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portionably more species of bats, armadilloes, rats and mice, the unau, the ai, swarms of insects, amphibia, toads, lizards, and the like. Any one may conceive what influence this must have on the history of man.
4. In regions where the powers of nature are most active, where the heat of the sun is combined with regular winds, great inundations, violent explosions of the electric fluid, and in short with every thing in nature, that produces life, and is called vivifying ; we find the strongest, largest, boldest, and most perfect animals, as well as the most aromatic plants. Africa has its herds of elephants, zebras, deer, apes, and buffaloes : in it the lion, the tiger, the crocodile, the hippopotamus, appear in full force: the loftiest trees shoot up into the air, adorned with the richest, juiciest, and most useful fruits. Every man knows how Asia abounds in plants and animals; and they are most abundant where the electric power of the sun, the air, the earth, is most copious. On the contrary, where this operates more feebly and irregularly, as in cold countries, or where it is repelled or confined in water, lixivious salts, or damp woods; those creatures, to the formation of which the free play of electricity is requisite, scem never to be developed. Sluggish heat combined with moisture produces swarms of insects and amphibia; not those wondrous forms of the old world, that glow with vivid fire. The muscular force of the lion, the spring and eye of the tiger, the acute sagacity of the elephant, the delicacy of the antelope, and the malicious cunning of the African or Asiatic ape, are unknown to every beast of the new world. Among these one seems to have disengaged himself with difficulty from the warm slime, another wants teeth; of one the feet and claws are defective, of another the tail; and most are deficient in size, courage, and swiftness. Those that inhabit the mountains are more animated; but they equal not the beasts of the old world, and in the coriaceous or scaly frames of most the electric stream is evidently wanting.
5. Finally, it is probable, that there are still greater singularities to be observed in animals, than those we have already remarked in plants: their oft unnatural qualities, for instance, and slow familiarization to a foreign and antipodal climate. The American bear, described by Linné,* observed the day and night of America even in Sweden. From midnight till noon he slept, and from noon till midnight he rambled, as if it were his American day: thus with his other instincts retaining his native division of time. Is not this remark applicable to others, from different regions of the earth, from the eastern or southern hemispheres? and if this change hold good with respect to beasts, shall man, not withstand ing his peculiar character, be exempt from it?
* Transactions of the Swedish academy of sciences, vol. IX. P. 300.
PRESENCE OF MIND.
GONSALOO, the great captain, as he is called, was a man of great presence of mind.
When in some meeting amongst his troops, one of the soldiers presented his halbert to his breast, he gently turned it aside with his hand: “ Comrade," said he, “ take care that in playing with that weapon, you do not wound your
LORD CHESTERFIELD gives a good direction in reading his tory, viz. to read some short general history of a country; to mark the curious and interesting periods, such as revolutions in the government, religion, laws, &c. then to consult the larger histories for full information as to them.
It is well observed by Hume, that in reading history, trivial incidents, which shew the manners of the age, are often more instructive, as well as entertaining, than the great transactions of wars and negociations, which are nearly similar in all periods and in all countries of the world.
"I never had the happiness," said the Blind Man in the Princess Palatine's dream, “ to behold the light and the glories of the firmament, nor can I form to myself the least idea of the transcendent beauties I have often heard mentioned. Such is my condition; and from my situation let all presumptuous beings learn that many very excellent and wonderful things exist, which escape human knowledge.”
EMPLOYMENT. EMPLOYMENT is the best cure for grief; as Tacitus tells us of. Agricola, that when he had lost his son, in luctu bellum inter remedia erat, he resorted to a war as a remedy against grief.
Anxiety and melancholy are best dispelled and kept at a distance by employment. On the day before the battle of Pharsalia, Plutarch tells us, when dinner was ended in the camp, while others either went to sleep, or were disquieting their minds with apprehensions concerning the approaching battle, Brutus employed himself in writing till the evening, composing an epitome of Polybius.
Chearfulness is the daughter of employment, and I have known a man come home in high spirits from a funeral, merely because he had had the management of it. AA 2
In former times, when Lord Keeper North applied close to his studies and spent his days in his chamber, he was subject to the spleen, and apprehensive of many imaginary diseases, and by way of prevention he went thick clad, wore leather skull-caps, and inclined much to physic. But now, when he was made Attorney, General, and business flowed in upon him, his complaints vanish, ed, and his skull-caps were destined to lie in a drawer and receive his money,
IDLENESS, BISROP CUMBERLAND being told by some of his friends that he would wear himself out by intense application, replied, “ It is better to wear out than to rust out.'
Idleness is the most painful situation of the mind, as standing still, according to Galen, is of the body.
Rousseau, in his Confession, says, “In my opinion, idleness is no less the pest of society than of solitude. Nothing contracts the mind, nothing ingenders trifles, tales, backbitings, slanders, and falsities, so much as being shut up in a room opposite each other, reduced to no other occupation than the necessity of continual chattering. When every one is employed, they speak only when they have something to say; but if you are doing nothing, you must absolutely talk incessantly, and this of all constraints
is the most troublesome, and the most dangerous. I dare go even far. ther, and maintain, that to render a circle truly agreeable, every one must be not only doing something, but something which requires a little attention.” Calvin is said to have composed 2023 sermons,
He either wrote or dictated during the whole of his last illness; and when his friends requested him to remain quiet and to do nothing, he used to say, “What, would you have the Lord come and surprise me in my idleness p!"
Bossuet, before he sat down to compose a sermon, read a chapter in the prophet Isaiah, and another in Rodriguez's tract on Christian perfection. The former fired his genius, the latter filled his heart.
Dominichino, the famous painter, never offered to touch his pencil till he found a kind of enthusiasm or inspiration upon him.
Patrons are but too apt to reward their authors with compliments, when they want bread. Sorbiere being treated in this manner by his friend, Pope Clement IX. is said to have complained in the following humourous terms: “ Most holy Father, you give ruffles to a man who is without a shirt."
Valesius used to say, he learned more from borrowed books than from his own; because, not having the same opportunity of reviewing them, he read them with more care,
“ To read while eating (says Rousseau) was always my fancy, in default of a tête-à-tête. Tis the supplement to society I want. I alternately devour a page and a piece: 'tis as if my book dined with me.'
Lord Orrery (Dr, Bentley's antagonist) was fond of two sorts of company: He either improved himself by conversing with men of real genius and learning, or else diverted himself with those in whose composition there was a mixture of the odd and ridiculous; the foibles of such he would touch with a delicacy and tenderness that prevented any offence from being taken even by the parties themselves, who enjoyed the humour, and joined in the laugh, as heartily as the rest of the company.
Every man has a certain manner and character in writing and speaking, which he spoils by a too close and servile imitation of another; as Bishop Felton, an imitalor of Bishop Andrews, observed, “ I had almost marred my own natural trot by endeavouring to imitate his artificial amble.”
It was a rule with Archbishop Williams to give himself some recreation before he sate down to compose, and that in proportion to the importance of the composition. (His Life in Lloyd's Wor, thies.] Dr. H. More, after finishing one of his most laborious and painful works, exclaimed, “Now for these three months I will neither think a wise thought, nor speak a wise word, nor do an ill thing."
As men are preferred, their zeal and diligence often remit instead of increasing. Urban III. thus inscribed a letter to Archbishop Baldwin, * Monacho ferventissimo, Abbati calillo, Episcopo tepido, Archiepiscopo remisso.” Most fervent as a monk, warm as an abbot, lukewarm as a bishop, cold as an archbishop.
When Bishop Andrews first became Bishop of Winton, a distant relation, a blacksmith, applied to him to be made a gentleman; that is, to be ordained and provided with a benefice. “ No, (said the bishop) you shall have the best forge in the county; but, every man in his own order and station."
LUTHER. This intrepid reformer was of so violent a temper that the gentle Melancthor used to say, that he had often received some pretty hard slaps on the face from him.
Erasmus said of him, that God had bestowed upon mankind so violent a physician, in consequence of the magnitude of their diseases.
Luther's person was so imposing, that an assassin, who had gained admittance into his chamber to pistol him, declared that he was so terrified at the dignity and sternness of his manner,
and at the vivacity and penetration which sparkled in his eyes, that he was impelled to desist from his horrid purpose.
LORD CHIEF JUSTICE HOLT. Lord Chief Justice Holt, who was very wild in his youth, was once out with some of his raking companions on a journey into the country: they had spent all their money, and after many consultations what to do, it was resolved that they should part company, and try their fortune separately. Holt got to an inn at the end of a straggling village, and putting a good face on the matter, ordered his horse to be well taken care of, called for a room, bespoke a supper, and looked after his bed. He then strolled into the kitchen, where he saw a lass about thirteen years old shivering with an ague: he enquired of his landlady, a widow, who the girl was, and how long she had been ill. The good woman told bin that she was her daughter, an only child, and that she had been ill near a year, notwithstanding all the assistance she could procure from physic, at an expence which had almost ruined her. He shook his head at the doctors, and bade the woman be under no farther concern, for that her daughter should never have another fit. He then wrote a few unintelligible words in court hand, on a
of parchment which had been the directions to a hamper, and rolling it up, ordered that it should be bound upon the girl's wrist, and remain there till she was well. As it happened, the ague returned no more, and Holt having continued there a week, 210w called for his bill with as much courage as if his pockets had been filled with gold. “Ah! God bless you," says the old woman, “ you're nothing in my debt, l'am sure; I wish I was able to pay you for the cure you have performed upon my daughter, and if I had had the happiness to see you ten months ago, it would have saved me forty pounds in my pocket.” Holt, after some altercation, accepted of his week's accommodation as a gratuity, and rodc away.
It happened, that many years afterwards, when he was one of the Judges of the King's Bench, he went a circuit into the same county, and among other criminals whom he was appointed to try, there was an old woman that was charged with witchcraft: to support this charge, several witnesses swore that she had a spell, with which she could either cure such cattle as were sick, or destroy those that were well: in the use of this spell they said she had been lately detected, and it having been seized upon her, was ready to be produced in court: the Judge then desired it might be handed up to him : it appeared to be a dirty ball, covered with rags, and bound many times round with packthread : these coverirgs be removed with great deliberation one after another, and at last found a piece of parchment, which he knew to be the same that he had used as an expedient to supply his want of money, At the recollection of this incident he changed colour, and sat silent; at length recollecting himself, hic addressed the jury to this