Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

consolations, that noblest of all motives. But that, too, must be often clouded by doubt and uncertainty. Obscure and inglorious as his daily occupation may appear to learned pride or worldly ambition, yet to be truly successful and happy, he must be animated by the spirit of the same great principles which inspired the most illustrious benefactors of mankind. If he bring to his task high talent and rich acquirements, he must be content to look into distant years for the proof that his labours have not been wasted—that the good seed which he daily scatters abroad does not fall on stony ground and wither away, or among thorns to be choked by the cares, the delusions, or the vices of the world. He must solace his toils with the same prophetic faith that enabled the greatest of modern philosophers, amidst the neglect or contempt of his own times, to regard himself as sowing the seeds of truth for posterity and the care of Heaven. He must arm himself against disappointment and mortification, with a portion of that same noble confidence which soothed the greatest of modern poets when weighed down by care and danger, by poverty, old age, and blindness, still

In prophetic dream he saw
The youth unborn, with pious awe,
Imbibe each virtue from his sacred page.”

He must know, and he must love to teach his pupils, not the meagre elements of knowledge, but the secret and the use of their own intellectual strength, exciting and enabling them hereafter to raise for themselves the veil which covers the majestic form of Truth. He must feel deeply the reverence due to the youthful mind fraught with mighty though undeveloped energies and affections, and mysterious and eternal destinies. Thence he must have learnt to reverence himself and his profession, and to look upon its otherwise illrequited toils as their own exceeding great reward.

If such are the difficulties and the discouragements - such the duties, the motives, and the consolations of teachers who are worthy of that name and trust, how imperious then the obligation upon every enlightened citizen who knows and feels the value of such men to aid them, to cheer them, and to honour them!

But let us not be content with barren honour to buried merit. Let us prove our gratitude to the dead by faithfully endeavouring to elerate the station, to enlarge the usefulness, and to raise the character of the schoolmaster amongst us. Thus shall we best testify our gratitude to the teachers and guides of our own youth, thus best serve our country, and thus, most effectually, diffuse over our land light, and truth, and virtue.

69.-APOPHTHEGMS.-III.

REAL COURAGE. I have read of a bird, which hath a face like, and yet will prey upon, a man ; who coming to the water to drink, and finding there by reflection, that he had killed one like himself, pineth away by degrees, and never afterwards enjoyeth itself. Such is in some sort the condition of Sir Edward Harwood. This accident, that he had killed one in a private quarrel, put a period to his carnal mirth, and was a covering to his eyes all the days of his life. No possible provocations could afterwards tempt him to a duel ; and no wonder that one's conscience loathed that whereof he had surfeited. He refused all challenges with more honour than others accepted them ; it being well known, that he would set his foot as far in the face of his enemy as any man alive.-FULLER. Worthies.--Article, Lincolnshire.

PRECOCIOUS INTELLIGENCE.—Four merchants were sharers in a sum of a thousand pieces of gold, which they had mixed together, and put into one purse, and they went with it to purchase merchandise, and, finding in their way a beautiful garden, they entered it, and left the

purse with a woman who was the keeper of that garden. Having entered, they diverted themselves in a tract of the garden, and ate and drank, and were happy; and one of them said, “I have with me some perfume. Come, let us wash our heads with this running water; and perfume ourselves.” Another said, “ We want a comb." And another said, “We will ask the keeper; perhaps she hath with her a comb.” And upon this, one of them rose and went to the keeper, and said to her,

Give me the purse.” She replied, “When ye all present yourselves, or thy companions order me to give it thee.” Now his companions were in a place where the keeper could see them, and she could hear their words. And the man said to his companions, “ She is not willing to give me aught.” So they said to her, “ Give him.” And when she heard their

[ocr errors]

of his age.

words, she gave him the purse ; and he went forth fleeing from them. Therefore when he had wearied them by the length of his absence, they came to the keeper, and said to her, “ Wherefore didst thou not give him the comb?" And she replied, “He demanded of me nothing but the purse, and I gave not to him save with your permission, and he hath departed hence and gone his way.” And when they heard the words of the keeper, they slapped their faces, and seized her with their hands, say. ing to her, “ We gave thee not permission save to give the comb.” She replied, “ He did not mention to me a comb.” And they seized her and took her up to the Kádee; and when they presented themselves before him, they stated to him the case; whereupon he bound the keeper to restore the purse, and bound a number of her debtors to be answerable for her.

So she went forth perplexed, not knowing her way; and there met her a boy, whose age was five years; and when the boy saw her so perplexed, he said to her, “ What is the matter, O my mother ? ” But she returned him not an answer, despising him on account of the smallness

And he repeated his question to her a first, a second, and a third time. So at length she told him what had happened to her. And the boy said to her, “ Give me a piece of silver that I may buy some sweetmeats with it, and I will tell thee something by which thine acquittance may be effected.” The keeper therefore gave him a piece of silver, asking him, “ What hast thou to say?" And the boy answered her,“ Return to the Kádee, and say to him, it was agreed between me and them that I should not give them the purse save in the presence of all the four.” So the keeper returned to the Kádee, and said to him as the boy had told her; upon which the Kádee said to the three men, “Was it thus agreed between you and her?” They answered, “ Yes.” And the Kádee said to them, “ Bring to me your companion and take the purse." Thus the keeper went forth free, no injury befalling her, and she went her way.-LANE. Notes to Arabian Nights.

