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Like what she likes, from thence your court begin,
Again, page the sixteenth.
No. 603. WEDNESDAY, OCT. 6, 1714.
Ducite ab urbe domum, mea carmina, ducite Daphnim.
VIRG. Ecl. viii. 6.
The following copy of verses comes from one of my correspondents, and has something in it so original that I do not much doubt but it will divert my
* The Phæbe of this admired pastoral, was Joanna, the daughter of the very learned Dr. Richard Bentley, archdeacon and prebendary of Ely, regius professor and master of Trinity college, Cambridge, who died in 1742. She was af. VOL, X
• My time, 0 ye Muses, was happily spent,
III. The fountain that wont to run swiftly along, And dance to soft murmurs the pebbles among; Thou know'st little Cupid, if Phæbe was there, 'Twas pleasure to look at, 'twas music to hear: But now she is absent I walk by its side, And still as it murmurs do nothing but chide.. Must you be so cheerful while I go in pain?: Peace there with your bubbling, and hear me complain.
• When my lambkins around me would oftentimes play, And when Phæbe 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'fing at their fleeces a handful of grass : Be still, then I cry; for it makes me quite mad, To see you so merry while I am so sad.
My dog. I was ever well pleased to see
terwards married to Dr. Dennison Cumberland, bishop of Clonfert in Killaloe in Ireland, and grandson of Dr. Richard Cumberland, bishop of Peterborough.
And Phæbe was pleas'd too, and to my dog said,
lead, Fly swfter, ye minutes, bring hither my dear, And rest so much longer for't when she is here. Ah, Colin! old Time is full of delay, Nor will budge one foot faster for all thou canst say,
No. 604. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1714.
T'u ne quæsieris (scire nefas) quem mihi, quem tibi,
Hor. 1 Od. xi, 1.
My dear Leuconoe,
The desire of knowing future events is one of the strongest inclinations in the mind of man. 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. Magic, oracles, omens, lucky hours, and the various arts of superstition, owe their rise to this powerful cause. As this principle is founded in self-love, every man is sure to be solicitous 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 inquiries. One of our actions, which we might have performed or neglected, is the cause of another that succeeds 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 suppose 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 rest satisfied 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 superstitious inquiries into future events prevailed 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 second sight; and sereral of our own countrymen have seer. abundance of fairies. In Asia 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 mussulman, who promised me many good offices which he designed to do me when he became prime minister, which was a fortune bestowed on his imagination by a doctor very deep in the curious sciences. At his repeated solicitations I went to learn my destiny of this wonderful sage. For a small sum I had his promise, but was desired to wait in a dark apartment until he had run through the prepara.