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Tell me, ye mighty Three ! what shall I do

To be like one of you ? But

you have climb'd the mountain tops, there sit On the calm flourishing head of it, And, whilst with wearied steps we upward go, See us, and clouds, below. ,

(The Motto.)


Not winds to voyagers at sea,

Nor showers to earth, more necessary be (Heaven's vital seed cast on the womb of earth

To give the fruitful year a birth)

Than Verse to Virtue; which can do The midwife's office and the nurse's too ; It feeds it strongly, and it clothes it gay,

And, when it dies, with comely pride
Embalms it, and erects a pyramid

That never will decay
Till heaven itself shall melt

away, And nought behind it stay.

(The Resurrection.)

BOOKS IN SOLITUDE.—The first work therefore that a man must do, to make himself capable of the good of solitude, is, the very eradication of all lusts; for how is it possible for a man to enjoy himself, while his affections are tied to things without himself? In the second place, he must learn the art and get the habit of thinking ; for this too, no less than well-speaking, depends upon much practice; and cogitation is the thing which distinguishes the solitude of God from a wild beast. Now, because the soul of man is not by its own nature or observation furnished with sufficient materials to work upon, it is necessary for it to have continual recourse to learning and books for fresh supplies, so that the solitary life will grow indigent, and be ready to starve, without them; but if once we be thoroughly engaged in the love of letters, instead of being wearied with the length of any day, we shall only complain of the shortness of our whole life.

(Essay : Of Solitude.")

JOSEPH ADDISON. [Born, 1672. First number of the Spectator published March 1, 1711. Cato produced, 1713. Appointed Secretary of State, 1717. Died, 1719.]

BOOKS THE LEGACIES OF GREAT GENIUSES.--As the Supreme Being has expressed, and as it were printed his ideas in the creation, men express their ideas in books, which by this great invention of these latter ages may last as long as the sun and moon, and perish only in the general wreck of nature. Thus Cowley, in his poem on the Resurrection, mentioning the destruction of the universe, has these admirable lines :

Now all the wide extended sky,
And all th' harmonious worlds on high
And Virgil's sacred work shall die.

There is no other method

of fixing those thoughts which arise and disappear in the mind of man, and transmitting them to the last periods of time; no other method of giving a permanency to our ideas, and preserving the knowledge of any particular person, when his body is mixed with the common mass of matter, and his soul retired into the world of spirits. Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation, as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.

All other arts of perpetuating our ideas continue but a short time. Statues can last but a few thousands of years, edifices fewer, and colours still fewer than edifices. Michael Angelo, Fontana, and Raphael, will hereafter be what Phidias, Vitruvius, and Apelles are at present; the names of great statuaries, architects, and painters, whose works are lost. The several arts are expressed in mouldering materials. Nature sinks under them, and is not able to support the ideas which are imprest upon it.

The circumstance which gives authors an advantage above all the great masters, is this, that they can multiply their originals : or rather can make copies of their works, to what number they please, which shall be as valuable as the originals themselves. This gives a great author something like a prospect of eternity, but at the same time deprives him of those other advantages which artists meet with. The artist finds greater returns in profit, as the author in fame. What an inestimable price would a Virgil or a Homer, a Cicero or Aristotle bear, were their works like a statue, a building, or a picture, to be confined only in


one place, and made the property of a single person !

(Spectator, No. 166.)


[Born, 1709. Educated at Lichfield Grammar School and Pembroke College, Oxford. Translated “Father Lobo's Voyage to Abyssinia," 1735. His first contribution to the Gentleman's Magazine,” 1738. “ London," a poem, published 1738. Issued the Prospectus of his Dictionary, 1745.

“ The Vanity of Human Wishes, 1748. Irene, produced by Garrick, 1749. Began The Rambler, 1750; The Adventurer, 1752. Dictionary,” published 1755. Began The Idler, 1758. “A Visit to the Hebrides,” 1774. “Lives of the Poets,” 1779–81. Died, 1784.]


SECRET INFLUENCE OF Books.—But, perhaps, it seldom happens, that study terminates in mere pastime. Books have always a secret influence on the understanding; we cannot at pleasure obliterate ideas : he that reads books of science, though without

any desire of improvement, will grow more

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