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their excellencies, will desire to taste them again; and he who tastes them oftenest, will relish them best.

And now, could the author iatter himself, that any one would take half the pleasure in reading his work, which he has taken in writing it, he would not fear the loss of his labour. The employment detached him from the bustle and hurry of life, the din of politics, and che noise of folly. Vanity and vexation few.away for a season; care and disquietude came out near his dwelling. He arose, fresh as the morning, to his task; the silence of the night invited him to pursue it ; and he can truly say, that food and rest were not preferred before it. "Every psalio improved infinitely upon his acquaintance with it, and no one gave hii uneasiness but the last : for then he grieved that his work was done. Happier hours than those which have been spent in these meditations on the songs of Sion, he des. er expects to see in this world. Very pleasantly did they pass; they moved smoothly and swiftly along : for when thus engaged he counted no time. They are gone; but they have left a relish and a fragrance upon the wind : and the remembrance of them is sweet,




Character of Alfred, Kung of England. The merit of this prince, both in private and in pubtic life, may, with advantage, be set in opposition to that of any moparch or citizen, which the annals of any age, or any nation, can present to us. He seems, indeed, to be the complete model of that perfect character, which, under the depordination of a sage or wise men, the philosophers have been fond of delineating, rather as a fietion of their imagination, than in hopes of ever seeing it reduced to practice : so happily were all his virtues tempered together; so justly were they blended; and so powerfully did each prevent the other froin exceeding its proper bounds.

He knew how to conciliate the most enterprising spirit with the coolest moderation; the most obstinate

perseverance, with the easiest flexibility; the most severe justice, with the greatest lenity; the greatest rg. our in command, with the greatest affability of deportment; the highest capacity and inclination for science, with the most shining talents for action.

Nature also, as if desirous that so bright a production of her skill should be set in the fairest light, had bestowed on him all bodily accomplishments; vigour of limbs, dignity of shape and air, and a pleasant, engaging, and open countenance. By living in that, barbarous


he was deprived of historians worthy to transmit his fame to posterity; and we wish to see him delineated in more lively colours, and with more particular strokes, that we might at least perceive some of those small specks and blemishes, from which, as a man, it is impossible he could be entirely exempted.



Character of Queen Elizabeth. There are few personages in history, who have been more exposed to the valuing of enemies, and the ad. ulation of friends, than queen Elizabeth; and yet there is scarcely any, whose reputation has been more certainly determined by the unanimous consent of posterity. The unusual length of her administration, and the strong features of her character, were able so overcone all prejudices ; and obliging her detrartors to abate nuuch of their invectives, and her admirers somnewhat of their panegyrics, have, at last, in spite of political factiors, and what is more, of religious animosities, produced a uniform judginent with regard to her conduct. Her vigor, her constancy, her magnanimity, her penetration, vigilance, and address, are allowed to merit the highest praises ; and appear not to have been surpassed by any person who ever filled a throne : a condurt less rigorous, less imperious, more sincere, more indulgent to her people, would have been requisite to form a perfect character. By the force of her mind, she controlled all her more active and stronger


qualities; and prevented them from running into ex

Her heroism was exempted from all temerity; her frugality from avarice; her friendship from partial ity; her enterprise from turbulency and a vain ambition. She guarded not herself with equal care, or equal success, from less infirmities; the rivalship of beauty, the desire of admiration, the jealousy of love, and the sallies of anger,

Her singular talents for government, were founded equally on ter temper, and on capacity. Endowed with a great coin inand over herself, she soon obtained an Wicontrolled ascendant over the people. Few sovereigns succeeded to the throne in more diffirult cir. cumstances; and none ever conducted the government with so uniforin success and felirity. Though unacquainted with the practice of toleration, the true secret for managing religious factions, she preserved her people, by her superior prudence, from those confusions in which theological controversy had involved all the neighboring nations; and though her enemies were the most powerful princes of Europe, the most active, the most enterprising, the least scrupulous, she was able, by her vigour, to make deep impressions on their state; her own greatness mean while remaining untouched and unimpaired.

