• It is a very great satisfaction to consider the best and wiseft of mankind in all nations and ages, asserting,

as with one voice, this their birthright, and to find it * ratified by an express revelation. At the same time if . we turn our thoughts inward upon ourselves, we may • meet with a kind of secret sense concurring with the * proofs of our own immortality.

You have, in my opinion, raised a good presumptive argument from the increasing appetite the mind has to

knowledge, and to the extending its own faculties, ' which cannot be accomplished, as the more restrained

perfection of lower creatures may, in the limits of a

Thort life. I think another probable conjecture may be ' raised from our appetite to duration itself, and from a

reflection on our progress through the several ttages of 'it : “ We are complaining," as you observe in a • former speculation,

s of the shortness of life, and yet are perpetually hurrying over the parts of it to arrive

at certain little settlements, or imaginary points of rest, “ which are dispersed up and down in it."

• Now let us consider what happens to us when we • arrive at these“ imaginary points of reft:" Do we stop

our motion, and sit down fatisfied in the settlement we

have gained ? or are we not removing the boundary, • and marking out new points of reft, to which we press ' forward with the like eagerness, and which cease to be ' such as fast as we attain them? Our case is like that of a traveller

upon the Alps, who should fancy that the top of the next hill must end his journey, because it • terminates his prospect ; but he no sooner arrives at it

than he sees new ground and other hills beyond it, and continues to travel on as before.

This is so plainly every man's condition in life, • that there is no one who has observed any thing, but

may observe, that as fast as his time wears away, his

appetite to something future remains. The use there . fore I would make of it is this, that since nature, as

some love to express it, does nothing in vain, or, to speak properly, since the Author of our being has planted no wandering passion in it, no desire which has not its object, futurity is the proper object of the passion so constantly exercised about it ; and this reft


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lessness in the present, this assigning ourselves over to

farther stages of duration, this successive grasping at • somewhat still to come, appears to me, whatever it

may to others, as a kind of instinct or natural fymptom • which the mind of man has of its own immortality.

..I take it at the same time for granted, that the im* mortality of the foul is sufficiently established by other

arguments: and if fo, this appetite, which otherwise • would be very unaccountable and absurd, seems very

reasonable, and adds strength to the conclufion. But I

am amazed when I consider there are creatures capable • of thought, who, in spite of every argument, can form

to themselves a sullen satisfaction in thinking other• wise. There is something so pitifully mean in the in

verted ambition of that man who can hope for anni

hilation, and please himself to think that his whole • fabric shall one day crumble into duft, and mix with • the inals of inanimate beings, that it equally deserves ·

our admiration and pity. The mystery of such mens • unbelief is not hard to be penetrated ; and indeed

amounts to nothing more than a sordid hope that they • shall not be immortal, because they dare not be fo.

• This brings me back to my first observation, and

gives me occasion to say further, that as worthy ac• tions spring from worthy thoughts, fo worthy thoughts

are likewise the consequence of worthy actions : but the 'wretch whơ has degraded himself below the character of immortality, is very willing to resign his pretensions to it, and to substitute in its room a dark negative happiness in the extinction of his being:

The admirable Shakespeare has given us a strong inage of the unsupported condition of such a person · in his last minutes in the second part of King Henry • the sixth, where cardinal Beaufort, who had been con• cerned in the murder of the good duke Humphrey, is

represented on his death-bed. After some short confused speeches which shew an iinagination disturbed ' with guilt, just as he was expiring, King Henry standing by him full of compassion, says, Lord Cardinal! if thou think'st on heav'n's bliss, “ Hold up thy hand, make signal of that hope ! “ He dies, and makes no sign !”.

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: The defpair which is here fhewn, without a word

or action on the part of the dying perfon, is beyond • what could be painted by the most forcible expreffion's whatever.

I shall not purfue this thought farther, but only add, ! that as annihilation is not to be had with á with, so . it is the most abject thing in the world to with it. • What are honour, fame, wealth, or power, when com

pared with the generous expectation of a being without send, and a happiness adequate to that being ?

