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the flashings of lucid intervals, written for private satisfaction, and now published for a help to human conduct.
The author blesseth God for his retirement, and kisses that gentle hand which led him into it: for though it should prove barren to the world, it can never do so to him.
He has now had some time he could call his own, a property he was never so much master of before: in which he has taken a view of himself and the world; and observed wherein he hath hit and missed the mark; what might have been done, what mended, and what avoided in his human conduct: together with the omissions and excesses of others, as well societies and governments, as private families and persons. And he verily-thinks, were he to live over his life again, he could not only, with God's grace, serve him, but his neighbor and himself, better than he hath done, and have seven years of his time to spare. And yet, perhaps, he hath not been the worst or the idlest man in the world; nor is he the • oldest. And this is the rather said, that it might quicken thee, reader, to lose none of the time that is yet thine.
There is nothing of which we are apt to be so lavish as of time, and about which we ought to be more solicitous; since without it we can do nothing in this world. Time is what we want most, but what, alas! we use worst; and for which God will certainly most strictly reckon with us, when time shall be no more.
It is of that moment to us in reference to both worlds, that I can hardly wish any man better, than that he would seriously consider what he does with his time; how and to what end he employs it; and what returns he makes to God, his neighbor, and himself for it. Will he never have a ledger for this; this, the greatest wisdom and work of life?
To come but once into the world, and trifle away our true enjoyment of it, and of ourselves in it, is lamentable indeed. This one reflection would yield a thinking person great instruction. And, since nothing below man can so think, man in being thoughtless must needs fall below himself. And that, to be sure, such do, as are unconcerned in the use of their most precious time.
This is but too evident, if we will allow ourselves to consider, that there is hardly any thing we take by the right end, or improve to its just advantage.
We understand little of the works of God, either in nature or grace. We pursue false knowledge, and mistake education extremely. We are violent in our affections; confused and immethodical in our whole life; making that a burden which was given for a blessing; and so of little comfort to ourselves or others; misapprehending the true notion of happiness, and so missing of the right use of fife, and way of happy living.
And until we are persuaded to stop, and step a little aside, out of the noisy crowd and encumbering hurry of the world, and calmly take a prospect of things, it will be impossible we should be able to make a right judgment of ourselves, or know our own misery. But after we have made the just reckonings, which retirement will help us to, we shall begin to think the world in great measure mad, and that we have been in a sort of Bedlam all this while.
Reader, whether young or old, think it not too soon or too late to turn over the leaves of thy past life; and be sure to fold down where any passage of it may affect thee; and bestow thy remainder of rime, to correct those faults in thy future conduct, be it in relation to this or the next life. What thou wouldst do, if what thou hast done were to do again, be sure to do as long as thou livest, upon the like occasions.
Our resolutions seem to be vigorous as often as we reflect upon our past errors; but, alas! they are apt to flag again upon fresh temptations to the same things.
The author does not pretend to deliver thee an exact piece; his business not being ostentation, but charity. It is miscellaneous in the matter of it, and by no means artificial in the composure. But it contains hints, that may serve thee for texts to preach to thyself upon, and which comprehend much of the course of human life: since whether thou art parent or child, prince or subject, master or servant, single or married, public or private, mean or honorable, rich or poor, prosperous or unprosperous, in peace or controversy, in business or solitude; whatever be thy inclination or aversion, practice or duty, thou wilt find something not unsuitably said for thy direction and advantage. Accept and improve what deserves thy notice; the rest excuse, and place to account of good-will to thee and the whole creation of God.
Penn's Advice To His Children.'
Next, betake yourself to some honest, industrious course of life, and that not of sordid covetousness, but for example, and to avoid idleness. And if you change your condition and marry, choose with the knowledge and consent of your mother, if living, or of guardians, or those that have the charge of you. Mind neither beauty nor riches, but the fear of the Lord, and a sweet and amiable disposition, such as you can love above all this world, and that may make your habitations pleasant and desirable to you.
