Page images

boundaries of the universe, it should, on a sudden, have all its lights at once extinguished, and sink into everlasting darkness and insensibility?-Spectator.

6. Suppose a youth to have no prospect either of sitting in Parliament, of pleading at the bar, of appearing upon the stage, or in the pulpit; does it follow that he need bestow no pains in learning to speak properly his native language? Will he never have occasion to read, in a company of his friends, a copy of verses, a passage of a book or newspaper? Must he never read a discourse of Tillotson, or a chapter of the Whole Duty of Man for the instruction of his children and servants? Cicero justly observes, that address in speaking is highly ornamental, as well as useful, even in private life. The limbs are parts of the body much less noble than the tongue; yet no gentleman grudges a considerable expense, of time and money, to have his son taught to use them properly; which is very commendable. And is there no attention to be paid to the use of the tongue, the glory of man?-Burgh.

7. Does greatness secure persons of rank from infirmities, either of body or mind? Will the head-ache, the gout or fever spare a prince any more than a subject? When old age comes to lie heavy upon him, will his engineers relieve him of the load? Can his guards and sentinels, by doubling and trebling their numbers and their watchfulness, prevent the approach of death? Nay, if jealousy, or even ill humor disturb his happiness, will the cringes of his fawning attendants restore his tranquillity? What comfort has he in reflecting (if he can make the reflection) while the cholic, like Prometheus vulture, tears his bowels, that he is under a canopy of crimson velvet, fringed with gold? When the pangs of the gout or stone, extort from him screams of agony, do the titles of Highness or Majesty come sweetly into his ear? If he is agitated with rage, does the sound of Serene, or Most Christian, prevent his staring, reddening and gnashing his teeth like a madman? Would not a twinge of the toothach, or an affront from an inferior, make the mighty Cesar forget that he was the conqueror of the world?-Montaigne.

8. When will you, my countrymer, when will you rouse from your indolence, and bethink yourselves of what is to be done?When you are forced to it by some fatal disaster? When irresistible necessity drives you? What think you of the disgraces which are already come upon you? Is not the past sufficient to stimulate your activity? Or, do you wait for some what more forcible and urgent? How long will you amuse yourselves with inquiring of one another after news, as you ramble idly about the streets? What news so strange ever came to Athens, as that a Macedonian should subdue this state, and lord it over Greece. Demosthenes.

9. What is the blooming tincture of the skin,
To peace of mind and harmony within?
What the bright sparkling of the finest eye,

To the soft soothing of a calm reply?
Can comeliness of form, or shape or air,
With comeliness of word or deeds compare?
No:-Those at first th' unwary heart may gain;
But these, these only, can the heart retain.-Gay.
10. Wrong'd in my love all proffers I disdain:
Deceiv'd for once I trust not kings again.
Ye have my answer-What remains to do,
Your king, Ulysses, may consult with you.
What needs he the defence, this arm can make ?
Has he not walls no human force can shake?
Has he not fenc'd his guarded navy round
With piles, with ramparts, and a trench profound?
And will not these, the wonders he has done,
Repel the rage of Priam's single son?-Pope's Homer.

VI.-Examples of CLIMAK, or a gradual increase of Sense or Passion.


NONSULT your whole nature. Consider yourselves, not only as sensitive, but as rational beings; not only as rational, but social; not only as social, but immortal.-Blair.


2. Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate; and whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.-St. Paul.

3. What hope is there remaining of liberty, if whatever is their pleasure, it is lawful for them to do; if what is lawful for them to do, they are able to do; if what they are able to do, they dare do; if what they dare do, they really execute; and if what they execute, is no way offensive to you.-Cicero.

4. Nothing is more pleasant to the fancy, than to enlarge itself by degrees in its contemplation of the various proportions which its several objects bear to each other; when it compares the body of a man to the bulk of the whole earth; the earth to the circle it describes round the sun; that circle to the sphere of the fixed stars; the sphere of the fixed stars to the circuit of the whole creation: the whole creation itself, to the infinite space that is every where diffused around it.-Spectator.

5. After we have practised good actions awhile, they become easy; and when they are easy, we begin to take pleasure in them; and when they please us, we do them frequently; and by frequency of acts a thing grows into a habit; and a confirmed habit is a second kind of nature; and so far as any thing is natural, so far it is necessary, and we can hardly do otherwise; nay, we do it many times when we do not think of it.-Tillotson.

6. It is pleasant to be virtuous and good, because that is to excel many others; it is pleasant to grow better, because that is to excel ourselves; it is pleasant to mortify and subdue our lusts, because that is victory; it is pleasant to command our ap

petites and passions, and to keep them in due order, within the bounds of reason and religion, because that is empire.-Tillotson.

7. Tully has a very beautiful gradation of thoughts to show how amiable virtue is. We love a righteous man, says he, who lives in the remotest parts of the earth, though we are altogether out of the reach of his virtue, and can receive from it no manner of benefit: nay, one who died several ages ago, raises a secret fondness and benevolence for him in our minds, when we read his story: nay, what is still more, one who has been the enemy of our country, provided his wars were regulated by justice and bumanity.-Spectator.

8. As trees and plants necessarily arise from seeds, so are you, Antony, the seed of this most calamitous war. You mourn, Q Romans, that three of our armies have been slaughtered-they were slaughtered by Antony: you lament the loss of your most illustrious citizens-they were torn from you by Antony; the authority of this order is deeply wounded-it is wounded by Antony; in short all the calamities we have ever since beheld, (and what calamities have we not beheld?) have been entirely owing to Antory. As Helen was of Troy, so the bane, the misery, the destruction of this state is Antony.-Cicero.


