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with her, about eighteen years of age, meaning of it; upon which the lady who was much taller and better shaped answered, that if I had been a Frenchthan the Polish women generally are. man, she should have imagined that I She was very fair, her skin exceedingly was the person for whom the picture was fine, and her hair and shape inexpres- drawn, because it exactly resembled sibly beautiful. I was not so sick as me. I desired to see it. But how great to overlook this young beauty: and I was my surprise when I found it to be felt in my heart such emotions at the the very painting which I had sent to first view, as made me fear that all my the queen five years before, and which misfortunes had not armed me sufficient. she commanded me to get drawn to be ly against the charms of the fair sex. given to my children ! After I had
“ The amiable creature seemed af- viewed the piece I cast my eyes upon flicted at my sickness; and she appear- the young lady, and then upon the ed to have so much concern and care gentleman I thought to be her lover. for me, as raised in me a great inclina- My heart beat, and I felt a secret emotion and tenderness for her. She came tion which filled me with wonder. I every day into my chamber to inquire thought I traced in the two young perafter my health; I asked who she was, sods some of my own features, and at and I was answered, that she was niece that moment I said to myself, Are not to the countess of Venoski.
my children? The tears came into “ I verily believe that the constant my eyes, and I was about to run and sight of this charming maid, and the embrace them; but constraining myself
; pleasure I received from her careful at- with pain, I asked whose picture it was? tendance, contributed more to my re- The maid perceiving that I could not covery than all the medicines the phy. speak without tears, fell a weeping. sicians gave me.
In short, my fever left Her tears absolutely confirmed me in me, and I had the satisfaction to see the my opinion; and falling upon her neck, lovely creature overjoyed at my reco- • Ah, my dear child,' said I, yes, I very. She came to see me oftener as I am your father! I could say no more. grew
r; and I already felt a The youth seized my hands at the same stronger and more tender affection for time, and kissing, bathed them with his her, than I ever bore to any woman in tears. Throughout my life, I never felt my life : when I began to perceive that a joy equal to this; and it must be her constant care of me was only a owned, that nature inspires more lively blind, to give her an opportunity of see- emotions and pleasing tenderness than ing a young Pole whom I took to be the passions can possibly excite." her lover. He seemed to be much
Spectator. about her age, of a brown complexion, very tall, but finely shaped. "Every 12. Remarks on the Swiftness of Time . time she came to see me, the young The natural advantages which arise gentleman came to find her out; and from the position of the earth which they usually retired to a corner of the we inhabit, with respect to the other chanzber, where they seemed to con- planets, afford much employment to verse with great earnestness. The as- mathenatical speculation, by which it pect of the youth pleased me wonder- has been discovered, that no other confully; and if I had not suspected that formation of the system could have he was my rival, I should have taken given such commodious distributions of delight in his person and friendship. light and heat, or imparted fertility and
• They both of them often asked me pleasure to so great a part of a revolving if I were in reality a Gernian? which sphere. when I continued to affirm, they seem. It may be perhaps observed by the ed very much troubled. One day I moralist, with equal reason, that our took notice that the young lady and globe seems particularly fitted for the gentleman, having retired to a window, residence of a being, placed here only were very intent upon a picture; and for a short time, whose task is to adthal every now and then they cast their vance himself to a higher and happier eyes upon me, as if they had found state of existence, by unremitted vigilance some resemblance betwixt that and my of caution, and activity of virtue. features. I could not forbear to ask the The duties' required of man are such
as human nature does not willingly per. their minds very little above animal in-
portunate, are too often vain; and that
necessary and certain often surprise us The day has been considered as an like unexpected contingencies. We leave image of the year, and a year as the re- the beauty in her bloom, and, after an presentation of life.
