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had appointed to kill another”—a sort of enginery glanced at in Ben Jonson :

“I have you in a purse-net,
Good master Picklock, with your worming brain,

And wriggling engine-head” too clever by half. Luther, in his Table-talk, welcomes the import of the Jewish story of Og, king of Bashan, who they say had lifted a great rock to throw at his enemies, “but God made a hole in the middle, so that it slipped down upon the giant's neck, and he could never rid himself of it.” The fourth book of Southey's “ Thalaba” closes with a shriek from Lobaba the sorcerer, which this final stanza sufficiently explains :

“What, wretch, and hast thou raised

The rushing terrors of the wilderness,
To fall on thine own head ?
Death! death! inevitable death!
Driven by the breath of God,

A column of the desert met his way.” Nor, among the lyrical pieces of the same poet, be forgotten that ballad of the Inchcape rock, which tells how the bell put up by the abbot of Aberbrothok to warn ships of their peril, was taken down by a sea pirate, Sir Ralph the Rover, who in the words of an old Scottish topographer, “a yeare thereafter perished upon the same rocke, with ship and goodes, in the righteous judgment of God.” Many and many

" stories have been told of men whose lives
Were infamous, and so their end. I mean
That the red murderer has himself been murdered ;
The traitor struck with treason; he who let
The orphan perish came himself to want:
Thus justice and great God have ordered it!
So that the scene of evil has been turned
Against the actor; pain paid back with pain;

And poison given for poison.” Prescott's narrative of the decline and fall of Luna, minister under John II. of Castile, is pointed with this moral to adorn the tale ; that “by one of those dispensations of Providence which often confound the plans of the wisest, the column which the minister had so artfully raised for his support served only to crush him.” Sæpe intereunt aliis meditantes necem ; and that by the very means mediated.

“For 'tis the sport, to have the engineer

Hoist with his own petard,” says Hamlet, in vindictive anticipation of such an issue, or rather upshot. The guilty king, his uncle, suggests misgivings lest his arrows, by a certain mischance, might

“have reverted to my bow again,

And not where I had aimed them;" and arrows, so returning, are by poetical justice apt to do the foiled bowman a mischief. That king's fellow-conspirator, Laertes, is thus punished, and owns it :

Osric. How is't, Laertes ?
Laertes. Why as a woodcock to my own springe, Osric;

I am justly killed with mine own treachery.”
And so is the king himself; and he, Laertes testifies,

“is justly served :

It is a poison tempered by himself” for Hamlet, which Claudius has just drank of, and drinking died. The tragedy of the prince of Denmark does indeed abound in instances of what Horatio calls

Accidental judgments, casual slaughters,

And deaths put on by cunning and forced cause;
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Fallen on the inventors' heads."



St. MATTHEW vi. 34. W ITH a divine calm fall those words from the Sermon

of the Mount-spoken as never man spake—which bid us take “no thought for the morrow; for the morrow

shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Pagan philosophy had, and natural theism has, its approximation to the same point of view. Horace is all for letting the mind enjoy the enjoyable present, and for leaving no room or resting-place for the sole of the foot of Black Care, raven and unclean bird that she is. The morrow may be hers, but to-day at least is his, and the morrow shall take care for the things of itself:

“Lætus in præsens animus quod ultra est

Oderit curare." David Hume, again, meets the doctrine that we should always have before our eyes, death, disease, poverty, blindness, calumny, and the like, as ills which are incident to human nature, and which may befall us to-morrow,-by the answer, that if we confine ourselves to a general and distant reflection on the ills of human life, such a vague procedure can have no effect to prepare us for them; and that if, on the other hand, by close and intense meditation we render them present and intimate to us, we realise the true secret for poisoning all our pleasures, and rendering us perpetually miserable. He grieves more than need be, who begins to grieve before he need, is one of Seneca's sententious sayings : Plus dolet quam necesse est, qui ante dolet quam necesse est. One of Mrs. Gore's women of the world—who might probably be counted by the hundred-is sprightly and smart in her rebuke of her husband and his sister for their delight in perplexing the brightest moments of existence by all the agonies of second sight, and whom she represents as quite indignant when they find her sympathy waiting the actual occurrence of evil. “I hate," she says, “to turn back my head towards the dark shadow that follows me, or direct my telescope towards a coming storm." And herein was she wise, if not with all the wisdom of those Christian morals, of which we have so impressive an expositor in Sir

