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pain was inflicted on my father for transgressing thy law, may it not be lessened or removed, if I obey?'
The very object of my law,' said Jupiter, is that it should. Hadst thou proceeded as thy father did, thy whole frame would have become one great centre of disThe pain was transmitted to thee to guard thee by a powerful monitor from pursuing his sinful ways, that thou mightest escape this greater misery. Adopt a course in accordance with my institutions, thy pain shall abate, and thy children shall be free from its effects.'
The heir expressed profound resignation to the will of Jupiter, blessed him for his organic law, and entered upon a life of new and strict obedience. His pain through time diminished, and his enjoyments increased. Ever after he was grateful for the law.
A feeble voice next reached the vault of heaven. It was that of an infant, sick and in pain. What is thy distress, poor child,' said Jupiter, and of what dost thou complain? Half drowned in sobs, the feeble voice replied, 'I suffer under thy organic law. A father's sickness and a mother's disordered frame, have been transmitted and combined in me. I am all over exhaustion and pain.' 'Hast thou received no other gift,' said Jupiter, but sickness and disease, no pleasure to thy nerves, thy muscles, or thy mental powers? All are so feeble,* replied the child, 'that I exist not to enjoy, but to suffer.' 'Poor infant,' said Jupiter, my organic law will soon deliver thee, and I shall take thee to myself.' The organic law instantly operated, the body of the child lay a lifeless mass, but suffered no more; its spirit dwelt with Jupiter. The next prayer was addressed by a merchant struggling on the Mediterranean waves, and nigh sinking in their foam. What evil dost thou charge against me,' said Jupiter, and what dost thou require?"
'O Jupiter,' said the supplicant, I sailed from Tyre to Rome, in a ship which thou seest on fire, loaded with all the merchandise acquired by my previous toils. As I lay here at anchor off the port of Syracuse, whither bu
siness called me, a sailor, made by thee, thirsted after wine, stole it from my store, and, in intoxication, set my ship and goods on fire; and I am now plunged in the blue waves to die by water, to escape the severer pain of being consumed by fire. Why, if thou art just, should the innocent thus suffer for the guilty?'
'Thou complainest, then,' said Jupiter,' of my social law? Since this law displeaseth thee, I restore thee to thy ship, and suspend it as to thee.'
The merchant, in a moment, saw his ship entire; the blazing embers restored to vigorous planks; himself and all his crew sound in limb, and gay in mind, upon her deck. Joyous and grateful, he addressed thanksgiving to the god, and called to his crew to weigh the anchor, set the sails, and turn the helm for Rome. But no sailor heard him speak, and no movement followed his words. Astonished at their indolence and sloth, he cried, in a yet louder voice, and inquired why none obeyed his call. But no answer was given. He saw the crew move and speak; act and converse; but they seemed not to observe him. He entreated, remonstrated, and upbraided; but no reply was given. All seemed unconscious of his presence. Unconscious of his presence! The awful thought rushed into his mind, that the social law was suspended as to him. He now saw, in all its horror, the import of the words of Jupiter, which before he had not fully comprehended. Terrified, he seized a rope, and set a sail. Every physical law was entire, and obeyed his will. The sail filled, and strained forward from the mast. to the helm, it obeyed his muscles, and the ship moved as he directed it. But its course was short, the anchor was down, and stopped its progress in the sea. He lowered the sail, seized a handspike, and attempted to weigh, but in vain. The strength of ten men was required to raise so ponderous an anchor. Again he called to his crew, but the social law was suspended as to him; he was absolved thenceforth from all suffering, caused by mis
conduct of others, but he was cut off from every enjoyment and advantage from their assistance.
In despair he seized the boat, rowed it into the port of Syracuse, and proceeded straight to his commercial correspondent there, to beg his aid in delivering him from the indolence of his crew. He saw his friend, addressed him, and told him all his labors to leave the anchorage, but his friend seemed quite unconscious of his presence. He did not even look upon him, but proceeded in business of his own, with which he seemed entirely occupied. The merchant, wearied with fatigue, and almost frantic with alarm, hurried to a tavern on the quay, where he used to dine, and entering called for wine, to recruit his exhausted strength. But the servants seemed unconscious of his presence, no movement was made; and he remained, as it were, in a vast solitude, amidst large companies of merchants, servants and assistants, who all bustled in active gayety, each fulfilling his duty in his own department. The merchant now comprehended all the horrors of his situation, and called aloud to Jupiter. 'O Jupiter, death in the blue waves or even by consuming flame, were better than the life thou hast assigned me. Let me die, for my cup of misery is full beyond endurance. Restore me the enjoyments of thy social law, and I hail its pains as blessings."
