« PředchozíPokračovat »
father had twelve children, and And round me thick my master's finthese twelve children had, each, 30 white sons, and 30 black daughters, There were also many writers who are immortal, though they die of ænigmas in the barbarous ages, every day.” Olympius Diotimus, and we are told, that Aldhelm, Clearchus, Theodectes, Droineas bishop of Sherborne, wrote a Cous, Aristonymus Psilocitharis- thousand verses of ænigmas : but tas,
and Cleon are numbered Aldhelm had better have minded among the Greek writers of ænig- his bishoprick, for his composimas. But, among the Latins, ex- tions, in this way, are so far infeamples of this species of writing riour to those of Symposius, whom are extremely rare. Apuleius re- he proposed as his model, that the lates, Apolog. page 276, that he learned and accurate Pithæus bas wrote a book “ Ludicorum et Gry- judged them not worthy an edition. phorum ;” but this book is unknown to us. There is extant a
BURTON VS. STERNE. poem, by Ausonius, calied, “ Gry- When we admire the pages of phus Ternarii Numeri," which Shandy, we must, for the future, may come under this head. The remember the pages of Burton. best example, however, among the Few authors have been more unLatins, is that collection of ænig- fortunate in their illustrators, than mas, written by Calius Symposius. our friend, Yorick. Dr. Ferriar These have passed through a vari- has exposed the numerous plagiarety of editions, and have been isms of the facetious Sterne, and translated into Greek, and modern restored to the author of the AnatItalian. It may not be improper omy of Melancholy all that the into give one or two instances of justice of Yorick had stolen from these ænigmas. The first is on him. the Graphium or Sulus of the an- At the time of writing Tristram cients :
Shandy, the Anatomy of MelanDe summo planus, sed non ego planus choly was by no means generally in imo ;
known. Few repaired to it, except Versor utrinque manu, diversa et mu- those who were prompted by felo
nera fungor ; Altera pars revocat, quidquid pars al. nious intentions, and among those tera fecit.
none were more active than young
Tristram. The force of habit is A diff'rent form my two extremes could show,
incalculable, and Tristram comTho' fat my head, not fat my forın be. mitted these larcenies to the day low;
of his death. Tum'd by the hand, a différent use they bore,
THE HORSE. And that revok'd what this perform'd before.
Shakespeare's description of this
noble animal is so full and perfect, The second is the Arundo :
that I cannot resist transcribing it. Dulcis amica Dei, ripis vicina profundis, The Latin and Greek poets : bave Suave canens Musis : nigro perfusa each celebrated the Horse, in colore,
strains familiar to every man of Nuntia sum linguæ, digitis stipata magistri.
reading Pan's darling friend, on rivers' banks I Round hoof'd, short jointed, fetlocks spring,
shag and long, And ever sweetly to the Muses sing : Broad breast, full eyes, small head and I too can speak whicnfill’d with sable dye, nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, strait legs,' and But where will you find a many passing strong:
who proposes to himself dignity Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, of character, who ik ws an inducetender hide.
ment to this kind of game? It is
difficult to determine, whether it Is it not surprising that men of appear more odious among sharp
among sense should condescend to join ers, or more ridiculous in this silly custom, which was persons of character. Persons of originally invented to supply its ability are capable of furnishing a deficiency? But such is the fatali. much more agreeable entertainty! Imperfections give rise to
ment. Whenever I am offered fashions, and are followed by cards therefore, I shall esteem it those who do not labour under the
as the opinion of the host, that I de focts, which introduced them have neither sense nor fancy. Nor is a hoop the only instance of And yet this is a melancholy rea fashion, inventerl by those, who flection, since there seldom is a found their account in it; and af: "party" in this exquisitely refined terwards countenanced by others, metropolis without cards. to whose figure it was prejudicial. How can men, who value them. Upon reflection, I think there selves upon their reflections, give is much utility in cards. I would encouragedient a practice, not have them renounced by “parwhich puts an end to thinkirg? ties.” I can recollect many an Cards, if one may judge from evening, which would have gone their appearance, seem invented off heavily indeed, without the asfor the use of children ; and among sistance of kings, queens, and the toys of infancy, the bells, the knaves,&c. After having been weawhistle, and the rattle deserved ried two or three hours by stories their share of commendation.- of fulfiics, and parrots, and turn. By degrees those, who came nearested-of servants,sickneesex, recoveries, children in understanding and want (on which, to make a legal pun, I of ideas, grew enamoured of the use would readily have imposed a fine,) ofthem,as a suitable entertainment; I have gladly taken refuge at the others also, pleased to reflect on the card-table, and derived no small
part of their lives, had comparative satisfaction from the recourse to this amusement, as odd trick. what recalled it to their minds.
For the Anthology.
As the light air of crowds uncertain veers. FRANCIS THERE are few words in our than principle, althou ch none is hnguage more improperly used more fixed in its definition. Those,
Vol IV. No.4.
who act right, or rather those, who stant habit of attending publick do not act wrong, are supposed to worship and of private devotion, possess sound principles, and are he was greatly shocked at the netherefore deemed good men. But, glect of the sabbath in France. however heterodox it may seem, He found the churches deserted, we must affirm, that a man is not but the places of amusement to be judged by his actions alone. thronged ; and determined to quit Many, without any temptation to this scene of irreligion, as soon as vice, act well all their lives, and his business would allow. But, ere pass for virtuous citizens ; while this period arrived, he had learnt others, with stronger powers and to consider these amusements as purer hearts, though they may innocent, and, thinking himself withstand allurements too powerful freed from the shackles of superfor the foriner, yet yield in some stition, he heard with indifference weak moment and receive a stigma religion and moral institutions to last forever on their character. scofred at and derided. To be conIn examining into the conduct of sidered as a wit and philosopher mankind it is astonishing to ob- he had only to learn the common serve the almost total want of prin- arguments against religion, and to ciple in the world. Education, doubt of the immortality of the habit, fashion, fear of shame, feels soul. The task was easy and the ing, and motives of the like nature, scholar apt. Instead of finding prevent men from deviating far men honest, as his inexperience from what is considered the right had led him to expect, he found patlı ; but, let the same motives himself defrauded by all with whom lead into the path of errour, let he had dealings; and, to put himinterest and fashion tempt from self upon an equality with them, the road of virtue, and her ways he conceived himself obliged to will be deserted ; men will hesi- cheat them in return. Fashion zate in their conduct ; they will ei- easily persuaded him to listen to ther want principle to tell them the syren song of female beauty what is right, or firmness to act and depravity, and plunged him according to that knowledge. into the depths of dissipation.
Leontes was educated for the Thus, before he had been six mercantile profession; in the usual months in the country, he had manner from the nursery he pass- wholly thrown aside the sober ed first to school, then to an acad- manners of New-England, and aemy, and from thence proceeded dopted in their stead all the fashto the counting-house, and, having ionable vices of corrupted France. gone through the regular routine Yet was Leontes not wholly dein that service, was so fortunate as praved. Obliged by his circumto procure the office of supercargo stances to revisit his native shores, of a ship bound to France ; a situ- he left his vices behind, because ation he had long desired, that, society would not tolerate them whilst obtaining commercial in- here. Engaged in business, his formation, and making arrange- reputation now stands fair upon the ments in business, he might at the exchange ; and with a young wife, same time, gratify his curiosity by greatly attached to him, he has few beholding the collected wonders of temptations to wander from conjuthe ancient and modern world. gal fidelity. Acquainted with the Educated strictly, and in the con- parson of his parish, he thinks himself obliged to repay his visits cept when sanctioned by custon, at the church ; and the variety re- or urged by an apparent necessity. lieves the ennui of the dull sunday. The latter will never act right, exFeeling makes him assist the indi- cept when he believes it for his ingent, that accident throws in his terest. The one, though you can way ; and vanity makes him lib- place but little confidence in him,yet cral. Altogether no man in the has many restraints upon his concommunity bears a fairer charac- duct ; the other you are never sure ter; yet is Leontes the same. is not plotting to injure you. HapWithout principle, his actions flow pily there are but few wholly defrom the circumstances, in which praved, few who have entirely si. he is placed. In India he might lenced the voice of conscience, or have been a Brahmin, in Arabia who have no belief in future rea robber, in Spain a monk, in wards and punishments ; but mulFrance a modern philosopher, and titudes act all their lives, without here a man of business. Such reflecting upon the moral rectitude men usually pass through life with of any one action. The far greater reputation, frequently with having part of mankind, though in some committed but few misdeeds, and cases, in which they are little inwith having performed some good clined to err, have a strong sense actions ; but, as they are guided by of right and wrong ; yet in others no principle, they can never com- will suffer interest to blind their mand our esteem or confidence. judgment. The necessity of We may like them as acquaint- principle is generally allowed ; yet ance, but can never regard them are there few, who will not occa. as friends, or trust our life or for- sionally bend their principles to tune in their hands.
