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nued to live in friendship till the hour of his death; and I fhall always remain with the impreffion of having loft a friend whom I loved and refpected, not only for his great talents, but for every private virtue."
The retirement in which Mr Smith paffed his next ten years, formed a ftriking contrast to the unfettled mode of life he had been for fome time accustomed to, but was fo congenial to his natural difpofition, and to his firft habits, that it was with the utmost difficulty he was ever perfuaded to leave it. During the whole of this period (with the exception of a few vifits to Edinburgh and London), he remained with his mother at Kirkaldy, occupied habitually with intense study, but unbending his mind at times in the company of his old school-fellows. In the fociety of fuch men, Mr Smith delighted; and to them he was endeared, not only by his fimple and unaffuming manners, but by the perfect knowledge they all poffeffed of those domestic virtues which had distinguished him from his infancy. Mr Hume, who confidered a town as the true scene for a man of letters, made many attempts, but in vain, to feduce Mr Smith from his retirement. At length, in the beginning the year 1776, he accounted to the world for his long retreat, by the publication of his "In
quiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations." He received a letter of congratulation on this event from Mr Hume, which discovers an amiable folicitude for his friend's literary fame. It is dated 1ft April 1776, about fix months before Mr Hume's death. "Euge! Belle! Dear Mr Smith: I am much pleased with your performance, and the perufal of it has taken me from a state of great anxiety. It was a work of fo much expectation by yourself, by your friends, and by the public, that I trembled for its appearance; but am now much relieved. Not but that the reading of it neceffarily requires fo much attention, and the pubhic is difpofed to give it fo little, that I fhall still doubt for fome time of its being at firft very popular. But it has depth, and folidity, and acuteness, and is fo much illuftrated by curious facts, that it must at laft take the public attention. It is probably much improved by your laff abode in London. If you were here, at my fire-fide, I fhould difpute fome of your principles.But these, and a hundred other points, are fit only to be difcuffed in converfation. I hope it will be foon; for I am in a very bad ftate of health, and cannot afford a long delay."
(To be continued.)
CHARACTERISTICAL SKETCHES OF EMINENT BRITONS.
her religion, now established by authority, were fufficient inducements to a people lefs fufceptible of affection_towards their princes than the English, for unbounded admiration and respect. If the afpect of foreign nations be regarded, we fhall not, I think, difcern thofe gorgon eyes of terror which the blufhing merit of this virgin queen is fabled to have encountered. The reftlefs ambition of Philip was lulled by the delufive expectation of efpoufing the rich inheritance of the Queen, into a ftate of impolitic inaction; the power of France, enfeebled by the arms of Auftria, was foon to be diffolved in the weakness of its own princes; and Scotland
AT the distance of near two centuies, we come to view a princess, whofe memory has been perhaps looked at hitherto with too prejudiced an eye, name ly, Elizabeth, the last and most renowned of the Tudors. From hardships and injuries fortune gave her to rule over anation, which, distracted by the capricious tyranny of Henry VIII. weak under the minority of Edward, inundated with blood by the bigotry of Mary, had now arrived at that ultimate point of depreffion, at which the tide of human affairs is faid naturally to ebb and flow back in a contrary course, The circumftances of the times, the amiableness of her fex, and, above all, the popularity of
land, the province of France, was alone formidable to itself.
That the crown then poffeffed a very ftrong prerogative, capable of overleaping the bounds by which royal authority began to be circumfcribed, is a fact too apparent in the annals of each preceding reign, to stand in need of further confirmation. We must not, therefore, in reviewing the conduct of Elizabeth, expect to fee her unlike her predeceffors in an action fhe most wifhed to resemble them, fummoning her parliament in order to regulate her councils by their resolves, or waiting till their liberality had enabled her to carry into execution the more extenfive schemes of state: but we are still to look for, under fo renowned a princefs, fome regular fyftem of government concerted; fome pecuniary resources constitutionally derived, independent of appropriating to national uses the occafional revenues of unfilled bishoprics; in short, fome firmer political edifice erected, than that bafelefs fabric of duplicity and artifice, which only wanted the weak vices of her immediate fucceffors, to be pulled into ruins of anarchy and civil diffenfion. Let any one cite to me a fingle inftance, in the whole of her administration, in which the prerogative of the crown, or the rights of the people, were afferted or denied with the becoming confidence and refolution of a fovereign. Divifion among ministers carefully maintained; the authority of parliaments encreafed
the mysterious concealment of their bounds; condefcenfion fhown to the people, the better to lord it over the nobility; one faction depreffed by the exaltation of another; give us fome, though not an adequate idea, of the undecifive, qualifying, negative abilities of Elizabeth for government. Infulated from pofterity by a determined vow of celibacy, and, confequently, not tied or bound by thofe hoftages of conduct which perfons in the married state leave behind them unto fortune, fhe poffeffed a competent degree of cunning and addrefs to infure power to herself, and feems to have been little folicitous for
its continuance with the unfortunate family of Stuart, whofe fucceffion, as well as future welfare, her maxims were not calculated to promote.
