« PreviousContinue »
travagancy in whatever I did. I saw very well. Aame, flame into light, and light into glory. He that he would have starved me, but for losing further added, that a Gngle ray of it diffipates my jointures; and he suffered agonies between pain, and care, and melancholy, from the perfon the grief of seeing me have so good a ftomach, on whom it falls. In short, says he, its presence and the fear that if he made me fast, it might naturalļy changes every place into a kind of heaprejudice my health. I did not doubt he would ven. After he had gone on for some time in this have broke my heart, if I did not break his,' unintelligible cant, I found that he jumbled na.' which was allowable by the law of self-defence. tural and moral ideas together in the same disThe way was very easy. I resolved to spend as course, and that his great secret was nothing else much money as I could, and, before he was but content. aware of the stroke, appeared before him in a This virtue does indeed produce in some mea. a two thousand pound diamond necklace; he sure, all those effects which the alchymist ufually said nothing, but went quietly to his chamber, afcribes to what he calls the philosopher's stone; and, as it is thought, composed himself with a and if it does not bring riches, it does the same dose of opium. i behaved myself so well upon thing, by banishing the desire of them. If it the occasion that to this day believe he died cannot remove the disquietudes arising out of a of an apoplexy. Mr. Waitfort was resolved man's mind, 'body, or fortune, it makes him not to be too late this time, and I heard from easy under them. It has indeed a kindly inflyhim in two days. · I'am almost out of my weeds . ence on the soul of man, in respect of every beat this present writing, and very dcubtful whe- ing to whom he stands related." It extinguishes ther I will marry him or no. I do not think all murmur, repining and ingratitude towards of a seventh, for the ridiculous reason you men- that Being who has allotted him his part to act tion, but out of pure morality that I think so in this world. It destroys all inordinate ambimuch constancy should be rewarded, though I tion, and every tendency to corruption, with re. may not do it after all perhaps. I do not be- gard to the commupity wherein he is placed. It lieve all the unreasonable malice of mankind gives sweetness to his conversation, and a pers
can give a pretence why I should have been petual serenity to all his thoughts. * conftant to the memory of any of the deceased, Among the many methods which might be
or have spent so much time in grieving for an made use of for the acquiring of this virtue, I infolent, insignificant, negligent, extravagant, fall only mention the two following. First of splenetic or covetous husband; my first insulted all, a man should always consider how much he me, my second was nothing to me, my third has more than he wants: and secondly, How disgusted me, the fourth would have ruined much more unhappy he might be than he realme, the fifth tormented me, and the sixth ly is. would have starved me. If the other ladies you First of all, a man Mould always consider how name would thus give in their husbands pic- much he has more than he wants. I am wontures at length, you would see they have had as derfully pleased with the reply which Aristippus
little reason as myself, to lose their hours in made to one who condoled him upon the loss of ç weeping and wailing.'
a farm: “ Why,” said he, “ I have three farms “ ftill, and you have but one; so that I ought « rather to be afflicted for you, than you for
On the contrary, foolish men are more FRIDAY, JULY 30, apt to consider what they have lost than what
they possess; and to fix their eyes upon those Non pofidentem multa vocaveris
who are richer than themselves, rather than on Resté beatum; reftiùs occupat.
