Imágenes de páginas


vithout disorder, rather than that it should be No. 46.] SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 1750.
oroken or obstructed by violence of accidents or
length of time.

Genus, et proavos, et qua non fecimus ipsi,
The same reflection arises in my mind, upon Vix ea nostra voco
observation of the manner in which marriage is
frequently contracted. When I see the avari Nought from my birth or ancestors I claim;
cious and crafty taking companions to their ta All is my own, my honour and


shame bles and their beds without any inquiry, but after farms and money; or the giddy and thought

TO THE RAMBLER. less uniting themselves for life to those whom they have only seen by the light of tapers at a SIR, ball; when parents make articles for their chil. Since I find that you have paid so much regard dren, without inquiring after their consent; when to my complaints as to publish ther, I am insome marry for heirs to disappoint their brothers, clined by vanity, or gratitude, to continue our cor and others throw themselves into the arms of respondence; and, indeed, without either of these those whom they do not love, because they have motives, am glad of an opportunity to write, for found themselves rejected where they were more I am not accustomed to keep in any thing that solicitous to please; when some marry because swells my heart, and have here none with whom their servants cheat them, some because they I can freely converse. While I am thus emsquander their own money, some because their ployed, some tedious hours will slip away, and houses are pestered with company, some because when I return to watch the clock, I shall find they will live like other people, and some only that I have disburdened myself of part of the because they are sick of themselves, I am not so day, much inclined to wonder that marriage is some You perceive that I do not pretend to write times unhappy, as that it appears so little loaded with much consideration of any thing but my own with calamity;

and cannot but conclude that so- convenience; and, not to conceal from you my ciety has something in itself eminently agreeable real sentiments, the little time which I have to human nature, when I find its pleasures so spent, against my will, in solitary meditation, great, that even the ill choice of a companion can has not much contributed to my veneration for hardly overbalance them.

authors, I have now sufficient reason to suspect, By the ancient custom of the Muscovites, the that, with all your splendid professions of wismen and women never saw each other till they dom, and seeming regard for truth, you have were joined beyond the power of parting. It may very little sincerity ; that you either write what be suspected that by this method many unsuita- you do not think, and willingly impose upon ble matches were produced, and many tempers mankind, or that you take no care to think right, associated that were not qualified to give pleasure but while you set, up yourselves as guides, misto each other. Yet perhaps, among a people so lead your followers by credulity or negligence; little delicate, where the paucity of gratifications, that you produce to the public whatever notions and the uniformity of life, gave no opportunity you can speciously maintain, or elegantly exfor imagination to interpose its objections, there press, without inquiring whether they are just, was not much danger of capricious dislike; and and transcribe hereditary falsehoods from old while they felt neither cold nor hunger, they authors perhaps as ignorant and careless as might live quietly together, without any thought yourselves. of the defects of one another.

You may perhaps wonder that I express myAmongst us whom knowledge has made nice, self with so much acrimony on a question in and aiiluence wanton, there are, indeed, more which women are supposed to have very little cautions requisite to secure tranquillity; and yet interest ; and you are likely enough, for I have if we observe the manner in which those con- seen many instances of the sauciness of scholars, *verse, who have singled out each other for mar- to tell me, that I am more properly employed in riage, we shall, perhaps, not think that the Rus- playing with my kittens, than in giving myself sians lost much by their restraint. For the whole airs of criticism, and censuring the learned. But endeavour of both parties, during the times of you are mistaken, if you imagine that I am to be courtship, is to hinder themselves from being intimidated by your contempt; or silenced by known, and to disguise their natural temper, and your reproofs. As I read, I have a right to judge; real désires, in hypocritical imitation, studied as I am injured, I have a right to complain; and compliance, and continual affectation. From the these privileges, which I have purchased at so time that their love is avowed, neither sees the dear a rate, I shall not easily be persuaded to other but in a mask, and the cheat is managed of- resign. ten on both sides with so much art, and discovered To read has, indeed, never been my business, afterward with so much abruptness, that each but as there are hours of leisure in the most achas reason to suspect that some transformation tive life, I have passed the superfluities of time, has happened on the wedding night, and that, by which the diversions of the town left upon my a strange imposture, one has been courted, and hands, in turning over a large collection of traanother married.

