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Yet all that HOPE ventured to promife, even to those whom fhe favoured moft, was, not that they fhould escape, but that they fhould fink laft; and with this promise every one was fatisfied, though he laughed at the reft for feeming to believe it. HOPE, indeed, apparently mocked the credulity of her companions; for, in proportion as their veffels grew leaky, fhe redoubled her affurances of fafety; and none were more bufy in making provisions for a long voyage, than they whom all but themfelves faw likely to perish foon by irreparable decay.

In the midst of the current of life was the gulph of INTEMPERANCE, a dreadful whirlpool, interspersed with rocks, of which the pointed crags were concealed under water, and the tops covered with herbage, on which EASE fpread couches of repose, and with fhades, where PLEASURE warbled the fong of invitation. Within fight of these rocks all who failed on the ocean of life must neceffarily pafs. REASON, indeed, was always at hand to steer the paffengers through a narrow outlet by which they might escape; but very few could, by her entreaties or remonstrances, be induced to put the rudder into her hand, without ftipulating that the fhould approach fo near unto the rocks of PLEASURE, that they might folace themfelves with a fhort enjoy. ment of that delicious region, after which they always determined to purfue their courfe without any other deviation.

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REASON was too often prevailed upon fo far by these promises, as to venture her charge within the eddy of the gulph of INTEMPERANCE, where, indeed, the circumvolution was weak, but yet inter

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rupted the courfe of the veffel, and drew it, by infenfible rotations, towards the center. She then repented her temerity, and with all her force endeavoured to retreat; but the draught of the gulph was generally too ftrong to be overcome; and the paffenger, having danced in circles with a pleafing and giddy velocity, was at laft overwhelmed and loft. Thofe few whom REASON was able to extricate, ge

nerally fuffered fo many fhocks upon the points which fhot out from the rocks of PLEASURE, that they were unable to continue their courfe with the fame ftrength and facility as before, but floated along timorously and feebly, endangered by every breeze, and fhat. tered by every ruffle of the water, till they funk, by flow degrees, after long ftruggles, and innumerable expedients, always repining at their own folly, and warning others against the first approach of the gulph of INTEMPERANCE.

There were artifts who profeffed to repair the breaches and stop the leaks of the veffels which had been fhattered on the rocks of PLEASURE. Many appeared to have great confidence in their skill, and fome, indeed, were preserved by it from finking, who had received only a single blow; but I remarked that few veffels lafted long which had been much re, paired, nor was it found that the artists themselves continued afloat longer than those who had least of their affiftance.

The only advantage which, in the voyage of life, the cautious had above the negligent, was, that they funk later, and more fuddenly; for they paffed forward till they had fometimes feen all those in whofe company they had iffued from the ftreights


of infancy, perifh in the way, and at laft were overfet by a cross breeze, without the toil of refiftance, or the anguifh of expectation. But fuch as had often fallen against the rocks of PLEASURE, commonly fubfided by fenfible degrees, contended long with the encroaching waters, and haraffed themfelves by labours that scarce HOPE herself could flatter with fuccefs.

As I was looking upon the various fate of the multitude about me, I was fuddenly alarmed with an admonition from fome unknown Power, "Gaze "not idly upon others when thou thyfelf art fink“ing. Whence is this thoughtlefs tranquillity, "when thou and they are equally endangered?" I looked, and seeing the gulph of INTEMPERANCE be fore me, started and awaked,

NUMB. 103. TUESDAY, March 12, 1751,

Scire volunt fecreta domus, atque inde timeri.

They fearch the fecrets of the house, and fo


Are worshipp'd there, and fear'd for what they know.


CURIOSITY is one of the permanent and certain characteristicks of a vigorous intellect, Every advance into knowledge opens new prospects, and produces new incitements to further progress. All the attainments poffible in our prefent ftate are evidently inadequate to our capacities of enjoyment; conqueft ferves no purpose but that of kindling ambition, discovery has no effect but of raifing expectation; the gratification of one defire encourages another; and after all our labours, ftudies, and inquiries, we are continually at the same distance from the completion of our fchemes, have ftill fome wish importunate to be fatisfied, and fome faculty restless and turbulent for want of its enjoyment.

The defire of knowledge, though often animated. by extrinfick and adventitious motives, feems on many occafions to operate without fubordination to any other principle; we are eager to fee and hear, without intention of referring our obfervations to a farther end; we climb a mountain for a profpect of the plain; we run to the ftrand in a ftorm, that we may contemplate the agitation of the water; we range from city to city, though we profefs neither


architecture nor fortification; we crofs feas only to view nature in nakedness, or magnificence in ruins; we are equally allured by novelty of every kind, by a defert or a palace, a cataract or a cavern, by every thing rude and every thing polished, every thing great and every thing little; we do not fee a thicket but with some temptation to enter it, nor remark an infect flying before us but with an inclination to purfue it.

This paffion is, perhaps, regularly heightened in proportion as the powers of the mind are elevated and enlarged. Lucan therefore introduces Cafar speaking with dignity fuitable to the grandeur of his designs and the extent of his capacity, when he declares to the high-priest of Egypt, that he has no defire equally powerful with that of finding the origin of the Nile, and that he would quit all the projects of the civil war for a fight of thofe fountains which had been fo long concealed. And Homer, when he would furnish the Sirens with a temptation, to which his hero, renowned for wisdom, might yield without difgrace, makes them declare, that none ever departed from them but with increase of knowledge.

There is, indeed, fcarce any kind of ideal acquirement which may not be applied to fome use, or which may not at least gratify pride with occafional fuperiority; but whoever attends the motions of his own mind will find, that upon the first appearance of an object, or the first start of a question, his inclination to a nearer view, or more accurate difcuffion, precedes all thoughts of profit, or of


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