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shufiling and dividing a pack of cards, liess to which we may apply ourselves. with no other conversation but what is Reason opens to us a large field of made
of a few game phrases, and no affairs, which other creatures are not other ideas but those of black or red spots capable of. Beasts of prey, and I beranged together. in different figures. lieve of all other kinds, in their natural Would not a man laugh to hear state of being, divide their time between of this species complaining that life is action and rest. They are always at short?
work or asleep. In short, their waking The stage might be made a perpetual hours are wholly taken up in seeking source of the most noble and useful en- after their food, or in consuming it. The tertainments, were it under proper re- human species only, to the great reproach gulations.
of our nature, are filled with coma But the mind never unbends itself so plaints, that " The day hangs heavy on agreeably as in the conversation of a them,” that " They do not know what well-chosen (riend. There is indeed no to do with themselves,” that “ They blessing of life that is any way comparable are at a loss how to pass away their to the enjoyment of a discreet and vir- time,” with many of the like shameful tuous friend. It eases and unloads the murmurs, which we often find in the mind, clears and improves the under- mouths of those who are styled reasonstanding, engenders thought and know- able beings. How monstrous are such ledge, animates virtue and good resolu. expressions among creatures who have tion, soothes and allays the passions, and the labours of the mind, as well as those finds employment for most of the vacant of the body, to furnish them with hours of life.
proper employments; who, besides the Next to such an intimacy with a par- business of their proper callings and ticular person, one would endeavour after professions, can apply themselves to the a more general conversation with such as duties of religion, 10 meditation, to the are capable of edifying and entertaining reading of useful books, to discourse; those with whom they converse, which in a word, who may exercise themselves are qualities that seldom go asunder. in the unbounded pursuits of knowledge
There are many other useful amuse- and virtue, and every hour of their ments of life, which one would endea- lives make themselves wiser or better vour to multiply, that one might, on all than they were before ! occasions, have recourse to something After having been taken up for some rather than suffer the mind to lie idle, or time in this course of thought, I divertrun adrift with any passion that chances ed myself with a book, according to my to rise in it.
usual custom, in order to unbend my A man that has a taste in music, paint- mind before I went to sleep. The book ing, or architecture, is like one that has I made use of on this occasion was another sense, when compared with such Lucian, where I amused my thoughts as have no relish of those arts. The for about an hour among the dialogues florist, the planter, the gardener, the hus- of the dead, which in all probability bandman, when they are only as accom- produced the following dream. plishments to the man of fortune, are I was conveyed, methought, into the great reliefs to a country life, and many entrance of the infernal regions, where I ways useful to those who are possessed saw Rhadamanthus, one of the judges of them.
Spectator. of the dead, seated on his tribunal. On
his left hand stood the keeper of Erebus, § 15. Mispent Time how punished.
on his right the keeper of Elysium. I I was yesterday comparing the indus- was told he sat upon women that day, try of man with that of other creatures; there being several of the sex lately arin which I could not but observe, that rived, who had not yet their mansions potwithstanding we are obliged by duty assigned them. I was drprised to hear 10 keep ourselves in constant employ, him ask every one of them the same after the same manner as inferior ani- question, namely, “What they had been inals are prompted to it by instinct, we doing ?" Upon this question being profall very short of them in this particular. posed to the whole assembly, they We are here the more inexcusable, be- stared one upon another, as not kuuwing cause there is a greater variety of busi- what to answer. He then interrogated
ench of them separately, Madam, says world, and was so angry at the beha
. he to the first of them, you have been viour of a parcel of young dirts, that I upon the earth about fifty years; what passed most of my last years in conhave you been doing there all this demning the follies of the times; I was while ? Doing! says she, really I do every day blaming the silly conduct of not know what I have been doing; I people about me, in order to deter those desire I may have time given me to I conversed with from falling into the recollect. After about half an hour's like errors and miscarriages. Very well, pause, she told him that she had been says Rhadamanthus; but did you keep playing at crimp; upon which Rhada- the same watchful eye over your owu manthus beckoned to the keeper on his actions ? Why truly, says she, I was so left hand, to take her into custody. taken up with publishing the faults of And you, madam, says the judge, that others, that I had no time to consider my look with such a soft and languishing own. Madam, says Rhadamanthus, be air ; I think you set out for this place pleased to file off to the left, and make in
