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'ble of your error ? learn from this picture of human life, to consider it as a chequered state. Let not the ideas you form of future prosperity and success at your entrance on life, be too sanguine or elevated. Learn to enjoy the present without any anxious disquietude about the future; and take care that you do not bring yourself into the number of the wretched by your own folly and imprudence. And when adversity lays her iron hand upon you, learn to bear it with a calm composure and serenity of mind. Enjoy the pleasures of social life, and friendly intercourse with the deserving and experienced. Let us compassionate and pity the distressed and amicted; and endeavour to ettract all the advantages you can, both from the joyous and grievous occurrences of life.” Having thus spoken, the form vanished, the prospect was no more, and I found myself encircled in the shades of night.
J. PL January 2, 1794
A FRAGMENT ON BENEVOLENCE.
TE gives his mite to the relief of poverty. Joy enlivens hiş
countenance, and pleasure sparkles in his eye. He can lay his hand upon his heart, and say, I have done a good thing." But who can do justice to his feelings? None but those whose lips the God of Israel hath touched with sacred fire! None but those whose pens are guided by the inspiration of the Almighty ; And though at this moment my heart expands with the delightful sensation, I am totally unable to express it. Most devoutly do I thank thee, O Lord, that thou hast given me feeling. The sensation, indeed, is sometimes painful! but the intellectual pain far excels the most delightful sensual pleasure. Ye kings and princes of the earth, possess in peace your envied grandeur! Let the epicure gratify his palate; let the miser hoard his gold in peace. Dear Sensibility! do thou but spread thy benign influence over my soul, and I am sure I shall be happy.
He held out his hat. Pity me,” said he, but turned away his face, to hide his blushing countenance, and the tear which stole down his cheek.' I saw it though; and that little tear, with a force as powerful as the inundations of the Nile, broke through all the bounds of cautious prudence. Had the wealth of the Indies been in my poca ket, I could not but have given it. I gave all I had. He cast his glistening eyes upon me. * You have saved a family: may God bless you!” With my then sensations I could have been happy through eternity. At that instant I could have wished all the wheels of re to have stopped
N the First Book of Kings, the Children of Israel demand a king
to judge them: In the same book it is said, that Samuel exercised the office of a judge in the city of Israel. Aristotle affirms, that the King is the chief of the war, the judge of differences, and the master of Divine Ceremonies. Josephus relates, that when Philip, brother to Herod Antipater, went through the country, he caused his judge ment-seat to be carried after him, in order to administer justice to the first who should demand it. Octavius Augustus very frequently gave judgment in the night and in his bed, and often rose to go to the tribunal.
God speaking by the mouth of his prophet, said “ that kings were gods, and forbids the offending them, because they are sacred." God promised Abraham, as a farther blessing, to establish him above all nations, and that kings should descend from him, which gives sufficiently to understand the grandeur of the royal dignity, and to convince all those of blasphemy who look upon it as not more perfect than the condition of the subject. It is God which institutes princes, and crowns kings. The same Royal Prophet says, that on no pretext whatever shall any, man lay his hands on the Lord's anointed. For at that time, when to save his life, he was obliged to defend himself against King Saul; and at another time when he came with Abisai to the King's camp, whom he found asleep in his tent; Abisai said to David, God has given thee thy enemy into thy hands, I will pierce him with my launce to the ground, and shall not need to repeat it a second time : David answered, do not kill him ; the man who shall extend his hand on the Lord's anointed shall not be deeme i guiltless~" For Divine Wisdom has declared, thou shalt not lay hands on my anointed.” The Sovereign Prince, after God, knows none so mighty as himself. The magistrate in the same manner holds his power of the Sovereign Prince, and remains always subject to him and his laws. The inferior subjects know likewise, that after God they place their king as chief, his laws and his magistrates, each in their proper place, and are bound to obey him, though his commands should even be against public utility, and against civil justice, provided there be nothing against the law of God, and that of nature. The respect due to the characters of kings has been practised from the carliest age--for, aa Cyrus King of Persia had taken the City of Sardis; and that Creesus, in his flight from the fury of the conquero s, concealed himself (with friend who was born dumb) in a retired place in his palace; where being found by a Persian soldier, he ran a great risk of his life, by the sword already raised against himn : God then madę use of a miracle, by loosening the tongue of the dumh
put to death.
