Abbildungen der Seite

I would here gladly endeavour to give some serviceable hint, both to parents and teachers, had I not solemnly vowed to my faithful precepter Mr. Providewell (may his revered ashes long remain undisturbed) that I never would presume to become a teacher. This inestimable gentleman always took such precautions, as to have it in his power, to expei from his seminary (without any detrimen to his salary) all unruly children-this had an excellent effect both upon the morals of the children and conduct of the parents, for both looked upon this silent rebuke, as extremely derogatory and this happy experiment together with his extraordinary qualifications, was a great means of bringing Mr. Providewell's school into great repute, which continued until an extreme old age robbed the world of this invaluable fund of learning. However, had I the government of children either as a parent or guardian, I would not only shew their teachers the utmost respect, but, I would also endeavour to make their minds easy and satisfied; and were I a teacher I would make use of the same precaution with little alteration that proved so successful to my dear friend, whose recollection is always accompanied with a grateful tear.

[ocr errors]



ROMANS, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause and be silent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe. Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Cæsar's, to him I say, that Brutus's love to Cæsar was no less than his. If then that friend demand, why Brutus rose against Cæsar, this is my answer: Not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Cæsar vere living, and die all slaves; than that Caesar were dead, to live all freemen? As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him ; but as he was ambitious I slew him. There are tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honour for his valour, and death for his ambition.Who's here so base, that would be a bond-man? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who's here so rude, that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who's N. 2

Fere so vile, that will not love his country? if any, speak; for him have I offended-I pause for a reply

None? -then none have I offended. I have done no more to Cæsar than you should do to Brutus.-The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered death.

Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Anthony; who though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; as which of you shall not? With this I depart, that as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.




The slavery produced by vice appears in the dependence under which it brings the sinner, to circumstances of external fortune. One of the favourite characters of liberty, is the independence it bestows. He who is truly a freeman is above all servile compliances, and abject subjection. He is able to rest upon himself; and while he regards his superiors with proper deference, neither debases himself by cringing to them, nor is tempted to purchase their favour by dishonourable means. But the sinner has forfeited every privilege of this nature. His passions and habits render him an absolute dependent on the world, and the world's favour; on the uncertain goods of fortune, and the fickle humours of men. For it is by these he subsists, and among these his happiness is sought; according as his passions determine him to pursue pleasures, riches, or preferments. Having no fund within himself whence to draw enjoyment, his only resource is in things without, His hopes and fears all hang upon the world. He partakes in all its vicissitudes; and is moved and shaken by every wind of fortune. This is to be, in the strictest. sense, a slave to the world.

Religion and virtue, on the other hand, confer on the mind. principles of noble independence. "The upright man is satisfied from himself." He despises not the advantages of fortune, but he centres not his happiness in them.. With a moderate share of them he can be contented; and contentment is felicity.

Happy in his own integrity, conscious of the esteem of good men, reposing firm trust in the providence, and the promises of God, he is exempted from servile dependence on other things. He can wrap himself up in a good conscience, and look forward without terror, to the change of the world. Let all things shift around him as they please, he believes that, by the Divine ordination, they shall be made to work together in the issue of his good and therefore, having much to hope from God, and little to fear from the world, he can be easy in every state. One who possesses within himself such an establishment of mind, is truly free. But shall I call that man free, who has nothing that is his own, no property assured; whose very heart is not his own, but rendered the appendage of external things, and the sport of fortune? Is that man free, let his outward condition be ever so splendid, whom his imperious passions detain at their call, whom they send forth at their pleasure, to drudge and toil, and to beg his own enjoyment from the casualties of the world? Is he free, who must flatter and lie to compass his ends; who must bear with this man's caprice, and that man's scorn; must profess friendship where he hates, and respects where he contemns; who is not at liberty to appear in his own colours, nor to speak in his own sentiments; who dares not be honest, lest he should be poor ?-Believe it, no chains bind so hard, no fetters are so heavy, as those that fasten the corrupted heart to this treacherous world; no dependence is more contemptible than that under which the voluptuous, the covetous, or the ambitious man, lies to the means of pleasure, gain or power. Yet this is the boasted liberty, which vice promises, as the recompense of setting us free from the salutary restraints of virtue.




