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liberty to corrupt the lines which he did not understand. If we imagine that Variut had been by any of his cotemporaries celebrated under the appellation of Mufarum Ales, the swan of the Muses, the language of Horace becomes graceful and familiar; and that such a compliment was at least possible, we know from the transformation seigned by thrate of himself.
The most elegant compliment that was paid to Addi/on, is of this obscure and perishable kind:
When panting Virtue her last efforts made,
These lines must please as long as they are understood; but can be understood only by thofe that have observed Addi/on'% signatures in the Spectator.
The nicety of these minute allusions I shall exemplisy by another instance, which I take this occasion to mention, because, as I am told, the commentators have omitted it. Tibullus addresses Q/ntbia in this manner:
TefpeSIcm, suprtma mi hi cum voter it bora,
Before my closing eyes, dear Cyntlia, stand,
To these lines Ovid thus resers in his elegy on the death of Tibullus;
Cynthia itctdtrs, ftEcsns, htanit, emsta
Cms Nemesis, quid, ait, tiH fwt me* aamna itUri f
Blest was my reign, retiring Cynthia cry'd:
The beauty of this passage, which consists in the appropriation made by Nemesis of the line originally directed to Cynthia, had been wholly imperceptible to succeeding ages, had chance, which has destroyed so many greater volumes, deprived us likewise of the poems of Tibullus,
Numb. 62. Saturday, Juries 1753.
O/ortuna mir it invida fart i bus
Shiam mm aqua bonisprttmia dii/idis, Seneca.
Capricious Fortune ever joys,
To the ADVENTURER.
SIR, Fleet, June 6.
TO the account of such of my companions as are imprisoned without being miserable, or are miserable without any claim to compassion; I promised to add the histories of thofe, whofe virtue has made them unhappy, or whofe misfortunes are at least without a crime. That this catalogue should
D 4 be
be very numerous, neither you nor your readers ought to expect; "rari quippe boni;" "the good "are sew." Virtue is uncommon in all the classes of humanity; and I suppofe it will scarcely be imagined more frequent in a prison th3n in other places.
Yet in these gloomy regions is to be found the tenderness, the generosity, the philanthropy of Serenus, who might have lived in competence and ease, is he could have looked without emotion on 1 he miseries of another. Serenus was one of those exalted minds, whom knowledge and fagacity could not make suspicious; who poured out his soul in boundless intimacy, and thought community of possessions the law of friendship. The friend of Scr.enus was arrested for debt, and aster many endeavours to soften his creditor, sent his wise to solicit that assistance which never was refused. The tears and importunity of semale distress were more than was necessary to move the heart of Serenus; he hasted immediately away, and conserring a long time with his friend, found him confident that is the present pressure was taken off, he should soon be able to reestablish his affairs. Serenus, accustomed to believe, and afraid to aggravate distress, did not attempt to detect the fallacies of hope, nor reflect that rvery man overwhelmed with calamity believes, that is that was removed he fhall immediately be happy: he, therefore, with little hesitation offered himself as surety.
In the first raptures of escape all was joy, gratitude, ind confidence; the friend of Serenus displayed his profpects, and counted over the sums of which he should insallibly be master before the day of payment. Serenus in a short time began to find his danger, but could not prevail with himselsto repent of beneficence; and therefore suffered himself still to be amused with projects which he durst not consider, for sear of finding them impracticable. The debtor, aster he had tried every method of raising money which art or indigence could prompt, wanted either fidelity or resolution to surrender himself to prison, and left Serenus to take his place.
Serenus has often propofed to the creditor, to pay him whatever he shall appear to have lost by the flight of his friend; but however reasonable this propoffal may be thought, avarice and brutality have been hitherto inexorable, and Serenus still continues to languish in prison.
In this place, however, where want makes almost every man selfish, or desperation gloomy, it is the good fortune of Serenus not to live without a friend: he pastes most of his hours in the converfation of Candidus, a man whom the fame virtuous ductility has with some difference of circumstances made equally unhappy. Candidas, when he was young, helpless, and ignorant, found a patron that educated, protected, and supported him: his patron being more vigilant for others than himself, lest at his death an only son, destitute and friendless. Candidus was eager to repay the benefits he had received; and having maintained the youth for a sew years at his own house, asterwards placed him with a merchant of eminence, and gave bonds to a great value as a security for his conduct.
The young man, removed too early from the only eye of which he dreaded the observation, and deprived of the only instruction which he heard with reverence, soon learned to consider virtue as restraint, and restraint as oppression; and to look with a longing eye at every expence to which he could not reach, and every pleasure which he could not partake: by degrees he deviated from his first regularity, and unhappily mingling among young men busy in dissipating the gains of their fathers industry, he forgot the precepts of Candidus, spent the evening in parties of pleasure, and the morning in expedients to support his riots. He was, however, dextrous and active in business; and bis master, being secured against any consequences of dishonesty, was very little solicitous to inspect his manners, or to enquire how he passed thofe hours, which were not immediately devoted to the business of his prosession: when he was insormed of the young man's extravagance or debauchery, "Let his bondsman "look to that," faid he, " I have taken care of "myself."
Thus the unhappy spendthrist proceeded from folly to folly, and from vice to vice, with the connivance is not the encouragement of his master; till in the heat of a nocturnal revel he committed such violences in the street as drew upon him a criminal profecution. Guilty and unexperienced, he knew not what course to take; to consess his crime to Candidus, and solicit his interposition, was little lei's dreadful than to stand before the frown of a court of justice. Having, therefore, pasted the day with anguish in hu heart and distraction in his looks, he