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Hor. OD. II. L. I. v. 6.



E all of us complain of the vel through time as through a country neca,' and yet have much more than which we would fain hurry over, that * we know what to do with. Our lives,' we may arrive at those several little setfays he,' are ipent either in doing no. tlements or imaginary points of rest

thing at all, or in doing nothing that which are dispersed up and down in it. we ought to do: we are always com If we divide the life of most men into

plaining our days are few, and acting twenty parts, we ihall find that at lealt • as though there would be no end of nineteen of them are mere gaps and

them.' That noble philosopher has chasms, which are neither filled with described our inconlistency with our- pleasure nor business. I do not howfelves in this particular, by all those ever include in this calculation the life varivus turns of expression and thought of those men who are in a perpetual which are peculiar to his writings. hurry of affairs, but of those only who

I often consider mankind as wholly are not always engaged in scenes of acinconsistent with itself in a point that tion; and I hope I Mall not do an unbears some affinity to the former. acceptable piece of service to these perThough we leem grieved at the thort. fons if I point out to them certain me. ness of life in general, we are wishing thods for the filling up their empty every period of it at an end. The mi spaces of life. The methods I Thali por longs to be at age, then to be a man propose to them are as follow. of buliness, then to make up an estate, The first is the exercise of virtue in then to arrive at honours, then to retire. the most general acceptation of the word. Thus, although the whole of life is al That particular scheme which comprelowed by every one to be short, the hends the focial virtues, may give emleveral divisions of it appear long and ployment to the most industrious temper, tedious. We are for lengthening our and find a man in business more than pan in general, but would fain con the most active station of life. To ad. tract the parts of which it is composed. vise the ignorant, relieve the needy, The ulurer would be very well satisfied comfort the aflicted, are duties that fall to have all the time annihilated that lies in our way almost every day of our between the present moment and next lives. A man has frequent opportuniquarter-day. The politician would be ties of mitigating the fierceness of a contented to lose three years in his life, party; of doing jultice to the character could he place things in the posture of a deferving man; of softening the enwhich he fancies they will Aand in after vious, quieting the angry, and rectifyfuch a revolution of time. The lover ing the prejudiced; which are all of them would be glad to strike out of his exift. employments suited to a reasonable naence all the moments that are to pass ture, and bring great satisfaction to the away before the happy meeting. Thus, person who can busy himself in them as faft as our time runs, we should be with discretion. tery glad in most parts of our lives, that There is another kind of virtue that it ran much fatter than it does. Several may find employment for those retired hours of the day hang upon our hands, hours in which we are altogether left to my we wish away whole years; and tra- ourselves, and deftitute of company and

2 A 2 conversation;

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conversation; I mean that intercourse together in shuffling and dividing a pack

and communication which every rea of cards, with no other conversation but - sonable creature ought to maintain with what is made up of a few game phrases,

the great Author of his being. The and no other ideas but those of black man who lives under an habitual sense or red spots ranged together in different of the Divine presence keeps up a per figures. Would not a man laugh to petual chearfulness of temper, and en hear any one of this species complaining joy's every moment the satisfaction of

that life is fort? thinking himself in company with his The stage might be made a perpetual dearest and best of friends. The time source of the moit noble and uletul eie never lies heavy upon him; it is impor tertainments, were it under proper resible for him to be alone. His thoughts gulations. and paflions are the most busied at such But the mind never unbends itself to hours when those of other men are the agreeably as in the conversation of a most unactive; he no fooner steps out of well-chosen friend. There is indeed no the world but his heart burns with de. blessing of life that is any way compara. votion, swells with hope, and triumphs ble to the enjoyment of a discreet and in the consciousness of that presence virtuous friend. It eases and unloads which every where surrounds liin; or, the mind, clears and improves the unon the contrary, pours o!it it's tears, derstanding, engenders thoughts and it's sorrows, it's apprehenfions, to the knowledge, animates virtue and good great Supporter of it's existence. resolution, foothes and allays the para

