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wore marked out for a new and spacious printed on their minds, insensibly wear burying-ground: in which every per- out, and they come to be influenced by son, whose remains are there deposited, the nearer examples of a degenerate age. should have a small stone laid over In the morning of life, when the soul them, reckoning their age, 'according to first makes her entrance into the world, the manner in which they have im- all things look fresh and gay ; proved or abused the time allotted them velty surprises, and every little glitter or in their lives. In such circumstances, gaudy colour transports the stranger. the plate on a coffin might be the highest But by degrees the sense grows callous, panegyric which the deceased could re- and we lose that exquisite relish of trifles, ceive; and a little square stone inscribed by the time our minds should be supwith Ob. Ann. Æta. 80, would be a posed ripe for rational entertainments. nobler eulogium, than all the lapidary I cannot make this reflection without adulation of modern epitaphs.
being touched with a commiseration of Connoisseur. that species called beaus, the happiness
of those men necessarily terminating 919. The innocent Pleasures of Childhood. with their childhood, whó from a want
As it is usual with me to draw a secret of knowing other pursuits, continue a unenvied pleasure from a thousand in- fondness for the delights of that age, afcidents overlooked by other men, I ter the relish of them is decayed. threw myself into a short transport, for- Providence hath with a bountiful getting my age, and fancying myself a hand prepared a variety of pleasures for school-boy.
the various stages of life. It behoves This imagination was strongly favour- us not to be wanting to ourselves in fored, by the presence of so many young warding the intention of nature, by the boys, in whose looks were legible the culture of our minds, and a due preparasprightly passions of that age, which tion of each faculty for the enjoyment of raised in ne a sort of sympathy. Warm those objects it is capable of being afblood thrilled through every vein; the fected with. faded memory of those enjoyments that As our parts open and display by once gave me pleasure, put on more gentle degrees, we rise from the gratifi. lively colours, and a thousand gay cations of sense, to relish those of the amusements filled my mind.
mind. In the scale of pleasure, the It was not without regret, that I was lowest are sensual delights, which are forsaken by this waking dream. The succeeded by the more enlarged views cheapness of puerile delights, the guilt- and gay portraitures of a lively imagiless joy they leave upon the mind, the nation; and these give way to the blooming hopes that lift up the soul in sublimer pleasures of reason, which disthe ascent of life, the pleasure that at- cover the causes and designs, the frame, tends the gradual opening of the imagi- connexion, and symmetry of things, and nation, and the dawn of reason, made fill the mind with the contemplation of me think most men found that stage the intellectual beauty, order and truth. most agreeable part of their journey. Hence I regard our public schools When men come to riper years, the inno- and universities not only as nurseries of cent diversions which exalted the spirits, men for the service of the church and and produced health of body, indolence state, but also as places designed to of mind, and refreshing slumbers, are too teach mankind the most refined luxury, often exchanged for criminal delights, to raise the mind to its due perfection, which fill the soul with anguish and the and give it a taste for those entertainbody with disease. The grateful em- ments which afford the highest transployment of admiring and raising them- port, without the grossness or remorse selves to an imitation of the polite style, that attend vulgar enjoyments. beautiful images, and noble sentiments In those blessed retreats men enjoy of ancient authors, is abandoned for law. the sweets of solitude, and yet converse latin, the lucubrations of our paltry with the greatest genii that have appearnews-mongers, and that swarm of vile ed in every age; wender through the depamphlets which corrupt our taste, and lightful mazes of every art and science, infest the public. The ideas of virtue, and as they gradually enlarge their which the charactors of heroes had im- sphere of knowledge, at once rejoice in
their present possessions, and are ani- state of probation, and as filled with a
It was chiefly, if not altogether, upon If we consider cheerfulness in three religious considerations that princes, as lights, with regard to ourselves, to those well as private persons, have erected col. we converse with, and to the great Auleges, and assigned liberal endowments thor of our being, it will not a little reto students and professors. Upon the commend itself on each of these acsame account they meet with encourage- counts. The man who is possessed of ment and protection from all christian this excellent frame of mind, is not only states, as being esteemed a necessary easy in his thoughts, but a perfect masmeans to have the sacred oracles and pri- ter of all the powers and faculties of the mitive conditions of christianity preserved soul: his imagination is always clear, and understood. And it is well known, and his judgment undisturbed; his temthat, after a long night of ignorance and per is even and unruffled, whether in superstition, the reformation of the action or solitude. He comes with a church and that of learning began to- relish to all those goods which nature gether, and made proportionable advan- has provided for him, tastes all the pleaces, the latter having been the effect of sures of the creation which are poured the former, which of course engaged men about him, and does not feel the full in the study of the learned languages weight of those accidental evils, which and of antiquity.
