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Printed by JOHN NICHOLS, for DAVID HENRY, late of St. John's
ON THE MONTHLY OBITUARY.
July 1, 1787.
MULTI homines, multas mentes, is an adage, the verity of which every day experience in fecular matters incontrovertibly establishes. In mode, and habit of thought, in purfuit of pleasure and amulement; in beauty, in building, in fashion, in dre, in tafte, diffimilitude is the characterific; all the fons and daughters of Adam difes in their feveral determinations on this point, and every one has his peculiar election and penchant. Among the many fpecies of intellectual amufement, Reading undoubtedly deferves to be claffed in the first forum: of the ·matie read, how multifarious is the genus in focicty! The lively, the gay, the ferious, the melancholic, the corrupting, the improving, have each their portion of fpecific readers; each individually fhews the criterion of each man's goût; and herein, as I juft now faid, is remembered, moft appofitely, my adage, Multi bomines, multas mentes. This moment's perufal of your valuable Mifcellany gives rife to this reflection. In this your publication, like a table of many covers, every reader finds fomething to his tale; the Erudite, the Philofopher, the Naturalift, the Biographer, the Metaphyfician, and the Poet, together with the penfive Thoughtful, and the volatile Gay, felect fomething for their palate, and rife from the repas amply fatisfied with the truly excellent viands which have been fet before them: the faft of reafon has rendered epicurifm to all its partakers; and all its partakers retire, and carry edification mental with them. There is a department in this your much-efteemed Magazine, which the generality of your readers Jeldom may perufe; the fons of Levity, the Lotharios of the age, never; but which I never fail to do, and, I truft, with benefit: it is a department facred and appropriate to the man of ferious tirought and profound contemplation, who would with to be fupra-mundane, if I may ufc the word, while he is in it-what I allude to is, your School for Vanity and Pride, or, in other terms, your MONTHLY OBITUARY. This, agrecable to my adage, is the part which beft picafes me; here, indeed, is to be reaped inftruction of the laft concern; here we find matter of eternal import; here,
"In the fam'd, the honour'd, and the great,"
Here, the man fick of gaudy fcenes may weigh his duft, and dwell among the tombs :-here, Kiches, Infolence, and Pomp, may read to felf-caftigation, their Hic jacet ;—and here too, the pride of Learning, Wit, and Genius, may know their lule value, temporally confidered, unless they have been exercifed to eternal purpofes. In thefe few pages, at the end of your Mifcellany, what a field of edifying reflection is open to him who is not afraid to think! Here he may familiarife the theory of Death; he may read how often his fhaft flies, in one month, at the breafts of the noble, the great, and the diftinguifhed; for no notification is here to be expected of the departure of the little dead, too numerous almeft for memory. Here he finds, arranged in numerical fucceffion, men of all ages, creeds, and profeffions, who have paid the debt which all muft pay. Here, perhaps, he may find the nominai nevyblour to the oppressed, the arrogant of prefor, each have their flip of paper, and the line, to tell the world of their egress from it. Here the Wits, thofe gamecocks to one another, receive from the pen of Friendship their feveral Eulogies; and, though honeft humility of worth may be praifed to the prejudice of the pretenders to it, no replication can be made. Here, in this didactic Obituary, we fee, veluti in speculo, the operations of the enemies of human Life'; here, we read the names of the defroying egats of Death,-Fever, Gout, Confumption, Stone, and Dropfy; and when we witnefs the fatal ftroke of cach, how can we refrain from faying, "Good God! through which of thefe gates will it pleafe You that I pafs out of life!" Such like reflections as thefe muft ever originate in a juftly-cultivated mind, from an obfervance of thefe Catalogues of Mortality, which THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE peculiarly exhibits; they are the true anodynes against pride, folly, and inordinate attachment to the world and its interefts. Thefe are the pages I would ever recomment to the ferious perutal of all your readers, but particularly to the juvenile and the thong brijs; they are the moit excellent Vade Mecums they can poffibly recur to, for confolation in adverfity, for refiftance in temptation, for patience in fufferings; and for becoming conduct in every human Situation, thele are the moft intructive monitors.
"They teach us how to live; and oh! too high
ST. JOHN's Gate.