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exerted themselves, because that they are able to produce a scene infinitely more great and glorious than what we are able to imagine. It is not impossible but at the consummation of all things these outward apartments of nature, which are now suited to those beings who inhabit them, may be taken in and added to that glorious place of which I am here speaking, and by that means made a proper habitation for beings who are exempt from mortality, and cleared of their imperfections: for so the Scripture seems to intimate when it speaks of new heavens and of a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.'
"I have only considered this glorious place with regard to the sight and imagination; though it is highly probable that our other senses may here likewise enjoy their highest gratifications. There is nothing which more ravishes and transports the soul than harmony; and we have great reason to believe, from the description of this place in Holy Scripture, that this is one of the entertainments of it. And if the soul of man can be so wonderfully affected with those strains of music which human art is capable of producing, how much more will it be raised and elevated by those in which is exerted the whole power of harmony! The senses are faculties of the human soul, though they cannot be employed, during this our vital union, without proper instruments in the body. Why, therefore, should we exclude the satisfaction of these faculties, which we find by experience are inlets of great pleasure to the soul, from among those entertainments which are to make up our happiness hereafter? Why should we suppose that our hearing and seeing will not be gratified with those objects which are most agreeable to them, and which they cannot meet with in these lower regions of nature: objects, 'which neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor can it enter into the heart of man to conceive? I knew a man in Christ (says St. Paul, speaking of himself) above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth), such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man (whether in the body or out of the body, I can not tell, God knoweth), how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not possible for man to utter. By this is meant, that what he heard is so infinitely different from anything which he had heard in this world, that it was impossible to express it in such words as might convey a notion of it to his
"It is very natural for us to take delight in inquiries concerning any foreign country, where we are sometime or other to make our abode; and as we all hope to be admitted into this glorious place, it is both a laudable and useful curiosity to get what informations we can of it, while we make use of revelation for our guide. When these everlasting doors shall be opened to us, we may be sure that the pleasures and beauties of this place will infinitely transcend our present hopes and expectations, and that the glorious appearance of the throne of God will rise infinitely beyond whatever we are able to conceive of it. We might here entertain ourselves with many other speculations on this subject, from those several hints which we find of it in the holy scriptures; as, whether there may not be different mansions and apartments of glory to beings of different natures; whether, as they excel one another in perfection, they are not admitted nearer to the throne of the Almighty, and enjoy greater manifestations of his presence; whether there are not solemn times and occasions, when all the multitude of heaven celebrate the
presence of their Maker in more extraordinary forms of praise and adoration; as Adam, though he had continued in a state of innocence, would, in the opinion of our divines, have kept holy the Sabbath-day in a more particular manner than any other of the seven. These, and the like speculations, we may very innocently indulge, so long as we make use of them to inspire us with a desire of becoming inhabitants of this delightful place. "I have in this, and in two foregoing letters, treated on the most serious subject that can employ the mind of man-the omnipresence of the Deity; a subject which, if possible, should never depart from our meditations. We have considered the Divine Being, as he inhabits infinitude, as he dwells among his works, as he is present to the mind of man, and as he discovers himself in a more glorious manner among the regions of the blest. Such a consideration should be kept awake in us at all times, and in all places, and possess our minds with a perpetual awe and reverence. It should be interwoven with all our thoughts and perceptions, and become one with the consciousness of our own being. It is not to be reflected on in the coldness of philosophy, but ought to sink us into the lowest prostration before Him who is so astonishingly wonderful and holy."
No. 581.] MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 1714.
I AM at present sitting with a heap of letters before me, which I have received under the charac ter of Spectator. I have complaints from lovers, schemes from projectors, scandal from ladies, congratulations, compliments, and advice, in abundance.
I have not been thus long an author, to be insensible of the natural fondness every person must have for their own productions; and I begin to think I have treated my correspondents a little too uncivilly in stringing them all together on a file, and letting them lie so long unregarded. I shall therefore, for the future, think myself at least obliged to take some notice of such letters as I receive, and may possibly do it at the end of every month.
