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far as is convenient for their respective states of existence, it is much more probable that a hundred millions of dice should be casually thrown a hundred millions of times in the same number, than that the body of any single animal should be produced by the fortuitous concourse of matter.
And that the like chance should arise in innumerable instances, requires a degree of credulity that is not under the direction of common sense. We may carry this consideration yet farther, if we reflect on the two sexes in every living species, with their resemblances to each other, and those particular distinctions that were necessary for the keeping up of this great world of life.
There are many more demonstrations of a Supreme Being, and of his transcendent wisdom, power, and goodness, in the formation of the body of a living creature, for which I refer my reader to other writings, particularly to the sixth book of the poem entitled Creation*, where the anatomy of the human body is described with great perspicuity and elegance. I have been particular on the thought which runs through this speculation, because I have not seen it enlarged upon by others.-0.
* Creation. A poem by Sir Richard Blackmore.
N° 544. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1712.
Nunquam ita quisquam benè subductâ ratione ad vitam fuit,
Ter. Adelph. act. v. sc. 4. No man was ever so completely skilled in the conduct of life, as
not to receive new information from age and experience ; insomuch that we find ourselves really ignorant of what we thought we understood, and see cause to reject what we fancied our
truest interest. There are, I think, sentiments in the following letter from my friend Captain Sentry, which discover a rational and equal frame of mind, as well prepared for an advantageous as an unfortunate change of condition.
• Coverley-hall, Nov. 15, SIR,
Worcestershire. · I am come to the succession of the estate of my honoured kinsman, Sir Roger de Coverley; and I assure you I find it no easy task to keep up the figure of master of the fortune which was so handsomely enjoyed by that honest plain man. I cannot (with respect to the great obligations I have, be it spoken) reflect upon his character, but I am confirmed in the truth which I have, I think, heard spoken at the club; to wit, that a man of a warm and well-disposed heart, with a very small capacity, is highly superior in human society to him who with the greatest talents, is cold and languid in his affections. But alas! why do I make a difficulty in speaking of my worthy ancestor's failings? His little absurdities and incapacity for the conversation for the politest men are dead with him, and his greater qualities are even now useful to him. I know not whether by naming those disabilities I do not enhance his merit, since he has left behind him a reputation in his country, which would be worth the pains of the wisest man's whole life to arrive át. By the way, I must observe to you, that many of your readers have mistook that passage in your writings, wherein Sir Roger is reported to have inquired into the private character of the young woman at the tavern. I know you mentioned that circumstance as an instance of the simplicity and innocence of his mind, which made him imagine it a very easy thing to reclaim one of those criminals, and not as an inclination in him to be guilty with her. The less discerning of your readers cannot enter into that delicacy of description in the character : but indeed my chief business at this time is to represent to you my present state of mind, and the satisfaction I promise to myself in the possession of my new fortune. I have continued all Sir Roger's servants, except such as it was a relief to dismiss into little beings within my manor.
Those who are in a list of the good knight's own hand to be taken care of by me, I have quartered upon such as have taken new leases of me, and added so many advantages during the lives of the persons so quartered, that it is the intérest of those whom they are joined with to cherish and befriend them upon all occasions. I find a considerable sum of ready money, which I am laying out among my dependants at the common interest, but with a design to lend it according to their merit, rather than according to their ability. I shall lay a tax upon such as I have highly obliged, to become security to me for such of their own poor youth, whether male or female, as want help towards getting into some being in the world. I hope I shall
be able to manage my affairs so as to improve my fortune every year by doing acts of kindness. I will lend my money
to the use of none but indigent men, secured by such as have ceased to be indigent bythe favour of my family or myself. What makes this the more practicable is, that if they will do any one good with my money, they are welcome to it upon their own security and I make no exception against it, because the persons who enter into the obligations do it for their own family. I have laid out four thousand pounds this way, and it is not to be imagined what a crowd of people are obliged by it. In cases where Sir Roger has recommended, I have lent money to put out children, with a clause which makes void the obligation in case the infant dies before he is out of his apprenticeship; by which means the kindred and masters are extremely careful of breeding him to industry, that he may repay it himself by his labour, in three years' journey-work after his time is out, for the use of his securities. Opportunities of this kind are all that have occurred since I came to my estate: but I assure you I will preserve a constant disposition to catch at all the occasions I can to promote the good and happiness of my neighbourhood.
But give me leave to lay before you a little establishment which has grown out of my past life, that I doubt not will administer great satisfaction to me in that part of it, whatever that is, which is to come.
• There is a prejudice in favour of the way of life to which a man has been educated, which I know not whether it would not be faulty to overcome.
It is like a partiality to the interest of one's own country before that of any other nation. It is from a habit of thinking, grown upon me from my youth spent in arms, that I have ever held gentlemen, who have preserved modesty, good-nature, justice, and To pass
humanity, in a soldier's life, to be the most valuable and worthy persons of the human race. through imminent dangers, suffer painful watchings, frightful alarms, and laborious marches, for the greater part of a man's time, and pass the rest in sobriety conformable to the rules of the most virtuous civil life, is a merit too great to deserve the treatment it usually meets with among the other part of the world. But I assure you, Sir, were there not very many who have this worth, we could never have seen the glorious events which we have in our days. I need not say more to illustrate the character of a soldier than to tell you he is the very contrary to him you observe loud, saucy, and overbearing, in a red coat about town. But I was going to tell in honour of the profession of arms, I have set apart a certain sum of money for a table for such gentlemen as have served their country in the army, and will please from time to time to sojourn all, or any part of the year, at Coverley. Such of them as will do me that honour shall find horses, servants, and all things necessary for their accommodation and enjoyment of all the conveniencies of life in a pleasant various country. If Colonel Camperfelt* be in town, and his abilities are not employed another way in the service, there is no man would be more welcome here. That gentleman's thorough knowledge in his profession, together with the simplicity of his manners and goodness of his heart, would induce others like him to honour my abode; and I should be glad my acquaintance would take themselves to be invited or not, as their characters have an affinity to his.
• I would have all my friends know, that they need not fear (though I am become a country-gentleman)
• Colonel Camperfelt. Spect. in folio. A fine compliment to the father of the late worthy Admiral Kempenfelt, who was drowned in the Royal George at Spithead, Aug. 29, 1782.