Page images
PDF

. Friendshift of women.

Women are more constant in friendship than men, for these reasons: the temperament of women is more cold, and therefore less likely to change or fly off from an object, to which they are once attached. The same coolness of constitution renders them more subject to timidity; and so they adhere to objects of affection, because they are fearful of losing what they value.

Scaliger. Scaliger used to say, that he could not comprehend the causes of three things; the interval of an ague, the motion of the sea, and the nature of his own memory. Medici. The family of the Medici, most probably, took their rise from some ancestor, who was an eminent fishysician, as they still bear in their arms the device of five pills."

Etymology of Decrestitude.

The comparison of human life to the burning and going out of a lamp was familiar with Latin authors, as we know by the terms “senes decrefiti.” A lamp, just about to expire, was said decrefare, to cease to crackle. Hence metaphorically, persons on the verge of the grave were called decrepit Inen.

Solitude.

It is an observation of Seneca, that we should mix company and retirement, in order to make them both pleasant by change. The wish always to be alone shows the temper of a wild, ferocious animal, carries with it the dismal darkness of the tomb. The effect of such a disposition of mind is

well described by an ancient phrass “ cor suum edens,” eating his own heart. Absolute singleness is the character of the Deity only ; but man is too feeble and dependent to subsist by himself.

Swift was invited by a rich miser with a large party to dine ; being requested by the host to return thanks at the removal of the cloth, uttered the following grace : Thanks for this miracle !-this is no less, ‘Than to eat manna in the wilderness. where raging hunger reign'd we've found relief, And secn that wondrous thing a piece of beef.

Here chimneys smoke, that never smok'd before, And we’ve all ate, where we shall eat no more.

Aristippus was very fond of magnificent entertainments, and loved a court life. Dionysius asked him, in a sarcastick manner, the reason, why philosophers were seen often at the gates of princes, but princes never at the doors of philosophers ? “For the same reason,” replied the philosopher, “ that physicians are found at the doors of sick men, but sick men never at the doors of physicians.” Sonnet on a Sonnet, by Lofiez de Vega.

Capricious—a sonnet needs must have ;

I ne'er was put to't before—a sonnet !

Why fourteen verses must be spent upon it,

"Tis good however thave conquer'd the first stave.

Yet shall I ne'er find rhymes enough by half,
Said I, and found myself i' th' midst o' the
second,
If twice four verses were but fairly reckon'd,
I should turn back on th’ hardest part, and laugh.

Thus far with good success I think I’ve scribbled,
And of the twice seven lines clean got o'er ten;
Courage another’ll finish the first triplet;

Thanks to the Muse, my work begins to shorten

See thirteen lines got through, dribblet by dribblet;

*Tis done, count how you will, I warr'nt there's fourteen.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

...THERE was not, on that day, a speck to stain
The azure heaven; the blessed Sun, alone,
in unapproachable divinity,
Careered, rejoicing in his fields of light.
How beautiful, beneath the bright blue sky,
The billows heave one glowing green expanse,
Save where along the bending line of shore
such hue is thrown, as when the peacock's neck
Assumes its proudest tint of amethyst,
Embathed in emerald glory. All the flocks
Of Ocean arc abroad ; like floating foam,
The sea-gulls rise and fall upon the waves;
With long protruded neck the cormorants
wing their far flight aloft, and reund and round
The plovers wheel, and give their note of joy.
It was a day that sent into the heart
A summer feeling : even the insect swarms
From their dark nooks and coverts issued forth,
For one day of existence more, and joy ;
The solitary primrose, on the bank,
seemed now as though it had no cause to mourn
Its bleak autumnal birth ; the Rocks, and Shores
And everlasting Mountains, had put on
The smile of that glad sunshine, ... thcy partook
The universal blessing.