-Give me the cup.
And let the kettle to the trumpets speak,
The trumpets to the cannoneers within,

The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth, Now the king drinks to Hamlet.-Trag. of Hamlet. 10. At thirty, man suspects himself a fool; Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan: At fifty chides his infamous delay, Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve, In all the magnanimity of thought, Resolves, and re-resolves-then dies the same. -Young. VII.-Examples of the principal Emotions and Passions ADMIRATION, CONTEMPT, JOY, GRIEF, COURage, Fear, LOVE, HATRED, Pity, Anger, REVENGE, and JEALOUSY. HAT a piece of work is nen! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! Hamlet.


2. Away! No woman could descend so low.
A skipping, dancing, worthless tribe you are.
Fit only for yourselves, you herd together;
And when the circling glass warms your vain hearts,
You talk of beauties which you never saw,
And fancy raptures that you never knew.-Fair Penitent.
3. Let mirth go on; let pleasure know no pause,
But fill up every minute of this day.
'Tis yours, my children, sacred to your loves.
The glorious sun himself for you looks gay;


[ocr errors]

He shines for Altamont, and for Calista.
Take care my gates be open. Bid all welcome;
All who rejoice with me to-day are friends.
Let each indulge his genius: each be glad,
Jocund and free, and swell the feast with mirth.
The sprightly bowl shall cheerfully go round:
None shall be grave, nor too severely wise:
Losses and disappointments, care and poverty,
The rich man's insolence, and great man's scorn,
In wine shall be forgotten ail.-Fair Penitent.

4. All dark and comfortless.

Where all those various objects, that but now,
Employ'd my busy eyes? Where those eyes?
These groping hands are now my only guides,
And feeling all my sight.

O misery! What words can sound my grief!
Shut from the living whilst among the living:
Dark as the grave, amidst the bustling world;
At once from business, and from pleasure barr'd;
No more to view the beauty of the spring,
Or see the face or kindred or of friend!-Trag. of Lear.

5. Thou speak'st a woman's; hear a warrior's wish.
Right from their native land, the stormy north,
May the wind blow, till every keel is fix'd
Immoveable in Caledonia's strand!


Then shall our foes repent their bold invasion,

And roving armies shun the fatal shore.-Trag, of Douglas. 6. Ah! Mercy on my soul! What's that? My old friend's ghost! They say, none but wicked folks walk. I wish I were at the bottom of a coalpit! La! how pale, and how long his face is grown since his death! He never was handsome; and death has very much improved him the wrong way.-Pray, do not come near me! I wished you very well when you were alive. But I could never abide a dead man cheek by jowl with me.-Ah! Ah! mercy on me! No nearer, pray! If it be only to take your leave of me, that you are come back, I could have excused you the ceremony with all my heart.-Or if you-mercy on us!-No nearer, pray-or if you have wrong'd any body, as you always lov'd money a little, I give you the word of a frighted Christian, I will pray, as long as you please, for the deliverance and repose of your departed soul. My good, worthy, noble friend, do, pray, disappear, as ever you would wish your old friend, Anselm, to come to his senses again.

Moliere's Blunderer.

7. Who can behold such beauty and be silent! O! I could talk to thee forever

Forever fix and gaze on those dear eyes;

For every glance they send darts through my soul!-Orphan,

8. How like a fawning publican he looks!

I hate him for he is a Christian :

But more, for that in low simplicity

He lends out money gratis, and brings down
The rate of usance with us here in Venice..
If I can catch him once upon the hip,

I will feed fat that ancient grudge I bear him.
He hates our sacred nation; and be rails,
E'en there where the merchants most do congregate,
On me, my bargains, and my well won thrift,
Which he calls usury. Cursed be my tribe
If I forgive him.- -Merchant of Venice.
9. As, in a theatre, the eyes of men,
After a well graced actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him who enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious;

Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
Did scowl on Richard. No man cri'd, God save him!
No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home :
But dust was thrown upon his sacred head!
Which, with such gentle sorrow, he shook off,
(His face still combating with tears and smiles,
The badges of his grief and patience ;)
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted;
And barbarism itself have pitied him.-
Richard II.

10. Hear me, rash man, on thy allegiance hear me.
Since thou has striven to make us break our vow,
(Which not our nature nor our place can bear)
We banish thee forever from our sight
And kingdom. If, when three days are expired,
Thy hated trunk be found in our dominions,
That moment is thy death. Away!
By Jupiter this shall not be revok'd.-

Tragedy of Lear.

11. Ye amarantha! Ye roses, like the morn!
Sweet myrtles, and ye golden orange groves!
Joy giving, love inspiring, holy bower!
Know, in thy fragrant bosom, thou receiv'st
A murd'ier! Oh, I shall stain thy lilies,
And horror will usurp the seat of bliss ?
-Ha! She sleeps-

The day's uncommon heat has overcome her.
Then take, my longing eyes, your last full gaze——
Oh, what a sight is here! How dreadful fair!
Who would not think that being innocent!
Where shall I strike? Who strikes her strikes himsel
My own life's blood will issue at her wound
But see, she smiles! I never shall smile more-
It strongly tempts me to a parting kiss-
Ha, smile again! She dreams of him she loves.--
Curse on her charms! I'll stab her through them all.

[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »