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bridge, and the happy islands, I saw no- former as the stars do to us-in short, thing but the long hollow valley of Bagdat, while I pursued this thought, I could not with oxen, sheep, and camels grazing upon but reflect on that little insignificant figure the sides of it. -- The Spectator.

which I myself bore amidst the immensity of God's works.

Were the sun which enlightens this part THE WONDERS OF- CREATION.

of the creation, with all the host of plan

etary worlds that move about him, utterly I was yesterday about sunset walking extinguished and annihilated, they would in the open fields, until the night insen. not be missed more than a grain of sand sibly fell upon me. I at first amused upon the sea-shore. The space they posmyself with all the richness and variety of sess is so exceedingly little in comparison colours which appeared in the western of the whole, that it would scarce make a parts of heaven." In proportion as they blank in the creation. The chasm would faded away and went out, several stars and be imperceptible to an eye that could take planets appeared one after another, until in the whole compass of nature, and pass the whole firmament was in a glow. The from one end of the creation to the other ; blueness of the ether was exceedingly as it is possible there may be such a sense heightened and enlivened by the season of in ourselves hereafter, or in creatures the year, and by the rays of all those which are at present more exalted than luminaries that passed through it. The ourselves. We see many stars by the help galaxy appeared in its most beautiful of glasses which we do not discover with white. To complete the scene, the full our naked eyes; and the finer our telemoon rose at length in that clouded ma- scopes are, the more still are our discovjesty, which Milton takes notice of, and eries. Huygenius carries this thought so opened to the eye a new picture of nature, far, that he does not think it impossible which was more finely shaded, and dis- there may be stars whose light has not posed among softer lights, than that which yet travelled down to us since their first the sun had before discovered to us. creation. There is no question but the

As I was surveying the moon walking universe has certain bounds set to it; but in her brightness, and taking her progress when we consider that it is the work of among the constellations, a thought rose infinite power prompted by infinite goodin me which I believe very often perplexes ness, with an infinite space to exert itself and disturbs men of serious and contem- in, how can our imagination set any bounds plative natures. David himself fell into it to it? in that reflection : “ When I consider the To return, therefore, to my first thought; heavens the work of thy fingers, the moon I could not but look upon myself with and the stars which thou hast ordained, secret horror as a being that was not what is man that thou art mindful of him, worth the smallest regard of one who had and the son of man that thou regardest so great a work under his care and superhim?” In the same manner, when I con- intendency. I was afraid of being oversidered that infinite host of stars, or, to looked amidst the immensity of nature, speak more philosophically, of suns, which and lost among that infinite variety of were then shining upon me, with those creatures which in all probability swarm innumerable sets of planets or worlds through all these immeasurable regions of which were moving round their respective matter. suns—when I still enlarged the idea, and In order to recover myself from this supposed another heaven of suns and mortifying thought, I considered that it worlds rising still above this which we took its rise from those narrow concepdiscovered, and these still enlightened hy tions which we are apt to entertain of a superior firmament of luminaries, which the divine nature. We ourselves cannot are planted at so great a distance, that attend to many different objects at the they may appear to the inhabitants of the same time. If we are careful to inspect