man, who cried out as loud as possible, “ Soldier, do not kill King Cræsus !” To this voice the soldier obeyed, rendering all honour tó Cresus--and according to the rights of war, he led him a prisoner to Cyrus. The ancient Scythians, in order to shew the greatness of their grief for the death of their princes, shaved their heads, cut off the tip of their ears, and slashed their arms, their forehead, and their nose; in a word, gave themselves up to every excess of grief and mourning : They sacrificed, at the funerals of their kings, pages and horses in great numbers, and two of his favourite women. Among the Lacedemonians there was a law which ordained, that five of the nearest relations of those who had been convicted of a conspiracy against their king, should be
Nimrod had his residence with his people in the land of the Chaldeans, and was their first king, and began to extend his limits by force on his neighbours, by sending colonies to establish other kingdoms. Scipio Africanus having been surrounded by thieves and pirates in his country house, far removed from the city, displayed so noble a majes, ty in defending himself, that they threw down their arms, assuring him they were only.come there with an intent to guard and to obey him. Princes ought to shine in virtue and good morals more than others; for which reason the Persians were accustomed to carry fire before their kings, and to cause it to be extinguished through the whole country after their death. The Romans placed fire before the throne of their emperors.
King Darius having ordered all the governors of provinces subject to him to appear before him, asked them among other things, whether the taxes and tributes were not very high? They answered the King, thar they were moderate : He then gave orders that only one half should be levied. Osyris had for his motto a scepire, on the top of which was placed an eye, designing the wisdom that ought to guide a king, it not belonging to one who wanders or goes astray to be the leader of others; nor one that knows nothing to pretend to teach; nor one that will not obey reason to command. Where is the prince who will not rejoice, when he shall hear that Menan.se, King of the Bæotians, was so well beloved by his subjecis, for his justice and his virtue, that after his death the
debate who should have the honour of his buryinga place? In order to appease them it was ordained, that each city should erect a tomb to his memory:
Who will not be moved for love of Trajan, emperor of the Romans, hearing or reading his praise? for Pliny, after raising him to the hea. vens, concludes in this manner" that the greatest happiness to the em, pire would be, that the gods would take example by the life of Trajan,”? Who would not envy the glory of Agesilaus, when he was condemned to a penalty by the Ephores, for having gained the love and affection of his fellow citizens
Demetrius advised King Ptolemy to purchase and read such books as treated on the government of kingdoms; for what the minions of a court dare not say to their prince will be found in these books.
Agesicies, King of the Lacedemonians, being interrogated by a cowe
fier how a prince might reign with safety, and without a guard for the Surety of his person, wisely answered, " Let him command his subjects as a good father does his children.” Antiochus, surnamed the Great, being out a hunting, pursued his game with such eagerness that he wandered away from his courtiers and domestics, and was constrained to pass the night in a poor peasant's hut, whom he asked at supper, “in what esteem the king was held in his village?” who answered, our king has but one fault, which is his extravagant love for the chace ; and his favourites abuse the confidence of their master to the very great oppres. sion of the subject.” The King, hearing this, went to his humble couchi, determined the next day to reprimand his favourites, who had never told him the truth in the manner this poor man had done. Theopom pus being interrogated, in what manner a king might safely preserve his kingdom, replied, “ In giving full liberty to his friends to tell the truth without disguise, and in employing his power for preserving his subjects from oppression."
Philip, King of Macedon, at one time desirous to encamp in an agreeable and advantageous spot for his army, 'was told it was not a convenient place for obtaining forage for the cavalry and beasts of burthen ; he replied, “ the life of a king is very grievous indeed, since besides the care of his soldiers, he must consult the lives of horses and mules." A Lacedemonian was of opinion, that the only advantage a king had over other men was, that no one had so much power of doing good to others. A petty King of Greece could not suffer any one in his presence to call the Sophy of Persia the Great King; " why," said he, “should he be greater than I, without he is better and inore righteous?"
