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was not like to bewitch or entice me when I saw that it was adulterate. I met with several great persons, whom I liked very well, but could not perceive that any part of their greatness was to be liked or desired, no more than I would be glad or content to be in a storm, though I saw many ships which rid safely and bravely in it. A storm would not agree with my stomach, if it did with my courage. Though I was in a crowd of as good company as could be found anywhere, though I was in business of great and honourable trust, though I ate at the best table, and enjoyed the best conveniences for present subsistence that ought to be desired by a man of my condition in banishment and public distresses, yet I could not abstain from renewing my old schoolboy's wish in a copy of verses to the same effect.

Well then; I now do plainly see,

This busy world and I shall ne'er agree, &c.? And I never then proposed to myself any other advantage from His Majesty's happy restoration, but the getting into some moderately convenient retreat in the country, which I thought in that case I might easily have compassed, as well as some others, with no greater probabilities or pretences, have arrived to extraordinary fortunes. But I had before written a shrewd prophecy against myself, and I think Apollo inspired me in the truth, though not in the elegance of it.

Thou, neither great at court nor in the war,
Nor at th' exchange shalt be, nor at the wrangling bar;
Content thyself with the small barren praise,

Which neglected verse does raise, &c. ? However, by the failing of the forces which I had 1 The opening lines of “The Wish", one of the poems published in 1647 under the collective name of The Mistress.

2 From “Destiny", the seventh of Cowley's fifteen Pindarique Odes published in 1656.

expected, I did not quit the design which I had resolved on; I cast myself into it A corps perdu, without making capitulations or taking counsel of fortune. But God laughs at a man who says to his soul, “Take thy ease": I met presently not only with many little encumbrances and impediments, but with so much sickness (a new misfortune to me) as would have spoiled the happiness of an emperor as well as mine. Yet I do neither repent nor alter my course. Non ego perfidum dixi sacramentum. Nothing shall separate me from a mistress which I have loved so long, and have now at last married, though she neither has brought me a rich portion, nor lived yet so quietly with me as I hoped from her.

-Nec vos, dulcissima mundi
Nomina, vos Musa, libertas, otia, libri,
Hortique sylvæque anima remanente relinquam.

Nor by me e'er shall you,
You of all names the sweetest, and the best,
You Muses, books, and liberty, and rest;
You gardens, fields, and woods forsaken be,

As long as life itself forsakes not me. But this is a very petty ejaculation. Because I have concluded all the other chapters with a copy of verses, I will maintain the humour to the last.

MARTIAL, LIB. 10, EP. 47.

Vitam quæ faciunt beatiorem, etc.
SINCE, dearest friend, 't is your desire to see
A true receipt of happiness from me;
These are the chief ingredients, if not all:
Take an estate neither too great nor small,
Which quantum sufficit the doctors call;
Let this estate from parents' care descend:
The getting it too much of life does spend.
Take such a ground, whose gratitude may be
A fair encouragement for industry.

Let constant fires the winter's fury tame,
And let thy kitchens be a vestal flame.
Thee to the town let never suit at law,
And rarely, very rarely, business draw.
Thy active mind in equal temper keep,
In undisturbed peace, yet not in sleep.
Let exercise a vigorous health maintain,
Without which all the composition's vain.
In the same weight prudence and innocence take,
Anal of each does the just mixture make.
But a few friendships wear, and let them be
By Nature and by Fortune fit for thee.
Instead of art and luxury in food,
Let mirth and freedom make thy table good.
If any cares into thy daytime creep,
At night, without wine's opium, let them sleep.
Let rest, which Nature does to darkness wed,
And not lust, recommend to thee thy bed.
Be satisfied, and pleased with what thou art;
Act cheerfully and well the allotted part.
Enjoy the present hour, be thankful for the past,
And neither fear, nor wish the approaches of the last.

MARTIAL, LIB. 10, EP. 96.
ME, who have lived so long among the great,
You wonder to hear talk of a retreat:
And a retreat so distant, as may show
No thoughts of a return when once I go.
Give me a country, how remote so e'er, .
Where happiness a moderate rate does bear,
Where poverty itself in plenty flows
And all the solid use of riches knows.
The ground about the house maintains it there,
The house maintains the ground about it here.
Here even hunger's dear, and a full board
Devours the vital substance of the lord.
The land itself does there the feast bestow,
The land itself must here to market go.
Three or four suits one winter here does waste,
One suit does there three or four winters last.

lan equal quantity.

Here every frugal man must oft be cold,
And little lukewarm fires are to you sold.
There fire 's an element as cheap and free
Almost as any of the other three.
Stay you then here, and live among the great,
Attend their sports, and at their tables eat.
When all the bounties here of men you score:
The Place's bounty there, shall give me more.




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I have employed myself of late pretty much in the

study of history, and have been reading the stories of the great men of past ages, Alexander the Great, Julius Cæsar, the great Augustus, and many more down, down, down, to the still greater Louis XIV., and even to the still greatest John, Duke of Marlborough? In my way I met with Tamerlane", the Scythian, Tomornbejus, the Egyptian, Solyman, the Magnificent, and others of the Mahometan or Ottoman race; and after all the great

1 This essay appeared on July 21, 1722, in The Original Weekly Journal and Saturday's Post, started by Applebee on 2nd Oct. 1714. From 1720 to 1726 Defoe contributed weekly articles in the form of "letters introductory". These letters-admittedly the prototypes of “leading articles"-were first introduced by Defoe in the sixty-eighth number of Mist's Journal, 1718.

2 The Duke died five weeks before the date of Defoe's essay. 3 Timour (1336–1405) made war on the whole world in support of what he regarded as the true Mahometan faith. He defeated the Ottoman Sultan, and died when preparing to invade China.

* Tumanbeg or Tumanbai, the last Mameluke Sultan, was defeated and put to death by Selim in 1517.

5 Suleiman, the Magnificent, the Lawgiver (1490-1566), was the greatest constructor of the Ottoman power. The capture of Rhodes, the invasion of Hungary, and the siege of Vienna were his most famous exploits.

things they have done I find it said of them all, one after another, AND THEN HE DIED, all dead, dead, dead! hic jacet is the finishing part of their history. Some lie in the bed of honour, and some in honour's truckle bed; some were bravely slain in battle on the field of honour, some in the storm of a counterscarp and died in the ditch of honour; some here, some there;—the bones of the bold and the brave, the cowardly and the base, the hero and the scoundrel, are heaped up together;—there they lie in oblivion, and under the ruins of the earth, undistinguished from one another, nay, even from the common earth.

“Huddled in dirt the blust'ring engine lies,
That was so great, and thought himself so wise."

How many hundreds of thousands of the bravest fellows then in the world lie on heaps in the ground, whose bones are to this day ploughed up by the rustics, or dug up by the labourer, and the earth their more noble vital parts are converted to has been perhaps applied to the meanest uses !

How have we screened the ashes of heroes to make our mortar, and mingled the remains of a Roman general to make a hog sty! Where are the ashes of a Cæsar, and the remains of a Pompey, a Scipio, or a Hannibal? All are vanished, they and their very monuments are mouldered into earth, their dust is lost, and their place knows them

They live only in the immortal writings of their historians and poets, the renowned flatterers of the age they lived in, and who have made us think of the persons, not as they really were, but as they were pleased to represent them.

As the greatest men, so even the longest lived. The Methusalems of the antediluvian world—the accounts of them all end with the same: Methusalem lived nine hundred sixty and nine years and begat sons and daughters -and what then? AND THEN HE DIED.

no more.

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