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to be only one of the means to fome remoter end. The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.

He that directs his fteps to a certain point, muft frequently turn his eyes to that place which he strives to reach; he that undergoes the fatigue of labour, muft folace his wearinefs with the contemplation of its reward. In agriculture, one of the moft fimple and neceffary employments, no man turns up the ground but because he thinks of the harveft, that harveft which blights may intercept, which inundations may fweep away, or which death or calamity may hinder him from reaping.

Yet as few maxims are widely received or long retained but for fome conformity with truth and nature, it must be confeffed, that this caution against keeping our view too intent upon remote advantages is not without its propriety or usefulness, though it may have been recited with too much levity, or enforced with too little diftinction: for, not to fpeak of that vehemence of defire which preffes through right and wrong to its gratification, or that anxious inquietude which is juftly chargeable with diftruft of heaven, fubjects too folemn for my prefent purpofe; it frequently happens that, by indulging early the raptures of fuccefs, we forget the measures neceffary to fecure it, and fuffer the imagination to riot in the fruition of fome poffible good, till the time of obtaining it has flipped


There would however be few enterprises of great labour or hazard undertaken, if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages which we perfuade ourselves to expect from them. When the knight of La Mancha gravely recounts to his companion the adventures by which he is to fignalize himself in fuch a manner that he fhall be fummoned to the fupport of empires, folicited to accept the heiress

heiress of the crown which he has preferved, have honours and riches to scatter about him, and an island to bestow on his worthy fquire, very few readers, amidst their mirth or pity, can deny that they have admitted vifions of the fame kind; though they have not, perhaps, expected events equally ftrange, or by means equally inadequate. When we pity him, we reflect on our own difappointments; and when we laugh, our hearts inform us that he is not more ridiculous than ourselves, except that he tells what we have only thought.

The understanding of a man, naturally fanguine, may, indeed, be eafily vitiated by the luxurious indulgence of hope, however neceffary to the production of every thing great or excellent, as fome plants are deftroyed by too open expofure to that fun which gives life and beauty to the vegetable world.

Perhaps no clafs of the human fpecies requires more to be cautioned against this anticipation of happiness than those that aspire to the name of authors. A man of lively fancy no fooner finds a hint moving in his mind, than he makes momentaneous excurfions to the prefs, and to the world, and, with a little encouragement from flattery, pushes forward into future ages, and prognofticates the honours to be paid him, when envy is extinct, and faction forgotten, and thofe, whom partiality now fuffers to obfcure him, fhall have given way to other triflers of as fhort duration as themselves.

Thofe, who have proceeded fo far as to appeal to the tribunal of fucceeding times, are not likely to be cured of their infatuation; but all endeavours ought to be used for the prevention of a difeafe, for which, when it has attained its height, perhaps no remedy will be found in the gardens of philofophy, however the may boaft her phyfick of the mind, her catharticks of vice, or lenitives of paffion. I fhall,

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I fhall, therefore, while I am yet but lightlytouched with the fymptoms of the writer's malady, endeavour to fortify myself against the infection, not without fome weak hope, that my prefervatives may extend their virtue to others, whofe employment exposes them to the fame danger:


Laudis amore tumes? Sunt certa piacula, quæ te
Ter pure leto poterunt recreare libello.

Is famé your paffion? Wifdom's pow'rful charm,
If thrice read over, shall its force difarm.


It is the fage advice of Epictetus, that a man fhould accuftom himself often to think of what is moft fhocking and terrible, that by fuch reflexions he may be preferved from too ardent wishes for feeming good, and from too much dejection in real


There is nothing more dreadful to an author than neglect, compared with which reproach, hatred, and oppofition, are names of happiness; yet this worst, this meanest fate every man who dares to write has reason to fear.

I nune, et verfus tecum meditare canoros.

Go now, and meditate thy tuneful lays.


It may not be unfit for him who makes a new entrance into the lettered world, fo far to fufpect his own powers as to believe that he poffibly may deferve neglect; that nature may not have qualified him much to enlarge or embellish knowledge, nor fent him forth intitled by indifputable fuperiority to regulate the conduct of the reft of mankind; that, though the world muft be granted to be yet in ignorance, he is not deftined to difpel the cloud, nor to fhine out as one of the luminaries of life. For this fufpicion, every catalogue of a library will furnish fufficient reafon; as he will find it crouded with.


names of men, who, though now forgotten, were once no lefs enterprifing or confident than himself, equally pleafed with their own productions, equally careffed by their patrons, and flattered by their friends.

But, though it should happen that an author is capable of excelling, yet his merit may pass without notice, huddled in the variety of things, and thrown into the general mifcellany of life. He that endeavours after fame by writing, folicits the regard of a multitude fluctuating in pleasures, or immersed in bufinefs, without time for intellectual amusements; he appeals to judges prepoffeffed by paffions, or corrupted by prejudices, which preclude their approbation of any new performance. Some are too indolent to read any thing, till its reputation is eftablifhed; others too envious to promote that fame, which gives them pain by its increafe. What is new is opposed, because most are unwilling to be taught; and what is known is rejected, because it is not fufficiently confidered, that men more frequently require to be reminded than informed. The learned are afraid to declare their opinion early, left they should put their reputation in hazard; the ignorant always imagine themfelves giving fome proof of delicacy, when they refuse to be pleafed : and he that finds his way to reputation, through all these obstructions, must acknowledge that he is indebted to other caufes befides his industry, his learning, or his wit.

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NUMB. 3. TUESDAY, March 27, 1750.

VIRTUS, repulfa nefcia fordida,
Intaminatis fulget honoribus,
Nec fumit aut ponit Secures
Arbitrio popularis auræ.

Undifappointed in defigns,
With native honours virtue shines ;
Nor takes up pow'r, nor lays it down,
As giddy rabbles fmile or frown.




HE task of an author is, either to teach what is not known, or to recommend known truths, by his manner of adorning them; either to let new light in upon the mind, and open new fcenes to the profpect, or to vary the drefs and fituation of common objects, fo as to give them fresh grace and more powerful attractions, to spread fuch flowers over the regions through which the intellect has already made its progrefs, as may tempt it to return, and take a fecond view of things haftily paffed over, or negligently regarded.

Either of thefe labours is very difficult, because, that they may not be fruitlefs, men muft not only be perfuaded of their errors, but reconciled to their guide; they must not only confefs their ignorance, but, what is ftill lefs pleafing, muft allow that he from whom they are to learn is more knowing than themselves.

It might be imagined that fuch an employment was in itself fufficiently irkfome and hazardous; that none would be found fo malevolent as wantonly to add weight to the ftone of Sifyphus; and that few endeavours would be used to obftruct thofe advances to reputation, which must be made at fuch an expence of time and thought, with fo great hazard in the mifcarriage, and with fo little advantage from the fuccefs.

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