תמונות בעמוד

XVIII. Ruftic Felicity. MANY are the filent pleafures of the honest peafant,

who rises cheerfully to his labour.-Look into his dwelling,--where the scene of every man's happiness . chiefly lies :-he has the same domestic endearments,as much joy and comfort in his children, and as flattering hopes of their doing well,--to enliveir his hours and gladden his heart, as you could conceive in the moll af Auent ftation.--And I make no doubt, in general, but if the true account of his joys and sufferings were to be balanced with those of his betters, that the upshot would prove to be little more than this ;--that the rich man had the more meat, but the poor man the better ftomach ;-the one had more luxury,-more able phyficians to attend and set him to rights ;-the other, more health and foundness in his bones, and less occafion for their help;--that, after these two articles betwixt them were balanced, in all other things they ftood upon a level :that the fun shines as warm, the air blows as fresh,--and the earth breathes as fragrant upon the one as the other; and that they have an equal thare in all the beauties and real benefits of nature.

XIX. House of mourning. LET us go into the house of mourning, made fo by

fuch afflictions as have been brought in merely by the common cross accidents and disasters to which our condition is exposed,-where, perhaps, the aged parents fut broken-hearted, pierced to their souls with the folly and indiscretion of a thankless child-the child of their prayers, in whom all their hopes and expectations cen. tered :- perhaps a more affecting scene-a virtuous family lying pinched with want, where the unfortunate support of it having long struggled with a train of mis fortumes, and bravely fought up against them,-is now piteously borne down at the last_overwhelmed with a cruel blow which no forecast or frugality could have prevented.-O God! look upon his afflictions.-Behold him di&racted with many furrows, surrounded with the tender pledges of his love, and the partner of his cares


-without bread to give them; unable, from the remembrance of better days, to dig;-to beg, ashamed.

When we enter into the house of mourning such as this mit is impossible to insult the unfortunate even with an improper look--Under whatever levity and diffipation of heart such objects catch our eyes,--they catch likewise our attentions, collect and call home our scattered thoughts, and exercise them with wisdom. A tranfient scene of distress, such as is here sketched, how soon does it furnish materials to set the mind at work! how neceffarily does it engage it"to the confideration of the miseries and misfortunes, the dangers and calamities, to which the life of man is subject! By holding up such a glass before it, it forces the mind to fee and reflect upon the vanity-the perishing condition and uncertain tenure, of every thing in this world. From reflections of this serious cast, low insensibly do the thoughts carTy us farther land from confidering what we are, what kind of world we live in, and what evil betals us in it, how naturally do they fet us to look forward at what possibly, we shall be for what kind of world we are intended-what evils may befal us therè—and what provision we should make against them here whilft we have time and opportunity !f these lelons are so inseparable from the house of mourning here supposed we shall find it a ltill more instructive school of wisdom when we take a view of the place in that affecting light in which the wise man seems to confine ic in the text; in which, by the house of mourning, I believe he means that particular scene of forrow, where there is lamentation and mourning for the dead. Turn in hither, I befeech you, for a moment. Behold a dead man ready to be carried out, the only fon of his mother, and the a widow. Perhaps a. till more affecting {pectacle, a kind and indulgent father of a numercus family lies breathless--snatched away in the strength of his age-torn in an evil hour from his children and the bofom of a disconfolate wife. Behold much people of the city gathered together to mix their tears, with fettled forrow in their looks, going heavily along to the house of mourning, to perform that last melancholy office, which, when the debt of nature is paid, we are



called upon to pay to each other. If this fad occasion which leads him there, has not done it already, take notice, to what a serious and devout frame of mind en very man is reduced the moment he enters this

gate afiliction. The busy and Nuttering spirits, which in the house of mirth were wont to transport him from one diverting object to another-lee how they are fallen ! how peaceably they are laid ! In this gloomy manfion, full of shades and uncomfortable damps to seize the foulfee, the light and easy heart, which never knew what it was to think before, how pensive it is now,

