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This Volume of Samuel Johnson's works includes his writings in the Rambler and the Adventure.


No. 171. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1751

 Toeet coeli convexa tueri. VIRG. AEn. iv. 451.  Dark is the sun, and loathsome is the day.



MISELLA now sits down to continue her narrative. I am convinced that nothing would more powerfully preserve youth from irregularity, or guard inexperience from seduction, than a just description of the condition into which the wanton plunges herself; and therefore hope that my letter may be a sufficient antidote to my example.

After the distraction, hesitation, and delays which the timidity of guilt naturally produces, I was removed to lodgings in a distant part of the town, under one of the characters commonly assumed upon such occasions. Here being by my circumstances condemned to solitude, I passed most of my hours in bitterness and anguish. The conversation of the people with whom I was placed was not at all capable of engaging my attention, or dispossessing the reigning ideas. The books which I carried to my retreat were such as heightened my abhorrence of myself; for I was not so far abandoned as to sink voluntarily into corruption, or endeavour to conceal from my own mind the enormity of my crime.


No. 34. SATURDAY, MARCH 3. 1753

 Has toties optata exegit gloria poenas. JUV. Sat. x. 187.

 Such fate pursues the votaries of praise.



Fleet Prison, Feb. 24.

TO a benevolent disposition, every state of life will afford some opportunities of contributing to the welfare of mankind. Opulence and splendour are enabled to dispel the cloud of adversity, to dry up the tears of the widow and the orphan, and to increase the felicity of all around them: their example will animate virtue, and retard the progress of vice. And even indigence and obscurity, though without power to confer happiness, may at least prevent misery, and apprize those who are blinded by their passions, that they are on the brink of irremediable calamity.

Pleased, therefore, with the thought of recovering others from that folly which has embittered my own days, I have presumed to address the ADVENTURER from the dreary mansions of wretchedness and despair, of which the gates are so wonderfully constructed, as to fly open for the reception of strangers, though they are impervious as a rock of adamant to such as are within them:

 ----Facilis descensus Averni:  Noctes atque dies patet atri janua Ditis.  Sed revocare gradum, superasque evadere ad auras,  Hoc opus, hic labor est.-------- VIRG. AEn. vi. 126.

 The gates of hell are open night and day;  Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:  But to return and view the cheerful skies;  In this the task and mighty labour lies. DRYDEN.

Suffer me to acquaint you, Sir, that I have glittered at the ball, and sparkled in the circle; that I have had the happiness to be the unknown favourite of an unknown lady at the masquerade, have been the delight of tables of the first fashion, and envy of my brother beaux; and to descend a little lower, it is, I believe, still remembered, that Messrs. Velours and d'Espagne stand indebted for a great part of their present influence at Guildhall, to the elegance of my shape, and the graceful freedom of my carriage.

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Etext Prepared by Charles Keller