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But now she is abfent, I walk by its fide,
still as it murmurs do nothing but chide ; Must you be fo cheerful, while I go in pain? Peace there with your bubbling, and hear me complain.
IV. When my lambkins around me would oftentimes play, And when Phebe and I were as joyful as they, How pleasant their sporting, how happy their time, When spring, love, and beauty, were all in their prime? But now in their frolics when by me they pass, I fling at their fleeces an handful of grass ; Be still then, I cry, for it makes me quite mad, To see you so merry, while I am so sad.
V. My dog I was ever well pleased to see Come wagging his tail to my fair one and me; And Phebe was pleasd too, and to my dog said, Come hither, poor fellow ; and patted his head. But now, when he's fawning, I with a four look Cry, Sirrah ; and give him a blow with my crook ; And I'll give him another : for why foould not Tray Be as dull as his master, when Phebe's away?
When walking with Phebe, what fights have I seen? How fair was the flower, how fresh was the green? What a lovely appearance the trees and the shade, The corn-fields and hedges, and ev'ry thing made ? But not loe has left me, tho' all are still there, They none of them now fo delightful appear : 'Twas nought but the magic, I find, of her eyes; Made fo many beautiful prospeits arife.
VII. Sweet music went with us both all the wood thro', The lark, linnet, throftle, and nightingale too ; Winds over us whisperid, flocks by us did bleat, And chirp went the grasshopper under our feet.
But now foe is abfent, the still they fmg on,
: my Phebe return?
Will no pitying pow'r that hears me complain,
******** FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8.
Tu ne quæfieris (fcire nefas) quem mihi, quem tibi, Finem dii dederint, Leuconoe; nec Babylonios Tentaris numeros
Hor. Od. xi. lib. 1. ver, I. Ah, do not strive too much to know,
My dear Leuconge,
THE "HE defire of knowing future events, is one of
the strongest inclinations in the mind of mans Indeed an ability of foreseeing probable accidents is what, in the language of men, is called wisdom and prudence : But not satisfied with the light that reason holds out, mankind hath endeavoured to penetrate more compendiously into futurity. Ma. giç, oracles, omens, lucky hours, and the various arts of superstition, owe their rise to this powerful caufę. . As this principle is founded in felf-love, every man is sure to be folicitous, in the first place, about his own fortune, the course of his life, and the time and manner of his death. .
If we consider that we are free agents, we shall discover the absurdity of such enquiries. One of our actions which we might have performed or ne, glected, is the cause of another that fucceeds it, and so the whole chain of life is linked together. Pain, poverty, or infamy, are the natural product of vicious and imprudent acts; as the contrary blessings are of good ones; so that we cannot sup. pose our lot to be determined without impiety. A great enhancement of pleasure arises from its being unexpected ; and pain is doubled by being foreseen. Upon all these, and several other accounts, we
ought to reft fatisfied in this portion bestowed on us; to adore the hand that hath fitted every thing to our nature, and hath not more displayed his goodness in our knowledge than in our ignorance.
It is not unworthy observation, that fuperftitious enquiries into future events prevail more or less, in proportion to the improvement of liberal arts and useful knowledge in the several parts of the world. Accordingly we find that magical incantations remain in Lapland; in the more remote parts of Scotland they have their fecond fight, and several of our own countrymen have seen abundance of fairies. In Afia this credulity is strong ; and the greatest part of refined learning there consists in the knowledge of amulets, talismans, occult numbers, and the like.
When I was at Grand Cairo, I fell into the acquaintance of a good-natured muffulman, who promised me many good offices, which he defigned to do me when he became the Prime Minister, which was a fortune bestowed on his imagination, by a doctor very deep in the curious fciences. At his repeated folicitations I went to learn my destiny of this wonderful fage. For a small fum I had his promise, but was desired to wait in a dark apartment until he had run through the preparatory ceremonies. Having a strong propenfity, even then, to dreaming, I took a nap upon the fofa where I was placed, and had the following vifion, the particulars whereof I picked up the other day among my papers.
I found myself in an unbounded plain, where methought the whole world, in feveral habits, and with different tongues, was assembled: The multitude glided swiftly along, and I found in myself a ftrong inclination to mingle in the train. My eyes quickly fingled out some of the most splendid. figures. Several in rich caftans and glittering tyr.
bans bustled through the throng, and trampled over the bodies of those they threw down ; until, to my great surprise, I found that the great pace they went, only haftened them to a scaffold or a bowstring. Many beautiful damsels on the other fide moved forward with great gaiety; fome danced until they fell all along; and others painted their faces until they lost their noses. A tribe of creatures with busy looks falling into a fit of laughter at the misfortunes of the unhappy ladies, I turned my eyes upon them. They were each of them filling his pockets with gold and jewels, and when there was no room left for more, these wretches looking round with fear and horror, pined away before my face with famine and discontent.
This prospect of human misery struck me dumb for some miles. Then it was that, to disburden my mind, I took pen and ink, and did every thing that hath fince happened under my office of SPECTATOR. While I was employing myself for the good of mankind, I was surprised to meet with very
unsuitable returns from my fellow-creatures. Never was poor author so beset with pamphleteers, who fometimes marched directly against me, but oftner shot at me from strong bulwarks, or rose up suddenly in ambush. They were of all characters and capacities, some with ensigns of dignity, and others in liveries ; but what most suprised me, was to see two or three in black gowns ainong my enemies. It was no small trouble to me, sometimes to have a man come up to me with an angry face, and reproached me for having lampooned him, when I had never seen or heard of him in my life. With the ladies it was otherwise: Many became my enémies for not being particularly pointed out; as there were others who resented the facire which they imagined I had directed against them, My great comfort was in the company of half a dozen friends, who, I found fince, were the club