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“No!” says Sir Harry, “ then take back your mug; we are like indeed to have good liquor at this house!” Here the Templar tipped me a second wink, and, if I had not looked very grave upon him, I found he was disposed to be very familiar with me.

In short, I observed, after a long pause, that the gentlemen did not care to enter upon business until after their morning-draught, for which reason I called for a bottle of mum; and finding that had no effect upon them, I ordered a second, and a third, after which Sir Harry reached over to me, and told me in a low voice, “ that the place was too public for business; but he would call upon me again to-morrow morning at my own lodgings, and bring some more friends with him.”

Will's Coffee-house, October 26. Though this place is frequented by a more mixed company than it used to be formerly; yet you meet very often some whom one cannot leave without being the better for their conversation. A gentleman this evening, in a dictating manner, talked, I thought, very pleasingly in praise of modesty, in the midst of ten or twelve libertines upon whom it seemed to have had a good effect. He represented it the certain indication of a great and noble spirit. « Modesty," said he, “is the virtue which makes men prefer the public to their private in terest, the guide of every honest undertaking, and the great guardian of innocence." It makes men amiable to their friends, and respected by their very enemies. In all places, and on all occasions, it attracts benevolence, and demands approbation.”

One might give instances, out of antiquity, of the irresistible force of this quality in great minds; Cicereius, and Cneius Scipio, the son of the great Africanys, were competitors for the office of


prætor. The crowd followed Cicereius, and left Scipio unattended. Cicereius saw this with much concern; and desiring an audience of the people, he descended from the place where the candidates were to sit in the eye of the multitude; pleaded for his adversary; and, with an ingenious modesty, which it is impossible to feign, represented to them, “how much it was to their dishonour, that a virtuous son of Africanus should not be preferred to him, or any other man whatsoever. This immediately gained the election for Scipio; but all the compliments and congratulations upon it were made to Cicereius. It is easier in this case to say who had the office, than the honour. There is no occurrence in life where this quality is not more ornamental than any other. After the battle of Pharsalia, Pompey marching towards Larissus, the whole people of that place came out in ocession to do him honour. He thanked the magistrates for their respect to him; but desired them “ to perform these ceremonies to the conqueror.” This gallant submission to his fortune, and disdain of making any appearance but like Pompey, was owing to his modesty, which would not permit him to be so disingenuous, as to give himself the air of prosperity, when he was in the contrary condition.

This I say of modesty, as it is the virtue which preserves a decorum in the general course of our life; but, considering it also as it regards our mere bodies, it is the certain character of a great mind. It is memorable of the mighty Cæsar, than when he was murdered in the Capitol, at the very moment in which he expired he gathered his robe about him, that he might fall in a decent posture.

In this manner, says my author, he went off, not like a man that departed out of life, but a deity that returned to his abode.

No 87. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1709. .

Will's Coffee-house, October 28. There is nothing which I contemplate with greater pleasure than the dignity of human nature, which often shows itself in all conditions of life. For, notwithstanding the degeneracy and meanness that is crept into it, there are a thousand occasions in which it breaks through its original corruption, and shows what it once was, and what it will be hereafter. I consider the soul of man as the ruin of a glorious pile of buildings; where, amidst great heaps of rubbish, you meet with noble fragments of sculpture, broken pillars and obelisks, and a magnificence in confusion.. Virtue and wisdom are continually em ployed in clearing the ruins, removing these disorderly heaps, recovering the noble pieces that lie buried under them, and adjusting them as well as possible according to their ancient symmetry and beauty. A happy education, conversation with the finest spirits, looking abroad into the works of nature, and observations upon mankind, are the great assistances to this necessary and glorious work. But even among those who have never had the happiness of any of these advantages, there are sometimes such exertions of the greatness that is natural to the mind of man, as show capacities and abilities, which only want these accidental helps to fetch them out, and show them in a proper light. A plebeian soul is still the ruin of this glorious edifice, though incumbered with all its rubbish. This reflexion rose in me from a letter which my servant dropped as he was dressing



me, and which he told me was communicated to him, as he is an acquaintance of some of the persons mentioned in it. The epistle is from one serjeant Hall of the foot-guards. It is directed, “ To serjeant Cabe, in the Coldstream regiment of foot-guards, at the Red-lettice, in the Butcher-row, near Templebar.”

I was so pleased with several touches in it, that I could not forbear showing it to a cluster of critics, who, instead of considering it in the light I have done, examined it by the rules of epistolary writing. For as these gentlemen are seldom men of any great genius, they work altogether by mechanical rules, and are able to discover no beauties ihat are not pointed out by Bouhours and Rapin. The letter is as follows:

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“ From the camp before Mons, Sept. 26. « COMRADE, “ I received yours, and am glad yourself and your wife are in good health, with all the rest of my friends. Our battalion suffered more than I could wish in the action. But who can withstand fate? Poor Richard Stevenson had his fate with a great many more. He was killed dead before we entered the trenches. We had above two hundred of our battalion killed and wounded. We lost ten serjeants, six are as followeth: Jennings, Castles, Roach, Sherring, Meyrick, and my son Smith. The rest are not your acquaintance. I have received a very bad shot in my head myself, but am in hopes, and please God, I shall recover. I continue in the field, and lie at my colonel's quarters. Arthur is very well; but I can give you no account of Elms; he was in the hospital before I came into the field. I will not pretend to give you an account of the battle, knowing you have a better in the prints. Pray, give my

service to Mrs. Cook and ber daughter, to Mr. Stoffet and his wife, and to Mr. Lyver, and Thomas Hogsdon, and to Mr. Ragdell, and to all my friends and acquaintance in general who do ask after me. My love to Mrs. Steveuson. I am sorry for the sending such ill news. Her husband was gathering a little money together to send to his wife, and put it into my hands. I have seven shillings and threepence, which I shall take care to send her. Wishing your wife a safe delivery, and both of you all happiMess, rest “ Your assured friend, and comrade,

“ John Hall. • We had but an indifferent breakfast; but the Mounseers never had such a dinner in all their lives.

My kind love to my comrade Hinton, and Mrs. Morgan, and to John Brown and bis wife. I sent tivo shillings, and Stevenson six-pence, to drink with you at Mr. Cook's; but I have heard nothing from him. It was by Mr. Edgar.

Corporal Hartwell desires to be remembered to you, and desires you to enquire of Edgar, what is become of his wife Pegg; and when you write, to send word in your letter what trade she drives.

“ We have here very bad weather, which I doubt will be an hindrance to the siege; but I am in hopes we shall be masters of the town in a little time, and then, I believe, we shall go to garrison.”

I saw the critics prepared to nibble at my letter ; therefore examined it myself, partly in their way, and partly my own.

This is, said I, truly a letter, and an honest representation of that cheerful heart which accompanies the poor soldier in his warfare. Is not there in this all the topic of submitting to our destiny as well discussed as if a greater man had been placed, like Brutus, in his tent at midnight, reflect

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