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reception among his Brethren of the Profession than after so long as absence from it he could have expected.
His Love for Classic Literature and for the French and Italian forsook him not: and dismiss'd from his Public Duties hereturn'd to Poetry, which those Duties had in a great measure oblig'd him to relinquish; and to the cultivation of Flowers and Plants, and the contemplation of the Heavens. About two years back he adopted that side in the Gentleman's Magazine and Monthly Mirror &c. which considers the 18th Century as having terminated 31 Dec. 1800: an opinion long combated, but at length generally admitted.
On the 10th of Mar. in the present Year, he was married at St. Bennet's, Cambridge, to Miss SARAH WATSON FINCH, 2nd Daughter of Mr. Joseph Finch of Cambridge, Merchant: the Young Lady whose Sonnets have appeared in the Mirror, inwhich also the Marriage was announc'd. From this Union he relies on the continuance of Happiness the most perfect. With a Wife of the most pleasing and ingenuous manners, of Sentiments and Pursuits in Unison with his own, of the utmost sweetness of temper, a most powerful and cultivated mind, and an entire reciprocity of Affection, he has to bless Heaven for the various trials he has sustain'd; and to trust, that her felicity and his own will the more firmly be establish'd by the experience which he has had of Life. None can be more sensible than he ought to be how delicate the Attention due to domestic Happiness, how inestimable the Blessing, and how severe the remorse of neglecting or impairing it. And were he not in such an Union to be permanently happy, he feels that the blame of being otherwise would attach deservedly and most heavily on himself.
But he considers this Era of his Life as distinguish'd by the best and happiest Omens: and is happy that he shall leave the memory of whatever may remain of his Life to an Heart so pure, so enligh ten'd, and so affectionate.
With this elegant, lovely, and accomplish'd, this excellent and most amiable Woman, may he spend his Days! If he has Merits, the World has not a Reward for them equal to this; and whatever his Errors, he has a most powerful and engaging Motive to correct and retrieve them.
12 May 1802.
Idleness is a silent and peaceful quality, that neither raises envy by ostentation, nor hatred by opposition. Dr. Samuel Johnson.
In an age of learning, the desire of being known is so strong in the minds of most men, that the propriety of the means is out of the question, and we listen to the trump of fame, as we do to the report of a cannon, admiring the degree of sound, without considering in what cause it is let off. Now as it is impossible to become famous, unless we learn to excel in some particular pursuit, I have undertaken, Mr. Editor, to see how far it be possible to excel in idleness. I am aware that my competitors are numerous, but if I can succeed in reducing idleness to a science, and induce 19 of our present race of authors to become insignificant by rule, and systematically useless, I hope to be mentioned with a degree of respect in the pages of posterity, for checking the growth of untimely perfection, and arresting the progress of mischievous refinement. Not that it is my intention to deduce from the reputation of modern authors, of whose merit I have a lively sense, and in whose company I have wasted many an elegant hour, in all the luxury of doing something that approaches so near to nothing, and which so eminently combines the languor of indolence, with the listlessness of exertion. We meet with no intricate morality that perplexes the understanding, no brilliant wit that fatigues us with laughter, no descriptive scenery that tires the imagination, but a lazy succession of uninteresting events, that follow each other in the most torpid indifference, and uniform insipidity. But these thoughtless beauties must have been both felt and acknowledged by the dear nonchalance of fashionable readers, and though the merit of these scribblers may be already great in these circles, I could wish them to become more eminently useless, for next to the exquisite idleness of reading their books, is that of not reading at all. As all attainments are acquired only by degrees, so idleness cannot be an immediate transition from industry, but must undergo an intermediate preparation, and nothing is so effectual and elegant a preparative as light reading, which is placed, as it were, like purgatory between earth and heaven. I mention this for the benefit of our youth, who are labouring through life in voluntary toil, and absurdly preferring the bustle of business, to the self dissolving languor of indolent refinement and enlightened
insignificance. I am the more capable of giving instruction in this art, Mr. Editor, as I have lately become a member of a Club of Idlers, established for the express purpose of having no purpose at all! When I first became a member there were a few verbal rules, the tendency of which was to enforce attendance, but I soon convinced them how repugnant they were to the genuine spirit of idleness. They of course have been repealed, and we have had an increase of near a hundred members, and the club was never known to have been in such a flourishing state, as since we have all become too idle to go! We occasionally give private instructions to those who have a desire of joining us, and as we consider melancholy as nothing but discontented idleness, we prefer those of a sombre cast of mind, and we have generally found them more apt in imbibing the spirit of our pleasures. If you have any inclination, Mr. Editor, of becoming further acquainted with our fraturity, I will occasionally transmit you an account of our most eminent members, together with strictures on the use and abuse of idleness.
I don't know the day of the month and am too idle to look.
ON CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.
