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"I forbear recommending my advice upon many other accounts, until I hear how you and your readers relish what I have already said; among whom, if there be any that may pretend it is useless to them, because they never dream at all, there may be others perhaps who do little else all day long. Were every one as sensible as I am what happens to him in his sleep, it would be no dispute whether we pass so considerable a portion of our time in the condition of stocks and stones, or whether the soul were not perpetually at work upon the principle of thought. However, it is an honest endeavor of mine to persuade my countrymen to reap some advantage from so many unregarded hours, and as such you will encourage it. "I shall conclude with giving you a sketch or two of my way of proceeding.
they slept they should examine what they had contemptible consequences of commanding or inbeen doing that day, and so discover what actions dulging one's appetite. were worthy of pursuit to morrow, and what little vices were to be prevented from slipping unawares into a habit. If I might second the philosopher's advice, it should be mine, that in a morning before my scholar rose he should consider what he had been about that night, and with the same strictness as if the condition he has believed himself to be in was real. Such a scrutiny into the actions of his fancy must be of considerable advantage; for this reason, because the circumstances which a man imagines himself in during sleep are generally such as entirely favor his inclinations, good or bad, and give him imaginary opportunities of pursuing them to the utmost: so that his temper will lie fairly open to his view, while he considers how it is moved when free from those constraints which the accidents of real life put it under. Dreams are certainly the result of our waking thoughts, and our daily hopes and fears are what give the mind such nimble relishes of pleasure, and such severe touches of pain, in its midnight rambles. A man that murders his enemy, or deserts his friend, in a dream, had need to guard his temper against revenge and ingratitude, and take heed that he be not tempted to do a vile thing in the pursuit of false, or the neglect of true honor. For my part, I seldom receive a benefit, but in a night or two's time I make most noble returns for it; which, though my benefactor is not a whit the better for, yet it pleases me to think that it was from a principle of gratitude in me that my mind was susceptible of such generous transport while I thought myself repaying the kindness of my friend: and I have often been ready to beg pardon, instead of returning an injury, after considering that when the offender was in my power I had carried my
resentments much too far.
"I think it has been observed, in the course of your papers, how much one's happiness or misery may depend upon the imagination: of which truth those strange workings of fancy in sleep are no inconsiderable instances; so that not only the advantage a man has of making discoveries of himself, but a regard to his own ease or disquiet, may induce him to accept of my advice. Such as are willing to comply with it, I shall put into a way of doing it with pleasure, by observing only one maxim which I shall give them, viz: To go to
"If I have any business of consequence to do tomorrow, I am scarce dropped asleep to-night but I am in the midst of it; and when awake, I consider the whole procession of the affair, and get the advantage of the next day's experience before the sun has risen upon it.
"There is scarcely a great post but what I have some time or other been in; but my behavior while I was master of a college pleases me so well, that whenever there is a province of that nature vacant, I intend to step in as soon as I can.
"I have done many things that would not pass examination, when I have had the art of flying or being invisible; for which reason I am glad I am not possessed of those extraordinary qualities.
Lastly, Mr. Spectator, I have been a great correspondent of yours, and have read many of my letters in your paper which I never wrote to you. If you have a mind I should really be so, I have got a parcel of visions and other miscellanies in my noctuary, which I shall send you to enrich your paper with on proper occasions. "I am, etc.,
No. 587.] MONDAY, AUGUST 30, 1714.
I know thee to thy bottom: from within
bed with a mind entirely free from passion, and a unknown to me, I am apt to think it may be the body clear of the least intemperance.'
"I was the other day reading the life of Mahomet. Among many other extravagances, I find it recorded of that impostor, that in the fourth year of his age, the angel Gabriel caught him up while he was among his playfellows; and, carrying him aside, cut open his breast, plucked out his heart, and wrung out of it that black drop of blood, in which, say the Turkish divines, is contained the fomes peccati, so that he was free from sin ever after. I immediately said to myself, Though this story be a fiction, a very good moral may be drawn from it, would every man but apply it to himself, and endeavor to squeeze out of his heart whatever sins or ill qualities he find in it.
