페이지 이미지

and our presumption, when we observe such a remembered, and by extending the reputation of variety of events rapidly revolving in so narrow a others, to advance at the same time our own. circle. Shakespeare ("As You Like It," act iii. sc. 2) says:

LOVE OF FAME. ** Time travels in divers paces with divers persons. He Nothing. I allow, excites me so much as the deambles with a priest that lacks Latin, and a rich man that hath not the gout: for the one sleeps easily because he can

sire of having my name handed down to posterity; : and the other lives merrily, because he feels no a passion highly worthy of the human breast, pain: the one lacking the burden of lean and wasteful learn- especially of his who, not being conscious of any ing; the other knowing no burden of heavy tedious penury. crime, fears not to be known to future generations. These Time ambles withal. He trots hard with a young maid, between the contract of her marriage and the day it is

So Milton (“Lycidas," 1. 70):solemnized; if the interim be but a se'nnight. Time's pace “Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise." is so hard that it seems the length of seven years. He gallops with a thief to the gallows: for though he goes as softly as

ORATORY AND POETRY, foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there. He stays still with lawyers in the vacation: for they sleep between term

Oratory and poetry are of little value, unless and term, and then they perceive not how Time moves." they reach the highest perfection; but history, in Euripides (Fr. Antiop. 41) says:

| whatever way it may be executed, is a source of “Alas, alas, how many are the varieties and forms of the pleasure. miseries of mankind; one could not reach the end of them."

Death is ever, in my opinion, bitter and prema-

Generosity, when once she is set forward, ture to those who are engaged on some immortal

knows not how to stop, and the more familiar we work. For those who live from day to day im

are with the lovely form, the more enamoured we mersed in pleasure, finish with each day the whole

become of her charms. purpose of their existence; while those who look Shakespeare (“Antony and Cleopatra," act v. 8C. 2)

says:forward to posterity, and endeavor by their exer

“ For his bounty. tions to hand down their name to future gener

There is no winter in't; an autumn 'twas, ations, to such death is always premature, as it

That grew the more by reaping." ever carries them off from the midst of some unfinished design.

GRIEF. Epictetus (iii. 10) speaks in a different strain:

For a fresh wound shrinks from the hand of the “At what employment would you have death find you? surgeon, then gradually submits to and even calls For my part, I would have it in some humane, beneficent, for it: so a mind under the first impression of a public-spirited, noble action. But if I cannot be found doing any such great things, yet at least I would be doing what I

misfortune shuns and rejects all comfort, but at cannot be restrained from, what is given me to do--cor-length, if touched with tenderness, calmly and recting myself, improving that faculty which makes use of willingly resigns itself. the phenomena of existence to produce tranquillity, and render to the several relations of life their due; and if I am

ELOQUENCE AND LOQUACITY. so fortunate, advancing still further in the security of judging right. If death overtakes me in such a situation, it is enough

Eloquence is indeed the talent of very few, but for me if I can stretch out my hands to God and say, The that faculty which Candidus calls loquacity is opportunities I have received from Thee of comprehending common to numbers, and generally attends imand obeying Thy administration I have not neglected. As pudence. far as in me lay, I have not dishonored Thee. See how I have used my perceptions; how my convictions. Have I at

ave I at I Samuel Bishop says: any time found fault with thee? Have I been discontented

“On Folly's lips eternal tattlings dwell: with Thy dispensations, or wished them otherwise! Have I

Wisdom speaks little, but that little well." transgressed the relations of life! I thank Thee that thou hast brought me into being. I am satisfied with the time I

ACTION RIGHT OR WRONG ACCORDING TO SUCCESS. have enjoyed the things thou hast given me. Receive them

It is the usual custom of the world (though a back again, and distribute them as thou wilt. For they were

very unequitable rule of estimation) to pronounce all Thine and thou gavest them me.'"

an action to be either right or wrong, as it is at

tended with good or ill success; and accordingly THE LIVING VOICE.

you shall hear the very same conduct attributed For the sense of the speaker is determined by :

y to zeal or folly, to liberty or licentiousness, as the the countenance, the gesture, and even the tone

| event happens to prove. of the voice; whereas a letter, being destitute of these advantages, is more liable to the malignant OPPORTUNITY AND FRIENDS REQUIRED FOR RISING construction of those who are inclined to misinter

IN THE WORLD. pret its meaning.

For no man possesses so commanding a genius Shakespeare (“ Coriolanus," act iii. sc. 2) says:

as to be able at once to merge from obscurity un"For in such business

less some subject present itself and an opporAction is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant tunity when he can display his talents, with a More learned than their ears."

| friend to promote his advancement.


