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"Death is the close of life to all men."
* Here is my journey's end: here is my butt,
And very sea-mark of my utmost sail."
THE INQUISITIVE. Sbun the inquisitive, for thou wilt be sure to find him leaky; open ears do not keep conscier tiously what has been intrusted to them, aud word once spoken flies never to be recalled. Menander (Fr. Com. Gr., p. 98 M.):
" It is no way easier to check the course of a heavy sto : hurled from the hand than a word from the tongue."
Shakespeare (“ Two Gentlemen of Verona," act ii. sc. 4) says: “A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly shot ofl." ' So James i. 19:“Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to
RECOMMENDATIONS. He has lived not ill, who has lived and died un- ! Cong
un-1 Consider again and again the character of the noticed by the world.
man whom thou recommendest, lest the faults of It was the maxim of Epicurus, “ Lead a life of retirement;" another should, by and by, bring a blush to thy and Euripides (Iphig. in Aul. 17) says:—"I envy the man who
cheek. has passed through life without danger, unknown, inglorious."
Theognis (963) says:
“Never recommend a man till thou knowest him thoroughly, EVENNESS OF TEMPER.
what he is in passion, temper and manners." Every phase, aspect, and circumstance of life suited Aristippus, though he aimed at higher ob
FOLLY. jeets, still submitting with an unruffled counte
Once deceived, do not attempt to protect the nance to the events of life,
man who is weighed down by his own follies.
THE ADVANTAGES OF AN ACTIVE LIFE.
THE HOUSE OF A NEIGHBOR ON FIRE. To be successful in war and lead in triumph the For thy house is in danger when thy neighbor's captive enemy, makes man like a god, and confers is in flames: a fire neglected usually gains strength. immortal honor: it is no mean praise, too, to have gained the friendship of the great.
A court attendance seems pleasant to those who
have never tried it; a little experience convinces It is not every one that succeeds in reaching Cor
us of its irksomeness. inth.
Pindar (Fr. Hyporch. ii. 1) says:
“War is pleasant to those who have no experience of it, CLAMORS OF THE IMPORTUNATE.
but any one who knows it from the heart greatly dreads But if the crow could have been satisfied to eat its approach.” bis food in silence, he would have had more meat
UNLIKE TEMPERS. and much less quarrelling and envy.
The morose dislike the gay, and the witty abomVIRTUE.
inate the grave. Virtue holds a middle place between these two
AN HUMBLE LIFE. vices, and is equally removed from both.
A retired path, where lonely leads the silent This is the well-known doctrine of Aristotle (Eth. 11, 6):* Virtue is a deliberate habit, being in the middle . . . It is
is way. à mean state between two faults, one of excess, the other of Pope ("* Ode on Solitude") expresses the same idea: defect."
"Thus let me live, unseen, unknown, Cicero (Brut. 40) says:
Thus unlamented let me die; "Since every virtue, as your old Academy said, is a mean:
Steal from the world, and not a stone both were anxious to follow a certain mean.
Tell where I lie."
And Gray(“ Elegy in a Country Churchyard "):THE RUDE MAN CONTENDING FOR TRIFLES.
“ Along the cool sequester'd vale of life, The other often contends for things of no conse
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way." quence whatever; armed with futile arguments he
LIFE OF TRANQUILLITY. combats everything that is advanced.
Let me have what I now have, or even less; A SECRET.
and may I live for myself the remainder of my
life, whatever time the gods grant me: give me a Strive not to find out his secrets, and keep what plenteous store of books and a competence: let me is intrusted to thee though tried by wine and pas- not oscillate between hope and fear, anxiously sion; praise not thy own pursuits, nor blame those looking to the future. It is enough to pray to of thy friend.
| Jupiter for such things as he can give and take
away; let him give me life and wealth: a well-1
THE VULGAR. balanced mind is what I shall bestow on myself.
