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her gate wide open, and welcomed all equally to the district under her superintendency; so that the passage was crowded by all those who either feared the examination of ReASON, or had been rejected by her. From the
of REASON there was a way to the throne of Hopë, by a craggy, slippery, and winding path, called the Streight of Dificulty, which those who entered with the permission of the guard endeavoured to climb. But though they surveyed the way very cheerfully before they began to rise, and marked out the several stages of their progress, they commonly found unexpected obstacles, and were obliged frequently to stop on the sudden, where they imagined the way plain and
A thousand intricacies embarrassed them, a thousand slips threw them back, and a thousand pitfals impeded their advance. So formidable were the dangers, and so frequent the miscarriages, that many returned from the first attempt, end many fainted in the midst of the way, and only a very small number were led up to the summit of Hope, by the hand of Fortitude. Of these few the greater part, when they had obtained the gift which Hope had promised them, regretted the labour which it cost, and felt in their success the regret of disappointment; the rest retired with their prize, and were led by Wisdom to the bowers of CONTENT.
Turning then towards the gate of Fancy, I could find no way to the seat of Hope ; but though she sat full in view, and held out her gifts with an air of invitation, which filled every heart with rapture, the mountain was, on that side, inaco.
cessibly steep, but so channelled and shaded, tbat none perceived the impossibility of ascending it, but each imagined himself to have discovered a way to which the rest were strangers. Many expedients were indeed tried by this industrious tribe, of whom some were making themselves wings, which others were contriving to actuate by the perpetual motion. But with all their labour, and all their artifices, they never rose above the ground, or quickly fell back, nor, ever approached the throne of Hope, but continued still to gaze at a distance, and laughed at the slow progress of those whom they saw toiling in the Streight of Difficulty.
Part of the favourites of Fancy, when they had entered the garden, without making, like the rest, an attempt to climb the mountain, turned immediately to the vale of IDLENESS, a calm and undisturbed retirement, from whence they could always have Hope in prospect, and to which they pleased themselves with believing that she intended speedily to descend. These were indeed scorned by all the rest; but they seemed very little affected by contempt, advice, or reproof, but were resolved to expect at ease the favour of the goddess.
Among this gay race I was wandering, and found them ready to answer all my questions, and willing to communicate their mirth : but turning round I saw two dreadfulmonsters entering the vale, one of whom I knew to be Age, and the other WANT. Sport and revelling were now at an end, and an universal shriek of affright and distress burst out, and awakened me.
N° 68. SATURDAY, NOV. IO, 1750.
Vivendum recte, cum propter plurima, tunc his
Let us live well : were it alone for this
The younger Pliny has very justly observed, that of actions that deserve our attention, the most splendid are not always the greatest. Fame, and wonder, and applause, are not excited but by external and adventitious circumstances, often distinct and separate from virtue and heroism. Eminence of station, greatness of effect, and all the favours of fortune, must concur to place excellence in publick view ; but fortitude, diligence, and patience, divested of theirs how, glide unobserved through the crowd of life, and suffer and act, though with the same vigour and constancy, yet without pity and without praise.
This remark may be extended to all parts of life. Nothing is to be estimated by its effect upon common eyes and common ears. A thousand miseries make silent and invisible inroads on mankind, and the heart feels innumerable throbs
which never break into complaint. Perhaps likewise, our pleasures are for the most part equally secret, and most are borne up by some private satisfaction, some internal consciousness, some latent hope, some peculiar prospect, which they never communicate, but reserve for solitary hours and clandestine meditation.
The main of life is, indeed, composed of small incidents and petty occurrences ; of wishes for objects not remote, and grief for disappointments of no fatal consequence ; of insect vexations which sting us and fly away, impertinencies which buzz a while about us, and are heard no more ; of meteorous pleasures which dance before us and are dissipated; of compliments which glide off the soul like other musick, and are forgotten by him that gave and him that received them.
Such is the general heap out of which every man is to cull his own condition : for, as the chemists tell us, that all bodies are resolvable into the same elements, and that the boundless variety of things arises from the different proportions of a very few ingredients ; so a few pains and a few pleasures are all the materials of human life, and of these the proportions are partly allotted by Providence, and partly left to the arrangement
of son and of choice.
As these are well or ill disposed, man is for the most part happy or miserable.
very few are involved in great events, or have their thread of life entwisted with the chain of causes on which armies or nations are suspended ; and even those who seem wholly busied in publick affairs, and elevated above low cares or trivial pleasures, pass Vol. II.
the chief part of their time in familiar and domestick scenes ; from these they come into publick life, to these they are every hour recalled by passions not to be suppressed; in these they have the reward of their toils, and to these at last they retire.
The great end of prudence is, to give cheerfulness to those hours, which splendour cannot gild, and acclamation cannot exhilarate; those soft intervals of unbended amusement, in which a man shrinks to his natural dimensions, and throws aside the ornaments or disguises, which he feels in privacy to be useless incumbrances, and to lose all effect when they become familiar. To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution.
It is, indeed, at home that every man must be known by those who would make a just estimate either of his virtue or felicity; for smiles and embroidery are alike occasional, and the mind is of. ten dressed for show in painted honour and fictitious benevolence.
Every man must have found some whose lives, in every house but their own, was a continual series of hypocrisy, and who concealed under fair appearance bad qualities, which, whenever they thought themselves out of the reach of censure, broke out from their restraint, like winds imprisoned in their caverns, and whom every one had reason to love, but they whose love a wise man is chiefly solicitous to procure. And there are others who, without any show of general goodness, and without the attractions by which popularity is conci