페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Madam Dacier obferves, there is lated by the fame hand with the fores something very pretty in that circum- going one. I hall oblige my reader hance of this ode, wherein Venus is with it in another paper. In the mean described as fending away her chariot while, I cannot but wonder, that these upon her arrival at Sappho's lodgings, two finished pieces have never been at. to denote that it was not a short tran tempted before by any of our own counfient vifit which the intended to make

trymen. But the truth of it is, the her. This ode was preserved by an compositions of the ancients, which have eminent Greek critic, who inserted it not in them any of those unnatural wit. entire iv fris works, as a pattern of per- ticisnis that are the delight of ordinary fection in the itructure of it.

readers, are extremely difficult to rena Longinus has quoted another ode of der into another tongue, so as the beauthis great poetess, which is likewise ad. ties of the original may not appear weak miracle in it's kind, and has been trant- and faded in the translation,

C

No CCXXIV. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16,

FULGENTE TRAHIT CONSTRICTOS GLORIA CURRU
NON MINUS IGNOTOS GENEROSIS

HOR. SAT. VI. L. 1. V.234

GLORY'S SHINING CHARIOT SWIFTLY DRAWS
WITH EQUAL WHIRL THE NOBLE AND THE BASE.

CREECH.

[ocr errors]

F we look abroad upon the great incentive to exert ourselves in virtuous

multitude of mankind, and endea. excellence. vour to trace out the principles of action This passion, indeed, like all others, in every individual, it will, I think, is frequently perverted to evil and igleem highly probable that ambition runs noble purposes; so that we may account through the whole fpecies, and that for many of the excellencies and follies every man, in proportion to the vigour of life upon the same innate principle, of his complexion, is more or less acłu to wit, the desire of being remarkable : ated by it. It is indeed no uncominon for this, as it has been differently cula thing to meet with men, who by the tivated by education, ftudy and con. natural bent of their inclinations, and verte, will bring forth suitable effects as without the difcipiine of philofophy, it falls in with an ingenuous dispofition, alpire not in the heights of power and or a corrupt mind; it does accordingly grandens; who never let their heaiis express itself in acts of magnanimity or espon a inmerous train of clients and lufth cunning, as it meets with a good slependencies, nor other gay appendages or weak underitanding. As it has been of greatnets; who are contentext with a employed in embellishing the mind, or competency, and will not moleft their adorning the outside, it renders the man tranouillity to gain an abundance: but eminently praile-worthy or ridiculous, it is not therefore to be concluded that Ambition, therefore, is not to be consuch a man is noi ambitious; his desires fined only to one passion or pursuit; for may have cut out another channel, and as the fame humours, in constitutions der-rmined hiin to other pursuits; the otherwise different, affect the body after motive bowever may be still the fame; different manners, so the fame aspiring and in the te caies likewise the man may principle within us fometimes breaks be equally publied on with the desire of forth upon one object, lometimes upon distinction.

another. Though the pure

e consciousness of It cannot be doubted, but that there worthy actions, abitracted from the is as great a dehre of glory in a ring of views of popular applause, be to a ge- wrestlers or cudgel-players, as in any nerous mind an ample reward, yet ihe other more refined competition for fue dutive of ditin&tion was doubtleis im- periority. No man that could avoid it, planted in our natures as an additional would ever suffer his head to be broken

but

of

but out of a principle of honour. This as a very great night, to leave any gen. is the secret spring that pushes them for- tleman out of a lampoon or satire, who ward; and the superiority which they has as much right to be there as his gain above the undistinguished many, neighbour, because it fupposes the perdors more thin repair those wounds they son not eminent enough to be taken no. have received in the combat. It is Mr. tice of. To this pasionate fondness for Waller's opinion, that Julius Cæsar, diftin&tion are owing various frolicfome had he not been matter of the Roman and irregular practices, as fallying out empire, would in all probability have into nocturnal exploits, breaking of inade an excellent wrestler.

windows, singing of catches, beating

the watch, get ing drunk twice a day, Great Julius, on the mountains bred, killing a great number of horses; with A Hock perhaps or herd had led;

many other enterprizes of the like fiery He that the world subdu'd, had been

nature: for certainly many a man is But the best wrestler on the green.

