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time enough to attain to the utmost perfection of any part of any science, to have cause to complain that we are forced to be idle for want of work. But this, you will say, is work only for the learned; others are not capable either of the employments or divertisements that arrive from letters. I know they are not,; and therefore cannot much recommend solitude to a man totally illiterate. But, if any man be so unlearned, as to want entertainment of the little intervals of accidental solitude, which frequently occur in almost all conditions (except the very meanest of the people, who have business enough in the necessary provisions for life), it is truly a great shame both to his parents and himself; for a very small portion of any ingenious art will stop up all those gaps of our time: either musick, or painting, or designing, or chemistry, or history, or gardening, or twenty other things, will do it usefully and pleasantly; and, if he happen to set his affections upon poetry (which I do not advise him too immoderately), that will over-do it; no wood will be thick enough to hide him from the importunities of company or business, which would abstract him from his beloved.
"— O qui me gelidis in vallibus Haemi "$istat, & ingenti ramorum protegat umbra* i"
Hail, old patrician trees, so great and good!
Hail, ye plebeian underwood!
Where the poetick birds rejoice, And for their quiet nests and plenteous food
Pay, with their grateful voice.
Hail, the poor Muses' richest manor-seat;
That for you oft they quit their bright and great
Here Nature does a house for me erect,
That can the fair and living trees neglect;
Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying,
And the more tuneful birds to both replying, Nor be myself, too, mute.
A silver stream shall roll his waters near,
Gilt with the sun-beams here and there;
And see how prettily they smile, and hear
Ah wretched and too solitary he,
Who loves not his own company!
He 'll feel the weight of't many a dayf
Unless he call in sin or vanity
Oh Solitude, first state of human kind!
Which bless'd remain'd, till man did find
As soon as two, alas ! together join'd,
Though God himself, through countless ages, thee
Before the branchy head of number's tree
Thou (though men think thine an unactive part)
Making it move, well-manag'd by thy art,
Thou the faint beams of reason's scatter'd light
And fortify the strength, till thou dost bright
Whilst this hard truth I teach, methinks, I see
If it were fit to laugh at misery;
Let but thy wicked men from out thee go,
A village less than Islington wilt grow,
"NAM neque divitibus contingunt gaudia soils; "Nee vixit male, qui natus moriensque fefellit *."
God made not pleasures only for the rich;
Nor have those men without their share too liv'd,
Who both in life and death the world deceiv'd.
This seems a strange sentence, thus literally translated, and looks as if it were in vindication of the men of business (for who else can deceive the
• Hor. 1 Ep. xvii. 9. TOL. III. O world ?) ; whereas it is in commendation of those who live and die so obscurely, that the world takes no notice of them. This Horace calls deceiving the world; and in another place uses the same phrase *,
"— Secretum iter & fallentis semita vitas." The secret tracks of the deceiving life.
It is very elegant in Latin, but our English word will hardly bear up to that sense; and therefore JMr. Broom translates it very well—
Or from a life, led, as it were, by stealth.
Yet we say in our language, a thing deceives our sight, when it passes before us unperceived; and we may say well enough, out of the same author f,
Sometimes with sleep, sometimes with wine, we strive The cares of life and troubles to deceive.
But that is not to deceive the world, but to deceive ourselves, as Quintilian says f, " vitam fallere," to draw on still, and amuse, and deceive, our life, till it be advanced insensibly to the fatal period, and
* Hor. 1 Ep. xviii. 103. f 2 Sat. vii. 114.
t DecUm. dc Apib.