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of as arguments, according to the celebrated line in Hudibras *.

But the most notable way of managing a controversy, is that which we may call arguing by torture. This is a method of reasoning which has been made use of with the poor refugees, and which was so fashionable in our country during the reign of queen Mary, that in a passage of an author quoted by monsieur Bayle, it is said the price of wood was raised in England, by reason of the executions that were made in Smithfield. These disputants convince their adversaries with a sorites †, commonly called a pile of faggots. The rack is also a kind of syllogism which has been used with good effect, and has made multitudes of converts. Men were formerly disputed out of their doubts, reconciled to truth by force of reason, and won over to opinions by the candour, sense, and ingenuity of those who had the right on their side: but this method of conviction operated too slowly. Pain was found to be much more enlightening than reason. Every scruple was looked upon as obstinacy, and not to be removed but by several engines invented for that purpose. In a word, the application of whips, racks, gibbets, galleys, dungeons, fire and faggot, in a dispute, may be looked upon as popish refinements upon the old heathen logic.

There is another way of reasoning which seldom fails, though it be of a quite different nature to that I have last mentioned. I mean, convincing a man by. ready money, or, as it is ordinarily called, bribing a

Pt. ii. c. 1. ver. 297.

A sorites is a heap of propositions thrown together.


to no purpose.

man to an opinion. This method has often proved successful, when all the others have been made use of A man who is furnished with arguments from the mint, will convince his antagonist much sooner than one who draws them from reason and philosophy. Gold is a wonderful clearer of the understanding; it dissipates every doubt and scruple in an instant; accommodates itself to the meanest capacities; silences the loud and clamorous, and brings over the most obstinate and inflexible. Philip of Macedon was a man of most invincible reason this way. He refuted by it all the wisdom of Athens, confounded their statesmen, struck their orators dumb, and at length argued them out of all their liberties.

Having here touched upon the several methods of disputing, as they have prevailed in different ages of the world, I shall very suddenly give my reader an account of the whole art of cavilling; which shall be a full and satisfactory answer to all such papers and pamphlets as have yet appeared against the Spec





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THOUGH you have considered virtuous love in most of its distresses, I do not remember that you have given us any dissertation upon the absence of lovers, or laid down any methods how they should support themselves under those long separations which they are sometimes forced to undergo. I am at present in this unhappy circumstance, having parted with the best

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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 expressed to me at parting, make his absence almost insupportable. I think of him every moment of the day, and meet him every night in my dreams. Every thing I see 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 rooms where I used to converse with him, and, not meeting him there, sit down in his chair, and fall aweeping. 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 there passed between us: I look over the several prospects and points of view which we used to survey together, fix my eye upon the objects which he has made me take notice of, 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 good-humour when an east-wind blows, because it seldom fails of bringing me a letter from him. Let me entreat you, sir, to give me your advice upon this occasion, and to let me know how I may relieve myself in this my widowhood.

'I am, sir,

Your very humble servant,


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 passion 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 droop and mourn the absence of my mate,
When thou art from me, every place is desert:
And I, methinks, am savage and forlorn.
Thy presence only 'tis can make me blest,
Heal my unquiet mind, and tune my soul.'

Orphan, act ii.

The consolations of lovers on these occasions are very extraordinary. Besides those mentioned by Asteria, there are many other motives of comfort, which are made use of by absent lovers.

I remember in one of Scudery's romances, a couple of honourable lovers agreed at their parting to set aside one half-hour in the day to think of each other during a tedious absence. The romance tells us, that they both of them punctually observed the time thus agreed upon; and that, whatever company or business they were engaged in, they left it abruptly as soon as the clock warned them to retire. The romance further adds, that the lovers expected the return of this stated hour with as much impatience as if it had been a real assignation, and enjoyed an imaginary happiness that was almost as pleasing to them as what they would have found from a real meeting. It was an inexpressible satisfaction to these divided lovers, to be assured that each was at the same time employed in the same

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"THE matter which I am now going to send you, is an unhappy story in low life, and will recommend itself, so that you must excuse the manner of expressing it. A poor idle drunken weaver in Spitalfields has a faithful laborious wife, who by her frugality and industry had laid by her as much money as purchased her a ticket in the present lottery. She had hid this very privately in the bottom of a trunk, and had given her number to a friend and confidant, who had promised to keep the secret, and bring her news of the success. The poor adventurer was one day gone abroad, when her careless husband, suspecting she had saved some money, searches every corner, till at length he finds this same ticket; which he immediately carries abroad, sells, and squanders away the money without the wife's suspecting any thing of the matter, A day or two after this, this friend, who was a woman, comes and brings the wife word, that she had a benefit of five hundred pounds. The poor creature, overjoyed, flies up stairs to her husband, who was then at work, and desires him to leave his loom for that evening, and come and drink with a friend of his and hers below. The man received this cheerful invitation as bad husbands sometimes do, and, after a cross word or two, told her he wou'dn't come. His wife with tenderness renewed her importunity, and at length said to him, My love! I have within these few months, unknown to you, scraped together as much money as has bought us a ticket in the lottery; and now here is Mrs.

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