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ment of knowledge. When such a one complains of the shortness of human life in general, or of his remaining share in particular, might not a man more reasonable, though less solemn, expostulate thus with him: Your complaint is indeed consistent with your practice; but you wou d not possibly renew your coinplaint if you reviewed your practice. Though leading makes a scholar, yet every scholar is not a philosopher, nor every philosopher a wise man. It costs you twenty years to devour all the volumes on one side of your library; you came out a great criiic in Latin and Greek, in the oriental tongues, in history and chronology ; but you were not satisfied. You confessed that these were the literce nihil sanantes and you wanted more time to acquire other knowledge. You have had this time; you have passed twenty years more on the other side of your library, among philosophers, rabbis, commentators, schoolmen and whole legions of modern doctors. You are extremely well versed in all that has been written concerning the nature of God, and of the soul of man, about matter and form, body and spirit, and space and eternal essences, and incorporeal substances, and the rest of those profound speculations. You are a master of the controversies that have arisen about nature and grace, abont predestination and freewill, and all the other abstruse questions that have made 80 much noise in the schools, and done so much hurt in the world. You are going on, as fast as the infirmities you have contracted will permit, in the same course of study; but you begin to foresee that you shall want time, and you make grievous complaints of the shortness of human life. Give me leave now to ask you how many thousand years God must prolong your life in order to reconcile you to his wisdom and goodness? It is plain, at least highly probable, that a life as long as that of the most aged of the patriarchs would be too short to answer your purposes; since the researches and disputes in which you are engaged have been already for a much longer time the objects of learned inquiries, and remain still as imperfect and undetermined as they were at first. But let me ask you again, and deceive neither yourself nor me, have you, in the course of these forty years, once examined the first principles and the fundamental facts on which all those questions depend, with an absolute in difference of judgment, and with a scrupulous exactness ? with the same care that you have employed in examining the various consequences drawn from them, and the heterodox opinions about then? Have you not taken them for granted in the whole course of your studies : Or, if you have looked now and then on the state of the proofs brought to maintain them, have you not done it as a mathematician looks over a demonstration formerly made-to refresh his memory, not to satisfy any doubt? If you have thus examined, it may appear marvellous to some that you have spent so much time in mary parts of those studies which have reduced you to this hectic condition of so much heat and weakness. But if you have not thus examined, it must be evident to all, nay, to yourself on the least cool reflection, that you are still, notwithstanding all your learning, in a state of ignorance. For knowledge can alone produce knowledge: and withont such an examination of axioms and facts, you can have none about inferences.'
In this manner one might expostulate very reasonably with many a great scholar, many a profound philosopher, many a dogmatical casuist. And it serves to set the complaints about want of time, and the shortness of human life, in a very ridiculous but a true light.
Pleasures of a Patriot. Neither Montaigne in writing his essays, nor Descartes in building new worlds. nor Burnet in framing an antediluvian earth, no, nor Newton in discovering and establishing the true laws of nature on experiment and a sublimer geometry, felt more intellectual joys, than he feels who is a real patriot, who bends all the force of his understanding, and directs all his thoughts and actions, to the good of his country. When such a man fornis a political scheme, and adjusts various and seemingly independent parts in it to one great and good design, he is transported by imagination, or absorbed in meditation, as much and as agreeably as they; and the satisfaction that arises from the different importance of these objects, in every step of the work, is vastly in his favour. It is here that the speculative philosopher's labour and pleagure end. But he who speculates in order to act, goes on and carries his scheme into execution. His labour continues, it varies, it increases; but so does his pleasure too. The execution, indeed, is often traversed, by unforeseen and untoward circumstances, by i he perverseness or treachery of friends, and by the power or malice of enemies; but the first and the last of these animate, and the docility and fidelity of some men make amends for the perverseness and treachery of others. Whilst & great event is in suspense, the action warms, and the very suspense, made up of hope and fear, maintain no unpleasing agitation in the mind. If the event is decided successfully, such a inan enjoys pleasure proportionable to the good he has done-a pleasure like to that which is attributed to the Supreme Being on a survey of his works. If the event is decided otherwise, and usurping courts or overbearing parties prevail, such a man has still the testimony of his conscience, and a sense of the honour he has acquired, to soothe his mind and support his courage. For although the course of state affairs be to those who meddle in them like a lottery, yet it is a lottery whereiu no good man can be a loser ; he may be reviled, it is true, instead of being applauded, and may suffer violence of many kinds. I will not say, like Seneca, that the noblest spectacle which God can behold is a virtuous man suffering, and struggling with afflictions, but this I will say, that the second Cato, driven out of the forum, and dragged to prison, enjoyed more inward pleasure, and maintained more outward dignity, than they who insulted him, and who triumphed in the ruin of their country.