DR. KETTLE.- Mr. one of the fellows, (in Mr. Francis Potter's time,) was wont to say that Dr. Kettle's brain was like a hasty-pudding, where there was memory, judgment, and fancy, all stirred together. He had all these faculties in great measure, but they were all so jumbled together. If you had to do with him, taking him for a fool, you would have found in him great subtilty and reach : è contra if you

treated with him as a wise man, you would have mistaken him for a fool. A

[ocr errors]

neighbour of mine told me he heard him preach once in St. Mary's Church, at Oxon. He began thus : “ It being my turn to preach in this place, I went into my study to prepare myself for my sermon, and I took down a book that had blue strings, and looked in it, and 'twas sweet St. Bernard. I chanced to read such a part of it, on such a subject, which hath made me to choose this text

I know not whether this was the only time or no, that he used this following way of conclusion :

But now I see it is time for me to shut up my book, for I see the doctor's men come in wiping of their beards' from the ale-house."

As they were reading and circumscribing figures, said he, “ I will show you how to inscribe a triangle in a quadrangle. Bring a pig into the quadrangle, and I will set the college dog at him, and he will take the pig by the ear; then come I and take thedog by the tail, and the hog by the tail, and so there you have a triangle in a quadrangle."- AUBREY.

YOUTH.—Sir, I love the acquaintance of young people; because, in the first place, I don't like to think myself growing old. In the next place, young acquaintances must last longest, if they do last; and then, Sir, young men have more virtue than old men; they have more generous sentiments in every respect. I love the young dogs of this age, they have more wit and humour and knowledge of life than we had ; but then the dogs are not so good scholars. Sir, in my early days 1 read very

hard. It is a sad reflection, but a true one, that I knew almost as much at eighteen, as I do now. My judgment, to be sure, was not so good ; but, I had all the facts. I remember very well, when I was at Oxford, an old gentleman said to me, Young man, ply your book diligently now, and acquire a stock of knowledge ; for when years come unto you, you will find that poring upon books will be but an irksome task.”-JOHNSON, in Boswell.

THE SELFISHNESS OF VICE.—Where there is no integrity, there can be no confidence; and where there is no confidence, there can be no unanimity. Three German robbers having acquired, by various atrocities, what amounted to a very valuable booty, they agreed to divide the spoil, and to retire from so dangerous a vocation. When the day, which they had appointed for this purpose, arrived, one of them was despatched to a neighbouring town, to purchase provisions for their last carousal. The other two secretly agreed to murder him on his return, that they might come in for one half of the plunder, instead of a third. They did so. But the murdered man was a closer calculator even than his assassins, for he had previously poisoned a part of the provisions, that he might appropriate to himself the whole of the spoil. This precious triumvirate were found dead together—a signal instance that nothing is so blind and suicidal as the selfishness of vice.—COLTON

Sir Thomas MORE.--His country-house was at Chelsea, in Middlesex, where Sir John Danvers built his house. The chimney-piece of marble, in Sir John's chamber, was the chimney-piece of Sir Thomas More's chamber, as Sir John himself told me. Where the gate is now, adorned with two noble pyramids, there stood anciently a gatehouse, which was flat on the top, leaded, from whence is a most pleasant prospect of the Thames, and the fields beyond : on this place the Lord Chancellor More was wont to recreate himself and contemplate. It happened one time, that a Tom of Bedlam came up to him, and had a mind to have thrown him from the battlements, saying, “Leap, Tom, leap.” The chancellor was in his gown, and besides ancient, and not able to struggle with such a strong fellow. My lord had a little dog with him ; said he, Let us first throw the dog down, and see what sport that will be ; so the dog was thrown over.

fine sport,” said my lord, "fetch him up, and try once more ;" while the madman was going down, my lord fastened the door, and called for help, but ever after kept the door shut.--AUBREY.

Johnson.— The late Alexander Earl of Eglintoune, who loved wit more than wine, and men of genius more than sycophants, had a great admiration of Johnson; but, from the remarkable elegance of his own manners, was, perhaps, too delicately sensible of the roughness which some. times appeared in Johnson's behaviour. One evening about this time, when his lordship did me the honour to sup at my lodgings with Dr. Robertson and several other men of literary distinction, he regretted that Johnson had not been educated with more refinement, and lived more in polished society. “No, no, my lord,” said Signor Baretti, “ do with him what you would, he would always have been a bear." " True," answered the earl, with a smile, “but he would have been a dancing bear."

To obviate all the reflections which have gone round the world to Johnson's prejudice, by applying to him the epithet of a bear, let me impress upon my readers a just and happy saying of my friend Gold

[ocr errors]

- This is very

« AnteriorContinuar »