those who are under greater difficulties. All the Nomen beari, qui deorum
real pleasures and conveniences of life lie in a Muneribus sapienter'uti,
narrow compass; but it is the humour of manDuramque callet pauperiem pati,
kind to be always looking forward, and strainHor. Od. 9. 1. 4. yer. 45. ing after one who has got the start of them in
wealth and honour. For this reason, as there Believe not those that lands poffess,
are none can be properly called rich, who have And shining heaps of useless ore,
not more than they want: there are few rich The only lords of happiness;
men in any of the politer nations but among the But rather those that know,
middle sort of people, who keep their wishes For what kind fates bestow,
within their fortunes, and have more wealth And have the art to use the store :
than they know how to enjoy. Persons of a And have the generous fkill to bear
higher rank live in a kind of splendid poverty, The hated weight of poverty. Creech. and are perpetually wanting, because, instead of
acquiefcing in the solid pleasures of life, they WAS once engaged in discourse with a Rofi- endeavour to outvy one another in shadows and
crucian about “the great secret.”. As this appearances. Men of sense have at all times kind of men (I mean thoče of them who are not beheld with a great deal of mirth this filly gamę profeffed cheats) are over-rụn with enthusiasm that is playing over their heads, and by contract. and philosophy, it was very amusing to hear this ing their desires, enjoy all that secret satisfaction religious adept descanting on his pretended dif. which others are always in quest of. The truth covery. He talked of the secret as of a spirit is, this ridiculous chace after imaginary pleasures which lived within an emerald, and converted cannot be sufficiently exposed, as it is the great every thing that was near it to the highest per- 'source of those evils' which generally undo a nafection it is capable of. It gives a lustre, says tion. Let a man's estate be what it will, he is he, to the sun, and water to the diamond. It
a poor man if he does not live within it, and nairradiates every metal, and enriches lead with all turally sets himself to sale to any one that can the properties of goid. It heightens smoke into give him his price. When Pittacus, after the
death of his brother, who had left a good estate, On the contrary, religion bears a more tender was offered a great fum of money by the king of regard to human nature. It prescribes to every Lydia, he thanked him for his kindness, but told miserable man the means of bettering his condihim he had more by half than he knew what to do tion; nay, it hews him that the bearing of his with. In short, content is equivalent to wealth, afflictions as he ought to do will naturally end in and luxury to poverty; or to give the thought a the removal of them : it makes tim eafy here, more agreeable turn, “ Content is natural wealth," because it can make him happy hereafter. says Socrates ; to which I shall add, “ Luxury is Upon the whole, a contented mind is the greatest 6 artificial poverty." I shall therefore recom- blefling a man can enjoy in this world; and if in mend to the confideration of those who are al- the present lite his happiness arises from the subways aiming after fuperfluous and imaginary en- duing of his defires, it will arise in the next from joyments, and will not be at the trouble of con the gratification of them. tracting their desires, an excellent saying of Bion the philosopher; namely, “ That no man has 6 so much care, as he who endeavours after the
N° 575. MONDAY, AUGUST 2. 66 moft happiness."
In the second place, every one ought to reflect -Nec morti efe locum how much more unhappy he might be than he
Virg. Georg. 4. Ver. 226. really is. The former consideration took in all those who are sufficiently provided with the means
No room is left for death. DRYDEN to make themselves easy; this regards such as actually lie under some preffure or misfortune. These may receive great alleviation from such a go by him barefoot, “ Father,” says he, comparison as the unhappy person may make be. " you are in a very miserable condition if there tween himself and others, or between the mis « is not another world." “ True fon," said the fortunes which he suffers, and greater misfortunes hermit, “but what is thy condition if there which might have befallen him.
“ is ?" Man is a creature designed for two difI like the story of the honest Dutchman, who, ferent states of being, or rather fortwo different lives, upon breaking his leg by a fall from the mainmast
, His first life is short and tranfient; his second sold the standers-by, it was a great mercy that permanent and lasting. The question we are all it was not his neck. To which, fince I am got concerned in, is this, in which of these two lives into quotations, give me leave to add the saying it is our chief intereit to make ourselves happy of an old philosopher, who, after having invited Or in other words, whether we thould endeavour some of his friends to dine with him, was ruffled to secure to ourselves the pleasures and gratis. by his wife that came into the room in a passion, cations of a life which is uncertain and precarious, and threw down the table that stood before them; and at its utmost length of a very inconsiderable “ Every one,” says he, “ has his calamity, and duration; or to secure to ourselves the pleasures “ he is a happy man that has no greater than of a life which is fixed and settled, and will « this." We find an instance to the fame pur- never end? Every man, upon the first hearing of pole in the life of Dr. Hammond, written by this question, knows very well avhich fide he Bishop Fell. As this good man was troubled with ought to close with. But however right we are a complication of distempers, when he had the in theory, it is plain that in practice we adhere gout upon him, he used to thank God that it to the wrong side of the question. We make prowas not the stone; and when he had the stone, vifions for this lise as though it were never to have that he had not both these distempers on him at an end, and for the other life as though it were the same time.
