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he followed his lawsuit closely, he neglected not his dispensable duty of cuckoldom; though she advanced ordinary business, but was both in court and in his her opinions with a becoming assurance, yet she never shop at the proper hours.
ushered them in, as some positive creatures will do,
with dogmatical assertions--this is infallible ; I cannot Part II. Chap. 1.—The character of John Bull's be mistaken; none but a rogue can deny it. It has Mother. 1—John had a mother, whom he loved and been observed, that such people are oftener in the honoured extremely; a discreet, grave, sober, good- wrong than anybody. conditioned, cleanly old gentlewoman as ever lived ; Though she had a thousand good qualities, she was she was none of your cross-grained, termagant, scold- not without her faults, amongst which one might pering jades, that one had as good be hanged as live in haps reckon too great lenity to her servants, to whom the house with, such as are always ceusuring the con- she always gave good counsel, but often too gentle duct, and telling scandalous stories of their neigh- correction. I thought I could not say less of John bours, extolling their own good qualities, and under. Bull's mother, because she bears a part in the followvaluing those of others. On the contrary, she was of ing transactions. a meek spirit, and, as she was strictly virtuous herself, 80 she always put the best construction upon the Chap. II.—The character of John Bull's sisterl Peg, words and actions of her neighbours, except where with the quarrels that happened between Master and they were irreconcilable to the rules of honesty and Miss in their childhood.—John had a sister, a poor girl decency. She was neither one of your precise prudes, that had been starved at nurse; anybody would have nor one of your fantastical old belles, that dress them- guessed miss to have been bred up under the influence selves like girls of fifteen; as she neither wore a ruff, of a cruel stepdame, and John to be the fondling of a forehead-cloth, nor high-crowned hat, so she had laid tender mother. John looked ruddy and plump, with aside feathers, flowers, and crimpt ribbons in her a pair of cheeks like a trumpeter; miss looked pale head-dress, furbelo scarfs, and hooped petticoats. She and wan, as if she had the green sickness; and no scorned to patch and paint, yet she loved to keep her wonder, for John was the darling; he had all the good hands and her face clean. Though she wore no flaunt- bits, was crammed with good pullet, chicken, pig, ing laced ruffles, she would not keep herself in a con- goose, and capon, while miss had only a little oatstant sweat with greasy flannel ; though her hair was meal and water, or a dry crust without butter. John not stuck with jewels, she was not ashamed of a had his golden pippins, peaches, and nectarines ; poor diamond cross: she was not, like some ladies, hung miss a crab apple, sloe, or a blackberry. Master lay about with toys and trinkets, tweezer-cases, pocket- in the best apartment, with his bedchamber towards glasses, and essence bottles ; she used only a gold the south sun; miss lodged in a garret, exposed to watch and an almanac, to mark the hours and the the north wind, which shrivelled her countenance. holidays.
However, this usage, though it stunted the girl in her Her furniture was neat and genteel, well fancied growth, gave her a hardy constitution ; she had life with a bon gout. As she affected not the grandeur and spirit in abundance, and knew when she was illof a state with a canopy, she thought there was no used : now and then she would seize upon John's offence in an elbow-chair; she had laid aside your commons, snatch a leg of a pullet, or a bit of good carving, gilding, and japan work, as being too apt to beef, for which they were sure to go to fisty-cuffs. gather dirt; but she never could be prerailed upon to Master was indeed too strong for her; but miss would part with plain wainscot and clean hangings. There not yield in the least point, but even when master are some ladies that affect to smell a stink in every- has got her down, she would scratch and bite like a thing; they are always highly perfumed, and con- tiger ; when he gave her a cuff on the ear, she would tinually burning frankincense in their rooms; she prick him with her knitting-needle. John brought a was above such affectation, yet she never would lay great chain one day to tie her to the bedpost, for aside the use of brooms and scrubbing brushes, and which affront miss aimed a penknife at his heart.? In scrupled not to lay her linen in fresh lavender. short, these quarrels grew up to rooted aversions; they