may befal him.
If we consider him in relation to the $ 20. On Cheerfulness.
persons whom he converses with, it naI have always preferred cheerfulness turally produces love and good-will toto mirth. The latter I consider as an wards him. A cheerful mind is not only act, the former as a habit of the mind. disposed to be affable and obliging, but Mirth is short and transient, cheerfulness raises the same good-humour in those fixed and permanent. Those are often who come within its influence. A man raised into the greatest transports of finds himself pleased, he does not know mirth, who are subject to the greatest why, with the cheerfulness of his comdepressions of melancholy: on the con. panion: it is like a sudden sunshine, trary, cheerfulness, though it does not that awakens a secret delight in the give the mind such an exquisite glad- mind, without her attending to it. The ness, prevents us from falling into any heart rejoices of its own accord, and na. depth of sorrow. Mirth is like a flash turally flows out into friendship and beof lightning, that breaks through a gloom nevolence towards the person who has of clouds, and glitters for a moment: so kindly an effect upon it. cheerfulness keeps up a kind of day- When I consider this cheerful state of light in the mind, and fills it with a mind in its third relation, I cannot but steady and perpetual serenity.
look upon it as a constant habitual graMen of austere principles look upon titude to the great Author of nature. mirth as too wanton and dissolute for a An inward cheerfulness is an implicit
praise and thanksgiving to Providence other that ought to banish this happy under all its dispensations. It is a kind temper from a virtuous mind. Pain and of acquiescence in the state wherein we sickness, shame and reproach, poverty are placed, and a secret approbation of the and old age, nay death itself, considerdivine will in his conduct towards man. ing the shortness of their duration, and
There are but two things, which, in the advantage we may reap from them, my opinion, can reasonably deprive us do not deserve the name of evils. А of this cheerfulness of heart. The first good mind may bear up under them of these is the sense of guilt. A man with fortitude, with indolence, and with who lives in a state of vice and impeni- cheerfulness of heart. The tossing of tence, can have no title to that evenness a tempest does not discompose him, and tranquillity of mind which is the which he is sure will bring him to e health of the soul, and the natural effect joyful harbour. of virtue and innocence. Cheerfulness A man who uses his best endeavours in an ill man deserves a harder name to live according to the dictates of virtue than language can furnish us with, and and right reason, has two perpetual is many degrees beyond what we com- sources of cheerfulness, in the considemonly call folly or madness.
ration of his own nature, and of that Atheism, by which I mean a disbelief Being on whom he has a dependence. of a Supreme Being, and consequently If he looks into himself he cannot but of a future state, ander whatsoever title rejoice in that existence, which is so it shelters itself, may likewise very rea- lately bestowed upon him, and which, sonably deprive a man of this cheerful. after millions of ages, will be still new, ness of temper. There is something so and still in its beginning. How many
. particularly gloomy and offensive to hu- self-congratulations naturally arise on man nature in the prospect of non-ex- the mind, when it reflects on this its istence, that I cannot but wonder, with entrance into eternity, when it takes a many excellent writers, how it is possi- view of those improvable faculties, which ble for a man to outlive the expectation in a few years, and even at its first of it. For my own part, I think the be. setting out, have made so considerable ing of a God is so little to be doubted, a progress, and which will be still rethat it is almost the only truth we are ceiving an increase of perfection, and sure of, and such a truth as we meet consequently an increase of happiness ! with, in every object, in every occur. The consciousness of such a being rence, and in every thought. If we look spreads a perpetual diffusion of joy into the characters of this tribe of infi- through the soul of a virtuous man, dels, we generally find they are made aud makes him look upon himself every up of pride, spleen, and cavil: it is in- moment as more happy than he knows deed no wonder, that men who are un. how to conceive. easy to themselves, should be so to the The second source of cheerfulness to rest of the world, and how is it possi- a good mind is, its consideration of that ble for a man to be otherwise than un- Being on whom we have our depeneasy in himself, who is in danger every dence, and on whom, though we behold moment of losing his entire existence, him as yet but in the first faint discoveand dropping into nothing ?