"They, indeed, who can sink into sleep with work of that ingenious gentleman, who promised their thoughts less calm or innocent than they me, in the last paper, some extracts out of his should be, do but plunge themselves into scenes noctuary. of guilt and misery; or they who are willing to purchase any midnight disquietudes for the satisfaction of a full meal, or a skin full of wine; these I have nothing to say to, as not knowing how to invite them to reflections full of shame and horror; but those that will observe this rule, I promise them they shall awake into health and cheerfulness, and be capable of recounting with delight those glorious moments, wherein the mind has been indulging itself in such luxury of thought, such noble hurry of imagination. Suppose a man's going supperless to bed should introduce him to the table of some great prince or other, where he shall be entertained with the noblest marks of honor and plenty, and do so much business after, that he shall rise with as good a stomach to his breakfast as if he had fasted all night long: or suppose he should see his dearest friends remain all night in great distresses, which he should instantly have disengaged them from, could he have been content to have gone to bed without the other bottle; believe me, these effects of fancy are no
"While my mind was wholly taken up with this contemplation, I insensibly fell into a most pleasing slumber, when methought two porters entered my chamber, carrying a large chest between them. After having set it down in the middle of the room they departed. I immediately endeavored to open what was sent me, when a
e qualified 2011 hers, Capul de drev
30k out my vas in a great vhich I had e out of my ...ter it had been Like an empty reathing a fresh tored it safe to its sewed me up, we
sed in transparent or which looked like hich I cast my eye ave broke the glass - p and down, with ne liquor in which Bounced against the eir spot in the middle 1 red, fery color, and solent agitations. the heart of Tom seif well in the en years last past been
20 parpose. He wuntry, where, quite ever, he rails at betbe forever uneasy, - d think his merits heart that I exts smallness; it lay and I could hardly The fomes was quite fised itself over the my interpreter, 'is the
ever thirsted after withstanding all his This has flung him sace of melancholy and son of envy and idleres them their revenge mself than to any one
area next contained a large www strongly. The fomes or small; but I could not hich way soever I turned dappermost, and in the The heart you are exSanton, belongs to Will . & most noble soul, and bend good qualities. The WIECE N16-268ent is vanity.'
bage, is the heart of Freeend - Freelove and I,' said w very cold to one another, and or looking on the heart of a man svercast with rancor.' My teacher e to look upon it: I did so, and to scatole sumrise, found that a small swellla que a cala at took to be ill-will toward wwag passion; and that upon my nearer ve to wholly disappeared; upon which the pisom teid me Freelove was one of the best
na av men alive.
This,' says my teacher, is a female heart of your acquaintance. I found the fomes in it of the largest size, and of a hundred different colors, which were still varying every moment. Upon my asking to whom it belonged, I was informed that it was the heart of Coquetilla.
I set it down, and drew out another in which
sight to be very small, bat as I looked steadfastly It was the heart of who Lives the next door
***I show you this phantom, 'because it is indeed a rarity, and have the happiness to know the person vim belongs.' He then put into my hands & instal glass, that is closed a heart, in which I examined it with the utmost nicery rad not perceive any blemish. I made no scream that it must be the heart of Serap and was glad, bat not surprised, to find so. She is indeed," continued my gun the ornament a well as the envy of her sez A: these last words he pointed to the hearts of several of her female acquaintance which lay in a vials, and had very large spots in them all re a deep blue. 'You are not to wonder,' says be that you see no spot in a heart, whose innocence has been proof against all the corruptions of a depraved are. If it has any blemish, it is too sma be discovered by human eyes.'
"I laid it down, and took up the hearts of other females, in all of which the ran in several veins, which were twisted her, and made a very perplexed figure. I asked the meaning of it and was told it represented deceit.
"I should have been glad to have examined the hearts of several of my acquaintance whom I knew to be particularly addicted to drinking, gaming, intriguing, etc., but my interpeeter told me I must let that alone until another opportunity, and fung down the cover of the chest with so much violence as immediately awoke me.”
You pretend that all kindness and benevolence is founded in weakness.
