Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

obtained the glorious surname of the them, that indeed nothing could be Juft; a title, says Plutarch, truly more advantageous to the commondivine: but of which princes are fel- wealth than Themistocles' project, but dom ambitious, becaule generally ig- that at the same time nothing in the norant of its beauty and excellency. ' world could be more onjuit. All the

They choose rather to be called the people unanimously ordained that conquerors of cities and the thunder- Themistocles should entirely defift bolts of war, preferring the vain ho- from his project. nour of pompous titles, which con There is not perhaps in all history vey no other idea than violence and a fact more worthy of admiration than slaughter, to the solid glory of those this. It is not a company of philosoexpressive of goodness and virtue. phers (to whom it costs nothing to How much Aristides deserved the title establish fine maxims and sublime nogiven him, will appear in the follow- tions of morality in the school) who ing instances; though it ought to be determine on this occasion that the observed, that he acquired it not by consideration of profit and advantage one or two particular actions, but by ought never to prevail in preference the whole tenor of his conduct. to what is honest and juít; but the

Themistocles having conceived the whole people who are highly interested design of supplanting the Lacedemo- in the propofal made to them, that nians, and of taking the government are convinced it is of the greatest imof Greece out of their hands, in order portance to the welfare of the state, , to put it into those of the Athenians, and who, however, reject it with kept his eye and his thoughts con unanimous consent, and without a tinually fixed upon that great project; moment's hesitation; and for this only and as he was not very nice or scrupu- reason, that it is contrary to justice. lous in the choice of his meafures, How black and perfidious, on whatever tended toward the accom- other hand, was the design which plishing of the end he had in view he Themistocles proposed to them, of looked upon as just and lawful. burning the fleet of their Grecian con

On a certain day then he declared federates at a tiine of entire peace, in a full assembly of the people, that folely to aggrandize the power of the he had a very important design to pro- Athenians! Had he a hundred times pose; but that he could not commu- the merit ascribed to him, this single nicate it to the people, because its action would be sufficient to fully all / success required it should be carried on his glory; for it is the heart, that is with the greatest secrecy : he therefore to say, integrity and probity, which desired they would appoint a person to constitutes and distinguishes true whom he might explain himself upon merit. · the matter in question. Aristides was The government of Greece having unanimously fixed upon by the whole passed from Sparta to the Athenians, assembly, who referred themselves en it was thought proper under this new tirely to his opinion of the affair ; so government to lodge in the island of great a confidence had they both in Delos the common treasure of Greece; his probity and prudence. Themisto- to fix new regulations with regard to cles, therefore, having taken him the public money; and to lay such a aside, told him that the design he had tax as might be regulated according conceived was to burn the fleet be- to the revenue of each city and state, longing to the rest of the Grecian in order that the expences being ftates, which then lay in a neighbour- equally borne by the several indiviing port ; and by this means Athens duals who composed the body of the. would certainly become mistress of all allies, no one might have reason to Greece. Aristides hereupon returned murmur. The difficulty was to find to the assembly, and only declared to a person of fo honest and incorrupt a

ñ the

mind, as to discharge faithfully an virtuous part of the citizens, rifing up employment of so delicate and danger- against so unjust a fentence, not only ous a kind, the due administration of the judgment was reversed and the which fo nearly concerned the public fine remitted, but he was elected welfare. All the allies cast their eyes

treasurer again for the year ensuing, on Aristides ; accordingly they in- He then seemed to repent of his former vested him with full powers, and ap- administration; and by fowing himpointed him to levy a tax on each of self more tractable and indulgent tothem, relying entirely on his wisdom ward others, he found out the secret and justice. The citizens had no of pleasing all that plundered the comcause to repent their choice. He monwealth: for as he neither represided over the treasury with the proved them nor narrowly inspected fidelity and disinteresedness of a man their accounts, all these plunderers, - who looks upon it as a capital crime grown fat with spoil and rapine, now to embezzle the smallest portion of extolled Aristides to the skies. It another's poffeffions, with the care and would have been easy for him, as we activity of a father of a family in the perceive, to have enriched himself in management of his own estate, and a post of that nature, which seems, as with the caution and integrity of a it were, to invite a man to it by the person who considers the public mo- many favourable opportunities it lays nies as sacred. In fine, he succeeded in his way; especially as he had to do in what is equally difficult and extra- with officers, who for their part were ordinary, viz. to acquire the love of intent upon nothing but robbing the all in an office in which he who escapes public, and would have been ready to the public odium gains a great point. conceal the frauds of the treasurer Such is the glorious character which their maiter upon condition he did Seneca gives of a person charged with them the fame favour. These very an employment of almost the same officers now made interest with the kind, and the noblest eulogium that people to have him continued a third can be given to such as administer year in the same employment: but public revenues. It is the exact pic- when the time of election was come, ture of Aristides

