Page images
PDF
EPUB

tion feveral Authors who are tenebrificous Stars of the first Magnitude, and point out a Knot of Gentlemen, who have been dull in Confort, and may be looked upon as a dark Conftellation. The Nation has been a great while benighted with feveral of these Anteluminaries. I fuffered them to ray out their Darkness as long as I was able to endure it, till at length I came to a Refolution of rifing upon them, and hope in a little Time to drive them quite out of the British Hemifphere.

No. 583. Friday, August 20.

Ipfe thymum pinofque ferens de montibus altis,
Tecta ferat latè circum, cui talia Curæ:
Ipfe labore manum duro terat, ipfe feraces
Figat humo plantas, & amicos irriget Imbres. Virg.

E

VERY Station of Life has Duties which are proper to it. Those who are determined by Choice to any particular kind of Bufinefs are indeed more happy than those who are determined by Neceffity, but both are under an equal Obligation of fixing on Employments, which may be either useful to themselves, or beneficial to others. No one of the Sons of Adam ought to think himself exempt from that Labour and Induftry, which were denounced to our firft Parent, and in him to all his Pofterity. Those to whom Birth or Fortune may feem to make fuch an Application unneceffary, ought to find out fome Calling or Profeffion for themselves, that they may not lie as a Burden on the Species, and be the only useless Parts of the Creation.

MANY of our Country Gentlemen in their busy Hours apply themfelves wholly to the Chafe, or to fome other Diverfion which they find in the Fields and Woods. This gave Occafion to one of our most eminent English Writers to reprefent every one of them

as

as lying under a kind of Curse pronounced to them in the Words of Goliah, I will give thee to the Fowls of the Air, and to the Beafts of the Field.

THO' Exercifes 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 it felf and beneficial to the Publick than that of PLANT ING. I could mention a Nobleman whofe Fortune has placed him in feveral Parts of England, and who has always left these visible Marks behind him, which shew 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 Pofterity of the Owner. Had all the Gentlemen of England made the fame Improvements upon their Eftates, our whole Country would have been at this Time as one great Garden. Nor ought fuch 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 Leffer Afia. There is indeed fomething truly magnificent in this kind of Amusement: It gives a noble Air to feveral Parts of Nature; it fills the Earth with a Variety of beautiful Scenes, and has fomething in it like Creation. For this Reason the Plea fure of one who plants is something like that of a Poet, who, as Ariftotle obferves, is more delighted with his Productions than any other Writer or Artift whatfoever.

PLANTATIONS have one Advantage in them which is not to be found in moft other Works, as they give a Pleasure of a more lafting. 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 fee it brought to the utmost Point of Perfection, and from that Time haftening to its Ruin. On the contrary, when you have finished your Plantation, they are ftill arriving at greater Degrees of Perfection as long as you live, and appear more delightful in every fucceeding Year, than they did in the foregoing.

BUT

BUT I do not only recommend this Art to Men of Eftates as a pleafing 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 Pofterity. As for the firft, Ineed only mention what is frequently obferved by others, that the Increase of Foreft-Trees does by no means bear a Proportion to the Deftruction of them, infomuch that in a few Ages the Nation may be at a Lofs to fupply itself with Timber fufficient for the Fleets of England. I know when a Man talks of Pofterity in Matters of this Nature, he is looked upon with an Eye of Ridicule by the cunning and selfish Part of Mankind. Moft People are of the Humour of an old Fellow of a College, who, when he was preffed by the Society to come into fomething that might redound to the Good of their Succeffors, grew very peevith, We are always doing, fays he, Jomething for Pofterity, but I would fain fee Pofterity da Something for us.

BUT I think Men are inexcufable, who fail in a Duty of this Nature, fince it is fo eafily difcharged. When a Man confiders 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 Defcendants eafy or rich, by fo inconfiderable an Expence, if he finds himself averfe to it, he must conclude that he has a poor and bafe Heart, void of all generous Principles and Love to Mankind.

THERE is one Confideration, which may very much inforce what I have here faid. Many honeft Minds that are naturally difpofed to do good in the World, and be come beneficial to Mankind, complain within themselves that they have not Talents for it. This therefore is a good Office, which is fuited to the meaneft Capacities, and which may be performed by Multitudes, who have not Abilities fufficient to deferve well of their Country and to recom mend themselves to their Pofterity, by any other Method. It is the Phrafe of a Friend of mine, when any ufeful 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 hath left the Impreffions

of

of his Industry behind him, in the Place where he has lived.

UPON the foregoing Confiderations, I can scarce forbear representing the Subject of this Paper as a kind of moral Virtue: Which, as I have already fhewn, recommends it felf likewife by the Pleasure that attends it. It must be confeffed, that this is none of those turbulent Plea fures, which is apt to gratify a Man in the Heats of Youth; but if it be not fo tumultuous, it is more lasting. Nothing can be more delightful than to entertain ourfelves with Profpects of our own making, and to walk under those Shades which our own Industry has raised. Amusements of this Nature compofe the Mind, and lay at Reft all those Paffions which are uneafy to the Soul of Man, befides that they naturally engender good Thoughts, and difpofe us to laudable Contemplations. Many of the old Philofophers paffed away the greatest Parts of their Lives among their Gardens. Epicurus himself could not think fenfual Pleafure attainable in any other Scene. Every Reader who is acquainted with Homer, Virgil and Horace, the greatest Genius's 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 feems to have been more especially adapted to the Nature of Man in his Primæval State, when he had Life enough to fee his Productions flourish in their utmoft Beauty, and gradually decay with him. One who lived before the Flood might have feen a Wood of the talleft Oaks in the Acorn. But I only mention this Particular, in order to introduce in my next Paper a Hiftory which I have found among the Accounts of China, and which may be looked upon as an Antediluvian Novel.

Monday,

No. 584. Monday, August 23.

Hic gelidi fontes, hic mollia prata, Lycori,
Hic Nemus, hic toto tecum confumerer ævo.

H

Virg.

ILPA was one of the 150 Daughters of Zilpa,

of the Race of Cohu, by whom fome of the Learned think is meant Cain. She was exceedingly beautiful, and when fhe was but a Girl of Threefcore and ten Years of Age, received the Addresses of feveral who made love to her. Among thefe were two Brothers, Harpath, and Shalum; Harpath, being the First-born, was Master of that fruitful Region which lies at the Foot of Mount Tirza, in the Southern Parts of China. Shalum (which is to fay the Planter in the Chinese Language) poffeffed all the neighbouring Hills and that great Range of Mountains which goes under the Name of Tirza. Harpath was of a haughty contemptuous Spirit; Shalum was of a gentle Difpofition, beloved both by God and Man.

IT is faid that, among the Antediluvian Women, the Daughters of Cobu had their Minds wholly fet upon Riches; for which Reafon the beautiful Hilpa preferr'd Harpath to Shalum, because of his numerous Flocks and Herds, that covered all the low Country which runs along the Foot of Mount Tirza, and is watered by several Fountains and Streams breaking out of the Sides of that Mountain.

HARPATH made fo quick a Difpatch of his Courtship, that he married Hilpa in the Hundredth Year of her Age; and being of an infolent Temper, laughed to Scorn his Brother Shalum for having pretended to the beautiful Hilpa, when he was Mafter of nothing but a long Chain of Rocks and Mountains. This fo much provoked Shalum, that he is faid to have curfed his Brother in the Bitterness of his Heart, and to have prayed

that

« EelmineJätka »