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Sad cure'! for who would lose, Though full of pain', this intellectual being', Those thoughts that wander through eternity', To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost In the wide womb of uncreated night, Devoid of sense and motion? And who knows, Let this be good, whether our angry foe Can give it, or ever will? How he can', Is doubtful'; that he never will', is sure'.
5. Will he', so wise', let loose at once his ire',
Belike through impotence, or unaware,
Is this, then, worst, Thus sitting, thus consulting', thus in arms' ? What! when we fled amain', pursued and struck With Heaven's afflicting thunder', and besought The deep to shelter us'? this hell then seem'd A refuge from those wounds: or when we lay Chain'd on the burning lake' ? that sure was worse!
7. What if the breath that kindled those grim fires,
Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage',
This would be worse'.
Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles!.
Thus trampled', thus expell’d', to suffer here
THE EPHEMERA: AN EMBLEM OF HUMAN LIFE.
BY BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 1. You may remember, my dear friend, that, when we lately spent that happy day in the delightful garden and sweet society of the Moulin Joly, I stopped a little in one of our walks, and stayed some time behind the company. We had been shown numberless skeletons of a kind of little fly, called an ephemera, whose successive generations, we are told, were bred and expired within the day. I happened to see a living company of them on a leaf, who appeared to be engaged in conversation.
2. You know I understand all the inferior animal tongues. My too great application to the study of them is the best excuse I can give for the little progress I have made in your charming language. I listened through curiosity to the discourse of these little creatures; but as they, in their natural vivacity, spoke three or four together, I could make but little of their conversation. I found, however, by some broken expressions that I heard now and then, they were disputing warmly on the merit of two foreign musicians, one a cousin, the other a mosquito; in which dispute they spent their time, seemingly as regardless of the shortness of life as if they had been sure of living a month.
3. “IIappy people !” thought I; "you are certainly under a wise, just, and mild government, since you have no public grievances to complain of, nor any subject of contention but the perfections and in perfections of foreign music!" I turned my head from them to an old gray-headed one, who was alone on another leaf, and talking to himself. Being amused with his soliloquy, I put it down in writing, in hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much indebted for the most pleasing of all amusements, her delicious company and heavenly harmony...
4. “It was,” said he, “the opinion of learned philosophers of our race, who lived and flourished long before my time, that this vast world, the Moulin Joly, could not itself subsist more than eighteen hours; and I think there was some foundation for that opinion, since, by the apparent motion of the great luminary that gives life to all nature, and which in my time has evidently declined considerably toward the ocean at the end of our earth, it must then finish its course, be extinguished in the waters that surround us, and leave the world in cold and darkness, necessarily producing universal death and destruction. I have lived seven of those hours,-a great age, being no less than four hundred and twenty minutes of time. How very few of us continue so long!
5. "I have seen generations born, flourish, and expire. My present friends are the children and grandchildren of the friends of my youth, who are now, alas! no more. And I must soon follow them; for, by the course of nature, though still in health, I cannot expect to live above seven or eight minutes longer. What now avails all my toil and labor in amassing honey-dew on this leaf, which I cannot live to enjoy? What the political struggles I have been engaged in, for the good of my compatriot inhabitants of this bush, or my philosophical studies for the benefit of our race in general? for, in politics, what can laws do without morals ?
6. “Our present race of ephemeræ will in a course of minutes become corrupt, like those of other and older bushes, and consequently as wretched. And in philosophy how small our progress! Alas! art is long, and life is short! My friends would comfort me with the idea of a name, they say, I shall leave behind me; and they tell me I have lived long enough to nature and to glory. But what will fame be to an ephemera who no longer exists? And what will become of all history in the eighteenth hour, when the world itself, even the whole Moulin Joly, shall come to its end, and be buried in universal ruin ?”
MEETING OF SATAN AND DEATH.
BY JOHN MILTON.
The other shape',
And with disdainful look thus first began :-
That darest, though grim and terrible, advance
Hell-born', not to contend with spirits of heaven'!"
Who first broke peace in heaven', and faith', till then
To waste eternal days in woe and pain' ?
Hell-doom'd', and breathest defiance here and scorn,
False fugitive', and to thy speed add wings';
Strange horror seize thee', and pangs unfelt before." 5. (2343) So spake the grîsly terror'; and in shape',
So speaking', and so threatening', grew tenfold
Each at the head
To join their dark encounter in mid-air. 7. So frown’d the mighty combatants, that hell
Grew darker at their frown; so match'd they stood;
BY C. PHILLIPS.
1. It matters very little what immediate spot may be the birthplace of such a man as Washington. No people can claim, no. country can appropriate him: the boon of Providence to the human race, his fame is eternity, and his residence creation. Though it was the defeat of our arms and the disgrace of our policy, I almost bless the convulsion in which he had his origin.