She was no less genteel in her behaviour, well-bred, gave one another nick-names; she called him gundywithout affectation, in the due mean between one of guts, and he called her lousy Peg, though the girl was your affected curtsying pieces of formality, and your a tight clever wench as any was ; and through her pale romps that have no regard to the common rules of looks you might discern spirit and vivacity, which civility. There are some ladies that affect a mighty made her not, indeed, a perfect beauty, but someregard for their relations: we must not eat to-day, thing that was agreeable. It was barbarous in parents for my uncle Tom, or iny cousin Betty, died this time not to take notice of these early quarrels, and make ten years ; let's have a ball to-night, it is my neigh- them live better together, such domestic feuds proving bour such-a-one's birth-day. She looked upon all afterwards the occasion of misfortunes to them both. this as grimace, yet she constantly observed her hus- Peg had, indeed, some odd humours and comical band's birth-day, her wedding-day, and some few more. antipathy, for which John would jeer her. What
Though she was a truly good woman, and bad a think you of my sister Peg (says he), that faints at the sincere motherly love for her son John, yet there sound of an organ, and yet will dance and frisk at the wanted not those who endeavoured to create a misun- noise of a bag-pipe? What's that to you, gundy. derstanding between them, and they had so far pre- guts! (quoth Peg) everybody's to choose their own Tailed with him once, that he turned her out of music.' Then Peg had taken a fancy not to say her doors,2 to his great sorrow, as he found afterwards, for pater noster, which made people imagine strange his affairs went on at sixes and sevens.
things of her. Of the three brothers that have made She was no less judicious in the turn of her conver- such a clutter in the world, Lord Peter, Martin, and sation and choice of her studies, in which she far ex- Jack,3 Jack had of late been her inclinations : Lord ceeded all her sex; your rakes that hate the company Peter she detested; nor did Martin stand much better of all sober grave gentlewomen, would bear hers; and in her good graces ; but Jack had found the way to her she would, by her handsome manner of proceeding, heart. sooner reclaim them than some that were more sour
1 The nation and church of Scotland. and reserved. She was a zealous preacher up of
2 Henry VIII., to unite the two kingdoms under one sovechastity, and conjugal fidelity in wives, and by no
reign, offered his daughter Mary to James V. of Scotland, this means a friend to the new-fangled doctrine of the in- offer was rejected, and followed by a war: to this event pro
bably the author alludes. See page 305 of this volume. 1 The church of England. . In the rebellion of 1641. 3 The Pope, Luther, and Calvin.
The following extract will serve as a specimen of reared up in the several branches of those sciences Dr Arbuthnot's serious composition. It is taken which they have cultivated, will hardly bear with the from an essay on the
confusion and disorder of other sciences, but endea.
vour, as far as he can, to reform them. Usefulness of Mathematical Learning.
Thirdly, mathematical knowledge adds vigour to
the mind, frees it from prejudice, credulity, and The advantages which accrue to the mind by ma- superstition. This it does in two ways: 1st, By acthematical studies, consist chiefly these things : customing us to examine, and not to take things upra 1st, In accustoming it to attention, 2d, In giving it a trust. 22, By giving us a clear and extensive know. habit of close and demonstrative reasoning. 3d, In ledge of the system of the world, which, as it creates freeing it from prejudice, credulity, and superstition. in us the most profound reverence of the Almigbty
First, the mathematics make the mind attentive to and wise Creator, so it frees us from the mean and the objects which it considers. This they do by' en- narrow thoughts which ignorance and superstition are tertaining it with a great variety of truths, which are apt to beget. The mathematics are friends to delightful and evident, but not obvious. Truth is the religion, inasmuch as they charm the passions, resame thing to the understanding as music to the ear strain the impetuosity of imagination, and purge the and beauty to the eye. The pursuit of it does really mind from error and prejudice. Vice is error, conas much gratify a natural faculty implanted in us by fusion, and false reasoning; and all truth is more or our wise Creator, as the pleasing of our senses : only less opposite to it. Besides, mathematical studies in the former case, as the object and faculty are more may serve for a pleasant entertainment for those bours spiritual, the delight is the more pure, free from the which young men are apt to throw away upon their reyret, turpitude, lassitude, and intemperance, that vices ;, the delightfulness of them being such as to commonly attend sensual pleasures. The most part make solitude not only easy, but desirable. of other sciences consisting only of probable reasonings, the mind has not where to fix, and wanting sufficient principles to pursue its searches upon, gives them over as impossible. Again, as in mathematical HENRY St John VISCOUNT BOLINGBROKE was in investigations truth may be found, so it is not always his own day the most conspicuous and illustrious oi obvious. This spurs the mind, and makes it diligent that friendly band of Jacobite wits and poets who and attentive.
