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66 And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues “Of demons utter'd, from whatever lungs, 66 Sounds are but sounds, and till the cause appear, 6 We have at least commodious standing here; “ Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast “ From earth or hell, we can but plunge at last.”
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals, For reynard, close attended at his heels By panting dog, tir'd man, and spatter'd horse, Through mere good fortune took a diff'rent course. The flock grew calm again, and I, the road Foll’wing that led me to my own abode, Much wonder'd that the silly sheep had found Such cause of terror in an empty sound, So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound.
Beware of desp’rate steps. The darkest day (Live till to-morrow) will have pass'd away.
THE MODERN RAKE'S PROGRESS.
The young Tobias was his father's joy ;
fond father prate “Of virtue and religion? They afford
“ No joys, and would abridge the scanty few 66 Of nature. Nature be my deity, 6. Her let me worship, as herself enjoins, “ At the full board of plenty." Thoughtless boy! So to a libertine he grew, a wit, A man of honour, boastful empty nam That dignify the villain. Seldom seen, And when at home under a cautious mask Concealing the lewd soul, his father thought He grew in wisdom, as he grew
years. He fondly deem'd he could perceive the growth Of goodness and of learning shooting up, Like the young offspring of the shelter'd hop, Unusual progress in a summer's night. He callid him home, with great applause dismiss'd By his glad tutors-gave him good adviceBless'd him, and bade him prosper. With warm heart He drew his purse-strings, and the utmost doit Pour'd in the youngster's palm. “Away,” he cries, " Go to the seat of learning, boy. " Be wise, be frugal, for 'tis all I can. “I will," said Toby, as he bang'd the door, And wink’d, and snapp'd his finger, “ Sir, I will.”
So joyful he to Alma Mater went A sturdy freshman. See him just arriv'd, Receiv'd, matriculated, and resolv'd To drown his freshness in a pipe of port. • Quick, Mr. Vintner, twenty dozen more ; " Some claret, too. Here's to our friends at home. 66 There let them dose. Be it our noble aim " To live-where stands the bottle ?” Then to town Hies the gay spark for futile purposes, And deeds my bashful muse disclaims to name; From town to college, till a fresh supply Sends him again from college up to town. The tedious interval the mace and cue, The tennis-court and racket, the slow lounge From street to street, the badger-hunt, the race, The raffle, the excursion, and the dance, Ices and soups, and dice, the bet at whist, Serve well enough to fill. Grievous accounts The weekly post to the vex'd parent brings
Of college impositions, heavy dues,
So Toby fares, nor heeds
I KNOW no two words that have been more abused by the different and wrong interpretations which are put upon them than these two, Modesty and Assurance. such a one is a modest man, sometimes, indeed, passes for a good character ; but at present is very often used to signify a sheepish, awkward fellow, who has neither good breeding, politeness, nor any knowledge of the world.
Again, a man of assurance, though at first it only denoted a person of free and open carriage, is now very usually applied to a profligate wretch, who can break through all the rules of decency and morality without a blush.
I shall endeavour, therefore, in this essay, to restore these words to their true meaning, to prevent the idea of modesty from being confounded with that of sheepishness, and to hinder impudence from passing for assurance.
If I was put to define modesty, I would call it, The reflection of an ingenuous mind, either when a man has committed an action for which he censures himself, or fancies that he is exposed to the censure of others.
For this reason a man truly modest is as much so when he is alone as in company, and as subject to a blush in his closet as when the eyes of multitudes are upon him.
I do not remember to have met with any instance of modesty with which I am so well pleased, as that celebrated one of the young prince, whose father, being a tributary king to the Romans, had several complaints laid against him before the senate as a tyrant and oppressor of his subjects. The prince went to Rome to defend his father, but, coming into the senate, and hearing a multitude of crimes proved upon him, was so oppressed when it came to his turn to speak, that he was unable to utter a word. The story tells us that the fathers were more moved at this instance of modesty and ingenuousness than they could have been by the most pathetic oration; and, in short, pardoned the guilty father for this early promise of virtue in the son.
I take assurance to be, The faculty of possessing a man's self, or of saying and doing indifferent things without any uneasiness or emotion in the mind. That which generally gives a man assurance is a moderate knowledge of the world, but above all a mind fixed and determined in itself to do nothing against the rules of honour and decency. An open
and assured behaviour is the natural consequence of such a resolution. A man thus armed, if his words or actions are at any time misinterpreted, retires within himself, and from a consciousness of his own integrity assumes force enough to despise the little censures of ignorance or malice.
Every one ought to cherish and encourage in himself the modesty and assurance I have here mentioned.
A man without assurance is liable to be made uneasy by the folly or ill nature of every one he converses with. A man without modesty is lost to all sense of honour and virtue.
It is more than probable that the prince above mentioned possessed both these qualifications in a very eminent degree. Without assurance he would never have undertaken to speak before the most august assembly in the world ; without modesty he would have pleaded the cause he had taken upon him, though it had appeared ever so scandalous.
From what has been said it is plain that modesty and assurance are both amiable, and may very well meet in the same person. When they are thus mixed and blended together they compose what we endeavour to express when we say a modest assurance; by which we understand the just mean between bashfulness and impudence.