Page images
[ocr errors]

Natus homo eft, five hunc divino femine fecit
Ille opifex rerum, mundi melioris origo
Sive recens tellus, seductaque nuper ab alto
Athere, cognati retinebat semina cæli.

Axobler creature yet was undefign'd,
Of higher pow'rs, and more exalted mind;
Of thought capacious, whose imperial fway
The lower mute creation must obey :
Then man was made, whose animated frame
Or God inform'd with a celestial flame,
Or earth from purer heaven but lately

Retains fome particles of kindred feed;
And on the noble work was then impress'd,

The Godhead's image in the foul exprefs'd. Sewell. The last opinion was that of the vulgar, that men sprung out of the ground, like mushrooms, first in Arcadia, and elsewhere. All which serve to enhance the value of divine revelation; and to make us the more thankful to God, for the advantages we enjoy by the Gospel, both for religious and moral improvement.

(ii.) Tertullian (de Anima, c. 14.) fays, The soul is divided by Plato and Pythagoras into two parts; the rational, and irrational; or, more accurately, into three, by dividing the latter into the irafcible and concupiscible: Aristotle into five, Panætius into fix; Soranus into seven; Chryfippus, and most of the Stoics into eight: by adding to the five senses, says Varro, (sextam quâ cogitamus, feptimam quâ progeneramus, octavam, quâ vocem emittimus) the powers, cogitative, procreative, and vocal. The Stoics (ap. Stoba.) make one, the principal, (od njegovinòr) the governing power, the rest ministerial. See Ep. 92. Lipl. Physiol. iii. 17.

(kk) Nam vita videtur nobis quod mors est, et contra. Lipf. As in a violent fit of fickness at Eton, in 1720, I designed the following for part of my epitaph. March 18, 1702.

Ut moriar fuit illa dies mihi janua vitæ,

Ut vivam, hæcce (cùm Deus voluerit.) Dies janua mortis erat. (11) Anacharsis, a philofopher of Scythia, which being looked upon as somewhat extraordinary, it became proverbial. Anacharsis inter Scythas. Cicero gives him a great character for fobriety and temperance. Sobrius, continens, abstinens, et temperans, (Tusc. 5.) Being asked whether there were any musicians in Scythia? No, said he; neither have they any vines. Being asked likewise, whether they had any Gods? yes, said he; and they understand the speech of mortals.-Endeavouring to introduce the Athenian laws, he was ordered to be hot with an arrow, by his brother, then king of the place.

Strabo reproves Euphorus for giving the invention of the potters wheel to Anacharfis, as mention is made of it in Homer. 11. 2. 600.

-Ως ότε τις τροχών αρμενον εr παλαμησιν
Fζομενος κεραμεύς πειρησεται άικε θεησιν. .
As when the potter fitting on the ground,

Forms a new vesel as the wheel whirls round. (mm) This likewise, as Lipfius observes, is a mistake, as ivory by way of ornament is mentioned more than once by Homer. Il.d. 141,

Ως δ' ότι τίς τ' ελεφαντα γυνή φοινικι μιήνη. -
As when some stately trappings are decreed
To grace a monarch on his bouuding feed,
A nymph, in Caira, or Mæonia bred,
Stains the pure ivory with a lively red.
Δινωτής (κλισιην) ελεγφαντι και αργυρω,-Od. τ. 56.

An ivory feat with filver ringlets grac'd. Pope. (nm) Nec nosse tantum sed sequi docuit Deos]. So our Saviour, Be ge perfect even as your heaven!, Father is perfect. Matth. v. 48.

(co) Et accidentia non aliter excipere, quàm impetrata] Perhaps it may be rendered, to perform all occasional duties, as if they were positive commands.

(pp) So the Apostle to the Galatians ; That ye henceforth be no more children toffed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of falje doctrine, by the fleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. 4. 14. And to the Hebrews, Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.

-13. 9 (99) Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. 1. Theff. 5. 21.

(rr) For Epicurus discharged his followers from having any thing to do with the Republic: they were to live to themselves alone.

(ss) Licet itaque velit nunc concurrere, et reparare quod perdidit] al. occurrere, f. convertere. Lipf. f. conquirere. Gronov. But I take concurrere here in the law-sense, to pretend a right to be Jame thing as another dotb. (11) Mollem fomnum illis dura tellus dabat) ad aquam. Lipf. at quàm mallem. Gronov.

Certior fomnus prennit
Secura duro membra versantem.toro.- -Sen. in Hippolyto,
In a hard bed a founder sleep invades

The tired limbs.
(uu) Vid. Lipf. in admirandis.
(xx) Vid. Lipf. Manud. ii. 8. 5.

(wy) For we are also his offspring. Act. xvii. 28. Omnes si ad primam originem revocentur, a Diis sunt. Sen. Ep. 44. Denique cælefti sumus omnes semine nati. Lucr. ii. 989.

Lastly we all from feed celestial rise,

Which heaven, our common parent, fill supplies. Creech. (<2) Parabantque adhuc mutis animalibus) By the word mutis, Lipfius understands fish, and faith, that the first slaughter of living creatures for food was made of fish. But Gronovius juftly wonders at this mistake, and asketh, whether Seneca can possibly mean fish, by the word mutis in Ep. 92. excedit ex hoc animalium numero, pulcherrimo, ac diis secundo, mutis aggregetur animal pabulo ketum? But not only Seneca but the most approved authors use the word mutum for brutum. And here it is undoubtedly to be understood of all animals whatever, in opposition to men. al, multis animalibus. MSS.


