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Men are lo seguente out of is the nat of their projections, sa iasgea death cantes Itzie emosoa ja them that bocs i, vinics it be prebied upon the attentio by sacondon Croztances. I, like every othea man, bere os reconoces, have isca ambition brk in jis ties, and beauty perih ia its bloom; but have bad son lo much aftged as by the fate of ErTas, Tom I larely lott as I be, gan to love bim.
Eurzelas hac for some cine turibed in a lucrative profeflion; bor having fudered his inagination to be fired by an uncstinguishable curoûty, he grew weary of the same dall round of lie, rezolved to hara's himself no longer with the crudgery of getting money, but to gait his business and his profit, and enjoy for a few years the pleasures of travel. His friends heard him proclaim his relooson without suspecting that he intended to purite it; but he was conftant to his purpose, and with great expedition closed his accounts and sold his moveables, paired a few days in bidding farewel to his companions, and with all the eagerness of romaaück chivalry crotted the sea in search of happiness. Whatever place was renowned in aacient or modern hiftory, whatever region art or nature had diftinguished, he determined to visit : full of defiga and hope he landed on the continent; his friends espected accounts from sin of the new scenes that opened in his progreis, but were informed in a few days that Ext76.45 was dead.
Such was the end of Eurgalus. He's entered that ftate, whence none ever shall return; and can now caly benefit his fricads, by rer.zining in their me
mories a permanent and efficacious instance of the blindness of desire, and the uncertainty of all terrestrial good. But, perhaps, every man has like me lost an Euryalus, has known a friend die with happiness in his grasp; and yet every man continues to think himself secure of life, and defers to some future time of leisure what he knows it will be fatal to have finally omitted.
It is, indeed, with this as with other frailties inherent in our nature; the desire of deferring to another time, what cannot be done without endurance of some pain, or forbearance of some pleasure, will, perhaps, never be totally overcome or suppresled; there will always be something that we fall with to have finished, and be nevertheless unwilling to begin: but against this unwillingness it is our duty to struggle, and every conquest over our passions will make way for an easier conquest; custom is equally forcible to bad and good; nature will always be at variance with reason, but will rebel more feebly as she is oftener subdued.
The common neglect of the present hour is more shameful and criminal, as no man is betrayed to it by error, but admits it by negligence. Of the instability of life, the weakest understanding never thinks wrong, though the Itrongest often omits to think justly: reason and experience are always ready to inform us of our real state; but we refuse to listen to their suggestions, because we feel our hearts unwilling to obey them: but, surely, noching is more unworthy of a reasonable being, than to shut his eyes, when he sees the road which he is commanded to travel, that he may deviate with fewer reproaches 6
from himself; nor could any motive to tenderness, except the consciousness that we have all been guilty of the fame fault, dispose us to pity those who thus consign themselves to voluntary ruin.
Numb. 111. TUESDAY, November 27, 1753.
Que non fecimus ipfi,
T HE evils inseparably annexed to the present
condition of man, are so numerous and afAictive, that it has been, from age to age, the task of some to bewail, and of others to solace them; and he, therefore, will be in danger of seeing a common enemy, who shall attempt to depreciate the few pleasures and felicities which nature has allowed us.
Yet I will confess, that I have sometimes employed my thoughts in examining the pretensions that are made to happiness, by the splendid and envied condition of life ; and have not thought the hour unprofitably spent, when I have detected the imposture of counterfeit advantages, and found disquiet lurking under false appearances of gaiety and greatness.
It is asserted by a tragic poer, chacés eft mifer " nemo nisi comparatus,” « no man is miserable, “ but as he is compared with others happier than « himself:” this position is not strictly and philosophically true. He might have said, with rigorous propriety, that no man is happy but as he is compared with the miserable; for such is the state of this world, that we find in it absolute misery, but happi. ness only comparative; we may incur as much pain as we can possibly endure, though we can never obtain as much happiness as we might possibly enjoy.
Yet it is certain likewise, that many of our miseries are merely comparative: we are often made unhappy, not by the presence of any real evil, but by the absence of some fictitious good; of something which is not required by any real want of nature, which has not in itself any power of gratification, and which neither reason nor fancy would have prompted us to wish, did we not see it in the possession of others.
For a mind diseased with vain longings after una attainable advantages, no medicine can be prefcribed, but an impartial enquiry into the real worth of that which is so ardently desired. It is well known, how much the mind, as well as the eye, is deceived by distance; and, perhaps, it will be found, that of many imagined blessings it may be doubted, whether he that wants or pofTeses them has more reason to be satisfied with his lot.
The dignity of high birth and long extraction, no man, to whom nature has denied it, can confer upon himself; and, therefore, it deserves to be considered,
whether whether the want of that which can never be gained, may not easily be endured. It is true, that if we consider the triumph and delight with which most of those recount their ancestors who have ancestors to recount, and the artifices by which some who have risen to unexpected fortune endeavour to insert them selves into an honourable stem, we shall be inclined to fancy that wisdom or virtue may be had by inheritance, or that all the excellencies of a line of progenitors are accumulated on their descendant, Reason, indeed, will soon inform us, that our eftia mation of birth is arbitrary and capricious, and thac dead ancestors can have no infuence but upon ima. gination : let it then be examined, whether one dream may not operate in the place of another ; whether he that owes nothing to forefathers, may not receive equal pleasure from the consciousness of owing all to himself; whether he may not, with a little, meditation, find it more honourable to found than to continue a family, and to gain dignity than transmit it; whether, if he receives no dignity from the virtues of his family, he does not likewise escape the danger of being disgraced by their crimes; and whether he that brings a new name into the world, has not the convenience of playing the game of life without a stake, and opportunity of winning much though he has nothing to lose.
There is another opinion concerning happiness, which approaches much more nearly to universality, but which may, perhaps, with equal reason be disputed. The pretensions to ancestral honours many of the sons of earth easily fee to be ill-grounded; but all agree to celebrate the advantage of hereditary