MAN may be considered in two views, as a re sonable and as a sociable being; capable of be coming himself either happy or miserable, and of contributing to the happiness or misery of his te low-creatures. Suitably to this double capacity, the Contriver of human nature hath wisely fr nished it with two principles of action, self-love and benevolence; designed, one of them to rendet man wakeful to his own personal interest, the other to dispose him for giving his utmost assis ance to all engaged in the same pursuit. This is such an account of our frame, so agreeable to rea son, so much for the honor of our Maker, and the credit of our species, that it may appear somewhe unaccountable what should induce men to repre sent human nature as they do under characters of disadvantage; or having drawn it with a little and sordid aspect, what pleasure they can post by take in such a picture. Do they reflect that it is their own, and, if we will believe themselves, is not more odious than the original? One of the first that talked in this lofty strain of our nature was Epicurus. Beneficence, would his followes say, is all founded in weakness; and, whatever be pretended, the kindness that passeth between men and men is by every man directed to himsel This, it must be confessed, is of a piece with the rest of that hopeful philosophy, which, havin patched man up out of the four elements, attributes his being to chance, and derives all his actives from an unintelligible declination of atoms. 14 for these glorious discoveries the poet is beyond measure transported in the praises of his hero, a
this bodily life. And, indeed, it is obvious to remark, that we follow nothing heartily, unless carried to it by inclinations which anticipate our reason, and, like a bias, draw the mind strongly toward it. In order, therefore, to establish a perpetual intercourse of benefits among mankind, their Maker would not fail to give them this generous prepossession of benevolence, if, as I have said, it were possible. And from whence can we go about to argue its impossibility? Is it inconsistent with self-love? Are their motions contrary? No more than the diurnal rotation of the earth is opposed to its annual; or its motion round its own center, which might be improved as an illustration of self-love, to that which whirls it about the common center of the world, answering to universal benevolence. Is the force of self-love abated, or its interest prejudiced, by benevolence? So far from it, that benevolence, though a distinct principle, is extremely serviceable to self-love, and then doth most service when it is least designed.
f he must needs be something more than man, only for an endeavor to prove that man is in nothing superior to beasts. In this school was Mr. Hobbes instructed to speak after the same manner, if he did not rather draw his knowledge from an observation of his own temper; for he somewhere unluckily lays down this as a rule, that from the similitudes of thoughts and passions of one man to the thoughts and passions of another, whosoever looks into himself and considers what he doth when he thinks, hopes, fears, etc., and upon what grounds, he shall hereby read and know what are the thoughts and passions of all other men upon the like occasion. Now we will allow Mr. Hobbes to know best how he was inclined; but in earnest, I should be heartily out of conceit with myself if I thought myself of this unamiable temper as he affirms, and should have as little kindness for myself as for anybody in the world. Hitherto I always imagined that kind and benevolent propensions were the original growth of the heart of man; and, however checked and overtopped by counter-inclinations that have since sprung up within us, have But to descend from reason to matter of fact; the still some force in the worst of tempers, and a con- pity which arises on sight of persons in dissiderable influence on the best. And methinks it tress, and the satisfaction of mind which is the is a fair step toward the proof of this, that the consequence of having removed them into a hapmost beneficent of all beings is he who hath an pier state, are instead of a thousand arguments to absolute fullness of perfection in himself, who prove such a thing as a disinterested benevolence. gave existence to the universe, and so cannot be Did pity proceed from a reflection we make upon supposed to want that which he communicated, our liableness to the same ill accidents we see without diminishing from the plenitude of his befall others, it were nothing to the present purpose; own power and happiness. The philosophers be- but this is assigning an artificial cause of a fore-mentioned have indeed done all that in them natural passion, and can by no means be admitted lay to invalidate this argument; for, placing the as a tolerable account of it, because children and gods in a state of the most elevated blessedness, persons most thoughtless about their own condithey describe them as selfish as we poor miserable tion, and incapable of entering into the prospects mortals can be, and shut them out from all concern of futurity, feel the most violent touches of comfor mankind, upon the score of their having no passion. And then, as to that charming delight need of us. But if He that sitteth in the heavens which immediately follows the giving joy to anwants not us, we stand in coutinual