gedies and romances, where, amongst other senI desire you, therefore, Mr. Rambler, to ques- timents, common to all authors of this class, I tion all who shall hereafter come to you with ma- have found almost every page filled with the trimonial complaints, concerning their behaviour charms and happiness of a country life: that in the time of courtship, and inform them that life to which every'statesman in the highest elethey are neither to wonder nor repine, when a vation of his prosperity is contriving to retire ; contract begun with fraud has ended in disap- that life to which every tragic heroine in some pointment

scene or other wishes to have been born, and I am, &c.

which is represented as a certain refuge from L

folly, from anxiety, from passion, and from ther had a great-great-grandmother that was an guilt.

attendant on Anna Bullen, and supposed to have It was impossible to read so many passionate been too much a favourite of the king. exclamations, and soothing descriptions, with If once there happens a quarrel between the out feeling some desire to enjoy the state in which principal persons of two families, the malignity all this felicity was to be enjoyed; and therefore is continued without end, and it is common for I received with raptures the invitation of my old maids to fall out about some election, in good aunt, and expected that by some unknown which their grandfathers were competitors; the influence I should find all hopes and fears, heart-burnings of the civil war are not yet extinjealousies and competitions, vanish from my guished; there are two families in the neighbour heart upon my first arrival at the seats of inno-hood who have destroyed each other's game from cence and tranquillity; that I should sleep in the time of Philip and Mary; and when an achalcyon bowers, and wander in elysian gardens, count came of an inundation, which had injured where I should meet with nothing but softness the plantations of a worthy gentleman, one of of benevolence, the candour of simplicity, and the hearers remarked, with exultation, that he the cheerfulness of content; where I should see might now have some notion, of the ravages comreason exerting her sovereignty over life, with- miited by his ancestors in their retreat from Bosout any interruption from envy, avarice, or am-worth. bition, and every day passing in such a manner Thus malice and hatred descend here with an as the severest wisdom should approve.

inheritance, and it is necessary to be well versed This, Mr. Rambler, I tell you I expected, and in history, that the various factions of this country this I had by a hundred authors been taught to may be understood. You cannot expect to be expect. By this expectation I was led hither, on good terms with families who are resolved to and here I live in perpetual uneasiness, without love nothing in common; and, in selecting your any other comfort than that of hoping to return intimates, you are perhaps to consider which to London.

party you most favour in the barons' wars. I Having, since I wrote my former letter, been have often lost the good opinion of my aunt's vidriven, by the mere necessity of escaping from sitants by confounding the interests of York and absolute inactivity, to make myself more ac- Lancaster, and was once censured for sitting sie quainted with the affairs and inhabitants of this lent when William Rufus was called a tyrant. place, I am now no longer an absolute stranger I have, however, now thrown aside all pretences to rural conversation and employments, but am to circumspection, for I find it impossible in less far from discovering in them more innocence or than seven years to learn all the requisite cauwisdom, than in the sentiments or conduct of tions. At London, if you know your company, those with whom I have passed more cheerful and their parents, you are safe; but

you are here and more fashionable hours.

suspected of alluding to the slips of great-grandIt is common to reproach the tea-table, and the mothers, and of reviving contests which were depark, with giving opportunities and encourage- cided in armour by the redoubted knights of anment to scandal. I cannot wholly clear them cient times. I hope therefore that you will not from the charge; but must, however, observe, condemn my impatience, if I am weary of attendin favour of the modish prattlers, that, if not by ing where nothing can be learned, and of quarprinciple, we are at least by accident less guilty relling where there is nothing to contest, and that of defamation than the country ladies. For hav- you will contribute to divert me while I stay here ing greater numbers to observe and censure, we by some facetious performance. are commonly content to charge them only with

