페이지 이미지


THE CHIEFTAINS FIGHT ONLY FOR THEIR PLACE| commit cruel acts, will always have cause to

The chieftains contend only for their place of


It is not becoming to turn from friends in adSo Gray in “ Elegy":

versity, but then it is for those who have basked * The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”

in the sunshine of their prosperity to adhere to

them. No one was ever so foolish as to select the THE BRAVE MAN.

unfortunate for their friends. The very fear of an impending misfortune has driven many a coward to dare the utmost danger. That man is truly brave who, prepared to meet

THE SOUL OF THE GOOD LEAPS UP TO HEAVEN every extremity, if it is close at hand, is also able

AT DEATH. to wait coolly for its approach.

But his soul was not laid in ashes at Pharos,

nor could a little heap of dust contain so great a WAR.

shade; it leapt from the pyre, and leaving the Neither side is guiltless, if its adversary is ap

rv is and mass of half-burnt bone, sprung towards the pointed judge.

vaulted throne of the Thunderer. Where the

murky air meets the starry circles, midway beTHE PROSPEROUS.

tween our earth and the orbit of the moon, there

dwell the sainted Manes, whom, innocent in life, While a man enjoys prosperity, he knows not fiery virtue directed to the lower abode of God. whether he is beloved

and gathered in eternal mansions. Those laid in

gold and perfumes do not come hither. After he THE WORLD'S CONFLAGRATION.

had feasted himself on the pure light, and adThese nations, Cæsar, if the fire does not devour mired the wandering planets and pole-fixed stars, them, with the earth it will consume, with the he beheld the mist of darkness that enfolds our waters of the deep it will consume. One common brightest days, and mocked the farce called death, pile remains for the world, destined to mingle the in which his own maimed body lay. stars with its bones. Whithersoever Fortune shall summon thee, thither these souls also are

AN ILLUSTRIOUS NAME. wending. Thou shalt not rise higher into the air than these, nor in a more favored spot shalt thou | A name illustrious and revered by nations. lie beneath the Stygian night. Death is secure from Fortune. The earth receives everything

DEATH. which she has produced! he who has no urn is covered by the heavens.

Free death is man's first bliss, the next is to be

slain. TIME.

GOD. . Thus does a life too lengthened bring sorrow to mighty souls when loss of empire comes with We are all dependent on God, and even when length of days. Unless our own end and that of His temples sound not His praise, we are able to our blessings be at the same moment, and our do nothing without His will: neither does the sorrows be anticipated by speedy death, our divinity require words to express His commands; former happiness adds strength to our grief. the Almighty has told us once for all at our birth Does any one dare to trust himself to prosperity, whatever is allowed us to know; nor has He conif he possess not a heart prepared for death? fined His knowledge to the barren Libyan sands

to teach the sparse inhabitants around, nor has NORTHERN NATIONS.

He drowned His truths amidst desert wilds. In cold laborious climes the wintry north

Does God choose for His abode any spot except Brings her undaunted hardy warriors forth,

this earth, sea, air, and heaven, and, above all, In body and in mind untaught to yield,

virtuous minds? Why seek for God elsewhere ?

God is in everything thou seest, and wherever Stubborn of soul and steady in the field; While Asia's softer climate, form'd to please,

thou movest. Let doubting mortals consult jugDissolves her sons in insolence and ease.

gling priests, and those who ever live in fear and

anxiety. It is not oracles, but the certainty of SELF-INTEREST AND INTEGRITY.

death that gives firmness to my mind. The As far as the stars are from the earth, and as

coward and the brave are doomed to fall; it is different as fire is from water, so much do self-in

enough that God has told us this undoubted

truth. terest and integrity differ. A COURT LIFE.

THE POET's POWERS. Let him who wishes to lead a virtuous life es- O divine and mighty power of Poesy, thou reschew courts. Goodness and supreme power do cuest all things from the grasp of death, and bidnot agree together. The man who is ashamed to I dest the mortal hero securely live to all time.



