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View Sample Pages : Daily Courant, January 26, 1730

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Daily Courant (Newspaper) - January 26, 1730, London, Middlesex The Daily Coufant* No. 88*9. Monday, January i6y 172,9-30. To the Author of the DAILY COURANT. S I ft, THE following Soliloquy of the illii-ftrious Paulo Paruta, a Noble Venetian, Ambalfador from his Republic to Pope Clement VIII. contains Reflections foufeful and edifying to the buftling Part of Mankind, and particularly to thofe who move in fuperior Life, that I fancy you cannot better fill up your firft Vacancy (by the Ablence of Mails, or otherwife) than by inferring it. In Juftice to the Author from whom I tmnicribe it, I ought to tell you, that I take it from an excellent Collection of Papers, juft publifh'd, intitled \ The Plain Dealer, (No. LXXXVI.) which abounds wuh Subjects equally important and valuable. CTT7HERE am I? What am I doing? * ^ ' What am I designing ?---I am * haftening already to the End of my Life; � and have hardly fo much as thought upon � the End of my Being ! - I am tranfported � with That which I am not fure to poffefs, ' a Day ; and neglect to acquaint myfelf � with what I mult carry with me, through * Eternity i - Age has, naturally, a Power ' to afflict, and mortifie, the Body : Let it � now exert a nobler Influence, and exalt, and uicken, my Spirit!--Summon, Omy oul,thy ftray'^, and degenerate,Thoughts: Know the Dignity of thy Condition j and let nothing proceed from Thee, but what may, truly, be worthy of Thee. I fear, if I make a Scrutiny into the Conduct of my Life, I fhall difgrace my blufh-ing Reafon,\by a Recollection of my Vanity. - The Tendernefs of my Infant Tears was too weak to afford Matter, that could merit my Age's Notice  and yet, the Tears, methinks, which it was fubjedt to, might have forewarned me, That I was ent'ring upon a Wtldernefs, of M'fery / � ' In the Boyi/b Years which fucceeded Childhood, I drew in Pleafure, at my Eyes, and Ears; and gave my Soul a Tincture that prepared it for the Impreffions of future Levity.--Riches, Honour, and worldly Greatnefs, glitter'd on me, from a lovely Dijiancs; And Retirement, when I heard it talk'd of, feem'd Stupidity or Mad-nefs.-Thefe Conceptions gather'd Strength, as I advanced into riper Life, irom the Common Confent, of all Men, to practife, and to praife, as I did : And That mofl among Thofe, who were reputed wifeft, and mofl happy. 1 At my Entrance into Youth, I applied myfelf to Study.--1 delighted, chiefly, in I(betorick., and Philofophy ; and, having the good Fortune to meet with Excellent Matters, I made a fwifr, and unufual Pro- grefs.--Yet I cannot help confeifing, That it added Fuel to my native Pride. It infhm'd me with a Thirfl of Praife ; and ferv'd to countenance that Self Love, which flood in need of no Incentive-- Knowledge is apt to puff up its Poflelfors. -I dare not fay, I pofTelVdit : But, if I fliould be ask'd, What Fruit I reafdy by my Studies ? I think, I might venture1 to anfwer, That Philofophy, if it did not\ teach me TRUTH, awaken d, and prcpar'd\ me to receive it. \ ' For a while, I was very earneft in the ^ Study of Morality j and delighred in it fo much, that I publifhed a Treatife, on that Subject: And, afterward?, when I was come to Man's Eftate, I compofed, in Obedience to my Father's particular Command, [ an Elaborate Hiflory, of my Country.-- 1 But, while J laboured to contribute toward : the Glory of other Men, I pleas'd myfelf 1 with a flattering Prolpect, That I too, by thofe my Labours, mould have a Place, in the Temple I was building ; and, live, in my Fame, many Ages after my Death. Abfurd Extravagance of erting Vanity ! - As if, what is nothing, in Itfelf, could gather an Exiftence, from the Opinions of Others I 1 Next, I gave myfelf wholly up to the Service, and Government of my Country j and found my Way fo plain, and eafy ; that J foon attained Great Honours, and helped to fill iheforemofi Employments.-- But alas! What Boaft is This? ~- Am I not fenfible, that not only the mofl bufy, but even the moft pleafing, of my prelent Thoughts, will vanifh, like a filent Shadow ?---All thefe Dignities, and Di- ftin&ions, thefe State Buftles-, and Negotiations, with which my Mind is foglorioufiy incumber df wiil diffolve, like Smoak into the Wind! or be withered, like Flowers, by the Beams of that Sun, which cherifh- ed them !--Yet, unftable as thefe Phan- tafms are, and as I know them to be, I muft meditate on Them only. My Thoughts, however reluctant, muft, at all Times, and in all Places, give way to the imaginary Importance of thefe proud Chimera's; and abandon the Contemplation of Things intrinficaUy Noble. 1 Alas! how hard it is to ferve Two Ma-flers, of oppolite Meanings ! My *\ea-[on, and my Pride, feem to have divided me, between them.