In the meantime I intend my present paper as a short answer to most of those which have been already sent me.
The public, however, are not to expect I should let them into all my secrets; and, though I appear abstruse to most people, it is sufficient if I am understood by my particular correspondents.
My well-wisher, Van Nath, is very arch, but not quite enough so to appear in print.
Philadelphus will, in a little time, see his query fully answered by a treatise which is now in the press.
It was very improper at that time to comply with Mr. G.
Miss Kitty must excuse me.
The gentleman who sent me a copy of verses on his mistress's dancing, is, I believe, too thoroughly in love to compose correctly.
I have too great a respect for both the universi ties, to praise one at the expense of the other.
Tom Nimble is a very honest fellow, and I de sire him to present my humble service to his cousin Fill Bumper.
I am obliged for the letter upon prejudice. I may in due time animadvert on the case of Grace Grumble.
The petition of P. S. granted.
I am afraid the entertainment of Tom Turnover will hardly be relished by the good cities of London and Westminster.
I must consider further of it, before I indulge W. F. in those freedoms he takes with the ladies' stockings.
I am obliged to the ingenious gentleman who sent me an ode on the subject of a late Spectator, and shall take particular notice of his last letter. When the lady who wrote me a letter dated July the 20th, in relation to some passages in a Lover, will be more particular in her directions, I shall be so in my answer.
The poor gentleman who fancies my writings could reclaim a husband, who can abuse such a wife as he describes, has, I am afraid, too great an opinion of my skill. Philanthropos is, I dare say, a very well-meaning man, but is a little too prolix in his composi
Constantius himself must be the best judge in the affair he mentions.
The letter dated from Lincoln is received.
I must ingenuously confess my friend Samson Benstaff has quite puzzled me, and written me long letter which I cannot comprehend one word of. Collidan must also explain what he means by his "drigelling."
I think it beneath my spectatorial dignity to concern myself in the affair of the boiled dumpling.
I shall consult some literati on the project sent me for the discovery of the longitude.
I know not how to conclude this paper better than by inserting a couple of letters which are really genuine, and which I look upon to be two of the smartest pieces I have received from my correspondents of either sex:
"While you are surveying every object that falls in your way, I am wholly taken up with one. Had that sage who demanded what beauty was, lived to see the dear angel I love, he would not have asked such a question. Had another seen her, he would himself have loved the person in whom Heaven has made virtue visible; and, were you yourself to be in her company, you could never, with all your loquacity, say enough of her goodhumor and sense. I send you the outlines of a picture, which I can no more finish, than I can sufficiently admire the dear original. I am, your most affectionate Brother,
'GOOD MR. PERT,
"I will allow you nothing until you resolve me the following question. Pray what is the reason that, while you only talk now upon Wednesdays, Fridays, and Mondays, you pretend to be a greater tatler than when you spoke every day, as you formerly used to do? If this be your plunging out of your taciturnity, pray let the length of your speeches compensate for the scarceness of them. I am, good Mr. Pert, "Your Admirer,
"If you will be long enough for me,
No. 582.] WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 1714.
-Tenet insanabile multos Scribendi cacoethesJuv. Sat. vii. 51. The curse of writing is an endless itch.-CH. DRYDEN. THERE is a certain distemper, which is mentioned neither by Galen nor Hippocrates, nor to be met with in the London Dispensary. Juvenal, in the motto of my paper, terms it a cacoëthes; which is a hard word for a disease called in plain English, "the itch of writing." This cacoethes is as epidemical as the small-pox, there being very few who are not seized with it some time or other in their lives. There is, however, this difference in these two distempers, that the first, after having indisposed you for a time, never returns again; whereas this I am speaking of, when it is once got into the blood, seldom comes out of it. The British nation is very much afflicted with this malady, and though very many remedies have been applied to persons infected with it, few of them have ever proved successful. Some have been cauterized with satires and lampoons, but have received little or no benefit from them; others have had their heads fastened for an hour together between a cleft board, which is made use of as a cure for the disease when it appears in its greatest malignity. There is, indeed, one kind of this malady which has been sometimes removed, like the biting of the tarantula, with the sound of a musical instrument, which is commonly known by the name of a catcall. But if you have a patient of this kind under your care, you may assure yourself there is no other way of recovering him effectually, but by forbidding him the use of pen, ink, and paper.
But, to drop the allegory before I have tried it out, there is no species of scribblers more offensive, and more incurable, than your periodical writers, whose words return upon the public on certain days, and at stated times. We have not the consolation in the perusal of these authors which we find at the reading of all others, namely: that we are sure, if we have but patience, we may come to the end of their labors. I have often admired a humorous saying of Diogenes, who reading a dull author to several of his friends, when every one began to be tired, finding that he was almost come to a blank leaf at the end of it, he cried, "Courage, lads, I see land." On the contrary, our progress through that kind of writers I am now speaking of is never at an end. One day makes work for another-we do not know when to promise ourselves rest.
It is a melancholy thing to consider that the art of printing, which might be the greatest blessing to mankind, should prove detrimental to us, and that it should be made use of to scatter prejudice and ignorance, through a people, instead of conveying to them truth and knowledge.
I was lately reading a very whimsical treatise, entitled William Ramsey's Vindication of Astrology. This profound author, among many mystical passages, has the following one: "The absence of the sun is not the cause of night, forasmuch as his light is so great that it may illuminate the earth all over at once, as clear as broad day; but there are tenebrificous and dark stars, by whose influence night is brought on, and which do ray out darkness and obscurity upon the earth as the sun does light."
I consider writers in the same view this sage astrologer does the heavenly bodies. Some of them are stars that scatter light as others do darkness. I could mention several authors who are tenebrificous stars of the first magnitude, and
Put in the pillory.
point out a knot of gentlemen, who have been dull in concert, and may be looked upon as a dark constellation. The nation has been a great while benighted with several of these antiluminaries. I suffered them to ray out their darkness as long as I was able to endure it, till at length I came to a resolution of rising upon them, and hope in a little time to drive them quite out of the British hemisphere.
No. 583.] FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 1714. Ipse thymum pinosque ferens de montibus altis, Tecta serat late circum, cui talia curæ; Ipse abore manum duro terat; ipse feraces Figat humo plantas, et amicos irriget imbres. VIRG. Georg. iv. 112.
With his own hand the guardian of the bees
And with refreshing waters drench the ground.-DRYDEN. EVERY station of life has duties which are proper to it. Those who are determined by choice to any particular kind of business, are indeed more happy than those who are determined by necessity; but both are under an equal obligation of fixing on employments, which may be either useful to themselves, or beneficial to others; no one of the sons of Adam ought to think himself exempt from that labor and industry which were denounced to our first parent, and in him to all his posterity. Those to whom birth or fortune may seem to make such an application unnecessary, ought to find out some calling or profession for themselves, that they may not lie as a burden on the species, and be the only useless parts of creation.
Many of our country gentlemen in their busy hours apply themselves wholly to the chase, or to some other diversion which they find in the fields and woods. This gave occasion to one of our most eminent English writers to represent every one of them as lying under a kind of curse pronounced to them in the words of Goliah, "I will give thee to the fowls of the air and to the beasts of the field."
Though exercises of this kind, when indulged with moderation, may have a good influence both on the mind and body, the country affords many other amusements of a more noble kind.
Plantations have one advantage in them which is not to be found in most other works, as they give a pleasure of a more lasting date, and contindally improve in the eye of the planter. When you have finished a building, or any other undertaking of the like nature, it immediately decays upon your hands; you see it brought to its utmost point of perfection, and from that time hastening to its ruin. On the contrary, when you have finished your plantations, they are still arriving at greater degrees of perfection as long as you live, and appear more delightful in every succeeding year than they did in the foregoing.
