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Hands above-mentioned. The finest Pieces of Holland, when worn to Tatters, assume a new Whiteness more beautiful than their first, and often return in the shape of Letters to their native Country. A Lady's Shift may be metamorphosed into Billets-doux, and come into her posa. session a second time. A Beau may peruse his Cravat af. ter it is worn out, with greater Pleasure and Advantage than ever he did in a Glass. In a word, a Piece of Cloth, after having officiated for some Years as a Towel or a Napkin, may by this means be raised from a Dunghil, and become the most valuable Piece of Furniture in a Prince's Cabinet.
THE politeit Nations of Europe have endeavoured to: vie with one another for the Reputation of the fineft Printing: Absolute Governments, as well as Republicks, have · encouraged an Art which seems to be the noblest and most beneficial that ever was invented among the Sons of Men. The present King of France, in his Pursuits after Glory, has particularly diftinguished himself by the promoting of this useful Art, insomuch that several Books have been printed in the Louvre at his own Expence, upon which he fcts so great a value, that he considers them as the noblest Presents he can make to foreign Princes and Ambassadors. If we look into the Commonwealths of Holland and Ve. nice, we shall find that in this particular they have made themselves the Envy of the greatest Monarchies. Elzevir and Aldus are more frequently mentioned than any Pensioner of the one or Doge of the other. - THE several Presses which are now in England, and the great Encouragement which has been given to Learning for some Years last past, has made our own Nation as glorious upon this account, as for its late Triumphs and Conquests. The new Edition which is given us of Cæsar's Commentaries, has already been taken notice of in foreign Gazettes, and is a Work that does honour to the English Press. It is no wonder that an Edition should be very correct, which has passed thro’ the Hands of one of the most accurate, learned and judicious Writers this Age has produced. The Beauty of the Paper, of the Character, and of the several Cuts with which this noble Work is illustrated, makes it the finest Book that I have ever seen; and is a true Instance of the English Genius,
which, tho' it does not come the first into any Art, generally carries it to greater Heights than any other Country in the World. I am particularly glad that this Author comes from a British Printing-house in so great a Magnificence, as he is the first who has given us any tolerable Account of our Country.
MY illiterate Readers, if any such there are, will be surprised to hear me talk of Learning as the Glory of a Nation, and of Printing as an Art that gains a Reputation to a People among whom it flourishes. When Mens Thoughts are taken up with Avarice and Ambition, they cannot look upon any thing as great or valuable, which does not bring with it an extraordinary Power or Interest to the Person who is concerned in it. But as I shall ne- . ver sink this paper so far as to engage with Goths and Vandals, I shall only regard such kind of Reasoners with that Pity which is due to so deplorable a Degree of Stupi- . dity and Ignorance.
N° 368. Friday, May 2.
Nos decebat Lugere ubi effet aliquis in lucem editus Humanæ vitæ varia reputantes mala :. At qui labores morte finiset graves, Omnes amicos laude & lætitia exequi. Eurip. apud Tull. A S the Spectator is in a kind a Paper of News from A the natural World, as others are from the busy and
politick Part of Mankind, I shall translate the fol.. lowing Letter written to an eminent French Gentleman in this Town from Paris, which gives us the Exit of an Heroine who is a Pattern of Patience and Generosity. SIR,
Paris, April 18, 1712. • IT is so many Years since you left your native Coun: 61 try, that I am to tell you the Characters of your near• eft Relations as much as if you were an utter Stranger I 2 .