The morning absence of twenty years, wonder, at our answers to the spring, and the spring return, to find her faded. We meet those to childhood and youth; the noon cor- whom we left children, and can scarcely responds to the summer, and the sum- persuade ourselves to treat them as men. mer to the strength of manhood. The The traveller visits in age those counevening is an emblem of autumn, and tries through which he rambled in his autumn of declining life. The night youth, and hopes for merriment at the with its silence and darkness shews the old place. The man of business, wearied winter, in which all the powers of ve- with unsatisfactory prosperity, retires to getation are benumbed; and the winter the town of his nativity, and expects to points out the time when life shall cease, play away the last years with the comwith its hopes and pleasures.
panions of his childhood, and recovor He that is carried forward, however youth in the fields where he once was swiftly, hy a motion equable and easy, young. perceives not the change of place but by From this inattention, so general and the variation of objects. If the wheel so mischievous, let it be every man's of life, which rolls thus silently along, study to exempt himself. Let him that passed on through undistinguishable uni- desires to see others happy, make haste formity, we should never mark its ap- to give while his gift can be enjoyed, proaches to the end of the course. If and remember that every moment of one hour were like another; if the pas- delay takes away something from the sage of the sun did not shew that the value of his benefaction. And let him day is wasting ; if the change of seasons who proposes liis own happiness, reflect, did not impress upon us the flight of that, while he forms his purpose, the day the year: quantities of duration equal to rolls on, and the night cometh, when days and years would glide unobserved. no man can work.'
Idler. If the parts of time were not variously coloured, we should never discern their § 13. The Folly of mispending Time. departure or succession, but should live An ancient poet, unreasonably disconthoughtless of the past, and careless of tented at the present state of things, the future, without will, and perhaps which his system of opinions obliged without power to compute the periods of him to represent in its worst form, has life, or to compare the time which is observed of the earth,
6. That its greater already lost with that which may pro- part is covered by the uninhabitable bably remain.
ocean; that of the rest, some is encumBut the course of time is so visibly bered with naked mountains, and some marked, that it is even observed by tbe lost under barren sands; some scorched savage, and by pations who have raised with unintermitted heat, and some pe
trihed with perpetual frost; so that only It is observable, that, either by naa few regions remain for the production ture or by habit, our faculties are fitted of fruits, the pasture of cattle, and the to images of a certain extent, to which accommodation of man."
we adjust great things by division, and The same observation may be trans- little things by accumulation. ferred to the time allotted us in our pre- tensive surfaces we can only take a sursent state. When we have deducted all vey, as the parts succeed one another ; that is absorbed in sleep, all that is ine- and atoms we cannot perceive, till they vitably appropriated to the demands of are united into masses. Thus we break nature, or irresistibly engrossed by the the vast periods of time into centuries tyranny of custom; all that passes in and years; and thus, if we would know regulating the superficial decorations of the amount of moments, we must aglife, or is given up in the reciprocations glomerate them into days and weeks. of civility to the disposal of others; all The proverbial oracles of our parsithat is torn from us by the violence of monious ancestors have informed us, that disease, or stolen imperceptibly away by the fatal waste of fortune is by small exlassitude and languor; we shall find that pences, by the profusion of sums 100 part of our duration very small of which little singly to alarm our caution, and we can truly call ourselves masters, or which we never suffer ourselves to conwhich we can spend wholly at our own sider together. Of the same kind is the choice. Many of our hours are lost in prodigulity of life; he that hopes to look a rotation of petty cares, in a constant back hereafter with satisfaction upon recurrence of the same employments; past years, must learn to know the premany of our provisions for ease or hap- sent value of single minutes, and endeapiness are always exhausted by the pre- vour to let no particle of time fall usesent day; and a great part of our ex- less to the ground. istence serves no other purpose than that
It is usual for those who are advised of enabling us to enjoy the rest. to the attainment of any new qualifica
Of the few moments which are left in tions, to look upon themselves as reour disposal, it may reasonably be ex- quired to change the general course of pected, that we should be so frugal, as their conduci, to dismiss their business, io let none of them slip from us without and exclude pleasure, and to devote some equivalent; and perhaps it might their days or nights to a particular at
; be found, that as the earth, however tention. But all common degrees of straitened by rocks and waters, is capa- excellence are attainable at a lower ble of producing more than all its inha- price; he that should steadily and resobitants are able to consume, our lives, lutely assign to any science or language though much contracted by incidental those interstitial vacancies which intere distraction, would yet afford us a large vene in the most crowded variety of dispace vacant to the exercise of reason version or employment, would find and virtue; that we want not time, but every day new irradiations of knowledge, diligence, for great performances; and and discover how much more is to be that we squander much of our allow. hoped from frequency and perseverance ance, even while we think it sparing and than from violent efforts and sudden deinsufficient.