I have here only considered the ne fions, and finds employment for molt cessity of a man's being virtuous, that of the vacant hours of lite. he may have something to do; but if we Next to such an intimacy with a parconsider further, that the exercise of ticular person, one would endeavour virtue is not only an amusement for the after a more general conversation with time it laits, but that it's influence ex such as are able to entertain and improve tends to those parts of our existence those with whom they converse, which which lic beyond the grave, and that are qualifications that feldom go afunder. our whole Eternity is to take it's colour There are many other useful amusefrom those hours which we here enploy ments of life, which one would endea. in virtue or in vice, the argument redou vour to multiply, that one might on all bles upon us, for putting in practice occations have recourse to something this method of pailing away our time. rather than suffer the mind to lie idle,

When a man has but a little stock to or run adrift with any passion that improve, and has opportunities of tune chances to rise in it. ing it all to good account, what shall we A man that has a taste in mufic, think of him if he suffers ninetcen parts painting, or architecture, is like one of it to lie dead, ard perhaps em pioys that has another sense when compared even the twentieth to his ruin or dilad. with such as have no relith of those vantage? But because the mind cannot The fiorist, the planter, the garbe always in it's fervouis, nor itrained dener, the husbandman, when they are up to a pitch of virtue, it is necellary to only as accomplishments to the man of find out proper employments for it in fortune, are great reliefs to a country it's iclaxations.

life, and many ways useful to thole who The next method therefore that I are poffefsed of them. would propose to fill up our time, should But of all the diversions of life, there be useful and innocent diversions. I is none so proper to fill up it's empty . mult confess I think it is below reason. spaces, as the reading of useful and enable creatures to be altogether conver- tertaining authors. But this I thall tant in such diversions as are merely in. only touch upon, because it in some nocent, and have nothing else to recom. measure interferes with the third me. inerci them, but that there is no hurt in thod, which I Mall propose in another them. Whether any kind of, gaming paper, for the employment of our dead his even thus much to say for itself, unactive bodies, and which I shall only I hall not determine; but I think it is mention in general to be the pursuit of very wonderful to lee perfons of the knowledge. beit lente pafling away a dozen hours






Mart. EPIG. XX111. 1. j..


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HE lait method which I proposed . succession of others; and we fee, that

in my Saturday's paper, for fill one who fixes his thoughts very ining up thole einpty Ipaces of life which • tently on one thing, so as to take but are lo tedious and burdensome to idle little notice of the succession of ideas people, is the employing ourselves in the that país in his mind whilst he is taken pursuit of knowledge. I remember Mr. up with that earnest contemplation, Boyle, speaking of a certain mineral, • lets slip out of his account a good part tells us, that a man may confume his • of that duration, and thinks that time whole life in the Itudy of it, without 6 shorter than it is.' arriving at the knowledge of all it's We might carry this thought further, qualities. The truth of it is, there is and consider a man as, on one side, not a single science, or any branch of thortening his time by thinking on noit, that might not furnith a man with thing, or but a few things; so, on the bufinels for life, though it were much other, as lengtheningit, by employing his longer than it is.

thoughts on many lubjects, or by enI shall not here engage on those beaten tertaining a quick and constant fuccefsubjects of the usefulness of knowledge, fion of ideas. Accordingly Monsieur nor of the pleasure and perfection it Mallebranche, in his Enquiry after gives the mind, nor on the methods of Truth, which was published several attaining it, nor recommend any par years before Mr. Locke's Essay on Huticular branch of it, all which have been man Understanding, tells us, that it is the topics of many other writers; but possible fome creatures may think half fall indulge myséif in a speculation an hour as long as we do a thousand that is more uncommon, and may there years; or look upon that space of durafore perhaps be more entertaining. tion which we call a minute, as an hour,

