mere fportfman, who is pleated to fee his table well furnished, and thinks the day fufficiently fuccefsful, in which he brings home a leath of hares to be potted by his wife.

After a few days I pretended to want books, but my lady foon told me that none of her books would fuit my taste; for her part, fhe never loved to fee young women give their minds to fuch follies, by which they would only learn to use hard words; the bred up her daughters to understand a houfe, and whoever fhould marry them, if they knew any thing of good cookery, would never repent it.

There are, however, fome things in the culinary fciences too fublime for youthful intellects; myfteries into which they must not be initiated till the years of ferious maturity, and which are referred to the day of marriage, as the fupreme qualification for connubial life. She makes an orange pudding, which is the envy of all the neighbourhood, and which the has hitherto found means of mixing and baking with fecrecy, that the ingredient to which it owes it's flavour has never been difcovered. She, indeed, conducts this great affair with all the caution that human policy can fuggeft. It is never known before-hand when this pudding will be produced; the takes the ingredients privately into her own clofet, employs her maids and daughters in different parts of the houfe, orders the oven to be heated for a pie, and places the pudding in it with her own hands,



the mouth of the oven is then stopped, and all enquiries are vain.

The compofition of the pudding the has, however, promifed Clarinda, that if the pleases her in marriage, fhe fhall be told without referve. But the art of making English capers fhe has not yet perfuaded herself to difcover; but feems refolved that fecret fhall perish with her, as fome alchymifts have obftinately fuppreffed the art of tranfmuting metals.

I once ventured to lay my fingers on her book of receipts, which the left upon the table, having intelligence that a veffel of goofeberry-wine had burft the hoops. But though the importance of the event fufficiently engroffed her care, to prevent any recollection of the danger to which her fecrets were expofed, I was not able to make use of the golden moments; for this treafure of hereditary knowledge was fo well concealed by the manner of fpelling ufed by her grandmother, her mother, and herself, that I was totally unable to understand it, and loft the opportunity of confulting the oracle, for want of knowing the language in which it's anfwers were returned.

It is, indeed, neceffary, if I have any regard to her ladyfhip's efteem, that I fhould apply myself to fome of these economical accomplishments; for I overheard her, two days ago, warning her daughters, by my mournful example, against negligence of pastry, and ignorance in carving: 'For you faw,' faid the, that, with all her pretenfions to knowledge, he turned the partridge the wrong way when the attempted to cut it, and, I believe, fcarcely knows the difference between pafte raised, and ' pafte in a dish.'

The reafon, Mr. Rambler, why I have laid Lady Buftle's character before you, is a defire to be informed whether, in your opinion, it is worthy of imitation, and whether I fhall throw away the books which I have hitherto thought it my duty to read, for The Lady's Clofet Opened, The Complete Servant Maid, and The Court Cook, and refign all curiosity after right and wrong, for the art

of fcalding damafcenes without bursting them, and preferving the whiteness of pickled mushrooms.

Lady Buftle has, indeed, by this inceffant application to fruits and flowers, contracted her cares into a narrow space, and fet herfelf free from many perplexities with which other minds are disturbed. She has no curiofity after the events of a war, or the fate of heroes in diftrefs; the can hear, without the leaft emotion, the ravage of a fire, or devaftations of a ftorm; her neighbours grow rich or poor, come into the world or go out of it, without regard, while fhe is preffing the gelly-bag, or airing the itore-room; but I cannot perceive that fhe is more free from difquiets than thofe whofe undertandings take a wider range. Her marigolds, when they are almolt cured, are often feattered by the wind, and the rain fometimes falls upon fruit when it ought to be gathered dry. While her artificial wines are fermenting, her whole life is reftlessness and anxiety. Her fweetmeats are not always bright; and the maid fometimes forgets the juft proportions of falt and pepper, when venifon is to be baked. Her conferves mould, her wines four, and pickles mother; and, like all the reft of mankind, he is every day mor tified with the defeat of her fchemes," and the difappointment of her hopes.

With regard to vice and virtue fhe feems a kind of neutral being. She has no crime but luxury, nor any virtue but chastity; fhe has no defire to be praised but for her cookery, nor wishes any ill to the rest of mankind, but that whenever they afpire to a feast, their custards may be wheyish, and their pie-cruits tough.

I am now very impatient to know whether I am to look on these ladies as the great patterns of our fex, and to confider conferves and pickles as the bufinefs of my life; whether the cenfures which I now suffer be just; and whether the brewers of wines, and the dittillers of wafhes, have a right to look with infolence on the weakness of










AMONG the various methods of which it is not in our power to afford the

confolation, to which the miferies infeparable from our prefent ftate have given occafion, it has been, as I have already remarked, recommended by fome writers to put the fufferer in mind of heavier preffures, and more excruciating calamities, than thofe of which he has himself reason to complain.

This has, in all ages, been directed and practised; and, in conformity to this cuftom, Lipfius, the great modern mafter of the Stoick philofophy, has in his celebrated treatise on freadiness of mind, endeavoured to fortify the breast against too much fenfibility of misfortune, by enumerating the evils which have in former ages fallen upon the 'world, the devaftation of wide-extended regions, the lack of cities, and maffacre of nations. And the common voice of the multitude uninftructed by precept, and unprejudiced by authority, which, in queftions that relate to the heart of man, is, in my opinion, more decifive than the learning of Lipfius, feems to juftify the efficacy of this procedure; for one of the first comforts which one neighbour adminifters to another, is a relation of the like infelicity, combined with circumstances of greater bitterness.

But this medicine of the mind is like many remedies applied to the body, of which, though we see the effects, we are unacquainted with the manner of operation, and of which, therefore, fome, who are unwilling to fuppofe any thing out of the reach of their own fagacity, have been inclined to doubt whether they have really thofe virtues for which they are celebrated, and whether their reputation is not the mere gift of fancy, prejudice, and credulity.

Confolation, or comfort, are words which, in their proper acceptation, fignify fome alleviation of that pain to

proper and adequate remedy; they imply rather an augmentation of the power of bearing, than a diminution of the burthen. A prifoner is relieved by him that fets him at liberty, but receives comfort from fuch as fuggeft confiderations by which he is made patient under the inconvenience of confinement. To that grief which arifes from a great lofs, he only brings the true remedy, who makes his friend's condition the fame as before; but he may be properly termed a comforter, who by perfuafion extenuates the pain of poverty, and fhews, in the ftyle of Heliod, that half is more than the whole.

It is, perhaps, not immediately obvious, how it can lull the memory of misfortune, or appeafe the throbbings of anguifh, to hear that others are more miferable; others, perhaps, unknown, or wholly indifferent, whofe prosperity raifes no envy, and whose fall can gratify no refentment. Some topicks of comfort arifing, like that which gave hope and fpirit to the captive of Sefoftris, from the perpetual viciffitudes of life, and mutability of human affairs, may as properly raife the dejected as deprefs the proud, and have an immediate tendency to exhilarate and revive. But how can it avail the man who languishes in the gloom of forrow, without profpect of emerging into the funfhine of cheerfulnefs, to hear that others are funk yet deeper in the dungeon of mifery, shackled with heavier chains, and furrounded with darker defperation?

The folace arifing from this confideration feems indeed the weakest of all others, and is perhaps never properly applied, but in cafes where there is no place for reflections of more speedy and pleafing efficacy. But even from fuch calamities life is by no means free; a


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