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served in Homer, that his Achilles is placed in the greatest point of Glory and Success, though his Character is morally vicious, and only poetically good, if I may use the Phrase of our (modern Criticks. The Æneid is filled (with innocent, unhappy Persons. Nisus and Eurialus, Lausus and Pallas come all to unfortunate ends. The ' Poet takes notice in particular, that
in the Sacking of Troy, Ripheus fell,
who was the most just Man among • the Trojans.
Cadit & Ripheus juftiffimus unus, Qui fuit in Teucris & servantifimus Æqui: Diis aliter visum est
6. And that Pantbeus could neither be
preserved by his transcendent Piery,
nor by the holy Fillets of Apollos whose Priest he was.
Nec Te tua plurima Pantheu Labentem pietas,, nec Apollinis infula texit.
Æn. 1. 20
• I might here mention the Practice of the ancient Tragick Poets, both Greek and Latin; but as this Particular is
touched upon in the Paper above , mentioned, I shall pass it over in Silence. I could produce Passages out of Aristotle in favour of my Opinion, and if in one place he says that an absolutely virtuous Man should not be represented as unhappy, this does not justify any one who shall think fit to bring in an absolutely virtuous Man upon the Stage. Those who are acquainted with that Author's way of writing, know very well, that to take the whole Extent of his Subject into his Divisions of it, he often makes use of such Cases as arc
imaginary, and not reducible to Practice: He himself declares that such
Tragedies as ended unhappily bore
away the Prize in Theatrical Contentions, from those which ended
happily; and for the Fortieth Spe
culation, which I am now conside* ring, as it has given Reasons why
these are more apt to please an Au
dience, so it only proves that these + are generally preferable to the other, though at the same time it affirms that many excellent Tragedies have may
be written in both kinds.
"I shall conclude with observing,
that though the Spectator above-men- tioned is so far against the Rule of
Poetical Justice, as to affirm, that good Men may meet with an unhappy Catastrophe in Tragedy, it does not say that ill Men may go off unpunished. The Reason for this Distinction is very plain, namely because the best of Men are vicious enough to justify Providence for any Misfortunes and Amictions which may
befal them, but there are many Men i lo criminal that they can have no i Claim or Pretence to Happiness.
The best of Men may deserve Pu' nishment, but the worst of Men can
not deserve Happiness.
N° 549.: Saturday, November 29
Quamuis digreffu veteris comfufus amici,
Believe most people begin the World with a Resolution to withdraw from it into a serious kind of Soli
tude or Retirement, when they have made themselves. easy in it. Our Unhappiness is, that we find out fome Excuse or other for deferring such our good Resolutions till our intended Retreat is cut off by Death. But among all kinds of people there are none who are fo hard to part with the World, as those who are grown old in the heaping up of Riches. Their Minds are so warp'd with their constant. Attention to Gain, that it is very difficult for them to give their Souls another Bent, and convert them towards those Objects, which, though they are proper for every Stage of Life, are so mpre especially for the last. Horace de
Sense; and Probity of
scribes an old Usurer as so charm'd with the Pleasures of a Country Life, that in order to make a Purchase he called in all his Money; but what was the 'E vent of it? Why in a very few Days after he put it out again. I am engaged in this Series of Thought by a Dircourse-which I had taft Week with my worthy Friend Sir ANDREW FreePORT, a Man of so much natural EMind, that I always hear him with a particular Pleasure. As we were sitting together, being the sole remaining Members of our Chub, SiỊ ANDREW gave me an Account of the many busy Scenes of Life in which he had been engaged, and at the same time reckoned up to me * abundance of those lucky Hits, which at another time he would have called pieces of good Fortune, but in the Temper of Mind he was then, he termed them Mercies, Favours of Providence, and Bleflings upon an honest Industry? Now, says he; you must know, my good Friend, I am so used to consider myself as Creditor and Debtor, that I often state my Accounts after the fame manner with regard to Heaven and my own Soul. In this