Thomas Browne. “Leave future occurrences to their uncertainties," writes the fine old physician, Religiosus Medicus, “think that which is present thy own; and, since 'tis easier to

foretell an eclipse than a foul day at some distance, look for little regular below. Attend with patience the uncertainty of things, and what lieth yet unexerted in the chaos of futurity.” Shakspeare's noble Roman, at the dawn of the day of battle on which so much depends, is natural man enough to utter the aspiration :

“O, that a man might know

The end of this day's business, ere it come !” But he is also stoic philosopher enough to check that prospective yearning, with the reflection,

“ But it sufficeth that the day will end,

And then the end is known.” Swift opens his Birthday Address to Stella with the assurance,

“This day, whate'er the fates decree,

Shall still be kept with joy by me :
This day, then, let us not be told,
That you are sick and I grown old ;
Nor think on our approaching ills,
And talk of spectacles and pills ;
To-morrow will be time enough

To hear such mortifying stuff.” For once, however, it is only in the opening verses that the dean is jocose; and he soon turns aside from his strain of levity to bid Stella accept some serious lines “from not the gravest of divines.” Schleiermacher, in one of his rather gushing letters,

– for he, too, though nothing of a Swift, and though of real weight in divinity, was not in all senses the gravest of divines, -implores his “ dearest Jette " not to look so much into the future. He cannot beg this too earnestly and too often, he says, -so depressed is Jette apt to be by anticipation of things to come, and from a perverse habit of condensing advent difficulties. “It is easy to see through one pane of glass, but through ten placed one upon another we cannot see. Does this prove that each one is not transparent? or are we ever called upon to look through more than one at a time? Double panes we only have recourse to for warmth ; and just so it is with life. We have but to live one moment at a time. Keep each one isolated, and you will easily see your way through them.” So again writes good Frederick Perthes to his wife, whose fearful and hopeful longings, he tells her, are indeed guarantees for the great future beyond the grave, but whom he urges to bear in mind that a vigorous grasp of the present is our duty so long as we are upon earth. It is the present moment, he reminds her, that supplies the energy and decision that fit us for life ; retrospect brings sadness, and the dark future excites fears, so that we should be crippled in our exertions were we not to lay a vigorous grasp upon the present. And

“ Labour with what zeal you will,

Something still remains undone ;
Something uncompleted still

Waits the rising of the sun.
By the bedside, on the stair,

At the threshold, near the gates,
With its menace or its prayer,

Like a mendicant it waits ;
Waits, and will not go away ;

Waits, and will not be gainsaid :
By the cares of yesterday

Each to-day is heavier made ;
Till at length the burden seems

Greater than our strength can bear ;
Heavy as the weight of dreams

Pressing on us everywhere.
And we stand from day to day,

Like the dwarfs of times gone by,
Who, as Northern legends say,

On their shoulders held the sky."
Quile exceptional is the temperament impersonated by
Wordsworth in one who seemed a man of cheerful yesterdays
and confident to-morrows.

Longfellow has his midnight reflection on To-morrow; him.self a watcher and contemplative, his little ones asleep : and thus the pensées end :

“ To-morrow! the mysterious, unknown guest,

Who cries to me, 'Remember Barmecide,
And tremble to be happy with the rest.'

And I make answer, 'I am satisfied ;
I dare not ask ; I know not what is best ;

God hath already said what shall betide.'

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