TRUE STORY OF AN APPARITION. By Gay.

scEPticks (whose strength of argument makes out,

That wisdom's decp inquiries end in doubt)
Hold this assertion positive and clears
That sprites are pure delusions, rais'd by fear.
Not that fam'd ghost, which in presaging sound
Cali’d Brutus to Philippi's fatal ground,
Nor can Tiberius Graccnus' goary shade
These ever-doubting disputants persuade.
straight they with smiles reply, Those tales of old
By visionary priests were made and told.
Oh, might some ghost at dead of night appears
And make you own conviction by your fear !
1 know your sneers my easy faith accuse,
which with such idle legends scares the Muse;
But think not that I tell those vulgar sprites,
which frighted boys relate on winter nights,
How cleanly milk-maids meet the fairy train,
How heedless horses drag the clinking chain,
Night-roaming ghosts, by saucer eye-balls known,
The common spectres of each country-town.
No, I such fables can like you despise,
And laugh to hear these nurse-invented lies.
Yet, has not oft” the fraudful guardian's fright
Compell'd him to restore an orphan's right 1

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

And can we doubt that horrid ghosts ascend,
which on the conscious murderer’s steps attend ?
Hear then, and let attested truth prevail;
From faithful lips I learnt the dreadful tale-

where Arden's forest spreads its limits wide, whose branching paths the doubtful road divides A traveller took his solitary way, when low beneath the hills was sunk the day. And now the skies with gathering darkness lour, The branches rustle with the threatened shower i with sudden blasts the forest murmurs loud, Indented lightnings cleave the sable cloud, Thunder on thunder breaks, the tempest roars, And heaven discharges all its watery stores. The wandering traveller shelter sacks in vain, And shrinks and shivers with the beating rain : On his steed's neck the slackened bridle lay, who chose with cautious step th’ uncertain way 1 And now he checks the rein, and halts to hear If any noise foretold a village near. At length from far a stream of light he sees Extend its level ray beneath the trees; Thither he speeds, and, as he nearer came, Joyful he knew the lamp's domestick flame That trembled thro’ the window ; cross the way Darts forth the barking cur, and stands at bay.

It was an ancient lonely house, that stood Upon the borders of the spacious wood ; Here towers and antique battlemcnts arise, And there in heaps the mouldered ruin lies. Some lord this mansion held in days of yore, To chace the wolf, and pierce the foaming boar; How changed, alas, from what it once had been 1 "Tis now degraded to a publick inn.

Straight he dismounts, repeats his loud commands:

swift at the gate the ready landlord stands;
With frequent cringe he bows, and begs excuse,
His house was full, and every bed in use.
What, not a garret, and no straw to spare *
Why then the kitchen-fire and elbow-chair
Shall serve for once to nod away the night.
The kitchen ever is the servants' right,
Replies the host; there, all the fire around,
The Count's tir'd foctmen snore upon the ground.

The maid, who listen’d to this whole debate, with pity learnt the weary strazger's fate. Be brave, she cried, you still may be our guest; Our haunted room was ever held the best : If then your valour can the fright sustain Of rattling curtains, and the clinking chain ; If your courageous tongue have power to talk,

- when round yourbed the honid ghost shaliwalk;

If you dare ask it, why it leaves its tomb ;
I'll see your shects well air’d, and shew the room.
Soon as the frighted maid her tale had told,
The stranger enter'd, for his heart was bold.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Then, muttering hasty prayers, he mann'd his
neart
And cried loud: Say, whence and who thou art
The stalking ghost with hollow voice replies,
‘Three years are counted since with mortal eyes
1 saw the sun, and vital air respir’d.
Like thee benighted, and with travel tir’d,
Within tilese walls I slept. O thirst of gain :
$ce, still the planks the bloody mark retain.
Stretch'd on this very bed, from sleep I start,
And see the steel impending o'er my heart; *
‘I he barbarous hostess held the lifted knife,
The fleor ran purple with my gushing life.
My treasure now they sieze, the golden spoil
"They bury deep beneath the grass-grown soil,
Far in the common field. Bc bold, arise,
My steps shall lead thee to the secret prize;
"There dig and find; let that thy care reward,
Call loud on justice, bid her not retard
“To punish murder; lay my ghost at rest :
So shall with peace secure thy nights be blest ;
and, when beneath these boards my bones arc
found,
Decent inter then in some sacred ground.

Here ceas'd the ghost. The stranger springs from bed,

And boldly follows where the phantom led : ‘The half-worn stony stairs they now descend, where passages obscure their arches bend. Silent they walk; and now through groves they

ass Now toh wet meads their steps imprint the

grass. At length amidst a spacious field they came : There stops the spectre, and ascends in flaine, Amaz'd he stood, no bush or bricr was found, ‘To teach his morning search to find the ground. What could he do the night was hideous dark, Fear shook his joints, and nature dropt the mark: with that he starting wak'd, and rais'd his head, But found the golden mark was left in bed.

