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my design of a complete treatise on the subject, you have my full permission.

“ The philosophers say, Cogito, ergo sum.--I think, therefore I exist. Now, as the sense of our own existence is the most disagreeable of all reflections to us lounging philosophers, it follows that, in order to rid ourselves of that most uneasy sensation, we must endeavour, as much as possible, to banish all thought.

To attain this important end, there are various means, according to the variety of tastes. To escape from his own thoughts, one lounger betakes himself to his bottle, another to the gaming-table, and a third to a mistress. That these methods are frequently successful must be presumed, since the greatest adepts so generally employ them. Nevertheless, I must be excused for hinting a very few objections which have occurred in the course of my own practice.

“ As an antidote to the cares of life, and sovereign opiate for the miseries of thought and reflection, there is no medicine which has acquired an equal reputation with a flask of good wine. But most opiates serve only as temporary palliatives; and some, while they give immediate relief, are known to increase the disease. I am afraid we must apply to the pleasures of the bottle, what, with a slight alteration, was said by a wise ancient : 'Joy may endure for a night, but heaviness, too surely, cometh in the morning.'

“ Gaming, too, though a very genteel occupation, must be allowed to approach rather too near to the drudgery of real business. The labour of thought which it requires, and the turbulence of contending passions, are certainly inimical to that tranquil indifference in which we loungers place our supreme felicity.

“Although I am well acquainted with all the arguments in favour of gallantry, and allow them to have a great deal of weight, I cannot help thinking that, when considered with a view to our fraternity, it is subject to many inconveniences. Even under the management of the most prudent, it cannot be denied, that it leads to situations in which the peace and quiet so necessary in the life of a lounger are disturbed and broken; or leaves him in others that render the presence of his great adversary, Time, more than usually irksome.

To constitute a complete lounger, it is necessary that he should be a man of taste. Reading, though, as a food, it is gross and of hard digestion, may be taken, with much advantage, in small doses, both as a cordial and as an opiate. For the former of these purposes, I would recommend a complete set of jest-books, from Joe Miller, and the Medley of Fun, down to Jonsoniana ; for the latter, most of the new novels. I would likewise advise the taking in all the magazines and reviews. Those, besides the very considerable amusement in cutting up their leaves, enable a gentleman, by the most compendious means, to form a complete judgement of any author in any science, and to decide upon his merits, in any company, with that proper confidence which represses all opposition of opinion.

“An ingenious author of this age* has lately demonstrated, that it is possible to acquire a critical taste in any of the fine arts, without the smallest portion of natural genius; and it must be acknowledged that his theory is proved by the example of most modern critics. Among these arts, I would particularly recommend, as most profitable to the lounger, the

Mr. Webb. See Preface to his Inquiry into the Beauties of Painting, &c.

acquisition of a taste in music. After acquiring a good taste, it will be an easy matter to obtain a proficiency in the practice of the science; and of this the advantage is very great. I have the honour to know several very accomplished gentlemen, who, with no other companion than their violin, are able to fiddle away a complete summer's day with much comfort and delight.

“ The occupations I have hitherto mentioned, it will be observed, are chiefly of the domestic kind. I could enumerate a variety of schemes for the destruction of time without doors. These, however, are so generally known, that it were superfluous to dwell upon them. In the morning, the political lounger betakes himself to his coffee-house, the literary lounger to his bookseller's shop, the saunterer to the public walks, the dreamer to his usual occupation of counting the sign-posts. In the evening, clubs, card-parties, and public places, furnish a rendezvous for loungers of all denominations.

“ Besides these I have already mentioned, I could easily, Sir, communicate a variety of other approved schemes and ingenious devices : but I shall, for the present, content myself with barely hinting at one Other expedient, though I am aware that its vulgarity will not permit it to be often employed by people of taste and fashion. It must be acknowledged, that the most effectual of all methods of killing time, is by serious business or occupation. This is the great secret by which many

thousands of the vulgar herd jog on through life with much composure, nay even seeming satisfaction, while those who constitute the polite world are put to a variety of shifts to compass what the others attain without seeking after. Now, as a capital painter may sometimes conceive a happy idea from the daubing of a sign-post, so the lounger, though he disdain to follow so mean an example as that of the plodding sons of industry, may, nevertheless derive from it a very profitable lesson. When any piece of business necessarily obtrudes itsel , let him consider that it would be highly improv dent to despatch or execute in one hour, or in one day, what, with a little prudent management, may easily furnish occupation for twenty. Thus, when a lounger begins to write a letter, it may very reasonably employ him for a month, the ranging of his library may give him a hurry of business for a year, and clearing accounts with his steward is the work of a lifetime.

These, Sir, are a few of the materials for that great design above mentioned, from which it is easy to form a judgement both of the copiousness and importance of the subject. As that scheine, however, is now laid aside, I take the liberty of sending you these imperfect hints, in hopes, as many modest authors express themselves, that they may prompt an exertion of genius from some abler pen.

am, sir,
“ Your most obedient servant,

" ESYCHUS.

“ P.S. Your correspondent, in your 14th number, seems to possess many of the talents requisite for such an undertaking."

No. 60. SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, 1779.

Quin ubi se a vulgo et scena in secreta remorant
Virtus Scipiadæ et mitis sapientia Lali ;
Nugari cum illo, et discincti ludere, donec
Decoqueretur olus, soliti.

HOR. SAT. ii. 1. 71.

I have heard a story of an eminent philosopher who was invited to dine and spend the evening with some of the most distinguished men for learning and genius of the age in which he lived. Dinner being over, the conversation took a light and easy turn. While a cheerful glass went round, the common topic of the time, the joke of the day, or the occasional pleasantry of the minute, filled up their discourse. The philosopher, whose mind was constantly occupied with abstract studies and inquiries, took little share in the conversation, and felt no pleasure in it. After having sat a considerable time, one of the company proposed that they should take a game at cards. Although they played for a trifle, the philosopher refused to join in the party, and it was made up without him. While they were thus engaged, he retired to a corner of the room, took out his pocket-book and pencil, and began to write. Upon being asked what he was writing, he answered that he had conceived high expectations of the instruction and entertainment he was to receive from the conversation of so many eminent and distin. guished men; that he had resolved, before he came among them, to take notes of what passed, lest he should forget it, and that this was now his occupa

VOL. XXIX.

C

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