תמונות בעמוד

include, not mere inaction only, but all that circle of trifling occupations in which too many faunter away their youth; perpetually engaged in frivolons society, or public amusements ; in the labours of dress, or the oftentation of their persons.--Is this the foundation which you lay for future usefulness and esteem? By such accomplishments do you hope to recommend yourselves to the thinking part of the world, and to answer the ex. pectation of your friends and your country!-Amusements youth requires; it were vain, it were cruel, to prohibit them. But, though allowable as the relaxation, they are most culpable as the business, of the young, For they then become the gulph of time and the poison of the mind. They foment bad passions. They weaken the manly powers. They link the native vigour of youth into contemptible effe minacy.

VIII. Proper Employment of Time. · REDEEMING your time from such dangerous waste,

seek to fill it with employments which you may review with satisfaction. The acquisition of knowledge is one of the most honourable occupations of youth. The desire of it discovers a liberal mind, and is connected with many accomplishments and many virtues. But, though your train of life should not lead you to study, the course of education always furnishes proper employments to a well-disposed mind. Whatever you pursue, be emulous to excel. Generous ambition, and sensibility to praise, are, especially at your age, among the marks of virtue, Think not that any affluence of fortune, or any elevation of rank, exempts you from the duties of application and industry. Industry is the law of our being; it is the demand of nature, of reason, and of God, Re. member always, that the years which pow pats over your heads leave permanent memorials behind thein. From your thoughtlefs minds they may escape ; but they remain in the remembrance of God. They form an important part of the register of your life. They will hereafter bear testimony, either for or against you, at that day, when, for all your actions, but particularly for the employinents of youth, you must give an account to God.-Whether your future course is destined to be


long or hort, after this manner it should commence ;
and, if it continue to be thus conducted, its conclusion,
at what time foever it arrives, will not be inglorious or

IX. The true Patriot.
ANdrew Doria of Genoa, the greatest sea-captain of

the age he lived in, fet his country free from the yoke of France. Beloved by his fellow-citizens, and fupported by the Emperor Charles V. it was in his power to assume fovereignty without the least ftruggle. But he preferred the virtuous satisfaction of giving liberty to his countrymen. He declared in public assembly, that the happiness of seeing them once more restored to liberty, was to him a full reward for all his services : that he claimed no pre-eminence above his equals, but remitted to them absolutely to settle a proper form of government. Doria's magnanimity put an end to factions that had long vexed the state; and a form of government was established with great unanimity, the same, that, with very little alteration, fubfifts at present. Doria lived to a greatage, beloved and honoured by his countrymen; and, without ever making a single step out of his rank as a private citizen, he retained to his dying hour great influence in the republic. Power, founded on love and gratitude, was to him more pleasant than what is founded on sovereignty. His memory is reverenced by the Genoese ; and, in their histories and public monuments, there is bestowed on him the most honourable of all titles FATHER of his COUNTRY, and RESTORER of its LIBERTY.

X. On Contentment, CONTENTMENT produces, in fome measure, all those

effects which the alchymist usually ascribes to what he calls the philosopher's Stone'; and if it does not bring riches, it does the same thing by banishing the desire of them. If it cannot remove the disquietudes arising out of a man's mind, body, or fortune, it makes him easy under them. It has indeed a kindly influence on the foul of man, in respect of every being to whom lie stands related. It extinguishes all murmur, repining, and in




gratitude towards that Being who has allotted him his part to act in this world. It destroys all inordinate ambition, and every tendency to corruption, with regard to the community wherein he is placed. It gives sweetness to his conversation, and a perpetual serenity to all his. thoughts.

Among the many methods which might be made use of for the acquiring of this virtue, I fall only mention the two following First of all, a man should always consider how much he has more than he wants; and se. condly, how much more unhappy he might be than he really is.

