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mands, with an entire fubmiffion to If he is at an entertainment, you may fee 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 fee him in every part of the town, except the very place where he had appointed to be on a bufinefs 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 faluting 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 elfe. He came once from his own house, and his own footmen undertook to rob him, and fucceeded: They held a flambeau to his throat, and bid him deliver his purfe; he did fo, and coming home told his friends he had been robbed; they defire to know the particulars: Afk my fervants, fays Menalcas, for they were with me.

Thefe blemishes proceed from a certain vivacity and ficklenefs in a man's temper, which, while it raifes up infinite numbers of ideas in the mind, is continually pufhing it on, without allowing it to rest on any particular image, and helps to keep up the reputation of that Latin Proverb which Mr. Dryden has translated in the following lines :

Great wit to madness sure is near allied;
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.
SPECTATOR, Vol I, No. 77. X

ABSENCE OF LOVERS.

Mr. Spectator,

THOUGH you have confidered virtuous love in

most of its diftreffes, I do not remember that you have given us any differtation upon the abfence of lovers, or laid down any method how they fhould fupport themselves under thofe long feparations which they are forced fometimes to undergo. I am at prefent vnder this unhappy circumftance, having parted with the best of hufbands, who is abroad in the service of his country, and may not poffibly return for fome years. His warm and generous affection while we were together, with the tenderness which he expreffed to me at parting, makes his abfence 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 eftate; but this, inftead of relieving me, gives me but fo many occafions of wifhing for his return. I frequent the room where I used to converse with him, and not meeting him there, fit down in his chair, and fall a weeping. I love to read the books he delighted in, and to converfe with the perfons whom he esteemed. I vifit his picture a hundred times a day, and place myfelf over-against it whole hours together. I pafs a great part of my time in the walks where I ufed to lean upon his arm, and recollect in my mind the difcourfes which have paffed there between us. I look over the several profpects and points of view which we used to survey together, fix my eyes upon the objects which he has made me take notice of, and call to mind a thousand agreeable remarks which he has made on thofe occafions: I write to him by every conveyance, and, contrary to other people, am always in goodhumour when an eaftwind 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. ASTERIÄ,

Abfence is what the poets call death in love, and has given occafion to abundance of beautiful com plaints in those authors who have treated of this paffion in verfe: Ovid's Epiftles are full of them; Ot way's Monimia talks very tenderly upon this fubject:

It was not kind
To leave me like a turtle here alone,
To droop and mourn the abfence of my mate.
When thou art from me, every place is dejart
And I, methinks, am favage and forlorn.
Thy prefence only 'tis can make me bless'd,
my unquiet mind, and tune my joul.

Heal

The confolations of lovers on thefe occafions are very extraordinary; befides thofe mentioned by Afte ria, there are many other motives of comfort: I fhall take notice of one which I have known two perfons practife, who joined religion to that elegance of fentiment with which the paffion of love generally infpires its votaries. This was, at the return of fuch an hour, to offer up a certain prayer for each other, which they had agreed upon before their parting. The hufband, who makes a figure in the polite world, as well as in his own family, has often told me, that he could not have fupported an abfence of three years. without this expedient.

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

ABSTINENCE.

THE prefervation of health is temperance, which,

has thofe particular advantages above all other means to attain it, that it may be practifed by all ranks and conditions, at any feafon or in any place. It is a kind of regimen, into which every man may put himfelf without interruption to bufinefs, expence of money, or loss of time. If exercife throws off all the fuperfluities, temperance prevents them: If exercife clears the veffels, temperance neither fatis

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

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Nature delights in the most plain and fimple diet: every animal but man keeps to one difh. Herbs are the food of this fpecics, fifh of that, and flesh of the third Man falls upon every thing that comes in his way; not the fmalleft fruit or excrefcence of the earth, fcarce a berry or a mushroom, can escape him. I would copy the following rules of a very eminent Phyfician: Make your whole repast out of one difh; if you indulge in a fecond, avoid drinking any thing ftrong till you have finished your meal: at the fame time abstain from all fauces, at least Juch as are not the most plain and fimple. And in the article of drinking, obferve Sir William Temple's method, viz. The first glass for myself, the fecond for my friend, the third for good-humour, and the fourth for mine enemies.

It is obferved by two or three ancient authors, that Socrates, notwithstanding he lived in Athens during the great Plague, which has made fo much noise throughout all ages, has been celebrated at different times by fuch eminent hands, notwithstanding he lived in the time of this devouring peftilence, never caught the leaft infection; which thefe writers unanimoufly afcribe to that uninterrupted temperance which he always obferved.

SPECTATOR, Vol. III. No. 195.

ACCOUNTS.

WHEN a man happens to break in Holland, they

Lay of him, that he has not kept true accounts. This phrase perhaps, among us, would appear a foft or humourous 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 fanguine in putting his credit to too great adventure, are all inftances of as much infamy, as with gayer nations to be failing in courage or common honesty

Numbers are fo much the measure of every thing that is valuable, that it is not poffible to demonftrate the fuccefs of any action, or the prudence of any undertaking without them. When a merchant receives his returns from abroad; he can tell to a fhilling, by the help of numbers, the profit or lofs of his adventure:he ought alfo to fhew that he had reafon to make it, either from his own experience or that of other people, or from a reasonable prefumption that his returns will be fufficient to answer his expence and hazard; and this is never to be done without the fkill of numbers. For inftance, if he trades to Turkey, he ought beforehand to know the demand of our manufactures there, as well as of their filks in England, and the cuftomary prices that are given for both in each country. He ought to have a clear knowledge of thefe matters beforehand, that he may prefume upon fufficient returns to answer the charge of the cargo he had fitted out, the freight and affurance out and home, the cuftoms to the King, and the intereft of his own money; and befides all thefe expences, a reafonable profit to himfelf. Now where is the fcandal of this skill? The merchant throws down no man's inclofures, and tramples upon no man's corn; he takes nothing from the induftrious 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 fubfiftence to greater numbers than the richest nobleman; and even the nobleman is obliged to him 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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