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Though exercises of this kind, when indulged with moderation, may have a good influence both on the mind and body, the country affords many other amusements of a more noble kind.
Among these, I know none more delightful in itself, and beneficial to the public, than that of planting. I could mention a nobleman whose fortune has placed him in several parts of England, and who has always left these visible marks behind him, which show he has been there: he never hired a house in his life, without leaving all about it the seeds of wealth, and bestowing legacies on the posterity of the owner. Had all the gentlemen of England made the same improvements upon their estates, our whole country would have been at this time as one great garden. Nor ought such an employment to be looked upon as too inglorious for men of the highest rank. There have been heroes in this art, as well as in others. We are told in particular of Cyrus the Great, that he planted all the Lesser Asia. There is indeed something truly magnificent in this kind of amusement: it gives a nobler air to several parts of nature; it fills the earth with a variety of beautiful scenes, and has something in it like creation. For this reason the pleasure of one who plants is something like that of a poet, who, as Aristotle observes, is more delighted with his productions than any other writer or artist whatsoever.
Plantations have one advantage in them which is not to be found in most other works, as they give a pleasure of a more lasting date, and continually improve in the eye of the planter. When you have finished a building, or any other undertaking of the like nature, it immediately decays upon your hands: you see it brought to the utmost point of perfection, and from that time hastening to its ruin. On the contrary, when you have finished your plantations, they are still arriving at greater degrees of perfection as long as you live, and appear more delightful in every succeeding year than they did in the foregoing.
But I do not only recommend this art to men of estates as a pleasing amusement, but as it is a kind of virtuous employment, and may therefore be inculcated by moral motives; particularly from the love which we ought to have for our country, and the regard which we ought to bear to our posterity. As for the first I need only mention what is frequently observed by others, that the increase of forest trees does by no means bear a proportion to the destruction of them, insomuch, that in a few ages the nation may be at a loss to supply itself with timber sufficient for the fleets of England. I know when a man talks of posterity in matters of this nature, he is looked upon with an eye of ridicule by the cunning and selfish part of mankind. Most people are of the humour of an old fellow of a college, who, when he was pressed by the society
to come into something that might redound to the good of their successors, grew very peevish: "We are always doing,' says he, something for posterity, but I would fain see posterity do something for us.'
But I think men are inexcusable, who fail in a duty of this nature, since it is so easily discharged. When a man considers that the putting a few twigs into the ground is doing good to one who will make his appearance in the world about fifty years hence, or that he is perhaps making one of his own descendants easy or rich, by so inconsiderable an expense, if he finds himself averse to it, he must conclude that he has a poor and base heart, void of all generous principles and love to mankind.
There is one consideration which may very much enforce what I have here said. Many honest minds, that are naturally disposed to do good in the world, and become beneficial to mankind, complain within themselves that they have not talents for it. This therefore is a good office, which is suited to the meanest capacities, and which may be performed by multitudes who have not abilities sufficient to deserve well of their country, and to recommend themselves to their posterity, by any other method. It is the phrase of a friend of mine, when any useful country neighbour dies, that you may trace him;' which I look upon as a good funeral oration, at the death of an honest husbandman who had left the impressions of his industry behind him in the place where he has lived.
Upon the foregoing considerations, I can scarcely forbear representing the subject of this paper as a kind of moral virtue; which, as I have already shown, recommends itself likewise by the pleasure that attends it. It must be confessed that this is none of those turbulent pleasures which are apt to gratify a man in the heats of youth; but, if it be not so tumultuous, it is more lasting. Nothing can be more delightful than to entertain ourselves with prospects of our own making, and to walk under those shades which our own industry has raised. Amusements of this nature compose the mind, and lay at rest all those passions which are uneasy to the soul of man, besides that they naturally engender good thoughts, and dispose us to laudable contemplations. Many of the old philosophers passed away the greatest parts of their lives among their gardens. Epicurus himself could not think sensual pleasure attainable in any other scene. Every reader, who is acquainted with Homer, Virgil, and Horace, the greatest geniuses of all antiquity, knows very well with how much rapture they have spoken on this subject; and that Virgil in particular has written a whole book on the art of planting.
This art seems to have been more especially adapted to the nature of man in his primæval state, when he had life enough to see his productions flourish in their utmost
beauty, and gradually decay with him. I might fall upon his brother, when he cursed One who lived before the flood might have him in the bitterness of his heart. seen a wood of the tallest oaks in the acorn. But I only mention this particular, in order to introduce, in my next paper, a history which I have found among the accounts of China, and which may be looked upon as an antediluvian novel.
No. 584.] Monday, August 23, 1714.
HILPA was one of the hundred and fifty daughters of Zilpa, of the race of Cohu, by whom some of the learned think is meant Cain. She was exceedingly beautiful; and, when she was but a girl of threescore and ten years of age, received the addresses of several who made love to her. Among these were two brothers, Harpath and Shalum. Harpath being the first-born, was master of that fruitful region which lies at the foot of mount Tirzah, in the southern parts of China. Shalum (which is to say the planter in the Chinese language) possessed all the neighbouring hills, and that great range of mountains which goes under the name of Tirzah. Harpath was of a haughty contemptuous spirit; Shalum was of a gentle disposition, beloved both by God and man.
It is said that among the antediluvian women, the daughters of Cohu had their minds wholly set upon riches; for which reason the beautiful Hilpa preferred Harpath to Shalum, because of his numerous flocks and herds, that covered all the low country which runs along the foot of mount Tirzah, and is watered by several fountains and streams breaking out of the sides of that mountain.
Harpath made so quick a despatch of his courtship, that he married Hilpa in the hundredth year of her age; and, being of an insolent temper, laughed to scorn his brother Shalum for having pretended to the beautiful Hilpa, when he was master of nothing but a long chain of rocks and mountains. This so much provoked Shalum, that he is said to have cursed his brother in the bitterness of his heart, and to have prayed that one of his mountains might fall upon his head if ever he came within the shadow of it.
From this time forward Harpath would never venture out of the valleys, but came to an untimely end in the two hundred and fiftieth year of his age, being drowned in a river as he attempted to cross it. This river is called to this day, from his name who perished in it, the river Harpath; and, what is very remarkable, issues out of one of those mountains which Shalum wished
Hilpa was in the hundredth and sixtieth year of her age at the death of her husband, having brought him but fifty children before he was snatched away, as has been already related. Many of the antediluvians made love to the young widow; though no one was thought so likely to succeed in her affections as her first lover Shalum; who renewed his court to her about ten years after the death of Harpath; for it was not thought decent in those days that a widow should be seen by a man within ten years after the decease of her husband.
Shalum, falling into a deep melancholy, and resolving to take away that objection which had been raised against him when he made his first addresses to Hilpa, began immediately after her marriage with Harpath, to plant all that mountainous region which fell to his lot in the division of this country. He knew how to adapt every plant to its proper soil, and is thought to have inherited many traditional secrets of that art from the first man. This employment turned at length to his profit as well as to his amusement; his mountains were in a few years shaded with young trees, that gradually shot up into groves, woods, and forests, intermixed with walks, and lawns, and gardens; insomuch that the whole region, from a naked and desolate prospect, began now to look like a second Paradise. The pleasantness of the place, and the agreeable disposition of Shalum, who was reckoned one of the mildest and wisest of all who lived before the flood, drew into it multitudes of people, who were perpetually employed in the sinking of wells, the dig ging of trenches, and the hollowing of trees, for the better distribution of water through every part of this spacious plantation.
The habitations of Shalum looked every year more beautiful in the eyes of Hilpa, who, after the space of seventy autumns, was wonderfully pleased with the distant prospect of Shalum's hills, which were then covered with innumerable tufts of trees and gloomy scenes that gave a magnificence to the place, and converted it into one of the finest landscapes the eye of man could behold.
The Chinese record a letter which Shalum is said to have written to Hilpa in the eleventh year of her widowhood. I shall here translate it, without departing from that noble simplicity of sentiments and plainness of manners which appear in the original.
Shalum was at this time one hundred and eighty years old, and Hilpa one hundred and seventy.
'I Shalum, Master of Mount Tirzah, to Hilpa, Mistress of the Valleys.
In the 788th year of the creation. "What have I not suffered, O thou
daughter of Zilpa, since thou gavest thy-men. Thy dwellings are among the cedars, self away in marriage to my rival? I grew thou searchest out the diversity of soils, weary of the light of the sun, and have been thou understandest the influences of the ever since covering myself with woods and stars, and markest the change of seasons. forests. These threescore and ten years Can a woman appear lovely in the eyes of have I bewailed the loss of thee on the top such a one? Disquiet me not, O Shalum; of mount Tirzah, and soothed my melan- let me alone, that I may enjoy those goodly choly among a thousand gloomy shades of possessions which are fallen to my lot. my own raising. My dwellings are at pre- Win me not by thy enticing words. May sent as the garden of God; every part of thy trees increase and multiply; mayest them is filled with fruits, and flowers, and thou add wood to wood, and shade to shade: fountains. The whole mountain is per- but tempt not Hilpa to destroy thy solitude, fumed for thy reception. Come up into it, and make thy retirement populous.' O my beloved, and let us people this spot of the new world with a beautiful race of mortals: let us multiply exceedingly among these delightful shades, and fill every quarter of them with sons and daughters. Remember, Oh thou daughter of Zilpa, that the age of man is but a thousand years; that beauty is the admiration but of a few centuries. It flourishes as a mountain oak, or as a cedar on the top of Tirzah, which in three or four hundred years will fade away, and never be thought of by posterity, unless a young wood springs from its roots. Think well on this, and remember thy neighbour in the mountains.'
Hilpa, Mistress of the Valleys, to Shalum,
Master of Mount Tirzah.
In the 789th year of the creation. What have I to do with thee, O Shalum? Thou praiseth Hilpa's beauty, but art thou not secretly enamoured with the verdure of her meadows? Art thou not more affected with the prospect of her green valleys than thou wouldest be with the sight of her person? The lowings of my herds, and the bleatings of my flocks, make a pleasant echo in thy mountains, and sound sweetly in thy ears. What though I am delighted with the wavings of thy forests, and those breezes of perfumes which flow from the top of Tirzah, are these like the riches of the valley?
"I know thee, O Shalum; thou art more wise and happy than any of the sons of
The Chinese say, that a little time afterwards she accepted of a treat in one of the neighbouring hills to which Shalum had invited her. This treat lasted for two years, and is said to have cost Shalum five hundred antelopes, two thousand ostriches, and a thousand tons of milk; but what most of all recommended it, was that variety of delicious fruits and potherbs, in which no person then living could any way equal Shalum.
He treated her in the bower which he had planted amidst the wood of nightingales. This wood was made up of such fruit-trees and plants as are most agreeable to the several kinds of singing birds; so that it had drawn into it all the music of the country, and was filled from one end of the year to the other with the most agreeable
concert in season.
He showed her every day some beautiful and surprising scene in this new region of woodlands; and, as by this means he had all the opportunities he could wish for of opening his mind to her, he succeeded so well, that upon her departure she made him a kind of promise, and gave him her word to return him a positive answer in less than fifty years.
She had not been long among her own people in the valleys, when she received new overtures, and at the same time a most splendid visit from Mishpach, who was a mighty man of old, and had built a great city which he called after his own name. sand years; nay, there were some that were Every house was made for at least a thouleased out for three lives; so that the quantity of stone and timber consumed in this building is scarce to be imagined by those who live in the present age of the world. This great man entertained her with the voice of musical instruments which had been lately invented, and danced before her to the sound of the timbrel. He also presented her with several domestic utensils wrought in brass and iron, which had been newly found out for the convenience of life. In the mean time Shalum grew very uneasy with himself, and was sorely displeased at Hilpa for the reception which she had given to Mishpach, insomuch that he never wrote to her or spoke of her during a whole revolution of Saturn; but, finding that this intercourse went no farther than a visit, he
again renewed his addresses to her; who, I scrutiny into the actions of his fancy, must be during his long silence, is said very often of considerable advantage: for this reason, to have cast a wishing eye upon mount Tirzah.
Her mind continued wavering about twenty years longer between Shalum and Mishpach: for though her inclinations favoured the former, her interest pleaded very powerfully for the other. While her heart was in this unsettled condition, the following accident happened, which determined her choice. A high tower of wood that stood in the city of Mishpach having caught fire by a flash of lightning, in a few days reduced the whole town to ashes. Mishpach resolved to rebuild the place whatever it should cost him; and having already destroyed all the timber of the country, he was forced to have recourse to Shalum, whose forests were now two hundred years old. He purchased these woods with so many herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, and with such a vast extent of fields and pastures, that Shalum was now grown more wealthy than Mishpach; and therefore appeared so charming in the eyes of Zilpah's daughter, that she no longer refused him in marriage. On the day in which he brought her up into the mountains, he raised a most prodigious pile of cedar, and of every sweet-smelling wood, which reached above three hundred cubits in height: he also cast into the pile bundles of myrrh, and sheaves of spikenard, enriching it with every spicy shrub, and making it fat with the gums of his plantations. This was the burnt offering which Shalum offered in the day of his espousals: the smoke of it ascended up to heaven, and filled the whole country with incense and perfume.
No. 586.] Friday, August 27, 1714.
-Quæ in vita usurpant homines, cogitant, curant, vident quæque agunt vigilantes, agitantquæ, ea cuique in somno accidunt. Cic. de Div.
The things which employ men's waking thoughts and actions recur to their imaginations in sleep.
By the last post, I received the following letter which is built upon a thought that is new, and very well carried on; for which reason I shall give it to the public without alteration, addition, or amendment.
'SIR, It was a good piece of advice which Pythagoras gave to his scholarsthat every night before they slept they should examine what they had been doing that day, and so discover what actions were worthy of pursuit to-morrow, and what little vices were to be prevented from slipping unawares into a habit. If I might second the philosopher's advice, it should be mine, that, in a morning, before my scholar rose, he should consider what he had been about that night, and with the same strictness, as if the condition he has believed himself to be in was real. Such al
because the circumstances which a man imagines himself in during sleep are generally such as entirely favour his inclinations, good or bad, and give him imaginary opportunities of pursuing them to the utmost; so that his temper will lie fairly open to his view, while he considers how it is moved when free from those constraints which the accidents of real life put it under. Dreams are certainly the result of our waking thoughts, and our daily hopes and fears, are what give the mind such nimble relishes of pleasure, and such severe touches of pain in its midnight rambles. A man that murders his enemy, or deserts his friend, in a dream, had need to guard his temper against revenge and ingratitude, and take heed that he be not tempted to do a vile thing in the pursuit of false, or the neglect of true honour. For my part, I seldom receive a benefit, but in a night or two's time I make most noble returns for it; which, though my benefactor is not a whit the better for, yet it pleases me to think that it was from a principle of gratitude in me that my mind was susceptible of such generous transport, while I thought myself repaying the kindness of my friend: and I have often been ready to beg pardon, instead of returning an injury, after considering that, when the offender was in my power, I had carried my resentments much too far.
'I think it has been observed in the course of your papers, how much one's happiness or misery may depend upon the imagination: of which truth those strange workings of fancy in sleep are no inconsiderable instances; so that not only the advantage a man has of making discoveries of himself, but a regard to his own ease or disquiet, may induce him to accept of my advice. Such as are willing to comply with it, I shall put into a way of doing it with pleasure, by observing only one maxim which I shall give them, viz. "To go to bed with a mind entirely free from passion, and a body clear of the least intemperance.
They, indeed, who can sink into sleep with their thoughts less calm or innocent than they should be, do but plunge themselves into scenes of guilt and misery; or they who are willing to purchase any midnight disquietudes for the satisfaction of a full meal, or a skin full of wine; these I have nothing to say to, as not knowing how to invite them to reflections full of shame and horror; but those that will observe this rule, I promise them they shall awake into health and cheerfulness, and be capable of recounting, with delight, those glorious moments, wherein the mind has been indulging itself in such luxury of thought, such noble hurry of imagination. Suppose a man's going supperless to bed should introduce him to the table of some great prince or other, where he shall be entertained
with the noblest marks of honour and it may be the work of that ingenious gentleplenty, and do so much business after, that man, who promised me, in the last paper, he shall rise with as good a stomach for some extracts out of his noctuary. his breakfast as if he had fasted all night long: or, suppose he should see his dearest friends remain all night in great distresses, which he could instantly have disengaged them from, could he have been content to have gone to bed without the other bottle; believe me these effects of fancy are no contemptible consequences of commanding or indulging one's appetite.
