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gilded chariot, Fulvius in a blue string, and Florio in a tulip-root. It would be endless to enumerate the many, fantastical afflictions that disturb mapkind; but as a misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the temper of the sufferer, I shall present my readers, who are unhappy either in reality, or imagination, with an allegory, for which I am indebted to the great father and prince of poets.
As I was sitting after dinner in my elbow-chair, I took up Homer, and dipped into that famous speech of Achilles to Priam*, in which he tells him, that Jupiter has by him two great vessels, the one filled with blessings, and the other with misfortunes ; out of which he mingles a composition for every man that comes into the world. This passage so exceedingly pleased me, that, as I fell insensibly into my afternoon's slumber, it wrought my imagination into the following dream.
When Jupiter took into his hands the government of the world, the several parts of nature with the presiding deities did homage to him. One presented him with a mountain of winds, another with a magazine of hail, and a third with a pile of thunder-bolts. The Stars offered up their influences ; Ocean gave in his trident, Earth her fruits, and the Sun his seasons. Among the several deities who canje to make their court on this occasion, the
* Two urns by Jove's high throne have ever stood,
The source of evil one, and one of good;
Pope's Hom. Il. xiv, ver. 863.
Destinies advanced with two great tuns carried before them, one of which they fixed at the rightband of Jupiter, as he sat upon his throne, and the other on his left. The first was filled with all the blessings, and the other with all the calamities of human life. Jupiter, in the beginning of his reign, finding the world much more innocent than it is in this iron age, poured very plentifully out of the tun that stood at his righit-hand; but, as mankind degeDerated, and became unworthy of his blessings, he set abroach the other vessel, that filled the world with pain and poverty, battles and distempers, jealousy and falsehood, intoxicating pleasures and untimely deaths.
He was at length so very much incensed at the great depravation of human nature, and the repeated provocations which he received from all parts of the earth, that, having resolved to destroy the whole species, except Deucalion and Pyrrha, he commanded the Destiuies to gather up the blessings which be bad thrown away upon the sons of men, and lay them up until the world should be inhabited by a more virtuous and deserving race of mortals.
The three Sisters immediately repaired to the earth in search of the several blessings that had been scattered on it; but found the task which was enjoined them, to be much more difficult than they imagined. The first places they resorted to, as the most likely to succeed in, were cities, palaces, and courts; but, instead of meeting with what they looked for here, they found nothing but envy, repining, uneasiness, and the like bitter ingredients of the left-hand vessel. Whereas, to their great surprise, they discovered content, cheerfulness, health, innocence, aud other the most substantial blessings of life, in cottages, shades, and solitudes.
There was another circumstance no less unex pected than the former, and which gave them very great perplexity in the discharge of the trust which Jupiter had committed to them. They observed, that several blessings had degenerated into calamities, and that several calamities had improved into blessings, according as they fell into the possession of wise or foolish men. They often found power with so much insolence and impatience cleaving to it, that it became a misfortune to the person on whom it was conferred. Youth had often distempers growing about it, worse than the infirmi-, lies of old age. Wealth was often united to such a sordid avarice, as made it the most uncomfortable and painful kind of poverty. On the contrary, they often found pain made glorious by fortitude, poverty, lost in content, deformity beautified with virtue. In a word, the blessings were often like good fruits planted in a bad soil, that by degrees fall off from their natural relish, into tastes altogether insipid or unwholesome: and the calamities, like harsh fruits, cultivated in a good soil, and enriched by proper grafts and inoculations, until they swell with generous and delightful juices.
There was still a third circumstance that occasioned as great a surprise to the three Sisters as either of the foregoing, when they discovered several blessings and calamities which had never been in either of the tuns that stood by the throne of Jupiter, and were nevertheless as great occasions of happiness or misery, as any there. These were that spurious crop of blessings and calamities which were never sowu by the hand of the Deity, but
of themselves out of the fancies and dispositions of human creatures. Such are dress, titles, place, equipage, false shame, and groundless fear, with
the like vain imaginations, that shoot up in trilling, weak, and irresolute minds.
The Destinies, finding themselves in so great a perplexity, concluded that it would be impossible for them to execute the commands that had been given thein, according to their first intention; for which reason they agreed to throw all the blessings and calamities together into one large vessel, and in that manner offer them up at the feet of Jupiter.
This was performed accordingly; the Eldest Sister presenting herself before the vessel, and introducing it with an apology for what they had done.
“O Jupiter," says she, “ we have gathered together all the good and evil, the comforts and distresses of human life, which we thus present before thee in one promiscuous heap. We beseech thee, that thou thyself wilt sort them out for the future, as in thy wisdom thou shalt think fit. For we acknowledge, that there is none besides thee that can judge what will occasion gríef or joy in the heart of a human creature, and what will prove a blessing or a calamity to the person on whom it is bestowed.”
N° 147. SATURDAY, MARCH 18, 1709-10,
Ut ameris, amabilis esto.
-Be lovely, that you may be lov'd.
From my own Apartment, March 17. READING is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. As by the one, health is preserved, strength ened, and invigorated; by the other, virtue, which is the health of the mind, is kept alive, cherished, and confirmed. But as exercise becomes tedious and painful, when we make use of it only as the means of health, so reading is apt to grow uneasy and burdensome, when we apply ourselves to it only for our improvement in virtue. For this reason, the virtue which we gather from a fable, or an allegory, is like the health we get by hunting; as we are engaged in an agreeable pursuit that draws us on with pleasure, and makes us insensible of the fatigues that accompany it.
After this preface, I shall set down a very beautiful allegorical fable of the great poet whom I mentioned in my last paper, and whom it is difficult to lay aside when one is engaged in the reading of him. And this I particularly design for the use of several of my fair correspondents, who in their letters have complained to me, that they have lost the affections of their husbands, and desire my advice how to recover them.
Juno, says Homer, seeing her Jupiter seated on the top of mount Ida, and knowing that he had cou.