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some things, we must of course neglect which is diffused and spread abroad to others. This imperfection which we ob- infinity. In short, to speak of him in serve in ourselves is an imperfection that the language of the old philosopher, he is cleaves in soine degree to creatures of the a being whose centre is everywhere, and highest capacities, as they are creatures; his circumference nowhere. that is, beings of finite and limited na- In the second place, he is omniscient tures. The presence of every created as well as omnipresent. His omniscience, being is confined to a certain measure of indeed, necessarily and naturally flows space, and consequently his observation from his omnipresence: he cannot but be is stinted to a certain number of objects. conscious of every motion that arises in The sphere in which we move, and act, the whole material world, which he thus and understand, is of a wider circum- essentially pervades; and of every thought ference to one creature than another, ac- that is stirring in the intellectual world, cording as we rise one above another in to every part of which he is thus intithe scale of existence. But the widest of mately united. Several moralists have these our spheres has its circumference. considered the creation as the temple of When, therefore, we reflect on the divine God, which he has built with his own nature, we are so used and accustomed to hands, and which is filled with his prethis imperfection in ourselves, that we sence. Others have considered infinite cannot forbear in some measure ascribing space as the receptacle, or rather the it to Him in whom there is no shadow of habitation, of the Almighty. But the imperfection. Our reason indeed assures noblest and most exalted way of considerus that his attributes are infinite; but the ing this infinite space is that of Sir Isaac poorness of our conceptions is such, that Newton, who calls it the sensorium of the it cannot forbear setting bounds to every- Godhead. Brutes and men have their thing it contemplates, until our reason sensoriola, or little sensoriums, by which comes again to our succour, and throws they apprehend the presence and perceive down all those little prejudices which rise the actions of a few objects that lie conin us unawares, and are natural to the tiguous to them. Their knowledge and mind of man.

observation turn within a very narrow We shall, therefore, utterly extinguish circle. But as God Almighty cannot but this melancholy thought of our being perceive and know everything in which overlooked by our Maker, in the multi- he resides, infinite space gives room to plicity of his works and the infinity of infinite knowledge, and is, as it were, an those objects among which he seems to organ to omniscience. be incessantly employed, if we consider, Were the soul separate from the body, in the first place, that he is omnipresent; and with one glance of thought should and, in the second, that he is omniscient. start beyond the bounds of the creation

If we consider him in his omnipresence, should it for millions of years continue its his being passes through, actuates, and progress through infinite space with the supports the whole frame of nature. His same activity-it would still find itself creation, and every part of it, is full of within the embrace of its Creator, and him. There is nothing he has made that encompassed round with the immensity is either so distant, so little, or so incon- of the Godhead. While we are in the siderable, which he does not essentially body, he is not less present with us inhabit. His substance is within the sub-because he is concealed from us. stance of every being, whether material that I knew where I might find him!” or immaterial, and as intimately present says Job. “Behold I go forward, but to it as that being is to itself. It would he is not there; and backward, but I be an imperfection in him were he able cannot perceive him: on the left hand to remove out of one place into another, where he does work, but I cannot behold or to withdraw himself from anything he him : he hideth himself on the right hand has created, or from any part of that space that I cannot see him.” In short, reason

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25 well as revelation assures us that he kept up my pleasure in myself. But of cannot be absent from us, notwithstanding all mankind, there are none so shocking he is undiscovered by us.

as these injudicious civil people. They In this consideration of God Almighty's ordinarily begin upon something that omnipresence and omniscience, every un- they know must be a satisfaction; but comfortable thought vanishes. He cannot then, for fear of the imputation of flatbut regard everything that has being, tery, they follow it with the last thing in especially such of his creatures who fear the world of which you would be rethey are not regarded by him. He is minded. It is this that perplexes civil privy to all their thoughts, and to that persons. The reason that there is such a anxiety of heart in particular which is apt general outcry among us against flatto trouble them on this occasion: for terers, is, that there are so very few good as it is impossible he should overlook ones. It is the nicest art in this life, and any of his creatures, so we may be con- is a part of eloquence which does not fident that he regards with an eye of want the preparation that is necessary to mercy those who endeavour to recom- all other parts of it, that your audience mend themselves to his notice, and in an should be your well-wishers; for praise unfeigned humility of heart think them- from an enemy is the most pleasing of all selves unworthy that he should be mindful commendations. of them.-The Spectator.

