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rupting others in the same felicity. The philosopher may very justly be delighted with the extent of his views, and the artificer with the readiness of his hands; but let the one remember, that, without mechanical performances, refined speculation is an empty dream, and the other, that, without theoretical reasoning, dexterity is little more than a brute instinct.
NUMB, 10. SATURDAY, April 21, 1750.
THE number of correspondents which increases
every day upon me, shows that my paper is at least distinguished from the common productions of the press. It is no less a proof of eminence to have many enemies than many friends, and I look upon every letter, whether it contains encomiums or reproaches, as an equal attestation of rising credit. The only pain, which I can feel from my correspond ence, is the fear of disgusting those, whose letters I shall neglect; and therefore I take this opportunity of reminding them, that in disapproving their attempts, whenever it may happen, I only return
the treatment which I often receive. Besides, many particular motives influence a writer, known only to himself, or his private friends; and it may be justly concluded, that not all letters which are postponed are rejected, nor all that are rejected, critically condemned.
Having thus eased my heart of the only apprehension that sat heavy on it, I can please myself with the candour of Benevolus, who encourages me to proceed, without sinking under the anger of Flirtilla, who quarrels with me for being old and ugly, and for wanting both activity of body, and sprightliness of mind; feeds her monkey with my lucubrations, and refuses any reconciliation till I have appeared in vindication of masquerades. That she may not however imagine me without support, and left to rest wholly upon my own fortitude, I shall now publish some letters which I have received from men as well dressed, and as handsome, as her favourite; and others from ladies, whom I sincerely believe as young, as rich, as gay, as pretty, as fashionable, and as often toasted and treated as herself.
SET of candid readers send their respects
to the Rambler, and acknowledge his merit in “ so well beginning a work that may be of publick " benefit. But, superior as his genius is to the im
pertinences of a trifling age, they cannot help a wish, "" that he would condescend to the weakness of minds « softened by perpetual amusements, and now and " then throw in, like his predecessors, some papers “ of a gay and humorous turn. Too fair a field now “ lies open, with too plentiful a harvest of follies ! let " the cheerful Thalia put in her sickle, and, singing at “ her work, deck her hair with red and blue."
LADY sends her compliments to the Rams * <* bler, and desires to know by what other name " she may direct to him; what are his set of friends, “ his amusements; what his way of thinking, with re" gard to the living world, and its ways; in short,
whether he is a person now alive, and in town? If “ he be, she will do herself the honour to write to him « pretty often, and hopes, from time to time, to be the " better for his advice and animadversions ; for his “ animadversions on her neighbours at least. But, if “ he is a mere essayist, and troubles not himself with " the manners of the age, she is sorry to tell him, that “ even the genius and correctness of an Addison will * not secure him from neglect."
No man is so much abstracted from common life, as not to feel a particular pleasure from the regard of the female world ; the candid writers of the first billet will not be offended, that my haste to satisfy a lady has hurried their address too soon out of my mind, and that I refer them for a reply to some future paper, in order to tell this curious inquirer after my other name, the answer of a philosopher to a man, who meeting him in the street, desired to see what he carried under his cloak; I carry it there, says he, that you may not see it But, though she is never to know my name, she may
often see my face; for I am of her opinion, that a diurnal writer ought to view the world, and that he who neglects his contemporaries, may be, with justice, neglected by them.
" LADY Racket sends compliments to the Ram
bler, and lets him know she shall liave cards at “ her house, every Sunday, the remainder of the season, “ where he will be sure of meeting all the good “ company in town. By this means she hopes to see “ his papers interspersed with living characters. She "*longs to see the torch of truth produced at an “ assembly, and to admire the charming lustre it will " throw on the jewels, complexions, and behaviour of “ every dear creature there."
It is a rule with me to receive every offer with the same civility as it is made; and, therefore, though lady Racket may have had some reason to guess, that I seldom frequent card-tables on Sundays, I shall not insist upon an exception, which may to her appear of 80 little force. My business has been to view, as opportunity was offered, every place in which mankind was to be seen ; but at card-tables, however brilliant, I have always thought my visit lost, for I could know nothing of the company, but their clothes and their facés. I saw their looks clouded at the beginning of every game with an uniform solicitude, now and then in its progress varied with a short triumph, at one time wrinkled with cunning, at another deadened with despondency, or by accident flushed with rage at the unskilful or unlucky play of a partner, From such
assemblies, in whatever humour I happened to enter :
Yet I cannot but value myself upon this token of regard from a lady who is not afraid to stand before the torch of truth. Let her not, however, consult her curiosity more than her prudence; but reflect a moment on the fate of Semele, who might have lived the favourite of Jupiter, if she could have been content without his thunder. It is dangerous for mortal beauty, or terrestrial virtue, to be examined by ton strong a light. The 'tarch of truth shows much that we cannot, and all that we would not see. In a face dimpled with smiles, it has often discovered malevolence and envy, and detected under jewels and brocade, the frightful forms of poverty and distress. A fine hand of cards have changed before it into a thousand spectres of sickness, misery, and vexation; and immense sums of money, while the winner counted thein with transport, have at the first glimpse of this unwelcome lustre vanished from before him. If her ladyship therefore designs to continue her assembly, I would advise her to shun such dangerous experiments, to satisfy herself with common appearances, and to light up her apartments rather with myrtle than the torch of truth.
MODEST young man sends his service to
the author of the Rambler, and will be very willing to assist him in his work, but is sadly afraid of being discouraged by having his first essay re