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enemies.

Your great abilities and unquestioned integrity, in those high employments which you have passed through, would not have been able to have raised you this general approbation, had they not been accompanied with that moderation in an high fortune, and that affability of manners, which are so conspicuous through all parts of your life. Your aversion to any ostentatious arts of setting to shew those great services which you have done the public, has not likewise a little contributed to that universal acknowledgment which is paid you by your country

The consideration of this part of your character, is that which hinders me from enlarging on those extraordinary talents, which have given you so great a figure in the British senate, as well as in that elegance and politeness which appear in your more retired conversation. I should be unpardonable if, after what I have said, I should longer detain you with an address of this nature. I cannot, however, conclude it, without acknowledging those great obligations which you have laid upon,

SIR,

Your most obedient humble servant,
THE SPECTATOR.

DEDICATION

TO. THE

FOURTH VOLUME OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION.

TO THE

DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH.

MY LORD,

As it is natural to have a fondness for what has cost us much time and attention to produce, I hope your Grace will forgive my endeavour to preserve this work from oblivion, by affixing to it your memorable name.

I shall not here presume to mention the illustrious passages of your life, which are celebrated by the whole age, and have been the subject of the most sublime pens; but if I could convey you to posterity in your private character, and describe the stature, the behaviour, and aspect of the Duke of Marlborough, I question not but it would fill the reader with more agreeable images, and give him a more delightful entertainment, than what can be found in the following, or any other book

One cannot, indeed, without offence to yourself, observe, that you excel the rest of mankind in the least, as well as the greatest endowments. Nor were it a circumstance to be mentioned, if the graces and attractions of your person were not the only pre-eminence you have above others, which is left almost unobserved by greater writers.

Yet how pleasing would it be to those who shall read the surprising revolutions in your story, to be made acquainted with your ordinary life and deportment! How pleasing would it be to hear that the same man who carried fire and sword into the countries of all that had opposed the cause of liberty, and struck a terror into the armies of France, had, in the midst of his high station, a behaviour as gentle as is usual in the first steps towards greatness! And if it were possible to express that easy grandeur, which did at once persuade and command, it would appear as clearly to those to come, as it does to his contemporaries, that all the great events which were brought to pass under the conduct of so wellgoverned a spirit, were the blessings of Heaven upon wisdom and valour; and all which seem adverse fell out by divine permission, which we are not to search into.

You have passed that year of life, wherein the most noble and fortunate captain, before your time, declared that he had lived enough both to nature and to glory; and your Grace may make that reflection with much more justice. He spoke it after he had arrived at an empire by an usurpation upon those whom he had enslaved; but the Prince of Mindelheim may rejoice in a sovereignty which was the gift of him whose dominions he had preserved.

Glory established upon the uninterrupted success of honourable designs and actions, is not subject to diminution; nor can any attempts prevail against it, but in the proportion which the narrow circuit of rumour bears to the unlimited extent of fame.

We may congratulate your Grace not only upon your high achievements, but likewise upon the happy expiration of your command, by which your glory is put out of the power of fortune; and when your person shall be so too, that the Author and Disposer of all things may place you in that higher mansion of bliss and immortality which is prepared for good princes, lawgivers, and heroes, when he in his due time removes them from the envy of mankind, is the hearty prayer of,

MY LORD,
Your Grace's most obedient,

Most devoted humble servant,
THE SPECTATOR.

THE

SPECTATOR.

No. 153. SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 1711.

Habet natura ut aliarum omnium rerum sic vivendi modum; senectus autem peractio ætatis est tanquam fabulæ. Cujus defatigationem fugere debemus præsertim adjuncta satietate.

TULL. DE SENECT.

Life, as well as all other things, has its bounds assigned by nature; and its conclusion, like the last act of a play, is old age, the fatigue of which we ought to shun, especially when our appetites are fully satisfied.

Or all the impertinent wishes which we hear expressed in conversation, there is not one more unworthy a gentleman or a man of liberal education, than that of wishing one's self younger. I have observed this wish is usually made upon sight of some object which gives the idea of a past action, that it is no dishonour to us that we cannot now repeat; or else on what was in itself shameful when we performed it. It is a certain sign of a foolish or a dissolute mind if we want our youth again only for the strength of bones and sinews which we once were masters of. It is (as my author has it) as absurd in an old man to wish for the strength of a youth, as it would be in a young man to wish for the strength of a bull or a horse. These wishes are both equally out of nature, which should direct in all things that are not contradictory to justice, law, and reason. But though every old man has been young, and every young one hopes to be old, there seems to be a most unnatural misunderstanding between those two stages of life. This unhappy want of commerce arises from the insolent arrogance or exultation in youth, and the irrational despondence or self pity in age. A young man whose passion and ambition is to be good and wise, and an old one who has no inclination to be lewd or debauched, are quite unconcerned in this speculation; but the cock

VOL. II.

B

ing young fellow who treads upon the toes of his elders, and the old fool who envies the saucy pride he sees in him, are the objects of our present contempt and derision. Contempt and derision are harsh words; but in what manner can one give advice to a youth in the pursuit and possession of sensual pleasures, or afford pity to an old man, in the impotence and desire of enjoying them? When young men in public places betray in their deportment an abandoned resignation to their appetites, they give to sober minds a prospect of a despicable age, which, if not interrupted by death in the midst of their follies, must certainly come. When an old man bewails the loss of such gratifications which are passed, he discovers a monstrous inclination to that which it is not in the course of providence to recall. The state of an old man, who is dissatisfied merely for his being such, is the most out of all measures of reason and good sense of any being we have any account of from the highest angel to the lowest worm. How miserable is the contemplation to consider a libidinous old man (while all created beings, besides himself and devils, are following the order of Providence) fretting at the course of things, and being almost the sole malcontent in creation! But let us a little reflect upon what he has lost by the number of years. The passions which he had in youth are not to be obeyed as they were then, but reason is more powerful now without the disturbance of them. An old gentleman the other day, in discourse with a friend of his (reflecting upon some adventures they had in youth together), cried out, "Oh Jack, those were happy days!" "That is true," replied his friend, but methinks we go about our business more quietly than we did then." One would think it should be no small satisfaction to have gone so far in our journey, that the heat of the day is over with us. When life itself is a fever, as it is in licentious youth, the pleasures of it are no other than the dreams of a man in that distemper; and it is as absurd to wish the return of that season of life, as for a man in health to be sorry for the loss of gilded palaces, fairy walks, and flowery pastures, with which he remembers he was entertained in the troubled slumbers of a fit of sickness.

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As to all the rational and worthy pleasures of our being, the conscience of a good fame, the contemplation of another life, the respect and commerce of honest men, our capacities for such enjoyments are enlarged by years. While health endures, the latter part of life, in the eye of reason, is certainly the more eligible. The memory of a well-spent youth gives a peaceable, unmixed, and elegant pleasure to the mind; and to such who are so unfortunate as not to be able to look back on youth with satisfaction, they may give themselves no little consolation that they are under no temptation to repeat their follies, and that they at present despise them. It was prettily said, "He that would be long an old man, must

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