But I do not only recommend this art to men of estates as a pleasing amusement, but as it is a kind of virtuous employment, and may therefore be inculcated by moral motives; particularly from the love which we ought to have for our country, and the regard which we ought to bear to our posterity. As for the first, I need only mention what is frequently observed by others, that the increase of forest trees does by no means bear a proportion to the destruction of them, insomuch that in a few ages the nation may be at a loss to supply itself with timber sufficient for the fleets of England. I know when a man talks of posterity in matters of this nature, he is looked upon with an eye of ridicule by the cunning and selfish part of mankind. Most people are of the humor of an old fellow of a college, who, when he was pressed by the society to come into something that might redound to the good of their successors, grew very peevish: "We are always doing," says he, "something for posterity, but I would fain see posterity do something for us."
Among these I know none more delightful in itself, and beneficial to the public, than that of planting. I could mention a nobleman whose fortune has placed him in several parts of England, and who has always left these visible marks behind him, which show he has been there; he never hired a house in his life, without leaving all about it the seeds of wealth, and bestowing legacies on the posterity of the owner. Had all the gentlemen of England made the same improvements upon their estates, our whole country would have been at this time as one great garden. Nor ought such an employment to be looked upon as too inglorious for men of the highest rank. There have been heroes in this art, as well as in others. We are told in particular of Cyrus the Great, that he planted all the Lesser Asia. There is indeed something truly magnificent in this kind of amusement; it gives a nobler air to several parts of nature; it fills the earth with a variety of beautiful scenes, and has something in it like creation. For this reason, the pleasure of one who plants is something like that of a poet, who, as Aristotle observes, is more delighted with his productions than any other writer or artist whatsoever.
But I think men are inexcusable, who fail in a duty of this nature, since it is so easily discharged. When a man considers that the putting of a few twigs into the ground is doing good to one who will make his appearance in the world about fifty years hence, or that he is perhaps making one of his own descendants easy or rich, by so inconsiderable an expense, if he finds himself averse to it, he must conclude that he has a poor and base heart, void of all generous principles and love to mankind.
There is one consideration which may very much enforce what I have here said. Many honest minds, that are naturally disposed to do good in the world, and become beneficial to mankind, complain within themselves that they have not talents for it. This, therefore, is a good office, which is suited to the meanest capacities, and which may be performed by multitudes, who have not abilities sufficient to deserve well of their country, and to recommend themselves to their posterity, by any other method. It is the phrase of a friend of mine, when any useful country neighbor dies, that “you may trace him;" which I look upon as a good funeral oration, at the death of an honest husbandman, who hath left the impressions of his industry behind him in the place where he has lived.
Upon the foregoing considerations, I can scarcely forbear representing the subject of this paper as a kind of moral virtue; which, as I have already shown, recommends itself likewise by the pleasure that attends it. It must be confessed that this is none of those turbulent pleasures which are apt to gratify a man in the heats of youth: but, if it be not so tumultuous, it is more lasting. Nothing can be more delightful than to entertain ourselves with prospects of our own making, and to walk under those shades which our own industry has raised. Amusements of this nature compose the mind, and lay at rest all those passions which are uneasy to the soul of man, beside that they naturally engender good thoughts, and dispose us to
laudable contemplations. Many of the old philo- Hilpa was in the hundred and sixtieth year of
This art seems to have been more especially Shalum falling into a deep melancholy, and readapted to the nature of man in his primeval the decease of her husband. state, when he had life enough to see his productions flourish in their utmost beauty, and grad-solving to take away that objection which had ually decay with him. One who lived before the been raised against him when he made his first flood might have seen a wood of the tallest oaks addresses to Hilpa, began, immediately after her in the acorn. But I only mention this particular marriage with Harpath, to plant all that mountin order to introduce, in my next paper, a history ainous region which fell to his lot in the division which I have found among the accounts of China, of this country. He knew how to adapt every and which may be looked upon as an antediluvian plant to its proper soil, and is thought to have inherited many traditional secrets of that art from the first man. This employment turned at length novel. to his profit as well as to his amusement: his mountains were in a few years shaded with young trees, that gradually shot up into groves, woods, and forests, intermixed with walks and lawns, and gardens; insomuch that the whole region, from a naked and desolate prospect, began now to look like a second paradise. The pleasantness of the place, and the agreeable disposition of Shalum, who was reckoned one of the mildest and wisest of all who lived before the flood, drew into it multitudes of people, who were perpetually employed in the sinking of wells, the digging of trenches, and the hollowing of trees, for the better distribution of water through every part of this spacious plantation.
