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First, from the quarter of the morn there sprung Et nova sunt semper. Nam quod fuit ante, relictum est A light that sing d the heavens, and shot along : Fitque quod haud fuerat: momentaque cuncta no. Then from a cloud, fring'd round with golden fires,

vantur.

Ovid, Met. Lib. xv. 179. Were timbrels heard, and Berecynthian quires :

E'en times are in perpetual flux, and run, And last a voice with more than mortal sounds,

Like rivers from their fountains, rolling on Both hosts in arms oppos'd with equal horror wounds.

For time, no more than streams, is at a stay, O Trojan race, your needless aid forbear; And know my ships are my peculiar care.

The flying hour is ever on her way;

And as the fountains still supply their store,
With greater case the bold Rutulian may,
With hissing brands, attempt to burn the sea,

The wave behind impels the wave before ;

Thus in successive course the minutes run,
Tban singe my sacred pines. But you, my charge,
Loosd from your crooked anchors, launch at large,

And urge their predecessor minutes on.

Still moving, ever new : for former things Exalted each a nymph: forsake the sand,

Are laid aside, like abdicated kings : And swim the seas, at Cybele's comipand.'

And every moment alters what is done, No sooner had the goddess ceas'u to speak,

And innovates some act, till then unknown. When, lo, th' obedient ships their hawsers break,

Dryden. And, strange to tell, like dolphins, in the main, They plunge their prows, and dive and spring again: As many beauteous maids the billows sweep, The following discourse comes from the As rode before tall vessels on the deep."

same hand with the essays upon infinitude. Dryden's Virg.

"We consider infinite space as an expan• The common opinion concerning the sion without a circumference; we consider nymphs, whom the ancients called Hama- eternity, or infinite duration, as a line that dryads, is more to the honour of trees than has neither a beginning nor an end. In our any thing yet mentioned. It was thought speculations of infinite space, we consider the fate of these nymphs had so near a de- that particular place in which we exist as pendance on some trees, more especially

a kind of centre to the whole expansion. oaks, that they lived and died together. In our speculatious of eternity, we consider For this reason they were extremely grate- the time which is present to us as the ful to such persons who preserved those middle, which divides the whole line into trees with which their being subsisted.

two equal parts. For this reason, many Apollonius tells us a very remarkable story to this purpose, with which I shall witty authors compare the present time to

an isthmus, or narrow neck of land, that conclude my letter.

rises in the midst of an ocean, immeasur"A certain man, called Rhæcus, observ-lably diffused on either side of it. ing an old oak ready to fall, and being moved with a sort of compassion towards naturally throws eternity under two divi

•Philosophy, and indeed common sense, the tree, ordered his servants to pour

in fresh earth at the roots of it, and set it up- eternity which is past, and that eternity

sions, which we may call in English that right. The Hamadryad, or nymph, who

which is to come. The learned terms must necessarily have perished with the of Eternitas a parte ante, and Æternitas a tree, appeared to him the next day, and, after having returned him her thanks, tolả parte post, may be more amusing to the him she was ready to grant whatever he to them than what is conveyed to us by

reader, but can have no other idea affixed should ask. As she was extremely beau- those words, an eternity that is past, and tiful, Rhæcus desired he might be entertained as her lover. The Hamadryad, not eternities is bounded at the one extreme,

an eternity that is to come. Each of these much displeased with the request, pro or, in other words, the former has an end, mised to give him a meeting, but com- and the latter a beginning: manded him for some days to abstain from the embraces of all other women, adding which is past, reserving that which is to

• Let us first of all consider that eternity that she would send a bee to him, to let come for the subject of another paper. The him know when he was to be happy; nature of this eternity is utterly inconceivRhæcus was, it seems, too much addicted

able by the mind of man: our reason deto gaming, and happened to be in a run of monstrates to us that it has been, but at the ill-luck when the faithful bee came buz

same time can frame no idea of it, but what zing about him; so that, instead of minding is big with absurdity and contradiction. his kind invitation, he had like to have We can have no other conception of any killed him for his pains. The Hamadryad duration which is past, than that all of it was so provoked at her own disappointment, and the ill usage of her messenger,

was once present: and whatever was once that she deprived Rhæcus of the use of his present is at some certain distance from us, limbs. However, says the story, he was from us, be the distance never so remote,

and whatever is at any certain distance not so much a cripple, but he made a shift cannot be eternity. The very notion of any to cut down the tree, and consequently to duration being past implies that it was once fell his mistress,'

present, for the idea of being once present is actually included in the idea of its being

past. This therefore is a depth not to be No. 590.] Monday, September 6, 1714. sounded by human understanding. We are Assiduo labuntur tempora motu

sure that there has been an eternity, and Non secus ac flumen. Neque enim consistere flumen, yet contradict ourselves when we measure Nec levis hora potest: sed ut unda impellitur unda,

this eternity by any notion which we can Urgeturque prior venienti, urgetque priorem, Tempora sic fugiunt pariter, pariturque sequuntur;

frame of it.

