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this reason, the labour of the mind, even when it is adequately rewarded, does not procure means of happiness in the same proportion as that of the body. They that sing at the loom, or whistle after the plough, wish not for intellectual entertainment; if they have plenty of wholesome food, they do not repine at the inelegance of their table, nor are they less happy because they are not treated with ceremonious respect, and served with silent celerity. The scholar is always considered as becoming a gentleman by his education; and the wit as conferring honour upon his company, however elevated by their rank or fortune: they are, therefore, frequently admitted to scenes of life very different from their own; they partake of pleasures which they cannot hope to purchase; and many superfluities become necessary, by the gratification of wants, which in a lower class they would never have known.
Thus, the peasant and the mechanic, when they have received the wages of the day, and procured their strong beer and supper, have scarce a wish unsatisfied; but the man of nice discernment and quick sensations, who has acquired a high relish of the elegances and refinements of life, has seldom philosophy enough to be equally content with that which the reward of genius can purchase.
And yet there is scarce any character so much the object of envy as that of a successful writer. But those who only see him in company, or hear encomiums on his merit, form a very erroneous opinion of his happiness: they conceive him as perpetually enjoying the triumphs of intellectual superiority; as displaying the luxuriancy of his fancy, and the variety of his knowledge, to silent admiration; or listening in voluptuous indolence to the music of praise. But they know not, that these
lucid intervals are short and few; that much the greater part of his life is passed in solitude and anxiety; that his hours glide away unnoticed, and the day like the night is contracted to a moment by the intense application of the mind to its object; locked
every eye, and lost even to himself, he is reminded that he lives only by the necessities of life: he then starts as from a dream, and regrets that the day has passed unenjoyed, without affording means of happiness to the morrow.
Will Hardman the smith had three sons, Tom, Ned, and George, George, who was the youngest, he put apprentice to a tailor; the two elder were otherwise provided for: he had by some means the opportunity of sending them to school upon a foundation, and afterwards to the University. Will thought that this opportunity to give his boys good learning, was not to be missed: “ Learning," he said, was a portion which the devil could not wrong them of; and when he had done what he ought for them, they must do for themselves.”
As he had not the same power to procure them livings, when they had finished their studies, they came to London. They were both scholars; but Tom was a genius, and Ned was a dunce: Ned became usher in a school at the yearly salary of twenty pounds, and Tom soon distinguished himself as an author: he wrote many pieces of great excellence; but his reward was sometimes withheld by caprice, and sometimes intercepted by envy. He passed his time in penury and labour'; his mind was abstracted in the recollection of sentiment, and perplexed in the arrangement of his ideas and the choice of expression.
George in the meantime became a master in his trade, kept ten men constantly at work upon the board, drank his beer out of a silver tankard, and boasted that he might be as well to pass in a few years as many of those for whom he had made laced clothes, and who thought themselves his betters. Ned wished earnestly that he could change stations with George; but Tom, in the pride of his heart, disdained them both; and declared that he would rather perish upon a bulk with cold and hunger than steal through life in obscurity, and be forgotten when he was dead.
No. 3. TUESDAY, NOV. 14, 1752.
Scenis decora alta futuris. Virg.
" TO THE ADVENTURER. SIR, “ As the business of pantomimes is become a very serious concern, and the curiosity of mankind is perpetually thirsting after novelties, I have been at great pains to contrive an entertainment, in which every thing shall be united that is either the delight or astonishment of the present age: I have not only ransacked the fairs of Bartholomew and Southwark, but picked up every uncommon animal, every amazing prodigy of nature, and every surprising performer, that has lately appeared within the bills of mortality. As soon as I am provided with a theatre spacious enough for my purpose, I intend to exhibit a most sublime pantomime in the modern taste; but far more ostentatious in its feats of activity, its scenes, decorations, machinery, and monsters. A sketch of my design I shall lay before you; and you may possibly think it not incon
sistent with the character of an Adventurer to recommend it to public notice.
“I have chosen for the subject the fable of Hercules, as his labours will furnish me with the most extraordinary events, and give me an opportunity of introducing many wonders of the monstrous creation. It is strange that this story, which so greatly recommends itself by its incredibility, should have hitherto escaped the search of those penetrating geniuses, who have rummaged not only the legends of antiquity, but the fictions of fairy tales and little history books for children, to supply them with materials for Perseus and Andromeda, Doctor Faustus, Queen Mab, &c. In imitation of these illustrious wits, I shall call my entertainment by the name of Harlequin Hercules.
“ In the original story, as a prelude to his future victories, we are told that Hercules strangled two serpents in the cradle: I shall therefore
with this circumstance; and have prepared a couple of pasteboard serpents of an enormous length, with internal springs and movements for their contortions, which I dare say will far exceed that most astonishing one in Orpheus and Euridice. Any of the common sized particoloured gentry, that have learned to whimper and whine after being hatched in the egg in the Rape of Proserpine, may serve for this scene; but as the man Hercules must supposed to be of a preternatural bulk of body, the modern Colossus has practised the tiptoe step and tripping air for the ensuing parts. Instead of a sword of lath, I shall arm him, in conformity to his character, with a huge cork club.
“ The first labour is the killing the Nemæan lion, who, in imitation of the fable, shall drop from an oiled paper moon. We have been long accustomed to admire lions upon the stage; but I shall vastly improve upon this, by making our conqueror flay
him upon the spot, and cloke himself with the skin : I have, therefore, got a tawny coloured hide made of coarse serge, with the ears, mane, and tip of the tail, properly bushed out with brown worsted.
“ Next to this is the destruction of the Hydra, a terrible
serpent with seven heads; and as two were said to sprout up again in the place of every one that was cut off, I design by the art of my machinery to exhibit a successive regeneration of double heads, till a hundred and more are prepared to be knocked off by one stroke of the aforesaid cork club.
“I have a beautiful canvass wild boar of Erymanthus for the third labour, which, as Harlequin is to carry it off the stage upon his shoulders, has nothing in its belly but a wadding of tow, and a little boy who is to manage its motions, to let down the wire jaw, or gnash the wooden tusks; and though I could rather wish he were able to grunt and growl, yet as that is impossible, I have taught the urchin to squeak prodigiously like a pig.
“ The fourth labour, his catching the hind of Mänalus, whose feet were of brass and horns of gold, I fear I must omit; because I cannot break any common buck to run slow enough. But he is next to drive away those enormous birds of Stymphalus's lake, which were of such prodigious bigness, that they intercepted the light with their wings, and took
up whole men as their prey. I have got a flock of them formed of leather covered with ravens' feathers: they are a little unwieldy, I must confess; but I have disposed my wires, so as to play them about tolerably well, and make them flap out the candles; and two of the largest are to gulp down the grenadier, stationed at each door of the stage, with their caps, muskets, bayonets, and all their accoutrements.
“ The sixth labour is an engagement with the