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(without typos) from the publisher. 1824. Excerpt: ... may find a
motto for it in Horace, but I cannot reach him without getting out
of my chair; that is a sufficient reason for my not affixing
any.--And being obliged to sit upright to ring the bell for my
servant to convey this to the penny-post, if I slip the opportunity
of his being now in the room, makes me break off abruptly. This
correspondent, whoever he be, is not to be dismissed without some
tokens of regard. There is no mark more certain of a genuine Idler
than uneasiness without molestation, and complaint without a
grievance. Yet my gratitude to the contributor of half a paper
shall not wholly overpower my sincerity. I must inform you, that,
with all his pretensions, he that calls for directions to be idle
is yet but in the rudiments of idleness, and has attained neither
the practice nor theory of wasting life. The true nature of
idleness he will know in time, by continuing to be idle. Virgil
tells us of an impetuous and rapid being, that acquires strength by
motion. The Idler acquires weight by lying still. The vis inertice,
the quality of resisting all external impulse, is hourly
increasing; the restless and troublesome faculties of attention and
distinction, reflection on the past, and solicitude for the future,
by a long indulgence of idleness, will, like tapers in unelastic
air, be gradually extinguished; and the officious lover, the
vigilant soldier, the busy trader, may, by a judicious composure of
his mind, sink into a state approaching to that of brute matter; in
which he shall retain the consciousness of his own existence only
by an obtuse languor and drowsy discontent. This is the lowest
stage to which the favourites of idleness can descend; these
regions of undelighted quiet can be entered by few. Of those that
are prepared to sink down into their shad/3, some are...
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