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159. The Nature and Remedies of Bashfulness.
160. Rules for the Choice of Associates.
161. The Revolutions of a Garret.
162. Old Men in danger of falling into Pupilage-the
163. The Mischiefs of following a Patron.
164. Praise universally desired-the Failings of eminent
165. The Impotence of Wealth-the Visit of Serotinus
166. Favour not easily gained by the Poor.
167. The Marriage of Hymenæus and Tranquilla.
168. Poetry debased by mean Expressions-an Example
169. Labour necessary to Excellence.
170. The History of Misella debauched by her Rela-
171. Misella's Description of the Life of a Prostitute.
172. The Effect of sudden Riches upon the Manners.
173. Unreasonable Fears of Pedantry.
174. The Mischiefs of undoubted Raillery-History of
176. Directions to Authors attacked by Critics-the
various Degrees of critical Perspicacity.
177. An Account of a Club of Antiquaries.
178. Many Advantages not to be enjoyed together.
179. The awkward Merriment of a Student.
180. The Study of Life not to be neglected for the Sake
181. The History of an Adventurer in Lotteries.
182. The History of Leviculus, the Fortune-hunter.
183. The Influence of Envy and Interest compared.
184. The Subject of Essays often suggested by Chance
185. The Prohibition of Revenge justifiable by Reason-
the Meanness of regulating our Conduct by the
186. Anningait and Ajut, a Greenland History.
187. The History of Anningait and Ajut concluded.
188. Favour often gained with little Assistance from Un-
190. The History of Abouzaid, the Son of Morad.
191. The busy Life of a young Lady.
192. Love unsuccessful without Riches.
193. The Author's Art of praising himself.
194. A young Nobleman's Progress in Politeness.
195. A young Nobleman's Introduction to the Know-
196. Human Opinions mutable-the Hopes of Youth
197. The History of a Legacy-hunter.
198. The Lagacy-hunter's History concluded.
199. The Virtues of Rabbi Abraham's Magnet.
200. Asper's Complaint of the Insolence of Prospero
Unpoliteness not always the Effect of Pride.
201. The Importance of Punctuality.
202. The different Acceptations of Poverty-Cynics
203. The Pleasure of Life to be sought in Prospects of
Futurity-future Fame uncertain.
204. The History of ten Days of Seged, Emperor of
205. The History of Seged concluded.
206. The Art of Living at the Cost of others.
207. The Folly of continuing too long upon the Stage.
No. 139. TUESDAY, JULY 16, 1751.
-Sit quod vis simplex duntaxat et unum.
Ir is required by Aristotle to the perfection of a tragedy, and is equally necessary to every other species of regular composition, that it should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. "The beginning," says he," is that which has nothing necessarily previous, but to which that which follows is naturally consequent; the end, on the contrary, is that which, by necessity, or at least according to the common course of things, succeeds something else, but which implies nothing consequent to itself; the middle is connected on one side to something that naturally goes before, and on the other to something that naturally follows it."
Such is the rule laid down by this great critic, for the disposition of the different parts of a well constituted fable. It must begin where it may be made intelligible without introduction; and end where the mind is left in repose, without expectation of any farther event. The intermediate passages must join the last effect to the first cause by a regular unbroken concatenation; nothing must be therefore inserted which does not apparently arise from some
thing foregoing, and properly make way for something that succeeds it.
This precept is to be understood in its rigour only with respect to great and essential events, and cannot be extended in the same force to minuter circumstances and arbitrary decorations, which yet are more happy as they contribute more to the main design; for it is always a proof of extensive thought and accurate cireumspection, to promote various purposes by the same act; and the idea of an ornament admits use, though it seems to exclude necessity.
Whoever purposes, as it is expressed by Milton, to build the lofty rhyme, must acquaint himself with the law of poetical architecture, and take care that his edifice be solid as well as beautiful; that nothing stand single or independent, so as that it may be taken away without injuring the rest; but that from the foundation to the pinnacles one part rest firm upon another.
This regular and consequential distribution is among common authors frequently neglected; but the failures of those whose example can have no influence may be safely overlooked, nor is it of much use to recall obscure and unregarded names to memory for the sake of sporting with their infamy. But if there is any writer whose genius can embellish impropriety, and whose authority can make error venerable, his works are the proper objects of critical inquisition. To expunge faults where there are no excellences is a task equally useless with that of the chemist, who employs the arts of separation and refinement upon ore in which no precious metal is contained to reward his operations.
The tragedy of Samson Agonistes has been celebrated as the second work of the great author of Paradise Lost, and opposed with all the confidence