'I forbear recommending my advice upon many other accounts, until I hear how you and your readers relish what I have already said; among whom, if there be any that may pretend it is useless to them because they never dream at all, there may be others perhaps who do little else all day long. Were every one as sensible as I am what happens to him in his sleep, it would be no dispute whether we pass so considerable a portion of our time in the condition of stocks and stones, or whether the soul were not perpetually at work upon the principle of thought. However, it is an honest endeavour of mine to persuade my countrymen to reap some advantage from so many unregarded hours, and as such you will encourage it.
'I shall conclude with giving you a sketch or two of my way of proceeding.
If I have any business of consequence to do to-morrow, I am scarce dropt asleep to-night but I am in the midst of it; and when awake, I consider the whole procession of the affair, and get the advantage of the next day's experience before the sun has risen upon it.
There is scarcely a great post but what I have some time or other been in; but my behaviour while I was master of a college pleases me so well, that whenever there is a province of that nature vacant, I intend to step in as soon as I can.
'I have done many things that would not pass examination, when I have had the art of flying or being invisible; for which reason I am glad I am not possessed of those extraordinary qualities.
Lastly, Mr. Spectator, I have been a great correspondent of yours, and have read many of my letters in your paper which I never wrote you. If you have a mind should really be so, I have got a parcel of visions and other miscellanies in my noctuary, which I shall send you to enrich your paper on proper occasions. I am, &c. JOHN SHADOW.
'Oxford, Aug. 20.'
SIR, I was the other day reading the life of Mahomet. Among many other extravagancies, I find it recorded of that impostor, that, in the fourth year of his age, the angel Gabriel caught him up whilst he was amongst his play-fellows; and carrying him aside, cut open his breast, plucked out his heart, and wrung out of it that black drop of blood, in which, say the Turkish divines, is contained the fomes peccati, so that he was free from sin ever after. I immediately said to myself, Though this story be a fiction, a very good moral may be drawn from it, would every man but apply it to himself, and endeavour to squeeze out of his heart whatever sins or ill qualities he finds in it.
'While my mind was wholly taken up with this contemplation, I insensibly fell into a most pleasing slumber, when methought two porters entered my chamber carrying a large chest between them. After having set it down in the middle of the room, they departed. I immediately endeavoured to open what was sent me, when a shape, like that in which we paint our angels, appeared before me, and forbade me. "Enclosed," said he, "are the hearts of several of your friends and acquaintance; but, before you can be qualified to see and animadvert on the failings of others, you must be pure yourself;" whereupon he drew out his incision knife, cut me open, took out my heart, and began to squeeze it. I was in a great confusion to see how many things, which I had always cherished as virtues, issued out of my heart on this occasion. In short, after it had been thoroughly squeezed, it looked like an empty bladder; when the phantom breathing a fresh particle of divine air into it, restored it safe to its former repository; and having sewed me up, we began to examine the chest.
"The hearts were all enclosed in transparent phials, and preserved in liquor which looked like spirits of wine. The first which I cast my eye upon, I was afraid would have broke the glass which contained it. It shot up and down, with incredible swiftness, through the liquor in which it swam, and very frequently bounced against the side of the phial. The fomes, or spot in the middle of it, was not large, but of a red fiery colour, and seemed to be the cause of these violent agitations. "That," says my instructor, "is the heart of Tom Dreadnought, who behaved himself well in the late wars, but has for these ten years last past been aiming at some post of honour to no purpose. He is lately retired into the country, where, quite choked up with spleen and choler, he rails at better men than himself, and will be for ever uneasy, because it is impossible he should think his merits sufficiently rewarded." The next heart that I examined was re