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Face of Nature; as it is impossible we should take Delight No. 25, in any thing that we are every Moment afraid of Thursday, losing. March 29,

I do not mean, by what I have here said, that I think any one to blame for taking due Care of their Health, On the contrary, as Cheerfulness of Mind, and Capacity for Business, are in a great measure the Effects of a well-tempered Constitution, a Man cannot be at too much Pains to cultivate and preserve it. But this Care, which we are prompted to, not only by common Sense, but by Duty and Instinct, should never engage us in groundless Fears, melancholy Apprehensions, and imaginary Distempers, which are natural to every Man who is more anxious to live than how to live. In short, the Preservation of Life should be only a secondary Concern, and the Direction of it our Principal. If we have this Frame of Mind, we shall take the best Means to preserve Life, without being over-sollicitous about the Event; and shall arrive at that Point of Felicity which Martial has mentioned as the Perfection of Happiness, of neither fearing nor wishing for Death,

In answer to the Gentleman, who tempers his Health by Ounces and by Scruples, and instead of complying with those natural Sollicitations of Hunger and Thirst, Drowsiness or Love of Exercise, governs himself by the Prescriptions of his Chair, I shall tell him a short Fable, Jupiter, says the Mythologist, to reward the Piety of a certain Countryman, promised to give him whatever he would ask, The Countryman desired that he might have the Management of the Weather in his own Estates He obtained his Request, and immediately distributed Rain, Snow, and Sunshine among his several Fields, as he thought the nature of the Soil required, At the end of the Year, when he expected to see a more than ordinary Crop, his Harvest fell infinitely short of that of his Neighbours: Upon which (says the Fable) he desired Jupiter to take the Weather again into his own Hands, or that otherwise he should utterly ruin himself.

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1711,

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1711,

Friday, March 30,

Pallida mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas

Regumque turres. O beate Sesti,

Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam,
Jam te premet nox, fabulaeque manes,

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W walk by my self in Westminster Abby; where

HEN I am in a serious Humour, I very often

the Gloominess of the Place, and the Use to which it is applied, with the Solemnity of the Building, and the Condition of the People who lye in it, are apt to fill the Mind with a kind of Melancholy, or rather Thoughtfulness, that is not disagreeable. I Yesterday pass'd a whole Afternoon in the Church-yard, the Cloysters, and the Church, amusing my self with the Tomb-stones and Inscriptions that I met with in those several Regions of the Dead. Most of them recorded nothing else of the buried Person, but that he was born upon one Day and died upon another: The whole History of his Life being comprehended in those two Circumstances, that are common to all Mankind. I could not but look upon these Registers of Existence, whether of Brass or Marble, as a kind of Satyr upon the departed Persons; who had left no other Memorial of them, but that they were born and that they died. They put me in mind of several Persons mentioned in the Battels of Heroic Poems, who have sounding Names given them, for no other Reason but that they may be killed, and are celebrated for nothing but being knocked on the Head,

Γλαῦκόν τε Μέδοντα τε Θερσίλοχον τε.Hom

Glaucumque, Medontaque, Thersilochumque.—Virg. The Life of these Men is finely described in Holy Writ by the Path of an Arrow, which is immediately closed up and lost.

Upon my going into the Church, I entertained my self with the digging of a Grave; and saw in every Shovel-full of it that was thrown up, the Fragment of a Bone or Skull intermixt with a kind of fresh moulder ing Earth that some time or other had a place in the Composition

Composition of an human Body. Upon this, I began to No. 26, consider with my self what innumerable Multitudes of Friday, March 30, People lay confused together under the Pavement of that 1711, ancient Cathedral; how Men and Women, Friends and Enemies, Priests and Soldiers, Monks and Prebendaries, were crumbled amongst one another, and blended together in the same common Mass; how Beauty, Strength, and Youth, with Old-age, Weakness, and Deformity, lay undis tinguished in the same promiscuous Heap of Matter,

After having thus surveyed this great Magazine of Mortality, as it were, in the Lump, I examined it more particularly by the Accounts which I found on several of the Monuments which are raised in every Quarter of that ancient Fabrick. Some of them were covered with such extravagant Epitaphs, that, if it were possible for the dead Person to be acquainted with them, he would blush at the Praises which his Friends have be stowed upon him. There are others so excessively modest, that they deliver the Character of the Person departed in Greek or Hebrew, and by that means are not understood once in a Twelve-month. In the Poetical Quarter, I found there were Poets who had no Monu ments, and Monuments which had no Poets. I observed indeed that the present War had filled the Church with many of these uninhabited Monuments, which had been erected to the Memory of Persons whose Bodies were perhaps buried in the Plains of Blenheim, or in the Bosom of the Ocean,

