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Σκοπησαμενος εὑρισκον εδαμώς αν αλλως και τος διαπραξαμενος.
THE world has often heard of fortune-hunters, legacy-hunters, popularity-hunters, and hunters of various descriptions-one diversity, however, of this very extensive species has hitherto eluded public animadversion; I allude to the class of friend-hunters, men who make it the business of their lives to acquire friends, in the hope, thro' their influence, to arrive at some desirable point of ambitious eminence. Of all the mortifications and anxieties to which mankind voluntarily subje& themselves, from the expectation of future benefit, there are, perhaps, none more galling, none more insupportable than those attendant on friend-making.-Shew a man that you court his society, and it is a signal for him to treat you with neglect and contumely. Humour his passions, and he despises you as a sycophant. Pay implicit deference to his opinions, and he laughs at you for your folly. In all he views you with contempt, as the creature of his will, and the slave of his caprice. I remember I once solicited the acquaintance, and coveted the friendship of one man, and, thank God, I can yet say, (and I hope on my death-bed I shall be able to say the same) of ONLY
Germanicus was a character of considerable eminence in the literary world. He had the reputation not only of an enlightened understanding and refined taste, but of openness of heart and goodness of disposition. His name always carried with it that weight and authority which are due to learning and genius in every situation. His manners were polished, and his conversation elegant. In short, he possessed every qualification which could render him an enviable addition to the circle of every man's friends. With such a character, as I was then very young, I could not fail to feel an ambition of becoming acquainted, when the opportunity offered, and in a short time we were upon terms of familiarity. To ripen this familiarity into friendship, as far as the most awkward diffidence would permit, was my strenuous endeavour. If his opinions contradicted mine, I immediately, without reasoning on the subject, conceded the point to him, as a matter of course that he must be right, and by consequence that I must be wrong. Did he utter a witticism, I
was sure to laugh; and if he looked grave, tho' nobody could tell why, it was mine to groan. By thus conforming myself to his humour, I flattered myself I was making some progress in his good graces, but I was soon undeceived. A man seldom cares much for that which cost him no pains no procure. Whether Germanicus found me a troublesome visitor, or whether he was really displeased with something I had unwittingly said or done, certain it is, that when I met him one day, in company with persons of apparent figure, he had lost all recollection of my features. I called upon him, but Germanicus was not at home. Again and again I gave a hesitating knock at the great man's door-all was to no, purpose. He was still not at home. The sly meaning, however, which was couched in the sneer of the servant the last time, that, half ashamed of my errand, I made my enquiries at his house, convinced me of what I ought to have known before-that Germanicus was at home to all the world save me. I believe, with all my seeming humility, I am a confounded proud fellow at bottom; my rage at this discovery, therefore, may be 'better conceived than described. Ten thousand curses did I imprecate on the foolish vanity which led me to solicit the friendship of my superior, and again and again did I vow down eternal vengeance on my head, if I ever more condescended thus to court the acquaintance of man. To this resolution I believe I shall ever adhere. If I am destined to make any progress in the world, it will be by my own individual exertions. As I elbow my way through the crowded vale of life, I will never, in any emergency, call on my selfish neighbour for assistance. If my strength give way beneath the pressure of calamity, I shall sink without his whine of hypocritical condolence: and if I do sink, let him kick me into a ditch, and go about his business. I asked not his assistance while living-it will be of no service to me when dead.
Believe me, reader, whoever thou may'st be, there are few among mortals whose friendship, when acquir'd, will repay thee for the meanness of solicitation. If a man voluntarily holds out his hand to thee, take it with caution. If thou find him honest, be not backward to receive his proffered assistance, and be anxious A real when occasion shall require, to yield to him thine own. friend is the most valuable blessing a man can possess, and, mark me, it is by far the most rare. It is a black swan. But, whatever thou may'st do, solicit not friendship. If thou art young, and would make thy way in the world, bind thyself a seven year's apprentice to a city tallow-chandler, and thou may'st in time come to
be lord mayor. Many people have made their fortunes at a taylor's board. Perriwig makers have been known to buy their country seats, and bellows menders have started their curricles; but seldom, very seldom, has the man who placed his dependance on the friendship of his fellow men, arrived at even the shadow of the honours to which, through that medium, he aspired. Nay, even if thou should'st find a friend ready to lend thee a helping hand, the moment by his assistance thou hast gained some little eminence, he will be the first to hurl thee down to thy primitive, and now, perhaps, irremediable obscurity.
