Imágenes de páginas

he may intercept the hopes of the rifing generation, and fpread fnares for the foul with more dexterity?-Rambler.


MEN of a paffionate temper are fometimes not without understanding or virtue; and are therefore not always treated with the feverity which their neglect of the eafe of all about them might juftly provoke. They have obtained a kind of prefcription for their folly; and are confidered, by their companions, as under a predominant influence that leaves them not masters of their conduct or language-as acting without confcioufnefs, and rufhing into mischief with a mift before their eyes. They are therefore pitied rather than cenfured: and their fallies are paffed over, as the involuntary blows of a man agitated by the fpafms of a convulfion.

It is furely not to be obferved without indignation, that men may be found, of minds mean enough to be fatisfied with this treatment; wretches, who are proud to obtain the privilege of madmen, and can, without fhame, and without regret, confider themfelves as receiving hourly pardons from their companions, and giving them continual opportunities of exercifing their patience and boafting their clemency.-Rambler.

NOTHING is more despicable, or more miferable, than the old age of a paffionate man. When the vigor of youth fails him, and his amufements pall with frequent repetition, his occafional rage finks, by decay of ftrength, into peevishness; that peevifhnefs, for want of novelty and variety, becomes habitual; the world falls off from around him; and he is left, as Homer expreffes it, to devour his own heart, in folitude and contempt.-Ibid.

OUR natures are fo perverfe and corrupt, that it is very hard for us to give a loose to any angry paffion against men, without running into fome fentiments of malice or revenge, and thereby finning against God. Our anger is very apt to kindle about trifles, or upon mere fufpicion, without juft caufe; or fometimes rifes too high, where the cause may be just; or it continues too long, and turns into hatred: and in either of these three cafes, it becomes finful.

It is therefore with the utmoft caution that this paffion fhould ever be fuffered to arife; and unless we quickly suppress it again, we fall be in great danger of bringing guilt upon our fouls. The bleffed apoftle therefore connects the permiflion, the caution, and refraint together, Eph. iv. 26. "Be angry,


and fin not; let not the fun go down upon your wrath.".

[blocks in formation]

MOUNT Ætna thence we spy,

Known by the fmoaky flames that cloud the fky.
By turns, a pitchy cloud fhe rolls on high;
By turns, hot embers from her entrails fly,
And flakes of mounting flames that lick the fky.
Oft from her bowels maffy rocks are thrown,
And, fhiver'd by the force, come piecemeal down:
Oft liquid lakes, of burning fulphur, flow,
Fed from the fiery fprings that boil below.
Enceladus, they fay, tranfix'd by Jove,
With blafted wings came tumbling from above;
And where he fell, th' avenging father diew
This flaming hill, and on his body threw ;
As often as he turns his weary fides,


He shakes the folid ifle, and fmoke the heavens hides.-Dryden.


IN fair weather when my heart is cheered, and I feel that exaltation of fpirits which refults from light and warmth, joined with a beautiful profpect of nature, I regard myself as one placed by the hand of God in the midft of an ample theatre, in which the fun, moon, and stars, the fruits alfo, and vegetables of the earth, perpetually changing their pofitions or their afpects, exhibit an elegant entertainment to the understanding as well as to the eye.

Thunder and lightning, rain and hail, the painted bow, and the glaring comets, are decorations of this mighty theatre : and the fable hemisphere, ftudded with fpangles, the blue vault at noon, the glorious gildings and rich colours in the horizon, I look on as fo many fucceffive fcenes.

When I confider things in this light, methinks it is a fort. of impiety, to have no attention to the courfe of nature, and the revolutions of the heavenly bodies. To be regardless of thofe phenomena that are placed within our view, on purpose to entertain our faculties, and difplay the wifdom and power of their Creator, is an affront to providence, of the fame kind, (I hope it is not impious to make fuch a fimile) as it would be to a good poet, to fit out his play without minding the plot or beauties of it.


And yet how few are there who attend to the drama of nature, its artificial structure, and thofe admirable machines, whereby the paffions of a philofopher are gratefully agitated, and his foul affected with the fweet emotions of joy and furprise!

How many are to be found, who are ignorant that they have all this while lived on a planet; that the fun is feveral thousand times bigger than the earth; and that there are feveral other worlds within our view, greater and more glorions than our own! Ay, but fays fome illiterate fellow, I enjoy the world, and leave others to contemplate it. Yes, you eat and drink, and run about it; that is, you enjoy it as a brute: but to enjoy it as a rational being, is to know it, to be fenfible of its greatnefs and beauty, to be delighted with its harmony, and by thefe reflections to obtain juft fentiments of the Almighty mind that framed it.

