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zling radiancy, and a most vivid blue toward the southern edge and the Train. It disappear'd beneath the horizon almost due W. having travers'd an Arch of nearly 40 Deg. in about 10 or 12 seconds. Its lustre, figure, and magnitude did not seem alter'd at its disappearance.
The Ball or Nucleus of the Meteor was well defin'd, and nearly round, and its train nearly parallel to the horizon; but rather pointing upward, and somewhat concave above. Its general position was pretty well determin'd by that of Lyra, and that branch of the Milky-Way in which it was first seen: and its altitude, by the Land Objects, Trees, &c. above which it was seen; regard being had to their height and distance from the eye: and confirm'd by the account given of it when we return'd to Troston. It was perhaps somewhat inferior to the Meteor of 22 Sept. 1799, in apparent magnitude: but I think exceeded it in brightness.
It is to be hop'd it has been seen in many and distant places.
It would probably appear to those who saw it in general not less than 3 or 4 Feet in length, and about a Foot in breadth at the head. The shape not unlike that of a Paper-kite: but narrower in proportion to its breadth. With the least height in the Atmosphere which seems possible to assign to it with any probability, its velocity, I think, could not be less than 30 Miles in a minute. Its path lying between the JEquator and the Ecliptic is somewhat remarkable.
E —==; w
The Form and direction of the Train nearly such as here represented. I am,
C.L. SPOTS ON THE SUN. At 2 P. M. of the same day the spots on the Stm were very fine. A Cluster on the S. W. part of the Disc, and a large, round, and well defin'd one of not less than 24" approaching to the Centre.
There was yesterday, 15th Sept. and is this Day, a spot on the O (beside many others) N. of the Equator, of not less than 7": and consequently at least 2,600 Miles in Diameter.
16 Sept. 1803. C. L.
Mr. Editor, Besides that stock of individual vanity which every man uses for home consumption, there seems to be a more general stock, which we are disposed to preserve and to increase for the benefit of the community at large, on condition, however, that we may be permitted to draw from it, to supply certain urgent occasions. Thus, when I observe one man vaunting of his extraordinary prowess, skill, or cunning, I consider him as negotiating his own private stock of vanity; but when I observe another, or perhaps the self-same gentleman, launching forth in high praises of the dignity of human nature, and the superior wisdom, refinement, and liberality of the present age, I immediately conclude that, in default of private stock, he is now drawing largely on the general bank of human vanity.
In truth, Sir, I am inclined to think that we very often draw upon this general fund, without our claims being just or acknowledged. In other words, we are very willing to contribute largely to the fame and celebrity of the age in which we live, without adding much to our own wisdom, or ever considering ourselves as parts of that great whole. If this were not the case, should we find so many men, reputed wise, who act foolishly, and who have all the wisdom of the world in theory, but scarcely any in practice? I have been led into these reflections, from considering the prevalence of whims, or those caprices, often ridiculous, often foolish, and sometimes offensive and hurtful, from which very few wise men are free, and from which the world in general do not seem to wish to be free.
I observe, Sir, that whenever a foible, or habit of foibles, becomes general, it becomes its own excuse. Thus, when a man-is censured for any offensive whim, the reply almost always is, f. True; but you know he is a whimsical man." This excuse, however, is not one whit more valid than if I were to apologise for a man who had picked my pocket, by observing that he was a thief. There would be no proof here that I knew logic, or had any very distinct ideas of justice; yet Tom Dingy, who affects the utmost slovenliness of apparel, is excused, in all companies where he enters, as a man who is fond of such whims; and his hopeful heir, who always dresses in the garb of a jockey, obtains a free pardon, on his declaring that he does it for a whim.
Skinner, the etymologist, derives the word ichim from "something that turn* round;" a d. vnition probably as good as can be found, but not good enough to give us distinct apprehensions on the subject. Indeed the very uncertainty we are in respecting the definition of the word, is an indirect censure of the tiling itself. It seems to be proper that a tiling that is wholly unaccountable, should pass by a name that is wholly unintelligible.
A crowded metropolis is the true scene of action for men of whim. In the country the circle is too small; they might prove Offensive, and would soon be left to solitude; but the free and unconstrained manners of a city, where a man may do what he pleases, and no person call him to an account, are favourable to the growth of whims. Hence the most humorous accounts of whims have been almost always dated from the metropolis; and hence men who have devoted their time to whim-huriting, have considered London as the place for true sport. Almost every coffee-house or public-house has one or more guests who amuse the rest with their whims. Will. Steady has occupied the same box in the Chapter coffee-house for the last twenty years, at a particular hour, and his person and that box are so connected by the association of ideas, that if I were to find them separate, I should first suspect that the room had undergone an alteration.
