« PreviousContinue »
may you have a son endowed with such qualities, that you can resign your sceptre to him, with as much satisfaction as I give up mine 4 you."
As soon as Charles bad finished this long address to his subjects, and to their new sovereign, he sunk into the chair exhausted and ready to faint with the fatigue of such an extraordinary effort. During this discourse, the whole audience melted into tears; some, from admira. tion of his magnanimity; others softened by the expressions of tenderness towards his son, and of love to his people; and all were affected with the deepest sorrow, at losing a sovereign, who had distinguished the Netherlands, his native country, with particular marks of his regard and attachment.
A few weeks thereafter, Charles, in an assembly no less splendid, and with a ceremonial equally as pompous, resigned to his son the crown of Spain, with all the territories depending on them, both in the old, and in the new world. Of all these vast possessions, he reserved nothing for himself but an annual pension of an hundred thousand crowns, to defray the charges of his family, and to afford him a small sum for acts of beneficence and charity.
The place he had chosen, for his retreat, was the monastery of St. Justus, in the province of Estremadura. It was seated in a vale of no great extent, watered by a small brook, and surrounded by rising grounds, covered with lofty trees. From the nature of the soil, as well as the temperature of the climate, it was esteemed the most healthful and delicious situation in Spain. Some months before his resignation, he had sent an architect thither, to add a new apartment to the monastery, for his accommodation ; but he gave strict orders, that the style of the building should be such as suited his present situation, rather than his former dignity. It consisted only of six rooms; four of them in the form of friar's cells, with naked walls; the other two, each twenty feet square, were hung with brown cloth, and furnished in the most simple manner. They were all on a level with the ground; with a door on one side into a garden, of which Charles himself had given the plan, and which he had filled with various plants, intending to cultivate them with his own hands. On the other side, they communicated with the chapel of the monastery, in which he was to perform his devotions. Into this humble mtreat, hardly sufficient fos the comfortable accommodation of a private gentleman, did Charles enter, with twelve domestics only. He buried there, in solitude and silence, his grandeur, and his ambition, together with all those vast projects, which, during half a century, had alarmed and agitated Europe, filling every kingdom in it, by turns, with the terror of his arms, and the dread of being suhjected to
VI.-Importance of Virtue.--PRICE.
of indispensable obligation, not the creature of will, but necessary and immutable; not local or tempo. rary, but of equal extent and antiquity with the Divine mind; not a mode of sensation, but everlasting truth ; not dependant on power, but the guide of all power.. Virtue is the foundation of honor and esteem, and the source of all beauty, order and happiness, in nature.
It is what confers value on all the nther endowments and qıralities of a reasonable being, to which they ought to be absolutely subservient; and without which, the more eminent they are, the more hideous deformities, and the greater curses they become.
The use of it is not confined to any one stage of our existence, or to any particular situation we can be in, but reaches through all the periods and circumstances of our beings. Many of the endowments and talents we now possess, and of which we are too apt to be proud, will cease entirely with the present state ; but this will be our ornament and dignity, in every future state, to which we may be removed. Beauty and wit will die, learning will vanish away, and all the arts of life be soon forgot; but virtue will remain forever. This unites us to the whole rational creation ; and fits us for conversing with any order of superior natures, and foi a place in any part of God's works. It procures us the approba. tion and love of all wise and good beings, and renders them our allies and friends. But what is of unspeakably greater consequence, is, that it makes God our
friend, assimilates and unites our minds to his, and engages his Almighty power in our defence. Superior beings of all ranks are bound by it, no less than ourselves. It has the same authouty in all worlds, that it has in this. The further any being is advanced in excellence and perfection, the greater_is his attachment to it, and the more he is under its influence. To say no more, it is the law of the whole universe, it stands first in the estimation of the Deity; its original is his nature, and it is the very object that makes him lovely.
Such is the importance of virtue.-Of what consequence, therefore, is it that we practise it? There is no argument or motive, in any respect fitted to influence a reasonable mind, which does not call us to this. One virtuous disposition of soul, is preferable to the greatest natural accomplishments and abilities, and of more value than all the treasures of the world-If you are wise, then stady virtue, and contemn every thing that can come in competition with it. Remember that nothing else deserves one anxious thought or wish. Remember that this alone is honor, glory, wealth and happiness. Secure this and you secure every thing. Lose this, and all iş lost
VII.-Address to Art.-- HARRIS.
human kind! Who art not only able to imitate nature in her graces, but even to adorn her with graces of thine own! Possessed of thee, the meanest genius grows deserving, and has a just demand for a portion of our esteem; devoid of thee, the brightest of our kind lie lost and useless, and are but poorly distinguished from the most despicable and base. When we inhabited forests, in common with brutes, not otherwise known from them than by the figure of our species, thou taughtest us to as. sert the sovereignty of our pature, and to assume that empire tor which Providence intended us. Thousands of utilities owe their birth to thee; thousands of elegancies, pleasures and joys, without which life itself would be hut an insipid possession.
