I would further propose to the Consideration of my afflicted Disciple, that possibly what she now looks upon as the greatest Misfortune, is not really such in it self. For my own part, I question not but our Souls in a separate State will look back on their Lives in quite another View, than what they had of them in the Body; and that what they now consider as Misfortunes and Disappointments, will very often appear to have been Escapes and Blessings.
The Mind that hath any Cast towards Devotion, naturally flies to it in its Afflictions.
Whon I was in France I heard a very remarkable Story of two Lovers, which I shall relate at length in my to-Morrow’s Paper, not only because the Circumstances of it are extraordinary, but because it may serve as an Illustration to all that can be said on this last Head, and shew the Power of Religion in abating that particular Anguish which seems to lie so heavy on Leonora. The Story was told me by a Priest, as I travelled with him in a Stage-Coach. I shall give it my Reader as well as I can remember, in his own Words, after having premised, that if Consolations may be drawn from a wrong Religion and a misguided Devotion, they cannot but flow much more naturally from those which are founded upon Reason, and established in good Sense.
[Footnote 1: one]
[Footnote 2: This letter is by Miss Shepheard, the ‘Parthenia’ of No. 140.]
[Footnote 3: that]
[Footnote 4: that]
* * * *
No. 164. Friday, September 7, 1711. Addison.
et me, inquit, miseram, et te perdidit, Orpheu?
vale: feror ingenti circumdata nocte, Invalidasque tibi tendens,
heu! non tua, palmas.’
CONSTANTIA was a Woman of extraordinary Wit and Beauty, but very unhappy in a Father, who having arrived at great Riches by his own Industry, took delight in nothing but his Money. Theodosius was the younger Son of a decayed Family of great Parts and Learning, improved by a genteel and vertuous Education. When he was in the twentieth year of his Age he became acquainted with Constantia, who had not then passed her fifteenth. As he lived but a few Miles Distance from her Father’s House, he had frequent opportunities of seeing her; and by the Advantages of a good Person and a pleasing Conversation, made such an Impression in her Heart as it was impossible for time to [efface ]: He was himself no less smitten with Constantia. A long Acquaintance made them still discover new Beauties in each other, and by Degrees raised in them that mutual Passion which had an Influence on their following Lives. It unfortunately happened, that in the midst of this intercourse of Love and Friendship between Theodosius