adorned the reigns of Anne and George I. He is The second advantage which the mind reaps from now the least popular of the whole. St John was mathematical knowledge, is a habit of clear, demon- descended from an ancient fantily, and was born at strative, and methodical reasoning. We are contrived Battersea, in Surrey, in 1672. He was educated at by nature to learn by imitation more than by precept; Eton and Oxford. After some years of dissipation and I believe in that respect reasoning is much like he entered parliament, and was successively seereother inferior arts (as dancing, singing, &c.), acquired tary at war and secretary of state. He was elevated by practice. By accustoming ourselves to reason closely about quantity, we acquire a habit of doing so in other things. It is surprising to see what superficial inconsequential reasonings satisfy the most part of mankind. A piece of wit, a jest, a simile, or a quotation of an author, passes for a mighty argument: with such things as these are the most part of authors stuffed ; and from these weighty premises they infer their conclusions. This weakness and effeminacy of mankind, in being persuaded where they are delighted, have made them the sport of orators, poets, to the peerage in 1712. On the death of Queen and men of wit. Those lumina orationis are indeed very good diversion for the fancy, but are not the Anne, the seals of office were taken from him, and proper business of the understanding; and where a
he was threatened with impeachment for the share man pretends to write on abstract subjects in a seien- lie had taken in negotiating the treaty of Utrecht tifical method, he ought not to debauch in them. Boling broke retired to France, and entered into the Logical precepts are inore useful, nay, they are abso- Pretender's service as secretary. Here, also, he belutely necessary, for a rule of formal arguing in pub- came unpopular, and was accused of neglect and inlic disputations, and confounding an obstinate and capacity. Dismissed from his second secretaryship, perverse adversary, and exposing him to the audience he had recourse to literature, and produced his Re or readers. But, in the search of truth, an imitation flections on Erile, and a letter to Sir William Wynd. l. of the method of the geometers will carry a man far- ham, containing a defence of his conduct. In 1723 ther than all the dialectical rules. Their analysis is he obtained a full pardon, and returned to England; the proper model we ought to form ourselves upon, his family inheritance was restored to him, but he and imitate in the regular disposition and progress of was excluded from the House of Lords. He comour inquiries; and even he who is ignorant of the menced an active opposition to Walpole, and wrote a nature of mathematical analysis, uses a method some- number of political tracts against the Whig ministry. what analogous to it. The composition of the geo- In 1735 he retired again to France, and resided there meters, or their method of demonstrating truths seven years, during wliich time he produced his Let. already found out, namely, by definitions of words ters on the Study of History, and a Letter on the True agreed upon, by self-evident truths, and propositions Use of Retirement. The last ten years of his life were that have been already demonstrated, is practicable spent at Battersea. In 1749 appeared his Letters or in other subjects, though not to the same perfection, the Spirit of Patriotism, and Idea of a Patriot King, the natural want of evidence in the things themselves with a preface by David Mallet, which led to a bitter not allowing it ; but it is imitable to a considerable and acrimonious war of pamphlets. Bolingbroke's degree. I dare appeal to some writings of our own treatise had been put into the hands of Pope, that age and nation, the authors of which have been ma- he might have a few copies printed for private cir. the natically inclined. I shall ald no more on this culation. After the death of Pope, it was found that head, but that one who is accustomed to the metho. an impression of 1500 had been printed, and this dical systems of truths which the geometers have | Bulingbruke affected to consider a heinous breach of
trust. The transaction arose from Pope's admiration business ; my head often full of schemes, and my of his friend ; he had not only expended his time in heart as often full of anxiety. Is it a misfortune, correcting the work, but his money in printing it, think you, that I rise at this hour refreshed, serene, without any possibility of deriving from it either and calm ; that the past and even the present affairs credit or advantage. The anger of Bolingbroke is of life stand like objects at a distance from me, where more justly considered to have been only a pretext, I can keep off the disagreeable, so as not to be the real ground of offence being the poet's preference strongly affected by them, and from whence I can of Warburton, to whom he left the valuable property draw the others nearer to me? Passions, in their in his printed works. Bolingbroke died in 1751, and force, would bring all these, nay, even future contin
gencies, about my ears at once, and reason would ill defend me in the scuffle.'
