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works of the civil law, a more illustrious monument to the glory of that emperour, than titles of victory. To christianity are we indebted for political knowledge and for settling upon a proper foundation the civil and religious rights of subjects and rulers. While we recognize our common obligations to that system, which breathes “ peace on earth,” and confess, that the science of jurisprudence owes to it all its perfection ; we devoutly hope, that the child may never lift up its hand against its parent, lest it should wither, nor dishonour its divine original. Were I to be asked the qualifications of a professor of the law, I should say, that, like the orator whom Cicero describes, he shoul know the nature and powers o language, and the great variety of things. To elegance, wit, learn. ing, rapidity of thought, and urbanity of manners, he should add an intimate acquaintance with the heart, the source of human conduct. No man can converse well on things, of which he is ignorant. The empty flourish of words will soon betray the puerility of the sentiment, and the feebleness of the images in the speaker's mind. And therefore Sir Edward Coke, whose authority may always be quoted without a charge of pedantry, recommended to the students the study of all arts and sciences. “I cannot exclude,” he says, “the knowledge” of the arts and sciences from the professor of jurisprudence. “Since the knowledge of them is necessary and profitable.” In this science, ignorance contracts the liberality of the mind, and is as closely connected with litigiousness and the low and despicable arts of the pettifogger, as in religion it is united with fanaticism and spiritual pride. Who
ever glows with a pure love to his
country, whoever has a soul, which can discern and estimate the beauty of order in the conduct of asfairs, of harmony, among states and individuals, of light, of security, and truth, will duly respect the system of jurisprudence, which is the bond of society, and from which all its happiness proceeds. Finally, the professor of the law, while he drinks deeply of the fountains of his science, ought to purify and exalt his taste by the diligent study of the models of ancient genius in eloquence, poetry, and morals. Those writings though now grown venerable by time, still retain the purple light of beauty ai genius. They demonstrate the sublime heights, to which the intellect way aspire, and they exhibit the superiority of its glory to that of arts and arms. In any community, that th courts of law may be fountains .# i. from which may issue the healthful streams of equity, not galy should the judges be men of learning and virtue, having no fear but the fear of God, but the legislator should be adorned with illustrious qualifications. His intelligence must discover and apply those principles of 1:ight and wrong, which are applicable to the variety of things, on which laws must operate. He ought to know the history of nations and of his
own country, the forms of their
government, and the tendency of different political systems to promote human happiness. He should be endowed with a generous nature, enriched with the treasures of jearning, adding to a clear intellect and passions subdued, not only innocence of life and freedom from suspicion, but the positive virtugs and excellencies of the heart. In fine, if he is a man of honour, experience, integrity, disinterested, freely chosen,
precepts of his art, has just joined , the fraternity. But when, I ask, are wit, learning, richness of language, harmony of utterance and all the treasures of eloquence, most honourably employed? Surely when defining the boundaries of right and wrong, when defending innocence, when pursuing guilt, when, in fine, they are subservient to that science, “which employs in its theory the noblest faculties of the soul, and exerts in its practice the cardinal virtues of the heart.” A new object presents itself for, the munificence of our fellow citizens. Can they render a more valuable service to their country, than by contributing to the excellence of its laws, and to the purity of their administration? Soon then may there be enrolled among the publick benefactors of that University some generous patron of Jurisprudence, whose name shall be encircled with wreaths of perpetual honour, and from whom there may constantly flow rays of a di. vine quality for the ornament of the state and for the happiness of the citizens.
WE maintain that the poets, who have flourished during the reign of George III., have produced as great a #. of lasting poetry, as those who ourished during the reign of Elizabeth, or any other half-century of the British annals. The tragedies of that age live : so will the comedies of ours. Our chorus-dramas, and our ballads, are decidedly superiour to those of our ancestors : so are our elegies, and songs,and odes. One good translation, Fairfax's Tasso, has been bequeathed to us from the times of Elizabeth : we have Sotheby’s Oberon, and several other masterpieces, whose collective weight makes a counterpoise. And why should a rude age he favourable to the production of good poetry Rudeness implies a publick of bad criticks; an ignorance of history, of antiquities, of the limits of nature, likely to tolerate the absurdest violations of
truth, costume, geography, and proba
bility. Accordingly, the poets of rude ages, who are no more nor less likely than others to have genius, commonly offend by want of taste : and this frc|...} in so great a degree, as to conemn their works to be refashioned : in which case,the modernizer runs away with the praise. Homer indeed originated early, but was probably corrected by a good critick, in an age of taste. Tasso, who has produced the next best poem to Homer, flourished in the autumn, not the spring, of Italian culture. Virgil bloomed in an age of refinement, and Claudian was still a poet. The funeral song of Hacon is a fine ode; but so is the bard of Gray. The tragedies of Schiller, the fabliaux of Wicland, were composed at the very close of the eighteenth century; just before the French revolution had blunted the acme of human refinement. , The proportion of good specimens of poetry produced in rude times is yery small.
