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It was, however, not very common to steer with much care or prudence ; for, by some universal infatuation, every man appeared to think himself safe, though he saw his con. forts every moment finking around him ; and no sooner had the waves closed over them, than their fate and their misconduct were forgotten ; the voyage was pursued with the same jocund conhdence, every man congratulated him. self upon the foundness of his vefsel, and believed himself able to item the whirlpool in which his friend was swallowed, or glide over the rocks on which he was dashed: nor was it often obterved that the light of a wreck made any man change his course. If he turned alide for a moment, he foon forgot the rudder, and left himself again to the disposal of chance.
This negligence did not proceed from indifference, or from wearineis of their present condition ; for not one of those, who thus rushed upon destruction, failed, when he was finking, to call loudly upon his associates for that help which could not now be given him : and many spent their lait moments in cautioning others against the folly by which they were intercepted in the midst of their course. Their benevolence was sometimes praised, but their admonitions were unregarded.
The vessels in which we had embarked, being confessed. ly unequal to the turbulence of the stream of life, were vif. ibly impaired in the course of the voyage, fo that every pas. senger was certain, that how long foever he might, by favourable accidents, or by incessant vigilance, be preserved, he mult Gink at last.
This necessity of perishing might have been expected to fadden the gay, and intimidate the daring ; at least to keep the melancholy and timorous in perpetual torments, and hinder them from any enjoyment of the varieties and gratifications which nature offered them as the folace of their labours : yet in effect none seemed less to expect destruction than those to whom it was most dreadful; they all had the art of concealing their danger from themselves ; and those who know their inability to bear the fight of the terrors that embarrafled their way, took care never to look forward ; but found some amusement of the present moment, and generally entertained themselves by playing with Hope, who was the constant associate of the Voyage of Life.
Yet all that Hope ventured to promise, even to those whom the favoured molt, was, not that they should escape,
but that they should fink at last ; and with this promise ev. ery one was fatisfied, though he laughed at the rest for seeming to believe it. Hope, indeed, apparently mocked the credulity of her companions ; for, in proportion as their vessels grew leaky, she redoubled her assurances of fafety; and none were more busy in making provisions for a long voyage, than they whom all but themselves faw like. ly to perish foon by irreparable decay.
In midst of the current of Life was the gulf of Intemperance,a dreadful whirlpool, interspersed with rocks,of which the pointed crags were concealed under water, and the tops covered with herbage, on which Ease spread couches of repose ; and with shades, where Pleasure warbled the song of invitation. Within sight of these rocks, all who failed on the ocean of Life must necessarily pass. Reason indecd was always at hand, to steer the passengers through a narrow outlet, by which they might escape ; but very few could,by ber entreaties or remonstrances, be induced to put the rudder into her hand, without ftipulating that she fhould approach fo near the rocks of Pleasure, that they might solace themselves with a short enjoyment of that delicious region, after which they always determined to pursue their course without any other deviation.
Reason was too often prevailed upon so far by these promises, as to venture her charge within the eddy of the gulf of Intemperance, where, indeed, the circumvolution was weak, but yet interrupted the course of the vessel, and drew it by insensible rotations, towards the centre. She then repenied her temerity, and with all her force endeav. oured to retreat ; but the draught of the gulf was generally too strong to be overcome; and the passenger, having danced in circles with a pleasing and giddy velocity, was at last overwhelmed and loft. Those few whom reason was able to extricale, generally suffered so many shocks upon the points which shot out from the rocks of Pleasure that they were unable to continue their course with the fame strength and facility as before ; but floated along timorously and feebly, endangered by every breeze, and hattered by every ruffle of the water, till they funk, by flew degrees, after long Rruggles, and innumerable expedients, always repining at their own folly, and warning others against the first approach towards the gulf of Intemperance.
There were artists who professed to repair the breaches and stop the leaks, of the vessels which had been shattered
on the rocks of Pleasure. Many appeared to have great confidence in their skill; and some, indeed, were preserved by it from sinking who had received only a single blow : but I remarked that few vessels lasted long which had been much repaired ; nor was it found that the artists them. selves continued afloat longer than those who had least of their affitance
The only advantage, which in the voyage of Life, the cautious had above the negligent, was, that they sunk later and more luddenly; for they passed forward till they had sometimes seen all those in whose company they had issued from the straits of Infancy, perish in the way, and at last were overset by a cross breeze, without the toil of relilt. ance, or the anguish of expectation. But such as had of. ten fallen against the rocks of Pleasure, commonly subfided by sensible degrees ; contended long with the encroaching waters ; and harassed themselves by labours that scarcely Hope herself could fatter with success
As I was looking upon the various fates of the multitude about me, I was suddenly alarmed with an admonition from fome unknown power : “Gaze not idly upon others when thou thyself art sinking. Whence is this thoughtless tranquillity, when thou and they are equally endangered ?" I looked, and seeing the gulf of Intemperance before me, started and awaked.