Besides nature resolves everything into its com. BORN B.C. 95—DIED B.C. 52.

ponent elements, but annihilates nothing; for if T. LUCRETIUS CARUS, a celebrated Roman poet, the substances of bodies could die, they would respecting whose personal history very scanty suddenly vanish from our sight. materials have come down to us. The Eusebian chronicle fixes his birth B.C. 95, and adds that he

DEATH EASILY CAUSED. was driven mad by a love potion, composing dur- For certainly one single touch would be the ing his lucid intervals works which were revised stroke of fate. by Cicero. It is supposed that his poem De Rerum Naturâ, was given to the world B.c. 57,

STORM OF WIND. when the machinations of Clodius were disturb: In the first place, the fierce fury of the wind ing the Roman state. It is a philosophical didac-i plonghino m

i ploughing up the sea, tears to pieces the stoutest tic poem, composed in heroic hexameters, divided ships, and drives the clouds before it: sometimes into six books, containing upwards of 7400 lines, rushing on with rapid course, it strews the plains and is addressed to C. Memmius Gemellus, who with lofty trees, beats the highest mountains with was prætor B.C. 58. It gives a complete exposi- wood-destroying blasts; with such thundering tion of the religious, moral, and physical doctrines / noise and wild roaring does the sea rage. of Epicurus.


Nay more, in the revolution of many years, the All-bounteous Venus, parent of Rome, joy of ring on the finger grows less and less by constant men and gods, who under the starry girdle of the use: the drop hollows the stone; the crooked iron heaven makest the ship-bearing sea and fruitful ploughshare wears away unnoticed in the fields: earth to teem with living creatures, to thee all we see the paved streets scooped out by treading: owe their birth, and springing forth enjoy the en- the brazen figures that adorn our doors show their livening light of day; the winds are hushed and hands diminished by the touch of those that visit the clouds of heaven disperse at thy approach; or pass by. the earth with various art puts forth her scented Crates (Fr. Com. Gr. i. p. 85, M.) says:flowers to welcome thee; the waters of the ocean “For time has bent me downwards, a cunning craftsman laugh, and the serene sky assumes its brightest no doubt, but making all things weaker.” hue, as the rays of light are diffused around.

THE SENSES. Spenser (“Faerie Queen," iv. c. x. 41) seems thus to translate this passage 3

What can give us more sure knowledge than our? “Great Venus! queene of Beautie and of Grace,

senses? With what else can we more surely dis- ; The ioy of gods and men, that under skie,

tinguish the true and false ?
Doest fayrest shine, and most adorn thy place;
That with thy smiling look doest pacifie
The raging seas, and mak'st the stormes to flie,

Thee, goddesse, thee the winds, the clouds do feare;
And when thou spredst thy mantle forth on hie,

Touching everything lightly with the charm of ; The waters play and pleasant lands appeare,

poetry. And heavens laugh, and all the world shews ioyous cheare."


But as physicians, in giving children bitter While men lay with slavish fear prostrate on

draughts, to make them take it, tinge the edges of earth, weighed down by abject superstition, which

the cup with the sweet flavor of yellow honey, took its rise from heavenly contemplations, threat

that the thoughtless child may be cheated by the ening mortals with horrid mien, then at length a

lip, and then be led on to drink off the nauseous

mixture, and being thus harınlessly deceived, may Greek (Epicurus) first dared to lift the veil from the eyes of man and assert his natural liberty.

not be caught for ill, but rather, refreshed by this

proceeding, become convalescent. RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY THE CAUSE OF MANY EVILS.

PHILOSOPHY. So much mischief was superstitious bigotry able

'Tis sweet, when the seas are roughened by vioto accomplish.

lent winds, to view on land the toils of others, not

that there is pleasure in seeing others in distress, NATURE OF THE SOUL.

but because man is glad to know himself secure. For it is unknown what is the real nature of the 'Tis pleasant, too, to look, with no share of peril, soul, whether it be born with the bodily frame or on the mighty contests of war; but nothing is be infused at the moment of birth, whether it per-sweeter than to reach those calm, unruffled temishes along with us, when death separates the soul ples, raised by the wisdom of philosophers, whence and body, or whether it visits the shades of Pluto thou mayest look down on poor mistaken mortals, and bottomless pits, or enters by divine appoint- wandering up and down in life's devious ways, ment into other animals.

I some resting their fame on genius, or priding

themselves on birth, day and night toiling anx-earth, nor are they put to flight by the glistening of iously to rise to high fortune and sovereign power. gold nor the gay sparklings of the purple dye. Archippus (Fr. Com. Gr. p. 413, M.) says:-** How pleasant it is, O mother, to see the sea from the land,

NATIONS. sailing nowhere."

