« TrướcTiếp tục »
the picture, but seem as so many underparts to make one complete whole. The siege of Malta is of this character; it has the appearance of a highly finished and delightful episode, the detail of facts is so naturally and clearly exhibited, and the whole told with so much vigour and spirit, as may well entitle it to be put in competition with any portion of antient or modern history. With the same delicacy of taste, and extent of judgment, is introduced, the expulsion of the Moors from Spain, the conquest of Portugal, and the wars with the Turks. They are so beautifully managed, as to seem so many resting places from the principal action. In the hands of an inferior writer they would have probably entangled and confused the work, so as to weary the memory, and fatigue the attention; but here they only enlarge the view, and variegate the scene; and when the whole has been displayed before us, it appears a splendid and perspicuous system of things, where every minute circumstance presents itself to view; where nothing is wanting, and where there is not any thing too much. (To be continued.)
THE EFFECTS OF IMAGINATION.
one day you will thank me for this hint." As we easily believe what flatters our wishes, the poor gentleman imagined that there must be something true in such a bold declaration, and urged a more particular explication. The swindler, after much fanical mumbling and grimace, inspects the hands, examines each trait of the countenance, and, at last, announces, with emphasis, a life of envied prosperity. This credulous dupe returned him a thousand thanks; and putting into his hands a six livre piece, resumed his little company. But they had not advanced a few steps when the impostor, piqued at such a paltry sum, called back the gentleman. "Alas!" said he, "I dare not omit one circumstance, however disagreeable you may reckon it. By knowing before-hand that it must take place, perhaps you may be enabled to provide against it. The prosperity to which you are destined is indeed great, and will be uninterrupted, when once you fhall have triumphed over three succefsive convulsion fits. The third will be so terrible that it will make you tremble for your existence. Yet, if fortunately you should master it, felicity is your own." Here the pretended sorcerer broke off his conversation, and disappeared in an instant, leaving his too easy hearer a prey to melancholy and disquietude. The latter once more rejoined his friends, and stated his adventure in the style of one seriously alarmed. When they perceived he was in earnest, they used every mean in their power to undeceive him, and to convince him that the whole must have been the trick of a fool, or a knave. But it was too late. The imprefsion had already stamped his imagination in a manner not to be
effacéd. In solitude, his consternation redoubled; and he was actually seized, first with one, and then with another paroxysm. The third attack soon followed, and with such alarming symptoms as to embarass his attending physicians. Recourse was therefore immediately had to Monsr. Petit, a gentleman, who, to much professional skill, added the more general knowledge of philosophy. He was likewise distinguished by singular talents for mimickry, and burlesque imitation. Accordingly, he was no sooner informed of the circumstances of the case, than he afsumed the drefs and manners of a fortune teller. Even the long beard, and the longer wand were not forgotten. In this costume he entered the patient's bed-chamber, and at once imposed upon him, and confounded him by a volley of learned words. He then allowed that another sorcerer had predicted the disease; but insisted, at the same time, that he was a raw prophet, a mere novice in the art of necromancy, who could not forsee many circumstances that are obvious to a proficient.— He next proceeded, with great solemnity, to examine his hand, repeated the predictions of the fharper, added some of his own, and concluded by afsuring him in a tone of authority and confidence, that the attack would not prove fatal. From that moment the disorder took a favourable turn; and the cure was, in the end, compleated by the help of some simple medecines, and by Dr. Petit's curious gesticulations, and his sallies of wit and good humour.
Some starch members of the faculty openly reprobated this degrader, as they styled him, of the pro
fession, but men of sense and humanity applauded him.
Leaving you, Mr. Editor, to dispose of this little story (which is a true one,) as you fhall best judge proper, and wishing much succefs in your. laudable undertaking, I am, most sincerely, your humble servt. NARRATOR.
ON CHANCES IN THE LOTTERY.
HE following result of calculations on the comparative chance in purchasing a whole ticket, and purchasing a ticket in shares of different tickets in a lottery, is at your service, for the use of your readers, if you think it worthy of insertion.
In the present Irish State Lottery, consisting of 40,000 tickets, there are, among others, one prize of 20,000l. one prize of 10,000l. and two prizes of 5000l. each. Therefore, with respect to these capital prizes,
One whole ticket
Two half tickets cannot gain more than
Four quarter tickets cannot gain more than
That one ticket gains
In the above respects, the whole ticket is decidedly preferable.
That two half tickets gain
That four quarter tickets gain
In this view, the chance of all is equal to one another, or in propor
tion to the respective value of the prizes; but
That one ticket gains
That tro half tickets gain
as I to
£20,000 is, as above, I to 39,999 15,000 is only as I to 799,980,000!
which fhews a chance against the last case, almost beyond the powers of comprehension to conceive, but which is demonstrable from the principles of combination of quantities, on which the above calculation is founded.
From the above calculation, it may also be found, that there is just 20,000 times a better chance of receiving 20,000l. by one whole ticket, than of receiving but even 15,000l. by two half tickets.
As to receiving 10,000 l. by four quarter tickets, it cannot bear a comparison with the chance which a whole ticket has of gaining double that sum.
Were the amount of a whole ticket to be purchased in 16ths of 16 differents tickets, the utmost pofsible amount of the prizes that could thence result would be only 3500l. but against even this there are many hundred millions of chances to one.
I hope it will not be construed, that the object of this essay is to dissuade adventurers from trying their fortune in the lotteries; my object is merely to prove, that dividing the proportion of a ticket which one means to adventure on, into small fhares, is by no means the way to get a great prize. If the object is merely to have a chance of being reimbursed the money so laid out, the dividing the ticket into small fhares has a kind of chance of obtaining that end, but if an adventurer wishes to receive a great prize, as all adventurers flatter themselves that they will, by all means, keep close to one ticket to whatever extent is meant to be risked from a whole ticket down to an eight fhare.