Imágenes de páginas

me from the fide-board, which I snatched up with ea. gerness: but oh! how shall I tell the sequel ? Whether the butler by accident mistook, or purposely defigned to drive me mad, he gave me the strongest brandy, with which I filled my mouth, already flea'd and blistered : totally unused to every kind of ardent spirits, with my tongue, throat, and palate, as raw as beef, what could í do? I could not swallow, and clapping my hands upon my mouth, the cursed liquor squirted through my nose and fingers like a fountain over all the dishes, and I was crushed by bursts of laughter from all quarters. In vain did Sir Thomas 'reprimand the servants, and Lady FRIENDLY chide her daughters; for the measure of my shame and their diversion was not yet compleat. To relieve me from the intolerable state of perspiration which this accident had caused, without confidering what I did, I wiped my face with that ill-fated handkerchief, which was still wet from the consequences of the fall of- Xenophon, and covered all my features with streaks of ink in every direction. The Baronet himself could not support this shock, but joined his Lady in the general laugh; while I sprung from the table in despair, rushed out of the house, and ran home in an agory of confusion and disgrace, which the most poignant sense of guilt could not have excited.

Thus, without having deviated from the path of moral rectitude, I am suffering torments like a “goblin damn’d.” The lower half of me has been almost boiled, my tongue and mouth grilled, and I bear the mark of Cain upon my forehead; yet these are but trifling considerations to the everlasting shame which I muft feel whenever this adventure shall be mentioned.

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IONYSIUS, the tyrant of Sicily, shewed how far

ed in riches, and all the pleasures which riches can procure. Damocles, one of his flatterers, was compliment. ing him upon his power, his treasures, and the magnificence of his royal state, and affirming, that no monarch ever was greater or happier than he. « Have you a mind, Damocles,” fays the king, “to taste this happiness, and know, by experience, what my enjoyments are, of which

you have so high an idea ?” Damocles gladly accepted the offer. Upon which the king ordered, that a royal banquet should be prepared, and a gilded couch placed for him, covered with rich embroidery, and fideboards loaded with gold and silver plate of immense value. Pages of extraordinary beauty were ordered to wait on him at table, and to obey his commands with the greatest readiness, and the most profound fubmiffion. Neither ornaments, chaplets of flowers, nor rich perfumes were wanting. The table



was loaded with the most exquisite delicacies of every kind. Damocles fancied himfelf amongst the Gods. In the midst of all his happiness, he sees, let down from the roof exactly over his neck as he lay indulging himfelf in state, a glittering sword hung by a single hair. The fight of destruction thus threatening him from on high, soon put a stop to his joy and revelling. The pomp of his attendance, and the glitter of the carved plate, gave him no longer any pleasure. He dreads to stretch forth his hand to the table. He throws off the chaplet of roses. He hastens to remove from his dangerous situation, and at last begs the king to restore him to his former humble condition, having no desire to enjoy any longer such a dreadful kind of happiness.

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The Vision of Theodore, the Hermit of Te

neriffe, found in his Cell.


ON of perseveranee, whoever thou art, whose curi

osity has led thee hither, read and be wise. He that now calls upon thee is Theodore, the hermit of Tea neriffe, who, in the fifty-seventh year of his retreat, left this instruction to mankind, left his solitary hours Ihould be spent in vain.

I was once what thou art now, a groveller on the earth, and a gazer at the sky; I trafficked and heaped wealth together, I loved and was favoured, I wore the robe of honour, and heard the music of adulation; I was ambitious, and rose to greatness; I was unhappy, and retired. I fought for fome time what I at length found here, a place where all real wants might be easily supplied, and where I might not be under the necessity of purchasing the assistance of men by the toleration of their follies. Here I saw fruits and herbs and water, and here determined to wait the hand of death, which I hope, when at last it comes, will fall lightly on me.

Forty-eight years had I now passed in forgetfulness of all mortal cares, and without any inclination to wander farther than the neceflity of procuring sustenance required; but as I stood one day beholding the rock that overhangs my cell, I found in myself a desire to climb it; and when I was on its top, was in the same manner determined to scale the next, till, by degrees I conceived a wish to view the summit of the mountain, at the foot of which I had so long resided. This motion of my thoughts I endeavoured to suppress, not because it appeared criminal, but because it was new; and all change not evidently for the better alarms a mind taught by experience to distrust itself. often afraid that my heart was deceiving me, that my impatience of confinement rose from some earthly palhon, and that my ardour to furvey the works of nature

I was

was only a hidden longing to mingle once again in the scenes of life. I therefore endeavoured to settle my thoughts into their former state, but found their diftraction every day greater. I was always reproaching myself with the want of happiness within my reach, and at last began to question whether it was not laziness rather than caution that restrained me from climbing to the summit of Teneriffe.

I rose therefore before the day, and began my journey up the steep of the mountain ; but I had not advanced far, old as I was and burthened with provisions, when the day began to shine upon me; the declivities grew more precipitous, and the sand fiding beneath my feet; at last, fainting with labour, I arrived at a small plain almost inclosed by rocks, and open only to the eaft. I sat down to rest a while, in full persuafion that when I had recovered my strength, I should proceed on my debgn; but when once I had tasted eafé, I found many reasons against disturbing it. The branches spread a fhade over my head, and the gales of spring wafted

bosom. As I sat thus, forming alternately excufes for delay and resolutions to go forward, an irresistible heaviness suddenly surprised me; I laid my head upon the bank, and resigned myself to sleep; when methought I heard the found as of the flight of eagles, and a being of more than human dignity stood before me. While I was deliberating how to address him, he took me by the hand with an air of kindness, and asked me folemnly, but without severity, “ Theodore, whither art thou go“ ing?” I am climbing, answered I, to the top of the mountain, to enjoy a more extensive prospect of the works of nature. « Attend first, faid he, to the prof« pect which this place affords, and what thou do “ not understand I will explain. I am one of the be“ nevolent beings who watch over the children of the « dust, to preserve them from those evils which will « not ultimately terminate in good, and which they do “ not, by their own faults, bring upon themselves.

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