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'Twas first a charming shape enslav'd me,
An eye then gave the fatal stroke:
And all my former fetters broke.
But now a long and lasting anguish
For Belvidera endure:
Nor hope to find the wonted cure.
For here the false unconstant lover,
After a thousand beauties shown,
And finds variety in one.
Stanza the first, verse the first. And changing.) The and in some manuscripts is written thus, &, but that in the Cotton Library writes it in three distinct letters.
Verse the second. Nor ere would.] Aldus reads it ever would ; but as this would hurt the metre, we have restored it to its genuine reading, by observing that synæresis which had been neglected by ignorant transcribers.
Ibid. In my heart.] Scaliger and others, on my heart.
Verse the fourth. I found a dart.] The Vatican manuscript for I reads it, but this must have been the hallucination of the transcriber, who probably mistook the dash of the I for a T.
Stanza the second, verse the second. The fatal stroke.] Scioppius, Salmasius, and many others, for the read a, but I have stuck to the usual reading.
Verse the third. Till by her wit.] Some manuscripts bave it his wit, others your, others their wit. But as I find Corinna to be the name of a woman in other authors, I cannot doubt but it should be her.
1V. Nichol's select collection of poems, vol. 2, p. 68—et seq., note on & remark in the Chef d'oeuvre d'un Inconnu.-C.
Stanza the third, verse the first. A long and lasting an. guish.] The German manuscript reads a lasting passion, but the rhyme will not admit it.
Verse the second. For Belvidera I endure.] Did not all the manuscripts reclaim, I should change Belvidera into Pelvidera; Pelvis being used by several of the ancient comic writers for a looking-glass, by which means the etymology of the word is very visible, and Pelvidera will signify a lady who often looks in her glass, as indeed she had very good reason, if she had all those beauties which our poet here ascribes to her.
Verse the third. Hourly I sigh and hourly languish. ] Some for the word hourly read daily, and others nightly; the last has great authorities of it's side.
Verse the fourth. The wonted cure.] The elder Stevens reads wanted cure.
Stanza the fourth, verse the second. After a thousand beauties.] In several copies we meet with a hundred beauties, by the usual error of the transcribers, who probably omitted a cypher, and had not taste enough to know, that the word thousand was ten times a greater compliment to the poet's mistress than an hundred.
Verse the fourth. And finds variety in one.] Most of the ancient manuscripts have it in two. Indeed so many of them concur in this last reading, that I am very much in doubt whether it ought not to take place. There are but two reasons which incline me to the reading, as I have published it; first, because the rhyme, and, secondly, because the sense is preserved by it. It might likewise proceed from the oscitancy of transcribers, who, to dispatch their work the sooner, used to write all numbers in cypher, and seeing the figure 1 followed by a little
the truth of any article, and of the reasonableness of our belief
the Protestants and Papists in the reign of Queen Mary. This venerable old man knowing how his abilities were impaired by age, and that it was impossible for him to recollect all those reasons which had directed him in the choice of his religion, left his companions who were in the full possession of their parts and learning, to baffle and confound their antagonists by the force of
As for himself, he only repeated to his adversaries the articles in which he firmly believed, and in the profession of which he was determined to die. It is in this manner that the mathematician proceeds upon propositions which he has once demonstrated; and though the demonstration may have slipt out of his memory, he builds upon the truth, because he knows it was demonstrated. This rule is absolutely necessary for weaker minds, and in some measure for men of the greatest abilities; but to these last I would propose in the second place, that they should lay up in their memories, and always keep by them in readiness, those arguments which appear to them of the greatest strength, and which cannot be got over by all the doubts and cavils of infidelity.
But, in the third place, there is nothing which strengthens faith more than morality. Faith and morality naturally produce
each other. A man is quickly convinced of the truth of religion, who finds it is not against his interest that it should be true. The pleasure he receives at present, and the happiness which he promises himself from it hereafter, will both dispose him very powerfully to give credit to it, according to the ordinary observa. tion, that we are easy to believe what we wish.' It is
very tain, that a man of sound reason cannot forbear closing with religion upon an impartial examination of it; but at the same time it is as certain, that faith is kept alive in us, and gathers strength from practice more than from speculation.
There is still another method which is more persuasive than any of the former, and that is an habitual adoration of the Supreme Being, as well in constant acts of mental worship, as in outward forms. The devout man does not only believe but feels there is a Deity. He has actual sensations of him; his experience concurs with his reason; he sees him more and more in all his intercourses with him, and even in this life almost loses his faith in conviction.
The last method which I shall mention for the giving life to man's faith, is frequent retirement from the world, accompanied with religious meditation. When a man thinks of any thing in the darkness of the night, whatever deep impressions it may make in his mind, they are apt to vanish as soon as the day breaks about him. The light and noise of the day, which are perpetually soliciting his senses, and calling off his attention, wear out of his mind the thoughts that imprinted themselves in it, with so much strength, during the silence and darkness of the night. A man finds the same difference as to himself in a crowd and in a solitude : the mind is stunned and dazzled amidst that variety of objects which press upon her in a great city: she cannot apply herself to the consideration of those things which are of the utmost concern to her. The cares or pleasures of the world strike
in with every thought, and a multitude of vicious examples give a kind of justification to our folly. In our retirements every thing disposes us to be serious. In courts and cities we are entertained with the works of men; in the country with those of God. One is the province of art, the other of nature. Faith and devotion naturally grow in the mind of every reasonable man, who sees the impressions of divine power and wisdom in every ohjeet on which he casts his eye. The Supreme Being has made the best arguments for his own existence, in the formation of the heavens and the earth, and these are arguments which a man of sense cannot forbear attending to, who is out of the noise and hurry of human affairs. Aristotle says, that should a man live under ground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the works of such a being as we de. fine God to be.' The psalmist has very beautiful strokes of po
purpose, in that exalted strain, 'The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handy-work. One day telleth another : and one night certifieth another. There is neither speech por language : but their voices are heard among them. Their sound is gone into all lands: and their words into the ends of the world. As such a bold and sublime manner of thinking furnishes very noble matter for an ode, the reader may see it wrought into the following one.
etry to this