need of him; other, or relieving his sorrow, and is, when the and, surely, next to the survey of the immense objects are numerous, and the kindness of importtreasures of his own mind, the most exalted plea-ance really inexpressible, what can this be owing sure he receives is from beholding millions of creatures, lately drawn out of the gulf of nonexistence, rejoicing in the various degrees of being and happiness imparted to them. And as this is the true, the glorious character of the Deity, so in forming a reasonable creature he would not, if possible, suffer his image to pass out of his hands unadorned with a resemblance of himself in this most lovely part of his nature. For what complacency could a mind, whose love is as unbounded as his knowledge, have in a work so unlike himself; a creature that should be capable of knowing and conversing with a vast circle of objects, and love none but himself? What proportion would there be between the head and the heart of such a creature, its affections, and its understanding? Or could a society of such creatures, with no other bottom but self-love on which to maintain a commerce, ever flourish? Reason, it is certain, would oblige every man to pursue the general happiness as the means to procure and establish his own; and yet, if beside this consideration, there were not a natural instinct, prompting men to desire the welfare and satisfaction of others, self-love, in defiance of the admonitions of reason, would quickly run all things into a state of war and confusion. As nearly interested as the soul is in the fate of the body, our provident Creator saw it necessary, by the constant returns of hunger and thirst, those importunate appetites, to put it in mind of its charge: knowing that if we should eat and drink no oftener than cold abstracted speculation should put us upon these exercises, and then leave it to reason to prescribe the quantity, we should soon refine ourselves out of
to but a consciousnes of a man's having done something praiseworthy, and expressive of a great soul? Whereas, if in all this he only sacrificed to vanity and self-love, as there would be nothing brave in actions that make the most shining appearance, so nature would not have rewarded them with this divine pleasure; nor could the commendations, which a person receives for benefits done upon selfish views, be at all more satisfactory than when he is applauded for what he doth without design; because in both cases the ends of selflove are equally answered. The conscience of approving one's self a benefactor to mankind is the noblest recompense for being so; doubtless it is, and the most interested cannot propose anything so much to their own advantage; notwithstanding which, the inclination is nevertheless unselfish. The pleasure which attends the gratification of our hunger and thirst is not the cause of these appetites; they are previous to any such prospect; and so likewise is the desire of doing good; with this difference, that, being seated in the intellectual part, this last, though antecedent to reason, may yet be improved and regulated by it; and, I will add, is no otherwise a virtue than as it is so. Thus have I contended for the dignity of that nature I have the honor to partake of: and, after all the evidence produced, think I have a right to conclude, against the motto of this paper, that there is such a thing as generosity in the world. Though, if I were under a mistake in this, I should say as Cicero in relation to the immortality of the soul, I willingly err, and should believe it very much for the interest of mankind to lie under the same delusion. For the contrary
notion naturally tends to dispirit the mind, and sinks it into a meanness fatal to the godlike zeal of doing good: as, on the other hand, it teaches people to be ungrateful, by possessing them with a persuasion concerning their benefactors, that they have no regard to them in the benefits they bestow. Now he that banishes gratitude from among men, by so doing, stops up the stream of beneficence: for though in conferring kindnesses a truly generous man doth not aim at a return, yet he looks to the qualities of the person obliged; and as nothing renders a person more unworthy of a benefit than his being without all resentment of it, he will not be extremely forward to oblige such a man.
No. 589.] FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1714.
The impious ax he plies, loud strokes resound,
"I AM SO great an admirer of trees, that the spot of ground I have chosen to build a small seat upon in the country is almost in the midst of a large wood. I was obliged, much against my will, to cut down several trees, that I might have any such thing as a walk in my gardens; but then I have taken care to leave the space between every walk as much wood as I found it. The moment you turn either to the right or left you are in a forest, where nature presents you with a much more beautiful scene than could have been raised by art.
"Instead of tulips or carnations I can show you oaks in my gardens of four hundred years' standing, and a knot of elms that might shelter a troop of horse from the rain.
"It is not without the utmost indignation, that I observe several prodigal young heirs in the neighborhood felling down the most glorious monuments of their ancestors' industry, and ruining, in a day, the product of ages.