I am, Sir, their own faults or follies, and seldom give way

EUPHELIA. to malevolence, but such as arises from some injury or affront, real or imaginary, offered to ourselves. But in these distant provinces, where the same families inhabit the same houses from No. 47.] Tuesday, August 28, 1750. age to age, they transmit and recount the faults of a whole succession. I have been informed Quanquam his solatiis acquicscam, debilitor et frangor how every estate in the neighbourhood was

eadem illa humanitate quæ me, ut hoc ipsum permitte

rem, induxit. Non ideo tamen elim durior fieri : nec ig. originally got, and find, if I may credit the ac

noro alios hujusmodi casus nihil amplius vocarc quam counts given me, that there is not a single acre damnum ; eoque sibi magnos homines et sapientes viin the hands of the right owner. I have been deri. Qui an magni sapientesque sint, nescio : homines told of intrigues between beaux, and toasts that

Hominis est enim affici dolore, sentire: re

sistere tamen, et solatia admittere ; non solatiis non have been now three centuries in their quiet graves, and am often entertained with traditional scandal on persons of whose names there would These proceedings have afforded me some comfort in my have been no remembrance, had they not com

distress; notwithstanding which, I am still dispirited and

unhinged by the same motives of humanity that induced mitted somewhat that might disgrace their de me to grant such indulgences. However, I by no means scendants.

wish to become less susceptible of tenderness. I know In one of my visits I happened to commend

these kind of misfortunes would be estimated by other the air and dignity of a young lady, who had just

persons only as common losses, and from such sensations

they would conceive themselves great and wise men. I left the company; upon

which two grave matrons shall not determine either their greatness or their wislooked with great slyness at each other, and the dom; but I am certain they have no humanity. It is the elder asked me whether I had ever seen the pic

part of a man to be affected with grief, to feel sorrow, at

the same time that he is to resist it, and to admit of com ture of Henry the Eighth. You may imagine that

fort.-Earl of Orrery. I did not immediately perceive the propriety of the question: but after having waited a while for Of the passions with which the mind of man is information, I was told that the lady's grandmo- agitated, it may be observed, that they naturally

non sunt.



[ocr errors][ocr errors]

hasten towards their own extinction, by inciting ble, as the offspring of love, or at least pardonand quickening the attainment of their objects. able, as the effect of weakness; but that it ought Thus fear urges our flight, and desire animates not to be suffered to increase by indulgence, but our progress; and if there are some which per- must give way, after a stated time, to social du haps may be indulged till they outgrow the good ties, and the common avocations of life. It is at appropriated to their satisfaction, as it is fre-first unavoidable, and therefore must be allowed, quently observed of avarice and ambition, yet whether with or without our choice; it may aftertheir immediate tendency is to some means of wards be admitted as a decent and affectionate happiness really existing, and generally within testimony of kindness and esteem; something the prospect. The miser always imagines that will be extorted by nature, and something may there is a certain sum that will fill his heart to be given to the world. But all beyond the bursts the brim; and every ambitious man, like King of passion, or the forms of solemnity, is not only Pyrrhus, has an acquisition in his thoughts that useless, but culpable ;, for we have no right to is to terminate his labours, after which he shall sacrifice, to the vain longings of affection, that pass the rest of his life in ease or gayety, in re-time which Providence allows us for the task of pose or devotion.

our station. Sorrow is perhaps the only affection of the Yet it too often happens that sorrow, thus lawbreast that can be excepted from this general re- fully entering, gains such a firm possession of mark, and it therefore deserves the particular at the mind, that it is not afterward to be ejected ; tention of those who have assumed the arduous the mournful ideas, first violently impressed and province of preserving the balance of the mental afterwards willingly received, so much engross constitution. The other passions are diseases the attention, as to predominate in every thought, indeed, but they necessarily direct us to their to darken gayety, and perplex ratiocination. An proper cure. A man at once feels the pain and habitual sadness seizes upon the soul, and the knows the medicine, to which he is carried with faculties are chained to a single object, which greater haste as the evil which requires it is more can never be contemplated but with hopeless excruciating, and cures himself by unerring in- uneasiness. stinct, as the wounded stags of Crete are related From this state of dejection it is very difficult by Ælian to have recourse to vulnerary herbs. to rise to cheerfulness and alacrity; and therefore But for sorrow there is no remedy provided by many, who have laid down rules of intellectual nature; it is often occasioned by accidents irre- health, think preservatives easier than remedies, parable, and dwells upon objects that have lost and teach us not to trust ourselves with favouror changed their existence; it requires what it ite enjoyments, not to indulge the luxury of fondcannot hope, that the laws of the universe should ness, but to keep our minds always suspended be repealed; that the dead should return, or the in such indifference, that we may change the obpast should be recalled.