nore rakish and extravagant than he

would willingly be, were there not That he subdued the world, wa's ow others to look on and give their approing to the accidents of art and know. bation. ledge; had he not met with those ad One very common, and at the same vantages, the same sparks of emulation time the most absurd ambition that ever would have kindled within him, and newed it lelf in human nature, is that prompted him to distinguish himself in which comes upon a man with expesome enterprize of a lower nature. Since, rience and old age, the featon when it therefore, no man's lot is so unalterably might be expected he Mould be wiselt; fixed in this life, but that a thousand and therefore it cannot receive any accidents may either forward or disap- those leflening circumstances which do, point his advancement, it is, methinks, in some mealure, excuse the disorderly a pleasant and inoffensive speculation, to ferments of youthful blood : I mean conhder a great man as diverted of all the paflion for getting money, exclusive the adventitious circumstances of for- of the character of the provident father, tune, and to bring him down in one's the affectionate husband, or the generous imagination to that low station of life, friend. It may be remarked, for the the nature of which bears some distant comfort of honest poverty, that this de. resemblance to that high one he is at fire reigns most in those who have but present posle ned of. Thus one may few good qualities to recommend them. view him excrcising in ininiature those This is a weed that will grow in a bar. talents of nature, which being drawn ren foil. Humanity, good- nature, and out by education to their full length, the advantages of a liberal education, enable him for the discharge of some are incompatible with avarice. It is important employinent. On the other strange to see how suddenly this abject hand, one inay raite uneducated merit passion kills all the noble sentiments and to such a pitch of greatness, as may generous ainbitions that adorn human seem equal to the possible extent of his nature; it renders the man who is overimproved capacity.

run with it a peevith and cruel master, Thus pature furnishes a man with a a severe parent, an unfociable husband, general appetite of glory, education de a diktant and mistruttful friend. But turmin's it to this or that particular ob- it is more to the present purpose to conjet. The dentre of distinction is not, sider it as an absurd passion of the heart, I think, in any initance more observable rather than as a vicious affection of the than in the variety of outsides and new mind. As there are frequent instances appearances, which the mouilh part of "to be met with of a proud humility, lo the world are obliged to provide, in or this passion, contrary to most others, der to make themselves remarkable ; for affects applause, by avoiding all show any thing glaring or particular, either and appearance; for this reason it will in behaviour or apparel, is known to not sometimes endure even the common have this good effe&t, that it catches the decencies of apparel. “A vetous man eve, and will not suffer you to pass over o will call himself poor, that you may the person so adorned without due notice “ sooihe his vanity by contradicting and overvation. It has likewise, upon • him.' Love, and the desire of glory, this account, beça frequently refented as they are the most natural, so they are

capable

31

capable of being refined into the most de tions which are not seconded by the im. licate and rational passions. It is true, partial testimony of his own mind; who the wile man who strikes out of the secret repines not at the low ftation which paths of a private life, for honour and Providence has at present allotted him, dignity, allured by the splendour of a but yet would willingly advance himcourt, and the unfelt weight of public self hy juftifiable means to a more rifing employment, whether he fucceeds in his and advantageous ground; such a man attempts or no, usually comes near is warmed with a generous emulation; enough to this painted greatness to dis it is a virtuous movement in him to cern the daubing; he is then desirous of wish and to endeavour that his power of extricating himself out of the hurry of doing good may be equal to his will. life, that he may pass away the remain The man who is fitted out by nature, der of his days in tranquillity and re and fent into the world with great abițirement.

