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band, the two-footman'd carriage, and the opera-box. By the simple charm of this numbered and printed rag, gamesters have, for a time at least, recovered their losses, spendthrifts have cleared off mortgages from their estates, the imprisoned debtor has leapt over his lofty boundary of circumscription and restraint, and revelled in all the joys of liberty and fortune; the cottage-walls have swelled out into more goodly proportion than those of Baucis and Philemon; poverty has tasted the luxuries of competence, labour has lolled at ease in a perpetual armchair of idleness, sickness has been bribed into banishment, life has been invested with new charms, and death deprived of its former terrors. Nor have the affections been less gratified than the wants, appetites, and ambitions of mankind. By the conjurations of the same potent spell, kindred have lavished anticipated benefits upon one another, and charity upon all. Let it be termed a delusion; a fool's paradise is better than the wise man's Tartarus; be it branded as an Ignis fatuus, it was at least a benevolent one, which instead of beguiling its followers into swamps, caverns, and pitfalls, allured them on with all the blandishments of enchantment to a garden of Eden, an ever-blooming elysium of delight. True, the pleasures it bestowed were evanescent, but which of our joys are permanent? and who so inexperienced as not to know that anticipation is always of higher relish than reality, which strikes a balance both in our sufferings and enjoyments. "The fear of ill exceeds the ill we fear," and fruition, in the same proportion, invariably falls short of hope. "Men are but children of a larger growth," who may amuse themselves for a long time in gazing at the reflection of the moon in the water, but, if they jump in to grasp it, they may grope for ever, and only get the farther from their object. He is the wisest who keeps feeding upon the future, and refrains as long as possible from undeceiving himself, by converting his pleasant speculations into disagreeable certainties.
The true mental epicure always purchased his ticket early, and postponed enquiry into its fate to the last possible moment, during the whole of which intervening period he had an imaginary twenty thousand locked up in his desk,-and was not this well worth all the money? Who would scruple to give twenty pounds interest for even the ideal enjoyment of as many thousands during two or three months? Crede quod habes, et habes," and the usufruct of such a capital is surely not dear at such a price. Some years ago, a gentleman in passing along Cheapside saw the figures 1069, of which number he was the sole proprietor, flaming on the window of a lottery-office as a capital prize. Somewhat flurried by this discovery, not less welcome than unexpected, he resolved to walk round St. Paul's that he might consider in what way to communicate the happy tidings to his wife and family; but upon repassing the shop, he observed that the number was altered to 10,069, and upon enquiry, had the mortification to learn that his ticket was a blank, and had only been stuck up in the window by a mistake of the clerk. This effectually calmed his agitation, but he always speaks of himself as having once possessed twenty thousand pounds, and maintains that his ten minutes' walk round St. Paul's was worth ten times the purchase-money of the ticket. A prize thus obtained has moreover this special advantage; it is beyond the reach of fate, it cannot be squandered, bankruptcy cannot lay siege to it, friends cannot pull it down, nor enemies blow it up; it bears a charmed life, and none of
woman born can break its integrity, even by the dissipation of a single fraction. Show me the property in these perilous times that is equally compact and impregnable. We can no longer become enriched for a quarter of an hour; we can no longer succeed in such splendid failures; all our chances of making such a miss have vanished with the last of the Lotteries.
Life will now become a flat, prosaic routine of matter-of-fact, and sleep itself, erst so prolific of numerical configurations and mysterious stimulants to lottery adventure, will be disturnished of its figures and figments. People will cease to harp upon the one lucky number suggested in a dream, and which forms the exception, while they are scrupulously silent upon the ten thousand falsified dreams which constitute the rule. Morpheus will stifle Cocker with a handful of poppies, and our pillows will be no longer haunted by the book of numbers.
And who, too, shall maintain the art and mystery of puffing in all its pristine glory when the lottery professors shall have abandoned its cultivation? They were the first, as they will assuredly be the last, who fully developed the resources of that ingenious art; who cajoled and decoyed the most suspicious and wary reader into a perusal of their advertisements by devices of endless variety and cunning: who baited their lurking schemes with midnight murders, ghost stories, crim-cons, bon-mots, balloons, dreadful catastrophes, and every diversity of joy and sorrow to catch newspaper-gudgeons. Ought not such talents to be encouraged? Verily the abolitionists have much to answer for !