-Pride teaches me to meafure my A&ions, with Regard only to outward Appearances, by which Men rather feem happy, than are fo.-But Reafon is always whifperjng me, that Patience, HumiHty, Mediocrity, and Self-denial, are the Roads, which lead to Felicity.-- As 1 approached, to Old Ags, I grew, m o r and more, fenfible on which of thefe Two Sides Truth lay: But I perfifted, even againft ConvLftion, and facrific'd my Peace, and Rfft, to Careful Power, and Splendid M'fery. * What, then, do I wifh i---What is it, that I am expecting ?--If I know, that my Purfuits are Follies, wihat hinders but that I change them ?--If, after having wafted the Vigour of my Life, without Advantage from fucb Applications, I am lefs fatisfied than when I began to live, Am I weak enough to hope, 1 bar, while, I, myfelf, do not change, the very Nature of Things fhou'd alter ? Shall Disappointment turn to Delight, becaufe I am fondly in Love with Phafure?---Or fhall a World, that produces nothing but Cares, be taught hereafter to abound with Comforts, That I only may be indulged, with new, and unnatural, Satisfaction ? ' Look our, my Soul, upon tbefe Ruins, that are every where fpread round thee ! This was, once, That awful ROME ! The Queen of the dependant World !--- Where is, now, her undoubted Influence ? Where the Majefly of her Empire ? Where are Her Treafures ? Her Triumphs ? and the dreadful Confequences of z'Thoufand Victories ?---Are they not the Prey of Death, and Time ? Do they not lie buried, in thefe Heaps of Ruin ? - And fhalt Thou be fond of Glory ?-Thou, who can'ft look down with Pity, on the Deflation of a Power, that drew a Chain about the World j-Shalt Thou prefume 'to pride Thyfeif in Honours, or DiflinBions ? of grow vain, upon the little Preference of a. � lighr, and momentary, Dignity ! * No, - Thou, who hait Duration, and Stability ! Thou ! who fhak endure, o�-wafiing, through the Changes of Eternity I confider better the true Rate of Things I and proportion thy Defire to their Value. - If they are not of Real Worth, why then haft Thou leved them ?--Why endea- vour'ft Thou to retain them? Why arc Thou fhaken at a Froi'pect of thy lefmg them ?--Or, grant they have, in them, any Thing, that may be called a Heal Good, why, at Jeaft, is it not remembered, For how fhort a Tims thou car.fl poffefs them ? * A Thoufand Way�, thefe worldly Be*e~ 'fits have it, in their very Nature, to deceive us.--While we iuppoie their; Incteafe the only Means to make us happy % we, inienfibly, become miferabls: For we fix our Minds, fo intently, upon the Little we, yet, want, that we continue Dead to the Enjoyment of All that we were before poffefled of.--1 he Fear of hfing, what we have already got, has a Power to im-j foverifh vulgar Minds, as effectually as i� they really poffeffed Nothing ! And a greater Vexation than This, the Humane Soul is not capable of being tormented by ---- Becaufe, as the Mifery is imaginary, it is boundlefs j and, as it drew its Evil from Depravity, it can receive no Cure from Reafon.--Strange Perverfenefs of our Nature!-We have our Happinefi; within our felves, and are always feeking it abroad: We have our Miferirs, remote, and without ; and, yet, are, for ever, fmarting inward j and tranfpianting Tortures to ourielves, which have no t\ootr^ but in our Diligence, to excite, and nouriffj, our own Mil chiefs ! *�� 4 If we feed the.Soul with Meat, which is not proper to her Nature, what Wonder, that fhe pines, and can never be fa� tisfied ?---Bur, I perceive, while I praife MAI{Y, I am imitating MAR? THA.---I difcern the right Way ; But I chufe to travel in the wrong, till I have loft my felf in its intricate Windings!-- I am troubled, and bufiedwith many Things | though I know, well enough, that there is but One, of them, Gncerely NecefTary.-. I am birdlimed by the tempting World, - I am given over to a Variety of felicitous^ and grinding, Cares, which I hug, like Bleffings, to my Bofom j and am foftened,' more and more, into an Affection, and Partiality, for them.----The Love and Gratitude, I owe my Friends--- The Hopes, and Fears, and touching Tendernefs, with which I think of mjf Wife and Children ;---Domedick? and private Oeconomy ; and the weightier Concerns of the Government of the Commonwealth I prefs my Thoughts, on every Side, and afflict me with Purpofes, dia�j metrically oppofite to each other, ' Fain would I free my Soul, and re^ ftore her to her Liberty, from thefe Paffwnt} which confine, and torture her : But I nei� ther know how, nor when, to refolve it.-r* Yer, am I comforted, however, That I; feel, in myfelf, a ftrong Defire, to exerc the Prerogative of my s\eafon. Since X confider it, as a Sign, that though I am tiffin able to do well, I retain the Princii well-doing. ;