THE wisdom and bounty of the Almighty creator is in nothing more highly conspicuous than in rendering the amazing strength and docility of domestic animals subservient to the wants and pleasures of mankind. The generous horse, the patient ass, and the faithful dog, contribute most essentially to the well-being of society, and other animals, of inferior consideration, are not without their usefulThat these animals were sent for our care and protection as well as our use, cannot be doubted, and indeed there is a reciprocal duty between a man and the beast he employs. Children seem to have a natural propensity to torture such animals as are within their power, this disposition should be checked as soon as observed, as that which perhaps began through thoughtlessness, or ignorance, may by negligence grow into a vicious habit. I have observed that those persons who behave with cruelty to animals, have, generally speaking, narrow and confined ideas, and act equally tyrannical towards their fellow creatures, whenever it is in their power; this is the vice of the man and not of his education. It is a great misfortune that so many of our countrymen are nursed and brought up in the
very bosom of cruelty; asses are employed in various occupations, and being chiefly attended by boys, who, having before their eyes daily examples of unfeeling barbarity, it cannot be wondered that they become callous to the feelings of pity; the same observation may be applied to the boys employed by drovers, whose wanton barbarity calls for the severest punishment.
The legislature has enjoined that no butcher shall be summoned upon a jury, wisely conceiving that the daily recurrence of scenes of slaughter superinduces an indifference to scenes of horror, and though it is not to be presumed that this trade exclusively and necessarily requires a cruel disposition, yet the law, acting generally, is a good one.
There is a species of cruelty, peculiar to the present times, which calls loudly for legislative interference; I mean the barbarous practice of riding horses far beyond their strength or ability. Several instances have lately occurred where the poor animals have died on the road, or shortly after reaching their destined journey; such men who, for a trifling wager, can so far divest themselves of humanity, deserve not to live in society, but to be hunted like beasts of prey into the desert. A wretch superlatively cruel, because his beast did not perform a more than ordinary long journey within a few seconds of a given time, cut the animal's throat with a clasp knife! This was an undesigned act of humanity, for who will not allow that any state, even death itself, were a happy release from the power of such a monster? These practices excel in cruelty the celebrated bull fights of Spain, which, to the honour of the humanity of that nation, are now nearly discontinued. The disgraceful and inhuman practice of bull-baiting is still prevalent in this country, and notwithstanding the late exertions of a worthy advocate in the cause of humanity, the legislature has refused by any formal act to abolish it. It has been alledged that it would be depriving the lower orders of the people of one of their principal amusements; so the people are to consider the torture of an innocent and defenceless beast, one who labours all his life in the service of mankind, as simply an amusement, and a riotous herd of savages, collected together for the express purpose of enjoying the groans and misery of a tortured animal, an innocent assembly. It is not deemed a subject of sufficient importance to -justify legislative interference, but a little reflection will convince any man, that to regulate the morals and restrain the vicious manners of the people, is the first duty of a legislator, and cannot but reflect honour on the greatest legislative assembly that ever existed.
I am as little inclined as any of the humane and lightened advocates for bull-baiting, to abridge the enjoyments, or circumscribe the pleasures of the poor, or to deprive them of any amusement consistent with their welfare and the welfare of the state; but when cruelty is considered as an amusement, and tacitly legalized by government, we may expect to see the evil increase, and bull-baiting become as fashionable as boxing. What wonder, if instead of the peaceable, sober, quiet, and industrious inhabitants of an humble village, we shall, in the progress of time, see a total degeneracy of manners, an habitual thirst for blood and slaughter, a retrograde movement in arts and civilization, induced by the encouragement held out to continue a cruel sport, at which only the brutal, the idle, and profligate assemble, perhaps the future Robespierres, Dantons, and Legendres of their country.
As a cruel disposition presupposes a depraved understanding and a malignant heart, to check the propensity to cruel sports would be one step towards reforming the manners of the people; for it is an axiom in morals, as well as in politics, that a cruel man cannot be a good subject, nor can a man of humanity be altogether a bad one.
THE TELL TALE.
"Trifles light as air."
KING CHARLES II was reputed a great connoisseur in naval architecture. Being once at Chatham, to view a ship just finished on the stocks, he asked the famous Killigrew, if he did not think he should make an excellent shipwright? Who pleasantly replied, He always thought his majesty would have done better at any trade than his own. No favourable compliment, but as true a one, perhaps, as ever was paid.
FEMALE HEROISM.-In Chelsea Hospital died (in 1739) one Christiana Davis; who first served in the Iniskilling regiment in Ireland; but, receiving a wound in the battle of Aghrim, her sex came to be discovered. She afterwards attended the army in Flanders, and on all occasions signalized her courage, for which she obtained an allowance of rs. a day from this college for life, and was, according to her own desire, buried with the military honours.