Imágenes de páginas

these different faculties, or ways of acting; that it may be endowed with several latent faculties, which it is not at present in a condition to exért; that we cannot believe the soul is endowed with any faculty which is of no use to it; that whenever any one of these faculties is transcendently pleased, the soul is in a state of happiness; and in the last place, considering that the happiness of another world is to be the happiness of the whole mán; who can question but that there is an infinite variety in those pleasures we are speaking of; and that this fulness of joy will be made up of all those pleasures which the nature of the soul is capable of receiving?

5. When the gay and smiling aspect of things has begun to leave the passages to a man's heart thus thoughtlessly unguarded; when kind and caressing looks of every object without, that can flatter his senses, has conspired with the enemy within, to betray him and put him off his defénce; when music likewise hath lent her aid, and tried her power upon the passions; when the voice of singing men, and the voice singing women, with the sound of the viol and the lute, have broke in upon his soul, and in some tender notes have touched the secret springs of rápture,--that moment let us dissect and look into his heart;-see how vain, how weak, how empty a thing it is!

6. Beside the ignorance of masters who teach the first rudiments of reading, and the want of skill, or negligence in that article, of those who teach the learned lánguages; beside the erroneous manner, which the untutored pupils fall into, through the want of early attention in masters, to correct small faults in the beginning, which

increase and gain strength with years; beside bad habits contracted from imitation of particular persons, or the contagion of example, from a general prevalence, of a certain tone or chant in reading or reciting, peculiar to each school, and regularly transmitted from one generation of boys to another: beside all thése, which are fruitful sources of vicious elocution, there is one fundamental error, in the method universally used in teaching to read, which at first gives a wrong bias, and leads us ever after blindfold from the right path, under the guidance of a false rule.

7. The bounding of Satan over the walls of paradise, ́his sitting in the shape of a cormorant upon the tree of lífe, which stood in the centre of it, and overtopped all the other trees in the garden; his alighting among the herd of ánimals, which are so beautifully represented as playing about Adam and E've; together with his transforming himself into different shapes, in order to hear their conversation, are circumstances, that give an agreeable surprise to the reader, and are devised with great art, to connect that series of adventures, in which the poet has engaged this artifice of fraud.

; or

8. To find the nearest way from truth to trúth from purpose to effect: not to use more instruments where fewer will be sufficient; not to move by wheels and levers, what will give way to the naked hánd, is the great proof of a healthful and vigorous mind, neither feeble with helpless ignorance nor overburdened with unwieldy knowledge.

9. A guilty or a discontented mind, a mind, ruffled by ill fortune, disconcerted by its own pássions, soured

by néglect, or fretting at disappointments, bath not leisure to attend to the necessity or reasonableness of a kindness desired, nor a taste for those pleasures which wait on beneficence, which demand a calm and unpolluted heart to rèlish them.

10. "I perfectly remember, that when Calidius prosecuted Q. Gallius for an attempt to poison hím, and pretended that he had the plainest proofs of it, and could produce many letters, witnesses, informations, and other evidences to put the truth of his charge beyond a doubt, interspersing many sensible and ingenious remarks on the nature of the críme; I remember," says Cicero, "that when it came to my turn to reply to him, after urging every argument which the case itself suggested, I insisted upon it as a material circumstance in favour of my clíent that the prosecutor, while he charged him with a design against his life, and assured us that he had the most indubitable proofs of it then in his hands, related his story with as much ease, and as much calmness and indifference, as if nothing had happened."-"Would it have been possible," exclaimed Cicero, (addressing himself to Calídius,)" that you should speak with this air of unconcern, unless the charge was purely an invention of your ówn?—and, above all, that you, whose eloquence has often vindicated the wrongs of other people with so much spirit, should speak so coolly of a crime which threatened your life?"

11. France and England may each of them have some reason to dread the increase of the naval and military power of the other; but for either of them to envy the internal happiness and prosperity of the other,


the cultivation of its lands, the advancement of its manufactures, the increase of its cómmerce, the security and number of its ports and harbors, its proficiency in all the liberal arts and scíences, is surely beneath the dignity of two such great nations.

12. To acquire a thorough knowledge of our own hearts and characters, to restrain every irregular inclinátion,—to subdue every rebellious pássion,-to purify the motives of our conduct,-to form ourselves to that temperance which no pleasure can sedúce,-to that meekness which no provocation can rúffle,-to that patience which no affliction can overwhelm, and that integrity which no interest can shake; this is the task which is assigned to us,--a task which cannot be performed without the utmost diligence and care.

13. The beauty of a pláin, the greatness of a mountain, the ornaments of a building, the expression of a pícture, the composition of a discóurse, the conduct of a third pérson, the proportions of different quantities and númbers, the various appearances which the great machine of the universe is perpetually exhibiting, the secret wheels and springs which prodúce them, all the general subjects of science and taste, are what we and our companions regard as having no peculiar relation to either of us.

14. Should such a man, too fond to rule alóne,
Bear, like the Turk, no bróther near the throne,
View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rise;
5 Damn with faint práise, assent with civil léer,
And without sneering teach the rést to sneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,

[ocr errors]

Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend,
A tim'rous foe, and a suspicious friend;
Dreading even fools, by Flatterers besiég❜d,
10 And so obliging, that he ne'er oblíg'd;
Like Cato, give his little senate laws,
And sit attentive to his own applause ;
While Wits and Templars every sentence ráise,
And wonder with a foolish face of praise--

15 Who but must làugh, if such a man there be?
Who would not weep, if `ATTICUS were he!

15. For these reasons, the senate and people of A'thens, (with due veneration to the gods and heroes, and guardians of the Athenian city and territory, whose aid they now implore; and with due attention to the virtue of their ancestors, to whom the general liberty of Greece was ever dearer than the particular interest of their own státe) have resolved that a fleet of two hundred vessels shall be sent to sea, the admiral to cruise within the straits of Thermopylæ.

As to my own abilities in spéaking, (for I shall admit this charge, although experience hath convinced me, that what is called the power of eloquence depends for the most part upon the hearers, and that the characters of public speakers are determined by that degree of favour which you vouchsafe to each,) if long practice, I say, hath given me any proficiency in speaking, you have ever found it devoted to my country.*

* I have not thought it necessary to give examples of the cases in which emphasis requires the falling slide at the close of a parenthesis.

« AnteriorContinuar »