But said Jupiter, 'If I restore to thee my social law, thy ship will be consumed, thou and thy crew will escape in thy boat, but thou shalt be a very beggar, and, in thy poverty, thou wilt upbraid me for dealing thus unjustly by thee.'
O bountiful Jupiter,' replied the merchant, I never knew till now what enjoyments I owed to thy social law, how rich it renders me, even when all else is gone; and, how poor I should be, with all the world for a possession, if denied its blessings. True, I shall be poor, but my nerves, muscles, senses, propensities, sentiments and intellect will be left me: now I see that employment of
these is the only pleasure of existence; poverty will not cut me off from exercising these powers in obedience to thy laws, but will rather add new excitements to my doing so. Under thy social law, will not the sweet voice of friendship cheer me in poverty, the ecstatic burst of adoration of thee lift my soul to heaven, will not the aid of kindred and of my fellow-men soothe the remainder of my days? and, besides, now that I see thy designs, I shall avoid employing my fellow men in situations unsuitable to their talents, and thereby escape the penalties of infringing thy social law. Most merciful Jupiter, restore to me the benefit of all thy laws, and I accept the penalties attached to their infringement.' His request was granted; ever after he made Jupiter's laws and the nature of man his study; he obeyed them, became moderately rich, and found himself happier than he had ever been in his days of selfishness and ignorance.
Jupiter was assailed by many other prayers from unfortunate sufferers under infringement of his laws; but, instead of hearing each in endless succession, he assembled his petitioners, and introduced to them, the slater, the husbandman, the young heir, and the merchant, and requested them to narrate their knowledge and experience of the natural laws; and he intimated, that if, after listening to their account, any petitioner was not satisfied with his condition, he would suspend for him the particular law which caused him discontent. But no application followed. Jupiter saw his creatures employ themselves with real earnestness to study and observe his institutions, and ever after, they offered up to him only gratitude and adoration for his infinite goodness and wisdom.
ON HAPPINESS OF TEMPER.- -Goldsmith.
Writers of every age have endeavored to show-that pleasure is in us, and not in the objects offered for our
amusement. If the soul be happily disposed, every thing becomes capable of affording entertainment; and distress will almost want a name. Every occurrence passes in review, like the figures of a procession; some may be awkward, others ill-dressed; but none but a fool is, for this, enraged with the master of the ceremonies.
I remember to have once seen a slave, in a fortification in Flanders, who appeared no way touched with his situation. He was maimed, deformed, and chained; obliged to toil from the appearance of day till night-fall, and condemned to this for life; yet, with all these circumstances, of apparent wretchedness, he sung, would have danced, but that he wanted a leg, and appeared the merriest, happiest man of all the garrison.
What a practical philosopher was here! a happy constitution supplied philosophy; and though seemingly destitute of wisdom, he was really wise. No reading or study had contributed to disenchant the fairy-land around him. Every thing furnished him with an opportunity of mirth; and, though some thought him, from his insensibility, a fool-he was such an idiot as philosophers should wish to imitate: for all philosophy is only forcing the trade of happiness, when Nature seems to deny the
They who, like our slave, can place themselves on that side of the world in which every thing appears in a pleasing light, will find something in every occurrence, to excite their good humor. The most calamitous events, either to themselves or others, can bring no new affliction; the whole world is, to them, a theatre, on which comedies only are acted. All the bustle of heroism, or the ranks of ambition, serve only to heighten the absurdity of the scene, and make the humor more poignant. They feel, in short, as little anguish at their own distress, or the complaints of others, as the undertaker, though dressed in black, feels sorrow at a funeral.
Of all the men I ever read of, the famous Cardinal de Retz possessed this happiness of temper in the high