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tion with which 1 could supply the loss of my customary amusements. · I unhappily told my aunt, in the first warmth of our embraces, that I had leave to stay with her ten weeks.

Six only are yet gone, and how shall I live through the remaining four I go out and

? return ; I pluck a flower, and throw it away ; I catch an insect, and when I have examined its colours, set it at liberty ; I fling a pebble into the water, and see one circle spread after another. When it chances to rain, I walk in the great hall, and watch the minute-hand upon the dial, or play with a litter of kittens, which the cat happens to have brought in a lucky time.

My aunt is afraid I shall grow melancholy, and therefore encourages the neighbouring gentry to

They came at first with great eagerness to see the fine lady from London, but when we met we had no common topick on which we could converse ; they had no curiosity after plays, operas, or music ; and I find as little satisfaction from their accounts of the quarrels or alliances of families, whose names, when once I can escape,

I shall never hear. The women have now seen me, know how my gown is made, and are satisfied ; the men are generally afraid of


little, because they think themselves not at liberty to talk rudely.

Thus am I condemned to solitude ; the day moves slowly forward, and I see the dawn with uneasiness, because I consider that night is at a great distance. I have tried to sleep by a brook, but find its murmurs ineffectual ; so that I am forced to be awake at least twelve hours, without

visit us.

me, and


visits, without cards, without laughter, and without flattery. I walk because I am disgusted with sitting still, and sit because I am weary with walking. I have no motive to action, nor any object of love, or hate, or fear, or inclination. I cannot dress with spirit, for I have neither rival nor admirer. I cannot dance without a partner, ñor be kind or cruel without a lover.

Such is the life of Euphelia, and such it is likely to continue for a month to come. I have not yet declared against existence, nor called upon the destinies to cut my thread ; but I have sincerely resolved not to condemn myself to such another summer, nor too hastily to flatter myself with happiness. Yet I have heard, Mr Rambler, of those who never thought themselves so much at ease as in solitude, and cannot but suspect it to be some

my own fault, that, without great pain, either of mind or body, I am thus weary of myself ; that the current of youth stagnates, and that I am languishing in a dead calm, for want of some external impulse. I shall therefore think you a benefactor to our sex, if you will teach me the art of living alone; for I am confident, that a thousand and a thousand and a thousand ladies, who affect to talk with ecstacies of the pleasures of

try, are in reality like me, longing for the winter, and wishing to be delivered from them. selves by company and diversion.

I am, Sir, Yours,

way or other

the co


No 43. TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 1740.

Flumine perpetuo torrens solet aerius ire,
Sed tamen hac brevis est, illa perennis aqua.


In course impetuous soon the torrent dries,
The brook a constant peaceful stream supplies.


Ir is observed by those who have written on the constitution of the human body, and the original of those diseases by which it is afflicted, that every man comes into the world morbid, that there is no temperature so exactly regulated but that some humour is fatally predominant, and that we are generally impregnated, in our first entrance upon life, with the seeds of that malady, which, in time, shall bring us to the grave.

This remark has been extended by others to the intellectual faculties. Some that imagine themselves to have looked with more than

common penetration into human nature, have endeavoured to persuade us that each man is born with a mind formed peculiarly for certain purposes, and with desires unalterably determined to particular objects, from which the attention cannot be long diverted, and which alone, as they are well or ill pursued, must produce the praise or blame, the happiness or misery of his future life.

This position has not, indeed, been hitherto proved with strength proportionate to the assurance with which it has been advanced, and perhaps will never gain much prevalence by a close examination.

If the doctrine of innate ideas be itself disputable, there seems to be little hope of establishing an opinion, which supposes that even complications of ideas have been given us at our birth, and that we are made by nature ambitious, or covetous, before we know the meaning of either power or money.

Yet as every step in the progression of existence changes our position with respect to the things about us, so as to lay us open to new assaulis and particular dangers, and subjects us to inconveniencies from which any other situation is exempt; as a publick or a private life, youth and age, wealth and poverty, have all some evil closely adherent, which cannot wholly be escaped, but by quitting the state to which it is annexed, and submitting to the incumbrances of some other condition; so it cannot be denied, that every difference in the structure of the mind has its advantages and its wants ; and that failures and defects being inseparable from humanity, however the powers of understanding be extended or contracted, there will on one side or the other always be an avenue to error or miscarriage.

There seem to be some souls suited to great and others to little employments; some formed to soar aloft, and take in wide views, and others to grovel on the ground, and confine their regard to a narrow sphere. Of these the one is always in danger of becoming useless by a daring regligence, the other by a scrupulous solicitude ; the one collects many ideas, but confused and indistinct ; the other is busied in minute accuracy, but without compass and without dignity.

The general error of those who possess powerful and evelated understandings is, that they form schemes of too great extent, and flatter themselves too hastily with success; they feel their own force to be great, and by the complacency with which every man surveys himself, imagine it still greater : they therefore look out for undertakings worthy of their abilities, and engage in them with very little precaution, for they imagine that, without premeditated measures, they shall be able to find expedients in all difficulties. They are naturally apt to consider all prudential maxims as below their regard, to treat with contempt those securities and resources which others know themselves obliged to provide, and disdain to accomplish their purposes by established means and common gradations.

Precipitation thus incited by the pride of intellectual superiority, is very fatal to great designs. The resolution of the combat is seldom equal to the vehemence of the charge. He that meets with an opposition which he did not expect loses his courage. The violence of his first onset is succeeded by a lasting and unconquerable langour; miscarriage makes him fearful of giving way to new hopes; and the contemplation of an attempt in which he has fallen below his own expectations, is painful and vexatious; he therefore naturally turns his attention to more pleasing objects, and

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