never to have a beginning. I cannot conclude this essay without observing Should a spirit of superior rank, who is a that there was never any system besides that of stranger to human nature, accidentally alight upChristianity, which could effectually produce, in on the earth, and take a survey of its inhabitants ; the mind of man the virtue I have been hitherto what would his notion of us be? Would not he speaking of. In order to make us content with think that we are a Species of beings made for our present condition, many of the ancient phi- quite different ends and purposes than what we losophers tell us that our discontent only hurts really are: Must not he really, imagine that we ourselves, without ever being able to make any were placed in this world to get riches and honours? alteration in our circumstances; others, that what. Would not he think that it was our duty to coil ever evil befals us is derived to us by a fatal ne- after wealth, and station, and title? Nay, would cellity, to which the gods themselves are subject; not he believe we were forbidden poverty by threats while others very gravely tell the man who is of eternal punishment, and enjoined to pursue our miserable, that it is necefiary he should be so to pleasures under the pain of damnation ? He would keep up the harmony of the universe, and that certainly imagine that we were influenced by a the scheme of Providence would be troubled and scheme of duties quite opposite to those which perverted were he otherwise. These, and the like are indeed prescribed us. And truly, according considerations, rather filence than fatisfy a man. to such an imagination, he must conclude that we They may show him that his discontent is unrea are a species of the most obedient creatures in the sonable, but are by no means fufficient to relieve universe; that we are constant to our duty; and it. They rather' give despair than confolation. that we keep a stcady eye on the end for which we In a word, a man might reply to one of these were sent hither. comforters, as Auguftus did to his friend who ad. But how great would be his astonishment, when vised him not to grieve for the death of a person he learnt that we were beings not designed to whom he loved, because his grief could not fetch exist in this part of the world above threcfcore and him again : “ It is for that very reason," said the ten years ; and that the greatest part of this busy emperor, " that I grieve." fpecies fall thort even of that age? How would
he be loft in horror and admiration, when he
Nitor in advcrsum ; nec me, qui cætera, vincit
Crid. Met. I. 2. ver. 72. to all eternity in another life, for which they make no preparations ? Nothing can be a greater I steer against their motions, nor am i disgrace to reason, than that men who are per. Born back by all the current of the sky, Iuaded of these two different states of being, should
ADDison. be perpetually employed in providing for a life of threescore and ten years, and neglecting to
Remember a young man of very lively parts, znake provision for that, which after many 'myriads
and of a sprightly turn in conversation, who of years will be itill new and still beginning ; ef
had only one fauli, which was an inordinate depecially when we consider that our endeavours for fire of appearing fashionable. This rap him into inaking ourselves great or rich, or honourable, many amours, and coniequently into many dif- . or whatever else we place our happinefs in, may in the morning, because he would not be a queer
He never went to bed until two o'clock after all prove unsuccessful; whereas if we conitantly and sincerely endeavour to make ourselves fellow, and was every now and then knocked happy in the other life, we are sure that our en
down by contable, to fignalize his vivacity, deavours will succeed, and that we shall not be He was initiated into half a dozen, clubs before disappointed of our hope.
he was one and twenty, and so improved in them The following queition is started, by one of his natural gaiety of temper, that you might frethe schoolmen, Supposing the whole body of the quently trace him to his lodging by a range of earth were a great ball or mass of the finest sand, broken windows, and other like monuments of and that a single grain or particle of this fand wit ane gallantry. To be short, after having fully thould be annihilated every thousand years ? Sup- established his reputation of being a very agreeable poling then that you had it in your choice to be rake, he died of old age at five and twenty. happy all the while this prodigious mass of sand There is indeed nothing which betrays a man was consuming by this flow method until there into fo many errors and inconveniences, as the dewas not a grain of it left, on condition you were fire of not appearing fingular; for which reason it to be miserable for ever after? or, supposing that is very necessary to form a right idea of fingularity, you might be happy for ever after, on condition that we may know when it is laudable, and when, you would be miferable until the whole mass of it is vicious. In the first place, every man of sense land was thus annihilated at the rate of one sand will agree with me, that fingularity is laudable, in a thousand years; which of thefe two cases when, in contradiction to a multitude, it adheres Would you inake your choice?