And now, having established the felicity of all those who gained imaginary prizes, let us proceed to show that the equally numerous class who were presented with real blanks, have not less reason to consider themselves happy. Most of us have cause to be thankful for that which is bestowed, but we have all, probably, reason to be still more grateful for that which is withheld, and more especially for our being denied the sudden possession of riches. In the Litany indeed, we call upon the Lord to deliver us "in all time of our wealth;" but how few of us are sincere in deprecating such a calamity! Massinger's Luke, and Ben Jonson's Sir Epicure Mammon, and Pope's Sir Balaam, and our own daily observation, might convince us that the devil" now tempts by making rich, not making poor." We may read in the Guardian a circumstantial account of a man who was utterly ruined by gaining a capital prize :-we may recollect what Dr. Johnson said to Garrick, when the latter was making a display of his wealth at Hampton Court, -"Ah, David! David! these are the things that make a death-bed terrible ;”—we may recall the Scripture declaration, as to the difficulty a rich man finds in entering into the Kingdom of Heaven, and combining all these denunciations against opulence, let us heartily congratulate one another upon our lucky escape from the calamity of a twenty or thirty thousand pound prize! The fox in the fable, who accused the unattainable grapes of sourness, was more of a philosopher than we are generally willing to allow. He was an adept in that species of moral alchemy, which turns every thing to gold, and converts disappointment itself into a ground of resignation and content. Such we have shown to be the great lesson inculcated by the Lottery when rightly contemplated; and if we might parody M. de Chateaubriand's jingling expression,-" le Roi est mort, vive le Roi," we should be tempted to exclaim," the Lottery is no more-long live the Lottery!"
THE FIRST DISCOVERY OF COLUMBUS.*
"THE howling winds forbid us to trust the fatal main,
CHARACTERISTIC EPISTLES.-NO. v.
WE are now, for variety's sake, to present the reader with a few epistles which owe some portion of their attractions to the names they bear; for it must not be denied that there is more in "a name" than the philosophy of Juliet could make out. It is true the illustration was a sweet one, by which that lovely philosopher sought to prove her position, touching the nothingness of a name. But if " a rose would smell as sweet by any other name," it would still not be " a rose," any more than "Romeo would be Romeo, call him what you will."
In fact, there is Midas-magic in a name, that can change in a moment all things to their opposites; nay, that can create all things for all the purposes for which they serve when created. There is nothing so powerful as an abstraction; and there is no abstraction like a name. What were those lovers themselves, but names? What was their passion, but a name? What their happiness, their misery, their life, their death, their story-what, but names ?-What, in a word, is any thing
*Friday, 3d August, 1492, Columbus set sail from Palos. They had high winds at first, which they considered ominous. On the 7th September they lost sight of land with sighs and tears, many fearing never to see it again: after some days the crew began to murmur against that "bold Italian," his prayers and promises. Suddenly he called out 'Land! land!' but it proved but clouds. The murmurs were now very great, and the crew determined to wait but three days more before they would return; the first of those days he perceived by the sunset that land was near; in the night he spied light, and two hours after midnight Roderigo de Triana descried land on the 10th October. They went on land when it was day, and termed it St. Salvador: called by the inhabitants Guanahani, one of the Isles Lucayos, 950 degrees from the Canaries.-See PURCHAS HIS PILGRIMES.
that we do not touch with our hands, or see with our eyes,-what but a name? The imagination of "Imperial Rome" fills the world ;-yet what is it but a name? The thought of her Cæsar and his power, stirs our hearts like the sound of thunder; yet what is it but a name?
"His very name
Renews the springs of life, and cheers my soul."
Her sighs were hush'd, and tears forgot to flow."
—that is to say, so wrapt in her name-for he was a thousand miles distant from her, and knew not that she was any thing else; or rather, she never was any thing else to him-nor was he to her, even while he lived: but now that he is gone, and can be nothing else, his name will be her destiny while she lives, and the burthen of her epitaph when she dies. Oh, there is much in a name—at least as much as Mr. Shandy himself supposed.