jects about us without emotion. Sorrow is not that regret for negligence or er An exact compliance with this rule might, perror which may animate us to future care or acti- haps, contribute to tranquillity, but surely it vity, or that repentance of crimes for which, how- would never produce happiness. He thať reever irrevocable, our Creator has promised to ac- gards none so much as to be afraid of losing them, cept it as an atonement; the pain which arises must live for ever without the gentle pleasures from these causes has very salutary effects, and of sympathy and confidence; he must feel no is every hour extenuating itself by the reparation melting fondness, no warmth of benevolence, nor of those miscarriages that produce it. Sorrow any of those honest joys which nature annexes is properly that state of the mind in which our to the power of pleasing. And as no man can desires are fixed upon the past, without looking justly claim more tenderness than he pays, he forward to the future, an incessant wish that must forfeit his share in that officious and watchsomething were otherwise than it has been, a ful kindness which love only can dictate, and tormenting and harassing want of some enjoy: those lenient endearments by which love only ment or possession which we have lost, and can soften life. He may justly be overlooked which no endeavours can possibly regain. Into and neglected by such as have more warmth in such anguish many have sunk upon some sudden their heart; for who would be the friend of him, diminution of their fortune, an unexpected blast whom, with whatever assiduity he'may be courtof their reputation, or the loss of children or of ed, and with whatever services obliged, his prinfriends. They have suffered all sensibility of ciples will not suffer to make equal returns, and pleasure to be destroyed by a single blow, have who, when you have exhausted all the instances given up for ever the hopes of substituting any of good-will

, can only be prevailed on not to be other object in the room of that which they la- an enemy? ment, resigned their lives to gloom and despond An attempt to preserve life in a state of neuency, and worn themselves out in unavailing trality and indifference, is unreasonable and vain. misery.

If by excluding joy we could shut out grief, the Yet so much is this passion the natural conse- scheme would deserve very serious attention ; quence of tenderness and endearment, that how- but since, however we may debar ourselves from ever painful and however useless, it is justly re- happiness, misery will find its way at many inproachful not to feel it on some occasions; and lets, and the assaults of pain will force our reso widely and constantly has it always prevailed, gard, though we may withhold it from the invitathat the laws of some nations, and the customs tions of pleasure, we may surely endeavour to of others, have limited a time for the external raise life above the middle point of apathy at one appearances of grief caused by the dissolution of time, since it will necessarily sink below it at close alliances, and the breach of domestic union. another.

It seems determined by the general suffrage of But though it cannot be reasonable not to gain mankind, that sorrow is to a certain point lauda- | happiness for fear of losing it, yet it must be con

fessed, that in proportion to the pleasure of pos- credulity of those to whom we recount our suf
session, will be for some time our sorrow for the ferings. But if the purpose of lamentation be to
loss; it is therefore the province of the moralist excite pity, it is surely superfluous for age and
to inquire whether such pains may not quickly weakness to tell their plaintive stories; for pity
give way to mitigation. Some have thought that presupposes sympathy, and a little attention will
the most certain way to clear the heart from its show them, that those who do not feel pain, sel-
embarrassment is to drag it by force into scenes dom think that it is felt; and a short recollection
of merriment. Others imagine, that such a tran- will inform almost every man, that he is only re-
sition is too violent, and recommend rather to paid the insult which he has given, since he may
soothe it into tranquillity, by making it acquaint- remember how often he has mocked infirmity,
ed with miseries more dreadful and afflictive, and laughed at its cautions, and censured its im.
diverting to the calamities of others the regard patience.
which we are inclined to fix too closely upon our The valetudinarian race have made the care
own misfortunes.

of health ridiculous by suffering it to prevail over It may be doubted whether either of those re- all other considerations, as the miser has brought medies will be sufficiently powerful. The effi- frugality into contempt, by permitting the love cacy of mirth it is not always easy to try, and of money not to share, but to engross, his mind: the indulgence of melancholy may be suspected they both err alike, by confounding the means to be one of those medicines, which will destroy, with the end; they grasp at health only to be if it happens not to cure.