I Thall trouble you so farther ; but with a certain * gravity which thefe thoughts have given me, I reflea

upon some things people fay of you, as they will of men who diftinguish themselves, which I hope are not

true ; and wish you as good a man as you are an • author.

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am, Sir,

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* Your most obedient humblé fervant,

'T. D.


N° 211.

Thursday, November 1.

Fidis meminerit nos jocari fabulis. PHÆDR. lib. 1. Prol. Let it be remember'd that we fpory in fabled stories:

, HAVING lately tranflated the fragment of an old poet which describes womankind under several characters, and supposes them to have drawn their different manners and dispositions from those animals and elements out of which he tells us they were compounded; I had fonie thoughts of giving the sex their revenge, by laying together in another paper the many vicious characters which prevail in the male world, and Shewing the different ingredients that go to the making up of such different humours and conftitutions. Horace has a thought which is something akin to this, when, in order to excuse himself to his mistress, for an

invective which he had written against her, and to account for that unreasonable fury with which the heart of man is often transported, he tells us, that when Prometheus made his man of clay, in the kneading up of the heart, he seasoned it with some furious particles of the lion. But upon turning this plan to and fro in my thoughts, I observed so many unaccountable humours in man, that I did not know out of what animals to fetch them. Male souls are diversified with fo many characters, that the world has not variety of materials fufficient to furnish out their different tempers and inclinations. The creation, with all its animals and elements, would not be large enough to supply their several extravagancies.

Instead therefore of pursuing the thought of Simonides, I shall observe, that as he has exposed the vicious part of women from the doctrine of pre-existence, some of the ancient philosophers have, in a manner,

fatirized the vicious part of the human species in general, from a notion of the soul's post-existence, if I may so call it ; and that as Simonides describes brutes entering into the composition of wonien, others have represented human souls as entering into brutes. This is commonly termed the doctrine of transmigration, which supposes that human souls, upon their leaving the body, become the souls of such kinds of brutes as they most resemble in their manners; or to give an account of it as Mri Dryden has described it in his translation of Pythagoras his speech in the fifteenth book of Ovid, where that philosopher dissuades his hearers from eating flesh :

“ Thus all things are but alter'd, nothing dies,
“ And here and there th' unbody'd fpirit flies :

By time, or force, or fickness difpoffefs’d,
“ And lodges where it lights, in bird or beast,
“ Or hunts without till ready limbs' it find,
“ And actuates those according to their kind:
“ From tenement to tenement is tofs'd :
u The soul is fill the same, the figure only loft.

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“ Then let not piety be put to flight, “ To please the taste of glutton-appetite ; “ But suffer inmate souls secure to dwell, “ Left from their seats your parents you expel ; « With rapid hunger feed upon your kind, “ Or from a beast dislodge a brother's mind.”

Plato in the vision of Erus the Armenian, which I may possibly make the subject of a future speculation, records fome beautiful transmigrations; as that the soul of Orpheus, who was musical, melancholy, and a woman-bater, entered into a swan ; the soul of Ajax, which was all wrath and fierceness, into a lion ; the soul of Agamemnon, that was rapacious and imperial, into an eagle ; and the soul of Thersites, who was a mimic and a buffoon, into a monkey.'

, Mr. Congreve, in a prologue to one of his comedies, has touched upon this doctrine with great humour. “ Thus Aristotle's soul of old that was,

May now be damn'd to animate an ass ; “ Or in this very house, for ought we know, “ Is doing painful penance in fome beau.”

I shall fill up this paper with some letters which my last Tuesday's speculation has produced. My following correspondents will shew, what I there observed, that the speculation of that day affects only the lower part of the sex.

• From my house in the Strand, October 30, 1711.


UPON reading your Tuesday's paper, I find by several symptoms in my constitution that I am a bee.

My shop, or if you please to call it so, my cell, is in • that great hive of females which goes by the name of “ The New Exchange;" where I am daily employed • in gathering together a little stock of gain from the • finest flowers about the town, I mean the ladies and • the beaus. I have a numerous swarm of children,

to whom I give the best education I am able : but, • sir, it is my misfortune to be married to a drone, who


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