A loftier spirit of philosophy pervades the following eloquent sentence on the independence of the mind with respect to external circumstances and situation : Believe me, the providence of God has established such an order in the world, that of all which belongs to us, the least valuable parts can alone fall under the will of others. Whatever is best is safest, lies most out of the reach of human power, can neither be given nor taken away. Such is this great and beautiful work of nature-the world. Such is the mind of man, which contemplates and admires the world, where it makes the noblest part. These are inseparably ours; and as long as we remain in one, we shall enjoy the other. Let us march, therefore, intrepidly, wherever we are led by the course of human accidents. Wherever they lead us, on what coast soever we are thrown by them, we shall not find ourselves absolutely strangers. We shall meet with men and women, creatures of the same figure, endowed with the same faculties, and born under the
same laws of nature. We shall see the same virtues Bolingbroke's Monument in Battersea Church. and vices flowing from the same general principles,
but varied in a thousand different and contrary Mallet (to whom he had left all his manuscripts) pub- modes, according to that infinite variety of laws and lished a complete edition of his works in five yolumes.customs which is established for the same universal A series of essays on religion and philosophy, first end the preservation of society. We shall feel the published in this collection, disclosed the noble
author same revolutions of seasons; and the same sun and as an opponent of Christianity. Of lofty irregular moon will guide the course of our year. The same views and character, vain, ambitious, and vindictive, azure vault, bespangled with stars, will be every. yet eloquent and imaginative, we may admire, but where spread over our heads. There is no part of cannot love Bolingbroke. The friendship of Pope was the world from whence we may not admire those the brightest gem in his coronet ; yet by one ungrate planets, which roll, like ours, in different orbits round ful and unfeeling act he sullied its lustre, and,
the same central sun; from whence we may not disLike the base Judean, threw a pearl away,
cover an object still more stupendous, that army of Richer than all his tribe.
fixed stars hung up in the immense space of the uni
verse, innumerable suns, whose beams enlighten and The writings of Bolingbroke are animated by mo- cherish the unknown worlds which roll around them; mentary or factions feeling, rather than by any and whilst I am ravished by such contemplations as fixed principle or philosophical views. In expres- these, whilst my soul is thus raised up to heaven, it sion he is often vivid and felicitous, with a rambling imports me little what ground I tread upon.' yet lively style, and a power of moral painting that presents pictures to the eye of the mind. In one of his letters to Swift, we find him thus finely (National Partiality and Prejudice.] moralising-We are both in the decline of life, my There is scarce any folly or vice more epidemical dear dean, and have been some years going down among the sons of men than that ridiculous and hurtthe hill ; let us make the passage as smooth as we ful vanity by which the people of each country are
Let us fence against physical evil by care, apt to prefer themselves to those of every other; and and the use of those means which experience must to make their own customs, and manners, and opinions, have pointed out to us ; let us fence against moral the standards of right and wrong, of true and false. evil bý philosophy. We may, nay (if we will follow The Chinese mandarins were strangely surprised, and nature and do not work up imagination against her almost incredulous, when the Jesuits showed them plainest dictates) we shall, of course, grow every year how small a figure their empire made in the general more indifferent to life, and to the affairs and inte map of the world. Now, nothing can contri. rests of a system out of which we are soon to go. bute more to prevent us from being tainted with this This is much better than stupidity. The decay of vanity, than to accustom ourselves early to contempassion strengthens philosophy, for passion may de- plate the different nations of the earth, in that vast cay, and stupidity not succeed. Passions (says Pope, map which history spreads before us, in their rise and our divine, as you will see one time or other) are their fall, in their barbarous and civilised states, in the gales