well, as at money only to be rich; and forget The safe and general antidote against sorrow that every terrestrial advantage is chiefly valuais employment. It is commonly observed, that ble as it furnishes abilities for the exercise of among soldiers and seamen, though there is virtue. much kindness, there is little grief; they see their Health is indeed so necessary to all the duties, friend fall without any of that lamentation which as well as pleasures, of life, that the crime of is indulged in security and idleness, because they squandering it is equal to the folly; and he that have no leisure to spare from the care of them for a short gratification brings weakness and selves; and whoever shall keep his thoughts diseases upon himself, and for the pleasure of a equally busy, will find himself equally unaffected few years passed in the tumults of diversion and with irretrievable losses.

clamouiz of merriment, condemns the maturer Time is observed generally to wear out sor- and more experienced part of his life to the chamrow, and its effects might doubtless be accelerat-ber and the couch, may be justly reproached, ed by quickening the succession, and enlarging not only as a spendthrift of his own happiness, the variety of objects.

but as a robber of the public; as a wretch that

has voluntarily disqualified himself for the busiSi tempore longo

ness of his station, and refused that part which Leniri poterit luctus, tu sperne morari,

Providence assigns him in the general task of Qui sapiet sibi tempus erit.

human nature. 'Tis long ere time can mitigate your grief;

There are perhaps very few conditions more
To wisdom fly, she quickly brings relief.

to be pitied than that of an active and elevated
mind, labouring under the weight of a distem-

pered body. The time of such a man is always Sorrow is a kind of rust of the soul, which eve- spent in forming schemes, which a change of ry new idea contributes in its passage to scour wind hinders him from executing, his powers away. It is the putrefaction of stagnant life, and fume away in projects and in hope, and the day is remedied by exercise and motion.

of action never arrives. He lies down delighted
with the thoughts of to-morrow, pleases his am-

bition with the fame he shall acquire, or his be.
SATURDAY, Sept. 1, 1750.

nevolence with the good he shall confer. But in
the night the skies are overcast, the temper of

the air is changed, he wakes in languor, impaNon est vivere, sed valere, vita.

tience and distraction, and has no longer any For life is not to live, but to be well.

wish but for ease, nor any attention but to misery. It may be said that disease generally be

gins that equality which death completes; the Among the innumerable follies, by which we lay distinctions which set one man so much above up in our youth repentance and remorse for the another are very little perceived in the gloom of succeeding part of our lives, there is scarce any a sick chamber, where it will be vain to expect against which warnings are of less efficacy than entertainment from the gay, or instruction from the neglect of health. When the springs of mo- the wise; where all human glory is obliterated, tion are yet elastic, when the heart bounds with the wit is clo jaed, he reasoner perplexed, and vigour, and the eye sparkles with spirit, it is with the hero subdued; where the highest and brightdifficulty that we are taught to conceive the im- est of mortal being inds nothing left him but the becility that every hour is bringing upon us, or to consciousness of innocence. imagine that the nerves which are now braced There is among the fragments of the Greek with so much strength, and the limbs which play poets a short hymn to Health, in which her with so much activity, will lose all their power power of exalting the happiness of life, of heightunder the gripe of time, relax with numbness, and sening the gifts of fortune, and adding enjoyment totter with d bility.

to possession, is inculcated with so much force To the arguments which have been used and beauty, that no one, who has ever languished against complaints under the miseries of life, the under the discomforts and infirmities of a linger philosophers have, I think, sorgot to add the in- ing disease, can read it without feeling the ima


[ocr errors][ocr errors]



No. 48.]



En his heart, and adding from his own suscitate the powers of digestion. Poverty is, new vigour to the wish, and from his indeed, an evil from which we naturally fly; bui nation new colours to the picture. let us not run from one enemy to another, nor ular occasion of this little composition take shelter in the arms of sickness. vn, but it is probable that the author ick, and in the first raptures of re Projecere animam ! quam vellent æthere in alto our addressed Health in the following

Nunc et pauperiem, et duros perferre labores !




shall save


For healthful indigence in vain they pray,

In quest of wealth who throw their lives away ίεια πρεσβίστα Μακάρων, , Μετά σου ναίοιμι λειπόμενον βιοτάς

