« 이전계속 »
=> · Nature has prescribed must be good; and as Death is
natural to us, it is Absurdity to fear it. Fear loses
its Purpose when we are sure it cannot preserve us, e' and we should draw Resolution to meet it from the ImE ' possibilty to escape it. Without a Resignation to the
Necessity of dying, there can be no Capacity in Man to ' attempt any thing that is glorious; but when they have sonce attained to that Perfection, the Pleafures of a
Life spent in Martial Adventures, are as great as any Es of which the human Mind is capable. The Force of
Reason gives a certain Beauty, mixed with the Con:
fcience of well-doing and Thirst of Glory, to all which - • before was terrible and ghaftly to the. Imagination. 3. Add to this, that the Fellowship of Danger, the com: e 'mon good of Mankind, the general Cause, and the 'manifeft Virtue you may observe in so many Men, who made no Figure 'till that Day, are so many Incen.
tives to destroy the little consideration of their own i ! Persons. Such are the Heroick Part of Soldiers Es who are qualified for Leaders: As to the rest whom
• I before spoke of, I know not how it is, but they ar“
rive at a certain Habit of being void of Thought, inso? much that on Occasion of the most imminent Danger • they are still in the fame Indifference. Nay I remem
ber an Instance of a gay French-man, who was led on • in Battle by a superior Officer, (whose Conduct it
was his Custom to speak of always with Contempt and • Raillery) and in the Beginning of the Action received ra Wound he was sensible was mortal; his Reflection i on this Occasion was, I wish I could live another Hour, " to see how this blundering Coxcomb will get clear of this - Business,
I remember two young Fellows who rid in the same < Squadron of a Troop of Horse, who were ever toge• ther, they eat, they drank, they intreagued; in a Word, • all their Passions and Affection's seemed to tend the same
Way, and they appeared servicable to each other in • them. We were in the Dusk of the Evening to march • over a River, and the Troop these Gentlemen belong. • ed to were to be transported in a Ferry-boat as fast as • they could. One of the Friends was now in the Boat, while o the other was drawn up with others by the Water-side
* waiting the Return of the Boat. A Disorder happened in • the Passage by an unruly Horse; and a Gentleman who ? had the Rein of his Horse negligently under his Arm, I was forced into the Water by his Horse's juniping o. • ver. The Friend on the Shore cry'd out, Who's that is
drowned trow? He was immediately answered, Your • Friend Harry Thompson. He gravely reply'd, Ay be • had a mad Horse. This short Epitaph from such a Fa. 6 miliar without more Words, gave me, ar that Time
under Twenty, a very moderate Opinion of the Friends fhip of Companions. Thus is Affection and every o.
ther Motive of Life in the Generality rooted out by ? the prefent busie Scene about them: they lament no ! Man whose Capacity can be supplied by another; and • where Men converse without Delicacy, the next Man « you meet will serve as well as he whom you have lived • with half your Life. To such the Devastation of « Countries, the Misery of Inhabitants, the Cries of the © Pillaged, and the filent Sorrow of the great Unfortu.nate, are ordinary Objects; their Minds are bent upon • the little Gratifications of their own Senses and Appe. • cites, forgetful of Compassion, insensible of Glory, • avoiding only Shame; their whole Heart's taken up • with the trivial Hope of meering and being merry. These • are the People who make up the Grofs of the Soldiery: • But the fine Gentleman in that Band of Men, is such a .« One as I have now in my Eye, who is foremost in all • Danger to which he is ordered. His Officers are his - Friends and Companions, as they are Men of Honour ! and Gentlemen; the private Men his Brethren, as they ! are of his species. He is beloved of all that behold • him: They wish him in Danger as he views their 4 Ranks, that they may have Occasions to save him as ! their own Hazard. Mutual Love is the Order of the
Files where he commands; 'every Man afraid for him, · felf and his Neighbour, not left their Commander • should punish them, but left he should be offended. 6. Such is his Regiment who knows Mankind, and feels • their Distresses so far as to prevent them. Juft in die • ftributing what is their Due, he would think himself • below their Taylor to wear a Snip of their Cloachs in * Lace upon his own; and below the most rapacious
Agent, Agent, should he enjoy a Farthing above his own Pay. « Go on, brave Man, immortal Glory is thy Fortune, and
immortal Happiness thy Reward.
Saturday, August 25.
Haber naturaut aliarum omnium rerum fic vivendi modum;
feneftas autem peractio ætatis eft tanquam Fabule. Ca
jus defatigationem fugere debemus, præfertim adjuncta • Satietate.
