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to that serenity which they knew before their engagements with Labour: Nor was her dominion entirely without control, for she was obliged to share it with Luxury, though she always looked upon her as a false friend, by whom her influence was in reality destroyed, while it seemed to be promoted.
The two soft associates, however, reigned for some time without visible disagreement, till at last Luxury betrayed her charge, and let in Disease to seize upon her worshippers. Rest then flew away, and left the place to the usurpers; who employed all their arts to fortify themselves in their possession, and to strengthen the interest of each other.
Rest had not always the same enemy; in some places she escaped the incursions of Disease; but had her residence invaded by a more slow and subtle intruder, for very frequently, when every thing was composed and quiet, when there was neither pain within, nor danger without, when every flower was in bloom, and every gale freighted with perfumes, Satiety would enter with a languishing and repining look, and throw herself upon the couch placed and adorned for the accommodation of Rest. No sooner was she seated than a general gloom spread itself on every side, the groves immediately lost their verdure, and their inhabitants desisted from their melody, the breeze sunk in sighs, and the flowers contracted their leaves, and shut up their odours. Nothing was seen on every side but multitudes wandering about they knew not whither, in quest they knew not of
what ; no voice was heard but of complaints that mentioned no pain, and murmurs that could tell of no misfortune.
Rest had now lost her authority. Her followers again began to treat her with contempt; some of them united themselves more closely to Luxury, who promised by her arts to drive Satiety away; and others, that were more wise, or had more fortitude, went back again to Labour, by whom they were indeed protected from Satiety, but delivered up in time to Lassitude, and forced by her to the bowers of Rest.
Thus Rest and Labour equally perceived their reign of short duration and uncertain tenure, and their empire liable to inroads from those who were alike enemies to both. They each found their subjects unfaithful, and ready to desert them upon every opportunity. Labour saw the riches which he had given always carried away as an offering to Rest, and Rest found her votaries in every exigence flying from her to beg help of Labour. They, therefore, at last determined upon an interview, in which they agreed to divide the world between them, and govern it alternately, allotting 1 Perhaps this passage suggested to Samuel Rogers the lines:
"And long was to be seen
Dickens, in the preface to his Old Curiosity Shop, says t that the beautiful thought of Nell's grandfather wandering about after her death as if looking for her, he owes to Rogers. Had he known the Rambler he might have carried the obligation another step back.
the dominion of the day to one, and that of the night to the other, and promised to guard the frontiers of each other, so that, whenever hostilities were attempted, Satiety should be intercepted by Labour, and Lassitude expelled by Rest. Thus the ancient quarrel was appeased, and as hatred is often succeeded by its contrary, Rest afterwards became pregnant by Labour, and was delivered of Health, a benevolent goddess, who consolidated the union of her parents, and contributed to the regular vicissitudes of their reign, by dispensing her gifts to those only who shared their lives in just proportions between Rest and Labour.1
No 41. TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 1750.
Nulla recordanti lux est ingrata gravisque,
30 few of the hours of life are filled up with objects adequate to the mind of man, and so frequently are we in want of present pleasure or employment, that we are forced to have recourse every moment
1 According to Mrs. Piozzi, "this allegory was Johnson's favourite composition among all that the Rambler contains." -Piozzi's British Synonomy, i. 213.
2 Martial, x. 23.
8 "Some of the mottoes of the Rambler," writes Boswell,
to the past and future for supplemental satisfactions, and relieve the vacuities of our being, by recollections of former passages, or anticipation of events to come.
I cannot but consider this necessity of searching on every side for matter on which the attention may be employed, as a strong proof of the superior and celestial nature of the soul of man. We have no reason to believe that other creatures have higher faculties, or more extensive capacities, than the preservation of themselves, or their species, requires; they seem always to be fully employed, or to be completely at ease without employment, to feel few intellectual miseries or pleasures, and to have no exuberance of understanding to lay out upon curiosity or caprice, but to have their minds exactly adapted to their bodies, with few other ideas than such as corporal pain or pleasure impress upon them.
Of memory, which makes so large a part of the excellence of the human soul, and which has so much influence upon all its other powers, but a small portion has been allotted to the animal
"are very happily translated by a Mr. F. Lewis, of whom I never heard more except that Johnson thus described him to Mr. Malone: 'Sir, he lived in London, and hung loose upon society."-Boswell's Johnson, i. 226. Lewis is particularly happy in his translation of Martial's lines,
"Diligat illa senem quondam ; sed et ipsa marito,
world. We do not find the grief with which the dams lament the loss of their young, proportionate to the tenderness with which they caress, the assiduity with which they feed, or the vehemence with which they defend them. Their regard for their offspring, when it is before their eyes, is not, in appearance, less than that of a human parent; but when it is taken away, it is very soon forgotten, and, after a short absence, if brought again, wholly disregarded.
That they have very little remembrance of anything once out of the reach of their senses, and scarce any power of comparing the present with the past, and regulating their conclusions from experience, may be gathered from this, that their intellects are produced in their full perfection. The sparrow that was hatched last spring makes her first nest the ensuing season, of the same materials, and with the same art, as in any following year; and the hen conducts and shelters her first brood of chickens with all the prudence that she ever attains.1
It has been asked by men who love to perplex any thing that is plain to common understandings,
1 Boswell records the following conversation on May 7, 1773 :-" Johnson repeated an argument which is to be found in his Rambler, against the notion that the brute creation is endowed with the faculty of reason: 'Birds build by instinct ; they never improve; they build their first nest as well as any one they ever build.' GOLDSMITH. 'Yet we see, if you take away a bird's nest with the eggs in it, she will make a lighter nest and lay again.' JOHNSON. 'Sir, that is because at first she has full time, and makes her nest deliberately. In the case you mention she is pressed to lay, and must there