For the Monthly Anthology. • * -
. . . . . . . . . .
A PosM, DELIvERED BEFor E THE © B K soci ETY, At cAMBRIDGE, Auo,
** 28, 1806. By BeNJAMIN whitwell.
*** * , ** . . . . . s -------------------------........ purus • *. . . . . . . . Non &et............ - - - - * ' ' ' ' ' ... venenatis gravida sagittis ...~...~pharetrá. HoR. . . * *
- - - - - o ar. Gu Ment. -Paov.1 pence having directed that man should be ignorant of future events, he is stimulated to proceed through life by the hope of enjoyment still to be at: tained.” It is the moral of the poem to represent, if the same motives and passions actuate us which have governed others, that by observation of the course, which they have followed, we may learn where our own will terminate; that similar conduct will produce similar consequences; that neglect and oblivion will be the fate of the indolent and profligate ; fame the reward of industry and enterprise. These remarks are intended to be illustrated by an allegory. Life is represented as the journey of a day; the traveller, man, having passed the stage of infancy, and arrived near the close of youth, just verging on manhood, we find him encircled by Health, Love, and Beauty, eager to distribute their blessings. Discontented with his situation, he rejects them all. Care persuades him that he is a slave to the restraint of parental authority, and Hope whispers that Time will bring release. Time arrives, leaves Experience ; the traveller, still advancing, requests Experience to direct his course, who answers, It is only my duty to advise, by the decree of fate ; I must follow where you shall lead, and instruct you in your course, whether you shall yield to the persuasions of pleasure, or obey the dictates of wisdom. Observe this mirrour, oppose it to the past, and the reflection exhibits the future. They differ more in name than in reality, being alike to the eye of Omniscience. The traveller inspects the mirrour, and discovers a concourse of people spread over a flowery plain and a rugged mountain ; the beauty of the plain exclu
ferent objects which it presents. It is inhabited by the proud and indolent, who usurp the honours and rewards due to virtue and industry. Among these are the votaries of wealth and of fashion. After describing the court of Fashion, still proceeding in their journey, they successively view various parts of the plain. The pretenders to science, the literary fop, the itinerant, the lawyer, and the apostate politician described. This last character contrasted with that of the upright statesman, terminating with a respectful tribute to the late President Adams.
When Experience ceases, the traveller again examines the objects which were
first presented ; he discovers a path leading through the plain to the mountain, on which the temple of Fame is erected. He is eager to ascend the summit. Experience replies, You must now be undeceived; having spent the day with Fashion and Folly, your strength is exhausted, and Time, having nearly finished his course, the attempt would be fruitless. It was my duty to teach this lesson, that the future resembles the past. To impress this truth, your senses have been deceived by presenting to your view only the vacant frame of a mirrour; objects, which appeared reflected, were represented in distant prospect; you have not been an idle spectator, but an actor in those scenes of vice and pleasure. Hrd you chosen to have explored the mountain, which promised glory, and not to have wandered through the plain, which offered transient delight, my advice and instruction would have been as readily offered to have
*:::::: you with the various paths which lead to the summit. Farewell;
and remember, it is the fate of man, that Time flies too soon, and Experience arrives too late.
The traveller, having reviewed his course, observes before him Time, at a dis. tance, on the edge of the horizon, descending with the western sun; not like him again to appear in the east : for as Time recedes, the etermal night of Death approaches.
Is Life to man the journcy of a day ? . . . . .
Now Health invites, behold the laughing hours
Whence is the stifled sigh of discontent 2
Cold is his bosom to the torch of love. Within the rosy wreath which twines his head, The wizard Care tormenting thorns has spread Î The scene around with gloomy vapour chills, When cheerful sunshine warms the distant hills, | Persuades the wretch the soft and silken band so Of love parental rudely chases his hand; - - - \ That Time his pinion poised, his sands have stopt, | And from his feeble grasp the scythe has dropt. For Hope had whispered, “tardy Time shall bring Freedom, and peace, and rapture on his wing :” When Time arrived, he gave desired release, And, with exchange of sorrow, brought increase ; He left AExperience there, a reverend sage, .. Of youthful strength, with outward signs of age, Like an old oak, successive centuries crowned, 40 The bark decayed, the root and heart are sound.
- - - - - - -
Wilt thou direct my path The sage replied, " ".
50 Just like the past, presents the future hour ;
The opposing figures differ but in name, . . . . . .
To the omniscient eye they are the same.
* The cestus, the girdle of Venus, is described in the Iliad, book XV.