sires; efforts which are soon remitted This natural and necessary cominj- when they encounter difficulty, and nution of our lives, perhaps, often makes desires which, if they are indulged too us insensible of the negligence with often, will shake off the authority of which we suffer them to slide away. reason, and range capriciously from one We
e never consider ourselves as possesso object to another. ed at once of time sufficient for any The disposition to defer every imgreat design, and therefore indulge our portant design to a time of leisure, and a selves in fortuitous amusements. We state of settled uniformity, proceeds gethink it unnecessary to take an account nerally from a false estimate of the huof a few supernumerary moments, which, man powers. If we except those gihowever employed, could have produced gantic and stupendous intelligences who little advantage, and which were exposed are said to grasp a system by intuition, to a thousand chances of disturbance and bound forward from one serios of and interruption
conclusions to another, without regular
steps through intermediate propositions, pers of his age, he joined to his knowthe most successful students make their ledge of the world such application to advances in knowledge by short flights, books, that he will stand for ever in the between each of which the mind may first rank of literary heroes. How this lie at rest. For every single act of pro- proficiency was obtained, he sufficiently gression a short time is sufficient; and discovers, by informing us, that the it is only necessary, that whenever that Praise of Folly, one of his most celetime is afforded it be well employed, brated performances, was composed by
Few minds will be long confined to him on the road to Italy; ne totum ilsevere and laborious meditation; and lud tempus quo equo fuit insidendum, ilwhen a successful attack on knowledge literatis fabulis tereretur, lest the hours has been made, the student recreates which he was obliged to spend on horsehimself with the contemplation of his back should be taitled away without reconquest, and forbears another incursion gard to literature. till the new-acquired truth has become An Italian philosopher expressed in familiar, and his curiosity calls upon his motto, that time was his estate; an him for fresh gratifications. Whether estate, indeed, which will produce nothe time of intermission is spent in com- thing without cultivation, but will alpany or in solitude, in necessary busi- ways abundantly repay the labours of ness or in voluntary levities, the under industry, and satisfy the most extensive standing is equally abstracted from the desires, if no part of it be suffered to lie object of inquiry ; but, perhaps, if it be waste by negligence, to be over-run with detained by occupations less pleasing, it noxious plants, or laid out for show returns again to study with greater ala- rather than for use. Rambler. crity than when it is glutted with ideal pleasures, and surfeited with intempe- $ 14. The Importance of Time, and the rance of application. He that will not proper Methods of spending it. suffer himself to be discouraged by fan- We all of us complain of the shortcied impossibilities, may sometimes find ness of time, saith Seneca, and yet have his abilities invigorated by the necessity much more than we know what to do of exerting them in short intervals, as with. Our lives, says he, are spent eithe force of a current is increased by ther in doing nothing at all, or doing the contraction of its channel.
