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must be a solid affliction to all those whose pen is their portion.
As for my part, I do not speak wholly for my own sake in this point; for palmistry and astrology will bring me in greater gains than these my papers; so that I am only in the condition of a lawyer, who leaves the bar for chamber practice. However, I may be allowed to speak in the cause of learning itself, and lament, that a liberal education is the only one which a polite nation makes unprofitable. All mechanic artisans are allowed to reap the fruit of their invention and ingenuity without invasion ; but he that has separated himself from the rest of mankind, and studied the wonders of the creation, the government of his passions, and the revolutions of the world, and has an ambition to communicate the effect of half his life spent in such noble inquiries, has no property in what he is willing to produce, but is exposed to robbery and want, with this melancholy and just reflection, that he is the only man who is not protected by his country, at the same time that he best deserves it.
According to the ordinary rules of computation, the greater the adventure is, the greater ought to be the profit of those who succeed in it; and by this measure, none have pretence of turning their labours to greater advantage than persons brought up to letters. A learned education, passing through great schools and universities, is very expensive, and consumes a moderate fortune, before it is gone through in its proper forms. The purchase of an handsome commission or employment, which would give a man a good figure in another kind of life, is to be made at a much cheaper rate. Now, if we consider this expensive voyage which is undertaken in the search of knowledge, and how few there are who take in any considerable merchandise, how less frequent it is to be able to turn what men have gained into profit : how hard is it, that the very small number who are distinguished with abilities to know how to vend their wares, and have the good fortune to bring them into port, should suffer being plundered by privateers under the
very cannon that should protect them! The most eminent and useful author of the age we live in, after having laid out a princely revenue in works of charity and beneficence, as became the greatness of his mind, and the sanctity of his character, would have left the person in the world who was the dearest to him in a narrow condition, had not the sale of his immortal writings brought her in a very considerable dowry; though it. was impossible for it to be equal to their value. Every one will know, that I here mean the works of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, the copy of which was sold for 25001.
I do not speak with relation to any party ; but it has happened, and may often so happen, that men of great learning and virtue cannot qualify themselves for being employed in business, or receiving preferments. In this case, you cut them off from all support, if you take from them the benefit that may arise from their writings. For my own part, I have brought myself to consider things in so unprejudiced a manner, that I esteem more a man who can live by the products of his understanding, than one who does it by the favour of great men.
The zeal of an author has transported me thus far, though I think myself as much concerned in the capacity of a reader. If this practice goes on, we must never expect to see again a beautiful edition of a book in Great Britain.
We have already seen the memoirs of Sir William Temple published in the same character and volume with the history of Tom Thumb, and the works of our greatest poets shrunk into penny books and garlands. For my own part, I expect to see my lucubrations printed on browner paper than they are at present; and, if the humour continues, must be forced to retrench my expensive way of living, and not smoke above two pipes a day.
Sir Richard Steele joined in this paper. T.
* Immortal writings] It is to be hoped, that this epithet is rightly given to Archbishop Tillotson's works, for the credit of our taste, as as well as morals.
No. 102. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1709.
From my own Apartmant, December 3.
A CONTINUATION OF THE VISION. The male world were dismissed by the Goddess of Justice, and disappeared, when on a sudden the whole plain was covered with women. So charming a multitude filled my heart with unspeakable pleasure; and as the celestial light of the mirror shone upon their faces, several of them seemed rather persons that descended in the train of the goddess, than such who were brought before her to their trial. The clack of tongues, and confusion of voices, in this new assembly, was so very great, that the goddess was forced to command silence several times, and with some severity, before she could make them attentive to her edicts. They were all sensible, that the most important affair among womankind was then to be settled, which every one knows to be the point of place. This had raised innumerable disputes among them, and put the whole sex into a tumult. Every one produced her claim, and pleaded her preten. sions. Birth, beauty, wit, or wealth, were words that rung in my ears from all parts of the plain. Some boasted of the merit of their husbands; others of their own power in governing them. Some pleaded their unspotted virginity, others their numerous issue. Some valued themselves as they were the mothers, and others as they were the daughters, of considerable persons. There was not a single accomplishment unmentioned, or unpractised. The whole congregation was full of singing, dancing, tossing, ogling, squeaking, smiling, sighing, fanning, frowning, and all those irresistible arts which women put in practice to captivate the hearts of reasonable creatures. The goddess, to end this dispute, caused it to be proclaimed, one should take place according as she was more or less beautiful.' This declaration gave great satisfaction to
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the whole assembly, which immediately bridled up, and appeared in all its beauties. Such as believed themselves graceful in their motion, found an occasion of falling back, advancing forward, or making a false step, that they might show their persons in the most becoming air. Such as had fine necks and bosoms, were wonderfully curious to look over the heads of the multitude, and observe the most distant parts of the assembly. Several clapped their hands on their foreheads, as helping their sight to look upon the glories that surrounded the goddess, but in reality to show fine hands and arms. The ladies were yet better pleased when they heard, that in the decision of this great controversy, each of them should be her own judge, and take her place according to her own opinion of herself, when she consulted her looking glass.
The goddess then let down the mirror of truth in a golden chain, which appeared larger in proportion as it descended and approached nearer to the eyes of the beholders. It was the particular property of this looking glass to banish all false appearances, and show people what they are. The whole woman was represented, without regard to the usual external features, which were made entirely conformable to their real characters. In short, the most accomplished (taking in the whole circle of female perfections) were the most beautiful, and the most defective, the most deformed. The goddess so varied the motion of the glass, and placed it in so many different lights, that each had an opportunity of seeing herself in it.
It is impossible to describe the rage, the pleasure, or astonishment, that appeared in each face upon its representation in the mirror: multitudes started at their own form, and would have broke the glass if they could have reached it. Many saw their blooming features wither as they looked upon them, and their self-admiration turned into a loathing and abhorrence. The lady who was thought so agreeable in her anger, and was so often celebrated for a woman of fire and spirit, was frighted at her own image, and fancied she saw a fury in the glass. The interested mistress beheld a harpy, and the subtle jilt a sphynx. I was very much troubled in my own heart, to see such a destruction of fine faces; but at the same time had the pleasure of seeing several improved, which I had before looked upon as the greatest master-pieces of nature. I observed, that some few were so humble as to be surprised at their own charms; and that many a one, who had lived in the retirement and severity of a vestal, shined forth in all the graces and attractions of a syren. I was ravished at the sight of a particular image in the mirror, which I think the most beautiful object that my eyes ever beheld. There was something more than human in her countenance : her eyes were so full of light, that they seemed to beautify every thing they looked upon. Her face was enlivened with such a florid bloom, as did not so properly seem the mark of health, as of immortality. Her shape, her stature, and her mien, were such as distinguished her even there where the whole fair sex was assembled.
I was impatient to see the lady represented by so divine an image, whom I found to be the person that stood at my right hand, and in the same point of view. with myself. This was a little old woman, who in her prime had been about five foot high, though at present shrunk to about three quarters of that measure.
Her natural aspect was puckered up with wrinkles, and her head covered with grey hairs. I had observed all along an innocent cheerfulness in her face, which was now heightened into rapture as she beheld herself in the glass. It was an odd circumstance in my dream (but I cannot forbear relating it) I conceived so great an inclination towards her, that I had thoughts of discoursing her upon the point of marriage, when on a sudden she was carried from me; for the word was now given, that all who were pleased with their own images, should separate, and place themselves at the head of their sex.
This detachment was afterwards divided into three bodies, consisting of maids, wives, and widows; the wives being placed in the middle, with the maids on the