Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

the intellectual world, to every part of which he is thus intimately united. Several moraliits have confidered the creation as the Temple of God, which he has built with his own hands, and which is filled with his presence. Others have considered infinite space as the receptacle, or rather the babitation of the Almighty: but the noblest and most exalted way of considering this infinite space is that of Sir Ifaac Newton, who calls it the fenforium of the Godhead. Brutes and men have their sensoriala, or little sensoriums, by which they apprehend the presence, and perceive the actions, of a few objects that lie contiguous to them. Their knowledge and observation turn within a very narrow circle. But, as God Almighty cannot but perceive and know every thing in which he resides, infinite space gives rooń to infinite knowledge, and is, as it were, an organ to onniscience.

Were the foul separate from the body, and, with one glance of thought, should start beyond the bounds of the creation; should it for millions of ýcars continue its progress through infinite space with the same activity, it would still find itself within the embrace of its Creator, and encompassed round with the immensity of the Godhead. While we are in the body, he is not less present with us, because he is concealed froni us. o that I knew where I might find him! says Job. Behold I go fora ward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:' on the left hand, where he does work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him. In short, reafon as well as revelation assure us, that he cannot be absent from us, notwithstanding he is undiscovered by us.

In this con Sderation of God Almighty's omnipre. fence and omniscience, every uncomfortable thought vanithes. He cannot but regard every thing that has being, especially such of his creatures who fear they



are not regarded by him. He is privy to all their thoughts, and to that anxiety of heart in particular, which is apt to trouble them on this occasion. For, as it is impossible he should overlook any of his creatures, so we may be confident that he regards,

those who endeavour to recommend themselves to his notice, and, in an unfeigned humility of heart, think themselves unwor. thy that he should be mindful of them.

with an eye

of mercy,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

Militia species amor eft

Ovid. Ars Am. l. ii. ver. 233.

Love is a kind of warfare.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

S my correspondents begin to grow pretty nu.

merous, I think myself obliged to take some notice of them, and shall therefore make this paper a miscellany of letters. I have, since my reassuming the office of SPECTATOR, received abundance of epistles from gentlemen of the blade, who, I find, have been so used to action, that they know not how to lie still. They seem generally to be of opinion, that the fair at home ought to reward them for their services abroad, and that, until the cause of their country calls them again into the field, they have a fort of right to quarter themselves upon the ladies. In order to favour their approaches, I am desired by fome to enlarge upon the accomplishments of their profession, and by others to give them my advice in The carrying on of their attacks. But let us hear what the gentlemen fay for themselves.

- Mr.

« Mr. SPECTATOR, • Though it may look somewhat perverse, amidst the arts of peace, to talk too much of war, it is • but gratitude to pay the last office to its manesy • Gince even peace itself is, in fome measure, obliged (to it for its being.

- You have, in your former papers, always recommended the accomplished to the favour of the • fair; and, I hope, you will allow me to represent ' some part of a military life, not altogether unne

cesary to the forming a gentleman. I need not tell you, that in France, whose fashions we have been

formerly so fond of, almost every one derives his " pretences to merit from the sword; and that a man " has scarce the face to make his court to a lady, r without some credentials from the fervice to re• commend him. As the profession is very ancient, • we have reason to think fome of the greatest men ' among the old Romans derived many of their vir• tues from it, their commanders being frequently in s other respects some of the most shining characters

s of the age.

• The army not only gives a man opportunities • of exercising those two great virtues, patience r and courage, but often produces them in minds * where they had scarce any footing before. I muit 6 add, that it is one of the best schools in the world

to receive à general notion of mankind in, and a

certain freedom of behaviour, which is not so ea« lily acquired in any other place. At the same time • I inuft own, that some military airs are pretty ex

traordinary, and that a man who goes into the ar? my a coxcomb-will come out of it a sort of public ( nuisance : but a man of fenfe, or one who before I had not been sufficiently used to a mixed conversa« tion, generally takes the true turn. The court has « in all ages been allowed to be the Itandard of goodbreeding; and I believe there is not a juster obser

o varion

E 2

[ocr errors]

« vation in Monsieur Rochefoucault, than that A

man, who has been bred up wholly to business, can

never get the air of a courtier at court, but will immediately catch it in the camp. The reason of • this most certainly is, that the very effence of good• breeding and politeness consists in several niceties, which are so minute that they escape his observa' tion, and be falls short of the original he would

copy after; but, when he sees the same things • charged and aggravated to a fault, he no sooner ' endeavours to come up to the pattern which is set « before him, than, though he ftops fomewhat short • of that, he naturally rests where in reality he

ought. I was, two or three days ago, mightily « pleased with the observation of an humourous gen• tleman upon one of his friends, who was in other • respects every way an accomplished person, that he wanted nothing but a dalb of the coxcomb in « him; by which he understood a little of that alert• ness and unconcern in the common actions of life, & which is usually fo visible among gentlemen of the * army, and which a campaign or two would infal• libly have given him.

• You will easily guess, Sir, by this my panegyric “ upon a military education, that I am myself a fol. <dier, and indeed. I am so. I remember, within • three years after I had been in the army,

«dered into the country a-recruiting. I had very

particular success in this part of the service, and
< was over and above assured, at my going away,
" that I might have taken a young lady, who was,

che most considerable fortune in the country, along ( with me.

I preferred the pursuit of fame at that
s time to all other confiderations, and, though I was

not absolutely bent on a wooden leg, resolved at
least to get a scar or two for the good of Europe.
I have at present as much as I defire of this fort of

honour, and, if you could recommend me effec-
(tually, should be well enough contented to pass the

( remainder

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

was or

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* remainder of my days in the arms of some dear ' kind creature, and upon a pretty estate in the

country. This, as I take it, would be following

the example of Lucius Cincinnatus, the old Roman • dictator, who, at the end of a war, left the camp

to follow the plough. I am, Sir, with all imagin-' « able respects, "Your most obedient,

« humble servant,



« Mr. SpeCTATOR, • I am an half-pay officer, and am at present with

friend in the country. Here is a rich widow in < the neighbourhood, who has made fools of all the • fox-hunters within fifty miles of her. She declares, • The intends to marry, but has not yet been askeil • by the man she could like. She usually admits her « humble admirers to an audience or two; but, after « she has once given them denial, will never see 6. them more. I am aflured by a feinale relation, « that I shall have fair play at her; but, as my whole • success depends on my first approaches, i desire

your advice, whether I had best form, or proceed by way of sap.

• I am, Sir,

Yours, &c.

[ocr errors]

P.S. I had almost forgot to tell you, that I have

already carried one of her outworks, that is, fe. I cured her maid.'

« Mr. SPECTATOR, • I have assisted in several sieges in the Low Countries, and, being still willing to employ my talents 6 as a soldier and engineer, lay down this morning o at feven o'clock before the door of an obftinate fe

E 3

s male,

« PreviousContinue »