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escutcheons and white gloves, and inquired every morning at an early hour, whether there were any news of my dear aunt.
At last a messenger was sent to inform me that I must come to her without the delay of a moment. I went and heard her last ad. vice, but opening her will, found that she had left her fortune to her second sister.
I hung my head; the youngest sister threatened to be married, and every thing was disappointment and discontent. I was in danger of losing irreparably one-third of my hopes, and was condemned still to wait for the rest. Of part of my 'terrour I was soon eased; for the youth, whom his relations would have compelled to marry the old lady, after innumerable stipulations, articles, and settlements, ran away with the daughter of his father's groom;
my aunt, upon this conviction of the perfidy of man, resolved never to listen more to amorous ad. dresses.
Ten years longer I dragged the shackles of expectation, without every suffering a day to pass, in which I did not compute how much my chance was improved of being rich to-morrow. At last the sea cond lady died, after a short illness, which yet was long enough to afford her time for the disposal of her estate, which she gave to me after the death of her sister.
I was now relieved from part of my misery; a larger fortune, though not in my power, was cere tain and unalienable; nor was there now any danger, that I might at last be frustrated of my hopes by a fret of dotage, the flatteries of a chamber-maid, the whispers of a tale-bearer, or the officiousness of a nurse. But my wealth was yet in reversion, my aunt was to be buried before I could emerge to grandeur and pleasure; and there were yet, according
to my father's observation, nine lives between me and happiness.
I however lived on, without any clamours of dis. content, and comforted myself with considering, that all are mortal, and they who are continually decaying must at last be destroyed.
But let no man from this time suffer his felicity to depend on the death of his aunt.
The good gentlewoman was very regular in her hours, and simple in her diet; and in walking or sitting still, waking or sleeping, had always in view the preservation of her health. She was subject to
no disorder but hypochondriac dejection; by which, without intention, she increased my miseries, for whenever the weather was cloudy, she would take her bed and send me notice that her time was come. I went with all the haste of eagerness, and sometimes received passionate injunctions to be kind to her maid, and directions how the last offices should be performed; but if before my arrival the sun happened to break out, or the wind to change, I met her at the door, or found her in the garden, bustling and vigilant, with all the tokens of long life.
Sometimes, however, she fell into distempers, and was thrice given over by the doctor, yet she found means of slipping through the gripe of death, and after having tortured me three months at each time with violent alternations of hope and fear, came out of her chamber without any other hurt than the loss of flesh, which in a few weeks she recovered by broths and jellies.
As most have sagacity sufficient to guess at the desires of an heir, it was the constant practice of those who were hopipg at second hand, and endeavoured to secure my favour against the time when I should be rich, to pay their court, by in. forming me that my aunt began to droop, that she had lately a bad night, that she coughed feebly, and that she could nerer climb May hill; or, at least, that the autumn would carry her off. Thus was I flattered in the winter with the piercing winds of March, and in summer, with the fogs of September. But she lived through spring and fall, and set heat and cold at deliance, till, after near half a century, I buried her on the fourteenth of last June, aged ninety-three years, five months, and six days.
For two months after her death I was rich, and was pleased with that obsequiousness and reverence which wealth instantaneously procures. But this joy is now past, and I have returned again to my old habit of wishing. Being accustomed to give the future full power over my mind, and to start away from the scene before me to some expected enjoyment, I deliver up myself to the tyranny of every desire which fancy suggests, and long for a thousand things which I am unable to procure. Money has much less power than is ascribed to it by those that want it. I had formed schemes which I cannot execute, I had supposed events which do not come to pass,
and the rest of my life must pass in craving solicitude, unless you can find some remedy for a mind, corrupted with an inveterate disease of wish. ing, and unable to think on any thing but wants, which reason tells me will never be supplied.
I am, &c.
N° 74. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1750.
Rizatur de laná sæpe caprina.
Hor. For nought tormented, she for nought torments.
ELPUINSTON. Men seldom give pleasure, where they are not pleased themselves; it is necessary, therefore, to cultivate an habitual alacrity and cheerfulness, that in whatever state we may be placed by Providence, whether we are appointed to confer or receive bencfits, to implore or to afford protection, we may secure the love of those with whom we transact. For though it is generally imagined, that he who grants favours, may spare any attention to his behaviour, and that usefulness will always procaire friends; yet it has been found, that there is an art of granting Tequests, an art very difficult of attainment; that officiousness and liberality may be so adulterated, as to lose the greater part of their effect;, that com. pliance may provoke, relief may harass, and liberality distress.
No disease of the mind can more fatally disable it from benevolence, the chief duty of social beings, than ill-humour or peevishness; for though it breaks not out in paroxysms of outrage, nor bursts into clamour, turbulence, and bloodshed, it wears out happiness by slow corrosion, and small injuries in. cessantly repeated. It may be considered as the canker of life, that destroys its vigour, and checks its improvement, that creeps on with hourly depre. dations, and taints and vitiates what it cannot con
Peevishness, when it has been so far indulged, as to outrun the motions of the will, and discover itself without premeditation, is a species of depravity in the highest degree disgusting and offensive, because no rectitude of intention, nor softness of address, can ensure a moment's exemption from affront and indignity. While we are courting the favour of a peevish man, and exerting ourselves in the most din Jigent civility, an unlucky syllable displeases, an unheeded circumstance rutlles and exasperates; and in the moment when we congratulate ourselves upou having gained a friend, our endeavours are frustrated at once, and all our assiduity forgotten in the casual tumult of some trifling irritation.
This troublesome impatience is sometimes nothing more than the symptom of some deeper malady. He that is angry without daring to confess his resentment, or sorrowful without the liberty of telling his grief, is too frequently inclined to give vent to the fermentations of his mind at the first passages that are opened, and to let his passions boil over upon those whom accident throws in his way. A painful and tedious course of sickness frequently produces such an alarming apprehension of the least increase of uneasiness, as keeps the soul perpetually on the watch, such a restless and incessant solicitude, as no care or tenderness can appease, and can only be pacified by the cure of the distemper, and the removal of that pain by which it is excited.
Nearly approaching to this weakness, is the captiousness of old When the strength is crushed, the senses duwed, and the common pleasures of life become insipid by repetition, we are willing to impute our uneasiness to causes not wholly out of our