ries of his perfections, we see every The vicious man and Atheist have thing that we can imagine as great, therefore no pretence to cheerfulness, glorious, or amiable.
We find ourand would act very unreasonably, should selves every where upheld by his goodthey endeavour after it. It is impossi- ness, and surrounded with an immensity ble for any one to live in good-bumour, of love and mercy. In short, we de and enjoy his present existence, who is pend upon a Being, whose power quaapprehensive either of torment or of an- lifies him to make us happy by an infinihilation ; of being miserable, or of not nity of means, whose goodness and truth being at all.
engage him to make those happy who After having mentioned these two desire it of him, and whose unchangeagreat principles which are destructive of bleness will secure us in this happiness cheerfulness in their ow nature, as well to all eternity. as in right reason, I cannot think of any Such considerations, which every
one should perpetually cherish in his a particular influence in cheering the thoughts, will banish from us all that mind of man, and making the heart glad. secret heaviness of heart which unthink- Those several living creatures which ing men are subject to when they lie are made for our service or sustenance, under no real affliction, all that anguish at the same time either fill the woods which we may feel from any evil that with their music, furnish us with game, actually oppresses us, to which I mayor raise pleasing ideas in us by the
: likewise add those little cracklings of delightfulness of their appearance. Founmirth and folly, that are apter to betray tains, lakes, and rivers, are as refreshing virtue than support it; and establish in to the imagination, as to the soil through us such an even and cheerful temper, as
which they pass. makes us pleasing to ourselves, to those There are writers of great distinction with whom we converse, and to him who have made it an argument for whom we are made to please. Spectator. Providence, that the whole earth is
covered with green, rather than with § 21. On the Advantages of a cheerful any other colour, as being such a right Temper.
mixture of light and shade, that it Cheerfulness is, in the first place, the comforts and strengthens the eye instead best promoter of health.
Repinings of weakening or grieving it. For this and secret murmurs of heart give imper- reason, several painters have
cloth ceptible strokes to those delicate fibres hanging near them, to ease the eye upon, of which the vital parts are composed, after too great an application to iheir and wear out the machine insensibly; colouring. A fainous modern philosonot to inention those violent ferments pher accounts for it in the following which they stir up in the blood, and thoso manner: All colours that are more irregular disturbed motions, which they luminous, overpower and dissipate the raise in the animal spirits. I scarce re- mal spirits which are employed in member, in my own observation, to have sight; on the contrary, those that are met with many old men, or with such, more obscure do not give the animal who (to use our English phrase) wear spirits a sufficient exercise; whereas, well, that had not at least a certain in- the rays that produce in us the idea of dolence in their humour, if not a more
the eye in such a due than ordinary gaiety and cheerfulness proportion that they give the animal of heart. The truth of it is, health and spirits their proper play, and, by keeping cheerfulness mutually beget each other; up the struggle in a just balance, excito with this difference, that we seldom meet a very pleasing and agreeable sensation. with a great degree of health which is not Let the cause be what it will, the effect attended with a certain cheerfulness, but is certain; for which reason the poets very often see cheerfulness where there is ascribe to this particular colour the no great degree of health.
epithet of cheerful. Cheerfulness bears the same friendly To consider further this double end regard to the mind as to the body; it in the works of nature, and how they banishes all anxious care and discontent, are, at the same time, both useful and sooths and composes the passions, and entertaining, we find that the most iukeeps the soul in a perpetual calm. But portant parts in the vegetable world are having already touched on this last con- those which are the most beautiful. sideration, I shall here take notice, that These are the seeds by which the the world in which we are placed, is several races of plants are propagated filled with innumerable objects that are and continued, and which are always proper to raise and keep alive this happy lodged in flowers or blossoms. Nature temper of mind.