And being married, be tender, affectionate, patient, and meek. Live in the fear of the Lord, and he will bless you and your offspring. Be sure to live within compass; borrow not, neither be
1 Rend—an admirable " Discourse on the Virtues and Public Services of William Pwin," by Albert Barnes.
beholden to any. Ruin not yourselves by kindness to others; for that exceeds the due bounds of friendship, neither will a true friend expect it. Small matters I heed not.
Let your industry and parsimony go no further than for a sufficiency for life, and to make a provision for your children, and that in moderation, if the Lord gives you any. I charge you help the poor and needy; let the Lord have a voluntary share of your income for the good of the poor, both in our society and others; fur we are all his creatures; remembering that "he that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord."
Know well your incomings, and your outgoings may be better regulated. Love not money nor the world: use them only, and they will serve you; but if you love them you serve them, which will debase your spirits as well as offend the Lord.
Pity the distressed, and hold out a hand of help to them; it may be your case, and as you mete to others, God will mete to you again.
Be humble and gentle in your conversation; of few words I charge you, but always pertinent when you speak, hearing out before you attempt to answer, and then speaking as if you would persuade, not impose.
Affront none,neither revenge the affronts that are done to you; but forgive, and you shall be forgiven of your heavenly Father.
In making friends, consider well first; and when you are fixed, be true, not wavering by reports, nor deserting in affliction, for that becomes not the good and virtuous.
Watch against anger; neither speak nor act in it; for, like drunkenness, it makes a man a beast, and throws people into desperate inconveniences.
Avoid flatterers, for they are thieves in disguise; their praise is costly, designing to get by those they bespeak; they are the worst of creatures; they lie to flatter, and flatter to cheat; and, which is worse, if you believe them, you cheat yourselves most dangerously. But the virtuous, though poor, love, cherish, and prefer. Remember David, who, asking the Lord, "Who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell upon thy holy hill?" answers, "He that walketh uprightly, worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart; in whose eyes the vile person is contemned, but honoreth them who fear the Lord."
Next, my children, be temperate in all things: in your diet, for that is physic by prevention; it keeps, nay, it makes people healthy, and their generation sound. This is exclusive of the spiritual advantage it brings. Be also plain in your apparel; keep out that lust which reigns too much over some; let your virtues be your ornaments, remembering life is more than food, and the body than raiment. Let your furniture be simple and cheap. Avoid pride, avarice, and luxury. Read my " No Cross, no Crown." There is instruction. Make your conversation with the most eminent for wisdom and piety, and shun all wicked men as you hope for the blessing of God and the comfort of your fathers living and dying prayers. Be sure you speak no evil of any, no, not of the meanest; much less of your superiors, as magistrates, guardians, tutors, teachers, and elders in Christ.
Be no busybodies; meddle not with other folk's matters, but when in conscience and duty pressed ; for it procures trouble, and is ill manners, and very unseemly to wise men.
In your families remember Abraham, Moses, and Joshua, their integrity to the Lord, and do as you have them for your examples.
Let the fear and service of the living God be encouraged in your houses, and that plainness, sobriety, and moderation in all things, as becometh God's chosen people; and as I advise you, my beloved children, do you counsel yours, if God should give you any. Yea, I counsel and command them as my posterity, that they love and serve the Lord God with an upright heart, that he may bless you and yours from generation to generation.
And as for you, who are likely to be concerned in the government of Pennsylvania and my parts of East Jersey, especially the first, I do charge you before the Lord God and his holy angels, that you be lowly, diligent, and tender, fearing God, loving the people, and hating covetousness. Let justice have its impartial course, and the law free passage. Though to your Joss, protect no man against it; for you are not above the law, but the lawabove you. Live, therefore, the lives yourselves you would have the people live, and then you have right and boldness to punish the transgressor. Keep upon the square, for God sees you: therefore, do your duty, and be sure you see with your own eyes, and hear with your own ears. Entertain no lurchers, cherish no informers for gain or revenge, use no tricks, fly to no devices to support or cover injustice; but let your hearts be upright before the Lord, trusting in him above the contrivances of men, and none shall be able to hurt or supplant.