Old Testy, of Lincoln's Inn, Esq. is another whimsical fellow. He visits the chop-house precisely at three, calls for a single chop, which he devours with apparent appetite. His half pint of wine is then laid before him, which he divides into snch minute and equal portions, that, with the assistance of a newspaper, it lasts till five o'clock; at that hour, according to the exactest admeasurement of time, he calls for the bill of fare, looks out " something nice," and sits down again to the second course, if I may so call it. After this he converses with his neighbours, leisurely drinks another half pint of wine, and precisely at eight o'clock takes his "slow solemn leave." From tlie best authority I can procure, be has not deviated from this practice for thirty years. On Sundays, indeed, he as uniformly walks to an ordinary at Highgate, and discusses the business of his dinner with certain ceremonies different from those of other days, but which never alter.
Mr. Timothy Morose was, in my younger days, a whim of the first magnitude: he was inflexibly honest and upright in all his dealings; but to this he added qualities of a less pleasing kind. H« was never known to exchange even a word of friendship with any man living, nor did any man living know where he lodged. Every
evening he supped at a coffee-house near the 'Change, at the hour of eight o'clock, and departed at half past nine precisely; nor could any prospects of the greatest advantage have induced him to remain one moment longer. He would talk to any person who sat next him, but if a reply was made, he was silent for the rest of his time. He was never known to give above three positive opinions in his life. One was that " money was money;" the second that
"many people were d d fools;" and the third, that "bankrupts
could not be expected to pay much." But these he could dilate into long speeches, which were listened to because every body "knew his whim." At length,
** One eifn I miss'd him on the 'custom'd seat;
——— nor yet beside the^re,
Nor up the room, nor at the bar was he." He concluded his whims with hanging himself at his lodgings, which were then, for the first time, discovered.
It may be observed of whims, whether of the harmless or hurtful kind, that, however easily shaken off at first, they soon take a deep root in the habit, and are nourished with uncommon obstinacy. They afford a proof, too, how very tenacious we are apt to be of little things, and how much more relaxed and pliable our conduct is in matters of greater moment, and of real importance. It is reported of Elwes, the famous miser, that he dined upon a hardboiled egg, and a little spring water, while risking many thousand pounds upon the swiftness of a horse, or, what happens oftener, the integrity of a riding jockey. One would imagine that we were created with wonderful powers over trifles, or wonderful love for whims, while the superior duties of life are left to chance or accidents. Something of this disposition is visible in men of angry dispositions. Nat. Teazle will break out in the most unmannerly passion, if his daughter happen to snuff the candle out; but when a forgery to a great amount was committed upon him, he had not passion enough to sue the culprit at law. If his horse stumbles, he is sure to swearat him; but when his son fought a duel with a common gambler, he only hoped " there had been fair play."
It strikes me, Sir, that in our moral government we might very profitably follow a direction given us with respect to money matters: "Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves." I am persuaded, that if we would guard against little foibles, whims, and unevenness of temper in matters of trifling concern, we might be better fitted to act a becoming and manly part when important occasions call for the exertion of our wisdom.— "Little things," says the poet, "are great to little men," and nothing should he retained in our characters which, by rendering us less agreeable to the world, may prevent our usefulness as members of society. I am, Sir,
Your humble Servant,
THE WORKS OF CHATTERTON.
Mn. Editob, Conduit Street, Oct. 10,1803.
When application was made to me for such information on the subject of Chatterton as was in my possession, several pieces written by him, which I had collected (that remained unnoticed by the editor of the miscellanies) were accordingly re-published, and I then offered a complete list of J:hc several editions of the Rowlean poems, and controversial publications, which appeared to me not an uninteresting article to the readers of C.'s works. To render the list of more general utility, as the several publications were become extremely scarce, I extracted the position of argument adopted by each writer, and added other matter incidental to the work; unfortunately the length considerably exceeded the space the editor had allotted for the article, and permission to make such alterations as appeared necessary, being requested, I left the whole at his disposal, myself not again seeing the MS. or even a proof sheet previous to publication; otherwise several errors, as they now stand, would have been corrected, and particularly one that occasioned the very candid letter in your last from Mr. Park.
From the MS. as returned by the printer, and now laying before me, it appears that the statement cited, p. 168, at 1. 13, should have been, "It was purchased by Mr. King of Mr. L. A. and given by him, for the purpose of printing, to the late Mr. Egerton." This omission was, no doubt, accidental, but certainly made nonsense of the whole paragraph, particularly the conclusion, which says, "The MS. is supposed by Mr. K. to have been lost at the printing-house;" for it is not probable I should state any opinion of Mr. K.'s by initial letter, without antecedent mention of him. The fact is, Mr. King gave five guineas to Mr. Luffman Atterbury for the MS. which had been inspected, and the purchase recommended by the late