"I am mightily pleased with your discourse upon planting, which put me upon looking into my books, to give you some account of the veneration the ancients had for trees. There is an old tradition that Abraham planted a cypress, a pine, and a cedar; and that these three incorporated into one tree, which was cut down for the building of the temple of Solomon.
Isidorus, who lived in the reign of Constantius, assures us, that he saw, even in his time, that famous oak in the plains of Mamre, under which Abraham is reported to have dwelt; and adds, that the people looked upon it with a great veneration, and preserved it as a sacred tree.
The heathens still went further, and regarded it as the highest piece of sacrilege to injure certain trees which they took to be protected by some deity. The story of Erisicthon, the grove of Dodona, and that at Delphi, are all instances of this kind.
"If we consider the machine in Virgil, so much blamed by several critics, in this light, we shall hardly think it too violent.
"Æneas, when he built his fleet in order to sail for Italy, was obliged to cut down a grove on mount Ida, which however he durst not do until he had obtained leave from Cybele, to whom it was dedicated. The goddess could not but think herself obliged to protect the ships, which were made of consecrated timber, aft extraordinary
manner, and therefore desired Jupiter, that they might not be obnoxious to the power of waves of winds. Jupiter would not grant this, but promis ed her that as many as came safe to Italy should be transformed into goddesses of the sea; which the poet tells us was accordingly executed.
And now at length the number'd hours were comme
When the great mother of the gods was free
"The common opinion concerning the nymphs, whom the ancients called Hamadryads, is more to the honor of trees than anything yet mentioned. It was thought the fate of these nymphs had so near a dependence on some trees, more especially oaks, that they lived and died together. For this reason they were extremely grateful to such persons who preserved those trees with which their being subsisted. Apollonius tells us a very remarkable story to this purpose, with which I shall conclude my letter.
"A certain man, called Rhæcus, observing an old oak ready to fall, and being moved with a sort of compassion toward the tree, ordered his servants to pour in fresh earth at the roots of it, and set it upright. The Hamadryad, or nymph, who must necessarily have perished with the tree, appeared to him the next day, and, after having returned him her thanks, told him she was ready to grant whatever he should ask. As she was extremely beautiful, Rhæcus desired he might be entertained as her lover. The Hamadryad, not much displeased with the request, promised to give him a meeting, but commanded him for some days to abstain from the embraces of all other women, adding, that she would send a bee to him, to let him know when he was to be happy. Rhe cus was, it seems, too much addicted to gaming, and happened to be in a run of ill-luck when the faithful bee came buzzing about him; so that, instead of minding his kind invitation, he had like to have killed him for his pains. The Hamadryad was so provoked at her own disappointment, and the ill usage of her messenger, that she deprived Rhæcus of the use of his limbs. However, says the story, he was not so much a cripple, but he made shift to cut down the tree, and consequently to fell his mistress."
No. 590.] MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1714.
Non secus ac flumen. Neque enim consistere flumen,
F'en times are in perpetual flux, and run,
For time, no more than streams, is at a stay; The flying hour is ever on her way: And as the fountains still supply their store, The wave behind impels the wave before; Thus in successive course the minutes run, And urge their predecessor minutes on, Still moving, ever new; for former things Are laid aside, like abdicated kings; And every moment alters what is done, And innovates some act, till then unknown.-DRYDEN. The following discourse comes from the same hand with the Essays on Infinitude.
"WE consider infinite space as an expansion without a circumference: we consider eternity, or infinite duration, as a line that has neither a beginning nor an end. In our speculations of infinite space, we consider that particular place in
which we exist as a kind of center to the whole expansion. In our speculations of eternity, we consider the time which is present to us as the middle, which divides the whole line into two equal parts. For this reason many witty authors compare the present time to an isthmus, or narrow neck of land, that rises in the midst of an ocean, immeasurably diffused on either side of it.
may as well say, that anything may be actually present in any part of infinite space, which does not lie at a certain distance from us, as that any part of infinite duration was once actually present, and does not also lie at some determined distance from us. The distance in both cases may be immeasurable and indefinite as to our faculties, but our reason tells us that it cannot be so in itself. Here, therefore, is that difficulty which human understanding is not capable of surmounting. We are sure that something must have existed from eternity, and are at the same time unable to conceive, that anything which exists, according to our notion of existence, can have existed from eternity.
