’On Thursday there was but one Delinquent. This was a Gentleman of strong Voice, but weak Understanding. He had unluckily engaged himself in a Dispute with a Man of excellent Sense, but of a modest Elocution. The Man of Heat replied to every Answer of his Antagonist with a louder Note than ordinary, and only raised his Voice when he should have enforced his Argument. Finding himself at length driven to an Absurdity, he still reasoned in a more clamorous and confused manner, and to make the greater Impression upon his Hearers, concluded with a loud Thump upon the Table. The President immediately ordered him to be carried off, and dieted with Water-gruel, till such time as he should be sufficiently weakened for Conversation.
’On Friday there passed very little remarkable, saving only, that several Petitions were read of the Persons in Custody, desiring to be released from their Confinement, and vouching for one another’s good Behaviour for the future.
’On Saturday we received many Excuses from Persons who had found themselves in an unsociable Temper, and had voluntarily shut themselves up. The Infirmary was indeed never so full as on this Day, which I was at some loss to account for, till upon my going Abroad I observed that it was an Easterly Wind. The Retirement of most of my Friends has given me Opportunity and Leisure of writing you this Letter, which I must not conclude without assuring you, that all the Members of our College, as well those who are under Confinement, as those who are at Liberty, are your very humble Servants, tho’ none more than, _&c._’
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No. 441. Saturday, July 26, 1712. Addison.
’Si fractus illabatur orbis
Impavidum ferient ruinae.’
Man, considered in himself, is a very helpless and a very wretched Being. He is subject every Moment to the greatest Calamities and Misfortunes. He is beset with Dangers on all sides, and may become unhappy by numberless Casualties, which he could not foresee, nor have prevented, had he foreseen them.
It is our Comfort, while we are obnoxious to so many Accidents, that we are under the Care of one who directs Contingencies, and has in his Hands the Management of every Thing that is capable of annoying or offending us; who knows the Assistance we stand in need of, and is always ready to bestow it on those who ask it of him.