What is the statesman's vast ambitious scheme, But a short vision and a golden dream 2 Powcr; wealth, and title, clevate his hope; He wakes: but, for a garter, finds a ropc.

[merged small][ocr errors]

I SHALL root ask Jean Jacques Rousseau, to
If birds confabulate or no ;
*I is clear that they were always able
To hold discourse, at least in fable ;
And ev'n the child, who knows no better,
‘Than to interpret by the letter,
A story of a cock and bull,
Must have a most uncommon skull.
It chanc'd then, on a winter's day,
But warm and bright, and calm as May,
The birds, conceiving a design
To foresta) sweet St. Valentine,
In many an orchard, copse, and grove,
Assembled on afiairs of love,
And with much twitter, and much chatter,
Began to agitate the matter.
At length a Bulfinch, who could boast
More years and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, opening wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And, silence publičkly enjoin'd,
Deliver'd briefly thus his mind.
My friends ! be cautious how ye treat
The subject upon which we meet;
I fear we i.". winter yet.
A Finch, whose tongue knew no control,
With golden wing and satin pole,
A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried
What marriage means, thus pert, replied.
Methinks the gentleman, quoth she,
Opposite in the apple-tree,
By his good will woulu keep us single,
Till yonder heav'n and carth shall mingle,
Or (which is likelier to befal)
Till death exterminate us all.
I marry without more ado,
*}. dear Dick Redcap, what say you ?
ick heard, and tweedling, ogling...bridling,
Turning short round, strutting and sidcling,
Attested, glad, his approbation
Of an immediate conjugation.
Their sentiments so well czpress'd,
Influenc'd mightily the rest,
All pair'd, and each pair built a nest.
But though the birds were thus in haste,
The leaves came on not quite so fast,
And destiny, that soinetimes bears
An aspect stern on men's affairs,
Not altogether simil'd on theirs.
The wind, of late breath'd gently forth,
Now shifted east and east by north ;
Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know,
Could shelter them from rain or snow,
Stepping into their nests, they paddled,
Themselves were chill'd, their cogs were addled;
Soon ev'ry father bird and mouher
Grew quárrelsome, and peck'd each other, "
Parted without the least regret,
Except that they had ever met,
And learn'd, in it. te be wiser,
Thau to neglect a good adviser.

[ocr errors]

Instruction.

Misses : the tale that I relate
This lesson seems to carry-

Choose not alone a proper mate,
But proper time to marry.

---

* It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philosopher, that all fables which ascribe reason and speech to animals should be withheld from children, as being only vehicles of deception. But what child was cver deceived by them, or can be, against the evidence of ho senses?

THE BOSTON REVIEW,

For FEBRUARY, 1806.

--

librum tuum legi & quarn diligentissime potui annotavi, quae commutanda, quae eximenda, ar

bitrarer. , Nam ego dicere verum assuevi. maximc laudari merentur.-Pliny.

Ncque ulli Paticntius reprehenduntur, quam qui

--

ARTICLE 1.

Memoirs of the American Academy

of Arts and Sciences. Vol. I.

1785. 4to. fift. 568.

[Continued.]

P. Some select astronomical observations made at Chelsea, latitude 42° 25', and 26" in time east of the university at Cambridge. By the Rev. Phillifts Payson, F.A..A.

The astronomical observations, here selected, are those of several emersions of Jupiter's first, second, and third satellites in 1779 ; three solar eclipses, namely, in June, 1778, October, 1780, and April, k?82 ; two lunar eclipses, namely, in May, 1779, and November, 1780 ; and the transit of Mercury in November, 1782.

VI. Observation of the transit of Mercury over the sun, JWow. 12, 1782, at Iñswich. By the Rev. Manasseh Cutler, F.A..A.

The going of the clock was carefully examined, and the times of all the contacts, except the first external, were determined.

VII. A memoir, containing observations of a solar eclipse, October, 27, 1780, made at Beverly : .Also of a lunar eelińse, March 29, 1782 ; of a solar eclifise, Ashril 12, and of the transit of Mercury over the sun’s disc, Wovember 12, the same year, made at the firesident’s house in Cambridge. By the Rev. Josefin Willard, firesident of the untversity.