your nine-and-twentieth year ; what room for the venerable matron that stands have you been doing all this while ? I before you. Old gentlewoman, says he, had a great deal of business on' my I think you are fourscore: you have hands, says she, being taken up the heard the question, what have you been first twelve years of my life in dressing doing so long in the world ? Ah, sir ! a jointed baby, and all the remaining says she, I have been doing what I part of it in reading plays and roman- should not have done, but I had made ces. Very well, says he, you
a firm resolution to have changed my ployed your time to good purpose. life, if I had not been snatched off by Away with her. The next was a plain an untimely end. Madam, says he, country-woman: Well, mistress, says you will please to follow your leader: Rhadamanthus, and what have you been and spying another of the same age, indoing? An't please your worship, says terrogated her in the same form. To she, I did not live quite forty years; and which the matron replied, I have been in that time brought my husband seven the wife of a husband who was as dear daughters, made him 9000 cheeses, and to me in his old age as in his youth. I left my eldest girl with him, to look after have been a mother, and very happy in his house in my absence, and who, I my children, whom I endeavoured to may venture to say, is as pretty a house- bring up in every thing that is good. wife as any in the country. Rhada- My eldest son is blest by the poor, and manthus smiled at the simplicity of the beloved by every one that knows him. good woman, and ordered the keeper of I lived within my own family, and left Elysium to take her into bis care. And it much more wealthy than I found it. you, fair lady, says he, what have
you Rhadamanthus, who knew the value of been doing these five-and-thirty years ? the old lady, smiled upon her in such a I have been doing no hurt, I assure you, manner, that the keeper of Elysium, sir, said she. That is well, said he, who knew his office, reached out his but what good have you been doing? hand to her. He no sooner touched The lady was in great confusion at this her, but her wrinkles vanished, her
eyes question, and not knowing what to an- sparkled, her cheeks glowed with blushes, wer, the two keepers leaped out to seize and she appeared in full bloom and her at the same time; the one took ber beauty. A young woman observing by the hand to convey her to Elysium, that this officer, who conducted the the other caught hold of her to carry happy to Elysium, was so great a beauher away to Erebus. But Rhadaman- tifier, longed to be in his hands; so that thus observing an ingenuous modesty in pressing through the crowd, she was the her countenance and behaviour, bid them next that appeared at the bar. And both let her loose, and set her aside for being asked what she had been doing a re-examination when he was more at the five-and-twenty years that she had leisure. An old woman, of a proud passed in the world ? I have endeavourand sour look, presented herself next at ed, says she, ever since I came to years the bar, and being asked what she had of discretion, to make myself lovely, and been doing? Truly, said she, I lived gain admirers. In order to it, I passed threescore-and-ten years in a very wicked my time in bottling up May-dew, in
venting white washes, mixing colours, dials, likewise, all over Europe, have cutting out patches, consulting my glass, some ingenious inscription to that effect; suiting my complexion, tearing off my so that nobody squanders away their tucker, sinking my stays. - Rhadaman- time, without hearing and seeing, daily, thus, without hearing her out, gave the how necessary it is to employ it well
, sign to take her off. Upon the ap- and how irrecoverable it is if lost. But proach of the keeper of Erebus, her all these admonitions are useless, where colour faded, her face was puckered up there is not a fund of good sense and reawith wrinkles, and her whole person lost son to suggest them, rather than receive in deformity.
them. By the manner in which you now I was then surprised with a distant tell me that you employ your time, I flatsound of a whole troop of females, that ter myself, that you have that fund: that came forward, laughing, singing, and is the fund that will make you rich indancing. I was very desirous to know deed. I do not, therefore, mean to give the reception they would meet with, and you a critical essay upon the use and withal was very apprehensive, that abuse of time; I will only give you some Rhadamanthus would spoil their mirth: hints, with regard to the use of one parbut at their nearer approach, the noise ticular period of that long time which, I grew so very great that it awakened me. hope, you have before you; I mean the
I lay some time, reflecting in myself next two years. Remember then, that on the oddness of this dream, and could whatever knowledge you do not solidly not forbear asking my own heart, what lay the foundation of before you are I was doing? I answered myself that eighteen, you will never be master of I was writing Guardians. If my rea- while you breathe. Knowledge is a ders make as good a use of this work as comfortable and necessary retreat and I design they should, I hope it will shelter for us in an advanced age; and if never be imputed to me as a work that we do not plant it while young, it will is vain and unprofitable.
