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observe frequently to act with great consideration and prudence, when at other times we cannot penetrate the drift of his proceedings, we must yet imagine that he hath some latent reason, some reach of policy that we are not aware of; or as in an engine consisting of parts, curiously combined, whereof we do perceive the general use, and apprehend how divers parts thereof conduce thereto, reason prompts us (although we neither see them all, nor can comprehend the immediate serviceableness of some) to think they are all in some way or other subservient to the Artist's design: such an agent is GOD, the wisdom of whose proceedings being in so many instances notorious, we ought to suppose it answerable to the rest: such an engine is this world, of which we may easily enough discern the general end, and how many of its parts do conduce thereto: and cannot therefore in reason but suppose the rest in their kind alike congruous and conducible to the same purpose. I. BARROW

337. ELIZABETH, QUEEN OF KING EDWARD THE FOURTH. This lady was amongst the examples of great varietie of fortune. Shee had first from a distressed suitor and desolate widow beene taken to the marriage-bed of a Bachelour-king, the goodliest personage of his time, and even in his raigne she had endured a strange eclipse by the king's flight and temporarie depriving from the Crowne. Shee was also very happie, in that she had by him faire issue. She was much affectionate to her owne kindred, even unto faction; which did stirre great envie in the lords of the King's side, who counted her bloud a disparagement to be mingled with the King's. With which the Lords of the King's bloud joyned also the King's fauourite the Lord Hastings; who, notwithstanding the King's great affection to him, was thought at times, through her malice and splene, not to be out of danger of falling. After her husband's death, she was matter of tragedie, having lived to see her brother beheaded and her two sonnes deposed from the Crowne, bastarded in their bloud and cruelly murthered. All this while neuerthelesse shee enjoyed her libertie, state and fortunes. But afterwards againe, upon the rise of the wheele, when she had a King to her sonne-in-law, and was made grandmother to a grandchild of the best sex; yet was she (upon darke and unknown reasons and no lesse strange pretences) precipitated and banished the world. She was Foundress of Queens' College in Cambridge.


338. THE COUNTESS OF NOTTINGHAM, falling into sickness, and affected with the near approach of death, was seized with remorse for her conduct; and having obtained a visit from the Queen she craved her pardon, and revealed to her the fatal secret. The Queen, astonished with this incident, burst into a furious passion: she shook the dying countess in her bed; and crying to her, that God might pardon her, but she never could, she broke from her, and thenceforth resigned herself over to the deepest and most incurable melancholy. She rejected all consolation: she even refused food and sustenance; and, throwing herself on the floor, she remained sullen and immoveable, feeding her thoughts on her afflictions, and declaring life and existence an insufferable burden to her. Few words she uttered; and they were all expressive of some inward griefs, which she cared not to reveal: but sighs and groans were the chief vent which she gave to her despondency, and which, though they discovered her sorrows, were never able to ease or assuage them.


339. A JEWISH TRADITION CONCERNING MOSES. I shall relieve my readers from this abstracted thought, by relating here a Jewish tradition concerning Moses, which seems to be a kind of parable, illustrating what I have last mentioned. That great prophet, it is said, was called up by a voice from heaven to the top of a mountain; where in a conference with the Supreme Being, he was admitted to propose to him some questions concerning his administration of the universe. In the midst of this divine colloquy he was commanded to look down on the plain below. At the foot of the mountain there issued out a clear spring of water at which a soldier alighted from his horse to drink. He was no sooner gone than a little boy came to the same place, and finding a purse of gold which the soldier had dropped, took it up and went away with it. Immediately after this came an infirm old man, weary with age and travelling, and having quenched his thirst sat down to rest himself by the side of the spring. The soldier missing his purse returns to search for it, and demands it of the old man, who affirms he had not seen it, and appeals to heaven in witness of his innocence. The soldier not believing his protestation kills him. Moses fell on his face with horror and amazement, when the divine voice thus prevented his expostulation: 'Be not surprised

Moses, nor ask why the Judge of the whole earth has suffered this thing to come to pass. The child is the occasion that the blood of the old man is spilt; but know that the old man whom thou sawest was the murderer of that child's father.' J. ADDISON

340. WITH PERSONAL HAPPINESS. On necessary and inevitable evils, which overwhelm kingdoms at once, all disputation is vain; when they happen, they must be endured. But it is evident that these bursts of universal distress are more dreaded than felt: thousands and ten thousands flourish in youth, and wither in age, without the knowledge of any other than domestic evils, and share the same pleasures and vexations, whether their kings are mild or cruel, whether the armies of their country pursue their enemies or retreat before them. While courts are disturbed with intestine competitions and ambassadors are negotiating in foreign countries, the smith still plies his anvil, and the husbandman drives his plough forward; the necessaries of life are required and obtained; and the successive business of the seasons continues to make its wonted revolutions. Let us cease to consider what, perhaps, may never happen and what when it shall happen, will laugh at human speculation. We will not endeavour to modify the motions of the elements or to fix the destiny of kingdoms. It is our business to consider what beings like us may perform; each labouring for his own happiness, by promoting within his circle, however narrow, the happiness of others. S. JOHNSON


