Thus, Sir, you see how many Examples I recall to Mind, and what Arguments I use with my self, to regain my Liberty: But as I am afraid tis no Ordinary Perswasion that will be of Service, I shall expect your Thoughts on this Subject, with the greatest Impatience, especially since the Good will not be confined to me alone, but will be of Universal Use. For there is no Hopes of Amendment where Men are pleased with their Ruin, and whilst they think Laziness is a desirable Character: Whether it be that they like the State it self, or that they think it gives them a new Lustre when they do exert themselves, seemingly to be able to do that without Labour and Application, which others attain to but with the greatest Diligence.
I am, SIR,
Your most obliged humble Servant,
Clytander to Cleone.
Madam, Permission to love you is all I desire, to conquer all the Difficulties those about you place in my Way, to surmount and acquire all those Qualifications you expect in him who pretends to the Honour of being,
Your most humble Servant,
[Footnote 1: Ep. 2.]
[Footnote 2: Ep. I. 6.]
* * * * *
No. 317. Tuesday, March 4, 1712 Addison.
—fruges consumere nati.
Augustus, a few Moments before his Death, asked his Friends who stood about him, if they thought he had acted his Part well; and upon receiving such an Answer as was due to his extraordinary Merit, Let me then, says he, go off the Stage with your Applause; using the Expression with which the Roman Actors made their Exit at the Conclusion of a Dramatick Piece. I could wish that Men, while they are in Health, would consider well the Nature of the Part they are engaged in, and what Figure it will make in the Minds of those they leave behind them: Whether it was worth coming into the World for; whether it be suitable to a reasonable Being; in short, whether it appears Graceful in this Life, or will turn to an Advantage in the next. Let the Sycophant, or Buffoon, the Satyrist, or the Good Companion, consider with himself, when his Body shall be laid in the Grave, and his Soul pass into another State of Existence, how much it will redound to his Praise to have it said of him, that no Man in England eat better, that he had an admirable Talent at turning his Friends into Ridicule, that no Body out-did him at an Ill-natured Jest, or that he never went to Bed before he had dispatched his third Bottle. These are, however, very common Funeral Orations, and Elogiums on deceased Persons who have acted among Mankind with some Figure and Reputation.