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fellow, who makes love to the farmer's daughter, hath found me out, and made my case known to the whole neighbourhood.
In planting of the fruit-trees, I have not forgot the peach you are so fond of. I have made a walk of elms along the river side, and intend to sow all the place about it with cowslips, which I hope you will like as well as that I have heard
talk of by your
father's house in the country. *Oh! Zelinda, what a scheme of delight have I drawn up in my imagination! What day-dreams do I indulge myself in! When will the six weeks be at an end, that lie between me and my promised happiness!
• How could you break off so abruptly in your last, and tell me you must go and dress for the play? If you loved as I do, you would find no more company in a crowd than I have in my solitude. I am,' &c.
“ On the back of this letter is written, in the hand of the deceased, the following piece of history:
• Mem. Having waited a whole week for an answer to this letter, I hurried to town where I found the perfidious creature married to my rival. I will bear it as becomes a man, and endeavour to find out happiness for myself in that retirement which I had prepared in vain for a false, ungrateful, woman.”
No. 628. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1714.
Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis ævum.
HOR. EPIST. i. 2. 43. It rolls, and rolls, and will for ever roll.
MR. SPECTATOR, “ THERE are none of your speculations which please me more than those upon infinitude and eternity. You have already considered that part of eternity which is past, and I wish you
would give us your thoughts upon that which is to come.
“ Your readers will, perhaps, receive greater pleasure from this view of eternity than the former, since we have every one of us a concern in that which is to come: whereas a speculation on that which is past is rather curious than useful.
Besides, we can easily conceive it possible for successive duration never to have an end ; though, as you have justly observed, that eternity which never had a beginning is altogether incomprehen
that is, we can conceive an eternal duration which may be, though we cannot an eternal duration which hath been ; or, if I may use the philosophical terms, we may apprehend a potential though not an actual eternity.
“ This notion of a future eternity, which is natural to the mind of man, is an unanswerable argument that he is a being designed for it ; especially if we consider that he is capable of being virtuous or vicious here; that he hath faculties improveable to all eternity; and, by a proper or wrong employment of them, may be happy or miserable throughout that
infinite duration. Our idea, indeed, of this eternity is not of an adequate or fixed nature, but is perpetually growing and enlarging itself toward the object, which is too big for human comprehension. As we are now in the beginnings of existence, so shall we always appear to ourselves as if we were for ever entering upon
it. After a million or two of centuries, some considerable things, already past, may slip out of our memory, which, if it be not strengthened in a wonderful manner, may possibly forget that ever there was a sun or planets; and yet, notwithstanding the long race that we shall then have run, we shall still imagine ourselves just starting from the goal, and find no proportion between that space which we know had a beginning, and what we are sure will never have an end.
« But I shall leave this subject to your management, and question not but you will throw it into such lights as shall at once improve and entertain
“I have, enclosed, sent you a translation * of the speech of Cato on this occasion, which hath accidentally fallen into my hands, and which, for conciseness, purity, and elegance of phrase, cannot be sufficiently admired.
CATO SOLUS, &c.
Cur territa in se refugit anima, cur tremit This translation was by Mr. afterwards Dr. Bland, once school master, then provost of Eton, and dean of Durham.
Attonita, quoties, morte ne pereat, timet?
Quæ demigrabitur alia hinc in corpora ?
[Ensi manum admoyens.
CATO ALONE, &c. It must be so -Plato, thou reas'nest wellElse whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality ; Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction? 'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us; 'Tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter, And intimates eternity to man. Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought! Through what variety of untried being, Through what new scenes and changes must we pass ? The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me; But shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon it. Here will I hold-If there's a Power above us, And that there is all nature cries aloud Through all her works, he must delight in virtue ; And that which he delights in must be happy. But when, or where ? This world was made for Cæsar. I'm weary of conjectures—This must end them.
[Laying his hand on his sword. Thus am I doubly arm’d; my death and life, My bane and antidote, are both before me. This in a moment brings me to an end; But this informs me I shall never die. The soul, secured in her existence, smiles At the drawn dagger, and defies its point. The stars shall fade away, the sun himself Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years; But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, Unhurt amidst the war of elements, The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds,