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markable for its smallness; it lay still at the bottom of the phial, and I could hardly perceive that it beat at all. The fomes was quite black, and had almost diffused itself over the whole heart. "This," says my interpreter, "is the heart of Dick Gloomy, who never thirsted after any thing but money. Notwithstanding all his endeavours, he is still poor. This has flung him into a most deplorable state of melancholy and despair. He is a composition of envy and idleness; hates mankind, but gives them their revenge by being more uneasy to himself than to any one else."

deep blue. "You are not to wonder," says he, "that you see no spot in a heart whose innocence has been proof against all the corruptions of a depraved age. If it has any blemish, it is too small to be discovered by human eyes.

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"I laid it down, and took up the hearts of other females, in all of which the fomes ran in several veins, which were twisted together, and made a very perplexed figure. I asked the meaning of it, and was told it represented deceit.

'I should have been glad to have examined the hearts of several of my acquaintance, whom I knew to be particularly addicted to drinking, gaming, intriguing, &c. but my interpreter told me, I must let that alone until another opportunity, and flung down the cover of the chest with so much violence as immediately awoke me.'

The phial I looked upon next contained a large fair heart, which beat very strongly. The fomes or spot in it was exceedingly small; but I could not help observing that, which way soever I turned the phial, it always appeared uppermost, and in the strongest point of light. "The heart you are examining," says my companion, "belongs to Will Worthy. He has, indeed, a most noble soul, and is possessed of a thou- No. 588.] Wednesday, September 1, 1714. sand good qualities. The speck which you discover is vanity."


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Here," says the angel, "is the heart of Freelove, your intimate friend." Freelove and I," said I, "are at present very cold to one another, and I do not care for looking on the heart of a man which I fear is overcast with rancour. My teacher commanded me to look upon it; I did so, and, to my unspeakable surprise, found that a small swelling spot, which I at first took to be ill-will towards me, was only passion; and that upon my nearer inspection it wholly disappeared; upon which the phantom told me Freelove was one of the best-natured men alive.


"This," says my teacher, "is a female heart of your acquaintance. I found the fomes in it of the largest size, and of a hundred different colours, which were still varying every moment. Upon my asking to whom it belonged, I was informed that it was the heart of Coquetilla.

I set it down, and drew out another, in which I took the fomes at first sight to be very small, but was amazed to find that, as I looked steadfastly upon it, it grew still larger. It was the heart of Melissa, a noted prude, who lives the next door to me. "I show you this," said the phantom, "because it is indeed a rarity, and you have the happiness to know the person to whom it belongs. He then put into my hand a large chrystal glass, that enclosed a heart, in which, though I examined it with the utmost nicety, I could not perceive any blemish. I made no scruple to affirm that it must be the heart of Seraphina; and was glad, but not surprised, to find that it was so. "She is indeed," continued my guide, "the ornament, as well as the envy, of her sex. At these last words he pointed to the hearts of several of her female acquaintance which lay in different phials, and had very large spots in them, all of a

Dicitis, omnis in imbecilitate est et gratia, et caritas. Cicero.

You pretend that all kindness and benevolence is founded in weakness,

MAN may be considered in two views, as a reasonable and as a social being; capable of becoming himself either happy or miserable, and of contributing to the happiness or misery of his fellow-creatures. Suitably to this double capacity, the Contriver of human nature hath wisely furnished it with two principles of action, self-love and benevolence; designed one of them to render man wakeful to his own personal interest, the other to dispose him for giving his utmost assistance to all engaged in the same pursuit. This is such an account of our frame, so agreeable to reason, so much for the honour of our Maker, and the credit of our species, that it may appear somewhat unaccountable what should induce men to represent human nature as they do, under characters of disadvantage; or having drawn it with a little sordid aspect, what pleasure they can possibly take in such a picture. Do they reflect that it is their own; and if we would believe themselves, is not more odious than the original? One of the first that talked in this lofty strain of our nature was Epicurus. Beneficence, would his followers say, is all founded in weakness; and, whatever he pretended, the kindness that passeth between men and men is by every man directed to himself. This, it must be confessed, is of a piece with the rest of that hopeful philosophy, which having patched man up out of the four elements, attributes his being to chance, and derives all his actions from an unintelligible declination of atoms. And for these glorious discoveries, the poet is beyond measure transported in the praises of his hero, as if he must needs be something more than man,

other bottom but self-love on which to maintain a commerce, ever flourish? Reason, it is certain, would oblige every man to pursue the general happiness as the means to procure and establish his own; and yet, if besides this consideration, there were not a natural instinct prompting men to desire the welfare and satisfaction of others, self-love, in defiance of the admo nitions of reason, would quickly run all things into a state of war and confusion. As nearly interested as the soul is in the fate of the body, our provident Creator saw it necessary, by the constant returns of hunger and thirst, those importunate appetites, to put it in mind of its charge: knowing that if we should eat and drink no oftener than cold abstracted speculation should put us upon these exercises, and then leave it to reason to prescribe the quantity, we should soon refine ourselves out of this bodily life. And, indeed, it is obvious to remark, that we follow nothing heartily unless carried to it by inclinations which anticipate our reason, and, like a bias, draw the mind strongly towards it. In order, therefore, to establish a perpetual intercourse of benefits amongst mankind, their Maker would not fail to give them this generous prepossession of benevolence, if, as I have said, it were possible. And from whence can we go about to argue its impossibility? Is it inconsistent with selflove? Are their motions contrary? No more than the diurnal rotation of the earth

only for an endeavour to prove that man is in nothing superior to beasts. In this school was Mr. Hobbes instructed to speak after the same manner, if he did not rather draw his knowledge from an observation of his own temper; for he somewhere unluckily lays down this as a rule, that from the similitudes of thoughts and passions of one man to the thoughts and passions of another, whosoever looks into himself, and considers what he doth when he thinks, hopes, fears, &c. and upon what grounds, he shall hereby read and know what are the thoughts and passions of all other men upon the like occasions.' Now we will allow Mr. Hobbes to know best how he was inclined; but, in earnest, I should be heartily out of conceit with myself, if I thought myself of this unamiable temper, as he affirms, and should have as little kindness for myself as for any body in the world. Hitherto I always imagined that kind and benevolent propensions were the original growth of the heart of man, and, however checked and overtopped by counter inclinations, that have since sprung up within us, have still some force in the worst of tempers, and a considerable influence on the best. And, methinks, it is a fair step towards the proof of this, that the most beneficent of all beings is he who hath an absolute fulness of perfection in himself; who gave existence to the universe, and so cannot be supposed to want that which he communicated, without diminishing from the plenitude of his own power and hap-is opposed to its annual, or, its motion round piness. The philosophers before mentioned have indeed done all that in them lay to invalidate this argument; for, placing the gods in a state of the most elevated blessedness, they describe them as selfish as we poor miserable mortals can be, and shut them out from all concern for mankind, upon the score of their having no need of us. But if He that sitteth in the heavens wants not us, we stand in continual need of him; and surely, next to the survey of the immense treasures of his own mind, the most exalted pleasures he receives is from beholding millions of creatures, lately drawn out of the gulf of non-existence, rejoicing in the various degrees of being and happiness imparted to them. And as this is the true, the glorious character of the Deity, so in forming a reasonable creature he would not, if possible, suffer his image to pass out of his hands unadorned with a resemblance of himself in this most lovely part of his nature. For what complacency could a mind, whose love is as unbounded as his knowledge, have in a work so unlike himself; a creature that should be capable of knowing and conversing with a vast circle of objects, and love none but himself? What proportion would there be between the head and the heart of such a creature, its affections and its understanding? Or could a society of such creatures, with no

its own centre, which might be improved as an illustration of self-love, to that which whirls it about the common centre of the world, answering to universal benevolence. Is the force of self-love abated, or its interest prejudiced, by benevolence? So far from it, that benevolence, though a distinct principle, is extremely serviceable to selflove, and then doth most service when it is least designed.

But to descend from reason to matter of fact; the pity which arises on sight of persons in distress, and the satisfaction of mind which is the consequence of having removed them into a happier state, are instead of a thousand arguments to prove such a thing as a disinterested benevolence. Did pity proceed from a reflection we make upon our liableness to the same ill accidents we see befall others, it were nothing to the present purpose; but this is assigning an artificial cause of a natural passion, and can by no means be admitted as a tolerable account of it, because children and persons most thoughtless about their own condition, and incapable of entering into the prospects of futurity, feel the most violent touches of compassion. And then, as to that charming delight which immediately follows the giving joy to another, or relieving his sorrow, and is, when the objects are numerous, and the kindness of importance, really inexpressi

ble, what can this be owing to but consciousness of a man's having done something praise-worthy, and expressive of a great soul? Whereas, if in all this he only sacrificed to vanity and self-love, as there would be nothing brave in actions that make the most shining appearance, so nature would not have rewarded them with this divine pleasure; nor could the commendations, which a person receives for benefits done upon selfish views, be at all more satisfactory than when he is applauded for what he doth without design; because, in both cases, the ends of self-love are equally answered. The conscience of approving ones self a benefactor to mankind is the noblest recompence for being so; doubtless it is, and the most interested cannot propose any thing so much to their own advantage; notwithstanding which, the inclination is nevertheless unselfish. The pleasure which attends the gratification of our hunger and thirst, is not the cause of these appetites; they are previous to any such prospect; and so likewise is the desire of doing good; with this difference, that, being seated in the intellectual part, this last, though antecedent to reason, may yet be improved and regulated by it; and, I will add, is no otherwise a virtue than as it is so. Thus have I contended for the dignity of that nature I have the honour to partake of; and, after all the evidence produced, I think I have a right to conclude, against the motto of this paper, that there is such a thing as generosity in the world. Though, if I were under a mistake in this, I should say as Cicero, in relation to the immortality of the soul, I willingly err, and should believe it very much for the interest of mankind to lie under the same delusion. For the contrary notion naturally tends to dispirit the mind, and sinks it into a meanness fatal to the god-like zeal of doing good: as, on the other hand, it teaches people to be ungrateful, by possessing them with a persuasion concerning their benefactors, that they have no regard to them in the benefits they bestow. Now he that banishes gratitude from among men, by so doing stops up the stream of beneficence: for though in conferring kindnesses, a truly generous man doth not aim at a return, yet he looks to the qualities of the person obliged; and as nothing renders a person more unworthy of a benefit than his being without all resentment of it, he will not be extremely forward to oblige such a man.

No. 589.] Friday, September 3, 1714.
Persequitur scelus ille suum; labefactaque tandem
Ictibus innumeris, adductaque funibus arbor
Ovid, Met. Lib. 8. 774.
The impious axe he plies, loud strokes resound:
Till dragg'd with ropes, and fell'd with many a wound,
The loosen'd tree comes rushing to the ground.
'SIR,-I am so great an admirer of
rees, that the spot of ground I have

chosen to build a small seat upon in the country is almost in the midst of a large wood. I was obliged, much against my will, to cut down several trees, that I might have any such thing as a walk in my gardens; but then I have taken care to leave the space, between every walk, as much a wood as I found it. The moment you turn either to the right or left, you are in a forest, where nature presents you with a much more beautiful scene than could have been raised by art.

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Instead of tulips or carnations, I can show you oaks in my garden of four hundred years standing, and a knot of elms that might shelter a troop of horse from the rain.

It is not without the utmost indignation that I observe several prodigal young heirs in the neighbourhood felling down the most glorious monuments of their ancestors' industry, and ruining, in a day, the product of ages.

'I am mightily pleased with your discourse upon planting, which put me upon looking into my books, to give you some account of the veneration the ancients had for trees. There is an old tradition, that Abraham planted a cypress, a pine, and a cedar; and that these three incorporated into one tree, which was cut down for the building of the temple of Solomon.

'Isidorus, who lived in the reign of Constantius, assures us, that he saw, even in his time, that famous oak in the plains of Mamre, under which Abraham is reported to have dwelt; and adds, that the people looked upon it with a great veneration, and preserved it as a sacred tree.

'The heathens still went farther, and regarded it as the highest piece of sacrilege to injure certain trees which they took to be protected by some deity. The story of Erisicthon, the grove at Dodona, and that at Delphi, are all instances of this kind.

'If we consider the machine in Virgil, so much blamed by several critics, in this light, we shall hardly think it too violent.

Æneas, when he built his fleet in order to sail for Italy, was obliged to cut down the grove on mount Ida, which however he durst not do until he had obtained leave from Cybele, to whom it was dedicated. The goddess could not but think herself obliged to protect these ships, which were made of consecrated timber, after a very extraordinary manner, and therefore desired Jupiter that they might not be obInoxious to the power of waves or winds. Jupiter would not grant this, but promised her that as many as came safe to Italy should be transformed into goddesses of the sea; which the poet tells us was accordingly executed.

"And now at length the numbered hours were come,
Prefix'd by Fate's irrevocable doom,
When the great mother of the gods was free
To save her ships, and finish Jove's decree.