Sometimes the vulgar throng form a just judg. Shakespeare (" As You Like It," act ii. sc. 1) says: ment, but oft they labor under gross mistakes. "And thus our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
POETASTERS. Sermons in stones, and good in everything."
Physicians practise what belongs to their art: And again (“ Henry IV.," Part I. act v. sc. 1):-
mechanics work only at their trade; but learned “For mine own part, I could be well content
and unlearned, we all equally are scribbling verses. To entertain the lag-end of my life With quiet hours."
Greece led captive her savage conquerors, and
introduced civilization to barbarous Latium. · What! if one were to assume a grim, stern countenance, with naked feet and scanty robe, to ape
CORRUPTION OF TASTE. the appearance of Cato, would he thereby be rep
But our knights now take pleasure, not in what resenting the virtues and manners of that old delio
that old delights the ear, but in pageant shows that charm worthy?
the wandering eye. IMITATORS.
DULNESS. O imitators, a servile race, how often have your Thou wouldst swear that he had been born in attacks roused my bile and often my laughter! thick Bæotian air.
THE POET. I was the first to step out freely along a hitherto
The expression of the face is not better expressed
by the sculptor's art, than are the life and manuntravelled route; I have not trod in the footsteps
ners of heroes in the poet's works. As for me, to of others: he who relies on himself, is the leader to guide the swarm.
celebrate thy exploits, to describe the lands and
rivers that have witnessed thy victories, the forAPPLAUSE OF THE POPULACE.
tresses thou hast stormed on the peaks of moun
tains, the barbarian realms thou hast overrun, the I court not the favor of the fickle mob.
wars that have been gloriously terminated under Shakespeare (“Antony and Cleopatra," act v. sc. 2) calls thy auspices in all parts of the world, the gates of the mob
Janus thou hast closed as the signal of universal “The shouting varletry.”
peace, I would renounce forever my satires and
prosaic measure if my strength were only equal to TEARS.
my desires. And hence these tears of spleen and anger rise.
For man learns more readily and remembers They complained that the honor they received
more willingly what excites his ridicule than what did not come up to their high deserts.
deserves esteem and respect.
Thou mayest mould him into any shape like
soft clay. ENVY.
THE POOR. He found that envy is only to be overcome by The man, who hast lost his all, will go wherever death.
thou wishest. Thucydides (ii. 45) says: “ Envy is felt towards living rivals; that, which does not
ATHENS. stand in our way, is honored with a feeling of love without
Indulgent Athens taught me some of the higher the slightest repugnance." And Aristotle (Rhet. ii. 10) says:
arts, putting me in the way to distinguish a straight “No one feels jealous of those who have existed ten thou- line from a curve, and to search after wisdom sand years ago, or of those who are about to come into being, amidst the groves of Academe, but the hard exigenor of the dead."
cies of the times forced me from this charming reIn the Shakespeare Society's reprint of Forde's “Line of Life," 1620, the following passage occurs:
treat. "Great men are by great men (not good men by good men] Milton ("Paradise Regained,"iv. I. 227) says: narrowly sifted; their lives, their actions, their demeanors "Where on the Ægean shore a city stands, examined, for that their places and honors are hunted after,
Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil; as the beazar (beaver?) for his preservations."
Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
And eloquence, native to famous wits
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
City or suburban, studious walks and shades.
See there the olive grove of Academe, bors irritates by his excessive splendor, and is only Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird loved aiter death.
Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long.""
RICHES. Waning years steal from us our pleasures one! But if riches had power to bestow wisdom and by one; they have already snatched away my jokes, render thee less a slave to passions and fears, then my loves, my revellings, and play.
indeed thou mightest blush with reason if there Wordsworth (in "The Fountain ") says:
were one on earth more covetous than thou.
CHANGEABLENESS OF PROPERTY.