to the dictates of conscience, morality, and hoIt must be confessed in this case, so many thou nour. In these cases we ought to consider, that it sands of years are to the imagination as a kind is not custom, but duty, which is the rule of of eternity, though in reality they do not bear action; and that we should be only so far fociable, so great a proportion to that duration which is as we are reasonable creatures. Truth is never to follow them, as an unit does to the greatest the less fo, for not being attended to : and it is 'number which you can put together in figures, the nature of actions, not the number of actors, or as one of those sands to the supposed heap. by which we ought to regulate our behaviour. Reason therefore tells us, without any manner of Singularity in concerns of this kind is to be looked hesitation, which would be the better part in this upon as heroic bravery, in which a man leaves the choice. However, as I have before intimated, species only as he foars above it.
What greater our reason might in such case be so overset by the instance can there be of a weak and pufillanimous iinagination, as to dispose fome persons to fink temper, than for a man to pass his whole life in under the consideration of the great distance of opposition to his own sentiments ? or not to dare that second duration, which is to succeed it. The to be what he thinks he ought to be ? mind, I say, might give itself up to that hap Singularity, therefore, is only vicious when it piness which is at hand, considering that it is so makes men act contrary to reason, or when it very near, and that it would latt to very long. puts them upon distinguithing themselves by trifles. But when the choice we actually have before us is As for the first of these, who are singular in any this, whether we will choose to be happy for the thing that is irreligious, immoral, or diíhonourspace of only threescore and ten, nay, perhaps able, I believe every one will give them up. I only twenty or ten years, I might say of only a shall therefore only speak of those only who are day or an hour, and miserable to all eternity: remarkable for their fingularity in things of no what words are sufficient to express that folly and importance, as in dress, behaviour, conversation, want of confideration which in such a case makes and all the little intercourses of life. In these
cases there is a certain deference due to custom; I here put the case even at the worst, by sup- and notwithstanding there may be a colour of rea. posing, what seldom happens, that a course of son to deviate from the multitude in some partivirtue makes us iniferable in this life; but if we culars, a man ought to sacrifice his private inclisuppose as it generally happens, that virtue would nations and opinions to the practice of the pube makes us more happy even in this life than a con lic. It must be confeffed that good sense often trary course of vice; how can we fufficiently ad- makes a humourist ; but then it unqualifies him mire the stupidity or madness of making fo absurd for any moment in the world, and renders him a choice?
ridiculous to persons of a much inferior underEvery wise man therefore will consider this life standing. only as it may conduce to the happiness of the I have heard of a gentleman in the north of other, and chearfully sacrifice the pleasures of a England, who was a remarkable instance of this few years to those of an eternity,
foolish fingularity, He had laid it down as a rule
a wrong choice?
within himself, to act in the most indifferent parts of making themselves the subjects of their wri. of life according to the most abstractea notions of tings and conversation, that I had some difficulty reason and good sende, without any regard to to persuade myself to give you this trouble, unfashion or example. This humour broke out at til I had considered that though I should speak first in many little oddnesles: he had never any in the first person, yot I could not be juftly ftated hours for his' dinner, supper or Deep; he ' charged with vanity, since I shall not add my cause, said he, we ought to attend the calls of na name; as aito, because what I fall write will ture, and not set our meals, but bring our meals not, to say the belt, redound to my praile; but to our appetites. In his conversation with coun is only designed to remove a prejudice conceived try gentlemen, he would not make use of a phrase " againit me, as I hope, with very little foundathat was not ftri&tly true: he never told алу
of • tion. My short history is this. them, that he was his humble servant, but that I have lived for some years last past altogether he was his well-wisher, and would be rather ' in London, until about a month ago an acthought a malecontent, than drink the king's quaintance of mine, for whom I have done some health when he was not dry. He would thrust imall services in town, invited me to pass part his head out at the chamber-window every morn • of the summer with him at his house in the ing, and after having gaped for fresh air about half country. I accepted his invitation, and found an hour, repeat filty verses as loud as he could a very hearty welcome. My friend, an honeft bawl them for the benefit of his lunga; to which plain man, not being qualified to pats away his end he generally took them out of Homer; the < time without the reliefs of business, has grafted Greek tongue, especially in that author being the farmer upon the gentleman, and brought more deep and fonorous, and more conducive to himself to submit even to the servile parts of expectoration, than any other.
