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mong other works which he published, addressed two books to Cicero on the analogy of language, or the art of speaking and writing correctly. He was a most liberal patron of wit and learning, wherefoever they were found; and out of his love of those talents, would readily pardon those who had employed them against him. felf; rightly judging, that by making fuch men his friends, he should draw praises from the same fountain from which he had been aspersed. His capital passions were ambition and love of pleasure ; wlich he indulged in their turns to the greatest excels: yet the first was always' predominant; to which he could easily facrifice 211 the charms of the second, and draw pleasure even from toils and dangers, when they ministered to his glory. For he thought Tyranny, as Cicero says, the greatest of goddesses, and had frequently in his mouth a verse of Euripides, which expressed the image of his foul, That if right and justice were ever to be violated, they were to be violated for the sake of reigning. This was the chief end and purpose of his life ; the scheme that he had formed from his early youth: fo that, as Cato truly declared of him, he came with fobriety and meditation to the fubversion of the republic. He used to say, that there were two things necessary to acquire and to support power-soldiers and money ; which yet depended mutually on each other: with money, therefore, he provided soldiers, and with soldiers extorted money; and was, of all men, the most rapacious in plun. dering both friends and foes; sparing reither prince nor state, nor temple, nor even private persons, who were known to poffefs any share of treasure. His great abi. lities would necessarily have made him one of the first citizens of Rome; but, disdaining the condition of a subject, he could never rest till he had made himlelf a monarch. In acting this last part, his usual prudence seemed to fail him; as if the height to which he was mounted had turned his head, and made him giddy : for, by a vain ostentation of his power, he fietroyed the stability of it; and, as men shorten life by living too faft, fo, by an interperance of reigning, he brought his reign to a violent end.
XV, On Mifpent Time. I was yesterday comparing the industry of man with
that of other creatures ; in which I could not but observe, that, not witbitanding we are obliged by duty to keep ourlelves in constant employ, after the fame manner as inferiour animals are prompted to it by instinct, we fall very hort of them in this particular. We are here the more inexcusable, because there is a greater variety of bufiness to which we may apply ourselves : Reason opens to' us a large field of affairs, which other creatures are not capable of. Beasts of prey, and, I be. lieve, of all other kinds in their natural state of being, divide their time between action and rest. They are always at work or afleep. In short, their waking hours are wholly taken up in seeking after their food, or in consuming it. The human species only, to the great reproach of our natures, are filled with complaints, that * the day hangs heavy on them,” that “they do not know what to do with themselves,” that “ they are at a loss how to pass away their time;" with many of the like fhameful murmurs, which we often find in the mouths of those who are styled reasonable beings. How monstrous are such expressions among creatures who have the labours of the mind, as well as those of the body, to furnith them with proper employments; who, besides the business of their proper callings and profesfions, can apply themselves to the duties of religion, tó meditation, to the reading of useful books, to discourse; in a word, who may exercise themselves in the unbounded pursuits of knowledge and virtue, and every hour of their lives make themselves wiser or better than they were before !
After having been taken up for some time in this course of thought, I diverted myself with a book, according to my uliial custom, in order to unbend my mind before I went to sleep. The book I made use of on this occasion was Lucian, where I amused my thoughts for about an hour among the dialogues of the dead ; which in all probability produced the following dream.