The man, who, unembarraffed with vulgar cares, leifurely attends to the flux of things in heaven and on earth, and cbferves the laws by which they are governed, hath secured to himself an eafy and convenient feat, where he beholds with pleasure all that paffes on the flage of nature; while thofe about him are, fome fait afleep, and others ftruggling for the highest places, or turning their eyes from the entertainment prepared by providence, to play at pufh-pin with one another.

Within this ample circumference of the world, the glorious lights that are hung on high, the meteors in the middle region, the various livery of the earth, and the profufion of good things that diftinguish the feafons, yield a profpect which annikilates all human grandeur.-Guardian.


IN the condition of men, it frequently happens, that grief and anxiety lie hidden under the golden robes of profperity; and the gloom of calamity is cheered by fecret radiations of hope and comfort; as in the works of nature, the bog is fometimes covered with flowers, and the mine concealed in the barren crags.—Rambler.


WHEN a government flourishes in conquefts, and is fecure from foreign attacks, it naturally falls into all the pleafures of luxury and as thefe pleafures are very expenfive, they put thofe who are addicted to them upon raifing freth fupplies money, by all the methods of rapacioufuefs and corruptic..



fo that avarice and luxury often become one complicated principle of action, in those whofe hearts are wholly fet upon eafe, magnificence, and pleasure. The most elegant and correct of all the Latin hiftorians obferves, that in his time, when the most formidable states in the world were fubdued by the Romans, the republic funk into those two vices, of a quite different nature, luxury and avarice; and he accordingly defcribes Catiline as one who coveted the wealth of other men, at the fame time that he fquandered away his own. This obfervation on the commonwealth, when it was in the height of power and riches, holds good in all governments that are fettled in a flate of ease and profperity. At fuch times, men naturally endeavour to outfhine one another in pomp and fplendor; and having no fears to alarm them from abroad, indulge themselves in the enjoyment of all they can get in their poffeffion; which naturally produces avarice, and an immoderate purfuit after wealth and riches.-Spedator.


DEEP was the cave; and, downward as it went,

From the wide mouth, a rocky rough descent.
And here th' accefs a gloomy grove defends,
And there th' unnavigable lake extends,
O'er whofe unhappy waters, void of light;
No bird prefumes to fteer his airy flight:
Such deadly ftenches from the depth arife,
And fteaming fulphur that infects the fkies.

From hence the Grecian bards their legends make,
And give the name Avernus to the lake.-Dryden.


I DO remember an apothecary,

And hereabouts he dwells-whom late I noted,
In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows,
Culling of fimples. Meagre were his looks;
Sharp mifery had worn him to the bones;
And in his needy fhop, a tortoife hung,
An alligator ftuff'd, and other fkins
Of ill-map'd fishes; and about his shelves,
A beggarly account of empty boxes,

Green earthen pots, bladders, and mufty feeds,

Remnants of pack-thread; and old cakes of rofes,

[ocr errors]

Were thinly fcatter'd, to make up a fhew.-Shakespeare.


OUR attachment to every object around us, increases, in general, from the length of our acquaintance with it. I would not choofe, fays a French philofopher, to fee an old poft pulled up, with which I had been long acquainted. A mind long habituated to a certain fet of objects, infenfibly becomes fond of feeing them; vifits them from habit, and parts from them with reluctance. From hence proceeds the avarice of the old in every kind of poffeffion. They love the world, and all that it produces; they love life, and all its advantages; not because it gives them pleasure, but because they have known it long. Goldfmith.

[ocr errors]


AS a trader, who never places his goods in his fhop or warehouse in a regular order, nor keeps the accounts of his buying and felling, paying and receiving, in a juft method, is in the utmost danger of plunging all his affairs into confufion and ruin; fo a ftudent, who is in search of truth, or an author or teacher, who communicates knowledge to others, will very much obftru&t his defign, and confound his own mind, or the minds of his hearers, unless he range his ideas in just order. If we would, therefore, become fuccefsful learners or teachers, we must not conceive things in a confufed heap, but difpofe our ideas in fome certain method, which may be moft eafy and ufeful both for the understanding and memory.-Watts.


THE beft prefervative of health is temperance, which has thofe particular advantages above all other means to attain it, that it may be practifed by all ranks and conditions, at any feafon, or in any place. It is a kind of regimen, into which every man may put himself without interruption to business, expenfe of money, or lofs of time. If exercife throw off all the fuperfluities, temperance prevents them: if exercise clear the velfels, temperance neither fatiates nor overftrains them: if excrcife raife proper ferments in the humours, and promote the circulation of the blood, temperance gives nature her full play, and enables her to exert herself in all her force and vigour if exercife diffipate a growing diftemper, temperance ftarves it.

Nature delights in the most plain and fimple diet: every animal but man keeps to one difh. Herbs are the food of this

« AnteriorContinuar »