The habitations of Shalum looked every year more beautiful in the eyes of Hilpa, who, after the space of seventy autumns, was wonderfully pleased with the distant prospect of Shalum's hills, which were then covered with innumerable tufts of trees, and gloomy scenes, that gave a magnificence to the place, and converted it into one of the finest landscapes the eye of man could behold.
The Chinese record a letter which Shalum is said to have written to Hilpa in the eleventh year of her widowhood. I shall here translate it, without departing from that noble simplicity of senti. ments and plainness of manners which appear in the original.
No. 584.] MONDAY, AUGUST 23, 1714.
VIRG. Ecl. X. 42.
HILPA was one of the hundred and fifty daughters of Zilpah, of the race of Cohu, by whom some of the learned think is meant Cain. She was exceedingly beautiful, and, when she was but a girl of threescore and ten years of age, received the addresses of several who made love to her. Among these were two brothers, Harpath and Shalum. Harpath, being the first born, was master of that fruitful region which lies at the foot of Mount Tirzah, in the southern parts of China. Shalum (which is to say the planter, in the Chinese language) possessed all the neighboring hills, and that great range of mountains which goes under the name of Tirzah. Harpath was of a haughty, contemptuous spirit; Shalum was of a gentle disposition, beloved both by God and man.
It is said that among the antediluvian women, the daughters of Cohu had their minds wholly set upon riches; for which reason the beautiful Hilpa preferred Harpath to Shalum, because of his numerous flocks and herds, that covered all the low country which runs along the foot of Mount Tirzah, and is watered by several fountains and streams breaking out of the sides of that mountain.
Harpath made so quick a dispatch of his courtship, that he married Hilpa in the hundredth year of her age; and, being of an insolent temper, laughed to scorn his brother Shalum for having pretended to the beautiful Hilpa, when he was master of nothing but a long chain of rocks and mountains. This so much provoked Shalum, that he is said to have cursed his brother in the bitterness of his heart, and to have prayed that one of his mountains might fall upon his head if ever he came within the shadow of it.
Shalum was at this time one hundred and eighty years old, and Hilpa one hundred and seventy. "Shalum, Master of Mount Tirzah, to Hilpa, Mistress of the Valleys.
"In the 788th year of the creation. What have I not suffered, O thou daughter of Zilpah, since thou gavest thyself away in marriage to my rival? I grew weary of the light of the sun, These threescore and ten and have been ever since covering myself with woods and forests. years have I bewailed the loss of thee on the top of Mount Tirzah, and soothed my melancholy among a thousand gloomy shades of my own raising. My dwellings are at present as the garden of God: every part of them is filled with fruits, and flowers, and fountains. The whole mountain is perfumed for thy reception. Come up into it, O my beloved, and let us people this spot of the new world with a beautiful race of mortals; let us multiply exceedingly among these delightful shades, and fill every quarter of them with sons and daughters. Remember, O thot daughter of Zilpah, that the age of man is but a of a few centuries. It flourishes as a mountain thousand years; that beauty is the admiration bu
From this time forward Harpath would never venture out of the valleys, but came to an untimely end in the two hundred and fiftieth year of his age, being drowned in a river as he attempted to cross it. This river is called to this day, from his name who perished in it, the river Harpath; and, what is very remarkable, issues out of one of those mountains which Shalum wished might fall upon his brother, when he cursed him in the bitterness of his heart.
