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moved, and placed as a weather-glass in the apartment above mentioned.
“On Wednesday, a gentleman, having received a letter written in a woman's hand, and changing colour twice or thrice as he read it, desired leave to retire into the infirmary. The president consented, but denied him the use of pen, ink, and paper, till such time as he had slept upon it. One of the company being seated at the lower end of the table, and discovering his secret discontent, by finding fault with every dish that was served up, and refusing to laugh at any thing that was said, the president told him, that he found he was in an uneasy seat, and desired him to accommodate himself better in the infirmary. After dinner, a very honest fellow chancing to let a pun fall from him; his neighbour cried out, “To the infirmary;' at the same time pretending to be sick at it, as having the same natural antipathy to a pun which some have to a cat. This produced a long debate. Upon the whole, the punster was acquitted, and his neighbour sent off.
“On Thursday there was but one delinquent. This was a gentleman of strong voice, but weak understanding. He had unluckily engaged himself in dispute with a man of excellent sense, but of a modest elocution. The man of heat replied to every answer of his antagonist with a louder note than ordinary, and only raised his voice when he should have enforced his argument. Finding himself at length driven to an absurdity, he still reasoned in a more clamorous and confused manner; and, to make the greater impression upon his hearers, concluded with a loud thump upon the table. The president immediately ordered him to be carried off, and dieted with water-gruel, till such time as he should be sufficiently weakened for conversation.
“On Friday there passed very little remarkable, saving only, that several petitions were read of the persons in cús. tody, desiring to be released from their confinement, and vouching for one another's good behaviour for the future.
“On Saturday we received many excuses from persons who had found themselves in an unsociable temper, and had voluntarily shut themselves up. The infirmary was, indeed, never so full as on this day, which I was at some loss to account for, till, upon my going abroad, I observed that it was an easterly wind. The retirement of most of
my friends has given me opportunity and leisure of writing you this letter, which I must not conclude without assuring you, that all the members of our college, as well those who are under confinement as those who are at liberty, are your very bumble servants, though none more than, &c.
N° 441. SATURDAY, JULY 26, 1712.
Impavidum ferient ruinæ.-HOR. 3 Od. iii. 7.
In ruin and confusion hurl'd,
And stand secure amidst a falling world.-Anon.
very wretched being. He is subject every moment to the greatest calamities and misfortunes. He is beset with dangers on all sides; and may become unhappy by numberless casualties, which he could not foresee, nor have prevented had he foreseen them.
It is our comfort, while we are obnoxious to so many accidents, that we are under the care of One who directs contingencies, and has in his hands the management of every thing that is capable of annoying or offending us; who knows the assistance we stand in need of, and is al. ways ready to bestow it on those who ask it of him.
The natural homage which such a creature bears to so infinitely wise and good a Being, is a firm reliance on him for the blessings and conveniences of life, and a habitual trust in him for deliverance out of all such dangers and difficulties as may befal us.
The man who always lives in this disposition of mind, has not the same dark and melancholy views of human nature, as he who considers himself abstractedly from this relation to the Supreme Being. At the same time that he reflects upon his own weakness and imperfection, he comforts himself with the contemplation of those divine attributes which are employed for his safety and his welfare. He finds his want of foresight made up by the Omniscience of him who is his support. He is not sensi, VOL. VIII.
ble of his own want of strength, when he knows that his helper is almighty. In short, the person who has a firm trust on the Supreme Being is powerful in his power, wise by his wisdom, happy by his happiness. He reaps the benefit of every divine attribute, and loses his own insufficiency in the fulness of infinite perfection.
To make our lives more easy to us, we are commanded to put our trust in him, who is thus able to relieve and succour us: the divine goodness having made such a reliance a duty, notwithstanding we should have been miserable had it been forbidden us.
Among several motives which might be made use of to recommend this duty to us, I shall only take notice of these that follow.
The first and strongest is, that we are promised he will not fail those who put their trust in him.
But, without considering the supernatural blessing which accompanies this duty, we may observe, that it has a natural tendency to its own reward, or, in other words, that this firm trust and confidence in the great Disposer of all things, contributes very much to the getting clear of any affliction, or to the bearing it manfully. A person who believes he has his succour at hand, and that he acts in the sight of his friend, often exerts himself beyond his abilities, and does wonders that are not to be matched by one who is not animated with such a confidence of success. I could produce instances from history, of generals, who, out of a belief that they were under the protection of some invisible assistant, did not only encourage their soldiers to do their utmost, but have acted themselves beyond what they would have done had they not been inspired by such a belief. I might in the same manner shew how such a trust in the assistance of an Almighty Being naturally produces patience, hope, cheerfulness, and all other dispositions of the mind that alleviate those calamities which we not able to remove.
The praetice of this virtue administers great comfort to the mind of man in times of poverty and affliction, but most of all in the hour of death. When the soul is hovering in the last moments of its separation, when it is just entering on another state of existence, to converse with scenes, and objects, and companions, that are altogether
new,-what can support her under such tremblings of a fire thought, such fears, such anxiety, such apprehensions, but
the casting of all her cares upon him who first gave her s the
being, who has conducted her through one stage of it, and nsula
will be always with her, to guide and comfort her in her
progress through eternity? anded
David has very beautifully represented this steady reliand
ance on God Almighty in his twenty-third psalm, which is a kind of pastoral hymn, and filled with those allusions which are usual in that kind of writing. As the poetry is
very exquisite, I shall present my reader with the follow'to
ing translation of it: of
The Lord my pasture shall prepare, vill
And feed me with a shepherd's care ;
His presence shall my wants supply, ng
And guard me with a watchful eye;
And all my midnight hours defend. ds,
When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Amid the verdant landscape flow. by
ugh the dreadful shade.
N° 442. MONDAY, JULY 28, 1712.
Hor. 2 Ep. i. 117.
this my work of speculation; for I have not yet acquainted my readers, that besides the letters and valuable hints I have from time to time received from my correspondents, I have by me several curious and extraordinary papers sent with a design (as no one will doubt when they are published) that they might be printed entire, and without any alteration, by way of Spectator. I must acknowledge also, that I myself, being the first projector of the paper, thought I had a right to make them my own, by dressing them in my own style, by leaving out what would not appear like mine, and by adding whatever might be proper to adapt them to the character and genius of my paper, with which it was almost impossible these could exactly correspond, it being certain that hardly two men think alike; and, therefore, so many men so many Spectators. Besides, I must own my weakness for glory is such, that, if I consulted that only, I might be so far swayed by it, as almost to wish that no one could write a Spectator besides myself; nor can I deny, but upon the first perusal of those papers, I felt some secret inclinations of ill-will towards the persons who wrote them. This was the impression I had upon the first reading them; but upon a late review (more for the sake of entertainment than use), regarding them with another eye than I had done at first (for by converting them as well as I could to my own use, I thought I had utterly disabled them from
I ever offending me again as Spectators), I found myself moved by a passion very different from that of envy ; sensibly touched with pity, the softest and most generous of all passions, when I reflected what a cruel disappointment the neglect of those papers must needs have been to the writers who impatiently longed to see them appear in print, and who, no doubt, triumphed to themselves in the hopes of having a share with me in the applause of the