[blocks in formation]

Of natural Evils ; and the Uncertainty of human Affairs.

Our friend Liberális (a) is at present full of grief, having heard of the terrible fire that hath destroyed our colony at Lyons (6). This is an accident which would move any one, and much more a man, than -whom no one better loves his country. He had recourse therefore to that firmness of mind, which he hath always exercised with segard to any thing that was to be feared: but I do not wonder that he was in no fear of this unexpected, I might say unheard-of evil.

For I know not where to find an example of the like. Fire indeed hath damaged many cities, but not, as I can remember, , utterly destroyed one: for even where an enemy hath set fire to a town, some houses have been left ftanding; and though it may rekindle in different places, it seldom hath made such an entire devastation as to leave nothing to the weapons of war.

In the most dreadful and destructive earthquakes it feldom happens that whole towns are swallowed up; nor did I ever hear of such a malicious fire as to leave nothing for a second to prey upon. But it hath so happened here, that in one night have been destroyed many beautiful and stately buildings, and other works; any one of which alone might have served as a sufficient ornament for a city; and more mischief hath been done in the time of peace, than could have been dreaded in the day of battle. Who could believe it, that at a time when war had every where ceased, and the blessing of security was spread throughout the earth, Lyons, the glory of Gaul, should be lost in ruin? Fortune hath generally reminded those, whom the intended publickly to afflict, to dread their danger: every great event hath given time for ruin: but here there was the space only of one night, between its being one of the noblest cities, and not so much as the appearance of a city; in ihort, VOL. II. T


it was scarce so long in perishing, as I have been in relating the dreadful accident.

Now these things greatly afflict the generous mind of Liberalis, firm and seady as it is against any

accident that


befall himself. And indeed there is reason for it. Unexpected accidents are apt to strike deepest. Novelty aids weight to calamity; nor is there any mortal but who is more afflicted at what falls upon him by surprize. Nothing therefore should come upon us unexpectedly.. The mind ought to be prepared not only against what usually happens, but against whatever may happen. What is there that Fortune cannot throw down when she pleases, from its most flourishing state and which she will not more readily attack and more violently fhake, the more specious and splendid it is in appearance? What is arduous or difficult to her? The does not affault us always in the same manner; nor exert all. her strength at once. Sometimes she sets us to oppose ourselves : at another time depending upon her own strength, she finds out dangers for us which we cannot account for: all times are alike to her. We are never fafe. Even in the midst of our pleasures the giveth cause to

War is stirred up in the calm of peace; and the means of security converted into fear. Our friend becomes a foe; and our companion a cruel adversary *. The serenity of summer is often changed into sudden tempests, and more violent than wintry storms. Without an enemy we suffer hostilities; and too great prosperity hath proved its own ruin, when other causes have been wanting. Diseases fall upon the most temperate; a consumption seizeth upon the most robust constitution. The innocent suffer punishment; and uproar disturbs the most retired. Chance is continually making choice of some new evil to remind us of her power, as if we had forgot it. Whatever by a long continuance of much labour, and the kind favour of Providence, hath been scraped together and raised on high, is scattered and demolished in one day: nay, he that faith a day (c) and not' rather an hour, a moment, sufficeth for the overthrow of empires, assigneth too long a time to the more speedy progress of human calamities..


It would be some comfort to us, in our infirm and uncertain state of things, if they could be repaired as easily, and soon, as they are destroyed. But now, alas! improveinents are slowly made (d), while destruction comes on amain. Not any thing, either public or private, is firm and stable. Men and cities are alike the sport of fate. Amidst the most pleasing scenes terror breaks in; and when there is no cause of trouble and confusion from without, evils rush in upon us from whence we least expected them. Kingdoms that have stood the brunt both of foreign and civil wars, have without any opposition fell to ruin. What commonwealth could ever support its own happiness ?

Chance may

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

All things therefore are to be reflected on, and the mind strengthened against whatever accident may possibly happen. Think upon exile, war, torture, diseases, shipwrecks (e).



from your country, or your country from you. She



into folitude, or make desolate this very place where the multitude is stifled with thronging. The whole state of human affairs must be placed before our eyes ; and we must conceive in our minds not only what frequently happens, but what may happen extraordinarily, if we would not be surprised, and stupefied with any unusual accident, as being , new and strange. Fortune must be considered in all her mischiefs. How often have the citics of Achaia and Aja been thrown down by earthquakes? how many towns in Syria ? how many have been swallowed up in Macedonia ! How often hath destruction been spread through the island Cyprus ? how often hath Paphos been buried in its ruins ? how often do we hear of the destruction of whole cities; and how small a part of the world are we among whom these rumours are spread ?

[ocr errors]

Let us rise up therefore, and stand firm against all casualtics : and whatever happens, let us think that rumour hath exaggerated the evil. A city is burned, that was very rich and the ornament of all the neighbouring provinces, though built upon one hill (f), and that none of the highest : and time shall erase the very marks of all those cities that are now called magnificent and noble. See you not that the very founT 2


« EelmineJätka »