The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

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that which is the proper Happiness of his Nature, and the ultimate Design of his Being.  He carries his Thoughts to the End of every Action, and considers the most distant as well as the most immediate Effects of it.  He supersedes every little Prospect of Gain and Advantage which offers itself here, if he does not find it consistent with his Views of an Hereafter.  In a word, his Hopes are full of Immortality, his Schemes are large and glorious, and his Conduct suitable to one who knows his true Interest, and how to pursue it by proper Methods.

I have, in this Essay upon Discretion, considered it both as an Accomplishment and as a Virtue, and have therefore described it in its full Extent; not only as it is conversant about worldly Affairs, but as it regards our whole Existence; not only as it is the Guide of a mortal Creature, but as it is in general the Director of a reasonable Being.  It is in this Light that Discretion is represented by the Wise Man, who sometimes mentions it under the Name of Discretion, and sometimes under that of Wisdom.  It is indeed (as described in the latter Part of this Paper) the greatest Wisdom, but at the same time in the Power of every one to attain.  Its Advantages are infinite, but its Acquisition easy; or to speak of her in the Words of the Apocryphal Writer whom I quoted in my last Saturdays Paper, Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away, yet she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her.  She preventeth them that desire her, in making herself first known unto them.  He that seeketh her early, shall have no great Travel:  for he shall find her sitting at his Doors.  To think therefore upon her is Perfection of Wisdom, and whoso watcheth for her shall quickly be without Care.  For she goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, sheweth her self favourably unto them in the Ways, and meeteth them in every Thought. [1]


[Footnote 1:  Wisdom vi. 12-16.]

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No. 226 Monday, November 19, 1711. [1] Steele.

 —­Mutum est pictura poema.

  Hor. [2]

I have very often lamented and hinted my Sorrow in several Speculations, that the Art of Painting is made so little Use of to the Improvement of our Manners.  When we consider that it places the Action of the Person represented in the most agreeable Aspect imaginable, that it does not only express the Passion or Concern as it sits upon him who is drawn, but has under those Features the Height of the Painters Imagination.  What strong Images of Virtue and Humanity might we not expect would be instilled into the Mind from the Labours of the Pencil?  This is a Poetry which would be understood with much less Capacity, and less Expence of Time, than what is taught by Writings; but the Use of it is generally perverted, and that admirable Skill prostituted to the basest and most

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The Spectator, Volume 2. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.