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lie, for hours together, on the banks of fome wild and melancholy ftream, finging to her lute. She taught men to weep, for she took a strange delight in tears; and often, when the virgins of the hamlet were assembled at their evening fpots, fhe would steal in amongst them, and captivate their hearts, by her tales, full of a charming fadnefs. She wore on her head, a garland, compofed of her father's myrtles, twisted with her mother's cyprefs.
ONE day, as she fat musing by the waters of Helicon, her tears by chance fell into the fountain; and ever fince, the Mufe's fpring has retained a ftrong tafte of the infufion. Pity was commanded by Jupiter to follow the fteps of her mother through the world, dropping balm into the wounds fhe made, and binding up the hearts she had brokeh. She follows, with her hair loose, her bofom bare and throbbing, her garments torn by the briars, and her feet bleeding with the roughnefs of the path. The nymph is mortal, for her mother is fo; and when she has fulfilled her deftined courfe upon the earth, they fhall both expire together, and LOVE be again united to Joy, his immortal and long betrothed bride.
N fair weather, when my heart is cheered, and I feel that exaltation of spirits which results from light and warmth, joined with a beautiful prospect of nature, I regard myself as one placed by the hand of God, in the midst of an ample theatre, in which B 5
the fun, moon, and ftars, the fruits alfo, and vegetables of the earth, perpetually changing their pofitions, or their afpects, exhibit an elegant entertainment to the understanding as well as to the eye.
THUNDER and lightening, rain and hail, the painted bow, and the glaring comets, are decorations of this mighty theatre. And the fable hemisphere ftudded with fpangles, the blue vault at noon, the glorious gildings and rich colours in the horizon, I look on as fo many fucceffive fcenes.
WHEN I confider things in this light, methinks it is a fort of impiety, to have no attention to the course of nature, and the revolutions of the heavenly bodies. To be regardless of those phænomena, that are placed within our view, and difplay the wifdom and power of their Creator, is an affront to Providence, of the fame kind (I hope it is not impious to make fuch a fimile) as it would be to a good poet, to fit out his play, without minding the plot or beauties of it.
AND, yet, how many fox-hunters, and rural fquires, are to be found in Great Britain, who are ignorant, that they have all this while lived on a planet; that the fun is feveral thousand times bigger than the earth; and that there are other worlds within our view, greater and more glorious than our own.
Ay, but (fays fome illiterate fellow) "I enjoy the "world, and leave others to contemplate it." Yes, you eat and drink, and run about upon it; that is, you enjoy it as a brute: but to enjoy it as a rationaĺ being, is to know it; to be fenfible of its greatness and beauty; to be delighted with its harmony; and, by these reflections, to obtain juft fentiments of the Almighty mind that framed it.
HE great prefervative of health, is temperance; which has these particular advantages, above all other means, to attain it—that it may be practifed by all ranks and conditions, at any feason, or in any place. It is a kind of regimen, into which every man may put himself, without interruption to bufinefs, expense of money, or lofs of time. If exercife throws off all fuperfluities; temperance prevents them if exercise clears the veffels; temperance neither fatiates, nor overftrains them: if exercise raises proper ferments in the humours, and promotes the circulation of the blood; temperance gives nature her full play, and enables her to exert herself in all her force and vigour: if exercise diffipates a growing distemper; temperance ftarves it.
It is obferved by two or three ancient authors, that Socrates, notwithstanding he lived in Athens during the great plague, which has made fo much noife throughout all ages, and has been celebrated at different times by fuch eminent hands; notwithstanding he lived in the time of this devouring peftilence, he never caught the leaft infection; which these writers unanimously afcribe, to that uninterrupted temperance he always obferved..
METHODS OF EMPLOYING TIME.
E, all of us, complain of the shortness of time, faith Seneca; and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives, fays he, are spent, either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do: we are always complaining our days are few; and acting, as tho' there would be no end of them. That noble philofopher has defcribed our inconfiftency with ourselves in this particular, by all those various turns of expreffion and thought, which are peculiar to his writings.
I often confider mankind as wholly inconfiftent with themselves, in a point that bears fome affinity to the former. Though we feem grieved at the heefs of life in general, we are wishing every period of it at an end. The minor longs to be of age; then to be a man of business; then to make up an eftate; then to arrive at honours; then to retire. Thus, although the whole of life is allowed by every one to be fhort, the feveral divifions of it appear long and tedious. We are for lengthening our span in general, but would fain contract the parts of which it is compofed. The ufurer would be very well fatisfied, to have all the time annihilated, that lays between the present moment and the next quarter-day. The politician would be contented to lose three years in his life, could he place things in the pofture which he fancies they will stand in after fuch a revolution of time. The lover would be glad to strike out of
his existence, all the moments that are to pafs away before the happy meeting. Thus, as faft as our time runs, we should be very glad, in moft parts of our lives, that it ran much faster than it does. Several hours of the day hang upon our hands; nay, we wifh away whole years; and travel through time, as through a country filled with many wild and empty waftes, which we would fain hurry over, that we may arrive at those several little fettlements, or imaginary points of reft, which are difperfed up and down in it.
If we divide the life of moft men into twenty parts, we fhall find, that at least nineteen of them are mere gaps and chafms, which are neither filled up with pleasure nor bufinefs. I do not, however, include in this calculation, the life of those men who are in a perpetual hurry of affairs, but of those only who are not always engaged in fcenes of action; and I hope I fhall not do an unacceptable piece of fervice to these perfons, if I point out to them certain methods for the filling up their empty spaces of life. The methods I fhall propofe to them, ar as follow.
THE first is the exercise of virtue, in the most general acceptation of the word. That particular scheme which comprehends the focial virtues, may give employment to the most industrious temper, and find a man in business more than the most active ftation of life. To advise the ignorant, relieve the needy, comfort the afflicted, are duties that fall in our way, almost every day of our lives. A man has frequent opportunities, of mitigating the fierceness of a party; of doing juftice to the character of a deferving man; of foftening the envious, quieting the angry, and rectifying the prejudiced; which are, all of