I have before shewn how the unem a week, a month, or a whole age. ployed parts of life appear long and This notion of Monficur Malle. tedious, and shall here endeavour to branche, is capable of some little exthew how those parts of life which are planation from what I have quoted out exercised in ftudy, reading, and the of Mr. Locke; for if our notion of time pursuits of knowledge, are long but not is produced by our reflecting on the tedious, and by that means discover a succession of ideas in our mind, and this method of lengthening our lives, and at fucceffion may be infinitely accelerated the fame time of turning all the parts or retarded, it will follow, ihat different of them to our advantage.

beings may have different notions of the Mr. Locke observes, that we get the fame parts of duration, according as idea of time, or duration, by reficcting their ideas, which we suppose are equally on that train of ideas which succeed one diftin&t in each of them, follow one ananother in our minds: that for this rea other in a greater or less degree of rafon when we fleep foundly without pidity. dreaming, we have no perception of There is a famous pasage in the Altime, or the length of it, whilst we coran, which looks as if Mahomet had fleep; and that the moment wherein we been potefied of the notion we are now leave off to think, until the moment fpeaking of. It is there faid, that the we begin to think again, seems to have angel Gabriel took Mahomet out of his no distance. To which the author adds bed one morning to give him a light of - And so I doubt not but it would all things in the seven heavens, in pa• be to a waking man, if it were pof. radise, and in hell, which the prophet s fible for him to keep only one idea in took a distinct view of; and after hav. s his mind, without variation, and the ing held ninety thousand conferences


with God, was brought back again to After his first plunge into the sea, te his bed. All this, says the Alcoran, no sooner raised his head above the wates was transacted in so small a space of but he found himself ftanding by the time, that Mahomet at his return found fide of the tub, with the great men of his bed still warm, and took up an his court about hiin, and the holy man earthen pitcher, which was thrown down at his fide. He iminediately upbraided at the very inttant that the angel Gabriel his teacher for having fent him on fuch carried him away, before the water was a course of adventures, and betrayed all spilt.

him into lo lorg a state of misery and There is a very pretty story in the servitude; but was wonderfully furprised Turkish Tales which relates to this when he heard that the itate he talked of pasiage of that famous impostor, and was only a dream and delusion; that he bears some affinity to the subject we are had not stirred from the place where he now upon. A sultan of Ezypt, who was then food; and that he had only dipped an infidel, used to laugh at this circum- his head into the water, and immedifance in Mahomet's life, as what was ately taken it out again. altogether impossible and absurd: but The Mahometan doctor took this occonversing one day with a great doctor casion of instructing the sultan, that noin the law, who had the gift of working thing was impossible with God; and miracles, the doctor told him he would that He, with whom a thousand years quickly convince him of the truth of this are but as one day, can, if he pleales, pattage in the history of Mahomet, if make a single day, nay a fingle moments he would consent to do what he should appear to any of his creatures as a thoudefire of him. Upon this the sultan was

sand years. directed to place himtelf by an huge tub

i ihall leave my reader to compare of water, which he did accordingly; these Eastern fables with the notions of and as he stood by the tub amidst a circle those two great philosophers whom I of his great men, the holy man bid him have quoted in this paper; and shall only, plunge his head into the water, and by way of application, defire him to draw it up again: the king accordingly consider how we may extend life beyond thruit his head into the water, and at it's natural dimensions, by applying, the same time found himself at the foot ourselves diligently to the pursuits of of a mountain on a sea- More. The king knowledge. immediately began to rage against his The hours of a wise man are lengthdoctor for this piece of treachery and ened by his ideas, as those of a fool are witchcraft; but at length, knowing it by his parlions; the time of the one is was in vain to be angry, he let himielf long, because he does not know what to think on proper methods for getting to do with it; fo is that of the other, a livelihood in this strange country. because he distinguishes every moment Accordingly he applied himself te fome of it with useful or amusing thoughts; people whom he law at work in a neigh or in other words, because the one is houring wood: these people conducted always wishing it away, and the other him to a town that stood at a little dif- always enjoying it. tance from the wood, where, after some How different is the view of past life, adventures, he married a woman of great in the man who is grown old in knowbeauty and fortune. He lived with this ledge and wisdom, from that of him woman to long until he had by her feven who is grown old in ignorance and folly! fons and seven daughters; he was after

