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Copenhagen, March 9, 1709. From frozen climes, and endless tracts of snow, From streams which northern winds forbid to flow, What present shall the muse to Dorset bring, Or how, so near the pole, attempt to sing ? The hoary winter here conceals from sight All pleasing objects which to verse invite. The hills and dales, and the delightful woods, The flowʻry plains, and silver-streaming floods, By snow disguis'd, in bright confusion lie, And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye.
• No gentle breathing breeze prepares the spring,
And yet but lately have I seen, ev'n here,
The thick-sprung reeds which watery marshes yield
. When, if a sudden gust of wind arise,
Like some deluded peasant Merlin leads
From my own Apartment, May 6. THERE has a mail this day arrived from Holland; but the matter of the advices in porting rather what gives us great expectations, than any positive assurances, I shall, for this time, decline giving you what I know; and apply the following verses of Mr. Dryden, in the second part of Almanzor, to the present circumstances of things, without discovering wha my knowledge in astronomy suggests to me:
10 Almanzor and Almahide ; or, The Conquest of Grenada, Act I. Scene 1.
. When Empire in its childhood first appears,
N° 13. TUESDAY, MAY 10, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli.
JUV. Sat. i. 85, 86.
From my own Apartment, May 8. Much hurry and business has to-day perplexed me into a mood too thoughtful for going into company; for which reasoni, instead of the tavern, I went into Lincoln's-inn walks; and, having taken a round or two, I sat down, according to the allowed familiarity of these places, on a bench; at the other end of which sat a venerable gentleman, who speaking with a very affable air, · Mr. Bickerstaff,' said he, • I take it for a very great piece of good fortune that you have found me out.'--Sir,' said I, • I had never, that I know of, the honour of seeing you before.' "That," replied he,is what I have often lamented; but, I assure you, I have for many years done you good offices, without being observed by you; or else, when you had any little gļimpse of my being concerned in an affair, you have fled from me, and shunned me like an enemy; but, however, the part I am to act in the world is such, that I am to go on in doing good, though I meet with never so many repulses, even from those I oblige.' This, thought I, shews a great good-nature, but little judgment in the persons upon whom he confers his favours. He immediately took notice to me, that he observed by my countenance I thought him indiscreet in his beneficence, and proceeded to tell me his quality in the following manner: 'I know thee, Isaac', to be so well versed in the occult sciences, that I need not much preface, or make long preparations to gain your faith that there are airy beings, who are employed in the care and attendance of men, as nurses are to infants, until they come to an age in which they can act of themselves. These beings are usually called amongst men, Guardian Angels; and, Mr. Bickerstaff, I am to acquaint you, that I am to be yours for some time to come ; it being our orders to vary our stations, and sometimes to have one patient under our protection, and sometimes another, with a power of assuming what shape we please, to ensnare our wards into their own good. I have of late been upon such hard duty, and know you have so much work for me, that I think fit to appear to you face to face, to desire you will give me as little occasion for vigilance as you can.”- Sir,' said I, it will be a
great instruction to me in my behaviour, if you please to give me some account of your late employments, and what hardships or satisfactions you have had in them, that I may govern myself accordingly. He answered, “To give you an example of the drudgery we go through, I will entertain you only with my three last stations: I was on the first of April last put to mortify a great Beauty, with whom I was a week ; from her I went to a common Swearer, and have been last with a Gamester. When I first came to my lady, I found my great work was to guard well her eyes and ears; but her flatterers were so numerous, and the house, after the modern way, so full of lookingglasses, that I seldom had her safe but in her sleep. Whenever, we went abroad, we were surrounded by an army of enemies: when a well-made man appeared, he was sure to have a side-glance of observation : if a disagreeable fellow, he had a full face, out of mere inclination to conquests. But at the close of the evening, on the sixth of the last month, my ward was sitting on a couch, reading Ovid's Epistles; and as she came to this line of Helen to Paris,
• She half consents who silently denies, entered Philander, who is the most skilful of all men in an address to women. He is arrived at the perfection of that art which gains them, which is, “ to talk like a very miserable man, but look like a very happy one." I saw Dictinna blush at his entrance, which gave me the alarm; but he immediately said something so agreeably on her being at study, and the novelty of finding a lady employed in so grave a manner, that he on a sudden became very familiarly a man of no consequence; and in an instant laid all her suspicions of his skill asleep, as he had almost