• to them. The Occasion of this is to give you an Ac- : , • count of the Death of Madam de Villacerfe, whose De.. 'parture out of this Life I know not whether a Man of • your Philosophy will call unfortunate or not, since it was o attended with some Circumstances as much to be desi• red as to be lamented. She was her whole Life happy in • an uninterrupted Health, and was always honoured for • an Evenness of Temper and Greatness of Mind. On • the roth instant that Lady was taken with an Indispofiti• on which confined her to her Chamber, but was such as • was too flight to make her take a fick Bed, and yet too
grievous to admit of any Satisfaction in being out of it. • It is notoriously known, that some Years ago Monsieur • Felieau, one of the most considerable Surgeons in Paris, " was desperately in love with this Lady: Her Quality • placed her above any Application to her on the account . • of his Paffion; but as a Woman always has some re
gard to the Person whom she believes to be her real • Admirer, she now took it in her Head (upon Advice of « her Physicians to lose some of her Blood) to send for « Monsieur Fefteau on that Occasion. I happened to be • there at that time, and my near Relation gave me the • Privilege to be present. As soon as her Arm was strip• ped bare, and he began to press it in order to raise the • Vein, his Colour changed, and I observed him seized • with a sudden Tremor, which made me take the liberty • to speak of it to my Cousin with some Apprehension: • She smil'd, and said, she knew Mr. Fefteau had no Incli• nation to do her Injury. He seemed to recover himself, • and smiling also proceeded in his work. Immediately o after the Operation he cried out, that he was the most • unfortunate of all Men, for that he had open’d an Artery • instead of a Vein. It is as impossible to express the • Artist's Distraction as the Patient's Composure. I will o not dwell on little Circumstances, but go on to inform
you, that within three Days time it was thought necessary • to take off her Arm. She was so far from using Fefteau : " as it would be natural to one of a lower Spirit to treat • him, that she would not let him be absent from any • Consultation about her present Condition, and on every . • Occasion asked whether he was satisfied in the Measures • that were taken about her. Before this laft Operation the
. 'order'd her Will to be drawn, and after having been
' about a quarter of an hour alone, she bid the Surgeons, ' of whom poor Fefleau was one, go on in their Work. I • know not how to give you the Terms of Art, but there * appeared such Symptoms after the Amputation of her • Arm, that it was visible she could not live four and “twenty hours. Her Behaviour was so magnanimous • throughout this whole Affair, that I was particularly cu‘rious in taking notice of what passed as her Fate approach• ed nearer and nearer, and took Notes of what she said to
all about her, particularly word for word what she spoke ' to Mr. Festeau, which was as follows.
“SIR, you give me inexpreffible Sorrow for the An“ guish with which I see you overwhelmed. I am remo« ved to all intents and purposes from the Interests of hu. “ man Life, therefore I am to begin to think like one “ wholly unconcerned in it. I do not consider you as one “ by whose Error I have lost my Life; no, you are my Be“ nefactor as you have hastened my Entrance into a hap“ py Immortality. This is my Sense of this Accident; but " the World in which you live may have Thoughts of it “ to your disadvantage, I have therefore taken care to “ provide for you in my Will, and have placed you above *“ what you have to fear from their Ill:Nature.”
WHILE this excellent Woman spoke these Words, • Fefteau looked as if he received a Condemnation to die, • instead of a Pension for his Life. Madam de Villacerfe • lived till Eight of the Clock the next Night, and tho' :• she must have laboured under the most exquisite Tor. " ments, ine possessed her Mind with so wonderful a Pa• tience, that one inay rather say the ceased to breathe ".than the died at that hour. You who had not the hap
• piness to be personally known to this Lady, have nothing ..but to rejoice in the Honour you had of being related to
so great Merit; but we who have lost her Conversation, • cannot so easily resign our own Happiness by Reflexion • upon hers. I am, Sir, your affectionate Kinsman, and most obedient, humble Servant,
THERE hardly can be a greater Instance of an Heroick Mind, than the unprejudiced Manner in which this Lady weighed this Misfortune. The regard of Life it felf could not make her overlook the Contrition of the unhappy Man, whose more than ordinary Concern for her was all his Guilt. It would certainly be of fingular Use to human Society to have an exact Account of this Lady's ordi
nary Conduct, which was crowned by so uncommon Mag· nanimity. Such Greatness was not to be acquired in the
laft Article, nor is it to be doubted but it was a constant Practice of all that is praise-worthy, which made her ca. pable of beholding Death, not as the Diffolution, but Con· fummation of her Life.
N° 369. Saturday, May 3.
Segniùs irritant animos de misa per aures,
Quàm quæ funt oculis subjecta fidelibus Hor. A NILTO N, after having represented in Vifion the
V History of Mankind to the first great period of Na
' ture, dispatches the remaining part of it in Narration. He has devised a very handsom Reason for the Angel's proceeding with Adam after this manner; though doubtless the true Reason was the Difficulty which the Poet would have found to have shadowed out so mixed and compli. cated a Story in visible Objects. I could wish, however, that the Author had done it, whatever Pains it might have cost him. To give my Opinion freely, I think that the exhibiting part of the History of Mankind in Vision, and part in Narrative, is as if an History-Painter should put in Colours one half of his Subject, and write down the remaining part of it. If Milton's Poem flags any where, it is in this Narration, where in fome Places the Author has been so attentive to his Divinity, that he has neglected his Poetry. The Narration, however, rises very happily on several Occasions, where the Subject is capable of Poetical Ornaments as particularly in the Confusion which