He had many
that employment, such as inspecting his plough, other particularities, for which he gave found and the like. This neceffarily takes up some and philosophical reasons. As this humour still ( of his hours every day; and as I have no relish grew upon him, he chose to wear a turban instead ' for such diversion, I used at these times to reof a perriwig; concluding very juftly, that a ban • tire either to my chamber, or a shady walk near dage of clean linen about his head was much more the house, and entertain myself with some agreewholesome, as well as cleanly, than the caul of a "able author. Now you must kuow, Mr. Spectator, wig, which is foiled with frequent perspirations. that when I read, especially if it be poetry, it He afterwards judiciously observed, that the many is very usual with me, when I meet with any ligatures in the English dress, mult naturally passage or expression which strikes me much, to check the circulation of the blood; for which pronounce it aloud, with that tone of the voice, reason, he made his breeches and his doublet of · which I think agreeable to the sentiments there one continued piece of cloth, after the manner of exprefied; and to this I generally add some the Hutlars. In short, by following the pure dic
motion or action of the body. It was not long tates of reason, he at length departed fo much
• before I was observed by some of the family in one from the rest of his countrymen, and indeed from • of these heroic fits, who thereupon received imhis whole species, that his friends would have preffions very much to my ditadvantage. This clapped him into Bedlam, and have begged his • however I did not foon ditcover, nor should have eftate; but the judge being informed that he did done probably, had it not been for the followno harm, contented himself with issuing out a "ing accident. I had one day shut myself up in commission of lunacy against him, and putting my chamber, and was very deeply engaged in his estate into the hands of proper guardians.
the second book of Milton's Paradise Lost, I The fate of this philosopher puts me in mind
I walked to and fro with the book in my hand, of a remark in Monsieur Fontenelle's dialogues and to speak the truth, I'fear 'I made no little of the dead. - The ambitious and the covetous,"
o noise ; when presently coming to the following says he, “ are madmen to all intents and purposes,
On a sudden open fly,
one who is given up for a lunatic, is a frenzy " Th’infernal doors, and on their hinges grate « bors d'euvre;” that is, in other words, some “ Harsh thunder, &c." thing which is fingular in its kind, and does not fall in with the madness of the multitude. The subject of this essay was occasioned by a
ilin great transport threw open the door of my
chamber, and found the greatcit part of the fac letter which I received not long since, and which,
"mily standing on the outside in a very great confor want of room at present, I shall insert in my
< fternation. I was in no less confufion, and next paper.
r begged pardon for having disturbed them ; ad• dressing myself particularly to comfort one of
" the children, (who received an unlucky fall N° 577, FRIDAY, AUGUST 6. " in this action, while he was too in tently sur
veying my meditations through the key-hole. -Hoc tolerabile, fi non
« To be short, after this adventure I easily obEt furere incipias Juv. Sat. 6. ver. 613.
• served that great part of the family, especially This might be borne with, if you did no: rave. ¢ the women and children, looked upon me with
• some apprehensions of fears and my friend himTHE letter mentioned in my last paper is as
self, though he still continues his civilities to follows.
o me, did not seem altogether easy: I took notice,
" that the butler was never after this accident OS IR,
orúered to leave the bottle upon the table Ou have so lately decried that custom, ? after dinner. Add to this, that I frequently too much in Wle amongit most people
• heard the servants mention me by the name of ring our resolution to live hereafter as it be. • the crazed gentleman, the gentleman a little cometh men of peaceable dispositions.
touched, the mad Londoner, and the like. This • made me think it high time for me to shift my « And your petitioners, as in duty bound, quarters, which I resolved to do the first hand
66 mall ever pray, &c." < some opportunity; and was confirmed in my • resolution by a young lady in the neighbour• hood who, frequently visited us, and who one N° 578. MONDAY, AUGUST 9. • 'day, after having heard all the fine things I was & able to say, was pleased with a scornful Imile to
-Eque feris bumana in corpora transit, • bid me go to sleep.