Wise, Distinguished from Cunning Ministers. We may observe much the same difference between wisdom and cunning, both as to the objects they propose and to the means they employ, as we observe between the visual powers of different men. One sees distinctly the objects that are near to him, their immediate relations, and their direct tendencies: and a sight like this serves well enough the purpose of those who concern themselves no further. The cunning minister is one of those: he neither sees, nor is concerned to see, any further than his personal interests and the support of his administration require. If such a man overcomes any actual difficulty, avoids any immediate distress, or, without doing either of those effectually, gains a little time by all the low artifice which cunning is ready to suggest and baseness of mind to employ, he triumphs, and is flattered by his mercenary train on the great event; which amounts often to no more than this, that he got into distress by one series of faults, and out of it by another. The wise minister sees, and is concerned to see further, because government has a further concern: he sees the objects that are distant as well as those that are near, and all their remote relations, and even their indirect tendencies. He thinks of fame as well as of applause, and prefers that, which to be enjoyed must be given, to that which inay be bought. He considery his administration as a single day in the great year of government; but as a day that is affected by those which went before, and that must affect those which are to follow. He combines, therefore, and compares all these objects, relations, and tendencies; and the judgment he makes on an entire, not a partial survey of them, is the rule of his conduct. That scheme of the reason of state, which lies open before a wise minister, contains all the great principles of government, and all the great interests of his country : so that, as he prepares some events, he prepares against others, whether they bě likely to happen during his administration, or in some future time.
Parts of Pope's · Essay on Man' bear a strong resemblance to passages iu Bolingbroke's treatises. The poet had the priority of publication, but the peer was the preceptor. The principles of Pope on religious subjects were loose and unfixed; Bolingbroke carried him further in his metaphysical speculation than he perceived at the time, and Pope was overjoyed when Warburton came forward with his forced and pedantic commentary, to reconcile the ‘Essay on Man'to Christian doctrine. You understand my system,' he said, better than I do myself.' The system, was the stamina of Bolingbroke's philosophy (which the poet did not fully comprehend) communicated, as the peer happily expresses it, in addressing Pope, in their private
hours—when we saunter alone, or as we have often done, with good Arbuthnot and the jocose Dean of St. Patrick's, among the multiplied scenes of your little garden.'
LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU. Few persons, and especially ladies, have united so much solid sense and learning to wit, fancy, and lively powers of description, as LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU. In epistolary composition she has very few equals, and scarcely a superior. Horace Walpole may be more witty and sarcastic, and Cowper more unaffectedly natural, pure, and delightful; yet if we consider the variety and novelty of the objects described in Lady Mary's letters, the fund of anecdote and observation they display, the just reflections that spring out of them, and the happy clearness and idiomatic grace of her style, we shall hesitate in placing her below any letter-writer that England has yet produced. This accomplished lady was the eldest daughter of the Duke of Kingston, and was born in 1690. She was educated under the superintendence of Bishop Burnet, and in youth was a close student and indefatigable reader. In 1712 she married Mr. Edward Wortley Montagu, and on her husband being appointed a commissioner of the treasury, she was introduced to the courtly and polished circles, and made the friendship of Addison, Congreve, Pope, and the other distinguished literati of that period. Her personal beauty and the charms of her conversation were then unrivalled. In 1716, her husband was appointed ambassador to the Porte, and Lady Mary accompanied him to Constantinople. During her journey and her residence in the Levant, she corresponded with her sister, the Countess of Mar, Lady Rich, Pope, &c., delineating European and Turkish scenery and manners with accuracy and minuteness. On observing among the villagers in Turkey the practice of inoculating for the small-pox, she became convinced of its utility and efficacy, and applied it to her own son, at that time about three years old. By great exertions Lady Mary afterwards established the practice of inoculation in England, and conferred a lasting benefit on her native country and on mankind. In 1718, her husband being recalled from his embassy, she returned to England, and, by the advice of Pope, settled at Twickenham. The rival wits did not long continue friends. Pope wrote high-flown panegyrics and half-concealed love-letters to Lady Mary, and she treated them with silence or ridicule. On one occasion, he is said to have made a tender declaration, which threw the lady into an immoderate fit of laughter, and made the sensitive poet ever afterwards her implacable enemy. Lady Mary also wrote verses, town eclogues, and epigrams, and Pope confessed that she had too much wit for him. The cool self-possession of the lady of rank and fashion, joined to her sarcastic powers, proved an overmatch for the jealous retired author, tremblingly alive to the shafts of ridicule. In 1739, her health having declined, Lady Mary left England and her husband to travel and live abroad. She visited Rome, Naples, &c., and settled at Lovere, in the Venetian territory, whence she corresponded freely and fully with her female friends and relatives.
Mr. Montague died in 1761, and Lady Mary was prevailed upon by her daughter, the Countess of Bute, to return to England. She arrived in October, 1761, but died in the following year. Her letters were first printed surreptitiously in 1763. A more complete edition of her works was published in five volumes in 1803; and another, edited by her great-grandson, Lord Wharncliffe, with additional letters and information, in 1837. A later edition (1861), edited by Mr. Moy Thomas, is still more complete and correct. The letters from Constantinople and France have been printed in various shapes. The wit and talent of Lady Mary are visible throughout the whole of her correspondence, but there is often a want of feminine softness and delicacy. Her desire to convey scandal, or to paint graphically, leads her into offensive details, which the more decorous taste of the present age can hardly tolerate. She described what she saw and heard without being scrupulous; and her strong masculine understanding, and carelessness as to refinement in habits or expressions, render her sometimes apparently unamiable and unfeeling. As models of the epistolary style, easy, familiar, and elegant, no less than as pictures of foreign scenery and manners, and fashionable gossip, the letters of Lady Mary must, however, ever maintain a high place in our national literature. They are truly letters, not critical or didactic essays evlivened by formal compliment and elaborate wit. Some rather objectionable letters, published even in Lord Wharncliffe's edition (vol. ii. pp. 104-121), were assuredly not written by Lady Mary, but are forgeries by John Cleland, son of Pope's friend Major Cleland, a clever unprincipled littérateur, who lived down to the close of the century.
To E. W. Montagu-On Matrimonial Happiness. If we marry, our happiness must consist in loving one another : 'tis principally my concern to think of the most probable method of making that love eternal. You object against living in London ; I am not fond of it myself, and readily give it up to you, though I am assured there needs more art to keep a fondness alive in solitude, where it generally preys upon itself. There is one article absolutely necessary-to be ever beloved, one must be ever agreeable. There is no such thing as being a greeable without a thorough good-humour, a natural sweetness of temper, enlivened by cheerfulness. Whatever natural fund of gaiety one is born with, 'tis necessary to be entertained with agreeable objects. Anybody capable of tasting pleasure, when they confine themselves to one place, should take care 'tis the place in the world the most agreeable. Whatever you may now think-now, perhaps, you have some fondness for me though your love should continue in its full force, there are hours when the most beloved mistress would be troublesome. People are not forever--nor is it in human nature that they should be-disposed to be fond; you would be glad to find in me the friend and the companion. To be agreeably the last, it is necessary to be gay and entertaining. A perpetual solitude, in a place where you see nothing to raise your spirits, at length wears them out, and conversation insensibly falls into dull and insipid. When I have no more to say to you, you will like me no longer. How dreadful is that view! You will reflect, for my sake you have abandoned the conversation of a friend that you liked, and your situation in a country where all
things would have contributed to make your life pa88 in (the true volupté) a smooth tranquillity. I shall lose the vivacity which should entertain you, and you will have nothing to recompense you for what you have lost. Very few people that have settled entirely in the country, but have grown at length weary of one another. The lady's conversation generally falls into a thousand impertinent effects of idleness; and the gentleman falls in love with his dogs and his horses, and out of love with everything else. I am now arguing in favour of the town; you have answered me to that point. In respect of your health, 'tis the first thing to be considered, and I shall never ask you to do anything injurious to that. But 'tis my opinion, 'tis necessary to be happy that we neither of us think any place more agreeable than where we are. ... To Mr. Pope-Eastern Manners and Language.
