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which it seems was too long for him. It was indeed extended to a most shameful length; I believe the very chin was, modestly speaking, as long as my whole face. We had both of us an opportunity of mending ourselves; and all the contributions being now brought in, every man was at liberty to exchange his misfortunes for those of another person. But as there arose many new incidents in the sequel of my vision, I shall reserve them for the subject of my next paper.
No. 559. FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 1714.
Quid causæ est, meritò quin illis Jupiter ambas
Hor. 1 Sat, i. 20.
Were it not just that Jove, provok'd to heat,
In my last paper I gave my reader a sight of that mountain of miseries which was made up of those several calamities that afflict the minds of men. I saw with unspeakable pleasure the whole species thus delivered from its sorrows; though at the same time, as we stood round the heap, and surveyed the several materials of which it was composed, there was scarcely a mortal in this vast multitude who did not discover what he thought pleasures and blessings of life, and wondered how the owners of them ever came to look upon them as burdens and grievances. As we were regarding very attentively this confusion of miseries, this chaos of calamity, Jupiter issued out a second proclamation, that every one was now at liberty to exchange his affliction, and to return to his habitation with any such other bundle as should be delivered to him.
Upon this, Fancy began again to bestir herself, and, parcelling out the whole heap with incredible activity, recommended to every one his particular packet. The hurry and confusion at this time was not to be expressed. Some observations which I made upon the occasion I shall communicate to the public. A venerable grey-headed man, who had laid down the cholic, and who I found wanted an heir to his estate, snatched up an undutiful son that had been thrown into the heap by his angry father. The graceless youth, in less than a quarter of an hour, pulled the old gentleman by the beard, and had liked to have knocked his brains out; so that meeting the true father, who came towards him with a fit of the gripes, he begged him to take his son again, and give him back his cholic; but they were incapable either of them to recede from the choice they had made. A poor galley-slave who had thrown down his chains, took up the gout in their stead, but made such wry faces, that one might easily perceive he was no great gainer by the bargain. It was pleasant enough to see the several exchanges that were made, for sickness against poverty, hunger against want of appetite, and care against pain.
The female world were very busy among themselves in bartering for features: one was trucking a lock of gray hairs for a carbuncle, another was making over a short waist for a pair of round shoulders, and a third cheapening a bad face for a lost reputation: but on all these occasions there was not one of them who did not think the new blemish, as soon as she had got it into her possession, much more disagreeable than the old one. I made the same observation on every other misfortune or calamity which every one in the assembly brought upon himself in lieu of what he had parted with ; whether it be that all the evils which befal us, are in some measure suited and proportioned to our strength, or that every evil becomes more supportable, by our being accustomed to it, I shall not determine.
I could not from my heart forbear pitying the poor hump-backed gentleman mentioned in the former paper, who went off a very well shaped person with a stone in his bladder; nor the fine gentleman who had struck up this bargain with him, that limped through a whole assembly of ladies, who used to admire him, with a pair of shoul. ders peeping over his head.
I must not omit my own particular adventure. My friend with a long visage had no sooner taken upon him my short face, but he made such a grotesque figure in it, that as I looked upon him I could not forbear laughing at myself, insomuch that I put my own face out of countenance. The poor gentleman was so sensible of the ridicule, that I found he was ashamed of what he had done ; on the other side, I found that I myself had no great reason to triumph, for as I went to touch my forehead I missed the place, and clapped my finger upon my upper lip. Besides, as my nose was exceedingly prominent, I gave it two or three unlucky knocks as I was playing my hand about my face, and aiming at some other part of it. I saw two other gentlemen by me who were in the same ridiculous circumstances. These had made a foolish swop between a couple of thick bandy-legs and two long trapsticks that had no calves to them. One of these looked like a man walking upon stilts, and was so lifted up into the air above his ordinary height, that his head turned round with it; while the other made such awkward circles as he attempted to walk, that he scarce knew how to move forward upon his new supporters. Observing him to be a pleasant kind of fellow, I stuck my cane in the ground, and told him I would lay him a bottle of wine, that he did not march up to it on a line that I drew for him in a quarter of an hour.
The heap was at last distributed among the two sexes, who made a most piteous sight, as they wandered up and down under the pressure of their several burdens. The whole plain was filled with murmurs and complaints, groans and lamentations. Jupiter at length taking compassion on the poor mortals, ordered them a second time to lay down their loads, with a design to give every one his own again. They discharged themselves with a great deal of pleasure : after which, the phantom, who had led them into such gross delusions, was commanded to disappear. There was sent in her stead a goddess of . a quite different figure; her motions were steady and composed, and her aspect serious but cheerful. She every now and then cast her eyes towards heaven, and fixed them upon Jupiter ; her name was Patience. She had no sooner placed herself by the Mount of Sorrows, but, what I thought very remarkable, the whole heap sunk to such a degree, that it did not appear a third part so big as it was before. She afterwards returned every man his own proper calamity, and, teaching him how to bear it in the most commodious manner, he marched off with it contentedly, being very well pleased that he had not been left to his own choice as to the kind of evils which fell to his lot.
Besides the several pieces of morality to be drawn out of this vision, I learnt from it never to repine at
my own misfortunes, or to envy the happiness of another, since it is impossible for any man to form a right judgment of his neighbour's sufferings ; for which reason also I have determined never to think too lightly of another's complaints, but to regard the sorrows of my fellow-creatures with sentiments of humanity and compassion.
No. 560. MONDAY, JUNE 28, 1714.
Verba intermissa retentat.
Ovid. Met. i. 747.
He tries his tongue, his silence softly breaks.
EVERY one has heard of the famous conjuror, who, according to the opinion of the vulgar, has studied himself dumb; for which reason, as it is believed, he delivers out his oracles in writing. Be that as it will, the blind Tiresias was not more famous in Greece than this dumb artist has been for some years last past in the cities of London and Westminster. Thus much for the profound gentleman who honours me with the following epistle.
From my Cell, June 24, 1714. “Being informed that you have lately got the use of your tongue, I have some thoughts of following your example, that I may be a fortuneteller properly speaking. I am grown weary of my taciturnity, and having served my country many years under the title of the “dumb doctor,” I shall now prophesy by word of mouth, and (as Mr.