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The Pict begins the face she designed to wear that day, and I have heard him protest she had worked a full half hour before he knew her to be the same woman. As so as he saw the dawn of that complexion, for which he had so long lauguished, he thought fit to break from his concealment, repeating that of Cowley:
"Th' adorning thee with so much art,
Is but a barbarous skill;
'Tis like the pois'ning of a dart,
Too apt before to kill."
The Pict stood before him in the utmost confusion, with the prettiest smirk imaginable on the finished side of her face, pale as ashes on the other. Honeycomb seized all her gally-pots and washes, and carried off his handkerchief full of brushes, scraps of Spanish wool, and phials of unguents. The lady went into the country, the lover was cured.
It is certain, no faith ought to be kept with cheats, and an oath made to a Pict is of itself void. I would therefore exhort all the British ladies to single them out, nor do I know any but Lindamira who should be exempt from discovery; for her own complexion is so delicate, that she ought to be allowed the covering it with paint, as a punishment for choosing to be the worst piece of art extant, instead of the masterpiece
In the meantime, as a pattern for improving their charms, let the sex study the agreeable Statira. Her features are enlivened with the cheerfulness of her mind, and good-humour gives an alacrity to her eyes. She is graceful without affecting an air, and unconcerned without appearing careless. Her having no manner of art in her mind, makes her want none in her person.
How like is this lady, and how unlike is a Pict, to that description Dr. Donne gives of his mistress?
- Her pure and eloquent blood
Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought,
DIGNITY OF MAN
A PROOF OF HIS IMMORTALITY.
Sentio te sedem hominum ac domum contemplari; que si tibi parva (ut est) ita videtur, hæc cœlestia semper spectato; illa humana contemnito.
CICERO, Somn. Scip. I perceive you contemplate the seat and habitation of men; which if it appears as little to you as it really is, fix your eyes perpetually upon heavenly objects, and despise earthly."
IF the universe be the creature of an intelligent mind, this mind could have no immediate regard to himself in producing it. He needed not to make trial of his omnipotence, to be informed what effects were within its reach: the world as existing in his eternal idea was then as beautiful as now it is drawn forth into being; and in the immense abyss of his essence are contained far brighter scenes than will be ever set forth to view; it being impossible that the great Author of Nature should bound his own power by giving existence to a system of creatures, so perfect that he cannot improve upon it by any other exertions of his almighty will. Between finite and infinite there is an unmeasured interval, not to be filled up in endless ages; for which reason, the most excellent of all God's works must be equally short of what his power is able to produce as the most imperfect, and may be exceeded with the same ease.
This thought hath made some imagine, (what it must be confessed is not impossible) that the unfathomed space is ever teeming with new births, the younger still inheriting a greater perfection than the elder. But as this doth not fall within my present view, I shall content myself with taking notice, that the consideration now mentioned proves undeniably, that the ideal worlds in the divine understanding yield a prospect incomparably more ample, various, and delightful, than any created world can do: and that therefore as it is not supposed that God should make a world merely of inanimate matter, however diversified, or inhabited only by creatures of no higher an order than brutes; so the end for which he designed his reasonable offspring is the contemplation of his works, the enjoyment of himself, and in both to be happy; having, to this purpose, endowed them with correspondent faculties and desires. He can have no greater pleasure from a bare review of his works, than from the survey of his own ideas; but we may be assured that he is well pleased in the satisfaction de rived to beings capable of it, and for whose entertainment he hath erected this immense theatre. Is not this more than an intimation of our immortality? Man, who when considered as on his probation for a happy existence hereafter, is the most remarkable instance of divine wisdom, if we cut him off from all relation to eternity, is the most wonderful and unaccountable composition in the whole creation. He hath capacities to lodge a much greater variety of knowledge than he will be ever master of, and an unsatisfied curiosity to tread the secret paths of nature and providence: but, with this, his organs, in their present structure, are rather fitted to serve the necessities of a vile body, than to minister to his understanding; and from the little spot to which he is chained, he can frame but wandering guesses concerning the innumerable worlds of light that encompass him, which, though in themselves of a prodigious bigness, do but just glimmer in
་ལེན་ས་ཡi ༧, ཙྩ༣
the remote spaces of the Heavens; and, when with a great deal of time and pains he hath laboured a little way up the steep ascent of truth, and beholds with pity the groveling multitude beneath, in a moment his foot slides, and he tumbles down headlong into the grave. Thinking on this, I am obliged to believe, in justice to the Creator of the world, that there is another state when man shall be better situated for contemplation, or rather have it in his power to remove from object to object, and from world to world; and be accommodated with senses, and other helps, for making the quickest and most amazing discoveries. How does such a genius as Sir Isaac Newton, from amidst the darkness that involves human understanding, break forth, and appear like one of another species! The vast machine we inhabit lies open to him; he seems not unacquainted with the general laws that govern it; and while with the transport of a philosopher he beholds and admires the glorious work, he is capable of paying at once a more devout and more rational homage to his Maker. But, alas! how narrow is the prospect even of such a mind! and how obscure to the compass that is taken in by the ken of an angel; or of a soul but newly escaped from its imprisonment of the body! For my part I freely indulge my soul in the confidence of its future grandeur; it pleases me to think that I who know so small a portion of the works of the Creator, and with slow and painful steps creep up and down on the surface of this globe, shall ere long shoot away with the swifness of imagination, trace out the hidden springs of nature's operations, be able to keep pace with the heavenly bodies in the rapidity of their career, be a spectator of the long chain of events in the natural and moral worlds, visit the several apartments of the creation, know how they are farnished and how inhabited, comprehend the order, and measure the magnitudes and distances of those orbs, which to us seem disposed without any regular VOL. I. E
design, and set all in the same circle; observe the de pendance of the parts of each system, and (if our minds are big enough to grasp the theory) of the seve ral systems upon one another, from whence results the harmony of the universe. In eternity a great deal may be done of this kind. I find it of use to cherish this generous ambition; for besides the secret refreshment it diffuses through my soul, it engages me in an endeavour to improve my faculties, as well as to exercise them conformably to the rank I now hold among reasonable beings, and the hope I have of being once advanced to a more exalted station.
The other, and that the ultimate end of man, is the enjoyment of God, beyond which he cannot form a wish. Dim at best are the conceptions we have of the Supreme Being, who, as it were, keeps his creatures in suspense, neither discovering, nor hiding himself; by which means, the libertine hath a handle to dispute his existence, while the most are content to speak him fair, but in their heart prefer every trifling satisfaction to the favour of their Maker, and ridicule the good man for the singularity of his choice. Will there not a time come, when the free-thinker shall see his impious schemes overturned, and be made a convert to the truth he hates; when deluded mortals shall be con vinced of the folly of their pursuits, and the few wise, who followed the guidance of Heaven, and, scorning the blandishments of sense and the sordid bribery of the world, aspired to a celestial abode, shall stand possessed of their utmost wish, the vision of the Creator? Here the mind heaves a thought now and then towards him, and hath some transient glances of his presence: when, in the instant it thinks itself to have the fastest hold, the object eludes its expectations, and it falls back tired and baffled to the ground. Doubtless there is some more perfect way of conversing with heavenly beings. Are not spirits capable of mutual intelligence, unless immersed in bodies, or by their intervention? Inust superior natures depend on inferior for the main