lities, is capable of doing great good It may be thought then but common or mischief in it. It ought, therefore, prudence in a man not to change a bet. to be the care of education to infuse into ter state for a worse, nor ever to quit the untainted youth early notices of jul. that which he knows he mall take up rice and honour, that so the pollible again with pleasure; and yet if human advantages of good parts may not take life be not a litile moved with the gentle an evil turn, nor be perverted to base gales of hope and fears, there may be and unworthy purposes. It is the bu. fome danger of it's stagnating in an un siness of religion and philofophy not so manly indolence and security. It is a much to extinguish our passions, as to known story of Domitian, that after he regulate and direct them to valuable had poffefred himself of the Roman ein well-chosen objects: when these have pire, his desires turned upon catching pointed out to us which course we may Aies. Active and masculine fpirits in lawfylly steer, it is no harm to let out the vigour of youth neither can nor all our sail; if the storms and tempetts ought to remain at rest; if they debar of adversity should rise upon us, and themselves froin aiming at a noble ob not suffer us to make the haven where ject, their desires will move downwards, we would be, it will however prore no and they will feel themselves actuated finall confolation to us in these circumby fome low and ahject passion. Thus stances, that we have neither mittaken if you cut off the top branches of a tree, our course, nor fallen into calamities of and will not fuffer it to grow any higher, our own procuring. it will not therefore cease to grow, but Religion, therefore, were we to conwill quickly Mont out at the bottom. sider it no farther than as it interposes The inan, ind:ed, who goes into the in the affairs of this life, is highly vaworld only with the narrow views of Juable, and worthy of great veneration; self-interest, who caiches at the applause as jt settles the various pretensions, and of an idle multitude, as he can find no otherwise interfering interests of mortal folid contentment at the end of his men, and thereby consults the barmony journey, lo he deserves to meet with and order of the great community; as disappointments in his way; but he it gives a man room to play his part, who is actuated by a nobler principle, and exert his abilities; as it animates whose mind is so far enlarged as to take to actions truly laudable in themselves, in the prospect of his country's good, in their effects beneficial to fociety; as who is enamoured with that prajie it inspires rational ambition, corrects which is one of the fair attendants of love, and elegant desire. yirtye, and values not those acclama,

[ocr errors][merged small]

No CCXXV. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17.

NULLUM NUMEN ABEST, SÍ SIT PRUDENTIA

Juv. Sat. *. VER. 3655 PRUDENCE SUPPLIES THE WANT OF EVERY GOD.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

if of a to men were laid open, we Mould see rest, which sers them at work in theit but little difference between that of the proper times and places, and turns them wise man and that of the fool. There to the advantage of the person who is are infinite reveries, numberless extra- possessed of them. Without it learning vagancies, and a perpetual train of va. is pedantry, and wit impertinence; virnities, which pass through both. The tue itself looks like weakness; the best great difference is, that the first knows parts only qualify a man to be more how to pick and cull his thoughts for sprightly in errors, and active to his conversation, by suppressing fome, and own prejudice. communicating others; whereas the Nor does discretion only make a mano other lets thein all indifferently fly out the master of his own parts, but of other in words. This sort of discretion, how- men's. The discreet man finds out the ever, has no place in private conversa- talents of those he converses with, and tion, between intimate friends. On knows how to apply them to proper such occasions the wiseft men very often uses. Accordingly, if we look into par. talk like the weakeit; for indeed the ticular communities and divisions of talking with a friend is nothing else but men, we may observe that it is the difthinking aloud.

creet man, not the witty, nor the learned, Tully has therefore very justly ex nor the brave, who guides the conversaposed a precept delivered by some an tion, and gives measures to the society. cient writers, that a man Thould live A man with great talents, but void of with his enemy in such a manner, as discretion, is like Polyphemus in the might leave him room to become his fable, strong and blind, endued with an friend; and with his friend in such a irresistible force, which for want of manner, that if he became his enemy, it fight is of no use to him. thould not be in his power to hurt him. Though a man has all other perfecThe first part of this rule, which re tions, and wants discretion, he will be gards our behaviour towards an enemy, of no great consequence in the world, is indeed very reasonable, as well as very but if he has this fing!: talent in perfecprudential; but the latter part of it tion, and but a common share of others, which regards our behaviour towards a he may do what he pleases in his partia friend, favours more of cunning than of cular station of life. discretion, and would cut a man off At the same time that I think discrefrom the greatest pleasures of life, which tion the most useful talent a man can be are the freedoms of conversation with a master of, I look upon cunning to be bofum friend. Besides that when a the accomplishment of little mean unfriend is turned into an enemy, and, as generous minds. Discretion points out the lon of Sirach calls him, a bewrayer the noblest ends to us, and pursues the of secrets, the world is just enough to most proper and laudable methods of accuse the perfidiousness of the friend, attaining them: cunning has only prirather than the indiscretion of the perfon vate selfish aims, and sticks at nothing who confided in hiin.

