« ZurückWeiter »
hend from his children; no plots to unravel, no poison to fear; no popular statesman at home, or cunning courts abroad to manage; no seeming patriots to bribe; no unsatiable favourite to gra tify; no selfish ministry to obey; no divided nation to please, or fickle mob to humour, that would direct and interfere with his pleasures.
Essay on Charity Schools.
THE possession of a throne could never yet afford a lasting satisfaction to an ambitious mind.— This melancholy truth was felt and acknowledged by Severus. Fortune and merit had, from an . humble station, elevated him to the first place among mankind. "He had been all things," as he said himself," and all was of little value."
THE lives and labours of millions are devoted to the service of a despotic prince, whose laws are blindly, obeyed, and whose wishes are instantly gra tified. Our imagination is dazzled by the splendid picture; and whatever may be the cool dictates of reason, there are few among us who would obstinately refuse a trial of the comforts and cares of royalty. It may therefore be of some use to bor row the experience of Abdal Rahman, whose mag nificence has perhaps excited our admiration and envy, and to transcribe an authentic memorial which was found in the closet of the deceased caliph." I have now reigned above fifty years in "victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dread-ī
"ed by my enemies, and respected by my allies. "Riches and honours, power and pleasure, have "waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing
appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In "this situation I have diligently numbered the days "of pure and genuine happiness, which have "fallen to my lot, they amount to fourteen.
Ib. vol. v. p. 34°.
MARIA THERESA, queen of Hungary, said, when she was dying, "Since I have been queen, I "have experienced but one happy day."
Letters of Madame, widow of Monsieur, brother
"How much do they mistake, how little knowOf kings, of kingdoms, and the pains which flow From royalty, who fancy that a crown,
Because it glistens, must be lin'd with down.
And learn to pity, not to envy kings!
The villager, born hunbly, and bred hard, Content his wealth, and poverty his guard, In action simply just, in conscience clear,
By guilt untainted, undisturb'd by fear,
His means but scanty, and his wants but few,
Then free from care, and free from thought, he
Into his straw, and till the morning sleeps.
Not so the king-with anxious cares oppress'd, His bosom labours, and admits not rest.
A glorious wretch, he sweats beneath the weight
Fly round the court, e'en when compell'd by form,
From night to night she watches at his bed;
Gotham, vol. ii. p. 162:
WHAT infinite heart's-ease must kings neglect, That private men enjoy ;
And what have kings, that privates have not too, Save ceremony, save general ceremony?
And what art thou, thou idol ceremony ?
What kind of God art thou, that suffer'st more
What are thy rents, thy comings-in?
Of mortal grief than do thy worshippers?
What is thy soul of adoration?
O ceremony! show me but thy worth.
Art thou ought else but place, degree. and form, Creating awe and fear in other men,
Wherein thou art less happy, being fear'd,
Than they in fearing?
What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet, But poison'd flatt'ry? O, be sick, great great
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure!
Will it give place to flexure and low bending? Can'st thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee,
Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,
That play'st so subtly with a king's repose;
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,