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for bis report; his chief haunt is a coffee house, and as his voice is exceeding strong, it aggravates the sound of every thing it repeats.
As the lion generally thirsts after blood, and is of a fierce and cruel nature, there are no secrets which he hunts after with more delight, than those that cut off heads, hang, draw, and quarter, or end in the ruin of the person who becomes his prey. If he gets the wind of any word or action that may do a man good, it is not for his purpose, he quits the chase, and falls into a more agreeable scent.
He discovers a wonderful sagacity in seeking after his prey. He couches and frisks about in a thousand sportful motions, to draw it within his reach, and has a particular way of imitating the sound of the creature whom he would ensnare; an artifice to be met with in no beast of prey, except the hyæna, and the political lion.
You seldom see a cluster of newsmongers without a lion in the midst of them. He never misses taking his stand within ear-shot of one of those little ambitious men who set up for orators, in places of public resort. If there is a whispering hole, or any public-spirited corner in a coffee-house, you never fail of seeing a lion couched upon his elbow in some part of the neighbourhood.
A lion is particularly addicted to the perusal of every loose paper that lies in his way. He appears more than ordinary attentive" to what he reads, while he listens to those who are about him. He takes up the Postman, and snuffs the candle, that he
* More than ordinary attentive. He uses the adjective ordinary, instead of the adverb ordinarily, because the accent falling on or, that is, the fifth syllable from the last, this word is scarcely to be pronounced; and in fact, when we do make use of it, we pronounce with a stuttering rapidity, as if it were written ord’narily, though even then the double i in rily sounds ill. Perhaps the sentence is elliptical, and equivalent to--more attentive than is ordinary. On the whole, I think, he had done better to say, more than commonly attentive.
may hear the better by it. I have seen a lion pore upon a single paragraph in an old gazette for two hours together, if his neighbours have been talking all that while.
Having given a full description of this monster, for the benefit of such innocent persons as may fall into his walks, I shall apply a word or two to the lion himself, whom I would desire to consider, that he is a creature hated both by God and man, and regarded with the utmost contempt, even by such as make use of him. Hangmen and executioners are necessary in a state, and so may the animal I have been here mentioning; but how despicable is the wretch that takes on him so vile an employ. ment ? there is scarce a being that would not suffer by a comparison with him, except that being only who acts the same kind of part, and is both the tempter and accuser of mankind.
N. B. Mr. Ironside has,' within five weeks last past, muzzled three lions, gorged five, and killed one. On Monday next, the skin of the dead one will be hung up, in terrorem, at Button's coffee-house,* over against Tom's in Covent-Garden.
No. 96. WEDNESDAY, JULY 1.9
Cuncti adsint, meritæque expectent præmia palme.-Virg.
There is no maxim in politics more indisputable, than that a nation should have many honours in reserve for those who do
i Nestor Ironside. The name assumed by Steele as editor of the Guardian.-G.
· Button had been a servant of Lady Warwick, and afterwards set up a coffee-house, which was patronized by Addison and the wits of his party -G. * This paper is well worthy of a careful consideration.-G.
national services. This raises emulation, cherishes public merit, and inspires every one with an ambition which promotes the good of his country. The less expensive these honours are to the public, the more still do they turn to its advantage.
The Romans abounded with these little honorary rewards, that, without conferring wealth or riches, gave only place and distinction to the person who received them. An oaken garland to be worn on festivals and public ceremonies, was the glorious recompence of one who had covered a citizen in battle. A soldier would not only venture his life for a mural crown, but think the most hazardous enterprise sufficiently repaid by so noble a donation.
But among all honorary rewards which are neither dangerous nor detrimental to the donor, I remember none so remarkable as the titles which are bestowed by the Emperor of China. These are never given to any subject, says Monsieur le Conte, till the subject is dead. If he has pleased his emperor to the last, he is called in all public memorials by the title which the emperor confers on him after his death, and his children take their rank accordingly. This keeps the ambitious subject in a perpetual dependance, making him always vigilant and active, and in every thing conformable to the will of his sovereign.
There are no honorary rewards among us, which are more esteemed by the person who receives them, and are cheaper to the prince, than the giving of medals. But there is something in the modern manner of celebrating a great action in medals, which makes such a reward much less valuable than it was among the Romans. There is generally but one coin stamped upon the occassion, which is made a present to the person who is celebrated on it.
By this means, his whole fame is in his own custody. The applause that is bestowed upon him is too much limited and confined. He is in possession of an honour which the world, per
haps, knows nothing of. He may be a great man in his own fam. ily; his wife and children may see the monument of an exploit, which the public in a little time is a stranger to. The Romans took a quite different method in this particular. Their medals were their current money. When an action deserved to be recorded on a coin, it was stamped, perhaps, upon an hundred thousand pieces of money, like our shillings, or halfpence, which were issued out of the mint, and became current. This method published every noble action to advantage, and in a short space of time spread it through the whole Roman empire. The Romans were so careful to
their coins, that when any particular piece of money grew very scarce, it was often re-coined by a succeeding emperor, many years after the death of the emperor to whose honour it was first struck.
A friend of mine drew up a project of this kind during the late ministry, which would then have been put in execution, had it not been too busy a time for thoughts of that nature. As this
project has been very much talked of by the gentleman above-mentioned to men of the greatest genius, as well as quality, I am informed there is now a design on foot for executing the proposal which was then made, and that we shall have several farthings and halfpende charged on the reverse with many of the glorious particulars of her Majesty's reign. This is one of those arts of peace, which may very well deserve to be cultivated, and which may be of great use to posterity.
As I have in my possession the copy of the paper above-mentioned, which was delivered to the late Lord Treasurer, I shall here give the public a sight of it. For I do not question, but
. The writer speaks in the person of the Guardian. But if we compare the third dialogue on Medals, with this paper, we shall, perhaps, have reato conclude, that the Guardian's friend was Mr. Addison. [Said, however, to have been Swift.-G.]
that the curious part of my readers will be very well pleased to see so much matter, and so many useful hints upon this subject, laid together in so clear and concise a manner.
The English have not been so careful as other polite nations, to preserve the memory of their great actions and events on medals. Their subjects are few, their mottos and devices mean, and the coins themselves not numerous enough to spread among the people, or descend to posterity.
The French have outdone us in these particulars, and, by the establishment of a society for the invention of proper inscriptions and designs, have the whole history of their present king in a regular series of medals.
They have failed, as well as the English, in coining so small a number of each kind, and those of such costly metals, that each species may be lost in a few ages, and is at present no where to be met with but in the cabinets of the curious.
The ancient Romans took the only effectual method to disperse and preserve their medals, by making them their current money.
Every thing glorious or useful, as well in peace as war, gave occasion to a different coin. Not only an expedition, victory, or triumph, but the exercise of a solemn devotion, the remission of a duty or tax, a new temple, sea-port, or high-way, were transmitted to posterity after this manner.
The greatest variety of devices are on their copper money, which have most of the designs that are to be met with on the gold and silver, and several peculiar to that metal only. By this means they were dispersed into the remotest corners of the empire, came into the possession of the poor as well as rich, and were in no danger of perishing in the hands of those that might have melted down coins of a more valuable metal.