of life ; let us not complain that they do the likeness and unlikeness of them all to one another, not blow a storm. What hurt does age do us in and of each to itself. By frequently renewing this subduing what we toil to subdue all our lives? It is prospect to the mind, the Mexican with his cap and now six in the morning ; I recall the time (and am coat of feathers, sacrificing a human victim to his god, glad it is over) when about this hour I used to be will not appear more savage to our eyes than the going to bed surfeited with pleasure, or jaded with | Spaniard with a hat on his head, and a gonilla round his neck, sacrificing whole nations to his ambition, mory; and if he omitted anything, it was that very his avarice, and even the wantonness of his cruelty. thing to which the sense of the whole question should I might show, by a multitude of other examples, how have led him or confined him. To ask him a question history prepares us for experience, and guides us in was to wind up a spring in his memory, that rattled it; and many of these would be both curious and im-on with vast rapidity and confused noise, till the force portant. I might likewise bring several other in- of it was spent; and you went away with all the noise stances, wherein history serves to purge the mind of in your ears, stunned and uninformed. I never left those national partialities and prejudices that we are him that I was not ready to say to him, Dicu rous fasse apt to contract in our education, and that experience la grace de devenir moins savant!—['God grant you a for the most part rather confirms than removes ; be- decrease of learning !']—a wish that La Mothe le Vayer cause it is for the most part confined, like our educa- mentions upon some occasion or other, and that he tion. But I apprehend growing too prolix, and shall would have done well to have applied to himself upon therefore conclude this head by observing, that though many. an early and proper application to the study of his- He who reads with discernment and choice, will tory will contribute extremely to keep our minds free acquire less learning, but more knowledge ; and as from a ridiculous partiality in favour of our own this knowledge is collected with design, and cultivated country, and a vicious prejudice against others, yet with art and method, it will be at all times of immethe same study will create in us a preference of affec- diate and ready use to himself and others. tion to our own country. There is a story told of
Thus useful arms in magazines we place, Abgarus. He brought several beasts taken in different places to Rome, they say, and let them loose
All ranged in order, and disposed with grace; before Augustus ; every beast ran immediately to that
Nor thus alone the curious eye to please,
But to be found, when need requires, with ease. part of the circus where a parcel of earth taken from his native soil had been laid. Credat Judæus A pella. You remember the verses, my lord, in our friend's This tale might pass on Josephus; for in him, I be- Essay on Criticism, which was the work of his child. lieve, I read it; but surely the love of our country is hood almost ; but is such a monument of good sense a lesson of reason, not an institution of nature. Edu- and poetry, as no other, that I know, has raised in his cation and habit, obligation and interest, attach us to riper years. it, not instinct. It is, however, so necessary to be He who reads without this discernment and choice, cultivated, and the prosperity of all societies, as well and, like Bodin's pupil, resolves to read all, will not as the grandeur of soine, depends upon it so much, have time, no, nor capacity neither, to do anything that orators by their eloquence, and poets by their else. He will not be able to think, without which it enthusiasm, have endeavoured to work up this precept is impertinent to read; nor to act, without which it of morality into a principle of passion. But the is impertinent to think. He will assemble materials examples which we find in history, improved by the with much pains, and purchase them at much expense, lively descriptions and the just applauses or censures and have neither leisure nor skill to frame them into of historians, will have a much better and more per proper scantlings, or to prepare them for use. To manent effect than declamation, or song, or the dry what purpose should he husband his time, or learn ethics of mere philosophy.
architecture! he has no design to build. But then,
to what purpose all these quarties of stone, all these [Absurdity of Useless Learning.]