It is generally to be observed, that the person most agreeable to a man for a constancy, is he that has no shining quali

ties, but is a certain degree above great (Sir RICHARD STEELE. 1671–1729.)

imperfections, whom he can live with as FLATTERERS AND THE LOVE

his inferior, and who will either overlook OF FLATTERY.

or not observe his little defects. Such

an easy companion as this, either now An old acquaintance who met me this and then throws out a little flattery, or morning, seemed overjoyed to see me, lets a man silently flatter himself in his and told me I looked as well as he had superiority to him. If you take notice, known me do these forty years; but, there is hardly a rich man in the world continued he, not quite the man you who has not such a led friend of small were when we visited together at Lady consideration, who is a darling for his Brightly's. Oh! Isaac, those days are insignificancy. It is a great ease to have

Do you think there are any such one in our own shape a species below us, fine creatures now living as we then con- and who, without being listed in our versed with ? He went on with a thou- service, is by nature of our retinue. These sand incoherent circumstances, which, in dependents are of excellent use on a rainy his imagination, must needs please me; day, or when a man has not a mind to but they had the quite contrary effect. dress; or to exclude solitude, when one The flattery with which he began, in has neither a mind to that or to company. telling me how well I wore, was not dis- There are of this good-natured order who agreeable; but his indiscreet mention of are so kind to divide themselves, and do a set of acquaintance we had outlived, these good offices to many. Five or six recalled thousand things to my of them visit a whole quarter of the town, memory, which made me reflect upon and exclude the spleen, without fees, my present condition with regret. Had from the families they frequent. If they he indeed been so kind, after a long ab. do not prescribe physic, they can be comsence, to felicitate me upon an indolent pany when you take it. Very great bene. and easy old age, and mentioned how factors to the rich, or those whom they call much he and I had to thank for, who at people at their ease, are your persons of our time of day could walk firmly, eat no consequence. I have known some of heartily, and converse cheerfully, he had them, by the help of a little cunning,



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make delicious flatterers. They know flattered; but if we go to the bottom of the course of the town, and the general it

, we shall find that the pleasure in it is characters of persons; by this means they something like that of receiving money will sometimes tell the most agreeable which lay out. Every man thinks he has falsehoods imaginable. They will ac- an estate of reputation, and is glad to see quaint you that such one of a quite con- one that will bring any of it home to him; trary party said, that though you were it is no matter how dirty a bag it is conengaged in different interests, yet he had veyed to him in, or by how clownish a

greatest respect for your good sense messenger, so the money is good. All and address. When one of these has a that we want to be pleased with flattery, little cunning, he passes his time in the is to believe that the man is sincere who utmost satisfaction to himself and his gives it us. It is by this one accident friends; for his position is never to report that absurd creatures often outrun the or speak a displeasing thing to his friend. most skilful in this art. Their want of As for letting him go on in an error, he ability is here an advantage, and their knows advice against them is the office bluntness, as it is the seeming effect of of persons of greater talents and less sincerity, is the best cover to artifice. discretion.

Terence introduces a flatterer talking The Latin word for a flatterer (assen- to a coxcomb, whom he cheats out of a tator) implies no more than a person that livelihood, and a third person on the stage barely consents; and indeed such a one, makes on him this pleasant remark, “This if a man were able to purchase or main- fellow has an art of making fools madtain him, cannot be bought too dear. men. The love of flattery is indeed Such a one never contradicts you, but sometimes the weakness of a great mind; gains upon you, not by a fulsome way of but you see it also in persons who othercommending you in broad terms, but wise discover no manner of relish of any. liking whatever you propose or utter; thing above mere sensuality. These latter at the same time he is ready to beg your it sometimes improves, but always debases pardon, and gainsay you, if you chance the former. A fool is in himself the obto speak ill of yourself. An old lady is ject of pity till he is flattered. By the very seldom without such a companion as force of that, his stupidity is raised into this, who can recite the names of all her affectation, and he becomes of dignity lovers, and the matches refused by her in enough to be ridiculous. I remember a the days when she minded such vanities droll, that upon one's saying the times are (as she is pleased to call them, though she so ticklish that there must great care be so much approves the mention of them). taken what one says in conversation, It is to be noted, that a woman's flatterer answered with an air of surliness and is generally elder than herself, her years honesty, If people will be free, let them serving to recommend her patroness's age, be so in the manner that I am, who never and to add weight to her complaisance in abuse a man but to his face. He had no all other particulars.

