Page images


life; and I think there need no more be said in honour of it, than that it is what forces the approbation


your opponents. The guilty man has an honour for the judge who with justice pronounces against him the sentence of death itself. The author of the sentence at the head of this paper, was an excellent judge of human life, and passed his own in company the most agreeable that ever was in the world. Augustus lived amongst his friends, as if he had his fortune to make in his own court. Candour and affability, accompanied with as much power as ever mortal was vested with, were what made him in the utmost manner agreeable among a set of admirable men, who had thoughts too high for ambition, and views too large to be gratified by what he could give them in the disposal of an empire, without the pleasures of their mutual conversation. A certain unanimity of taste and judgment, which is natural to all of the same order in the species, was the band of this society : and the emperor assumed no figure in it, but what he thought was due from his private talents and qualifications, as they contributed to advance the pleasures and sentiments of the company.

Cunning people, hypocrites, all who are but half virtuous, or half wise, are incapable of tasting the refined pleasures of such an equal company as could wholly exclude the regard of fortune in their conversations. Horace, in the discourse from whence I take the hint of the present speculation, lays down excellent rules for conduct in conversation with men of power ; but he speaks with an air of one who had no need of such an application for any thing which related to himself. It shews he understood what it was to be a skilful courtier, by just admonitions against importunity, and shewing how forcible it was to speak modestly of your own wants. There

is indeed something so shameless in taking all opportunities to speak of your own affairs, that he who is guilty of it towards him on whom he depends, fares like the beggar who exposes his sores, which, instead of moving compassion, makes the man he begs of turn away from the object.

I cannot tell what is become of him, but I remember about sixteen years ago an honest fellow, who so justly understood how disagreeable the mention or appearance of his want would made him, that I have often reflected upon him as a counterpart of Irus, whom I have formerly mentioned. This man, whom I have missed for some years in my walks, and have heard was some way employed about the army, made it a maxim, that good wigs, delicate linen, and a cheerful air, were to a poor dependent the same that working tools are to a poor artificer. It was no small entertainment to me, who knew his circumstances, to see him, who had fasted two days, attribute the thinness they told him of, to the violence of some gallantries he had lately been guilty of. The skilful dissembler carried on this with the utmost address; and if any suspected his affairs were narrow, it was attributed to indulging himself in some fashionable vice rather than an irreproachable poverty, which saved his credit with those on whom he depended.

The main art is to be as little troublesome as you can, and make all you hope for come rather as a favour from your patron than claim from you. But I am here prating of what is the method of pleasing so as to succeed in the world, when there are crowds, who have, in city, town, court, and country, arrived to considerable acquisitions, and yet seem incapable of acting in any constant tenor of life, but have gone from one successful error to another : there

fore I think I may shorten this inquiry after the method of pleasing; and as the old beau said to his son, once for all, ' Pray, Jack, be a fine gentleman;' so may I to my reader, abridge my instructions, and finish the art of pleasing in a word, - Be rich.'


N° 281. TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 1711-12.

Pectoribus inhians spirantia consulit exta.

VIRG. Æn. iv. 64.

Anxious the reeking entrails he consults.

HAVING already given an account of the dissection of a beau's head, with the several discoveries made on that occasion; I shall here, according to my promise, enter


the dissection of a coquette's heart, and communicate to the public such particulars as we observed in that curious piece of anatomy.

I should perhaps have waved this undertaking, had I not been put in mind of my promise by several of my unknown correspondents, who are very importunate with me to make an example of the coquette, as I have already done of the beau. . It is therefore in compliance with the request of friends, that I have looked over the minutes of my former dream, in order to give the public an exact relation of it, which I shall enter upon without farther preface.

Our operator, before he engaged in this visionary dissection, told us, that there was nothing in his art more difficult than to lay open the heart of a coquette, by reason of the many labyrinths and recesses which are to be found in it, and which do not appear in the heart of any other animal.

He desired us first of all to observe the pericardium, or outward case of the heart, which we did very attentively; and by the help of our glasses discerned in it millions of little scars, which seemed to have been occasioned by the points of innumerable darts and arrows, that from time to time had glanced upon the outward coat; though we could not discover the smallest orifice, by which any of them had entered and pierced the inward substance.

Every smatterer in anatomy knows that this pericardium, or case of the heart, contains in it a thin reddish liquor, supposed to be bred from the vapours which exhale out of the heart, and, being stopt here, are condensed into this watry substance. Upon examining this liquor, we found that it had in it all the qualities of that spirit which is made use of in the thermometer, to shew the change of weather.

Nor must I here omit an experiment one of the company assured us he himself had made with this liquor, which he found in great quantity about the heart of a coquette whom he had formerly dissected. He affirmed to us, that he had actually inclosed it in a small tube made after the manner of a weatherglass; but that instead of acquainting him with the variations of the atmostphere, it shewed him the qualities of those persons who entered the room where it stood. He affirmed also, that it rose at the approach of a plume of feathers, an embroidered coat, or a pair of fringed gloves; and that it fell as soon as an ill-shaped periwig, a clumsy pair of shoes, or an unfashionable coat came into his house. Nay, he proceeded so far as to assure us, that upon his laughing aloud when he stood by it, the liquor mounted very sensibly, and immediately sunk again upon his looking serious. In short, he told us, that he knew very well, by this invention, whenever he had a man of sense or a coxcomb in his room.

Having cleared away the pericardium, or the case, and liquor above mentioned, we came to the heart itself. The outward surface of it was extremely slippery, and the mucro, or point, so very cold withal, that upon endeavouring to take hold of it, it glided through the fingers like a smooth piece of ice.

The fibres were turned and twisted in a more in. tricate and perplexed manner than they are usually found in other hearts; insomuch that the whole heart was wound up together in a Gordian knot, and must have had very irregular and unequal motions, while it was employed in its vital function.

One thing we thought very observable, namely, that upon examining all the vessels which came into it, or issued out of it, we could not discover any communication that it had with the tongue.

We could not but take notice likewise, that several of those little nerves in the heart which are affected by the sentiments of love, hatred, and other passions, did not descend to this before us from the brain, but from the muscles which lie about the eye.

Upon weighing the heart in my hand, I found it to be extremely light, and consequently very hollow, which I did not wonder at, when, upon looking into the inside of it, I saw multitudes of cells and cavities running one within another, as our historians describe the apartments of Rosamond’s bower. Several of these little hollows were stuffed with innumerable sorts of trifles, which I shall forbear giving any particular account of, and shall therefore only take notice of what lay first and uppermost, which upon our unfolding it, and applying our microscopes to it, appeared to be a flame-coloured hood.

« PreviousContinue »