Those who lose their health in an irregular and μοι πρόφρων σύνοικος εϊηι. .

impetuous pursuit of literary accomplishments Ερ τις ή πλούτου χάρις ή τεκέων,

are yet less to be excused; for they ought to Σας ευδαιμονός τ' ανθρώπους

know that the body is not forced beyond 'its ηίδος αρχάς, ή πόθων,

strength, but with the loss of more vigour than is τρυφίοις Αφροδίτης άρκυσιν θηρεύομεν,

proportionate to the effect produced. Whoever τις άλλα θεόθεν ανθρώποις τέρψις, , Η πόνων αμπνοα πέφανται:

takes up life beforehand, by depriving himself of σείο, μάκαιρα Υγίεια,

rest and refreshment, must not only pay back the με πάντα, και λάμπει χαρίτων έαρ,

hours, but pay them back with usury; and for Ξέθεν δε χωρίς, ουδείς, ευδαίμων πέλει

the gain of a few months but half enjoyed must

give up years to the listlessness of languor, and - most venerable of the powers of hea- the implacability of pain. They whose endeathee may the remaining part of my

vour is mental excellence, will learn, perhaps too ed, nor do thou refuse to bless me

late, how much it is endangered by diseases of sidence. For whatever there

of the body, and find that knowledge may easily be -f pleasure in wealth, in descendants, lost in the starts of melancholy, the flights of'imeign command, the highest summit of patience, and the peevishness of decrepitude. oyment, or in those objects of human ch we endeavour to chase into the

whatever delight, or whatever so- No. 49.] Tuesday, Sept. 4, 1750. ted by the celestials, to soften our fany presence, thou parent of happiness,

Non omnis moriar, multaque pars mei ys spread out and flourish; in thy Vitabit Libitinam, usque ego postera Soms the spring of pleasure, and with

Crescam laude recens. man is happy."

Whole Horace shall not die; his che power of health, that without its

The greatest portion from the greedy grave. n every other comfort is torpid and the powers of vegetation without the yet this bliss is commonly thrown The first motives of human actions are those

apJughtless negligence, or in foolish ex- petites which Providence has given to man in on our own strength; we let it perish common with the rest of the inhabitants of the membering its value, or waste it to earth. Immediately after our birth, thirst and anuch we have to spare; it is some- hunger incline us to the breast, which we draw 1 up to the management of levity and by instinct, like other young creatures, and when I sometimes sold for the applause of we are satisfied, we express our uneasiness by imlebauchery.

portunate and incessant cries, till we have obs equally neglected, and with equal tained a place or posture proper for repose. -, by the votaries of business and the The next call that rouses us from a state of in. ' pleasure. Some men ruin the fabric activity, is that of our passions; we quickly beies by incessant revels, and others by gin to be sensible of hope and fear, love and ha2 studies; some batter it by excess, tred, desire and aversion; these arising from the

sap it by inactivity. To the noisy power of comparison and reflection, extend their chanalian rioters, it will be to little range wider, as our reason strengthens, and our at advice is offered, though it requires knowledge enlarges. At first we have no thought bilities to prove, that he loses pleasure of pain, but when we actually feel it; we afterealth; their clamours are too loud for wards begin to fear it, yet not before it approaches is of caution, and they run the course us very nearly: but by degrees we discover it at too much precipitance to stop at the a greater distance, and find it lurking in remote lom. Nor perhaps will they that are consequences. Our terror in time improves into adding thousands to thousands, pay caution, and we learn to look round with vigild to him that shall direct them to has- ance and solicitude, to stop all the avenues at owly to their wishes. Yet since lov- which misery can enter, and to perform or eney are generally cool, deliberate and dure many things in themselves toilsome and un

they might surely consider, that the pleasing, because we know by reason or by exod ought not to be sacrificed to the perience, that our labour will be overbalanced by Ith is certainly more valuable than the reward, that it will either procure some posicause it is by health that money is pro- tive good, or avert some evil greater than itself. thousands and millions, are of small

But as the soul advances to a fuller exercise of leviate the protracted tortures of the its powers, the animal appetites and the passions pair the broken organs of sense, or re-immediately arising from nem, are not sufficient.

« AnteriorContinuar »