Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

wing she loves to appear, and is proud of it, is a pattern to persons of condition.

Good-sense, heightened and exerted with good-breeding, is the parent's distinguishing character; and if we can get this young woman into our family, we shall think we have a much better purchase than others, who without her good qualities, may bring into theirs the greatest accession of riches. I sent sir Harry by last night's post the following letter on the subject.

· DEAR Sır HARRY,

• UPON our last parting, and as I had just mounted the little roan I am so fond of, you called me back; and when I stooped to you, you squeezed me by the hand, and with allusion to some pleasant discourse we had had a day or two before in the house, concerning the present mercantile way of contracting marriages, with a smile and a blush you bid me look upon some women for you, and send word how they went. I did not see one to my mind till the last opera before Easter. I assure you

I have been as unquiet ever since, as I wish you were till you had her. Her height, her complexion, and every thing but her age, which is under twenty, are very much to my satisfaction: there is an ingenuous shame in her eyes, which is to the mind what the bloom of youth is to the body; neither implies that there are virtuous habits and accomplishments already attained by the possessor, but they certainly shew an unprejudiced capacity towards them. As to the circumstance of this young woman's age, I am reconciled to her want of years, because she pretends to nothing above them; you do not see in her the odious forwardness to I know not what, as in the assured countenances, naked bosoms, and confident glances of her contemporaries.

. I will vouch for her, that you will have her whole heart, if you can win it; she is in no familiarities with the fops, her fan has never been yet out of her own hand, and her brother's face is the only man's she ever looked in stedfastly, • When I have gone thus far, and told you

that I am very confident of her as to her virtue and education, I may speak a little freely to you as you are a young man.

There is a dignity in the young lady's beauty, when it shall become her to receive your friends with a good air, and affable countenance; when she is to represent that part of you which you must delight in, the frank and chearful reception of your friends, her beauties will do as much honour to your table, as they will give you pleasure in your bed.

It is no small instance of felicity to have a woman, from whose behaviour your friends are more endeared to you; and for whose sake your children are as much valued as for your own.

• It is not for me to celebrate the lovely height of her forehead, the soft pulp of her lips, or to describe the amiable profile which her fine hair, cheeks and neck, made to the beholders that night, but shall leave them to your own observation when you come to town; which you may do at your leisure, and be time enough, for there are many in town richer than her whom I recommend.

I am, Sir,
your most obedient and

most humble servant,

NESTOR IRONSIDE.'

N° 27. SATURDAY, APRIL 11, 1713.

Multa putans, sortemque animo miseratus iniquam.

VIRG. En. vi. S32.

Struck with compassion of so sad a state.

then say

In compassion to those gloomy mortals, who by their unbelief are rendered incapable of feeling those impressions of joy and hope, which the celebration of the late glorious festival # naturally leaves' on the mind of a Christian, I shall in this paper endeavour to evince that there are grounds to expect a future state, without supposing in the reader any faith at all, not even the belief of a Deity. Let the most stedfast unbeliever open his eyes, and take a survey of the sensible world, and

if there be not a connexion, and adjustment, and exact and constant order discoverable in all the parts of it. Whatever be the cause, the thing itself is evident to all our faculties. Look into the animal system, the passions, senses, and locomotive powers; is not the like contrivance and propriety observable in these too? Are they not fitted to certain ends, and are they not by nature directed to proper objects ?

Is it possible then that the smallest bodies should, by a management superior to the wit of man, be disposed in the most excellent manner agreeable to their respective natures; and yet the spirits or souls of men be neglected, or managed

Viz. Easter.

by such rules as fall short of man's understanding? Shall every other passion be rightly placed by nature, and shall that appetite of immortality natural to all mankind be alone misplaced, or designed to be frustrated ? Shall the industrious application of the inferior animal powers in the meanest vocations be answered by the ends we propose, and shall not the generous efforts of a virtuous mind be rewarded ? In a word, shall the corporeal world be all order and harmony, the intellectual discord and confusion? He who is bigot enough to believe these things, must bid adieu to that natural rule, of reasoning from analogy ;' must run counter to that maxim of common sense, · That men ought to form their judgments of things unexperienced, from what they have experienced.'

If any thing looks like a recompence of calamitous virtue on this side the grave, it is either an assurance that thereby we obtain the favour and protection of heaven, and shall, whatever befalls us in this, in another life meet with a just return; or else that applause and reputation, which is täught to attend virtuous actions. The former of these, our free-thinkers, out of their singular wisdom and benevolence to mankind, endeavour to erase from the minds of men. The latter can never be justly distributed in this life, where so many ill actions are reputable, and so many good actions disesteemed or misinterpreted; where subtle hypocrisy is placed in the most engaging light, and modest virtue lies concealed ; where the heart and the soul are hid from the eyes of men, and the eyes of men are dimmed and vitiated. Plato's sense in relation to this point is contained in his Georgias, where he introduces Socrates speaking after this manner.

• It was in the reign of Saturn provided by a law, which the gods have continued down to this time, that they who had lived virtuously and piously upon earth, should after death enjoy a life full of happiness, in certain islands appointed for the habitation of the blessed: but that such as have lived wickedly should go into the receptacle of damned souls, named Tartarus, there to suffer the punishments they deserved. But in all the reign of Saturn, and in the beginning of the reign of Jove, living judges were appointed, by whom each person was judged in his life-time, in the same day on which he was to die. The consequence of which was, that they often passed wrong judgments. Pluto, therefore, who presided in Tartarus, and the guardians of the blessed islands, finding that on the other side many unfit persons were sent to their respective dominions, complained to Jove, who promised to redress the evil. He added, “ The reason of these unjust proceedings are that men are judged in the body. Hence many conceal the blemishes and imperfections of their minds by beauty, birth, and riches; not to mention, that at the time of trial there are crowds of witnesses to attest their having lived well. These things mislead the judges, who being themselves also of the number of the living, are surrounded each with his own body, as with a veil thrown over his mind. For the future, therefore, it is my intention that men, do not come on their trial till after death, when they shall appear before the judge, disrobed of all their corporeal ornaments. The judge himself too shall be a pure unveiled spirit, beholding the very soul, the naked soul of the party before him. With this view I have already constituted my sons, Minos and Rhada

« ZurückWeiter »