341. MENT.

NATIONAL CHARACTER, ITS SOURCE AND DEVELOPThe human mind is of a very imitative nature: nor is it possible for any set of men to converse often together, without acquiring a similitude of manners and communicating to each other their vices a well as virtues. The propensity to company and society is strong in all rational creatures: and the same disposition, which gives us this propensity, makes us enter deeply into each other's sentiments, and causes like passions and inclinations to run, as it were by contagion, through the whole club or knot of companions. When a number of men are united into one political body, the occasions of their intercourse must be so frequent, for 14


defence, commerce and government, that together with the same speech or language, they must acquire a resemblance in their manners, and have a common or national character, as well as a personal one, peculiar to each individual. Now, though nature produces all kinds of temper and understanding in great abundance, it does not follow that she always produces them in like proportions and that in every society the ingredients of industry and indolence, valour and cowardice, humanity and brutality, wisdom and folly, will be mixed after the same manner. In the infancy of society, if any of these dispositions be found in greater abundance than the rest, it will naturally prevail in the composition and give a tincture to the natural character.



REASON AND FANCY. As he was one day walking in the street, he saw a spacious building, which all were by the open doors invited to enter. He followed the stream of people, and found it a hall or school of declamation, in which professors read lectures to their auditory. He fixed his eye upon a sage raised above the rest, who discoursed with great energy on the government of the passions. His look was venerable, his action graceful, his pronunciation clear, and his diction elegant. He showed with great strength of sentiment and variety of illustration that human nature is degraded and debased, when the lower faculties predominate over the higher; that when fancy, the parent of passion, usurps the dominion of the mind, nothing ensues but the natural effect of unlawful government, perturbation and confusion; that she betrays the fortresses of the intellect to rebels and excites her children to sedition against reason their lawful sovereign. He compared reason to the sun, of which the light is constant, uniform and lasting; and fancy to a meteor of bright but transitory lustre, irregular in its motion and delusive in its direction. He then communicated the various precepts given from time to time for the conquest of passion, and displayed the happiness of those who had obtained the important victory, after which man is no longer the slave of fear nor the fool of hope; is no more emaciated by envy or depressed by grief; but walks on calmly through the tumults or privacies of life, as the sun pursues alike his course through the calm or the stormy sky. S. JOHNSON

343. THE XVIIITH CENTURY. The men of the eighteenth century knew little of that sort of passion for comfort which is the mother of servitude—a relaxing passion, though it be tenacious and unalterable, which mingles and intertwines itself with many private virtues, such as domestic affections, regularity of life, respect for religion, which favours propriety but proscribes heroism, and which excels in making decent livers but base citizens. The men of the eighteenth century were better and they were worse. The French of that age were addicted to joy and passionately fond of amusement; they were perhaps more lax in their habits, and more vehement in their passions and opinions than those of the present day, but they were strangers to the temperate and decorous sensualism that we see about us. In the upper classes men thought more of adorning life than of rendering it comfortable; they sought to be illustrious rather than to be rich. Even in the middle ranks the pursuit of comfort never absorbed every faculty of the mind; that pursuit was often abandoned for higher and more refined enjoyments; every man placed some object beyond the love of money before his eyes. "I know my countrymen," said a contemporary writer, in language which, though eccentric, is spirited: "apt to melt and dissipate the metals, they are not prone to pay them habitual reverence, and they will not be slow to turn again to their former idols, to valour, to glory, and, I will add, to magnanimity."

344. ALARIC, KING OF THE GOTHS, ACCEPTS A RANSOM FROM THE ROMANS, A.D. 409. When they were introduced into his presence, they declared, perhaps in a more lofty style than became their abject condition, that the Romans were resolved to maintain their dignity, either in peace or war; and that, if Alaric refused them a fair and honourable capitulation, he might sound his trumpets and prepare to give battle to an innumerable people, exercised in arms, and animated by despair. 'The thicker the hay, the easier it is mowed,' was the concise reply of the Barbarian; and this rustic metaphor was accompanied by a loud and insulting laugh, expressive of his contempt for the menaces of an unwarlike populace, enervated by luxury before they were emaciated by famine. He then condescended to fix the ransom which he would accept as the price of his retreat from the walls of Rome; all the gold and silver in the city, whether

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