One nation rises to supreme power in the world, Milton ("Comus," l. 484) thus speaks of philosophy:

while another declines, and in a brief space of " How charming is divine Philosophy! Not harsh and crabb'd, as dull fools suppose;

time the sovereign people change, transmitting, But musical as is Apollo's lute,

like racers, the lamp of life to some other that is And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets,

to succeed them. Where no rude surfeit reigns."

DANGERS OF THE SEA. “YEA, ALL WHICH IT INHERIT SHALL DISSOLVE." But as midst numerous wrecks the vast sea is

Lest, with the speed of lightning, the fabric of usually scattered over with remnants of the vessels, this world loosened should suddenly vanish into seats, yards, prows, masts, and oars, so that along the vast void, and everything else follow in the the shore may be seen

everything else follow in the the shore may be seen many ship-ornaments, warnsame way; lest the innermost temples of heaven / ing mortals to shun the fury and cruel treachery should rush down from aloft, and the earth quickly of the deep, and to put no faith in the deceitful withdraw itself from beneath our feet; and amidst smile of the placid ocean. the mingled ruins of heaven, and all things loos- Milton ("Paradise Lost," iv. 164) says:ened from their hold disappear through the deep

“Many a league void, so that in the twinkling of an eye nothing

Cheer'd with the grateful smell old ocean smiles." should remain except empty space and undevel

And Keble:oped elements.

“The many twinkling smile of ocean." So Shakespeare (" Tempest," act iv.):

THE MISERIES OF LIFE. * These,... as I foretold you,...

Death is accompanied with wailing, which babes Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,

raise the moment they enter on the threshold of The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, life; no night follows day, and no morning has The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

ever dawned that has not heard the moanings of Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve:

the sick, with the screams of the child, attendants And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind."

on death and the grave.

Thus a fragment of Empedocles (“De Natura'') says:BLINDNESS OF MAN.

"Short-lived mortals enduring a brief space of miserable

existence, raised aloft like smoke, fly away, impelled only by O misery of men! O blinded fools! in what dark

that is near them, spinning hither and thither,--get a thoumazes, in what dangers we walk this litäle journey sand glimpses but never see a whole, 'things that eye bath not of our life!

seen, nor ears heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man

to conceive." This reminds us of what Dante ("Paradiso," xi. 1) says of man:

HEAVENLY ORIGIN OF ALL THINGS. "Oh vain anxiety of mortal men; How vain and inconclusive arguments

In short, we are all sprung from heavenly seeds; Are those, which make thee beat thy wings below, we have all one common father, from whom, when For statutes one, and one for aphorisms

the bounteous earth has received the liquid drops Was hunting: this the priesthood followed; that,

of moisture, becoming fruitful, she brings forth By force or sophistry, aspired to rule; To rob another; and another sought,

the blooming grain, the joyous woods, and human By civil business, wealth; one, moiling, lay

race, all kinds of wild beasts, while she furnishes Tangled in net of sensual delight;

food to support their bodies, prolong their lives, And one to witless indolence resign'd."

and propagate their species. So Hebrews iii. 10:“They do always err in their heart.'


What came from the earth returns back to the HONOR, WEALTH, AND NOBILITY DO THE MIND

earth, and the spirit that was sent from heaven, NO GOOD.

again carried back, is received into the temple of The heat of a fever is not more easily got rid of, | heaven. if thou art tossing on the red purple of embroidered coverings, than if thou wert reclining on the

NEW OPINIONS. coarse cloth of the poor. Wherefore, since neither/ Examine with indoment each opinion if it se

Examine with judgment each opinion: if it seems treasures, nor high rank, nor sovereign power avail|true, embrace it; if false, gird up the loins of thy our diseased body, it is certain that they will do I mind to withstand it. 20 good to our mind.