The wise ministers and brave men who flourished during her reigo, share the praise of her success; but instead of lessening the applause due to her, they make great addition to it, They owed, all of them, their advancement to her choice; they were supported by her constancy; and, with all their ability, they were never able to acquire an undue ascendant over her. In her family, in her court, in her kingdom, she remained equally mistress. The force of the tender passions was great over her, but the force of her mind was still superior : and the combat which her victory visibly cost her, serves only to display the firmness of her res. olution, and the loftiness of her ambitious sentiments.

The fame of this princess, though it has surmounted the prejudices, both of faction and of bigotry, yet lies atill exposed to another prejudice, which is more due

rable, because more natural; and which, according to the different views in which we survey her, is capable either of exalting beyond measure, or diminishing, the lustre of her character. This prejudice is founded on the consideration of her sex. When we contemplate ber as a woman, we are apt to be struck with the highest admiration of her qualities and extensive capacity; but we are also apt to require some more softoess of disposition, some greater levity of temper, some of those amiable weaknesses by which her sex is distinguished. But the true metbod of estimating her merit, is, to lay aside all these considerations; and to consider her merely as a rational being, placed in authority, and entrusted with the government of mankind.



The slavery of vice. The slavery produced by vice appears in the de. pendence under which it brings the singer, to circumstances of external fortune. One of the favourite characters of liberty, is the irdependence it bestows. He who is truly a freeman, is above all servile compliances, and abject subjection. He is able to rest upon himself; and while he regards his superiors with proper deference, neither debases himself by cringing to them, por is tempted to purchase their favour by dishonourable means. But the sinner has forfeited every privilege of this nature. His passions and habits render him ad absolute dependent on the world, and the world's favour; op the uncertain goods of fortune, and the fickle humours of men. For it is by these he sub. sists, and among these his happiness is sought; accoraccording as his passions determine him to pursue pieasures, riches, or preferments. Having no fund within himself whence to draw eojoyment, bis only resource is in things without. His hopes and fears all hang upon the world. He partakes in all its vicissitudes; and is moved and shaken by every wiod of for

tune. This is to be, in the strictest sense a slave to the world.

Religion and virtue, on the other hand, confer on the mind principles of noble independence. “The upright man is satisfied for himself.” He despises not the advantages of fortuse, but he centres nct his happiness in them. With a moderate share of them be can be coolented; and contentment is felicity. Happy in his own integrity, conscious of the esteem of good men, reposing firm trust in the providence, and the promises of God, he is exempted from servile depend. ence on other things. He can wrap himself up in a good conscience, and look forward, without terror, to the change of the world. Let all things shift around him as they please, he believes that, by the Divine or. dination, they shall be inade to work together in the issue for his good: and therefore; having much to hope from God, and little to fear from the world, he can be easy in every state. One who possesses within bioself such an establishment of miod, is truly free. But shall I call that man free, who has nothing that is his own, no property assured; whose very heart is pot bis own, but rendered the appendage of external things, and the sport of fortune ? Is that man free, let his out. ward condition be ever so splendid, whom bis imperious passions detained at their call, whom they send forth at their pleasure, to drudge ard toil, and to beg his only enjoyment froin the casualities of the world? Is he free who must ftatter and lie to compass his ends; who must bear with this man's caprice, and that man's scorn; must profess friendship where he hates, and respect where he contemns; who is not at liberty to ap.. pear in his own colours, oor to speak his own sentiments ; who dares pot be honest, lest he should be


Believe it, no chains bind so hard, no fetters are so heavy, as those which fasten the corrupted heart to this treacherous world; po dependence is more contemptable than that under which the voluptuous, the coretous, or the ambitious man, lies to the means of pleasure, gain, or power. Yet this is the boasted liber

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