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confideration of this would make me very well content. ed with the posseflion only of that Quiet which Cowley calls the companion of Obscurity. But whoever has the Muses too for his companions, can never be idle enough to be uneasy. Thus Sir you see I would flatter my self into a good opinion of my own way of living. Plutarch just now told me, that 'tis in human life as in a game at tables, where a man may wila for the highest caft, but if his chance be otherwise, he is e'en to play it as well as he can and to makę the best of it. I am
July 15, 1612. Y OU formerly obsery'd to me, that nothing made
I a more ridiculous figure in a man's life, than the disparity we often find in him sick and well: thus one of an unfortunate constitution is perpetually exhibi. ting a miserable example of the weakness of his mind, and of his body, in their turns. I have had frequent apportunities of late to confider my self in these different views, and I hope have receivid fome advantage by it, if what Waller fays be true, that
The foul's dark cottage, Bafter'd and decay'd,
Then furely fickness, contributing no less than old age to the shaking down this scaffolding of the body, O2
may discover the inward structure more plainly. Sick. nefs is a sort of early old age : it teaches us a diffidence in our earthly ftate, and inspireś us with the thoughts of a future, better than a thousand volumes of philosophers and divines. It gives so warning a concussion to those props of our vanity, our strength and youth, that we think of fortifying our selves within, when there is so little dependance upon our outworks. Youth at the very best is but a betrayer of human life in a gentler and smoother manner than age : 'cis like a stream that nourishes a plant upon a bank, and causes it to flourish and blossom to the fight, but at the same time is undermining it at the root in secret. My youth has dealt more fairly and openly with me, it has afforded several prospects of my danger, and given me an advantage not very common to young men, that the attractions of the world have not dazzled me very much ; and I begin where most people end, with a full conviction of the emptiness of all sorts of ambition, and the unsatisfactory nature of all human pleasures. When a smart fit of sickness tells me this scurvy tenement of my body will fall in a little time, I am e'er as unconcern’d as was that honest Hibernian, who being in bed in the great storm some years ago, and told the house would tumble over his head, made answer, what care I for the house? I am only a lodger. I fancy 'tis the best time to die when one is in the best humour, and so excessively weak as I now am, I may say with conscience, that I am not at all uneasy at the thought that many men whom I never had any esteem for, are likely to enjoy this world after me. When I
reflect what an inconsiderable little attom every - single man is, with respect to the whole creation, · methinks 'tis a name to be concern'd at the removal of such a trival animal as I am. The morning af. ter my exit, the sun will rise as bright as ever, the flowers smell as sweet, the plants spring as green, the world will proceed in its old course, people will laugh as heartily, and marry as fást, as they were us'd to do. The memory of man, as it is elegantly express'd in the Book of Wisdom) passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but one day. There are reasons enough, in the fourth chapter of the same boak, to make any young man contented with the prospect of death. “ For honourable age is “ not that which standeth in length of time, or is so measur'd by number of years. But wisdom is the for gray hair to men, and an unspotted life is old age. He “ was taken away speedily, lelt wickedness should alter ► his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul, &c. I
... . Your, &c.
Nov. 7, 1912, T Was the other day in company with Sve or fix I men of some learning; where chancing to mention the famous verses which the Emperor Adrián spoke, on his death-bed, they were all agreed that 'twas a piece of gaiety unworthy of that prince in those .circumstances. I could not but differ from this opinion ; methinks it was by no means a gay, bụt a very serious soliloquy to his soul at the point of O 3
its departure ; in which sense I naturally took thie verses at my first reading them when I was very young, and before I knew what interpretation the world generally put upon them.
Animula vngula, blandula,
Nec (ut foles) dabis joca! “ 'Alás, my soul ! thou pleasing companion of this “ body, thou fleeting thing that art now deserting it! “ whither art thou Aying? to 'what unknown scene? “all“trembling, fearful, and pensive! what now is “ become of thy forměr wịt and humour thou “halt jest and be gay no more."
I confess I cannot apprehend where lies the trifling in all this ? 'tis the most natural and obvious refle. &tion imaginable to a dying man: and if we confider the Emperor was a heathen, that doubt concerning the future fate of his soul, will' seem so far from being the effect of want of thought, that 'twas scarcę reasonable he should think otherwise ; not to mention that here is a plain confession included of his belief in its immortality. The diminutive epithets of vagula, blandula, and the rest, appear not to me as expressions of levity, but rather of endearment and concern ; such as we find in Catullus, and the authors of Hendeca-syllabi after him, where they are 'us!d to
express the utmost love and tenderness for their mi"Atreffes. If you think me right in my notion of the last words of Adrian, obe pleas'd to insert it in the Spectator, if not, to suppress it. I ami :
* ADRIANI Morientis
::: ADA AN I M A M,
A H fleeting Spirit! wand'ring fire, 11 That long halt warmd my tender breast, Must thou no more this frame inspire ?
No more a pleasing, chearful Guest? Whither, ah whither art thou flying !
To what dark, undiscover d Shore ? Thou feem's all trembling, soiv'ring, dying, - And Wit and Humour are no more!
.* LjE ,T T E R V. Mr. Sceele to Mr. Pope.
: Nov, 12, 17:20 T.Have read over your Temple of Fame twice, and
cannot find any thing amiss, of weight enough to call a fault, but fee in it a thousand thousand beauties. Mr. Addison shall see it to morrow: after his perusal
He The Author seems to have but a mean opinion of these verfes, having suppressed them in bis Edition.