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other account but because it has a greater mixture of spring in it. The mildness of our climate, with those frequent refreshments of dews and rains that fall among us, keep up a perpetual cheerfulness in our fields, and fill the hottest months of the year with a lively verdure.
In the opening of the spring, when all nature begins to recover herself, the same animal pleasure which makes the birds sing, and the whole brute creation rejoice, rises very sensibly in the heart of
I know none of the poets who have observed so well as Milton those secret overflowings of gladness which diffuse themselves through the mind of the beholder, upon surveying the gay scenes of nature: he has touched upon it twice or thrice in his Paradise Lost, and describes it very beautifully under the name of 'vernal delight,' in that passage where he represents the devil himself as almost sensible of it:
Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue
Many authors have written on the vanity of the creature, and represented the barrenness of every thing in this world, and its incapacity of producing any solid or substantial happiness. As discourses of this nature are very useful to the sensual and voluptuous, those speculations which show the bright side of things, and lay forth those innocent entertainments which are to be met with among the several objects that encompass us, are no less benefis
cial to men of dark and melancholy tempers. It was for this reason that I endeavoured to recommend a cheerfulness of mind in my two last Saturday's papers, and which I would still inculcate, not only from the consideration of ourselves, and of that Being on whom we depend, nor from the general survey of that universe in which we are i. at present, but from reflections on the particular season in which this paper is written. The creation is a perpetual feast to the mind of a good man; every thing he sees cheers and delights him. Providence has imprinted so many smiles on nature, that it is impossible for a mind which is not sunk in more gross and sensual delights, to take a survey of them without several secret sensations of pleasure. The Psalmist has, in several of his divine poems, celebrated those beautiful and agreeable scenes which make the heart glad, and produce in it that vernal delight which I have before taken notice of Natural philosophy quickens this taste of the creation, and renders it not only pleasing to the imagination, but to the understanding. It does not rest in the murmur of brooks and the melody of birds, in the shade of groves and woods, or in the embroidery of fields and meadows; but considers the several ends of Providence which are served by them, and the wonders of divine wisdom which appear in them. It heightens the pleasures of the eye, and raises such a rational admiration in the soul, as is little inferior to devotion. It is not in the power of every one to offer up this kind of worship to the great Author of nature, and to indulge these more refined meditations of heart, which are doubtless highly acceptable in his sight; I shall therefore conclude this short essay on that pleasure which the mind naturally conceives from the WOL. X. " E
present season of the year, by the recommending of a practice for which every one has sufficient abilities.
I would have my readers endeavour to moralise this natural pleasure of the soul, and to improve this vermal delight, as Milton calls it, into a Christian virtue. When we find ourselves inspired with this pleasing instinct, this secret satisfaction and complacency arising from the beauties of the creation, let us consider to whom we stand indebted for all these entertainments of sense, and who it is that thus opens his hand, and fills the world with good. The apostle instructs us to take advantage of our present temper of mind, to graft upon it such a religious exercise as is particularly conformable to it, by that precept which advises those who are sad to pray, and those who are merry to sing psalms. The cheerfulness of heart which springs up in us from the survey of Nature's works, is an admirable preparation for gratitude. The mind has gone a great way towards praise and thanksgiving, that is filled with such a secret gladness—a
ateful reflection on the Supreme Cause who proi. it, sanctifies it in the soul, and gives it its proper value. Such an habitual disposition of mind consecrates every field and wood, turns an ordinary walk into a morning or evening sacrifice, and will improve those transient gleams of joy which naturally brighten up and refresh the soul on such occasions, into an inviolable and perpetual state of bliss
and happiness. I
No. 394. MONDAY, JUNE 2, 1712.
Bene colligitur haic pueris et mulierculis et servis et servorum simillimis liberis esse grata: gravi veró homini et ea quae fiunt judicio certo ponderanti, probari posse nullo modo. TULL.
It is obvious to see, that these things are very acceptable to children, young women, and servants, and to such as most resemble servants; but that they can by no means meet with the approbation of people of thought and consideration.
I HAVE been considering the little and frivolous things which give men accesses to one another, and power with each other, not only in the common and indifferent accidents of life, but also in matters of greater importance. You see in elections for members to sit in parliament, how far saluting rows of old women, drinking with clowns, and being upon a level with the lowest part of mankind in that wherein they themselves are lowest, their diversions, will carry a candidate. A capacity for prostituting a man's self in his behaviour, and descending to the present humour of the vulgar, is perhaps as good an ingredient as any other for making a considerable figure in the world; and if a man has nothing else or better to think of, he could not make his way to wealth and distinction by properer methods, than studying the particular bent or inclination of people with whom he converses, and working from the observation of such their bias in all matters wherein he has any intercourse with them: for his ease and comfort he may assure himself, he need not be at the expense of any great talent or virtue to please
even those who are possessed of the highest qualifications. Pride, in some particular disguise or other, often a secret to the proud man himself, is the most ordinary spring of action among men.
You need no more than to discover what a man values himself for; then of all things admire that quality, but be sure to be failing in it yourself in comparison of the man whom you court. I have rd, or read, of a secretary of state in Spain, who served a prince who was happy in an elegant use of the Latin tongue, and often writ despatches in it with his own hand. The king showed his secretary a letter he had written to a foreign prince, and, under the colour of asking his advice, laid a trap for his applause. The honest man read it as a faithful counsellor, and not only excepted against his tying himself down too much by some expressions, but mended the phrase in others. You may guess the despatches that evening did not take much longer time. Mr. Secretary, as soon as he came to his own house, sent for his eldest son, and communicated to him that the family must retire out of Spain as soon as possible ; for,' said he,
the king knows I understand Latin better than he does.'
This egregious fault in a man of the world, should be a lesson to all who would make their fortunes: but a regard must be carefully had to the person with whom you have to do; for it is not to be doubted but a great man of common sense must look with secret indignation, or bridled laughter, on all the slaves who stand round him with ready faces to approve and smile at all he says in the gross. It is good comedy enough to observe a superior talking half sentences, and playing an humble admirer's countenance from one thing to another, with such perplexity, that he knows not what to sneer in approbaation of. But this kind of complaisance is peculiarly