Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

norance or idleness, by which fome discourage others and some themselves : the mutability of mankind will always furnish writers with new images, and the luxu. riance of fancy may always embellish them with new decorations.

T.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

O happy, if ye knew your happy itate!

DRYDEN.

In proportion as the enjoyment and infelicity of life depend upon imagination, it is of importance that this power of the mind should be directed in its operations by reason; and, perhaps, imagination is more frequently busy when it can only imbitter disappointment and heighten calamity; and more frequently flumbers when it might increase the triumph of success, or animate insensibility to happiness, than is generally perceived.

Ap

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

he was in the same state, as if be bad never beard a the vacancy, which he had some chance to Ex: but Evander groaned under the tyranny of imagination, and in a fit of causelefs fretfulness caft away peace, because time was not fopped in its career, and a miracle did not interpose to secure hin a living.

Agenor, on whom the living which Evander boacita ed was bestowed, never conceived a fngle doubt that he should fail in his attempt: bis character was udezceptionable, and his recommendation such as it was believed no other could counterbalance; he, therefore, received the bounty of his patron without much emotion's he regarded his success as an event produced, like rain and fun-fhine, by the common and regular operation of na. tural causes; and took poffeffion of his redory with the fame temper, that he would have reaped a field he had sown, or received interest of a sum which he bad placed in the funds. But having, by accident, heard the report which had been circulated by the friends of Ev. ander, he was at once struck with a sense of his good fortune ; and was so affected by a retrosped on his danger, that he could scarce believe it to be paft. - How providential,” said he, “ was it, that I did not stay to 36 drink another dish of tea at breakfait, that I found a Lackney-coach at the end of the street, and that I met

ith no stop by the way !" What an alteration was
Tired in Agenor's conception of the advantage of

d the means by which it was obtained !
e had gained nothing more than be
ger was not known time esough to
value of his acquisition was not in.
evidence interposed farther than to

exclude

[ocr errors]

An ecclesiastical living of considerable value became vacant, and Evander obtained a recommendation to the patron. His friend had too much modesty to speak with confidence of the fuccess of an application supported chiefly by his interest, and Evander knew that others had folicited before him; as he was not, there. fore much elevated by hope, he believed he should not be greatly depreiled by a disappointment. The gentleman to whom he was recommended, received him with great courtesy; but upon reading the letter, he changed countenance, and discovered indubitable tokens of vexation and regret; then taking Evander by the hand, “Sir,” said he, “I think it scarce less “ misfortunate to myself than you, that you was not “ five minutes sooner in your application. The gen

man whose recommendation you bring, I wish more 4 than any other to oblige; but I have just presented " the living to the person whom you saw take his leave "" when you entered the room."

This declaration was a firoke, which Evander had neither skill to alude, nor force to refift. The strength of his interest, though it was not known time enough to increase his hope, 'and his being too late only a few minutes, though he had reason believe his application had been precluded by as many days, were circumstances which imagination immediately improved to aggravate his disappointment: over these he mused perpetually with inexpressible anguish; he related them to every friend, and lamented them with the most passiion. ate exclamations. And yet, what happened to Evan. der more than he expecied ? nothing that he poffeffed was diminished, nor was any poslibility of advantage cut off: with respect to these and every other reality,

he

[ocr errors]

he was in the same state, as if he had never heard of, the vacancy, which he had some chance to fill: but Evander groaned under the tyranny of imagina. tion, and in a fit of causelefs fretfulness cast away peace, because time was not ftopped in its career, and a miracle did not interpose to secure him a living.

Agenor, on whom the living which Evander solicit.. ed was bestowed, never conceived a single doubt that he should fail in his attempt: his character was unex.. ceptionable, and his recommendation such as it was believed no other could counterbalance; he, therefore, received the bounty of his patron without much emotion; he regarded his success as an event produced, like rain and fun-fhine, by the common and regular operation of naa tural causes; and took poffefsion of his rectory with the fame temper; that he would have reaped a field he had sown, or received interest of a sum which he had placed in the funds. But having, by accident, heard the report which had been circulated by the friends of Eve ander, he was at once struck with a sense of his good fortune; and was so affected by a retrospect on his danger, that he could scarce believe it to be paft.

" How providential," said he,“ was it, that I did not stay to

drink another dish of tea at breakfast, that I found a hackney-coach at the end of the street, and that I met

with no stop by the way !" What an alteration was produced in Agenor's conception of the advantage of his situation, and the means by which it was obtained !and yet' at last he had gained nothing more than he expected; his danger was not known time enough to alarm his fear; the value of his acquisition was not increafed ; nor had providence interposed farther than to

exclude

1

« FöregåendeFortsätt »