What boots it whether the food thou eatest was And Byron ("Childe Harold," canto iii. st. 2):
| bought just now from the lands of another, or "Years steal
whether it is the produce of an estate thou boughtFire from the mind as vigor from the limb;
est many years ago ? He who bought some time And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim."
ago lands close to Aricia or Veii pays as well as Shakespeare (“Comedy of Errors," act v. sc. 1) says:
thou for the plate of herbs he sups on, though he * Oh, grief hath chang'd me since you saw me last,
may think otherwise; he boils his pot at night with And careful hours, with Time's deformed hand, Have written strange defeatures in my face."
wood that he has bought even as thou dost; and
yet he calls the land his own as far as where a cerDIFFERENCES OF OPINION.
tain poplar fixes the boundary and prevents quarIn short, we do not all admire and love the
rels with his neighbor; as if anything can be
called a lasting possession which in the short same thing.
space of a single hour may change its lord and DIFFERENCES OF TASTE.
fall to other hands by coaxing, sale, violence, or
certainly at last by death. Since thus no property Demanding things quite different with differing
8 has a lasting tenure, and heir comes upon heir, as taste. What shall I give them? What shall I re
wave on wave, what real benefit is there in landed fuse? Thou refusest what the other demands;
property and ever-increasing hoards ?
Antiphanes (in Grotii Exc. p. 627) says:-
lasting, thou art much mistaken."
So Luke xii. 19, 20:
"And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods I submit to much, that I may keep in good hu
laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be mor the fretful tribe of poets, while I write and
merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy try by humble submissions to catch public ap- soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things plause.
be which thou hast provided !"
SELF-CONCEIT OF A POET.
GENIUS OF EACH INDIVIDUAL. For my own part, I had rather be esteemed a The cause of the differences in men is only foolish and dull writer, provided my own faults known to that mystic genius who presides at our please me, or at least escape my notice, than be
birth, who directs our horoscope, the god of nawise and a prey to continual vexation,
ture, living and dying with each, changeable like Pope (" Essay on Man," iv. 260) says:
each, propitious or malign according as we obey "What is it to be wise ?
Menander (Fr. Com. Gr., p. 974) says:-
“A good genius is present to every man at his birth as the It is a favorite idea of Goethe, found in his “Torquato Tasso" |
director of his life: for we must not imagine that it can be a
bad genius that injures a good life." "Beloved brother, let us not forget that man can never lay
Spenser, in his “Faerie Queen" (ii. 12, 47), says: aside his own nature." And in his ** Truth and Poetry" (xvi. 4):
That celestiall powre to whom the care "A man may turn whither he chooses; he may undertake whatever he may; but he always will come back to the path
Of life, and generation of all . which Nature has once prescribed to him."
That lives, perteines in charge particulare, Destouches (~ Glorieux," v. 3) has the same idea:
Who wondrous things concerning our welfare, "I know it only too well; drive out what springs from na
And strange phantomes doth lett us ofto foresee, ture, it returns at a gallop.”
And ofte of secret ills bids us beware; And La Fontaine ("Fables," ii. 187):
Thal is ourselfe, whom though we do not see, “Let them shut the door in his face, he will get back through
Yet each doth in himselfe it well perceive to bee: the windows."
Therefore a god him sage Antiquity But perhaps Frederick the Great expresses the idea as for
Did wisely make, and good Agdistes call. cibly as any of these when he says, in his letter to Voltaire, March 19, 1771:
EITHER IMPROVE YOUR LIFE, OR LEAVE THE * Drive prejudices out by the door, they will re-enter by the window."
STAGE OF LIFE.
What boots it to pluck one thorn out of so PLEASING DELUSIONS.
many ? If thou knowest not how to live sensibly, By Pollux, cruel friends, you have destroyed, give way to those who do. Thou hast had not saved me, in taking away this pleasure and enough of the pleasures of life, enough of feasting robbing me by force of such an agreeable delu- and revellings; it is time for thee to depart, lest sion.
the age, on whom mirth and jollity sit well, should
laugh at thee as thou reelest, and hoot thee off crop of words die out, and those lately produced the stage of life.
flourish and are vigorous like the youthful. Pope("Essay on Man," iii. 70) says:
In Ecclesiasticus (xiv. 18) we have:“ Thou too must perish when thy feast is o'er.” .