"In the 789th year of the creation. "What have I to do with thee, O Shalum? Thou praisest Hilpa's beauty, but art thou not secretly enamored with the verdure of her meadows? Art thou not more affected with the prospect of her green valleys than thou wouldst be with the sight of her person? The lowings of my herds and the bleating of my flocks make a pleasant echo in thy mountains, and sound sweetly in thy ears. What though I am delighted with the wavings of thy forests, and those breezes of perfumes which flow from the top of Tirzah, are these like the riches of the valley?
"I know thee, O Shalum; thou art more wise and happy than any of the sons of men. Thy dwellings are among the cedars: thou searchest out the diversity of soils: thou understandest the influences of the stars, and markest the change of seasons. Can a woman appear lovely in the eyes of such a one? Disquiet me not, O'Shalum; let me alone, that I may enjoy those goodly possessions which are fallen to my lot. Win me not by thy enticing words. May thy trees increase and multiply; mayest thou add wood to wood, and shade to shade; but tempt not Hilpa to destroy thy solitude, and make thy retirement populous."
The Chinese say that a little time afterward she accepted of a treat in one of the neighboring hills, to which Shalum had invited her. This treat lasted for two years, and is said to have cost Shalum five hundred antelopes, two thousand ostriches, and a thousand tuns of milk; but what most of all recommended it, was that variety of delicious fruits and potherbs, in which no person then living could any way equal Shalum.
He treated her in the bower which he had
planted amidst the wood of nightingales. The wood was made up of such fruit-trees and plants as are most agreeable to the several kinds of singing birds; so that it had drawn into it all the music of the country, and was filled from one end of the year to the other with the most agreeable
concert in season.
He showed her every day some beautiful and surprising scene in this new region of woodlands; and, as by this means he had all the opportunities he could wish for of opening his mind to her, he succeeded so well, that upon her departure she made him a kind of a promise, and
gave him her word to return to him a positive answer in less than fifty years.
She had not been long among her own people in the valleys, when she received new overtares, and at the same time a most splendid visit from Mishpach, who was a mighty man of old, and had built a great city, which he called after his own name. Every house was made for at least a thousand years, nay, there were some that were leased out for three lives; so that the quantity of stone and timber consumed in this building is scarce to be imagined by those who live in the present age of the world. This great man entertained her with the voice of musical instruments which had been lately invented, and danced be fore her to the sound of the timbrel. He also presented her with several domestic utensils wrought in brass and iron, which had been newly found out for the conveniency of life. In the meattime Shalum grew very uneasy with himself, and which she had given to Mishpach, insomuch that was sorely displeased at Hilpa for the reception he never wrote to her or spoke of her during a whole revolution of Saturn; but finding that this intercourse went no further than a visit, he again renewed his addresses to her; who, during his long silence, is said very often to have cast a wishing eye upon Mount Tirzah.
Her mind continued wavering about twenty years longer between Shalum and Mishpach, for though her inclinations favored the former, her interest pleaded very powerfully for the other. While her heart was in this unsettled condition, the following accident happened, which deter mined her choice. A high tower of wood that stood in the city of Mishpach having caught fire by a flash of lightning, in a few days reduced the whole town to ashes. Mishpach resolved to rebuild the place, whatever it should cost him; and, having already destroyed all the timber of the country, he was forced to have recourse to Shalum, whose forests were now two hundred years old. He purchased these woods with so many herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, and with such a vast extent of fields and pastures, that Shalum was now grown more wealthy than Mishpach; and therefore appeared so charming in the eyes of Zilpah's daughter, that she no longer refused him in marriage. On the day on which he brought her up into the mountains he raised a most prodigious pile of cedar, and of every sweet-smelling wood, which reached about three hundred cabits in height: he also cast into the pile bundles of myrrh and sheaves of spikenard, enriching it with every spicy shrub, and making it fat with the gums of his plantations. This was the burne offering which Shalum offered in the day of his espousals; the smoke of it ascended up to heaven, and filled the whole country with incense and perfume.