For, O holy and pure gods, dwelling in undisIn reality the alarms and cares that nestle in the turbed and everlasting ease, who is there that is breast of man are not dispersed by the noise and able to rule this vast all, and to hold in his hands fierce contest of war; they boldly take up their the reins of the immensity of space? Who is abie abode in the breast of kings and the powerful of the I to guide the motions of the heavenly bodies, and


to furnish the fruit-bearing carth with ethereal no more to be feared than what children fear and heat, or to be every moment in every place, to imagine are going to happen. cause darkness with the clouds and shake the serene heaven with thunders, darting lightning and

VARIETIES IN MANKIND. beating down their own temples: or else in vast So men's minds differ too; though a liberal edudeserts brandishing his bolts, which often pass 'cation may reform and polish, yet it still leaves over the guilty and strike the just and good.

some traces of the primitive seeds implanted by nature ; nor must we expect all man's evil passions

can be eradicated, but each will show his original The gods and their tranquil abodes appear, bent, some being prone to rage, others to despondwhich no winds disturb nor clouds bedew with ency, and a third will be more submissive to showers, nor does the white snow, hardened by wrong than is right; in a thousand other ways the frost, annoy them; the heaven, always pure, is characters and dispositions of men differ, whose without clouds, and smiles with pleasant light secret causes I am unable to explain, nor yet find diffused.

out the names of those original principles whence So Homer (Odyss. vi. 41) says:

all this variety takes its rise. “Olympus, where, they say, is ever the tranquil abode of the gods, never shaken by winds, nor wet by showers, no

DECAY OF THE MIND. covered by snow, but the sky is ever cloudless, and a bright

With the body we plainly perceive that the glory overspreads it." Tennyson (“Morte d' Arthur ") says:-

| mind strengthens and decays.
“Where falls not hail or rain or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly."


For now no longer will thy joyful home receive THE DREAD OF WHAT COMES AFTER DEATH. I thee. nor will thy chaste wife and prattling chil

That dreadful fear of hell is to be driven out, dren strive with eager haste which shall have the which disturbs the life of man and renders it mis- first kiss, and hang with secret joy round thy neck. erable, overcasting all things with the blackness Thou shalt be no longer able to protect thy prop of darkness, and leaving no pure, unalloyed pleas erty and friends. One fatal day has snatched the ure.

vast delights away.


"No children run to lisp their sire's return, The mask is torn off, and then the reality is seen.

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share."


GRIEF. In short, avarice and blind ambition, which It is true thou sleepest in death, and there thou force wretched men to overleap the line of justice, shalt lie to all eternity, free from all cares; but we and sometimes, as the associates and servants of shall mourn thee turned into ashes on the funeral the wicked, to climb night and day with unwearied pile, and no length of time shall ever take sorrow steps towards wealth and power; these great blots from our breast. of our life are chiefly caused by the fear of death. For the proud man's contumely, “the slings and SHORTNESS OF THE PLEASURES OF LIFE. arrows of outrageous fortune," seem as far as pos- When men recline at table, drink, and crown sible removed from the pleasures and delights of themselves with garlands, it is as much as to say: life-nay, to be at the very gates of death. From “ What a short life is this; it has gone, nor must which, while men, stirred by senseless fears, strive

hile men, stirred by senseless fears, strive we expect it to return!” to fly and get to the greatest distance, they employ their time in amassing wealth by civil commotions

MAN. and greedily double their vast store, heaping death Why is it, o man, that thou indulgest in exon death, with cruel joy laughing over their cessive grief? Why shed tears that thou must brother's grave; hating and dreading their nearest die? For if thy past life has been one of enjoykinsman's feasts.

ment, and if all thy pleasures have not passed Spenser in his " Faerie Queen"(v. 12, 1) thus expresses him through thy mind, as through a sieve, and vanself:-

ished, leaving not a rack behind, why then dost “Oh sacred hunger of ambitious minds,

thou not, like a thankful guest, rise cheerfully And impotent desire of men to reign!

from life's feast, and with a quiet mind go take Whom neither dread of God, that devils binds, Nor laws of men, that commonweals contain,

thy rest. Nor bands of nature, that wild beasts restrain, Can keep from outrage and from doing wrong,

LIFE IS GIVEN FOR USE, NOT POSSESSION. Where they may hope a kingdom to obtain: No faith so firm, no trust can be so strong,

Life is not given for a lasting possession, but No love so lasting then, that may endure long." merely for use.

So 1 Corinthians vi. 20:MEN TIMID AS CHILDREN IN TIE DARK.

“Ye are not your own: ye are bought with a price." For as children tremble and dread everything in the darkness of night, so we sometimes are

TIME PAST, AND AFTER DEATH NOTHING TO US. frightened in broad daylight by things which are consider, too, how little it matters to us, those

ages that have run in eternal procession before we So Proverbs xxvii. 1: were born. Nature places this before us as a mir-1 “ Boast not thyself of to-morrow: for thou knowest not

| what a day may bring forth." ror to warn us how we should regard that time

And James iv. 14:-
which will pass after our death. Is there anything "Ye know not what shall be on the morrow."
terrible in this, anything sad? Is it not a state
more soft than sleep?