"As of the green leaves on a thick tree, some fall and some
grow; so is the generation of flesh and blood, one cometh to UNIFORMITY RECOMMENDED.
an end and another is born. So that a beauteous maid above should end in a
WORDS. hideous fish.
All the works of man will perish, still less can
we expect that the bloom and grace of language RIDICULE.
will continue to flourish and endure. Many words My friends, were you admitted to such a sight, I will revive which have been long in oblivion, and could you refrain from laughter ?
others will disappear which are in present repute,
if usage shall so will it, in whose power is the deDREAMS OF THE SICK MAN.
cision, the law, and the rule of speech. The delusive dreams of the sick man.
Roscommon thus translates this passage (“Art of Poe):
try"):PAINTERS AND POETS.
“Men ever had, and ever will have, leave Painters and poets are granted the same licence.
To coin new words well suited to the age.
Words are like leaves, some wither every year, We are aware of this; such indulgence we give
And every year a younger race succeeds. and take.
Use may revive the obsoletest words, Diphilus (Athen. vi. 1) says:
And banish those that now are most in vogue; " As tragic writers say, who alone have the power to say
Use is the judge, the law and rule of speech." and do all things." Aristotle (Metaph. 1. 2, 10) says:
CRITICS. " According to the proverb, "Poets produce many fictions.'” Lucian (Pro. Imagg. 18) says:-
Critics dispute, and the question is still unde“This is an old saying, that both poets and painters are ir- cided. responsible."
Let each subject have its own peculiar style, and Ofttimes to lofty beginnings that promise much are sewed one or two purple patches, which may
keep it, if what is becoming be our object. shine from far.
Each throws aside high-sounding expressions We are led astray by the semblance of what is and words a foot and half long. right.
MAN EASILY AFFECTED TO GRIEF OR JOY. Hood says: “For man may pious texts repeat,
As man laughs with those that laugh, so he And yet religion have no inward seat."
weeps with those that weep; if thou wish me to
weep, thou must first shed tears thyself; then thy EXTREMES.
sorrows will touch me. When we try to avoid one fault we are led to the
Aristotle (Rhet, iii. 7, 5) says:opposite, unless we be very careful.
“The audience always sympathizes with him who speaks
pathetically." UNIFORMITY DESIRABLE.
Plato (Ion, c. 6, or 535 E.) says: I would no more imitate such an one than wish
“I am constantly looking down from my seat above upon
those who are weeping, or looking fiercely, or astonished, in to appear in public distinguished for black eyes unison with what is related." and hair, but disfigured by a hideous nose.
Roscommon thus translates the passage:
“We weep and laugh, as we see others do; SUBJECT SUITABLE TO ABILITIES.
He only makes me sad who shows the way, Ye writers choose a subject fitted to your
And first is sad himself.” strength, and ponder long what your shoulders Churchill ("The Rosciad," 1. 801) says:refuse to bear and what they are able to support. “But spite of all the criticising elves, He who has hit upon a subject suited to his
Those who would make us feel-must feel themselves." powers, will never fail to find eloquent words and lucid arrangement.
AN ACTOR. Seneca (De Tranq. An. 5) says:
Words of sorrow become the sorrowful; menac"In the next place, we must take a proper gauge of the ing words suit the passionate; sportive express things which we attempt, and compare our strength w
sions a playful look; serious words become the enterprise in which we are about to engage. For the individual ought always to be superior to that on which he is em
grave; for nature forms us from our very birth ployed.”
capable of feeling every change of fortune; she
delights the heart with mirth, transports to rage, WORDS ARE LIKE LEAVES.