"If we go to the bottom of this matter, • Thirdly, That whatever exists after we shall find that the difficulties we meet the manner of created beings, or according with in our conceptions of eternity proceed to any notions which we have of existence, from this single reason, that we can have could not have existed from eternity. no other idea of any kind of duration, than • Fourthly, That this Eternal Being must that by which we ourselves, and all other therefore be the great Author of nature, created beings, do exist; which is, a suc- “the Ancient of Days,” who, being at an cessive duration made up of past, present, infinite distance in his perfections from all and to come. There is nothing which ex- finite and created beings, exists in a quite ists after this manner, all the parts of whose different manner from them, and in a manexistence were not once actually present, ner of which they can have no idea. and consequently may be reached by a cer- I know that several of the schoolmen, tain number of years applied to it. We who would not be thought ignorant of any may ascend as high as we please, and em-thing, have pretended to explain the manploy our being to that eternity which is to ner of God's existence, by telling us that come, in adding millions of years to mil- he comprehends infinite duration in every lions of years, and we can never come moment: that eternity is with him a puncup to any, fountain-head of duration, to tum stans, a fixed point; or, which is as any beginning in eternity: but at the same good sense, an infinite instant; that nothing, time we are sure, that whatever was once with reference to his existence, is either present does lie within the reach of num- past or to come: to which the ingenious bers, though perhaps we can never be able Mr. Cowley alludes in his description of to put enough of them together for that heaven: purpose. We may as well say, that any

“ Nothing is there to come, and nothing past, thing may be actually present in any part But an eternal now does always last." of infinite space, which does not lie at a certain distance from us, as that any part For my own part, I look upon these of infinite duration was once actually pre-propositions as words that have no ideas sent, and does not also lie at some deter- annexed to them; and think men had betmined distance from us. The distance in ter own their ignorance than advance docboth cases may be immeasurable and in- trines by which they mean nothing, and definite as to our faculties, but our reason which, indeed, are self-contradictory. We tells us that it cannot be so in itself. Here cannot be too modest in our disquisitions therefore is that difficulty which human when we meditate on Him, who is environunderstanding is not capable of surmounted with so much glory and perfection, who ing. We are sure that something must is the source of being, the fountain of all that have existed from eternity, and are at the existence which we and his whole creation same time unable to conceive, that any derive from him. Let us therefore, with thing which exists, according to our notion the utmost humility, acknowledge, that, of existence, can have existed from eter- as some being must necessarily have existnity:

ed from eternity, so this being does exist It is hard for a reader, who has not after an incomprehensible manner, since it rolled this thought in his own mind, to fol- | is impossible for a being to have existed low in such an abstracted speculation; but from eternity after our manner or notions I have been the longer on it, because I of existence. Revelation confirms these think it is a demonstrative argument of the natural dictates of reason in the accounts being and eternity of God: and, though which it gives us of the divine existence, there are many other demonstrations which where it tells us, that he is the same yeslead us to this great truth, I do not think terday, to-day, and for ever; that he is the we ought to lay aside any proofs in this Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the matter, which the light of reason has sug- ending; that a thousand years are with him gested to us, especially when it is such a as one day, and one day as a thousand one as has been urged by men famous for years: by which, and the like expressions, their penetration and force of understand we are taught that his existence, with reing, and which appears altogether conclu- lation to time or duration, is infinitely difsive to those who will be at the pains to ferent from the existence of any of his examine it.

creatures, and consequently that it is im•Having thus considered that eternity possible for us to frame any adequate conwhich is past, according to the best idea ceptions of it. we can frame of it, I shall now draw up In the first revelation which he makes those several articles on this subject, which of his own being, he entitles himself, “I are dictated to us by the light of reason, Am that I Am;" and when Moses desires and which may be looked upon as the creed to know what name he shall give him in his of a philosopher in this great point. embassy to Pharaoh, he bids him say that