But not the least power possessed by a name is that of changing a bit of blurred and worthless paper into a leaf more sacred than the Sibyl's, and words that were otherwise nothing worth, into spells and charms. But let us show the reader what a name can do; which will be a shorter as well as a surer way of convincing him of its efficacy, than a score of rhapsodies. Let him peruse the following words, copied from the little soiled scrap of paper on which they are scribbled:
Dear Eden, I had promised Lord North for Hemsley before I received your letter; I tell you this because I would not make any false merit with you; but I certainly should have done it at your recommendation if I had not promised it before.
I will contrive to call upon you soon, and talk over some of the other things in your letter. I am very sincerely yours.
Saint James's, Aug. 27, 1783.
The reader will find but little to interest him in this, as it now stands, The utmost he will even fancy is, that he detects the hand of some favoured dispenser of "places and pensions," exercising a piece of jesuitical candour in declining the credit that he does not deserve, but would fain appropriate. But we are greatly mistaken in our estimate of the value of a name, if, when he sees that of Charles James Fox affixed to the above, it will not be changed in a moment, into a pleasing and characteristic evidence of that amiable candour and unaffected simplicity, which was never elsewhere so intimately allied to true greatness.
Again-what would the following be, without the knowledge that it proceeds from no less a person than him whom many consider to be the proved author of Junius's Letters? But with that knowledge it becomes curious at least; and, to our thinking characteristic,-unless we are wrong in guessing that that very bitter person is fathering upon "her ladyship" the "risus sardonicus" which was so peculiarly his own property.
Nov. 26, 1811. Your letters are very facetious and acceptable, at all of which her ladyship has been pleased to grin: a kind of risus sardonicus, to which she gives way when she does not know how to find fault.
I shall be in town on friday, and I hope you have no thoughts of abandoning the peninsula. Your's,
But we must have done with using our materials as mere proofs (at best superfluous) of the value of a name; and return to our plan of letting the epistles which we place before the reader, stand upon their own merits; first, however, begging a welcome for the two following, chiefly on the grounds just urged: unless indeed we may offer them, together with the foregoing, as "characteristic" of privy counsellors generally-who seem to have little else to think about but providing for their adherents.
Downing-street, Jan. 18, 1776. Dear Sir,-A Lord of the Session in Scotland is dead. Be so good as to remember Mr. Ross and Mr. Mackensie-the former to be a lord of Session, and the latter a clerk of Session in the room of the other.
I am, Dear Sir, yours most faithfully,
My Dear Sir,-Upon coming home I found the answer to the letter I wrote to the Resident respecting Sir Robert Keith. I wish to show it to you, and likewise to Lord Suffolk, when I can most conveniently see him.
P. S. My conscience has checked me all night for concurring in such nonsense as your Indemnity Bill. Why, after negativing the amendment on the preamble, did not we ourselves vote it out altogether upon the last question— that this bill do pass?' To have again negatived that question would have been a compleat commentary, and saved the house from the ridicule to which it is most perfectly
The reader will find that our next specimens have the rare quality of rising in interest above the preceding, in proportion as their writers rise in rank. In fact, we are mistaken if the three following epistles, from royal hands, will not be read with more than common interest, short and simple as they are. The first is from the late Queen Charlotte, addressed to the Dowager Lady Elgin, on the marriage of her daughter, and is tinged with that mingled piety and bonhommie (or rather bonnefemmie, to create a word for the occasion) which together rendered the writer far from one of the worst queens that these realms have rejoiced in.
Windsor, 24 March, 1799.
To My Dear friend, Dowager Lady ELGIN.
My dearest lady Elgin,-May every blessing attend your amiable daughterbelieve me my true and fervent prayers attend her wedding, and I reflect with pleasure, that as you have been the means to make her happy by instilling such Christian principles in her mind as to her happiness and felicity both here and hereafter, she will also render you happy by following those principles through life-in which none can ever more sincerely rejoice than
Your affectionate friend,