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His son, at the same time, knows he has a good fortune, which the father cannot alienate; though he strives to make him believe he depends only on his will for maintenance. Tom is now in his nineteenth year, Mrs. Mary in her fifteenth. Cousin Samuel, who understands no one point of good behaviour as it regards all the rest of the world, is an exact critic in the dress, the motion, the looks, and gestures of his children. What adds to their misery is, that he is ercessively fond of them, and the greatest part of their time is spent in the presence of this nice observer. Their life is one continued constraint. The girl never turns her head, but she is warned not to follow the proud minxes of the town. The bay, is not to turn .fop, or be quarrelsome; at the same time, not to take an affroat. I had the good fortune to dine with him to-day, and heard his fatherly table-talk as we sat at dinner, which, if my memory does not fail me, for the benefit of the world, I shall set down as he spoke it; which was much as follows, and may be of great use to those parents who seem to make it a rule that their children's turn to enjoy the world is not to commence until they themselves have left it.
Now, Tom, I have bought you chambers in the ions of court. I allow you to take a walk once or twice a day round the garden. If you mind your business, you need not study to be as great a lawyer as Coke upon Littleton. I have that that will keep you; but be sure you keep an exact account of Write down what you give out to your laundress, and what she brings home again. Go as little as possible to the other end of the town; but, if you do, come home early. I believe I was as sharp as you for your cars; and I had my hat snatched off my head coming
home late at a stop by St. Clement's church, and I do not know from that day to this who took it. I do not care if you learn to fence a little ; for I would not have you
made a fool of. Let me have an account of every thing every post; I am willing to be at that charge, and I think you need not spare your pains. As for you, daughter Molly, do not mind one word that is said to you in London; for it is only for your money.'
THE URNS OF DESTINY. No. 146.
As I was sitting after dinner in my elbow-chair, I took up Homer, and dipped into that famous speech of Achilles to Priam, in which he tells him that Jupiter has by him two great vessels, the one filled with blessings, and the other with misfortunes; out of which he mingles a composition for every man that comes into the world. This passage so exceedingly pleased me, that, as I fell insensibly into my afternoon's slumber, it wrought my imagination into the following dream.
When Jupiter took into his hands the government of the world, the several parts of nature with the presiding deities did homage to him. One presented him with a mountain of winds, another with a magazine of hail, and a third with a pile of thunder-bolts. The stars offered up their influences; the ocean gave in his trident, the earth her fruits, and the sun his seasons. Among the several deities who came to make their court on this occasion, the Destinies advanced with two great tuns carried before them, one of which they fixed at the right hand of Jupiter, as he sat upon his
throne, and the other on his left. The first was filled with all the blessings, and the other with all the calamities of human life. Jupiter, in the beginning of his reign, findiog the world much more innocent than it is in this iron age, poured very plentifully out of the tun that stood at his right hand; but as mankind degenerated, and became unworthy of his blessings, he set abroach the other vessel, that filled the world with pain and poverty, battles and distempers, jealousy and falsehood, intoxicating pleasures and untimely deaths.
He was at length so very much incensed at the great depravations of human nature, and the repeated provocations which he received from all parts of the earth, that, having resolved to destroy the whole species, except Deucalion and Pyrrha, he commanded the Destinies to gather up the blessings which he had thrown away upon the sons of men, and lay them up until the world should be inhabited by a more virtuous and deserving race of mortals.
The three sisters immediately repaired to the earth, in search of the several blessings that had been scattered on it; but found the task which was enjoined them to be much more difficult than they imagined. The first places they resorted to, as the most likely to succeed in, were cities, palaces, and courts; but instead of meeting with what they looked for here, they found nothing but envy, repining, uneasiness, and the like bitter ingredients of the left hand vessel. Whereas, to their great surprise, they discovered con. tent, cheerfulness, health, innocence, and other the most substantial blessings of life, in cottages, shades, and solitudes.
There was another circumstance no less unexpected than the former, and which gave them very great per
plexity in the discharge of the trust which Jupiter had committed to them. They observed that several blessings had degenerated into calamities, and that several calamities had improved into blessings, according as they fell into the possession of wise or foolish men. They often found power, with so much insolence and impatience cleaving to it, that it became a misfortune to the person on whom it was conferred. Youth had often distempers growing about it, worse than the infirmities of old age: wealth was often united to such a sordid avarice, as made it the most uncomfortable and painful kind of poverty. On the contrary, they often found pain made glorious by fortitude, poverty lost in content, deformity beautified with virtue. In a word, the blessings were often like good fruits planted in a bad soil, that by degrees fall off from their natural relish, into tastes altogether insipid or unwholesome; and the calamities, like harsh fruits cultivated in a good soil, and enriched by proper grafts and inoculations, until they swell with generous and delightful juices.
There was still a third circumstance that occasioned as great a surprise to the three sisters as either of the foregoing, when they discovered several blessings and calamities which had never been in either of the tuns that stood by the throne of Jupiter, and were nevertheless as great occasions of happiness or misery as any there. These were that spurious crop of blessings and calamities which were never sown by the hand of the deity, but grow of themselves out of the fancies and dispositions of human creatures. Such are dress, titles, place, equipage, false shame and groundless fear, with the like vain imaginations that shoot up in trifing, weak and irresolute minds. H 3
The Destinies, finding themselves in so great a perplexity, concluded that it would be impossible for them to execute the commands that had been given them, according to their first intention; for which reason they agreed to throw all the blessings and calamities together into one large vessel, and in that manner offer them up at the feet of Jupiter.
This was performed accordingly; the eldest sister presenting herself before the vessel, and introducing it with an apology for what they had done :
O Jupiter, says she, we have gathered together all the good and evil, the comforts and distresses of human life, which we thus present before thee in one promiscuous heap. We beseech thee, that thou thyself wilt sort them out for the future, as in thy wisdom thou shalt think fit. For we acknowledge, that there is none besides thee that can judge what will occasion grief or joy in the heart of a human creature, and what will prove a blessing or a calamity to the person on whom it is bestowed.'
TRAVELLING IN A STAGE COACH. No. 192. Some
years since I was engaged with a coach-full of friends to take a journey as far as the Land's End. We were very well pleased with one another the first day ; every one endeavouring to recommend himself by his good-humour and complaisance to the rest of the company. This good correspondence did not last long; one of our party was soured the very first evening by a plate of butter which had not been melted to his mind, and which spoiled his temper to such a de