• First, it is certain that no being could “I Am hath sent you.' " Our great Creahave made itself; for, if so, it must liave tor, by this revelation of himself, does in a acted before it was, which is a contradiction. manner exclude every thing else from a

•Secondly, That therefore some being real existence, and distinguishes himselt must have existed from all eternity. from his creatures as the only being which

truly and really exists. The ancient Pla- ' appearances, from the fifteenth to the tonic notion, which was drawn from specu- forty-fifth year of his age. lations of eternity wonderfully agrees with He assures me, with an air of confidence, this revelation which God has made of which I hope proceeds from his real abili. himself. There is nothing, say they, which ties, that he does not doubt of giving judgin reality exists, whose existence, as we ment to the satisfaction of the parties concall it, is pieced up of past, present, and to cerned on the most nice and intricate cases come. Such a flitting and successive ex- which can happen in an amour; as, istence is rather a shadow of existence, and How great the contraction of the fingers something which is like it, than existence must be before it amounts to a squeeze by itself. He only properly exists whose ex- the hand. istence is entirely present; that is, in other What can be properly termed an absowords, who exists in the most perfect man-lute denial from a maid, and what from a ner, and in such a manner as we have no widow. idea of.

What advances a lover may presume to *I shall conclude this speculation with one make, after having received a pat upon his useful inference. How can we sufficiently shoulder from his mistress's fan. prostrate ourselves and fall down before Whether a lady, at the first interview, our Maker, when we consider that ineffable may allow an humble servant to kiss her goodness and wisdom which contrived this hand. existence for finite natures? What must How far it may be permitted to caress be the overflowings of that good-will, the maid in order to succeed with the miswhich prompted our Creator to adapt ex- tress. istence to beings in whom it is not neces

What constructions a man may put upon sary? especially when we consider that he a smile, and in what cases a frown goes for himself was before in the complete posses- nothing. sion of existence and of happiness, and in On what occasions a sheepish look may the full enjoyment of eternity. What man do service, &c. can think of himself as called out and se- As a farther proof of his skill, he also parated from nothing, of his being made a sent me several maxims in love, which he conscious, a reasonable, and a happy crea- assures me are the result of a long and ture; in short, in being taken in as a profound reflection, some of which I think sharer of existence, and a kind of partner myself obliged to communicate to the pubin eternity, without being swallowed up in lic, not remembering to have seen them wonder, in praise, in adoration! It is in- before in any author. deed a thought too big for the mind of • There are more calamities in the world man, and rather to be entertained in the arising from love than from hatred. secresy of devotion, and in the silence of 'Love is the dailghter of idleness, but his soul, than to be expressed by words. the mother of disquietude. The Supreme Being has not given us Men of grave natures, says Sir Francis powers or faculties sufficient to extol and Bacon, are the most constant; for the same magnify such unutterable goodness.

reason men should be more constant than • It is however some comfort to us, that women. we shall be always doing what we shall be • The gay part of mankind is most amonever able to do, and that a work which rous, the serious most loving. cannot be finished, will however be the A coquette often loses her reputation work of an eternity.'

while she preserves her virtue.

• A prude often preserves her reputation when she has lost her virtue.

• Love refines a man's behaviour, but No. 591.) Wednesday, September 8, 1714. makes a woman's ridiculous.

‘Love is generally accompanied with Ovid, Trist. 3. El. iii. Lib. 3. 73. good-will in the young, interest in the midLove, the soft subject of his sportive muse.

dle-aged, and a passion too gross to name

in the old. I HAVE just received a letter from a gen- • The endeavours to revive a decaying tleman, who tells me he has observed with passion generally extinguish the remains no small concern, that my papers have of of it. late been very barren in relation to love; • A woman who from being a slattern bea subject which, when agreeably handled, comes over.neat, or from being over-neat can scarcely fail of being well received by becomes a slattern, is most certainly in both sexes.

love.' If my invention therefore should be al- I shall make use of this gentleman's skill most exhausted on this head, he offers to as I see occasion; and since I am got upon serve under me in the quality of a love- the subject of love, shall conclude this pacasuist; for which place he conceives him- per with a copy of verses which were self to be thoroughly qualified, having lately sent me by an unknown hand, as I made this passion his principal study, and look upon them to be above the ordinary observed it in all its different shapes and I run of sonnetteers,

Tenerorum lusor amorum.