which may make them succeed. Disa Discretion does not only shew itself cretion has large and extended views, in words, but in all the circumstances of and, like a well

formed eye, commands action, and is like an under-agent of a whole horizon: cunning is a kind of Providence, to guide and direšt us in hort-fightedness, that discovers the mithe ordinary concerns of life.

nuteit objects which are near at hand, There are many more shining quali- but is not able to discern things at a ties in the mind of man, but there is distance. Discretion, the more it is difkonie so useful as discretion; it is this covered, gives the greater authority to

the

3 I 2

the person who porfelles it: cunning, and advantage which offers itself here, when it is once detected, lofes it's force, if he does not find it confitent with his and makes a man incapable of bringing views of an hereafter. In a word, his about even those eve:sts which he might hopes are fuilof immortality, his schemes have done, had he palled only for a plain are iarge and glorious, and his conduct man. Discretion is the perfection of suitable to one who knows his true inreason, and a guide to us in all the du- tereft, ar.d how to pursue it by proper ties of life; cunning is a kind of in- methods. Itinet, that only looks our afier our im I have, in this esfay npon discretion, mediate interest and welfare. Discre- corfidered it both as an accomplishment tion is only found in men of strong and as a virtue, and have therefore de. fenfe and good undertanding: cunning scribed it in it's full extent; not only as is often to be met with in brutes them. it is conversant about worldly affairs, felves, and in persons who are but the but as it regards our whole existence; fewest removes from them. In thoit, not only as it is the guide of a mortal cunning is only the mimic of discretion, ceature, but as it is in general the diand may pass upon weak men, in the rector of a reasonable being. It is in same manner as vivacity is often mit- this light that discretion is represented taken for wit, and gravity for wisdom. by the wise man, who sometimes men

Tlie calt of mind which is naturalio tions it under the name of discretion, a discreet man, makes hinu look forward and sometimes under that of wisdom. into futunity, and consider what will be It is indeed, as described in the latter his condition inillions of ages hence as part of this paper, the greatest wisdom. well as what it is at present. He knows but at the same time in the power of that the milery or happiness which are every one to attain. It's advantages are referved for him in another world, lote infinite, but it's acquisition easy; or, to nothing of their reality by being placed speak of her in the words of the apo. at fo great a distance from him. The cryphal writer whom I quoted in my orects do not appear little to him be- lait Saturday's paper' Wisdom is glo. caule they are remote. He consider's orious, and never fadeth away, yet the that those pleasures and pains which lie ' is eafily feen of them that love her, hid in eternity, approach nearer to him i and found of such as seek her. She every moment, and will be present with preventeth them that defire her, in him in their full weight and measure, making herself first known unto thein. as much as those pains and pleasures • He that seeketh her early, shall have .which he feels at this very infant. For no great travel: for he ihall find her this reason he is careful to secure to • sitting at his doors. To think there. himself that which is the proper hap ' fore upon her is perfection of milpiness of his nature, and the ultimate ! dom, and wholo watcheth for her aleign of his being. He carries his * Thall quickly be without care. For thoughts to the end of every action, • the goeth about seeking such as are and copliders the most dittant, as well worthy of her, theweth herself faas the moft immediate effects of it. He

vourably unto them in the wars, and Juperfides every little prospect of gain • meeteth'them in every thoughi.'

C

NO CCXXVI. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19.

MUTUMIST PICTURA POEMA.

Hor.

A PICTURE IS A POEM WITHOUT WORDS.

Have very often lamented and hinted I

or concern as it sits upon him who is my lorrow in leveral speculations, drawn, but has under those features the that the art of painting is inade fo litle height of the painter's iinagination, wie of 10 cbe improvement of our man wisat strong images of virtue and lumers. When we contider that it places inanity might we not expect would be the action of the perfon reprefented in infilled into the mind from the labours the inot agreeilile adpet imaginable, of the pencil? This is a poetry which that it does not only cxpress the paflion would be underitood with much less c2

pacity,

« 이전계속 »