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Little expences will not hurt us; and I could forgive a few juvenile frolicks, if he would be careful of the main ; but his favourite topick is contempt of money, which, he says, is of no use but to be spent. Riches, without honour, he holds empty things; and once told me to my face, that wealthy plodders were only purveyors to men of spirit.
He is always impatient in the company of his old friends, and seldom speaks till he is warmed with wine; he then entertains us with accounts that we do not desire to hear, of intrigues among lords and ladies, and quarrels between officers of the guards; shews a miniature on his snuff-box, and wonders that any man can look upon the new dancer without rapture.
All this is very provoking; and yet all this might be borne, if the boy could support his pre: tensions. But whatever he may think, he is yet far from the accomplishments which he has endeavoured to purchase at so dear a rate. I have watch. ed him in publick places. He sneaks in like a man that knows he is where he should not be; he is proud to catch the slightest salutation, and often claims it when it is not intended. Other men re, ceive dignity from dress, but my booby looks al. ways more meanly for his finery. Dear Mr Idler, tell him what must at last become of a fop, whom pride will not suffer to be a trader, and whom long habits in a shop forbid to be a gentleman.
I am, Sur, &c.
TIX WAINSCOT. N° 96. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1760.
Hacho, a king of Lapland, was in his youth the most renowned of the northern warriors. His martial atchievements remain engraved on a pillar of flint in the rocks of Hanga, and are to this day solemnly carolled to the harp by the Laplanders, at the fires with which they celebrate their nightly festivities. Such was his intrepid spirit, that he ventured to pass the lake Vether to the isle of Wizards, where he descended alone into the dreary vault in which a magician had been kept bound for six ages, and read the Gothick characters inscribed on his brazen mace.
His eye was so piercing, that, as ancient chronicles report, he could blunt the weapons of his enemies only by looking at them. At twelve years of age he carried an iron vessel of a prodigious weight, for the length of five furlongs, in the presence of all the chiefs of his father's castle.
Ņor was he less celebrated for his prudence and wisdom. Two of his proverbs are yet remembered and repeated among Laplanders. To express the vigilance of the Supreme Being, he was wont to say, Odin's belt is always buckled. To shew that the most prosperous condition of life is often hazardous, his lesson was, When
slide the smooth est ice, beware of pits beneath. He consoled his countrymen, when they were once preparing to
leave the frozen deserts of Lapland, and resolved to seek some warmer climate, by telling them, that the Eastern nations, notwithstanding their boasted fertility, passed every night amidst the horrors of anxious apprehension, and were inexpressibly affrighted, and almost stunned, every morning, with the noise of the sun while he was rising
His temperance and severity of manners were bis chief praise. In his early years he never tasted wine; nor would he drink out of a painted cup. He constantly slept in his armour, with his spear in his hand; nor would he use a battle-ax whose handle was inlaid with brass. He did not, however, persevere in this contempt of luxury; nor did he close his days with honour.
One evening, after hunting the Gulos, or wilddog, being bewildered in a solitary forest, and having passed the fatigues of the day without any interval of refreshment, he discovered a large store of honey in the hollow of a pine. This was a dainty which he had never tasted before; and being at once faint and hungry, he fed greedily upon it. From this unusual and delicious repast he received so much satisfaction, that, at his return home, he commanded honey to be served up at his table every day. His palate, by degrees, became refined and vitiated; he began to lose his native relish for simple fare, and contracted a habit of indulging himself in delicacies; he ordered the delightful gardens of his castle to be thrown open, in which the most luscious fruits had been suffered to ripen and decay, unobserved and untouched, for many revolving autumns, and gratified his appetite with
luxurious desserts. At length he found it expedient to introduce wine, as an agreeable improvement, or a necessary ingredient, to his new way of living; and having once tasted it, he was tempted, by little and little, to give a loose to the excesses of intoxication. His general simplicity of life was changed; be perfumed his apartments by burning the wood of the most aromatick fir, and com- manded his helmet to be ornamented with beautiful rows of the teeth of the rein-deer. Indolence and effeminacy stole upon him by pleasing and imperceptible gradations, relaxed the sinews of his resolution, and extinguished his thirst of military glory.
While Hacho was thus immersed in pleasure and in repose, it was reported to him, one morning, that the preceding night, a disastrous omen had been discovered, and that bats and hideous birds had drunk up the oil which nourished the perpetual lamp in the temple of Odin. About the same time, a messenger arrived to tell him, that the king of Norway had invaded his kingdom with a formidable army. Hacho, terrified as he was with the omen of the night, and enervated with indulgence, rouzed himself from his voluptuous lethargy, and recollecting some faint and few sparks veteran valour, marched forward to meet him. Both armies joined battle in the forest where Hacho had been lost after hunting; and it so happened, that the king of Norway challenged him to single combat, near the place where he had tasted the honey. The Lapland chief, languid and long disused to arms, was soon overpowered; he fell to Fround; and before his insulting adversary
from his body, uttered this exclamation, which the Laplanders still use as an early lesson to their children: “ The vicious man should date his de“ struction from the first temptation. How justly “ do I fall a sacrifice to sloth and luxury, in the “ place where I first yielded to those allurements 6 which seduced me to deviate from temperance “ and innocence! The honey which I tasted in this “ forest, and not the hand of the king of Norway,
N° 97. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1760.
may, I think, be justly observed, that few books disappoint their readers more than the narrations of travellers. One part of mankind is naturally curious to learn the sentiments, manners, and condition of the rest; and every mind that has leisure or power to extend its views, must be desirous of knowing in what proportion Providence has distributed the blessings of nature, or the advantages of art, among the several nations of the earth.
This general desire easily procures readers to every book from which it can expect gratification. The adventurer upon unknown coasts, and the describer of distant regions, is always welcomed as a man who has laboured for the pleasure of others,