HUMAN ACTIONS. It appears to me a noble employment to rescue How much does the reputation of human actions from oblivion those who deserve to be eternally depend upon the position of those who perform

hem! For the very same acts, according as they

FOREBODING OF EVIL. proceed from a person of high or low rank, are

For there is very little difference between the ither much extolled or left unnoticed.

enduring and fearing a danger, except this much, PROSPERITY.

indeed, that there are some bounds to the feeling

but none to the apprehending of it. For you can Time passes more speedily in proportion as it is

suffer only as much as you have actually suffered, lappy.

but you may apprehend all that may possibly THE OPINION OF THE MULTITUDE. happen. The reason, I believe, is that there is a large ollective wisdom in a multitude; though individ

A WILL. ally their judgment may be of little weight, It is a mistaken maxim too generally advanced, mited it becomes of great importance.

that a man's will is a kind of mirror wherein one

may clearly discern his genuine character. PUBLIC INTEREST. But the interest of the public ought always to THINGS NEAR AT HAND OVERLOOKED. supersede every private consideration, as what is Those works of art or nature which are usually ternal is to be preferred to what is mortal; and a the motives of our travels, are often overlooked man of true generosity will study in what man- and neglected if they happen to lie within our ter to render his benefaction most advantageous, reach; whether it be that we are naturally less inather than how he may bestow it with least ex

quisitive concerning those things which are near Mense.

us, while our curiosity is excited by remote obMODESTY.

jects; or because the easiness of gratifying a How many of the learned are concealed from

desire is always sure to damp it; or, perhaps, that niew by modesty, or an unwillingness to have

we defer from time to time viewing, whilst we their name brought before the public. Yet, when

have an opportunity of seeing whatever we please. we are going to speak or recite our works in

FORGIVENESS. rowded assemblies, it is the judgment only of those who possess ostentatious talents of whom

The highest of characters, in my estimation, is we stand in awe: whereas we ought rather to re-his, who is as ready to pardon the moral errors of rere the decisions of those who form their opin- mankind, as if he were every day guilty of some lons of works of genius in their closets, undis-himself; and at the same time as cautious of comturbed by the noise of public assemblies.

mitting a fault as if he never forgave one.

So Ephesians iv. N:-

" And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving

one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." In short, his conversation has increased my kolicitude concerning my works, and taught me to

AFFECTION. revere the judgment of these studious country

ni, believe me, is power proved by insult; ill gentlemen, as much as that of more known and

and can terror command veneration, and far more fistinguished literati. Let me persuade you to efficacious is affection in obtaining one's purpose onsider them in the same light; for, believe me,

than fear. For terror operates no longer than its upon a careful observation you will often find in ob

object is present, but love produces its effects the literary as well as military world, most power

when the object is at a distance, and as absence ual abilities concealed under a rustic garb.

changes the former into hatred, it raises the latter SICKNESS.

into respect. When a man is laboring under the pain of any

Milton ("Paradise Lost," 1. 523) says to the same effect:

" Who overcomes tistemper, it is then that he recollects there are

By force, hath overcome but half his foes." fods, and that he himself is but a man: no mortal s then the object of his envy, his admiration, or

LIBERTY AND GOVERNMENT. his contempt, and having no malice to gratify, the

For, what is more becoming our social nature ales of slander excite not his attention.

than well regulated government, or more valuable

than liberty? How ignominious, then, must his HISTORY.

conduct be, who turns the first into anarchy and History ought to be guided by truth; and the last into slavery? worthy actions require nothing more.


Mankind differ in their notions of supreme hapI hold it particularly worthy of a man of honor piness; but in my opinion he truly possesses it to be governed by the principles of strict equity who lives in the conscious anticipation of honest in his domestic as well as public conduct; in fame, and the glorious figure he shall make in the small, as in great affairs; in his own concerns, eyes of posterity. as well as in those of others: and if every deviation from rectitude is equally criminal, every

EQUALITY. approach to it must be equally laudable.

| However, I cannot forbear adding a caution to my praise and recommending it to you, to conducts and cbaste mind, than the man who repeats a preyourself in such a manner as to preserve the pared prayer. proper distinction of rank and dignity. For to

So Matthew xv. 8:level and confound the different orders of society “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and is far from producing an equality among mankind; honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." it is, in fact, the most unequal thing imaginable.