. He discovered to just as they were on the point of elect- / much probity and wisdom in the ex- ing Aristides unanimously, he rose ercise of this office, that no man com- up, and warmly reproved the Athenian plained; and those times were con- people : "What (fays he) when I fidered ever after as the golden age ; managed your treasure with all the that is, the period in which Greece fidelity and diligence an honest man is had attained its highest pitch of virtue capable of, I met with the most cruel and happiness.

treatment, and the most mortifying While he was treasurer-general of returns; and now that I have abanthe republic, he made it appear that doned it to the mercy of these robbers his predecessors in that office had of the republic, I am an admirable cheated the siate of vast sums of mo man and the best of citizens! I canney, and among the rest Themistocles not help declaring to you, that I am in particular; for this great man, more ashamed of the honour you do with all his merit, was not irre- me this day, than I was of the conproachable on that head; for which demnation you passed against me this reason, when Arillides came to pass time twelve-month; and with grief I his account, Themistocles raised a find that it is more glorious with us mighty faction against him, accused to be complaisant to knaves than to him of having embezzled the public save the treasures of the republic.' treasure, and prevailed so far as to By this declaration he filenced the have him condemned and fined. But public plunderers and gained the eleem the principal inhabitants, and the most of all good men.

An

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

Gidea Hall in Eper, the Seat of Richard Bomon &q?

[ocr errors]

An Account of GIDEA HALL, in Essex, the Seat of RICHARD

Benyon, Esq. With a Perspective View. G D LIDE A HALL. was an anci- both which met with the highest ap

ent seat, near Rumford, in Ef- plause.-Elizabeth, the third, enjoyed sex, twelve miles from London. It the same liberal education which was was begun by sir Thomas Cooke, bestowed pon her sisters, and 'was who was knighted by Edward IV, at equally happy in improving the adthe coronation of his queen. He ob- vantages conferred upon her; for such tained of the king licence to make was her progress in the learned lanhere a park and castle ; but being fe- guages, that the gained the applause verely fined, and his house plundered, of the most eminent scholars of the on a charge of treason, for refusing age. She was first the wife of fir to lend money for the use of the house Thomas Hobby, ambassador to France; of Lancaster, he left it unfinished at and, afterward, of John lord Russell, his death in 1478. Sir Anthony, his son and heir of Francis Russell, earl of grandson, one of the preceptors of Bedford. For the tombs of both her Edward II, and an exile in the reign husbands, she wrote epitaphs in Greek, of queen Mary, finished it in that of Latin, and English. Catherine, the queen Elizabeth; whom he had the fourth, married to fir Henry Killehonour of entertaining here in her grew, was famous for her knowledge progress in 1568. This fir Anthony in the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin Cooke was particularly fortunate in tongues, and for her skill in poetry. his four daughters, who were all emi- She was buried in the chancel of the nent for their great literary attain- church of St. Thomas the Apostle, in ments. Mildred, the eldest, was above Vintry-yard, London, where there is forty-two years the faithful wife of that an elegant monument erected to her great ftatesman William Cecil lord memory, with an inscription composed Burleigh. She was learned in the by herself. Greek tongue, and wrote a letter in From the eldest daughter of the that language, to the university of great grandson of fir Anthony Cooke, Cambridge. She had, moreover, this venerable mansion passed to the great political talents ; was a patroness family of Sydenham.' Mary de Meof literature ; and diftinguished for her dicis was lodged here one night after numerous charities --Anne, the second, her landing in 1637, at which time was the second wife of fir Nicholas it belonged to a widow lady, probaBacon, the lord keeper, and mother bly Mrs. Martha Cooke, mother of of the great lord Verulam. This Mrs. Sydenham.

It had different lady, who was eminently skilled in proprietors, till it was purchased, in Greek, Latin, and Italian, had the the beginning of this century, by fir honour of being appointed governess John Eyles, bart. who took down to king Edward Vi. To her instruc- the old mansion, and built the pretions was probably owing the sur- sent structure, which he sold, in 1745, prising knowledge of that excellent to governor Benyon, whose fon, young prince. Her fons Anthony and Richard Benyon, esq. . member of Francis were not a little indebted, for parliament for Peterborough, is the the reputation they acquired, to the present proprietor. The house has pains taken with them, by this ex- been raised, enlarged, and repaired cellent woman, in their tender years. by Mr. Benyon, who has much imWhen they grew up, they found in proved the grounds by extensive, her a severe, but admirable monitor. plantations, and a fine piece of water, She translated from the Italian, the which the great road crosses, over an Sermons of Barnardine Ochine; and, elegant bridge of three elliptic arches from the Latin, bishop Jewel's Apo- designed by Mr. Wyatt. logy for the Church of Eęgland;

Interest

« PředchozíPokračovat »