I could not but be very much delighted with several modern Epitaphs, which are written with great Elegance of Expression and Justness of Thought, and therefore do Honour to the Living as well as to the Dead, As a Foreigner is very apt to conceive an Idea of the Ignor ance or Politeness of a Nation from the Turn of their publick Monuments and Inscriptions, they should be submitted to the Perusal of Men of Learning and Genius before they are put in Execution. Sir Cloudesley Shovel's Monument has very often given me great Offence: Instead of the brave rough English Admiral, which was the distinguishing Character of that plain gallant Man, he is represented on his Tomb by the

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No. 26, Figure of a Beau, dress'd in a long Perriwig, and repos Friday, ing himself upon Velvet Cushions under a Canopy of March 30, State, The Inscription is answerable to the Monument; for instead of celebrating the many remarkable Actions he had performed in the Service of his Country, it acquaints us only with the Manner of his Death, in which it was impossible for him to reap any Honour, The Dutch, whom we are apt to despise for want of Genius, shew an infinitely greater Taste of Antiquity and Politeness in their Buildings and Works of this Nature, than what we meet with in those of our own Country, The Monuments of their Admirals, which have been erected at the publick Expence, represent them like themselves; and are adorned with rostral Crowns and naval Ornaments, with beautiful Festoons of Seaweed, Shells, and Coral,

But to return to our Subject. I have left the Repository of our English Kings for the Contemplation of another Day, when I shall find my Mind disposed for so serious an Amusement. I know that Entertainments of this nature are apt to raise dark and dismal Thoughts in timorous Minds, and gloomy Imaginations; but for my own part, though I am always serious, I do not know what it is to be melancholy; and can therefore take a View of Nature in her deep and solemn Scenes, with the same Pleasure as in her most gay and delightful ones. By this means I can improve my self with those Objects, which others consider with Terror. When I look upon the Tombs of the Great, every Emotion of Envy dies in me; when I read the Epitaphs of the Beautiful, every inordinate Desire goes out; when I meet with the Grief of Parents upon a Tomb-stone, my Heart melts with Compassion; when I see the Tomb of the Parents themselves, I consider the Vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow: When I see Kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival Wits placed Side by Side, or the holy Men that divided the World with their Contests and Disputes, I reflect with Sorrow and Astonishment on the little Competitions, Factions, and Debates of Mankind. When I read the several Dates of the Tombs,

of

of some that died Yesterday, and some six hundred No. 26, Years ago, I consider that great Day when we shall Friday, all of us be Contemporaries, and make our Appearance 1711, together.

No. 27,
[STEELE]

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Saturday, March 31,

Ut nox longa quibus mentitur amica, diesque
Longa videtur opus debentibus, ut piger annus
Pupillis quos dura premít custodia matrum,

Sic mihi tarda fluunt ingrataque tempora, quae spem
Consiliumque morantur agendi naviter, id quod
Aeque pauperibus prodest, locupletibus aeque,
Aeque neglectum pueris senibusque nocebit.-Hor,

is

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HERE is scarce a thinking Man in the World, who is involved in the Business of it, but lives under a secret Impatience of the Hurry and Fatigue he suffers, and has formed a Resolution to fix himself, one time or other, in such a State as is suitable to the End of his Being. You hear Men every Day in Conversation profess, that all the Honour, Power and Riches which they propose to themselves, cannot give Satisfaction enough to reward them for half the Anxiety they undergo in the Pursuit, or Possession of them. While Men are in this Temper (which happens very frequently) how inconsistent are they with themselves? They are wearied with the Toil they bear, but cannot find in their Hearts to relinquish it; Retirement is what they want, but they cannot betake themselves to it: While they pant after Shade and Covert, they still affect to appear in the most glittering Scenes of Life: But sure this is but just as reasonable as if a Man should call for more Lights, when he has a mind to go to Sleep.

Since then it is certain that our own Hearts deceive us in the Love of the World, and that we cannot com mand our selves enough to resign it, though we every Day wish our selves disengaged from its Allurements; let us not stand upon a Formal taking of Leave, but wean our selves from them, while we are in the midst of them,

It is certainly the general Intention of the greater Part

of

March 30,

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