circumstances, or, by some sophWhatever opinion is formed of istry, colour bad actions with a the above character, it is necessary semblance of right ; or will intend carefully to distinguish it from the to make atonement for their vices man of bad principles, who has no by the more rigid performance o tie but interest or want of power other duties, as the knights of old to prevent his overturning society, satisfied their conscience by dedi. and reducing the world to its orig- cating to the church a portion of inal barbarity. Temporary inter- the spoils, they had taken from the est, the only check to his commit, defenceless and the poor. ting the worst of crimes, a thou- Society sanctions many things sand accidents may remove ; and not correct ; and violations of truth what shall then prevent his reach are frequenily considered justifiaing the lowest degree of depravity, ble. The out works of principle and perpetrating crimes, which are every where in vaded with imwould make us shrink from the punity, for she is thought secure, name of man, that we might dis- while the citadel is safe. But soci. claim kindred with the monster ? ety suffers more from these indi
The world confounds these char- rect attacks, than from any open acters, so perfectly distinct ; and violation of principle. Some men, to say, that a man has no principles in other respects bonest, will not is supposed synonimous to saying, scruple to seil a defective horse as that his principles are bad. But sound, provided it can be done the difference is really great ; the without a direct fullsehood. Others former will never agt wrong, ex- will overreach in a bargain ; and I have heard a countryman praise rectitude of every action. At the another man, because he cheated age of fifteen he had completely fairly. One conceals a sum of banished feeling from his breast, money he had found, and quiets and would view with indifference, his conscience, as he is ignorant of or rather with abhorrence, those the owner, by liberality to the unfortunate wretches, whose mispoor. Another justifies his liber- eries proceeded from their own iinism by saying, that he only in- vices. His morals were rigidly jures himself
. But it is principle correct, he gave large sums to the alone that can protect us against indigent, and discouraged immothe allurements of vice and the rality and vice, both by precept storms of interest and passion. and example ; yet, as he spoke
Principle should be firm, like without feelings for the infirmities the rock, but not so frowning and of man ; as he gave, without symforbidding in its aspect. It should, pathising with the sufferings, that in things indifferent, yield to the he relieved ; as he was stern to opinion of the world, while it care. the poor, that subsisted on his fully guards against even the sem- bounty ; and as he was a severe blance of wrong ; like the elm, it censor of every slight indiscretion ; should yield the smaller branches though all acknowledged his goodto the gentlest breeze, while itselfness, yet he never had a friend. remains firmagainst every tempest. His presence cast a gloom upon
Too great a love of principle, it society, for every sportive thought is true, hardens the character, de, and action was to be reduced to stroys the amiable feelings, and the rigid rule of right. At his produces a harsh stiffness. Such death the wretches, whom he had was the case with Menander, Ed- relieved, regretted that bounty ucated in tie rigid rule of right, they no longer felt; but not a tear he was taught never to act from was shed on his grave for the loss feeling ; but to weigh the moral of Menander.
For the Anthology.
Nix, Boreasq ferox turbine latè ruit.
Infantem Amplectens tristia verba dedit.
Sic venti, qui plent pectora mæsta gelu.
“ Hei mili, pro dira pelice blanda fui”
Nam satis est fluvii, grandinis atq feræ.
Oh! renovent lacrymæ quæ matris ora rigant.
Et vir sat sævus deceruisse torum.
Fatalisq cito corpora languor habet
Alq cubans obiit, (sic sacra Musa canit.)