nothing to the purpose, or in doing From some cause like this, it has pro- nothing that we ought to do. We are bably proceeded, that among those who always complaining our days are few, have contributed to the advancement of and acting as though there would be no learning, many have risen to eminence, end of them. That noble philosopher in opposition to all the obstacles which has described our inconsistency with external circumstances could place in ourselves in this particular by all those their way, amidst the tumult of business, various turns of expression and thought the distresses of poverty, or the dissipa- which are peculiar in his writings. tions of a wandering and unsettled state. I often consider mankind as wholly A great part of the life of Erasmus was inconsistent with itself, in a point that one continual peregrination: ill supplied bears some affinity to the former. Though with the gifts of fortune, and led from we seem grieved at the shortness of life, city to city, and from kingdom to king- in general, we are wishing every period dom, by the hopes of patrons and pre- of it at an end. ΤΙ minor longs to ferment, hopes which always flattered be at age, then to be a man of business, and always deceived bim; he yet found then to make up an estate, then to armeans, by unshaken constancy, and a rive at honours, then to retire. Thus, vigilant improvement of those hours, although the whole of life is allowed by which, in the midst of the most restless every one to be short, the several di-. activity, will remain unengaged, to visions of it appear long and tedious. write more than another in the same We are for lengthening our span in gecondition would have hoped to read. neral, but would fain contract the parts Compelled by want to attendance and of which it is composed. The usurer solicitation, and so much versed in com- would be very well satisfied to have all mon life, that he has transmitted to us the time annihilated that lies between the most perfect delineation of the inan. the present moment and the next quar
ter-day. The politician would be con- conversation ; I mean that intercourse tented to lose ihree years in his life, and communication which every reason. could he place things in the posture able creature ought to maintain with the which he fancies they will stand in after great Author of his being. The man such a revolution of time. The lover who lives under an habitual sense of the would be glad to strike out of his existe divine presence, keeps up a perpetual ence all the moments that are to pass cheerfulness of temper, and enjoys every away before the happy meeting. Thus, moment the satisfaction of thinking him. as fast as our time runs, we should be self in company with his dearest and very glad, in most parts of our lives, best of friends. The time never lies that it ran much faster than it does. heavy upon him: it is impossible for Several hours of the day hang upon our him to be alone. His thoughts and hands :
: nay, we wish away whole years, passions are the most busied at such and travel through time, as through a
hours when those of other men are the country filled with many wild and most unactive. He no sooner steps out empty wastes which we would fain of the world but his heart burns with hurry over, that we may arrive at those devotion, swells with hope, and triumphs several little settlements or imaginary in the consciousness of that presence points of rest which are dispersed up which every where surrounds him; or, and down in it.
on the contrary, pours out its fears, its If we divide the life of most men sorrows, its apprehensions, to the great into twenty parts, we shall find that at Supporter of its existence. least nineteen of them are mere gaps and I have here only considered the nechasms which are neither filled with cessity of a man's being virtuous, that pleasure nor business. I do not, how- he may have something to do; but if ever, include in this calculation the life we consider further, that the exercise of those men who are in a perpetual of virtue is not only an amusement for hurry of affairs, but of those only who the time it lasts, but that its influence are not always engaged in scenes of extends to those parts of our existence action; and I hope I shall not do an un- which lie beyond the grave, and that acceptable piece of service to those per- our whole eternity is to take its colour sons, if I point out to them certain me- from those hours which we here emthods for the filling up their empty ploy in virtue or in vice, the argument respaces of life. The methods I shall doubles upon us, for putting in practice propose to them are as follow.
this method of passing away our time. The first is the exercise of virtue, in When a man has but a little stock to the most general acceptation of the word. improve, and has opportunities of turning That particular scheme which compre- it all to good account, what shall we hends the social virtues, may give em- think of him if he suffers nineteen parts ployment to the most industrious tem- of it to be dead, and perhaps employs per, and find a man business more than even the twentieth to his ruin or disad. the most active station of life. To ad- vantage?-But because the mind cannot vise the ignorant, relieve the needy, be always in its fervours, nor strained up comfort the afflicted, are duties that fall to a pitch of virtue, it is necessary to in our way almost every day of our lives. find out proper employments for it, in A man has frequent opportunities of its relaxations. mitigating the fierceness of a parly; of
The next method therefore that I doing justice to the character of a de- would propose to fill up our time, should serving man; of softening the envious, be useful and junocent diversions. I quieting the angry, and rectifying the must confess I think it is below reasonprejudiced; which are all of them em- able creatures to be altogether converployments suitable to a reasonable na- sant in such diversions as are merely inture, and bring great satisfaction to the nocent, and have nothing else to recomperson who can busy himself in them mend them, but that there is no hurt in with discretion.
them. Whether any kind of gaming There is another kind of virtue that has even thus much to say for itself, I may find employment for those retired shall not determine; but I think it is
very hours in which we are altogether left to wonderful to see persons of the best sense ourselves, and destitute of company and passing away a dozen hours together in