The author tells me they were written in I do not indeed wonder that the actors one of his despairing fits; and I find enter- should be such professed enemies to those tains some hope that his mistress may pity among our nation who are commonly known such a passion as he has described, before by the name of critics, since it is a rule she knows that she herself is Corinna. among these gentlemen to fall upon a play,

not because it is ill written, but because it Conceal, fond man, conceal thy mighty smart,

takes. Several of them lay it down as a Nor tell Corinna she has fir'd thy heart. In vain would'st thou complain, in vain pretend

maxim, that whatever dramatic performTo ask a pity which she must not lend.

ance has a long run, must of necessity be She's too much thy superior to comply,

good for nothing; as though the first preAnd too, too fair to let thy passjon die. Languish in secret, and with dumb snrprise cept in poetry were not to please.' WheDrink the resistless glances of her eyes.

ther this rule holds good or not, I shall At awful distance entertain thy grief,

leave to the determination of those who are Be still in pain, but never ask relief. Ne'er tempt her scorn of thy consuming state,

better judges than myself: if it does, I am Be any way undone, but fly her hate.

sure it tends very much to the honour of Thou must submit to see thy chariner bless

those gentlemen who have established it; Some happier youth that shall admire her less; Who in ihat lovely form, that heavenly mind,

few of their pieces have been disgraced by Shall miss ten thousand beauties thou could'st find. a run of three days, and most of them being Who with low fancy shall approach her charms,

so exquisitely written, that the town would While, half enjoyd, she sinks into his arms. She knows not, must not know, thy nobler fire,

never give them more than one night's Whom she, and whom the muses do inspire; hearing. Her image only shall thy breast employ,

I have a great esteem for a true critic, And till thy captive soul with shades of joy;

such as Aristotle and Longinus among the Direct thy dreams by night, thy thoughts by day; And never, never from thy bosom stray.**

Greeks: Horace and Quintilian among the
Romans; Boileau and Dacier among the

French. But it is our misfortune that some, No. 592.] Friday, September 10, 1714.

who set up for professed critics among us,

are so stupid that they do not know how -Studium sine divite vepa.

to put ten words together with elegance or Hor. Ars Poet. 409.

common propriety; and withal so illiterate, Art without a vein.-Roscommon.

that they have no taste of the learned lanI Look upon the playhouse as a world guages, and therefore criticise upon old auwithin itself. They have lately furnished thors only at second-hand. They judge of the middle region of it with a new set of them by what others have written, and not meteors in order to give the sublime to by any notions they have of the authors many modern tragedies. I was there last themselves. The words unity, action, senwinter at the first rehearsal of the new of authority, give them a figure among un

timent, and diction, pronounced with an air thunder,f which is much more deep and sonorous than any hitherto made use of. learned readers, who are apt to believe They have a Salmoneus behind the scenes

they are very deep, because they are uninwho plays it off with great success. Their

telligible. The ancient critics are full of lightnings are made to flash more briskly discover beauties which escaped the ob

the praises of their contemporaries; they than heretofore, their clouds are also better furbelowed, and more voluminous; not

servation of the vulgar, and very often find to mention a violent storm locked up in a little slips and oversights as were commit

out reasons palliating and excusing such great chest, that is designed for the Tem- ted in the writings of eminent authors. On pest. They are also provided with above the contrary, most of the smatterers in a dozen showers of snow, which, as I am criticism, who appear among us, make it informed, are the plays of many unsuccess their business to vilify and depreciate every ful poets artificially cut and shredded for that use.

Mr. Ryner's Edgar is to fall in new production that gains applause, to order to heighten, or rather to alleviate; for beauties in any celebrated piece are snow at the next acting of King Lear, in decry imaginary blemishes, and to prove,

by far-fetched arguments, that what pass the distress of that unfortunate prince; and to serve by way of decoration to a piece these critics, compared with those of the

faults and errors. In short, the writings of which that great critic has written against. ancients, are like the works of the sophists

* These verses were written by Gilbert, the second compared with those of the old philosobrother of Eustace Budgel, esq.

| This is an allusion to Mr. Dennis's new and im. Envy and cavil are the natural fruits of proved method of making thunder. Dennis had con: laziness and ignorance: which was proba Appius and Virginia; the players highly approved of it, bly the reason that in the heathen mythoand it is the same that is used at the present day. Not logy Momus is said to be the son of Nox withstanding the effect of this thunder, however, the and Somnus, of darkness and sleep. Idle after, Dennis being in the pit at the representation of men, who have not been at the pains to acMacbeth, and hearing the thunder made use of, arose complish or distinguish themselves, are from his seat in a violent passion, exclaiming with an very apt to detract from others; as ignooath, that that was his thunder. these rascals use me: they will not let my play run, rant men are very subject to decry those and yet they steal my thunder.'

beauties in a celebrated work which they

phers.

have not eyes to discover. Many of our No. 593.] Monday, September 13, 1714. sons of Momus, who dignify themselves

Quale per incertam lunam sub luce maligna by the name of critics, are the genuine de- Est iter in sylvis

Virg. Æn. vi. 270. scendants of these two illustrious ancestors.