or wrings the sad soul and bends it down to earth. As the leaves of the woods change at the fall of In course of time she teaches the tongue to be the the year, the earliest disappearing first, so the old | interpreter of the feelings of the heart,
Roscommon translates the passage thus:
Sophocles (Ajax, 551) speaks thus of youth:** Your looks must alter as your subject does,
“ Yet even now I have thus much to be envious of thee, From kind to fierce, from wanton to severe
that thou art sensible of none of these present evils. For in
feeling nothing is centred the sweetest life, until thou learn (Or, as Pope has it, "From grave to gay; from lively to
to know what it is to be happy, what it is to feel pain." severe ');
" Ah ! how regardless of their doom
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come,
No care beyond to-day." Let him be intrepid, nerce, unforgiving, imperda Shakespeare thus describes the ages of man (" As You Like ous, and declare that laws were not made for him, It," act ii. sc. 7):claiming everything by his sword.
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts, Let him from the beginning to the closing scene
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, maintain the character he has assumed, and be in Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms; every way consistent.
nd then the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping, like snail,
Unwillingly to school. And then, the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Nor shouldst thou translate word for word like Made to his mistress' eyebrows. Then, a soldier, a faithful interpreter.
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, Roscommon, on “ Translated Verse," says:
Seeking the bubble reputation * "Tis true, composing is the nobler part,
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice, But good translation is no easy art."
In fair round belly, with good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts What will this boaster produce worthy of such
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon, mouthing? The mountain is in labor; lo, a ridic With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side, ulous mouse will spring forth.
His youthful hose, well-saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shanks; and his big manly voice, This is a Greek proverb preserved by Athenæus (xiv. 6):* The mountain was in labor, and Jupiter was frightened,
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes
And whistles in the sound. Last scene of all, but it brought forth a mouse." "Great cry and little wool, as the fellow said when he
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion: sheared his hogs."
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."
A FLASH ENDING IN SMOKE.
THE EYE. He does not begin with a flash and end in smoke,
That which is conveyed through the ear, affects but tries to rise from a cloud of smoke to light.
us less than what the eye receives, and what the
spectator sees himself. DIFFERENCES OF AGE.
Herodotus (i. 8) says: You must strictly attend to the manners suited
“For the ear of man is less to be trusted than the eyes." to every age, and give to each season and the Herrick (“The Hesperides," Aphorism No. 158) says:varying years of life the peculiar graces that be “We credit most our sight; one eye doth please long to them. The child, who has learned to
Our trust far more than ten ear witnesses." speak and walks with firmer step, loves to play with his equals, is quick to feel and equally so to
A GOD. lay aside resentment, changing his feelings from Let no deity intervene, unless some difficulty moment to moment. The beardless youth, having arise which is worthy of a god's unravelling. got rid of his tutor, joys in his horses, dogs, and
Plato (Cratyl. c. 36, 425, D.) says:the games of the sunny Campus, yielding like wax " As the writers of tragedies, when they are in difficulty, to every evil impression, rough to reproof, slow in fly to their machinery, and introduce the gods." attending to his true interests, lavish of his money.) Cicero also (Nat. Deor. 1, 20) says:presumptuous, amorous, and swift to leave what..
I "As tragic poets, when you are unable to wind up your
argument in any other way, you have recourse to a god." had before pleased his fancy. Our inclinations having undergone a change, the age and spirit of
GREEK AUTHORS. manhood seeks for wealth and friendships, is a slave to ambition, is cautious of doing what he
Make the Grecian models your supreme delight; may afterwards repent; a thousand ills encompass
read them by day and study them by night. the aged; either he lives to amass wealth, which he fears to make use of, or else he manages every
CORRECTION OF STYLE. thing with a cold and timid touch, procrastinat- Latium would not have been more famed for ing, slow to entertain hopes, attached to life, the bravery of her citizens and her deeds of arms morose, complaining, a praiser of the times when than for her literary works, if our poets had not he was a boy, the scourge and chastiser of the refused to submit to the labor and delay of coryoung. Years in life's full tide bring many bless rection. Ye descendants of Pompilius, condemn ings; the ebb carries many away.
Ithe poem, which the toil of many a day and many