"It is hard for a reader, who has not rolled this thought in his own mind, to follow in such an abstracted speculation; but I have been the longer on it because I think it is a demonstrative argument of the being and eternity of God; and, lead us to this great truth, I do not think we ought though there are many other demonstrations which to lay aside any proofs in this matter, which the light of reason has suggested to us, especially when it is such a one as has been urged by men famous for their penetration and force of understanding, and which appears altogether conclusive to those who will be at the pains to examine it.
"Philosophy, and indeed common sense, naturally throws eternity under two divisions, which we may call in English that eternity which is past, and that eternity which is to come. The learned terms of Eternitas a parte ante, and Eternitas a parte post, may be more amusing to the reader, but "Having thus considered that eternity which is can have no other idea affixed to them than what past, according to the best idea we can frame of it, is conveyed to us by those words, an eternity that I shall now draw up those several articles on this is past and an eternity that is to come. Each of subject, which are dictated to us by the light of these eternities is bounded at the one extreme; or, reason, and which may be looked upon as the in other words, the former has an end, and the creed of a philosopher in this great point. latter a beginning.
"Let us first of all consider that eternity which is past, reserving that which is to come for the subject of another paper. The nature of this eternity is utterly inconceivable by the mind of man: our reason demonstrates to us that it has been, but at the same time can frame no idea of it, but what is big with absurdity and contradiction. We can have no other conception of any duration which is past, than that all of it was once present; and whatever was once present is at some certain distance from us, and whatever is at any certain distance from us, be the distance never so remote, cannot be eternity. The very notion of any duration being past, implies that it was once present, for the idea of being once present is actually included in the idea of its being past. This, therefore, is a depth not to be sounded by human understanding. We contradict ourselves when we measure this eternity are sure that there has been an eternity, and yet by any notion which we can frame of it.
"If we go to the bottom of this matter, we shall find that the difficulties we meet with in our conceptions of eternity proceed from this single reason, that we can have no other idea of any kind of duration than that by which we ourselves, and all other created beings, do exist; which is, a successive duration made up of past, present, and to
There is nothing which exists after this manner, all the parts of whose existence were not once actually present, and consequently may be reached by a certain number of years applied to it. We may ascend as high as we please, and employ our being to that eternity which is to come, in adding millions of years to millions of years, and we can never come up to any fountain-head of duration, to any beginning into eternity: but at the same time we are sure that whatever was once present does lie within the reach of numbers, though perhaps we can never be able to put enough of them together for that purpose. We
* Enow. The singular number is here used for the plural.
First, It is certain that no being could have made itself; for if so, it must have acted before it was, which is a contradiction.
Secondly, That therefore some being must have existed from all eternity.
"Thirdly, That whatever exists after the manner of created beings, or according to any notions which we have of existence, could not have existed from eternity.
"Fourthly, That this eternal Being must therefore be the great Author of nature, the Ancient of Days,' who, being at infinite distance in his perfections from all finite and created beings, ex1sts in a quite different manner from them, and in a manner of which they can have no idea.
"I know that several of the schoolmen, who
would not be thought ignorant of anything, have pretended to explain the manner of God's existhim a punctum stans, a fixed point; or, which is as tence, by telling us that he comprehends infinite duration in every moment: that eternity is with good sense, an infinite instant; that nothing with reference to his existence is either past or to come: to which the ingenious Mr. Cowley alludes in his description of heaven:
Nothing is there to come, and nothing past, But an eternal now does always last. "For my own part, I look upon these propositions as words that have no ideas annexed to them; and think men had better own their ignorance than advance doctrines by which they mean noWe cannot be too modest in our disquisitions thing, and which, indeed, are self-contradictory. when we meditate on Him, who is environed with of being, the fountain of all that existence which so much glory and perfection, who is the source
we and his whole creation derive from him. Let us, therefore, with the utmost humility acknowledge, that as some being must necessarily have existed from eternity, so this being does exist after an incomprehensible manner, since it is impossible for a being to have existed from eternity