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sant to us, fills the mind with entertaining views, and administers to it a perpetual series of gratifications. It gives ease to solitude, and gracefulness to retirement. It fills a public station with suitable abilities, and adds a lustre to those who are in possession of them.

Learning, by which I mean all useful knowledge, whether speculative or practical, is in popular and mixt governments the natural source of wealth and honour. If we look into most of the reigns from the conquest, we shall find that the favourites of each reign have been those who have raised themselves. The greatest men are generally the growth of that particular age in which they flourish. A superior capacity for business, and a more extensive knowledge, are the steps by which a new man often mounts to favour, and outshines the rest of his contemporaries. But when men are actually born to titles, it is almost impossible that they should fail of receiving an additional greatness, if they take care to accomplish themselves for it.

The story of Solomon's choice does not only instruct us in that point of history, but furnishes out a very fine moral to us, namely, that he who applies his heart to wisdom, does at the same time take the most proper method of gaining long life, riches, and reputation, which are very often not only the rewards but the effects of wisdom.

As it is very suitable to my present subject, I shall first of all quote this passage in the words of sacred writ, and afterwards mention an allegory, in which this whole passage is represented by a famous French poet: not questioning but it will be very pleasing to such of my readers as have a taste of fine writing.

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said; Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto

thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee, and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is at this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment: Behold I have done according to thy words: Lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour, so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. And Solomon awoke, and behold it was a dream.

The French poet has shadowed this story in an allegory, of which he seems to have taken the hint from the fable of the three goddesses appearing to Paris, or rather from the vision of Hercules, recorded by Xenophon, where Pleasure and Virtue are represented as real persons making their court to the hero with all their several charms and allurements. Health, Wealth, Victory, and Honour, are introduced succes

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sively in their proper emblems and characters, each of them spreading her temptations, and recommending herself to the young monarch's choice. Wisdom enters the last, and so captivates him with her appearance, that he gives himself up to her. Upon which she informs him, that those who appeared before her were nothing else but her equipage: and that since he had placed his heart upon Wisdom; Health, Wealth, Victory, and Honour, should always wait on her as her handmaids. 時

ADDISON.

THE

No 112. MONDAY, JULY 20, 1713.

-udam

Spernit humum fugiente pennâ.

HOR. 3 Od. ii. 23.

Scorns the base earth, and crowd below;
And with a soaring wing still mounts on high.

CREECH.

HE philosophers of king Charles's reign were busy in finding out the art of flying. The famous bishop Wilkins was so confident of success in it, that he says he does not question but in the next age it will be as usual to hear a man call for his wings when he is going a journey, as it is now to call for his boots. The humour so prevailed among the virtuosos of this reign, that they were actually making parties to go up to the moon together, and were more put to it in their thoughts how to meet with accommodations by

! John Wilkins, bishop of Chester, in a book called " A Discovery of a New World," &c. 1638.

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