Far different from those who love, or rather, I

Such is the changeful condition of mankind;

that adversity arises from prosperity, and prosshould more properly say, who counterfeit love to none but the living. Nor indeed even that any

perity from adversity. God hides in obscurity the

causes of both, and frequently the reasons of the lorger than they are the favorites of fortune: for

good and evil that befals man lies concealed under the unhappy are no more the object of their re

both. membrance than the dead.

Simonides of Ceos (Fr. 29, S.) thus speaks of life:G. Herbert (“The Answer"):

“There is no evil that may not be expected by men: in s “Like summer friends,

short time God turns all things upside down." Flies of estates and summershine."

So 1 Corinthians ii. 7:

“We speak the hidden wisdom of God." DELIBERATION. Experience having taught me vever to advise

PROSPERITY AND ADVERSITY. with a person concerning that which we have Prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the already determined, where he has a right to ex- great. pect that one shall be decided by his judgment. I Antiphanes (Fr. Com. Gr. p. 569, M.) says:

“ Riches are what test a man's character." A MEMORIAL STONE.

POWER OF DECEIVING. The erection of a monument is useless: the remembrance of us will last, if we have deserved it! No one has been able to deceive the whole by our lives.

world, nor has the whole world ever deceived any

one. INQUISITIVENESS. Nothing raises the inquisitive disposition of mankind so much as to defer its gratification.

As it is better to excel in any single art than to

PROPERTIUS. arrive only at mediocrity in several, so a moderate skill in several is to be preferred where one cannot BORN PROBABLY ABOUT B.C. 51-DIED ABOUT attain to perfection in any.

B.C. 15.


supposed, at Hispellum or Assisium, but there are The first and fundamental principle of genuine no satisfactory materials for his personal history. beneficence is to be contented with one's own; He is believed to have been deprived of his paterand after that to cherish and embrace all the most nal property during the civil wars, and then was indigent of every kind in one comprehensive circle thrown upon his wits for a livelihood, becoming of general benevolence.

“ the man of wit and pleasure about town." He

was patronized by Mæcenas, and this is probably AVARICE.

all that can be said with certainty respecting him. The lust of avarice has so totally seized upon mankind, that their wealth seems rather to pos

WHAT IS EFFECTIVE IN LOVE. sess them, than they to possess their wealth.

So much do prayers and generous deeds avail in

love. THE LONGEST DAY COMES TO AN END. The longest day soon comes to an end.


True love yields not to high rank.
The life of a prince is a calling of other men's

GRIEF IS THE CAUSE OF LOVE ELEGIES. lives to an account.

I do not write so much from the impulse of gen

ius as to soothe the cares of love, and to bevail INNOCENCE.

life's unabating woe. I observe that the gods themselves are propiti- | Petrarch seems to have had this passage in view (Sonn. ated not so much by prayers as by innocence and a


“Assuredly all my desire at that time was to relieve my sanctity of life; and that those are regarded with

those are regarded with heart in some way, not to acquire fame. I sought to weep more favor who bring into their temples a pure not honor from my grief.”


THE NATURAL IS LIKED. Thou madly seekest water in the midst of the Every form is approved, as nature has given.it. river. This is the Greek proverb:

THE ABSENT. " In the sea thou seekest water."

Let no one be willing to speak ill of the absent. LOVE ENJOYS THE TEAR.

CONSTANCY. Love enjoys the falling tear.

My last feeling will be like my fir Thus Tasso, in his “ Amyntas" (i. 2) says beautifully:"The lamb feeds on the herbage, the wolf on the lamb; but

A BESETTING SIN IN EVERYTHING CREATED. sad love feeds on tears, nor is ever satisfied."

Nature has given a besetting sin to everything CYNTHIA, MY FIRST AND LAST LOVE.

created. I can neither love another nor depart from her: Cynthia first charmed, and last shall claim my


Love is benefited much by a feeling of confi.

dence and constancy; he who is able to give much, IMPASSIONED LOVE NEVER ENDS.

is able also to love many things. Impassioned love passes over the shores even of death.


But you, O men, are anxious to know the hidden TIME SPENT WITH OUR LOVE NEVER APPEARS

hour of death, and in what way you shall die, LONG.

what star is propitious, and what fatal to man. Then let us enjoy short-lived pleasures while we may: an age of passion seems but as a day.


Beauty is fading, nor is fortune stable; sooner

or later death comes to all. The sailor talks of the winds; the ploughman of

Euripides (Fr. Hypsip. 6) says:his bulls; the soldier counts his wounds; the shep

“There is no one of mortals not subject to grief; he buries herd his sheep.

his children and begets others; he himself dies and m

grieve over him, bearing dust to dust: the life of all must be BUSINESS.

reaped like the ears of corn: this man lives and this man Let every man employ himself in the business

dies. Why grieve about things which take place according to with which he is best acquainted.

the laws of nature? For there is nothing to which men must submit by necessity that ought to be regarded as grievous."