Beside his own observations the author of this memoir furnishes

us with those of some other gentlemen, who accompanied him in attending to these phenomena. And having corresponding observations of the first of the said eclipses at Beverly, Chelsea, Penobscott-Bay,and Providence in the state of Rhode-Island, he subjoins their differences of longitude,which he had deduced, and consequently their longitudes from Cambridge, that of Chelsea relatively to Cambridge being known. Hence it appears, that the longitude of Beverly eastward from Cambridge is 1’ 11” in time ; that of PenobscottBay 9' 15"; and that of Providence 1' 7" westward. From the times of the contacts of Mercury at the said transit, president Willard, using Mayer's solar tables, and De La Lande's tables of Mercury, calculates the angle of Mercury's apparent way with the ecliptick, the time of the ecliptick conjunction, the errour of the tables in the latitude of Mercury at that time, which appears to be 5".98 in defect. He also deduces the place of Mercury's ascending node, and calculates it from the tables ; whence it appears, that the latter differs from the former 1' 34" in excess, VIII. Observations of a solar eclipse, October 27, 1780, made at St. John's Island, by Messrs. Clarke and Wright. In a letter from Mr. Josefih Peters to Caleb Gannett, .M., M. Rec. Sec, Mmer. Acad. These observations were made at a place called Charlotte-town, which, according to Mr. Wright's determination, is situated in 46° 13 of north latitude, and 62° 50' of west longitude from Greenwich. In this account it is stated on the authority of a gentleman, belonging to Yarmouth-Jebouge-Harbour, on the western coast of Nova-Scotia, that this eclipse, which excited great attention in this part of the country, was total there for a moment.

IX. Observations of a solar ecliffse, October 27, 1780, made at the university in Cambridge. Communicated by Caleb Gannett, A. M.

The observers of this eclipse at Cambridge were the Rev. Professor Wigglesworth, Mr. Gannett, and the Rev. John Mellen. They did not perceive the beginning of the eclipse, but noted very particularly the disappearance and reappearance of various spots, which were then visible on the sun, and the end of the eclipse. And these may be compared with other corresponding observations; some attention having been paid to the passage of the moon’s limbs over solar spots by most of the astronomers, who observed the eclipse. The quantity of the eclipse they estimated at 11+ digits.

M. An observation of a solar eclińse, October 27, 1780, at Providence. By Josefth Browne, Esq.

The beginning of the eclipse was not seen, but the times, when the moon's limb first touched certain solar spots, were ascertained, and that of the end was noted by three observers. By measure with a micrometer Mr. Brown determined the quantity of the eclipse to be about 11.3% digits.

XI. Observatians of the solar eclipse of the 27th of October, 1780, made at Wewfort, Rhode-Island, by Alons. de Granchain, Translated

jrom the French, and communicat. ed by the Rev. President Willard. By these observations times are determined, when limbs of the sun and moon, and the sun's horns passed over the vertical and horizontal wires of a telescope, and when the eclipse ended, at a station on Goat-Island in 41° 30' 30" of northern latitude. M. de Granchain also observed the lunar eclipse of the 11th of November, 1780, at the same place. And the memoir contains his observed times of the beginning, immersion, and emersion of certain spots, and the end.

XII. An account of the obser, vations made in Providence, in the state of Rhode-Island, of the eclifise of the sun, which haffened the 23d day of Msiril, 1781. By Benjamin West, Esq. F.A..A.

The quantity of the eclipse and the time of its end were determined. And Mr. West calculated the moon's diameter from the magni. tude of the eclipse and the length of the chord, joining the cusps at the time of greatest obscuration.

XIII. Account of the transit of Mercury, observed at Cambridge, ..Wovember 12, 1782. By James Winthroft, Esq., F.A.M.

Observations of this transit by Judge Winthrop are contained in Professor Williams' account of those, which were made by himself and others. But, in the memoir before us, the author gives a more particular relation, with some additional facts and remarks.

XIV. Observations of an eclipse of the moon, March 29, 1782, and of an eclifise of the sun, on the 12th of Ahril, following, at If.swich, lat. 429 38' 30". By the Rev. Manasseh Cutler, F.A.M.

Relative to the lunar eclipse,

« PreviousContinue »