reputation for saying dangerous truths; We gentlemen of small fortunes are therefore when it was repeated, You abuse extremely necessitous in this particular. a man but to his face ? Yes, says he, I I have, indeed, one who smokes with me flatter him. often ; but his parts are so low, that all When flattery is practised upon any the incense he does me is to fill his pipe other consideration, it is the most abject with me, and to be out at just as many thing in nature; nay, I cannot think of whiffs as I take. This is all the praise any character below the flatterer, except or assent that he is capable of, yet there he that envies him. You meet with felare more hours when I would rather be lows prepared to be as mean as possible in his company than that of the brightest in their condescensions and expressions; man I know. It would be a hard matter but they want persons and talents to rise to give an account of this inclination to be ) up to such a baseness. As a coxcomb is

a fool of parts, so a flatterer is a knave of further, and affirm that the success of a parts. — The Spectator.

story very often depends upon the make of the body, and the formation of the

features of him who relates it. THE ART OF STORY-TELLING.

Those who are thus adorned with the Tom LIZARD told us a story the other gifts of nature, are apt to show their parts day, of some persons which our family with too much ostentation. I would thereknow very well

, with so much humour fore advise all the professors of this art and life, that it caused a great deal of never to tell stories but as they seem to mirth at the tea-table. His brother Will, grow out of the subject matter of the conthe Templar, was highly delighted with versation, or as they serve to illustrate or it; and the next day being with some of enliven it. Stories that are very common his Inns-of-court acquaintance, resolved are generally irksome; but may be aptly (whether out of the benevolence or the introduced, provided they be only hinted at pride of his heart, I will not determine) to and mentioned by way of allusion. Those entertain them with what he called “a that are altogether new, should never be pleasant humour enough.” I was in great ushered in without a short and pertinent pain for him when † heard him begin; character of the chief persons concerned, and was not at all surprised to find the because, by that means, you may make company very little moved by it. Will the company acquainted with them; and blushed, looked round the room, and it is a certain rule, that slight and trivial with a forced laugh, “Faith, gentlemen,” accounts of those who are familiar to us, said he, “I do not know what makes you administer more mirth than the brightest look so grave: it was an admirable story points of wit in unknown characters. A when I heard it."

little circumstance in the complexion or When I came home, I fell into a pro- dress of the man you are talking of, sets found contemplation upon story-telling, his image before the hearer, if it be chosen and, as I have nothing so much at heart aptly for the story. Besides the marking as the good of my country, I resolved distinct characters, and selecting pertinent to lay down some precautions upon this circumstances, it is likewise necessary to subject.

leave off in time, and end smartly; so I have often thought that a story-teller that there is a kind of drama in the formis born, as well as a poet. It is, I think, ing of a story; and the manner of concertain that some men have such a pecu- ducting and pointing it is the same as in liar cast of mind, that they see things in an epigram. another light than men of grave dispo- As the choosing of pertinent circumsitions. Men of a lively imagination and stances is the life of a story, and that a mirthful temper will represent things wherein humour principally consists, so to their hearers in the same manner as the collectors of impertinent particulars they themselves were affected with them. are the very bane and opiates of conversaStory-telling is not an art, but what we tion. Old men are great transgressors call a "knack;" it doth not so much sub- this way. Poor Ned Poppy-he's gone ! sist upon wit as upon humour; and I will —was a very honest man, but was so exadd, that it is not perfect without proper cessively tedious over his pipe, that he gesticulations of the body, which naturally was not to be endured. He knew so attend such merry emotions of the mind. exactly what they had for dinner when I know very well that a certain gravity of such a thing happened, in what ditch his countenance sets some stories off to ad- bay horse had his sprain at that time, and vantage, where the hearer is to be sur- how his man John-no, it was Williamprised in the end. But this is by no means started a hare in the common field, that a general rule ; for it is frequently con- he never got to the end of his tale. Then venient to aid and assist by cheerful looks he was extremely particular in marriages and whimsical agitations.' I will go yet and intermarriages, and cousins twice or

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