Yet I see no more reason for complaint on the ground of the fallacy of human friendship, than I do for any other ordonnance of nature, which may appear to run counter to our happiness. Man is naturally a selfish creature, and it is only by the aid of philosophy that he can so far conquer the defects of his being, as to be capable of disinterested friendship. Who, then, can expect to find that benign disposition which manifests itself in acts of disinterested benevolence and spontaneous affection, a common visitor? Who can preach philosophy to the mob?*
The recluse, who does not easily assimilate with the herd of mankind, and whose manners with difficulty bend to the peculiarities of others, is not likely to have many real friends. His enjoyments, therefore, must be solitary, lone, and melancholy. His only friend is himself. As he sits immersed in reverie by his midnight fire, and hears without the wild gusts of wind fitfully careering over the plain, he listens sadly attentive; and as the varied intonations of the howling blast articulate to his enthusiastic ear, he converses with the spirit's of the departed, while, between each dreary pause of the storm, he holds solitary communion with himself. Such is the social intercourse of the recluse; yet he frequently feels the soft consolations of friendship. A heart formed for the gentler emotions of the soul, often feels as strong an interest for what are called brutes, as most bipeds affect to feel for each other. Montaigne had his cat; I have read of a man whose only friend was a large spider, and Trenck, in his dungeon, would sooner have lost his right hand, than the poor little mouse, which, grown confident with indulgence, used to beguile the tedious hours of imprisonment with its gambols. For my own part, I believe my dog, who, at this moment, seated on his hinder
* By the word mob here, the author does not mean to include merely the lower classes. In the present acceptation, it takes in a great part of the mob of quality men who are either too ignorant, or too much taken up with base and grovelling pursuits, to have room for any of the more ainiable affections.
legs, is wistfully surveying me, as if he was conscious of all that is passing in my mind :-my dog, I say, is as sincere, and, whatever the world may say, nearly as dear a friend as any I possess ; and, when I shall receive that summons which may not now be far distant, he will whine a funeral requiem over my grave, more piteously than all the hired mourners in Christendom. Well, well, poor Bob has had a kind master of me, and, for my own part, I verily believe there are few things on this earth I shall leave with more regret than this faithful companion of the happy hours of my infancy.
11 Sept: 1802. Lat: 52° 18' nearly. Long: 0 45′ E. of London.
D. H. M.
30" 55 30"
10 44' 46
Penumbra sensible on the 's S. limb.
eclips'd abt. 6 Dig:
Aristarchus clear of the
20′ p. 9, A. M.Š
Alt: 31° 15' nearly.
Alt: 31° 45′ nearly.
Alt: 33° 3 nearly.
The Dark Shadow left
Faint Shad left the , and Eclipse wholly ended.
Observ'd with Matthew Loft's Telescope and another smaller Reflector.
The Watch not very accurate, being corrected by an imperfect observation of the O on the Merid: the Day before.
The Eclipse most beautiful.
No Spots observ'd on the about ro in the forenoon.
Many fine Spots on the O, a large cluster of
2 on the N. W. Limb.
20 D. 21 H. 20 M.
1 very fine Spot, large and well defin'd on the S. E. limb.
Observ'd with Gilbert's compound Sun-Glass: which gives nearly a white image.
seen on Merid: in full sunshine with Matthew Loft's Telescope, and a common Quadrant.
22 Sept: The N. Westerly Spots had disappear'd, though not sufficiently near the edge to be carried out of view by
Another Spot had become visible on the S. E. edge be
hind the former.
seen on the Meridian.
Alt: 38° 30′ nearly. after passing the Meridian. Alt: 36 nearly.
Mercury and Venus may both be expected to be seen as Evening Stars on the 16th of October. will be then about 1 29′′ from the and will be not much above the Horizon near S. by W. at abt. p. 5 in the Evening. This Southern Declination is some hindrance now to seeing him, and will be during great part of his elongation in this and the next Month. Venus will be higher S. W. by S. nearly; a little west of the bright Star in Scorpio.
BOSWELL, in his Memoirs of Dr. Johnson, relates a conversation which passed between him and the Doctor at the Turk's Head Coffee-house, in which the latter, insisting on the duty of maintaining subordination of rank, observed as follows:
"Sir, there is one Mrs. Macaulay in this town, a great republican. One day when I was at her house, I put on a very grave countenance, and said to her, Madam, I am now become a convert to your way of thinking; I am convinced that all mankind are upon an equal footing; and, to give you an unquestionable proof, Madam, that I am in earnest, here is a very sensible, civil, well-behaved fellow-citizen, your footman; I desire that he may be allowed to sit down and dine with us.' I thus, Sir, shewed her the absur dity of the levelling doctine. She has never liked me since."
The story, thus told, turns in favour of the Doctor, but, if we are to credit another relation, which has an equal claim to authenticity, the triumph of the great moralist was less complete than he imagined.