JOSEPH ADDISON. 1672—1719.
Joseph Aiuiisoit, one of the brightest names in English literature, was born at Milston, in Wiltshire, of which place his father was rector, on the 1st of May, 1072. After the usual course of study, lie entered the University of Oxford, ut the age of iifteen. Here he devoted himself with great assiduity to classical studies, the fruits of which were soon seen in a small volume of Latin poems, which attracted considerable attention. In his twenty-second year he addressed some verses to Mr. Dryden, which procured him the notice and approbation of that poet, for whom he afterwards wrote a prefatory 11 Essay on the Georgics," which Dryden prefixed to his translation in 1097. Before this, however, he had become acquainted with that distinguished patron of tetters, Lord Keeper Somers, who, in 1609, procured for him a pension of JE300 a year, to enable him to travel in Italy. In this classic land he composed his Epistle to Lord Halifax, one of his best poetical productions, his ♦'Dialogue on Medals,'' and the greater part of his "Cato." Soon after his return he published his travels in Italy, dedicated to his patron. Lord Somers, illustrative chiefly of the classical associations of that renowned land.
The change of the administration in 1702 deprived Addison of his pension; and he had lived more than two years in retirement when he was requested by one of the ministry to write a poem in praise of the victory of Blenheim, gained by the Duke of Marlborough, in August, 1704. He did so, and before the year closed, appeared the "Campaign,''1 which procured for him the office of under-secretary of state. In 1709 he went to Ireland aa secretary to the lord-lieutenant, and while hero, on the 12th of April (O. S.) of that year, appeared the first number of "The Taller." When the sixth number of this appeared, Addison knew that the author was his friend Sir Richard Steele, from a critical remark which he had privately made to him alone,2 and he therefore immediately took a very active part in the conduct of tliis periodical*
The iLTaller*' had scarcely terminated, when Addison formed the plan of that work on which his fame chiefly rests—the « Spectator."4 The essays in it most valuable for humor, invention, and precept, are the product of his pen, and it soon became the most popular work England had produced. So great was its reputation, that sometimes twenty thousand copies of a number were sold in one day. It travelled through every part of the kingdom, and was
1 Warton has not too severely called this poem "a Gazette In Rhyme." How infinitely superior for Ha flnir moral tone, as well aa for its pathos anil poetry, is that touching biUhul of Southcy's, on the »ame subject; the last verse of which reads thus:—
And everybody praised the Duke,
Qnoth lktUe Peterkin.
"Virgil's common epithet to Mneas Is Pum or Pater. I have therefore considered what passage there is in any of his hero's acUons where cither of these appellations would have been most Improper;—and this, I think, Is his mecUng with Dido iu the cave, where Pvut ^neas would have been absurd, and titer /Eneas a burlesque: the poet therefore wisely dropped them both for Z>ar Trqfxmu; which he has repeated twice in Jono's speech and lils own narration: for he very well knew a loose action mi?ht be consistent enough with the usual manners of a soldier, though it became neither the chastity of a pious man, nor the gravity of the father of a people."
3 Toe Taller may be considered as the father of English periodical literature. It was published every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, from the lath of April, 1709, to the 2d of January, 1711. Of U*e 271 papers, Steele wrote 188; Addison, 42; Steele and Addison Jointly, 36; Swift and Addison, 1; Hugttes, 2; Swift, 1; Fuller, 1.
* The Spectator was commenced on the 1st of March, 1711, and continued every day, Sundays excepted, till the 6th of December, 1712. The plan Is founded upon the fiction of a club that ensembles every Tuesday and Thursday, to carry on the publication. Of the C35 numbers, Addison wrote 2/4; Steele, 240; Budgcll, 37; Hughes, l J; Qrove, *; Pope, Pamell, Tearee, Martyn, Byrom, 2 each; Switt, Brown, Francham, Dunlop, Hardwicke, Fleetwood, leach; and 53 were anonymous. Addison's papers are designated by the letters of the word Clan,