« PředchozíPokračovat »
. • tedious drudgeries in needle-work as were fic
only for the Hilpas and the Nilpas tlîat lived i before the flood. Here is a stir indeed with your
histories in embroidery, your groves with • shades of filk and streams of mohair ! I • would have you to know, that I hope to kill a• hundred lovers, before the best housewife in
England can stitch out a battle, and do not fear • but to provide boys and girls much faster than
your disciples can embroider them. I love birds • and beasts as well as you, but am content to • fancy them when they are really made. . What * do you think of guilt leather for furniture ?
There is your pretty hangings for a chamber; i and what is more, our own country, is the only
place in Europe, where work of that kind is toierably done. Without minding your musty lefsons, I am this minute going to. Paul's church,
yard to bespeak a skreen and a set of hangings ; . and am resolved to encourage the manufacture of my country..
NO 610. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22.
Sic, cum tranfierint mei
A stranger to himfelf alone..
Have often wondered that the Jews fhould con
trive such a worthlefs greatness for the deliverer whom they expected, as to dress him up in external pomp and pageantry, and represent him to their imagination, as making havock amongst his creatures, and acted with the poor ambition of a Casar or an Alexander. How much more illustrious doth he appear in his real character, when confidered as the author of universal benevolence
among men, as refining our paffions, exalting our nature, giving us vast ideas of immortaliry, and teaching us a contempt of that little showy grandeur, wherein the Jews made the glory of their Messiah to consist !
Nathing (fays Longinus ) can be great, the contempt of which is great. The poffeffion of wealth and riches cannot give a man a title to greatness, ben cause it is looked upon as a greatness of mind, to contemn these gifts of fortune, and to be above the
desire of them. I have therefore been inclined to think, that there are greater men who lie concealed among the species, than those who come out, and draw
upon themselves the eyes and admiration of mankind. Virgil would never have been heard of, had not his domeftick misfortunes driven him out of his obscurity, and brought him to Rome.
If we suppose that there are spirits or angels, who look into the ways of men, as it is highly probable there are, both from reason and revelation ; how different are the notions which they entertain of us, from those which we are apt to form of one another? Were they to give us in their catalogue of such worthies as are now living, how different would it be from that which any of our own fpecies would draw up.?
We are dazzled with the splendor of titles, the oftentation of learning, the noise of victories :: They, on the contrary, see the philofopher in the cottage, who pofleffes his soul in patience and thankfulness, under the preffures of what little minds call poverty and distress. They do not look for great men at the head of armies, or among the pomps of a court, but often find them out in Thades and folitudes, in the private walks and bypaths of life. The evening's walk of a wise man is more illustrious in their fight, than the march of a general at the head of an hundred thousand: men. A contemplation of God's works; a voluntary
act of justice to our detriment ; a generous. .concern for the good of mankind; tears that are shed in filence for the misery of others ; a. private defire of resentment broken and fubdued';, in short, an unfeigned exercise of humility, or any other virtue, are such actions as: are glorious in their fight, and denominate men great and reputable. The most famous among us are often looked upon with pity, with contempt, or with indignation;
while those who are most obscure among their own species, are regarded with love, with approbation, and esteem.
The moral of the present fpeculation amounts to this, that we should not be led away by the censures and applauses of men, but consider the figure that every person will make, at that time when wisdom shall be justified of her children, and nothing pass for great or illustrious which is not an ornament and perfection to human nature.
The story of Gyges, the rich Lydian monarch, is a memorable instance to our prefent purpofe. The. oracle being asked by Gyges; who was the happiest man, replied, Aglaüs. Gyges, who expected to have heard himself named on this occasion, was much surprised, and very curious to know who this Aglaüs should be. After much enquiry he was found to be an obscure country-man, who employed all his time in cultivating a garden, and a few acres of land about his house.
Cowley's agreeable relation of this story thall close this day's speculation.
Thus Aglaüs ( a man unknown to men,
Who his high race does from the gods derive?
So, gracious god, (if it may lawful be,
NO 611. MONDAY, OCTOBER 25.
Perfide! fed duris genuit te cautibus horrens
VIRG. Æn. iv. ver. 366.
And fierce Hyrcanian tigers gave thee suck.
the least fervice for the deserving and unfortunate. Accordingly I have caused the following letter to be inserted in my paper, the moment that it came to my hands, without altering one tittle in an account which the lady relates to handsomely herself.