The Tatler IV
The Tatler IV
No. 203. [ Steele.
From Tuesday, July 25 , to Thursday, July 27, 1710 .
Ut tu fortunam, sic nos te, Celse, feremus.- Hor. , 1 Ep. viii. 17.
From my own Apartment, July 26.
I t is natural for the imaginations of men who lead their lives in too solitary a manner, to prey upon themselves, and form from their own conceptions beings and things which have no place in nature. This often makes an adept as much at a loss when he comes into the world as a mere savage. To avoid therefore that ineptitude for society, which is frequently the fault of us scholars, and has to men of understanding and breeding something much more shocking and untractable than rusticity itself, I take care to visit all public solemnities, and go into assemblies as often as my studies will permit. This being therefore the first day of the drawing of the lottery,  I did not neglect spending a considerable time in the crowd: but as much a philosopher as I pretend to be, I could not but look with a sort of veneration upon the two boys which received the tickets from the wheels, as the impartial and equal dispensers of the fortunes which were to be distributed among the crowd, who all stood expecting the same chance. It seems at first thought very wonderful, that one passion should so universally have the pre-eminence of another in the possession of men's minds as that in this case; all in general have a secret hope of the great ticket: and yet fear in another instance, as in going into a battle, shall have so little influence, as that though each man believes there will be many thousands slain, each is confident he himself shall escape. This certainty proceeds from our vanity; for every man sees abundance in himself that deserves reward, and nothing which should meet with mortification. But of all the adventurers that filled the hall, there was one who stood by me, who I could not but fancy expected the thousand pounds per annum, as a mere justice to his parts and industry. He had his pencil and table-book, and was at the drawing of each lot, counting how much a man with seven tickets was now nearer the great prize, by the striking out another and another competitor. This man was of the most particular constitution I had ever observed; his passions were so active, that he worked in the utmost stretch of hope and fear. When one rival fell before him, you might see a short gleam of triumph in his countenance, which immediately vanished at the approach of another. What added to the particularity of this man, was, that he every moment cast a look, either upon the commissioners, the wheels, or the boys. I gently whispered him, and asked, when he thought the thousand pounds would come up? "Pugh!" says he, "who knows that?" and then looks upon a little list of his own tickets, which were pretty high in their numbers, and said it would not come this ten days. This fellow will have a good chance, though not that which he has put his heart on. The man is mechanically turned, and made for getting. The simplicity and eagerness which he is in, argues an attention to his point; though what he is labouring at does not in the least contribute to it. Were it not for such honest fellows as these, the men who govern the rest of their species would have no tools to work with: for the outward show of the world is carried on by such as cannot find out that they are doing nothing. I left my man with great reluctance, seeing the care he took to observe the whole conduct of the persons concerned, and compute the inequality of the chances with his own hands and eyes. "Dear sir," said I, "they must rise early that cheat you.""Ay," said he, "there's nothing like a man's minding his business himself.""'Tis very true," said I; "the master's eye makes the horse f