DR. JOHNSON SECTION II. The vanity of those pursuits which have human approbation for
their chief object. Among the emirs and visiers, the fons of valour and of wisdom, that stand at the corners of the Indian throne, to allist the councils, or conduct the wars of the posterity of Timur, the first place was long held by Morad, the fon of Hanuth. Morad, having signalized himself in many battles and fieges, was rewarded with the government of a province, from which the fame of his wisdom and moderation was wafted to the pinnacles of Agra, by the prayers of those whom his administration made happy The emperor called him into his presence, and gave into his hand the keys of riches, and the fabre of command. The voice of Morad was heard from the cliffs of Taurus to the Indian ocean: every tongue faltered in his presence, and every eye was cast down before him,
Morad lived many years in prosperity; every day increased his wealth and extended his influence. The sages
repeated his maxims; the captains of thousands waited his commands Competition withdrew into the cavern of envy, and discontent trembled at her own murmurs. But human greatness is short and transitory, as the odour of incense in the fire. The sun grew weary of gilding the pal. aces of Morad; the clouds of forrow gathered round his head ; and the tempelt of hatred roared about his dwelling.
Morad saw ruin hastily approaching. The firit that forfook him were his poets. Their example was followed by all those whom he had rewarded for contributing to his pleasures ; and only a few, w bofe virtue had entitled them to favour, were now to be seen in his ball or chambers. He felt his danger, and proftrated himself at the foot of the throne. His accusers were confident and loud ; his friends food contented with frigid neutrality ; and the voice of truth was overborne by clamour. He was diverted of his power, deprived of his acquisitions, and condemned to pass the rest of his life on his hereditary estate.
Morad had been so long accustomed to crowds and business, fupplicants and Aattery, that he knew not how to fill up his hours in folitude. He saw, with regret, the sun rise to force on his eye a new day for which he had no use ; and envi. ed the favage that wanders in the desert, because he has no time vacant from the calls of nature, but is always chaling his prey, or fleeping in his den.
His discontent in time vitiated his constitution, and a slow disease seized upon him. He refused physic, neglected ex. ercise, and lay down on his couch peevilh and restless, rather afraid to die, than desirous to live. His domestics, for a time, redoubled their assiduities ; but finding that no of. ficiousness could sooth, nor exactness fatisfy, they soon gave way to negligence and Noth ; and he that once command. ed nations, often languished in his chamber without an attendant.
In this melancholy state, he commanded mesengers to recall his eldest for., Abouzaid, from the army. Abouzaid Was alarmed at the account of his father's sickness ; and halt. ed, by long journies, to his place of residence. Morad was yet living, and felt his strength return at the embraces of his fon : then commanding him to fit down at his bed-lide,
Abouzaid," said he, “thy father has no more to hope or fear from the inhabitants of the earth; the cold hand of the angel of death is now upon him, and the voracious grave is howling for his prey. Hear therefore the precepts of
ancient experience : let not my last instructions iffue forth in vain. Thou haft seen me happy and calamitous ; thou baft beheld my exaltation and my fall
. My power is in the bands of my enemies; my treasures hare rewarded my accufers; but my inheritance the clemency of the emperor has spared ; and my wisdom his anger could not take away. Cast thine eyes round thee : whatever thou beholdelt will in a few hours be thine : apply thine ear to my di&tates, and these pofseflions will promote thy happiness. Aspire not to public honours; enter not the palaces of kings: thy wealth will set thee above insult ; let thy moderation keep thee below envy. Content thyself with private dignity; diffuse thy riches among thy friends ; let every day extend thy beneficence; and suffer not thy heart to be at relt, till thou art loved by all to whom thou art known. In the height of my power, I said to defamation, Who will hear thee? and to artifice, What canft thou perform? But my fon, despise not thou the malice of the weakeft: remember that venom supplies the want of strength ; and that the lion may perish by the puncture of an asp.
Morad expired in a few hours. Abou zaid, after the months of mourning, determined to regulate his conduct by his father's precepts; and cultivate the love of mankind by every art of kindness and endearment. He wisely confidered, that domestic happiness was first to be secured ; and that none have so much power of doing good or hurt, as those who were present in the hour of negligence, hear the bursts of thoughtless merriment, and observe the starts of unguarded pallion. He therefore augmented the pay of all his attendants; and requited every exertion of uncommon diligence by supernumerary gratuities. While he congratulated himself upon the fidelity and affection of his family, he was in the night alarnied with robbers; whu being pursued and taken, declared that they had been admitted by one of his servants. The fervant immediately confessed, that he unbarred the door, because another, not more worthy of confidence, was entrusted with the keys.
Abouzaid was thus convinced that a dependant could not easily be made a friend ; and that while many were foliciting for the first rank of favour, all those would be alienated whom he disappointed. He therefore resolved to associate with a few equal companions selected from among the chief men of the province. With these he lived happily for a rime, till familiarity set them free from restraint, and every