First of all, a man should always consider how much he has more than he wants. I am wonderfully pleased with the reply which Aristippus made to one who condoled him upon the loss of a farın : “ Why,' said he, “I have three farms still, and you liave but one ; fo that I ought rather to be afflicted for you than you for me." On the contrary, foolish men are more apt to confider what they have lost than what they poffels ; and to fix their eyes upon those who are richer than themselves, rather than on those who are under greater disficulties. All the real pleasures and conveniencies of life lie in a narrow compass; but it is the humour of mankind to be always looking forward, and straining after one who has got the Itart of them in wealth and honour. For this reason, as there are none can be properly called rich, who have not more than they want; there are few rich men in any of the politer nations but among the middle sort of people, who keep their wishes within their fortunes, and have more wealth than they know how to enjoy. Persons of a higher rank live in a kind of splendid poverty; and are perpetually wanting, because, instead of acquiefcing in the folid pleasures of life, they endeavour to ourvie one another in shadows and appearances. Men of sense have at all times beheld with a great deal of mirth this filly game that is playing over their heads; and, by contracta ing their desires, enjoy all that secret fatisfaction which others are always in quest of. The truth is, this ridicu. lous chase after imaginary pleasures cannot be sufficient. ly exposed, as it is the great source of those evils which generally unde a nation. Let a man's estate be what it.

will, he is a poor man if he does not live within it, anda? naturally sets himself to fale to any one that can give him his price. When Pittacus, after the death of his brother, who had left him a good estate, was offered a great sum of money by the king of Lydia, he thanked him for his kindness, but told him he had already more by half than he knew what to do with. In short, content is equivalent to wealth, and luxury to poverty; or, to give the thought a more agreeable turn,

" Content is natural wealth,” says Socrates ; to which I shall add, Luxury is artificial poverty. I shall therefore recommend to the confideration of those who are always aiming after fuperfluous and imaginary enjoyments, and will not be at the trouble of contracting their desires an excellent · saying of Bion the philosopher, namely, “ That no man has so much care, as he who endeavours after the most happiness."

In the second place, every one ought to reflect how much more unhappy he might be than he really is. The former consideration took in all those who are sufficiently provided with the means to make themselves easy; this regards such as actually lie under fome pressure or misfor, tune. These may receive great alleviation from such a comparison as the unhappy person may make between himself and others, or between the misfortune which lie suffers, and greater misfortunes which might have bem fallen him.

I like the story of the honest Dutchman, who, upon": breaking his leg by a fall from the main-maít, told the standers by, it was a great mercy that it was not his neck. To which, fince I am got into quotations, give me leave to add the saying of an old philofopher, who, after having invited some of his friends to dine with him, was ruffled by his wife that came into the room in a part fion, and threw down the table that stood before them: Every one,” says he, “bas his calamity, and he is a happy man that has no greater than this." We find an instance to the same purpose in the life of Doctor Hama mond, written by Bishop Fell. . As this good man was troubled with a complication of distempers, when he had the gout upon him, he ufed to thank God that it was

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not the stone ; and when he had the stone, that he had not both these distempers on him at the same time.

I cannot conclude this essay without observing, that there was never any lystern besides that of Christianity, which could effectually produce in the mind of man the virtue I have been hitherto speaking of. In order to make us contented with or condition, many of the prefent philofophers tell us, that our discontent only. hurts ourselves, without being able to make any altera.tion in our circumstances; others, that whatever evil be. fals us is derived to us by a fatal necessity, to which the gods themselves are subject; while others very gravelyx tell the man who is miserable, that it is necessary he should be fo to keep up the harmony of the universe, and that the scheme of Providence would be troubled and pero vérted were he otherwise. These and the like confidera.. tions rather silence than fatisfy a man. They may fhow. him that his discontent is unreasonable, but are by na means sufficient to relieve it. Tlrey rather give despairthan confolation. In a word, a man might reply to one of these comforters, as Augustus did to his friend. who advised hiin not to grieve for the death of a person: whom he loved, because his grief could not fetch him again :: “ It is for that very reason," said the emperorg: u that I grieve.

On the contrary, religion, bears a more tender regard to human nature, It prescribes to every miserable man: the means of bettering his condition : nay, it shows him, that the bearing of his affictions as he ought to do, will naturally end in the removal of them. It makes him eafy here, because it can make him happy hereafter..

XI. Needle-work recommer:ded to the Ladies. I HAVE a couple of nieces under my direétion who

so often run gadding abroad, that I do not know. where to have them. Their dress, their tea, and their: visits take up all their time, and they go to bed as tired with doing nothing, as I am after quilting a whole un. der-petticoat. The whole time they are not idle, is while they read your Spectators; which being dedicated to the interelts of virtue, I desire you to recommend Ilie long-neglected art of needle work. Those hours

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