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mands, with an entire fubiniffion to If he is at an entertainment, you may see the pieces of bread continually multiplying round h: plate. 'Tis true, the rest of the company want it, as well as their knives and forks, which Manalcas does not let them keep long. Sometimes in a morning, he puts his whole family in a hurry, and at last goes out without being able to stay for his coach or dinner ; and for that day you may see him in every part of the town, except the

very place where he had appointed to be on a business of importance. You would often take him for every thing that he is not; for a fellow quite ftupid, for he hears nothing for a fool, for he talks to himself, and has a hundred grimaces and motions with his head, which are altogether involuntary ; for a proud man, for he looks full upon you, and takes no notice of your saluting him. The truth of it is, his eyes are open but he makes no use of them, and neither fees you, nor any man, nor any thing else. He came once from his own house, and his own footmen undertook to rob him, and succeeded : They held a flambeau to his throat, and bid him deliver his purse ; he did so, and coming home told his friends he had been robó bed; they desire to know the particulars : Ak my fervants, says Menalcas, for they were with me.

These blemishes proceed from a certain vivacity and fickleness in a man's temper, which, while it raises up infinite numbers of ideas in the mind, is continually pushing it on, without allowing it to rest on any particular image, and helps to keep up the reputation of that Latin Proverb which Mr. Dr, den has tranlated in the following lines :

Great wit to madness fure is near allied;
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.

SPECTATOR, VOL I, No. 77.

ABSENCE OF LOVERS.
Mr. Spe&tator,

HOUGH you have considered virtuous love in most of its distresies, I do not remember that you

have given us any differtation upon the absence of lovers, or laid down any method how they should support themselves under those long separations which they are forced sometimes to undergo. I am at present vnder this unhappy circumstance, having parted with the best of husbands, who is abroad in the service of his country, and may not possibly return for some years. His warm and generous affection while we were together, with the tenderness which he expreffed to me at parting, makes his absence almost infupportable : I think of him every moment in the day, and meet him every night in my dreams. Every thing I fee puts me in mind of him : I apply myself with more than ordinary diligence to the care of his family and his estate; but this, instead of relieving me, gives me but so many occasions of wishing for his return.

I frequent the room where I used to converse with him, and not meeting him there, sit down in his chair, and fall a weeping. I love to read the books he delighted in, and to converse with the persons whom he esteemed. I visit his picture a hundred times a day, and place myself over-against it whole hours together. I pass a great part of my time in the 'walks where I used to lean upon his arm, and recollect in my mind the discourses which have passed there between us. I look over the several prof. pects and points of view which we used to survey to gether, fix iny eyes upon the objects which he has made me take noticeof, and call to mind a thousand agreeable remarks which he has made on those occasions : I write to him by every conveyance, and, contrary to other people, am always in goodhumour when an eastwind blows, because it seldom fails of bringing me a letter from him. Let me intreat you, Sir, to give me your adviceu pon this occafion, and to let me know how I may relieve myself in this my widowhood.

I am yours, &c. ASTERIA, Absence is what the poets call death in love, and has given occasion to abundance of beautiful complaints in those authors who have treated of this paffion in verse : Ovid's Epistles are full of them; Otway's Monimia talks very tenderly upon this subject:

It was not kind
To leave me like a turtle here alone,
To drcop and mourn the absence of niy mate.
When ihou art from me, every place is dejart';
And I, methinks, om favage and forlorn.
Thy presence only 'tis can make me blessid,

Heal my unquiet mind, and tune my joul. The confolations of lovers on these occasions are very extraordinary ; besides those mentioned by Afte ria, there are many other motives of comfort: I shall take notice of one which I have known two persons practise, who joined religion to that elegance of sentiment with which the passion of love generally in{pires its votaries. This was, at the return of such an hour, to offer up a certain prayer for each other, which they had agreed upon before their partingThe husband, who makes a figure in the polite world, as well as in his own family, has often told me, that he could not have supported an absence of three years without this expedient.

SPECTATOR, Vol. III. No. 241. C.

ABSTINENCE.

HE has those particular advantages above all other means to attain it, that it may be practised by all ranks and conditions, at any season or in any place. It is a kind of regimen, into which every man may put himfelf without interruption to bufiness, expence of money, or loss of time. If exercise throws off all the superfluities, temperance prevents them: If crcise clears the veltels, temperance neither latin

B

ates nor overstrains them : If exercise raises proper ferments in the humours, and promotes the circulation of the blood, temperance gives nature her full play, and enables her to exert herself in all her force and vigour: If exercise diffipates a growing distemper, temperance ftarves it.

Nature delights in the most plain and fimple diet : every animal but man keeps to one dish. Herbs are the food of this fpecics, fish of that, and flesh of the third : Man falls upon every thing that comes in his way; not the smallest fruit or excrescence of the carth, scarce a 'berry or a mufliroom, can escape him.

I would copy the following rules of a very eminent Physician : Make your wkole repast out of one dish; if you indulge in a fecond, avoid drinking any thing frong till you have finished your meal: at the same time abstain from all fauces, at least Juch as are not the most plein and fimple. And in the article of drinking, observe Sir William Temple's method, viz. The first glajs for myself, the second for my friend, the third for good-humour, and the fourth for mine enemies.

It is observed by two or three ancient authors, that Socrates, notwithstanding he lived in Arbens during the great Plague, which has made so much noise throughout all ages, has been celebrated at different times by such eminent hands, notwithstanding he lived in the time of this devouring peftilence, never caught the least infection ; which these writers unanimously aloribe to that uninterrupted temperance which he al

SPECTATOR, Vol. IIL No. 195.

ways observed.

ACCOUNTS.
HEN a man happens to break in Holland, they

a Lay of him, that he has not kept true accounts. This phrase perhaps, among us, would appear a foft or humoura ous way of speaking ; but with that exact nation, it bears the highest reproach ; for a man to be mistaken in the calculation of his expence, in his ability to an

fwer future demands, or to be impertinently sanguine in putting his credit to too great adventure, are all inItances of as much infamy, as with gayer nations to be failing in courage or common honesty

Numbers are so much the measure of every thing that is valuable, that it is not possible to demonftrate the success of any action, or the prudence of any undertaking without them. When a merchant receives his returns from abroad; he can tell to a shilling, by the help of numbers, the profit or loss of his adventure: he ought also to shew that he had reason to make it, either from his own experience or that of other people, or from a reasonable prefúmption that his returns will be sufficient to answer his expence and hazard; and this is never to be done without the skill of numbers. For instance, if he trades to Turkey, he ought before. hand, to know the demand of our manufactures there, as well as of their silks in England, and the customaTy prices that are given for both in each country. He ought to have a clear knowledge of these matters beforehand, that he may presume upon fufficient returns , to answer the charge of the cargo he had fitted out, the freight and affurance out and home, the customs to the King, and the interest of his own money; and besides all these expences, a reasonable profit to him. felf. Now where is the scandal of this skill? The merchant throws down no man's inclosures, and tramples upon no man's corn; he takes nothing from the industrious labourer, he pays

the

poor man for his work, he communicates his profit with mankind; by the preparation of his cargo, and the manufacture of his returns, he furnishes employment and fubsistence to greater numbers than the richest 'nobleman; and even' the nobleman is obliged to himn for finding out foreign markets for the produce of his eftate, and for making a great addition to his rents; and yet it is certain that none of all these things could be done by him without the exercise of his skill in numbers.

SPECTATOR, Vol. III. No. 174. T.

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