how soft, how susceptible, how full of religious imprellions, how deeply it is smitten with a sense and with a love of vir. tue ! Could we, in this crisis, whilst this empire of reafon and religion laits, and tỉie heart is thus exercised with wisdom and butied with heavenly contemplationscould we fee it naked as it is—Itripped of its passions, unspotted by the world, and regardless of its pleasures -we might then fafeiy reft our cause upon this lingle evidence, and appeal to the most sensual, whether Solomon has not made a just deterinination here, in favour of the house of mourning! not for its own lake, but as it is fruitful in virtue, and becomes the occasion of so much good. Without this end, forrow, I own, has no use but to shorten a man's days—nor can gravity, with all its fiudied folemnity of look and carriage, serve any end but to make one half of the world merry, and impole upon the other.



1. The Honour and Advantage of a conflant Adherence

to Truth. PETRARCH, a celebrated Italian poet, who flourished

about four hundred years ago, recommended himself to the confidence and affection of Cardinal Colonna, in whose family he resided, by his candour and strict regard to truth. A violent quarrel occurred in the household of this nobleman; which was carried so far, that recourse was had to arms. The Cardinal wished to know the foundation of this affair; and, that he might be able to decide with justice, he assembled all his people, and obliged them to bind themselves, by a most folemn oath on the Gospels, to declare the whole truth. Every one, without exception, submitted to this determination ; eso ven the bishop of Luna, brother to the Cardinal, was not excused. Petrarch, in his turn, presenting himself to take the oath, the Cardinal closed the book, and said, As to yoit, Petrarch, your word is suficient.

II. Impertinence in Discourse. THIS kind of impertinence is a habit of talking much

without thinking: A man who has this distemper in his tongue shall en tertain you, ihough he never saw you before, with a long story in praise of his own wife ; give you the particulars of his last night's dream, or the description of a fátft he has been at, without letting a single dish escape him. When he is thus entered into conversation, he grows very wife; descants upon the corruption of the times and the degeneracy of the age we live in ; from which, as his transitions are somewhat sudden, he falls upon the price of corn, and the number of strangers that are in town. He undertakes to prove, that it is better putting to sea in summer than in winter, and that rain is neces. sary to produce a good crop of corn; telling you, in the fame breath, that lie intends to plough up such





you re.

part of his eítate next year, that the times are hard, and that a man has much ado to get through the world. His whole discourse is nothing but 'hurry and incohe

He acquaints you, that Demippus had the largelt torch at the feast of Ceres; asks


if member how many pillars are in the music theatre ; tells you that he took physic yesterday; and desires to know what day of the month it is. If you have patience to hear him, he will inform you what festivals are kept in August, what in October, and what in December.

When you see such a fellow as this coming towards you, run for


life. A man had much better be vifited by a fever; fo painful is it to be fastened upon by one of this make, who takes it for granted that you have nothing else to do but to give him a hearing.

III. Character of Addison as a Writer.
S a describer of life and manners, Mr. Addifon must

be allowed to stand perhaps the first in the first rank. His humour is peculiar to himself; and is fo happily diffused, as to give the grace of novelty to domestic scenes and daily occurrences. He never d'erfleps the modelity of . sature, nor raises merriment or wonder by the violation of truth. His figures neither divert by distortion, nor amaze by aggravation. He copies life with so much fidelity, that he can hardly be said to invent ; yet his exhibitions have an air fo much original, that it is difficult to suppose them not merely the product of imagination.

As a teacher of wisdom, he may be confidently-followed. His religion has nothing in it enthufiastic or superstitious; he appears neither weakly credulous nor. wantonly fceptical ; his morality is neither dangerously Jax, nor implacably rigid. All the enchantments of fancy, and all the cogency of argument, are employed to recommend to the reader his real interest, the care of pleasing the Author of his being. Truth is shown fometimes as the phantom of a vision, sometimes appears half-veiled in an allegory, fometimes attracts regard in the robes of fancy, and sometimes steps forth in the confidence of reason. She wears a thousand dresses, and in hill is plealing

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