Nor do we take anything at all from the eternity A Sisyphus is seen by us every day; he it is who

ho of death by prolonging our life, nor can we manstrives with mighty pains to get some high office,

age that we should not be carried off by death and always returns sad and disappointed. For to

though it be long of coming. Wherefore, howaim at high power, which is never reached, and

ever long may be those years we spend in life, yet to endure endless labor, what is this but to roll a

that eternal state of death will still remain, and vast stone up a hill, which straightway tumbles

will not be less long to him who has ended his down again and swiftly reaches the level plain?

life to-day than to him who perished months and

years before. GUILTY CONSCIENCE.

ECHO. Cerberus, the Furies even, black hell, belching forth horrible flames from its jaws, these are

When thou seest this, my good friend, thou mere fancies, mere empty names; but in this life

his lif mayest explain to thyself and others, how in solithe fear of pains for wicked deeds is felt acutely,

tary places rocks bring back the image of the the prison, the fearful fall from the rock, scourges,

words in proper order, while we are wandering in the executioners, the pitch, the wheel, the torch,

search of our friends on the dark mountains and these affright the mind. Yet though these be not

calling on our lost companions with loud voice. I present, the guilty mind, anticipating evil, scourges

have seen rocks return six or seven words for one; and stings itself, nor does it meanwhile see what

then from hill to hill the dancing words resound. can be the termination of its misfortunes or the The

The neighbors imagine and maintain that the end of its punishments, fearing lest they should

ld goat-footed Satyrs, Nymphs, and Fauns dwell be fiercer after death: hence the life of such fools

there, and by their wanton sport and wild delights is as wretched as it would be in hell.

they think that the deep silence of the night is

broken, and hence are heard the sound of the lyre LIFE IN DEATH.

and music's softest airs, given back by the fingers Whose life is dead, even while he is alive and of those musicians: the listening swains hear from sees.

far, while the goat-faced Pan, shaking the pine" In the midst of life we are in death."- Burial Service.

leaved garlands on his head, often blows his oaten

pipe with his moist lips, lest the reed should cease THE GREATEST MEN CEASE TO LIVE. to send forth a sylvan sound. Nay, the greatest wits and poets, too, cease to Milton (“Paradise Lost," i. 781) says: live; Homer, their prince, sleeps now in the same

"Færy elves, forgotten sleep as do the others.

Whose midnight revels, by a forest side,

Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, OUGHT MEN TO FEEL IT A HARDSHIP TO DIE ?

Or dreams he sees." Wilt thou then repine, and think it a hardship

PSHIPS TURNED ABOUT WITH A VERY SMALL HELM. to die? thou for whom life is well nigh dead even while thou livest and enjoyest the light of day, ! For a slight breeze with its thin body moving, who wearest away the greater part of thy time in turns the mighty ship with its mighty carcass; sleep, and snorest waking, and ceasest not to see and one hand guides it, as it goes by the merest visions, and bearest about with thee a mind trou-| touch, and twists the helm any way it pleases. bled with groundless terrors, and canst not dis-1 So James iii. 4;cover the cause of thy never-ending troubles. “Behold also the ships, which, though they be so great, when staggering thou art oppressed on all sides and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with

a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth." with a multitude of cares, and reelest rudderless in unsettled thoughts.

DREAMS. • STRENUOUS ILLENESS OF THE RICH. | Whatever studies each takes most delight, or in He goes often out of his splendid palace, tired which we are most engaged during the day, in of being in the house, and guickly returns, for he sleep we dream: the lawyer pleads, makes laws; feels that he is no happier abroad. He hurries the soldier fights his battles o'er again; we, too, on, driving his steeds furiously to his country- are busily engaged on what occupies our waking house, as if he were hastening to his house on fire; thoughts, tracing nature's laws, and explaining in when he has reached the threshold, he yawns and our native language. drops asleep, wooing forgetfulness, and then he hurries back to town in anxiety to revisit it.


Besides they waste their strength in love's madBOAST NOT THYSELF OF TO-MORROW.

dening strife, and spend their life under another's It is doubtful what shall be on the morrow. I will; meanwhile their property is wasted and

« 이전계속 »