mountains of sand and lime, all these forests of oak
and deal ? Some [histories) are to be read, some are to be studied, and some may be neglected entirely, not only (Unreasonableness of Complaints of the Shortness of without detriment, but with advantage. Some are
Human Life.] the proper objects of one man's curiosity, some of another's, and some of all men's; but all history is not I think very differently from most men, of the an object of curiosity for any man. He who impro- time we have to pass, and the business we have perly, wantonly, and absurdly makes it so, indulges a to do, in this world. I think we have more of one, sort of canine appetite ; the curiosity of one, like the and less of the other, than is commonly supposed. hunger of the other, devours ravenously, and without Our want of time, and the shortness of human life, distinction, whatever falls in its way, but neither of are some of the principal commonplace complaints, them digests. They heap crudity upon crudity, and which we prefer against the established order of things; nourish and improve nothing but their distemper. they are the grumblings of the vulgar, and the pathe. Some such characters I have known, though it is not tic lamentations of the philosopher; but they are im. the most common extreme into which men are apt to pertinent and impious in both. The man of business fall. One of them I knew in this country. He joined despises the man of pleasure for squandering his time to a more than athletic strength of body a prodigious away; the man of pleasure pities or laughs at the memory, and to both a prodigious industry. He had man of business for the same thing; and yet both conread almost constantly twelve or fourteen hours a-day cur superciliously and absurdly to find fault with the for five-and-twenty or thirty years, and had heaped Supreme Being for having given them so little time. together as much learning as could be crowded into a The philosopher, who mispends it very often as much head. In the course of my acquaintance with him, I as the others, joins in the same cry, and authorises consulted him once or twice, not oftener; for I found this impiety. Theophrastus thought it extremely hard this mass of learning of as little use to me as to the to die at ninety, and to go out of the world when he
The man was communicative enough; but had just learned how to live in it. His master Arisnothing was distinct in his mind. How could it be totle found fault with nature for treating man in this otherwise ? he had never spared time to think ; all was respect worse than several other animals; both very employed in reading. His reason had not the merit unphilosophically! and I love Seneca the better for of common mechanism. When you press a watch, or his quarrel with the Stagirite on this head. We see, pull a clock, they answer your question with precision; in so many instances, a just proportion of things, acfor they repeat exactly the hour of the day, and tell cording to their several relations to one another, that you neither more nor less than you desire to know. philosophy should lead us to conclude this proportion But when you asked this man a question, he over: preserved, even where we cannot discern it ; instead whelmed you by pouring forth all that the several of leading us to conclude that it is not preserved where terms or words of your question recalled to his me- we do not discern it, or where we think that we see
the contrary. To conclude otherwise is shocking pre- life in order to reconcile you to his wisdom and goodsumption. It is to presume that the system of the ness? It is plain, at least highly probable, that a life universe would have been more wisely contrived, if as long as that of the most aged of the patriarchs creatures of our low rank among intellectual natures would be too short to answer your purposes; sis.ce had been called to the councils of the Most High; or the researches and disputes in which you are engaged that the Creator ought to mend his work by the ad- have been already for a much longer time the objects vice of the creature. That life which seems to our of learned inquiries, and remain still as imperfect and self-love so short, when we compare it with the ideas undetermined as they were at first. But let me ask we frame of eternity, or even with the duration of you again, and deceive neither yourself nor me, have some other beings, will appear sufficient, upon a less par- you, in the course of these forty years, once examined tial view, to all the ends of our creation, and of a just the first principles and the fundamental facts on proportion in the successive course of generations. which all those questions depend, with an absolute The term itself is long; we render it short; and the indifference of judgment, and with a scrupulous exactwant we complain of flows from our profusion, not ness? with the same that you have employed in exafrom our poverty. We are all arrant spendthrifts; mining the various consequences drawn from them, some of us dissipate our estates on the trifles, some on and the heterodox opinions about them? Have you the superfluities, and then we all complain that we not taken them for granted in the whole course of want the necessaries, of life. The much greatest part your studies ? Or, if you have looked now and then never reclaim, but die bankrupts to God and man. on the state of the proofs brought to maintain them, Others reclaim late, and they are apt to imagine, have you not done it as a mathematician looks over & when they make up their accounts, and see