give us no shade when we grow old. I I shall conclude this paper with re- neither require nor expect from you great commending to them the same short application to books, after you are once self-examination. If every one of them thrown out into the great world. I know frequently lays his hand upon his heart, it is impossible, and it may even, in some and considers what he is doing, it will cases, be improper; this, therefore, is check him in all the idle, or, what is your time, and your only time, for unworse, the vicious moments of life, lift wearied and uninterrupted application, up his mind when it is running on in a If you should sometimes think it a little series of indifferent actions, and encou- laborious, consider, that labour is the unrage him when he is engaged in those avoidable fatigue of a necessary journey. which are virtuous and laudable. In a The more hours a day you travel, the word, it will very much alleviate that sooner you will be at your journey's end. guilt which the best of men have reason The sooner you are qualified for your lito acknowledge in their daily confes- berty, the sooner you shall have it: and sions, of leaving undone those things your mapumission will entirely depend which they ought to have done, and of upon the manner in which you einploy doing those things which they ought not the intermediate time. I think I offer to bave done.'
Guardian. you a very good bargain, when I promise § 16. A Knowledge of the Use and Value you, upon my word, that, if you will do
every thing that I would have you do, of Time very important to Youth.
till you are eighteen, I will do every There is nothing wbich I more wish thing that you would have me do, ever you
should know, and which fewer afterwards. Lord Chesterfield. people do know, than the true use and value of time. It is in every body's $ 17. On a lazy and trifling Disposition. mouth; but in few people's practice. There are two sorts of understandings; Every fool who slatterns away his whole one of which binders a man from ever time in nothing, utters, however, some being considerable, and the other comtrite common-place sentence, of which monly makes him ridiculous; I mean there are millions, to prove, at once, the the lazy mind, and the trilling frivolous value and the fleetness of time. The sun- mind. Yours, I hope, is neither. The
lazy miod will not take the trouble of circle of knowledge, attended with some going to the bottom of any thing; but, difficulties, and requiring some trouble, discouraged by the first difficulties (and which, however, an active and indusevery thing worth knowing or having is trious mind will overcome and be amply attended with some) stops short, contents repaid. itself with easy, and, consequently, super- Thetrifling and frivolous mind is always ficial knowledge, and prefers a great de- busied, but to little purpose; it takes little gree of ignorance, to a small degree of objects for great ones, and throws away trouble. These people either think, or upon trifles that time and attention which represent, most things as impossible; only important things deserve. Knickwhereas few things are so to industry and knacks, butterflies, shells, insects, &c. activity. But difficulties seem to them are the objects of their most serious reimpossibilities, or at least they pretend to searches. They contemplate the dress, think them so, by way of excuse for their not the characters, of the company they laziness. An hour's attention to the keep. They attend more to the decorasame object is too laborious for them; tions of a play, than to the sense of it; they take every thing in the light in which and to the ceremonies of a court, more it at first presents itself, never consider it than to its politics. Such an employment in all its different views; and, in short, of time is an absolute loss of it. never think it thorough. The conse
Lord Chesterfield's Letters. quence of this is, that when they come to speak upon these subjects before peo
18. The bad Effects of Indolence. ple who have considered them with at- No other disposition, or turn of mind, tention, they only discover their own so totally unfits a man for all the social ignorance and laziness, and lay them, offices of life, as indolence. An idle man selves open to answers that put them in is a mere blank in the creatiop: he seems confusion.
made for no end, and lives to no purpose. Do not then be discouraged by the first He cannot engage himself in any employdifficulties, but contra audentior ito: and ment or profession, because he will never resolve to go to the bottoin of all those have diligence enough to follow it: he things, which every gentleman ought to can succeed in no undertaking, for he will know.well. Those arts or sciences, which never pursue it; he must be a bad busare peculiar to certain professions, need band, father, and relation, for he will not not be deeply known by those who are take the least pains to preserve his wife, not intended for those professions. As, children, and family from starving; and for instance, fortification, and navigation; he must be a worthless friend, for he of bath which, a superficial and general would not draw his hand from his bosom, knowledge, such as the common course though to prevent the destruction of the of conversation, with a very little inquiry universe. "If he is born poor, he will reon your part, will give you, is sufficient. main so all his life, which he will pro
Though, by the way, a little more know- bably end in a ditch, or at the gallows; ledge of fortification may be of some use if he embarks in trade, he will be a bankto you; as the events of war, in sieges, rupt; and if he is a person of fortunę, his make many of the terms of that science stewards will acquire immense estates, and occur frequently in common conversa- he himself perhaps will die in the Fleet. tions; and one would be sorry to say, It should be considered, that nature like the Marquis de Mascarille, in Mo did not bring us into the world in a state liere's Précieuses Ridicules, when he hears of perfection, but has left us in a capacity of une demie lune : Mu foi c'étoit bien une of improvement; which should seem to Lune toute entiere. But those things which intimate, that we should labour to render every gentleman, independently of pro- ourselves excellent. Very few are such fession, should know, he ought to know absolute idiots, as not to be able to bewell, and dive into all the depths of them. come at least decent, if not eminent, in Such are languages, history, and geogra- their several stations, by unwearied and phy, ancient and modern philosophy, keen application : por are there any posrational logic, rhetoric; and for you par- sessed of such transcendent genius and ticularly, the constitutions, and the civil abilities, as to render all pains and diliand military state of every country in gence unnecessary.