Tull. De Senec
o f all the impertinent Wishes which we hear expref.
sed in Conversation, there is not one more unwor.
thy à Gentleman or a Man of liberal Education, than that of wishing one's self younger. I have observed this Wilh is usually made upon Sight of some Object which gives the Idea of a paft Action, that it is no Dishonour to us that we cannot now repeat; or else on what was in it self shameful when we performed it. It is a certain Sign of a foolish or a diffolute Mind if we want our Youth again only for the Strength of Bones and Sinews which we once were Masters of. It is (as my Author has it) as absurd in an old Man to wish for the Strength of a Youth, as it would be in a young Man to wish for the Strength of a Bull or a Horse. These Wishes are both equally out of Nature, which would direct in all things that are not contradictory to Justice, Law and Reason. But tho' every old Man has been Young, and every young one hopes to be old, there seems to be a moft unnatural Misunderstanding between those two Stages of Life. This unhappy Want of Commerce arises froin the insolent Arrogance or Exultation in Youth, the irraticnal Defpondence or Self-pity in Age. A young Man whose Passion and Ambition is to be good and wile, and an old one who has no Inclination to be lewd or de: bauched, are quite unconcerned in this Speculation ; but the Cocking young Fellow who treads upon the Toes of his Elders, and the old Fool who envies the fawcy
Pride he sees him in, are the Objects of our present Contempt and Derision. Contempt and Derilion are harsh Words; but in what manner can one give Advice to a Youth in the Pursuit and Possession of sensual Plea. suręs, or afford. Pity to an old Man in the Impotence and Desire of Enjoying them? When young Men in publick Places betray in their Deportment an abandoned Re, signation to their Appetites, they give to sober Minds a Prospect of a despicable Age, which, if not interrupted by Death in the midst of their Follies, must certainly come. When an old Man bewails the Loss of such Gratifications which are passed, he discovers a monftrous Inclination to that which it is not in the Course of Pro. vidence to recall. "The State of an old Man, who is dis. satisfy'd merely for his being such, is the most out of all Measures of Reason and good sense of any Being we have any Account of from the highest Angel to the lowest Worm. How miserable is the Confideration to consider a libidinous old Man (while all Created things, besides himself and Devils, are following the Order of Providence) fretring at the Course of things, and being almost the sole Malecontent in the Creation. But let us a little refleat upon what he has lost by the number of Years: The Passions which he had in Youth are not co be obeyed as they were then, but Reason is more pow. erful now without the Disturbance of them. An old Gentleman t'other day in Discourse with a friend of his (reflecting upon some Adventures they had in Youth together) cry'd out, Oh Fack, those were happy Days! That is true, reply'd his Friend, but methinks we go about our business more quietly than we did then. One would think it should be no small Satisfaction to have gone so far in pur Journey that the Heat of the Day is over with us. When Life it self is a Feaver, as it is in licencious Youth, the Pleasures of it are no other than the Dreams pt a Man in that Distemper, and it is as absurd to wish the Return of that Season of Life, as for a Man in Health to be sorry for the Loss of glided Palaces, fairy Walks, and flowery Pastures, with which he remembers he was entertained in the troubled Slumbers of a Fit of Sickness.
AS to 'all the rational and worthy Pleasures of our Be- . ing, the Conscience of a good Fame, the Contemplation of another Life, the Respect and Commerce of honest Men, our Capacities for such Enjoyments are enlarged by Years. While Health endures, the latter Part of Life, in the Eye . of Reason, is certainly the more eligible. The Memory of a well-spent Youth gives a peaceable, unmixed, and ele. gant Pleasure to the Mind, and to such who are so unfortunate as not to be able to look back on Youth with Satisfa&tion, they may give themselves no little Consolation that they are under no Temptation to repeat their Follies, and that they at present despise them. It was prettily said,
He that would be long an old Man, must begin early to • be one: It is too late to resign a thing after a Man is robbed of it; therefore it is necessiry that before the Arrival of Age we bid adieu to the Puisuits of Youth, otherwise sensual Habits will live in our Imaginations when our Limbs cannot be subservient to them. The poor Fellow who lost his Arm last Siege, will tell you, he feels the Fingers that are buried in Flanders ake every cold. Morning at Chelsea.
THĚ fond Humour of appearing in the gay and fa. shionable World, and being applauded for trivial Excellencies, is what makes Youth have Age in Contempt, and makes Age resign with so ill a Grace the Qualifications of Youth: But this in both Sexes is inverting all things, and turning the natural Course of our Minds, which should build their Approbations and Dislikes upon what Nature and Reason dictate, into Chimera and Confusion,
AGE in a virtuous Person, of either Sex, carries in it an Authority which makes it preferable to all the Eleafires of Youth. If to be saluted, attended, and consulted with Deference, are Instances of Pleasure, they are such as ne.' ver fail a virtuous old Age. In the Enumeration of the Imperfections and Advantages of the younger and later Years of Man, they are so near in their Condition, that, methinks, it should be incredible we see so little Commerce of Kindness between them. If we consider Youth and Age with Tilly, regarding the Affinity to Death, Youth has many more Chances to be near it than Age; what Youth can say more than an old Man, “He shall live 'till Night? Youth catches Distempers more easily, its SickCV ol. II.