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Pago 49 A disquisition upon the value of fame
306 50 A virtuous old age always reverenced . . • 312 31 The employments of a housewife in the country 52 The contemplation of the calamities of others, a remedy for grief
325 53 The folly and misery of a spendthrift
331 54 A death-bed the true school of wisdom. The effects
of death upon the survivors . 55 The gay widow's impatience of the growth of her
daughter. The history of Miss Maypole 343 56 The necessity of complaisance. The Rambler's grief for offending his correspondents
349 57 Sententious rules of frugality
N° 1. TUESDAY, MARCH 20. 1750.
Cur tamen hoc libeat potius dcurrere campo,
occasion, is felt by every man in his transactions with the world, and confessed by the settied and regular forms of salutation which necessity has introduced into all languages. Judgment was wearied with the perplexity of being forced upon choice, where there was no motive to preference ; and it was found convenient that some easy method of introduction should be established, which, if it wanted the allurement of novelty, might enjoy the security of prescription.
Perhaps few authors have presented themselves before the public, without wishing that such cerco VOL. IV.
monial modes of entrance had been anciently established, as might have freed them from those dangers which the desire of pleasing is certain to produce, and precluded the vain expedients of softening censure by apologies, or rousing attention by abruptness.
The epick writers have found the proemial part of the poem such an addition to their undertaking, that they have almost unanimously adopted the first lines of Homer, and the reader needs only be informed of the subject, to know in what manner the poem will begin.
But this solemn repetition is hitherto the peculiar distinction of heroick poetry ; it has never been legally extended to the lower orders of literature, but seems to be considered as an hereditary privilege, to be enjoyed only by those who claim it from their alliance to the genius of Homer.
The rules which the injudicious use of this prerogative suggested to Horace, may indeed be applied to the direction of candidates for inferior fame;
be proper for all to remember, that they ought not to raise expectation which it is not in their power to satisfy, and that it is more pleasing to see smoke brightening into flame, than flame sinking into smoke.
This precept has been long received, both from regard to the authority of Horace, and its conformity to the general opinion of the world ; yet there have been always some, that thought it no deviation from modesty to recommend their own labours, and imagined themselves intitled by indisputable merit to an exemption from general restraints, and to elevations not allowed in common