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and intent upon her own preservation. The husbandman, after the same manner, is employed in laying out the whole country into a kind of garden or landscape, and making every thing smile about him, whilst in reality he thinks of nothing but of the harvest, and the increase which is to arise from it. We may
further observe, how Providence has taken care to keep up this cheerfulness in the mind of man, by having formed it after such a manner, as to make it capable of conceiving delight from several objects which seem to have very little use in them; as from the wildness of rocks and deserts, and the like grotesque parts of nature. Those who are versed in philosophy may still carry this consideration higher, by observing, that if matter had appeared to us endowed only with those real qualities which it actually possesses, it would have made but a very joyless and uncomfortable figure: and why has Providence given it a power of producing in us such imaginary qualities, as tastes and colours, sounds and smells, heat and cold, but that man, while he is conversant in the lower stations of nature, might have his mind cheered and delighted with agreeable sensations !
In short, the whole universe is a kind of theatre, filled with objects that either raise in us pleasure, amusement, or admiration.
The reader's own thoughts will suggest to him the vicissitude of day and night, the change of seasons, with all that variety of scenes which diversify the face of nature, and fill the mind with a perpetual succession of beautiful and pleasing images.
I shall not here mention the several entertainments of art, with the pleasures of friendship, books, conversation, and other accidental diversions of life, because I would only take notice of such incitements to a cheerful temper as offer themselves to persons
of all ranks and conditions, and which
may sufficiently show us that Providence did not design this world should be filled with murmurs and repinings, or that the heart of man should be involved in gloom and melancholy.
I the more inculcate this cheerfulness of temper, as it is a virtue in which our countrymen are observed to be more deficient than any other nation. Melancholy is a kind of demon that haunts our island, and often conveys herself to us in an easterly wind. A celebrated French novelist, in opposition to those who begin their romance with the flowery season of the year, enters on his story thus: 'In the gloomy month of November, when the people of England hang and drown themselves, a disconsolate lover walked out into the fields,' &c.
Every one ought to fence against the temper of his climate or constitution, and frequently to indulge in himself those considerations which may give him a serenity of mind, and enable him to bear up cheerfully against those little evils and misfortunes which are common to human nature, and which, by a right improvement of them, will produce a satiety of joy, and an uninterrupted happiness.
At the same time that I would engage my reader to consider the world in its most agreeable lights, I must own there are many evils which naturally spring up amidst the entertainments that are provided for us; but these, if rightly considered, should be far from overcasting the mind with sorrow, or destroying that cheerfulness of temper which I have been recommending. This interspersion of evil with good, and pain with pleasure, in the works of nature, is very truly ascribed by Mr. Locke, in his Essay on Human Understanding, to a moral reason in the fola lowing words:
Beyond all this, we may find another reason why God hath scattered up and down several degrees of pleasure and pain, in all the things that environ and affect us, and blended them together in almost all that our thoughts and senses have to do with ; - that we, finding imperfection, dissatisfaction, and want of complete happiness, in all the enjoyments which the creatures can afford us, might be led to seek it in the enjoyment of Him with whom there is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for ever more.'"
No. 388. MONDAY, MAY 26, 1712.
Tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis
VIRG. GEORG. ii. 174.
For thee I dare unlock the sacred spring,
MR. SPECTATOR, " It is my custom, when I read your papers, to read over the quotations in the authors from whence you take them. As you mentioned a passage lately out of the second chapter of Solomon's Song, it occasioned my looking into it, and, upon reading it, I thought the ideas so exquisitely soft and tender, that I could not help making this paraphrase of it; which, now it is done, I can as little forbear sending to you. Some marks of your approbation which I have already received, have given me so sensible a
taste of them, that I cannot forbear endeavouring after them as often as I can with any appearance of
“I am, SIR,
THE SECOND CHAPTER OF SOLOMON'S SONG. ,
With sparkling wine he crown'd the bowl,
I faint! I die! my lab'ring breast
I feel the fire possess my heart,
My feeble soul forsakes its place,
And paleness dwells upon my face :
I charge you, nymphs of Sion, as you
Be only gentle Zephyrs there,
To keep off each intruding sound :
But see! he comes! with what majestic gait
Now through the lattite he appears,