Wide and extensive is the reach of thy dominion. No element is there, either so violent or so subtile, so yield
ing or so sluggish, as by the powers of its nature to be superior to thy direction. Thou dreadest not the fierce impetuosity of fire, but compellest its violence to be both obedient and useful. By it thou softenest the stabbora tribe of minerals, so as to be formed and moulded into shapes innumerable. Hence weapons, armor, coin; and, previous to these and thy other works and energies, hence all those various tools and instruments, which em. power thee to proceed to farther ends more excellent. Nor is the subtile air less obedient to thy power, whether thou willest it to be a minister to our pleasure or utility. At thy command, it giveth birth to sounds, which charm the soul with all the powers of harmony. Under thy instruction it moves the ship over seas; while that yielding element, where otherwise we sink, even water itself, is by thee taught to bear us ; the vast ocean, to promote the intercourse of nations, which ignorance would imagine it was destined to intercept. To say how thy influence is seen on earth, would be to teach the meanest what he knows already. Suffice it but to meo. tion, fields of arable and pasture ; lawns, and groves, and gardens, and plantations; cottages, villages, castles, towns; palaces, temples, and spacious cities.
Nor does thy empire end in subjects thus inanimate. Its power also extends through the various race of animals, who either patiently submit to become thy slavés, or are sure to find thee an irresistible foe. The faithful dog, the patient ox, the generous horse, and the mighty elephant, are content all to receive their instructions from thee, and readily to lend their patural instinct or strength to perform those offices which thy occasions call for. If there be found any specics :vhich are servicea. ble when dead, thou suggested the means to investigate and take them; if any be so savage as to refuse being tamed, or of natures fierce enough to venture an attack, thou teachest us to scorn their brutal rage ; to meet, re. pel, pursue and conquer.
Such, 0 Art, is thy amazing influence, when thou art employed only on these inferior subjects, on patures in. animate, or at best irrational. But whenever thou choosesi a subject more noble, and settest to the cultivation of mind itself, then it is thou becomest truly amiable
and divine-ethe overflowing source of those sublimer beauties, of which no subject but mind alone is capable. Then it is thou art enabled to exhibit to mankind the admired tribes of poets and orators; the sacred train of patriots and heroes ; the godlike list of philosophers and legislators; the forms of virtuous and equal politics ; where private welfare is made the same with publicwhere crowds themselves prove disinterested, and virtue is made a national and popular characteristic.
Hail, sacied source of all these wonders! Thyself, instruct me to praise thee worthily; through whom, whatever we do, is done with elegance and beauty ; without whom, what we do is ever graceless and deformed.Venerable power! By what name shall I address thee? Shall I call thee ornament of the mind, or art thou more truly Mind itself? It is Mind thou art, most perfect Mind: Not rude, untaught; but fair and polished. In such thou dwellest ;-of such thou art the form ; nor is it a thing more possible to separate thee from such, than it would be to separate thee from thy own existence.
VIII.-Flattery.- THEOPHRASTUS. VLATTERY is a manner of conversation very shame
ful in itself, but beneficial to the flatterer. If a flattterer is upon a public walk with you,
66 Do but mind,” says he, “how every one's eye is
upon you. Sure, there is not a man in Athens that is taken so much notice of. You had justice done you yesterday, in the portico. There were above thirty of us together; and, the question being started, who was the most considerable person in the commonwealth-the whole company was of the same side. In short, Sir, every one made fa. miliar with your name.” He follows this whisper with a thousand other flatteries of the same nature.
Whenever the person to whom he would make his court, begins to speak, the sycophant begs the company to be silent, most impudently praises him to his face, is in raptures all the while he talks, and as soon as he has done, cries out, 6 That is perfectly right!" When his patron aims at being witty upon any man, he is ready to burst at the smartness of his raillery, and stops his mouth with his handkerchief, that he may not laugh out.