« AnteriorContinuar »
The following incidents are recorded of him in ancient history:
1. When LENTULUS spit in the face of Cato, while the latter was pleading a cause in the forum, he quietly wiped it away, and said, “I will affirm before all men, O LENTULUS, that they are deceived who deny that thou hast (os) a mouth.'
There was a proverb among the Romans, that he had no (os) face, who was not ashamed to commit any action, however gross. In this saying, Cato intended a play upon the Latin word os, which bears the twofold meaning of mouth and face; mouth being its exact signification, while face is licensed by the figure of synechdoche, or the substitution of a part for the whole, and vice versa. It is a tolerable instance of the ready wit of that distinguished character, and especially in a moment when he was called to exercise the greatest patience. How differently would such an affair have terminated with many in this country, in circumstances similar to those of САто. He acted that part which a true Christian would; but too many of our countrymen would, under a foolish idea, or pretence, of preserving their honour, have done what is entirely inexcusable in those to whom the injunction has been given, “ Thou shalt do no murder.” In the days of Cato, arms
ere entirely reserved for the expulsion of a common foe, and the defence of the State; but in these enlightened days, if the public channels of communication do not lie, and men's eyes do not deceive them, they are too frequently made the instruments of premeditated homicide. 66 Shall I not visit for these things ? saith the Lord; and shall not my
soul be avenged on such a nation aş this ?"
2. Cato used to express his surprise, that a soothsayer did not smile as often as he met with one of his fraternity, in the exercise of their art; for he thought every kind of divination an imposture, palmed upon the ignorance of the public.
Although soothsayers are able to preserve their
gravity while in the presence of such as are unacquainted with their art, yet it is certain that they make sufficiently merry at the popular expense, when assembled by themselves. What a lamentable reflection, that impostors of this kind are yet so far from being exterminated, that even now there is scarcely a town or hamlet in England, in which some soi-disant foreteller of events does not exist! Many are the ways in which they pretend to get an insight into futurity ; but I -will only mention three as examples. Some give out that, in the various disposition of a pack of cards, they can discover the principal events that shall occur in the future life of the applicant. Others attest that they can trace, in the wrinkles of a person's hand, the windings his future fate. And a third class, still more presumptuous, pretend to a charm which operates, without any visible or external sign, in producing immediate revelation. Thus, by the impudent deceptions of these wicked persons, many a promising youth and maiden are beguiled of their money; and having been taught to expect what they seldom or never realize, frequently languish under the disappointment, till, at length, they fall into an early grave, the victims of others’ delusion, and the martyrs of their own credulity.
I knew a young lady, of a very respectable family, who was induced to believe in the ability of these agents of Satan to remove the veil that covers futurity, and who applied to one of them for the disclosure of her future fortune. The woman taught the poor girl to expect, that at a certain time, a gentleman, of immense wealth, would arrive from the West Indies, and, seeing her, would become enamoured of her, and at last marry her. The time arrived, but no West Indian planter. Another and another year passed over without any part of the prediction being fulfilled ; and though, for a long time, Miss Cwas buoyed up by the idea that she might have mistaken the year which was specified, as that in which the consummation of her happiness would occur, she,
at length, fell into despair, and has not returned to herself to this day. What a lamentable evil is this !
3. 66 When Caro beheld the statues of certain men about to be erected, he exclaimed, “I would rather that men should inquire concerning me, why is there not, than why is there a statue erected to Cato?'meaning, no doubt, that the astonishment of those who knew that he deserved such a memorial, when one was not erected to him, would be most gratifying to his feelings."
This is a certain mark of a superior mind; for the most durable und worthy statue that a man can have to perpetuate his memory, is the good opinion of competent judges who survive him. Such a statue, by the uprightness and morality of his conduct, Cato raised to himself; and his name has been handed down among the most illustrious men of the age in which he appeared.
AWFUL JUDGMENT ON A LIAR. The following awful instance of the judgment of the Almighty, may have a good influence on the minds of your juvenile readers, in forming them to a love of truth. Its authenticity may be relied on.
It is a general practice for persons in easy circumstances to make presents to their servants and workmen on each return of the Christmas festival. A few years ago, a man, who, with several others, worked for the same master, received the donation of half a crown, to be divided equally with his fellow workmen, from a quarter whence they usually obtained that sum. The man did not acquaint them with his having received it; and, being questioned on the subject, denied it. His denial was not received : and he, designing to exculpate himself from the charge, lifting up his right hand in the midst of them, said, that he wished it. might rot off, if he had received the money. The circumstance was passed over by the workmen ; but that God whose all-searching eye tries the heart, and
who heard the impious wish, did not forget. One night, very shortly afterwards, while this wicked man was in bed, his hand literally rotted off, just above the wrist. 66 Verily, there is a God that judgeth righteously.” “The wicked shall not always go unpunished.” London, Dec. 22, 1821.
THE NOBLE TAR:
The following instance of noble sentiment and conduct, in a British sailor, is taken from SPILSBURY'S " Picturesque Scenery in the Holy Land and Syria.”
“DANIEL BRYAN was an old seaman, of Sir SIDNEY Smith's ship Le Tigre : he had made repeated applications to be employed on shore during the siege of Acre ; but being elderly, and rather deaf, his request was not acceded to. At the first storming of the breach, one of the French Generals fell: the Turks struck off the head, stripped and mangled the body, and left it a prey to the dogs. Dan frequently asked his messmates, when they returned from the shore, why they had not buried him ;--but the only reply he received, was, “Go and do it yourself.” He said he would ; and having at length obtained leave to go and see the town, he went ashore with the surgeon. He provided a pick-axe, shovel, and rope ; and insisted upon being let down from an embrazure, close to the breach. Some of his more juvenile companions offered to attend him: “No," he replied, “ you are too young to be shot yet ; as for me, I am old and deaf, and my loss would be no great matter.” In the midst of the firing he was fowered down; and his first difficulty, not a very trivial one, was to drive away the dogs. The French then levelled their pieces at him ; but a French officer, perceiving his intention, was seen-to throw himself across the ranks :-a solemn silence prevailed; and the worthy fellow.consigned the corpse to its parent earth. He was then hoisted into the town, and the hostile firing re-commenced. VOL. VI.
A few days afterwards, Sir SIDNEY Smith, having been informed of the circumstance, ordered Dan to be called into the cabin. « Well, Dan, I hear you have buried the French General.” Yes, your Honour." “ Had you any body with you ?”—66 Yes, your Ho
Why, MR. SPILSBURY says you had not." " But I had, your Honour,” 66 Ah, who had you?” “God Almighty, Sir.” “A very good assistant, indeed ? Give old Dan a glass of grog.”.
66 Thank your Honour." Dan drank his grog, and left the cabin highly gratified. Afterwards he became a pensioner in the Royal Hospital at Greenwich.”
What a lustre issues from the sparkling gem of humanity; whether exercised by a Roman Patrician, a Grecian Lawgiver, an English Admiral, or a British Tar. I admire the conduct both of the one and the other : Dan for the humane act, even towards the remains of an enemy: and SIR SIDNEY Smith for applauding it. Kettering.
LONDON AND BLACKFRIARS BRIDGES.
&c. that then passed over the above bridges, in a given day.
Bridge. Foot passengers
.89,640.... 61,069 Waggons
533 Carts and Drays ...,
2,924.. Coaches ....
1,240. Gigs and Taxed Carts ...... Horses
990 500 822
in spinning, exceeds all former, times; for a thread nearly 270 miles long, that would reach from Manchester to Calais in France, through London, is drawn so fine as to weigh only 16 ounces, or one pound.
Five hundred pieces of calico have been known to