First, from the quarter of the morn there sprung *
A light that sing'd the heavens, and shot along:
Then from a cloud, fring'd round with golden fires,
Were timbrels heard, and Berecynthian quires:
And last a voice with more than mortal sounds,
Both hosts in arms oppos'd with equal horror wounds.
O Trojan race, your needless aid forbear;
And know my ships are my peculiar care.
With greater ease the bold Rutulian may,
With hissing brands, attempt to burn the sea,
Than singe my sacred pines. But you, my charge,
Loos'd from your crooked anchors, launch at large,
Exalted each a nymph: forsake the sand,
And swim the seas, at Cybele's command.'
No sooner had the goddess ceas'd to speak,
When, lo, th' obedient ships their hawsers break,
And, strange to tell, like dolphins, in the main,
They plunge their prows, and dive and spring again:
As many beauteous maids the billows sweep,
As rode before tall vessels on the deep."

Dryden's Virg.

The common opinion concerning the nymphs, whom the ancients called Hamadryads, is more to the honour of trees than any thing yet mentioned. It was thought the fate of these nymphs had so near a dependance on some trees, more especially oaks, that they lived and died together. For this reason they were extremely grateful to such persons who preserved those trees with which their being subsisted. Apollonius tells us a very remarkable story to this purpose, with which I shall conclude my letter.

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E'en times are in perpetual flux, and run,
Like rivers from their fountains, rolling on
For time, no more than streams, is at a stay,
The flying hour is ever on her way;
And as the fountains still supply their store,
The wave behind impels the wave before;
Thus in successive course the minutes run,
And urge their predecessor minutes on.
Still moving, ever new for former things
Are laid aside, like abdicated kings:
And every moment alters what is done,
And innovates some act, till then unknown.


The following discourse comes from the same hand with the essays upon infinitude.

Philosophy, and indeed common sense, naturally throws eternity under two divisions, which we may call in English that eternity which is past. and that eternity which is to come. The learned terms of Eternitas a parte ante, and Eternitas a harte post, may be more amusing to the to them than what is conveyed to us by reader, but can have no other idea affixed those words, an eternity that is past, and an eternity that is to come. Each of these eternities is bounded at the one extreme, or, in other words, the former has an end, and the latter a beginning,

"We consider infinite space as an expansion without a circumference; we consider eternity, or infinite duration, as a line that has neither a beginning nor an end. In our speculations of infinite space, we consider a kind of centre to the whole expansion. that particular place in which we exist as In our speculatious of eternity, we consider the time which is present to us as the middle, which divides the whole line into two equal parts. For this reason, many witty authors compare the present time to an isthmus, or narrow neck of land, that rises in the midst of an ocean, immeasurA certain man, called Rhæcus, observably diffused on either side of it. ing an old oak ready to fall, and being moved with a sort of compassion towards the tree, ordered his servants to pour in fresh earth at the roots of it, and set it upright. The Hamadryad, or nymph, who must necessarily have perished with the tree, appeared to him the next day, and, after having returned him her thanks, told him she was ready to grant whatever he should ask. As she was extremely beautiful, Rhacus desired he might be entertained as her lover. The Hamadryad, not much displeased with the request, pro mised to give him a meeting, but commanded him for some days to abstain from 'Let us first of all consider that eternity the embraces of all other women, adding which is past, reserving that which is to that she would send a bee to him, to let come for the subject of another paper. The him know when he was to be happy; nature of this eternity is utterly inconceivRhacus was, it seems, too much addicted able by the mind of man: our reason deto gaming, and happened to be in a run of monstrates to us that it has been, but at the ill-luck when the faithful bee came buz-same time can frame no idea of it, but what zing about him; so that, instead of minding is big with absurdity and contradiction. his kind invitation, he had like to have We can have no other conception of any killed him for his pains. The Hamadryad was so provoked at her own disappointment, and the ill usage of her messenger, that she deprived Rhæcus of the use of his limbs. However, says the story, he was not so much a cripple, but he made a shift to cut down the tree, and consequently to

fell his mistress.'

No. 590.] Monday, September 6, 1714.

Assiduo labuntur tempora motu
Non secus ac flumen. Neque enim consistere flumen,
Nec levis hora potest: sed ut unda impellitur unda,
Urgeturque prior venienti, urgetque priorem,
Tempora sic fugiunt pariter, pariturque sequuntur ;

duration which is past, than that all of it was once present: and whatever was once present is at some certain distance from us, and whatever is at any certain distance from us, be the distance never so remote, cannot be eternity. The very notion of any duration being past implies that it was once present, for the idea of being once present is actually included in the idea of its being past. This therefore is a depth not to be sounded by human understanding. We are sure that there has been an eternity, and vet contradict ourselves when we measure this eternity by any notion which we can frame of it.

If we go to the bottom of this matter, we shall find that the difficulties we meet with in our conceptions of eternity proceed from this single reason, that we can have no other idea of any kind of duration, than that by which we ourselves, and all other created beings, do exist; which is, a successive duration made up of past, present, and to come. There is nothing which exists after this manner, all the parts of whose existence were not once actually present, and consequently may be reached by a certain number of years applied to it. We may ascend as high as we please, and employ our being to that eternity which is to come, in adding millions of years to millions of years, and we can never come up to any fountain-head of duration, to any beginning in eternity: but at the same time we are sure, that whatever was once present does lie within the reach of numbers, though perhaps we can never be able to put enough of them together for that purpose. We may as well say, that any thing may be actually present in any part of infinite space, which does not lie at a certain distance from us, as that any part of infinite duration was once actually present, and does not also lie at some deter'mined distance from us. The distance in both cases may be immeasurable and indefinite as to our faculties, but our reason tells us that it cannot be so in itself. Here therefore is that difficulty which human understanding is not capable of surmounting. We are sure that something must have existed from eternity, and are at the same time unable to conceive, that any thing which exists, according to our notion of existence, can have existed from eternity.

'Thirdly, That whatever exists after the manner of created beings, or according to any notions which we have of existence, could not have existed from eternity.

'Fourthly, That this Eternal Being must therefore be the great Author of nature, "the Ancient of Days," who, being at an infinite distance in his perfections from all finite and created beings, exists in a quite different manner from them, and in a manner of which they can have no idea.

'I know that several of the schoolmen, who would not be thought ignorant of any thing, have pretended to explain the manner of God's existence, by telling us that he comprehends infinite duration in every moment: that eternity is with him a punctum stans, a fixed point; or, which is as good sense, an infinite instant; that nothing, with reference to his existence, is either past or to come: to which the ingenious Mr. Cowley alludes in his description of heaven:

"6 Nothing is there to come, and nothing past, But an eternal now does always last."

For my own part, I look upon these propositions as words that have no ideas annexed to them; and think men had better own their ignorance than advance doctrines by which they mean nothing, and which, indeed, are self-contradictory. We cannot be too modest in our disquisitions when we meditate on Him, who is environed with so much glory and perfection, who is the source of being, the fountain of all that existence which we and his whole creation derive from him. Let us therefore, with the utmost humility, acknowledge, that, as some being must necessarily have existed from eternity, so this being does exist It is hard for a reader, who has not after an incomprehensible manner, since it rolled this thought in his own mind, to fol- is impossible for a being to have existed low in such an abstracted speculation; but from eternity after our manner or notions I have been the longer on it, because I of existence. Revelation confirms these think it is a demonstrative argument of the natural dictates of reason in the accounts being and eternity of God: and, though which it gives us of the divine existence, there are many other demonstrations which where it tells us, that he is the same yeslead us to this great truth, I do not think terday, to-day, and for ever; that he is the we ought to lay aside any proofs in this Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the matter, which the light of reason has sug-ending; that a thousand years are with him gested to us, especially when it is such a as one day, and one day as a thousand one as has been urged by men famous for years: by which, and the like expressions, their penetration and force of understand- we are taught that his existence, with reing, and which appears altogether conclu-lation to time or duration, is infinitely difsive to those who will be at the pains to ferent from the existence of any of his examine it. creatures, and consequently that it is impossible for us to frame any adequate conceptions of it.

Having thus considered that eternity which is past, according to the best idea we can frame of it, I shall now draw up those several articles on this subject, which are dictated to us by the light of reason, and which may be looked upon as the creed of a philosopher in this great point.

First, it is certain that no being could have made itself; for, if so, it must have acted before it was, which is a contradiction. Secondly, That therefore some being must have existed from all eternity.

In the first revelation which he makes of his own being, he entitles himself, "I Am that I Am;" and when Moses desires to know what name he shall give him in his embassy to Pharaoh, he bids him say that "I Am hath sent you. Our great Creator, by this revelation of himself, does in a manner exclude every thing else from a real existence, and distinguishes himself from his creatures as the only being which

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