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so much assurance as not to be ashamed of what I have done.
Among the several pleasures that accompany this state of life, and which you have described in your
former papers, there are two you have not taken notice of, and which are seldom cast into the account by those who write on this subject. You must have observed, in your speculations on human nature, that nothing is more gratifying to the mind of man than power or dominion; and this I think myself amply possessed of, as I am the father of a family. I am perpetually taken up in giving out orders, in prescribing duties, in hearing parties, in administering justice, and in distributing rewards and punishments. To speak in the language of the centurion, I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh: and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. In short, sir, I look upon my family as a patriarchal sovereignty, in which I am myself both king and priest. All great governments are nothing else but clusters of these little private royalties, and therefore I consider the masters of fac milies as small deputy-governors presiding over the several little parcels and divisions of their fellow-subjects. As I take great pleasure in the alministration of my government in particular, so I look upon myself not only as a more useful, but as a much greater and happier man than any bachelor in England of my rank and condition.
“There is another accidental advantage in marriage, which has likewise fallen to my share; I mean the having a multitụde of children. These I cannot but regard as very great blessings. When I see my little troop before me, I rejoice in the additions which I have made to my species, to my country, and to my religion, in having pro
duced such a number of reasonable creatures, citizens, and Christians. I am pleased to see myself thus perpetuated; and as there is no production comparable to that of a human creature, I am more proud of having been the occasion of ten such glorious productions, than if I had built a hundred pyramids at my own expense, or published as many volumes of the finest wit and learning. In what a beautiful light has the holy scripture represented Abdon, one of the judges of Israel, who had forty sons and thirty grandsons, that rode on threescore and ten ass-colts, according to the magnificence of the eastern countries ! How must the heart of the old man rejoice, when he saw such a beautiful procession of his own descendants, such a numerous cavalcade of his own raising! For my own part, I can sit in my own parlour with great content when I take a review of half a dozen of my little boys mounting upon hobby-horses, and of as many little girls tutoring their babies, each of them endeavouring to excel the rest, and to do something that may gain my favour and approbation. I cannot question but he who has blessed me with so many children, will assist my endeavours in providing for them. There is one thing I am able to give each of them, which is a virtuous education. I think it is sir Francis Bacon's observation, that in a numerous family of children, the eldest is often spoiled by the prospect of an estate, and the youngest by being the darling of the parents; but that some one or other in the middle, who has not perhaps been regarded, has made his way in the world, and over-topped the rest. It is my business to implant in every one of my children the same seeds of industry, and the same honest principles. By this means I think I have a fair chauce, that one
or other of them may grow considerable in some or other way of life, whether it be in the army, or in the fleet, in trade, or any of the three learned professions; for you must know, sir, that from long experience and observation, I am persuaded of what seems a paradox to most of those with whom I converse, namely, that a man who has many children, and gives them a good education, is more likely to raise a family, than he, who has but one, notwithstanding he leaves him his whole estate. For this reason I cannot forbear amusing myself with finding out a general, an admiral, or an alderman of London, a divine,' a physician, or a lawyer, among my little people who are now perhaps in petticoats; and when I see the motherly airs of my little daughters when
they are playing with their puppets, I cannot but flatter myself that their husbands and children will be happy in the possession of such wives and mothers.
If you are a father, you will not perhaps think this letter impertinent; but if you are a single man, you will not know the meaning of it, and probably throw it into the fire. Whatever you determine of it, you may assure yourself that it comes from one who is Your most humble servant,
and well-wisher, O.
No. 501. SATURDAY, OCT. 4, 1712.
Durum : sed lævius fit patientia
HOR. 1 Od. xxiv, 19.
'Tis hard : but when we needs must bear,
As some of the finest compositions among the ancients are in allegory, I have endeavoured, in several of my papers, to revive that way of writing, and hope I have not been altogether unsuccessful in it; for I find there is always a great demand for those particular papers, and cannot but observe that several authors have endeavoured of late to excel in works of this nature. Among these, I do not know any one who has succeeded better than a very ingenious gentleman, to whom I am obliged for the following piece, and who was the author of the vision in the
How are we tortured with the absence of what we covet to possess, when it appears to be lost to us! What excursions does the soul make in imagination after it! and how does it turn into itself again, more foolishly fond and dejected at the disappointment! Our grief, instead of having recourse to reason, which inight restrain it, searches to find a further nourishment. It calls upon memory to relate the several passages and circumstances of satisfaction which we formerly enjoyed; the pleasures we purchased by those riches that are taken from us; or the power and splendor of our departed honours; or the voice
the words, the looks, the temper, and affections of our friends that are deceased. It needs must happen from hence that the passion should often swell to such a size as to burst the heart which contains it, if time did not make these circumstances less strong and lively, so that reason should become a more equal match for the passion, or if another desire which becomes more present did not overpower them with a livelier representation. These are thoughts which I had when I fell into a kind of vision upon this subject, and may therefore stand for a proper introduction to a relation of it.
I found myself upon a naked shore, with company whose afflicted countenances witnessed their conditions. Before us flowed a water, deep, silent, and called the River of Tears, which, issuing from two fountains on an upper ground, encompassed an island that lay before us. The boat which plied in it was old and shattered, having been sometimes overset by the impatience and haste of single passengers to arrive at the other side. This immediately was brought to us by Misfortune who steers it, and we were all preparing to take our places, when there appeared a woman of a mild and composed behaviour, who began to deter us from it, by representing the dangers which would attend our voyage. Hereupon some who knew her for Patience, and some of those tou who till then cried the loudest, were persuaded by her, and returned back. The rest of us went in, and she, (whose good-nature would not suffer her to forsake persons in trouble) desired leave to accompany us, that she might at least administer some small comfort or advice while we sailed. We were no sooner embarked but the boat was pushed off, the sheet was spread; and being