Aristophanes (Fr. Com. Gr. I. p. 309, M.) says: THE WEAKEST ANIMAL TURNS ON ITS ASSAILANT. “For to fear death is great folly; since it is fated to all of Not only does the bull attack its enemy with its

us to die."

So Job xv. 5:crooked horns, but even the sheep if injured butts

“Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months its assailant.

are with Thee; Thou hast appointed his bounds that he can.


EVERYTHING MAGNIFIED BY DEATH. It is easy for you to counterfeit words and ac- Time magnifies everything after death; a man's tions; every woman is adapted for such work. fame is increased as it passes from mouth to The quicksands are not more easily changed by mouth after his burial. . the wind, nor are the leaves more readily whirled by the winter's blast, than woman veers in her

THE POET IMMORTAL. wrath, whether the cause of her excitement be se

Fame obtained from the endowments of the rious or trivial.

mind will never perish; eternal honor awaits the BOLDNESS.

noble. But if strength fail, boldness at least will be de

Shakespeare ("Taming of the Shrew," act iv. sc. 3) says:serving of praise; in great enterprizes to have even

“For 'tis the mind that makes the body rich;

And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds, attempted is enough.

So honor peereth in the meanest habit."

Love blinds mankind.

O fool, thou shalt carry no riches beyond the COQUETRY.

grave; Coquetry has always been of advantage to the

Thou shalt be ferried over naked in Charon's beautiful.


DEATH AT A SUITABLE MOMENT. Never-ceasing complaining has caused hatred to The day of death is best which comes seasonable many.

| at a mature day.


designated Syrus from the country of his birth. I am delighted that I cultivated poetry in my

Of his personal history nothing is known, except early youth, and joined hands with the hands of

hands of that at the games exhibited by Cæsar, B.C. £, be the Muses.

challenged all the dramatists of the day to contend with him in improvising upon any given theme,

and carried off the palm from every competitor. MONEY.

A compilation of pithy sayings under the title of O money, thou art the fruitful source of cares;

Publii Syri Sententiæ, extending to upwards of a lest us to a premature grave; thou afford- thousand lines in Iambic and Trochaic measures est support to the vices of men; the seeds of evil

is now extant. The following are a selection from spring up from thee.

these sayings.



A DRUNK MAN. All things are not equally suited to all.

He who contends with the drunken, injures the A MAN'S OWN NATURE.

absent. Every one follows the principles of his own na

This is the common proverb:

“He that is drunk is gone from home." ture. LET THIS DAY BE UNCLOUDED.

A HASTY DECISION. Let this day be without a cloud; the winds be

winds.be He who decides hastily, will soon repent of his hushed, and the waves lay aside their threatening decision appearance.

“Marry in haste, repent at leisure." THE SAILOR. The sailor can predict the weather of the ap

SUSPICION. proaching night: the soldier has learned to dread The losing side is full of suspicion. the pain of wounds.

Shakespeare ("Henry VI." Part III. act v. sc. 6) says:

“Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; GOLD.

The thief doth fear each bush an officer." All now worship gold to the neglect of the gods; And (“Othello," act iii. sc. 3):by gold good faith is banished; justice is sold for

“Trifles, light as air, gold, the law follows gold, and soon the modest

Are, to the jealous, confirmations strong woman will be without the protection of the laws.

As proofs of holy writ."


DEBTS, While thy blood is warm, and thou art without A slight debt produces a debtor; a heavy one an wrinkles, enjoy thyself.


PROPERTY. It is the cause that casts down or encourages That which belongs to another pleases us most: the soldier; unless it be just, shame unnerves his while that which is ours, is more pleasing to hands.


DEBT. There is something beyond the grave; death

Debt is grievous slavery to the free born. does not put an end to everything, the dark shade escapes from the consumed pile.


To love, and at the same time to be wise, is I am climbing a difficult road, but the glory that scarcely granted even to a god. attends success gives me strength for the labor.


It is not allowable, even in jest, to injure a The gloomy door of death is unlocked to the friend. prayers of no one.

To lose a friend is the greatest of all losses.


To love is in our power, but not to lay it aside.

PASSIONS. PUBLIUS SYRUS, a slave brought to Rome some The wise man is the master of his passions, the years before the downfall of the Republic; was fool is their slave.

« 이전계속 »