ADRIANOPLE, April 1, 0. S.. 1717. I no long r look pon Theocritus as a romanti: writer ; he has onl: given a 1 lain image of ihe wy of life imongst the pe sants of his ountry, who, b fore oppres ion had reduceri them to wan', were I su pose, all e li ployed as the better sort of tem are now. I con't doubt, had he be n bon a Briton, b:1 his Idylliums' had been fi led with descriptions of thrashing and churung, bo h which are unknown here, the corn bing all trudden out by oxen; the but.er-I speak it with soriow—unheard
I read over your Homer nere with an infinite pl'asure, and find several little pa sages explained that I did not be ore entirely comprehend the beauty of; many (f the customs and much of the dress then in fashion, being y t retainedt. I don't wond .r to find more remains here of an age so distant, than is to be found in any other country; the Turks not taking that pains to introduce their own manners, as has ben generally pr ctised by other nations, that imagin: themsel.es more polite. It would be too ted ous to ou to po nt out all the passages that r late to pre ent customs. But I can assure you that the princesses and great ladies pass their time at their looms, embroidering veils and robes, urrounded by their maids, w ich are always very numerous, int e same mani er as we find Andromache and Helen describe.l. The description of the belt of Menelaus exactly resembles those that are now worn by the great men, fastened before with ) roud golden clasps, and embroidered round with rich work. The snowy veil that Helen throws over her fa es still fashionable ; and I never see half-u-dozen of old bashaws-as I do very of en-with their reverend b'ards, sitting bask.ng in he snu, but recollect good king Priam and his counsell rs. Their manner of dancingi: Curtainly the same that Diana is sung to have danced on the banks of Eurotas. The great lady still leads the dance, and is followed by a troop of young girls, who imitate her steps, ai d if she sings, ma je up the chorus. The tunes are extremely gay and lively, yet with somethiug in them wonderfully soft. The steps are varied acc rding to the pleasure of her that i ads the dance, but always in exact time, and infini ely more greeable than any of our dalices, at least in my opinion. I sometimes make one in the train, b tam not skilful enough to lead; these are the Grecian dances, the Turkish bei g very different.
I should have told you, in the first place, that the eastern manders give a great light into many Scripture passages that appear odd to us, their phrases being commonly what we should call Scripture language. The vulgar Turk is very different from what is spoken at court, or amongst the people of figure, who always mix 80 much Arabic and Persian in their discourse, that it may very well be called another language. And 'tis as ridiculous to make use of the expressions commonly used, in speaking to a great man or lady, as it would be to speak broad Yorkshire or Somersetshire in the drawing-room. Besides this distinction they have what they call the sublime, that is, a style proper for poetry, and which is the exact Scripture style. I believe you will be pleased to see a genuine example of this; and I am very glad I have it in my power to satisfy your curiosity, by sending you a faithful copy of the verses that Ibrahim Pasha, the reigning favourite, has made for the young princess, his contracted wife, whom he is not yet permitted to visit without witnesses, though she is gone home to his house. He is a man of wit and learning; and whether or no he is capable of writing good verse, you nay be sure that on such an occasion he would not want the assistance of the best poets in the empire. Thus the verses may be looked upon as a sample of their finest poetry; and I don't doubt