I was conveyed, inéthought, into the entrance of the infernal regions, where I saw Rhadamanthus, one of F
the judges of the dead, seated on his tribunal. On his left hand stood the keeper of Erebus, on his right the keeper of Elyfium. I was told lie sat upon women that day, there being several of the fex lately arrived, who had not yet their mansions assigned them. I was surprised to hear him ask every one of them the same.question, namely, What they had been doing? Upon this queition being proposed to the whole assembly, they 1tared one upon anotlier, as not knowing what to anfwer. He then interrogated each of them separately. Madam, says he to the first of them, you have been upon the earth about fifty years: what have you bein doo ing there all this while? Doing, says the ; really I do not know what I have been doing : I desire I may have time given me to recollect. After about half an hour's pause, the told kim that she had been playing at crimp; upon which Rhadamanthus beckoned to the keeper on Juis left hand to take her into cuftody.. And you, Madam, says the judge, that look with such a soft and lan. guishing air ; I think you set ont for this place in your nine-and-twentieth year, what have you been doing all this while ? I had a great deal of business on my hands, fays she, being taken up the first twelve years of my life in dresling a jointed baby, and all the remaining part of it in reading plays and romances. Very well, tays he, you have employed your time to good purpose. Away with her. The next was a plain country-woman: Well, miftress, says Rbadamanthus, and what have you been doing? An't please your worship, says she, I did not live quite forty years; and in that time brought my husband seven laughters, made him nine thousand cheefes, and left my eldest girl with him to look af. ter his house in my absence ; and who, I may venture 10 say, is as pretty a housewife as any in the country, Rhadainanthus Tmiled at the simplicity of the good woman, and ordered the keeper of Elyfium to take her in. to his care. And you, fair lady, says he, what have you been doing there five and thirty years I have been doing no hurt, I affure you, sir, said he. That is well, said he ; but what good have you been doing? The lady was in great confusion at this question ; and, not knowing what to answer, the two keepers leaped
out to seize her at the same time; the one took her by the isand to convey her 10 Elysium, the other caught hold of her to carry her away to Erebus. But Rhadamanthas observing an ingenuous modesty in her countenance and behaviour, bid them both let her loose, and fet her aside for re-examination when he was more at leisure. An old woman, of a proud and four look, presented herself next at the bar; and being asked what the had been doing? Truly, said she, I lived threefcore and ten years in a very wicked world, and was so angry at the behaviour of a parcel of young flirts, that I palled most of my taft years in condemning the follies of the times. I was every day blaming the lilly conduct of people about me, in order to deter
those I conversed with fro:n falling into the like errours and miscarriages: Very well, says Rhadamanthus, but did you keep the fame watchfut eye over your own actions ? Why truly, says she, I was so taken up with publishing the faults of others, that I had no time to consider my own. Madam, says Rhadamanthus, be plealed to file off to the left, and make room for the venerable matron that stands behind you. Old gentlewoman, fays he, I think you are fourscore : you have heard the question ; what have you been doing so long in the world? Ah, Sir, fays she, I have been doing what I should not have done; but I had made a firm resolution to have changed my life, if I had not been firatched off by an untimely end. Madam, says he, you will please to follow your leader; and, spying another of the fame age, interrogate her in the fame form. To which the matron re. plied, I have been the wife of a husband who was as dear to me in his old age as in his youth. I have been a mother, and very happy in my children, whom I endeavoured to bring up in every thing that is good. My eldest son is blest by the poor, and beloved by every one that knows him. I lived within my own family, and left it much more wealthy than I found it. Rhada.
manthus, who knew the value of the old lady, smiled - upon her in such a manner, that the keeper of Elysium,
who knew his office, reached out his hand to her. He No sooner touched her, but her wrinkles vanished, her: eyes sparkled; her cheeks glowed with blushes, and
the appeared in full bloom and beauty. A young woman, observing that this officer who conducted the happy to Elyfium, was so great a beautifier, longed to be in his hands; so that, pressing through the crowd, she was the next that appeared at the bar: and being alked what she had been doing the five and twenty years that she had passed in the world ? I have endeavoured, says she, ever since I came to years of discretion, to make myself lovely, and gain admirers. In order to it, I paft my time in bottling up May-dew, inventing whitewashes, mixing colours, cutting out patches, consulting my glass, Suiting my complexion-Rhadamanthus, with out hearing her out, gave the sign to take her off. Upon the approach of the keeper of Erebus, her colour faded, her face was puckered up with wrinkles, and her whole person lost in deformity.
I was then surprised with a distant found of a whole troop of females that came forward, laughing, singing, : and dancing: I was very desirous to know the recep
tion they would meet with, and withal was very apprehensive that Rhadamanthas would spoil their mirth : but at their nearer approach, the noise grew
very great that it awakened me.
I lay some time reflecting in myself on the oddnefs of this dream ; and could not forbear asking my own heart, 'what I was doing? I answered myself that I was writing Guardians. If my readers make as good à uie of this work as I design they should, I hope it will never be imputed to me as work that is vain and unprofitable..
I tħall conclude this paper with recommending to them the same fort felf-examination. If every one of them frequently lays his hand upon his heart, and confiders what he is doing, it will check him in all the idle, or, what is worse, the vicious, moments of life; lift up his mind when it is running on in a series of indifferent actions, and encourage him when he is engaged in those which are virtuous and laudable. In a word, it wüt very much alleviate that guilt which the best of men have reason to acknowledge in their daily confessions, of “ leaving undone those things which they ought to have done, and of doing those things which they ouglit not to have donc.