how their demonstration formerly made-to refresh his memory, fund is diminished, that they have not enough re- not to satisfy any doubt! If you have thus examined, maining to live upon, because they have not the whole. it may appear marvellous to some that you have But they deceive themselves ; they were richer than spent so much time in many parts of those studies, they thought, and they are not yet poor. If they hus- which have reduced you to this hectic condition of so band well the remainder, it will be found sufficient much heat and weakness. But if you have not thus for all the necessaries, and for some of the superflui- examined, it must be evident to all, nay, to yourself ties, and trifles too, perhaps, of life; but then the on the least cool reflection, that you are still, notwithformer order of expense must be inverted, and the standing all your learning, in a state of ignorance. necessaries of life must be provided, before they put For knowledge can alone produce knowledge; and themselves to any cost for the trifles or superfluities. without such an examination of axioms and facts, you
Let us leave the men of pleasure and of business, can have none about inferences.' who are often candid enough to own that they throw In this manner one might expostulate very reasonaway their time, and thereby to confess that they ably with many a great scholar, many a profound complain of the Supreme Being for no other reason philosopher, many a dogmatical casuist. And it than this, that he has not proportioned his bounty to serves to set the complaints about want of time, and their extravagance. Let us consider the scholar and the shortness of human life, in a very ridiculous but philosopher, who, far from owning that he throws any a true light. time away, reproves others for doing it; that solemn mortal, who abstains from the pleasures, and declines
[Pleasures of a Patriot.] the business of the world, that he may dedicate his whole time to the search of truth and the improve- Neither Montaigne in writing his essays, nor Desment of knowledge. When such a one complains of cartes in building new worlds, nor Burnet in framing the shortness of human life in general, or of his re- an antediluvian earth, no, nor Newton in discovering maining share in particular, might not a man, more and establishing the true laws of nature on experireasonable, though less solemn, expostulate thus with ment and a sublimer geometry, felt more intellectual him :
-Your complaint is indeed consistent with joys, than he feels who is a real patriot, who bends all your practice; but you would not possibly renew your the force of his understanding, and directs all his complaint if you reviewed your practice. Though thoughts and actions, to the good of his country. reading makes a scholar, yet every scholar is not a When such a man forms a political scheme, and philosopher, nor every philosopher a wise man. It adjusts various and seemingly independent parts in it cost you twenty years to devour all the volumes on to one great and good design, he is transported by one side of your library; you came out a great critic imagination, or absorbed in meditation, as much and in Latin and Greek, in the oriental tongues, in history as agreeably as they; and the satisfaction that arises and chronology; but you were not satisfied. You con- from the different importance of these objects, in fessed that these were the literæ nihil sanantes, and every step of the work, is vastly in his favour. It is you wanted more time to acquire other knowledge. here that the speculative philosopher's labour and You have had this time ; you have passed twenty pleasure end. But he who speculates in order to act, years more on the other side of your library, among goes on and carries his scheme into execution. His philosophers, rabbis, commentators, schoolmen, and labour continues, it varies, it increases ; but so does whole legions of modern doctors. You are extremely his pleasure too. The execution, indeed, is often trawell versed in all that has been written concerning versed, by unforeseen and untoward circumstances, the nature of God, and of the soul of man, about by the perverseness or treachery of friends, and by the matter and form, body and spirit, and space and power or malice of enemies ; but the first and the last eternal essences, and incorporeal substances, and the of these animate, and the docility and fidelity of some rest of those profound speculations. You are a master men make amends for the perverseness and treachery of the controversies that have arisen about nature of others. Whilst a great event is in suspense, the and grace, about predestination and free will, and all action warms, and the very suspense, made up of the other abstruse questions that have made so much hope and fear, maintain no unpleasing agitation in noise in the schools, and done so much hurt in the the mind. If the event is decided suco
uccessfully, such a world. You are going on, as fast as the infirmities man enjoys pleasure proportionable to the good he has you have contracted will permit, in the same course done-a pleasure like to that which is attributed to of study; but you begin to foresee that you shall the Supreme Being on a survey of his works. If the want time, and you make grievous complaints of the event is decided otherwise, and usurping courts or shortness of human life. Give me leave now to ask overbearing parties prevail, such a man has still the you how many thousand years God must prolong your testimony of his conscience, and a sense of the honour