Thus wander travellers in woods by night, They are often led into those numerous ab

By the moon's doubtful and malignant light. surdities, in which they daily instruct the

Dryden. people, by not considering that, first, there is sometimes a greater judgment shown in dow, has sent me a second letter, with

My dreaming correspondent, Mr. Shadeviating from the rules of art than in ad- several curious observations on dreams in hering to them; and, secondly, that there is more beauty in the works of a great ge- improving: an extract of his letter will not,

general, and the method to render sleep nius, who is ignorant of all the rules of art, I presume, be disagreeable to my readers. than in the works of a little genius, who not only knows but scrupulously observes •Since we have so little time to spare, them.

that none of it may be lost, I see no reason First, We may often take notice of men why we should neglect to examine those who are perfectly acquainted with all the imaginary scenes we are presented with in rules of good writing, and, notwithstand-sleep, only because they have less reality ing, choose to depart from them on extra- in them than our waking meditations. A ordinary occasions. I could give instances traveller would bring his judgment in quesout of all the tragic writers of antiquity tion, who would despise the directions of who have shown their judgment in this his map for want of real roads in it, beparticular; and purposely receded from an cause here stands a dot instead of a town, established rule of the drama, when it has or a cypher instead of a city; and it must made way for a much higher beauty than be a long day's journey to travel through the observation of such a rule would have two or three inches." Fancy in dreams been. Those who have surveyed the no- gives us much such another landscape of blest pieces of architecture and statuary, life as that does of countries: and, though both ancient and modern, know very well its appearance may seem strangely jumthat there are frequent deviations from art bled together, we may often observe such in the works of the greatest masters, which traces and footsteps of noble thoughts, as, have produced a much nobler effect than a if carefully pursued, might lead us into a more accurate and exact way of proceed proper path of action. There is so much ing could have done. This often arises rapture and ecstacy in our fancied bliss, from what the Italians call the gusto grande and something so dismal and shocking in in these arts, which is what we call the our fancied misery, that, though the inac sublime in writing.

tivity of the body has given occasion for In the next place, our critics do not seem calling sleep the image of death, the brisksensible that there is more beauty in the ness of the fancy affords us a strong intimaworks of a great genius, who is ignorant of tion of something within us that can never the rules of art, than in those of a little ge- die. nius who knows and observes them. It is I have wondered that Alexander the of these men of genius that Terence speaks, Great, who came into the world sufficiently in opposition to the little artificial cavillers dreamed of by his parents, and had himof his time:

self a tolerable knack of dreaming, should

often say, that sleep was one thing which Quorum emulari exoptat negligentiam

made him sensible he was mortal. I, who Potius quam istorum obscuram diligentiam.'

have not such fields of action in the day. •Whose negligence he would rather imitate than these time to divert my attention from this men's obscure diligence.'

matter, plainly perceive that in those A critic may have the same consolation operations of the mind, while the body is in the ill success of his play as Dr. South at rest, there is a certain vastness of contells us a physician has at the death of a ception very suitable to the capacity, and patient, that he was killed secundum artem. demonstrative of the force of that divine Our inimitable Shakspeare is a stumbling- part in our composition which will last for block to the whole tribe of these rigid ever. Neither do I much doubt but, had critics. Who would not rather read one we a true account of the wonders the hero of his plays, where there is not a single last-mentioned performed in his sleep, his rule of the stage observed, than any pro- conquering this little globe would hardly duction of a modern critic, where there is be worth mentioning. I may affirm, with not one of them violated! Shakspeare was out vanity, that, when I compare several indeed born with all the seeds of poetry, actions in Quintus Curtius with some others and may be compared to the stone in Pyrr- in my own noctuary, I appear the greater hus's ring, which, as Pliny tells us, had hero of the two.' the figure of Apollo and the nine muses I shall close this subject with observing, in the veins of it, produced by the spon- that while we are awake we are at liberty taneous hand of nature, without any help to fix our thoughts on what we please, but from art.

in sleep we have not the command of them. Vol. II

45

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