Abbildungen der Seite

How admirably has the Scotish poet illustrated these truths in the following nervous and emphatic lines :

Unfading Hope ! when life's last embers burn,
When soul to soul, and dust to dust return !
Heav'n to thy charge resigns the awful hour!
Oh! then, thy kingdom comes! Immortal Power!
What, though each spark of earth-born rapture fly,
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye!
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey
The morning dream of life's eternal day-
Oh! deep enchanting prelude to repose,
The dawn of bliss, the twilight of our woes !
Yet half I hear the parting spirit sigh,
It is a dread and awful thing to die !

Daughter of Faith, awake, arise, illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb;
Melt, and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness on the parting soul !
Fly, like the moon-ey'd herald of dismay,
Chas'd on his night-steed by the star of day!
The strife is o'er-the pangs of Nature close,
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her.woes.
Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze,
The noon of Heav'n undazzled by the blaze,
On heav'nly winds that waft her to the sky,
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody ;
Wild as that hallow'd anthem sent to hail
Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hush'd his waves, and midnight still
Watch'd on the holy tow'rs of Sion hill.

Eternal Hope ! when yonder spheres sublime
Peal'd their first notes to sound the march of Time !

Thy joyous youth began—but not to fade.-
When all the sister planets have decay'd ;
When wrapt in fire the realms of ether glow,
And Heav'n's last thunder shakes the world below;
Thou, undismay'd, shalt o'er the ruin smile,
And light thy torch at Nature's funeral pile * !

On the passions and vices which torment the human breast, and render life a scene of sorrow, of misery and contention, Addison has written several very just and useful papers. Jealousy, envy, and revenge-melancholy, calumny, and ingratitude, have been described by him with much discrimination, their causes and consequences ascertained, and the remedies best calculated for their removal pointed out with philosophical precision. The symptoms of jealousy, in particular, are painted with great strength and accuracy, and finely illustrated by the story of Herod and Mariamnet.

The papers on good Intentions, and on cha. ritable Institutions g, are worthy of the benevolence and philanthropy of our author. In the latter, he expatiates on the necessity of a new institution in this country for foundlings, and which twenty-six years after the production of this number was carried into execution by Captain Thomas Coram. “ I shall mention a piece of charity," says he," which has not been yet exerted among us, and which deserves our attention the more, because it is practised by most of the nations about us. I mean a provision for foundlings, or for those children who, through want of such a provision, are exposed to the barbarity of cruel and unnatural parents. One does not know how to speak on such a subject without horror; but what multitudes of infants have been made away by those who brought them into the world, and were afterwards either ashamed or unable to provide for them.”

* Pleasures of Hope, part ii. p. 67, 68, 69, 70, and 84. † Spectator, vol. iii. N° 170 and 171.

Ibid. N° 213. § Guardian, vol, ï. No 105.

Coram was a naval officer of uncommon worth, and of whose character, charity and compassion were the leading features. His profession compelling him to reside in that part of the metropolis which is the common residence of seafaring people, and being under the necessity of coming early to the city and returning late, he had frequent opportunities of seeing infants exposed through the indigence or cruelty of their parents. Scenes such as these made a strong impression on the mind of Coram, and induced him to seek an immediate remedy for the evil. He accordingly projected a plan for a Foundling Hospital, and, after seventeen years of unwearied

exertion, at length saw his efforts crowned with success by a Royal Charter, dated 1739 *. This good, this amiable man, died so very poor, that for several


anterior to his decease, he was supported by a subscription pension of a hundred pounds a-year, obtained for him through the solicitation of Dr. Brocklesby and Sir Sampson Gideon. He was buried, at his own desire, in the vault of the chapel of the Foundling Hospital, where the following inscription will record for distant posterity his memory and his virtues :

“ Captain Thomas Coram, whose name will never want a Monument so long as this Hospital shall subsist, was born about the year 1668; a Man eminent in that most eminent

Virtue, the Love of Mankind; little attentive to his private fortune, and refusing many Opportunities of increasing it, his Time and Thoughts were continually employed in endeavours

to promote the public Happiness, both in this Kingdom and elsewhere, particularly in the Colonies of North America; and his Endeavours were many Times crowned with the desired Success. His unwearied Solicitations, for above Seventeen

Years together, (which would have baffled the Patience and Industry of

any Man less zealous in doing Good) and his Application to Persons of Distinction of both Sexes, obtained at length the Charter of

the Incorporation

* Vide Biographia Brit. vol. iv. p. 269. VOL. II.


(bearing date the 17th of October 1739)

FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND EDUCATION OF EXPOSED AND DESERTED YOUNG CHILDREN, by which many Thousands of Lives may be preserved to the Public, and employed in a frugal and honest Course of Industry. He died the 29th of March,

1751, in the 84th Year of his Age, poor in worldly Estate, rich in good Works; and was buried, at his own Desire, in the Vault underneath

this Chapel

(the first here deposited)
at the East End thereof; many of the Governors
and other Gentlemen attending the Funeral, to do

Honour to his Memory. Reader, thy Actions will shew, whether thou art sincere in the Praises thou may'st bestow on him; and

if thou hast Virtue enough to commend his
Virtues, forget not to add also the

Imitation of them.

The piety of Addison was founded on a clear and rational view of the attributes of the Deity, and of the doctrines of christianity; and in the Spectator, more especially, he has seized every opportunity of supporting and illustrating the great and momentous truths of natural and revealed religion. His Essays on the Supreme Being *, on the Omnipresence of the Deity t, and on the Immortality of the Soul I, exhibit the

* Spectator, vol. vii. N° 531, + lbid. vol. iii. N° 565. * Ibid. vol. ii. N° 111.

« ZurückWeiter »