seems to bide ber principal design, and If we consider the world in its subsere to be industrious in making the earth viency to man, one would think it was gay and delightful, while she is carrymade for our use; but if we consider it ing on her great work, and intent upon in its natural beauty and harmony, one her own preservation. The husbandwould be apt to conclude it was inade man, after the same manner, is employed for our pleasure. The sun, which is in laying out the whole country into a as the great soul of the universe, and kind of garden or landscape, and making produces all the necessaries of life, has every thing smile about him, whilst, in
reality, he thinks of nothing but of the season of the year, enters on his story harvest, and increase which is to arise thus: “In the gloomy month of Nofrom it.
• vember, when the people of England further observe how Provi- •hang and drown themselves, a disdence has taken care to keep up this • consolate lover walked out into the cheerfulness in the mind of man, by fields,' &c. having formed it after such a manner, Every one ought to fence against as to make it capable of conceiving the temper of his climate or constitution, delight from several objects which seem and frequently to indulge in himself to have very little use in them; as from those considerations which may give the wildness of rocks and deserts, and him a serenity of mind, and enable him the like grotesque parts of nature, to bear up cheerfully against those little
Those who are versed in philosophy evils and misfortunes which are commay still carry this consideration higher, mon to human nature, and which, by a by observing, that if matter bad ap- right improvement of them, will produce peared to us endowed only with those a satiety of joy, and an uninterrupted real qualities which it actually pos- happiness. sesses, it would have made but a very At the same time that I would enjoyless and uncomfortable figure; and gage my reader to consider the world in why has Providence given it a power of its most agreeable lights, I must own producing in us such imaginary qualities, there are many evils which naturally as tastes and colours, sounds and smells, spring up amidst the entertainments that heat and cold, but that man, while he are provided for us; but these, if rightly is conversant in the lower stations of considered, should be far from overnature, might have his mind cheered and casting the mind with sorrow, or dedelighted with agreeable sensations? In stroying that cheerfulness of temper short
, the whole universe is a kind of which I have been recommending. theatre filled with objects that either This interspersion of evil with good, raise in us pleasure, amusement, or ad- and pain with pleasure, in the works of miration.
nature, is very truly ascribed by Mr. The reader's own thoughts will sug- Locke, in his Essay upon Human Ungest to him the vicissitude of day and derstanding, to a moral reason, in the night, the change of seasons, with all following words: that variety of scenes which diversify the • Beyond all this, we may find another
· face of nature, and fill the mind with a reason why God hath scattered up and perpetual succession of beautiful and down several degrees of pleasure and pleasing inages.
· pain, in all the things that environ and I shall not here mention the several • affect us, and blended them together, entertainments of art, with the pleasures in alınost all that our thoughts and of friendship, books, conversation, and
have to do with; that we, other accidental diversions of life, be- finding imperfection, dissatisfaction, cause I would only take notice of such • and want of complete happiness in all incilements to a cheerful temper, as offer • the enjoyments which the creatures can themselves to persons of all ranks and • afford us, might be led to seek it conditions, and which may sufficiently in the enjoyment of him with whom shew us that Providence did not design • there is fulness of joy, and at whose this world should be filled with mur- right hand are pleasures for evermurs and repinings, or that the heart of (more.'
Specialor. man should be involved in gloom and
$ 22. On Truth and Sincerity. melancholy.
I the more inculcate this cheerfulness Truth and reality have all the advanof temper, as it is a virtue in which our tages of appearance, and many more. countrymen are observed to be more If the shew of any thing be good for deficient than any other nation. Me- any thing, I am sure sincerity is better ; lancholy is a kind of demon that haunts for why does any man dissemble, or our island, and often conveys herself to seem to be that which he is not, but us in an easterly wind. A celebrated because he thinks it good to have such French novelist, in opposition to those a quality as he pretends to ? for to who begin their romances with a flowery counterfeit and dissemble, is to put on