Alphonsus, King of Arragon, used to say, " that the word of a king ought to be as, sacred as the oach of a private man: he said also, that an ignorant prince is a crowned ass.” A poor fellow passing too suddenly by the same Alphonsus with some branches of a tree, one of them happened, from its elasticity, to touch the king in the eye, which immediately swelled. As every one of his courtiers secmed to share in the pain he must feel in so tender a part; "what I feel,” said he, is “not half so sensible to me as the torment and fear of the poor man who has hurt me.” They made this prince take notice, that he ought to have more corsideration for his safety, than to walk in a public manner without his guards; he answered, “What has a king to fear who does all the good in his power to his subjects ?” One day he beheld a galley full of soidiers and sailors on the point of perishing, and ordered immediate assistance to be given them: his orders not being obeyed, on account of the danger, he rushed forward to assist them himself-His favourites intcrposed, representing to his Majesty the great risk he ran of his life ;“ I had much rather,” answered he,“ be a companion than a spectator in the death of iny soldiers.” Alphonsus, King of Spain, told those who remonstrated that the simplicity of his clothes put him too much on a level with his subjects, “ I had rather that my virtues should distinguish me from my subjects, than the diadem or the purple.” King Louis the XIIth bore so great a love to his people, that he neglected many certain conquests, rather than tax his subjects for the support of the war, saying, that a good shepherd cannot
fatten his flock too much. The Cardinal de Rhodes, legate at the court of Peter the IVth, King of Arragon, in order to conquer hiş obe stinacy in regard to the composition in favour of the King of Major, qua, remonstrated, that his Majesty ought to do something for the sake of the Pope, to whom he was indebted for the kingdom of Sardinia, The King answered him in this manner, “ It is true, the Pope has made, me a present of it in parliament, but the King, my father, gained it some time before by the point of his sword.” Henry the IV th of France, dur, sing the wars of the confederacy, was always more elevated in spirits before the battle, than after a victory, saying to those who seemed sur-... prized thereat, “I cannot rejoice at an advantage I gain by the slaughter of my subjects; the loss of their blood seem to fade my laurels.” The Duke of Savoy coming to France on a visit to Henry the Great, was much surprized at seeing the opulence of that country; one day the Duke asked him what revenue he drew from his kingdom :
" What I please," answered the King; but the Duke pressing him still farther to explain himself, he replied, “ I must repeat what I have said before, whatever I please, for as long as I enjoy the love of my people, they will refuse me nothing I shall ask.”
Cosmo, Duke of Florence, before his perfect reconciliation with King Alphonsus, sent him in a present the history of Titus Livius, richly bound. His physicians cautioned him not to touch the book, for fear as coming from an enemy, it might be poisoned. The king, without regarding their advice, told them in turning over the leaves, “ It becomes a great soul to shake off such vain terrors: Don't you know, that Heaven guards in a peculiar manner the lives of kings, and that their fate does not depend on the caprice of mortal men.”
ON KEEPING A SECRET.
And let not wine nor anger wrest
T "HE art of keeping a secret is a very necessary virtue in a man, for
which reason the Ancients painted in their ensigns the figure of a Minautour to signify, (as it was related of that monster who was concealed in a very decent and retired labyrinth) that in the same manner, the counsel of a great man (principally a secretary of state, and a chief of an army) ought to be held the most sacred possible, and not without a reason, since the best schemes are put in execution before the enemy can get intelligence of them-Should they be discovered before execution, other projects must be embraced; for they become more dangerous to the authors, than to the persons they were intended against.--There is nothing more rude and uncivil in any man, than to desire to know the secrets of anothe? ; if we are desirous to keep them, it requires our utmost care so to do-If he comes with a design to be. tray us, it is downright treachery-we ought to be as much on our guard against a man who demands our secret, as against a highways robber who demands our money.