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lent woman, and the greatness of his grief for the loss of one who has ever been the support to him under all other afflictions. How, thought I, will he be able to bear the hour of her death, that could not, when I was lately with him, speak of a sickness, which was then past, without sorrow! We were now got pretty far into Westminster, and arrived at my friend's house. At the door of it I met Favonius, not without a secret satisfaction to find he had been there. I had formerly conversed with him at this house ; and as he abounds with that sort of virtue and knowledge which makes religion beautiful, and never leads the conversation into the violence and rage of party-disputes, I listened to him with great pleasure. Our discourse chanced to be upon the subject of death, which he treated with such a strength of reason, and greatness of soul, that, instead of being terrible, it appeared to a mind rightly cultivated, altogether to be contemned, or rather to be desired. As I met him at the door, I saw in his face a certain glowing of grief and humanity, heightened with an air of fortitude and resolution, which, as I afterwards found, had such an irresistible force, as to suspend the pains of the dying, and the lamentation of the nearest friends who attended her. I went up directly to the room where she lay, and was met at the entrance by my friend, who, notwithstanding his thoughts had been composed a little before, at the sight of me turned away his face and wept. The little family of children renewed the expressions of their sorrow according to their several ages and degrees of understanding. The eldest daughter was in tears, busied in attendance upon her mother ; others were kneeling about the bedside ; and what
troubled me most was, to see a little boy, who was too young to know the reason, weeping only because his sisters did. The only one in the room who seemed resigned and comforted was the dying person. At my approach to the bedside, she told me, with a low, broken voice, 'This is kindly done-take care of your friend-do not go from him !' She had before taken leave of her husband and children, in a manner proper for so solemn a parting, and with a gracefulness peculiar to a woman of her character. My heart was torn in pieces, to see the husband on one side suppressing and keeping down the swellings of his grief, for fear of disturbing her in her last moments; and the wife, even at that time, concealing the pains she endured, for fear of increasing his affliction. She kept her eyes upon him for some moments after she grew speechless, and soon after closed them for ever. In the moment of her departure, my friend, who had thus far commanded himself, gave a deep groan, and fell into a swoon by her bedside. The distraction of the children, who thought they saw both their parents expiring together, and now lying dead before them, would have melted the hardest heart ; but they soon perceived their father recover, whom I helped to remove into another room, with a resolution to accompany him until the first pangs of his affliction were abated. I knew consolation would now be impertinent; and therefore contented myself to sit by him, and condole with him in silence. For I shall here use the method of an ancient author, who, in one of his epistles, relating the virtues and death of Macrinus's wife, expresses himself thus : 'I shall suspend my advice to this best of friends, until he is made capable
of receiving it by those three great remedies Necessitas ipsa, dies longa, et satietas doloris — the necessity of submission, length of time, and satiety of grief.
In the meantime, I cannot but consider, with much commiseration, the melancholy state of one who has had such a part of himself torn from him, and which he misses in every circumstance of life. His condition is like that of one who has lately lost his right arm, and is every moment offering to help himself with it. He does not appear to himself the same person in his house, at his table, in company, or in retirement; and loses the relish of all the pleasures and diversions that were before entertaining to him by her participation of them. The most agreeable objects recall the sorrow for her with whom he used to enjoy them. This additional satisfaction, from the taste of pleasures in the society of one we love, is admirably described in Milton, who represents Eve, though in Paradise itself, no further pleased with the beautiful objects around her, than as she sees them in company with Adam, in that passage so inexpressibly charming :
With thee conversing, I forget all time,
With charm of earliest birds, nor rising sun
The variety of images in this passage is infinitely pleasing, and the recapitulation of each particular image, with a little varying of the expression, makes one of the finest turns of words that I have ever seen ; which I rather mention, because Mr. Dryden has said, in his preface to Juvenal, that he could meet with no turn of words in Milton.
It may be further observed, that though the sweetness of these verses has something in it of a pastoral, yet it excels the ordinary kind, as much as the scene of it is above an ordinary field or meadow. I might here, since I am accidentally led into this subject, show several passages in Milton that have as excellent turns of this nature as any of our English poets whatsoever ; but shall only mention that which follows, in which he describes the fallen angels engaged in the intricate disputes of predestination, free-will, and foreknowledge ; and, to humour the perplexity, makes a kind of labyrinth in the very words that describe it.
Others apart sat on a hill retir'd,
[Tatler, No. 114.
Mr. Bíckerstaff has a Day with his
The vigilance, the anxiety, the tenderness, which I have for the good people of England, I am persuaded, will in time be much commended; but I doubt whether they will be ever rewarded. However, I must go on cheerfully in my work of reformation : that being my great design, I am studious to prevent my labours increasing upon me; therefore am particularly observant of the temper and inclinations of childhood and youth, that we may not give vice and folly supplies from the growing generation. It is hardly to be imagined how useful this study is, and what great evils or benefits arise from putting us in our tender years to what we are fit and unfit : therefore, on Tuesday last (with a design to sound their inclinations) I took three lads, who are under my guardianship, a-rambling in a hackney-coach, to show them the town; as the lions, the tombs, Bedlam, and the other places which are entertainments to raw minds, because they strike forcibly on the fancy. The boys are brothers, one of sixteen, the other of fourteen, the other of twelve. The first was his father's darling, the second his mother's, and the third mine, who am their uncle. Mr. William is a lad of true genius; but, being at the upper end of