Perseverance will Europe. This, I confess, is a pretty large overcome difficulties, which at first ap
pear insuperable; and it is amazing to I do not know a more melancholy obconsider, how great and numerous ob- ject, than a man of an honest heart, and stacles may be removed by a continual fine natural abilities, whose good qualities attention to any particular point. I will are thus destroyed by indolence. 'Such a not mention here, the trite example of person is a constant plague to all his Demosthenes, who got over the greatest friends and acquaintance, with all the natural impediments to oratory, but con- means in his power of adding to their tent myself with a more modern and happiness; and suffers himself to take familiar instance. Being at Sadler's rank among the lowest characters, when he Wells a few nights ago, I could not but might render himself conspicuous among admire the surprising feats of activity the highest. Nobody is more universally there exhibited; and at the same time re- beloved and more universally avoided, flected, what incredible pains and labour than my friend Careless. He is an buit must have cost the performers to arrive mane man, who never did a beneficent at the art of writhing their bodies into action; and a man of unshaken integrity, such various and unnatural contortion. on whom it is impossible to depend. But I was most taken with the ingenious With the best head, and the best heart, artist, who, after fixing two bells to each he regulates his conduct in the most abfoot, the same number to each band, and surd manner, and frequently injures his with great propriety placing a cap and friends; for whoever neglects to do jusbells on his head, played several tunes, tice to himself, must inevitably wrong and went through as regular triple peals those with whom he is connected; and it and bob-majors, as the boys of Christ- is by no means a true maxim, that an idle church hospital; all which he effected by man hurts nobody but himself. the due jerking of his arms and legs, and Virtue then is not to be considered in nodding his head backward and forward. the light of mere innocence, or abstainIf this artist had taken equal pains to em- ing from harm; but as the exertion of ploy his head in another way, he might our faculties in doing good : as Titus, perhaps have been as deep a proficient in when he had let a day slip undisnumbers as Jedediah Buxton, or at least tinguished by some act of virtue, cried a tolerable modern rhymer, of which he out, I have lost a day. If we regard is now no bad emblem: and if our fine our time in this light, how many days ladies would use equal diligence, they shall we look back upon as irretrievably might fashion their minds as successfully, lost; and to how narrow a compass as Madam Catharina distorts her body. would such a method of calculation fre
There is not in the world a more use- quently reduce the longest life! If we less, idle animal, than he who contents were to number our days, according as himself with being merely a gentleman. we have applied them to virtue, it would He has an estate, therefore he will not occasion strange revolutions in the manendeavour to acquire knowledge: he is ner of reckoning the ages of men. We not to labour in any vocation, therefore should see some few arrived to a good old he will do nothing. But the misfortune age in the prime of their youth, and meet is, that there is no such thing in nature as with several young fellows of fourscore. a negative virtue, and that absolute idle- Agreeable to this way of thinking, I ness is impracticable. He who does no remember to have met with the epitaph good will certainly do mischief; and the of an aged man four years old; dating mind, if it is not stored with useful know- his existence from the time of his reledge, will certainly become a magazine formation from evil courses. The inof nonsense and trifles. Wherefore a scriptions on most tomb-stones commegentleman, though he is not obliged to morate no acts of virtue performed by rise to open his shop, or work at his trade, the persons who lie under them, but should always find some ways of em- only record, that they were born one ploying his time to advantage. If he day, and died another. But I would makes no advances in wisdom, he will fain have those people, whose lives have become more and more a slave to folly; been useless, rendered of some service and he that does nothing, because he has after their deaths, by affording lessons nothing to do, will become vicious and of instruction and morality to those they abandoned, or, at best, ridiculous and leave behind them. Wherefore I could contemptible.
wish, that, in every parish, several acres