The laiteris like the owner of a barren wards reduced to great want, and forced country that fills his eye with the proto think of plying in the streets as a spect of naked hills and plains, which perter for his livelihood. One day as produce nothing either profitable or or. he was walking alone by the fea-fide, namental; the other beholds a beautiful being leized with many melancholy re and spacious landskip divided into de. fections upon his former and his pre- lightful gardens, green meadows, fruitfent Rate of life, which had railed a fit ful fields, and can scarce cast his eye of devotion in him, he threw off his on a single spot of his postessions, that cluaths with a design to wash himself, is not covered with some beautiful plant according to the custom of the Maho or flower. metans, before he said his prayers.






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AVING read the two following to be placed visibly in the eyes : they not but think the good sense of them will for the living, by the quantity of tears be as agreeable to the town as any thing you pour out for the dead; so that if I could say either on the topics they one body wants that quantity of falttreat of, or any other. They both al water another abounds with, he is in lade to former papers of mine; and I great danger of being thought insensible do not question but the first, which is or ill-natured: they are strangers to upon inward mourning, will be thought friendship, whose grief happens not to the production of a man who is well be moist enough to wet such a parcel of acquainted with the generous yearnings handkerchiefs. But experience has told of diftress in a manly temper, which is us, nothing is so fallacious as this outabove the relief of tears. A speculation ward sign of sorrow; and the natural of my own on that subje& I shall defer history of our bodies will teach us that until another occasion.

this Áux of the eyes, this faculty of The second letter is from a lady of a weeping, is peculiar only to some conmind as great as her understanding. ftitutions. We observe in the tender There is perhaps something in the be- bodies of children, when crossed in their ginning of it which I ought in modesty little wills and expectations, how difto conceal; but I have so much esteem solvable they are into tears; if this were for this correspondent, that I will not what grief is in men, nature would not alter a tittle of what the writes, though be able to support them in the excess of I am thus scrupulous at the price of be- it for one moment. Add to this obing ridiculous.

servation, how quick is their transition

from this passion to that of their joy! MR. SPECTATOR,

I will not say we see often, in the next I Was very well pleased with your dif. tender things to children, tears fhed

course upon general mourning, and without much grieving. Thus it is should be obliged to you if you would common to shed tears without much toter into the matter more deeply, and sorrow, and as common to suffer much give us your thoughts upon the common forrow without thedding tears. Grief sense the ordinary people have of the and weeping are indeed frequent comdemonstrations of grief, who prescribe panions; but, I believe, never in their rules and fashions to the most solemn highest excesses. As laughter does not a Fiation; such as the loss of the nearest proceed from profound joy, so neither relations and dearest friends. You can does weeping from profound sorrow. tot go to visit a fick friend, but some The sorrow which appears so easily at ini pertinent waiter about him observes the eyes, cannot have pierced deeply the muscles of your face, as strictly as into the heart. The heart diftended it they were prognostics of his death or with grief, stops all the passages for recovery. If he happens to be taken tears or lamentations. from you, you are immediately sur Now, Sir, what I would incline you rounded with numbers of these specta- to in all this, is, that you would inform tors, who expect a melancholy shrug of the fallow critics and observers upon your shoulders, a pathetical shake of forrow, that true affi&tion labours to your head, and an expressive distortion be invisible, that it is a stranger to ceof your face, to measure your affection remony, and that it bears in it's own and value for the deceased: but there nature a dignity much above the little is nothing, on these occafions, so much circumstances which are atiected under in their favour as immoderate weeping. the notion of decency. You must know, As all their passions are superficial,' they Sir, I have lately loft a dear friend, for magine the seat of love and friendship whom I have not yet lied a tear, and


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