Inque feras nofter Ovid. Met. l. 15. V. 167. « The first minute I got to my lodgings in town . I set pen to paper to desire your opinion, whether, -Th' unbodied spirit fliesupon
the evidence before you, I am mad or not, And lodges where it lights in man or beast. • I can bring certificates that I behave myself
Dryden. « soberly before company, and I hope there is at
THERE has been very great reason, on • least fome merit in withdrawing to be mad. • Look you, Sir, I am contented to be esteemed endeavour at settling what it was that might be
several accounts, for the learned world to • a little touched, as they phrase it, but should said to compose personal identity. o be sorry to be madder than my neighbours ;
Mr. Locke, after having premised that the • therefore, pray let me be as much in my fenfes word person properly signifies a thinking intel
as you can atförd. I know I could bring your; ligent being that has reason and reflexion, and « relf as an instance of a man who has confessed
can consider itself as itself, concludes, that it is • talking to himself; but yours is a particular consciousness alone, and not an identity of fubo case and cannot justify me, who have not kept itance, which makes this personal identity of • silence any part of my life. What if I hould
sameness. “ Had I the same consciousness,' says own myfelf in love ? you know lovers are al- that author, “ chat I saw the ark and Noah's ways
allowed the comfort of soliliquy:—But « flood, as that I saw an overflowing of the • I will say no more upon this subject, because I
- Thames last winter; or as that I now write; • have long since observed, the ready way to be
" I could no more doubt that I who write this • thought mad is to contend that you are not so;
« now, that saw the Thames overflow last win. 'as we generally conclude that man drunk, who
ter, and that viewed the food at the general o takes pains to be thought sober. I will there. -- deluge, was the same felf, place that self in • fore leave myself to your determination; but
“ what substance you please, than that I who 6 am the more desirous to be thought in my
" write this am the same myself now while I ** senses, that it may be no discredit to you
« write, whether I consist of all the same fuba + when I assure you that I have always been very
« stance material or immaterial or no, that I ( much
was yesterday; for as to this point of being < Your admirer.'
" the same self, it matters not whether this pre. P.S. "If I must be mad, I desire the young
“ sent self he made up of the fame or other sub.
66 Itances." " lady may believe it is for her."
I was mightily pleased with a story in some
measure applicable to this piece e philosophy, The humble Petition of John a Nokes and John which I read the other day in the Persian Tales, a Stiles.
as they are lately very well translated by Mr. « Sheweth,
Philips; and with an abridgment whereof 1 Mall WHAT your petitioners have causes de here present my readers.
I Mall only premise that these stories are writ pending in Westminster hall above five
after the eastern manner, but somewhat more ! hundred years, and that we despair of 'ever
correct, • bringing them to an ifsue : that your petitioners have not been involved in these law-suits
“ Fadlallah, a prince of great virtues, suc. • out of any litigious temper of their own, but " ceeded his father Bin-Ortoc, in the kingdom
by the instigation of contentious persons; that “ of Mousel. He reigned over his faithful sub• the young lawyers in our inns of court are con “ jects for some time, and lived in great hap• tinually setting us together by the ears, and « piness with his beauteous confort Queen Zem. r and think they do us no hurt, because « roude, when there appeared at his court a " they plead for us without a fee; that many young Dervis of so lively and entertaining a I of the gentlemen of the robe have no other turn of wit, as won upon the affections of o clients in the world besides us two; that when every one he conversed with. His reputation • they have nothing else to do, they make us grew so fast every day, that it at last raised a • plaintiffs and defendants, though they were « curiosity in the prince himself to see and talk
never retained by any of us : that they tra 66 with him. He did so, and far from finding • duce, condemn or acquits, without any man « that common fame had flattered him, he was
ner of regard to our reputations and good “ foon convinced that every thing he had heard
names in the world. Your petitioners there of him fell hort of the truth. • fore, being thereunto encouraged by the fa « Fadlallah immediately lost all manner of tvourable reception which you lately gave to “ relin for the conversation of other men; and
our kinsman Blank, do, humbly pray that you' “ as he was 'every day more and more satisfied
villput an end to the controversies which « of the abilities of this stranger, cffered him < have been so long depending between us your " the first posts in his kingdom. The young
faid petitioners, and that our enmity, inay not “ Dervis, after having thanked him with a very e dure from generation to generation; it be " linguiar modesty, deared to be excused, as