IT will not take much time to delineate the character of the man of integrity, as by its nature it is a plain one, and easily understood. He is one, who makes it his constant rule to follow the road of duty, according as the word of God, and the voice of his conscience, point it out to him. He is not guided merely by affections, which may sometimes give the colour of virtue to a loose and unstable character. The upright man is guided by a fixed principle of mind, which determines him to esteem

nothing but what is honourable; and to abhor whatever is base and unworthy, in moral conduct. Hence we find him ever the same; at all times, the trusty friend, the affectionate relation, the conscientious man of business, the pious worshipper, the public spirited citizen. He assumes no borrowed appearance. He seeks no mask to cover him; for he acts no studied part; but he is indeed what he appears to be, full of truth, candour, and humanity. In all his pursuits, he knows no path but the fair and direct one; and would much rather fail of success, than attain it by reproachful means. He never shows us a smiling countenance, while he meditates evil against us in his heart. He never praises us among our friends; and then joins in traducing us among our enemics. We shall never find one part of his character at varience with another. In his manners, he is simple and unaffected; in all his proceedings, open and consistent.





Dear Sensibility! source inexhausted of all that's precious to our joys, or costly in our sorrows! thou chainest thy martyr down upon his bed of straw, and it is thou who liftest him up to Heaven. Eternal Fountain of our feelings; It is here I trace thee, and this is thy divinity which stirs within me: not, that in some sad and sickening moments, “ soul shrinks back upon herself, and startles at destruction"-mere pomp of words!-but that I feel some generous joys and generous cares beyond myself-all comes from thee, great, great Sensorium of the world! which vibrates, if a hair of our head but falls upon the ground, in the remotest desert of thy creation. Touched with thee, Eugenius draws my curtain when I languish; hears my tale of symptoms, and blames the weather for the disorder of his nerves. Thou givest a portion of it sometimes to the roughest peasant who traverses the blackest mountains. He finds the lacerated lamb of another's flock. This moment I behold him leaning with his head against his crook, with piteous inclination looking down upon it-Oh! had I come one moment sooner it bleeds to death-his gentle heart bleeds with it.

Peace to thee, generous swain! I see thou walkest off with anguish-but thy joys shall balance it; for happy is thy cottage, and happy is the sharer of it; and happy are the lambs which sport about you,




Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still, Slavery still thou art a bitter draught; and though thousands in all ages have been made to drink of thee, thou art no less bitter on that account. It is thou, Liberty, thrice sweet and gracious goddess, whom all in public or in private worship, whose taste is grateful, and ever will be so, till nature herself shal change-no tint of words can spot thy snowy mantle, or chymic power turn thy sceptre into iron- with thee to smile upon him as he eats his crust, the swain is happier than his monarch, from whose court thou art exiled. Gracious Heaven! grant me but health, thou great Bestower of it, and give me but this fair goddess as my companion; and shower down thy mitres, if it seems good unto thy divine providence, upon those heads which are aching for them..

Pursuing these ideas, I sat down close by my table, and leaning my head upon my hand, I began to figure to myself the miseries of confinement. I was in a right frame for it, and so I full scope to my imagination.


I was going to begin with the millions of my fellow creatures born to no inheritance but slavery; but finding, however affecting the picture was, that I could not bring it near me, and that the multitude of sad groups in it did but distract me

-I took a single captive, and having first shut him up in his dungeon, I then looked through the twilight of his grated door to take his picture.

I beheld his body half wasted away with long expectation and confinement, and felt what kind of sickness of the heart it was which arises from hope deferred. Upon looking nearer, I saw him pale and feverish in thirty years the western breeze had not once fanned his blood-he had seen no sun, no moon in all that time-nor had the voice of friend or kinsman breathed thro' his lattice. His children

But here my heart began to bleed-and I was forced to go on with another part of the portrait.


He was sitting upon the ground upon a little straw, in the furthest corner of his dungeon, which was alternately his chair and bed a little calender of small sticks were laid at the head, notched all over with the dismal days and nights he had passed there he had one of these little sticks in his hand, and with a rusty nail he was etching another day of misery to add to the heap

« ZurückWeiter »