Commerce and navigation, then in their infancy, by what charters and immunities were they protected ?—But why do we talk of charters and immunities? -Could commerce, that fenfitive plant, fhrinking at the rude touch of oppreffion and tyranny, thrive under the rough hands of rapacious monopolifts? Could the navigator, tranfporting himself over feas, at that time as unknown to the English, as the world which they joined had been before to all Europe, find a reward for the perils he had undergone, in fharing the fmall pittance the waves and enemy had left him, with a mistress whofe avarice was not to be restrained by the laws of compofition fhe herself had enacted?
But I haften to that period of hiftory, when, in the Low Countries, the united force of feven provinces had broke the chains of their tyrant, and established a religion and government of their own; when the Hugonots in France, in arms with the Admiral Coligny at their head, were yet unconfcious of the approaching flaughter of St Bartholomew; and when Philip in Spain, aided by the thunders of Rome, the gold of Mexi co, and the genius of the Duke of Parma, threatened fubjection to all around him. The neceffity of the times demanded a perfon of an active and enterprifing difpofition, capable of uniting the fcattered forces of a perfecuted religion, in order to compofe a fingle one which might fhake the proud league of its enemies, and be the deftruction of thofe that laughed it to fcorn. Eliza beth fhould herself have been the centre of fo glorious a confederacy, and not have committed to the unhoped for accidents of adverfe winds and waves, the difperfion of that invincible armament of Spain, which, fkilfully conducted, muft inevitably have triumphed over her refolute, but unaided refiftance.
Succefs in arms, efpecially if they are borne against the natural or religious B 2
enemies of the state, has ever been the fource of popular affection. It was impoffible for the Romans to condemn the guilty Manlius in fight of the Capitol which that celebrated warrior had faved. The fame caufe has on us too the same effect, in paffing judgment on the characters of our princes; we elevate before our eyes the trophies erected in each reign, pafs over with neglect the lefs confpicuous, but more important duties of a fovereign, and give the fuffrage of our praife to the fuccefsful warrior, which we refuse to the only canditates for true applause—the upright magiftrate and the patriot king. The memory of Elizabeth has, it must be confeffed, an undoubted claim to the immunities of profperity.
Perhaps the timely death of this princefs is not to be reckoned one of the leaft circumstances of that wonderful fortune which ever attended her. Liberty, like an infant Jove, protected from the rage of profecution by priestly fanatics, now began to fhew itself abroad under the stern features of the puritan, whofe inflexibility of temper did not admit of thofe lenient mollifying arts, which had ever been the favourite and fuccefsful inftruments of her policy.
If, from the political, we turn to the moral part of this celebrated character, we shall there too obferve the fame mixture of female artifice and envy; fome times wanton by refinement, and fometimes, though rarely, cruel in the extreme. I have hitherto omitted mentioning the execution of the Queen of Scots, as an action in which Elizabeth's avowed paffion of rivalihip was much more concerned than the wellfeigned purposes of intereft or religion. The fubject has already been fo thorough ly canvaffed, that a farther fcrutiny cannot be made into the conduct of either party, without the repetition of infipid tautology and I think we may plainly difcern, on the part of the British princefs, a mind wholly devoted to its own purposes, an ear inattentive to the diftrefs of another, a face that could not blufh, and a heart that could not feel. The capricious warrant for the death of
Effex, is perhaps another remaining inftance equally injurious to the huma nity of Elizabeth's difpofition.
Her difcernment of the characters and abilities of men has been the fruitful fubject of eulogium; and fome feem willing to reprefent her as the Afpasia of Britain, at whose school the Socrates and Pericles of the age were educated in the perfons of Bacon and Walfingham. But that the human genius is not called forth by the wand of power, and that there is a time of its fleep and death, which it cannot interrupt or advance, is an evidence eafily collected from the univerfal teftimony of hiftory. If, therefore, the age abounded in men of fuperior talents, it was not owing to the plastic hand of Elizabeth: the merit of employing them in high office is fill apparently hers, though that in a great meafure muft have depended on the indulgence of fortune, and the reciprocal advantage of mutual affiftance.
Her liberality, the fortunes of a few court-minions excepted, was by no means extenfive; and that its influence was ever diftinguifhedly fhed on the head of genius or public fervice, is not on record. Let it not, however, be denied, that in the great events of five and forty years of fuccefs, fuch small incidents may have escaped the crowded eye of hiftory. The Athenians dedicated an altar to a god without a name. We too will erect a monument to virtue, which has not been celebrated. But the fairest method of determining fuch unknown merit, would be by the measure of its reflection on immediate pofterity. All who die are honoured with tears. The friend is lamented by his furviving companion; the father of a family by his children: the funeral of a prince fhould be followed by the univerfal mourning of the people he governed. It is well known, that the behaviour of the nation, on the death of Elizabeth, amounted to something more than indifference; and we cannot fuppofe thofe private virtues to have had the brightest luftre, whofe departing rays left fo faint a gloom of melancholy N. behind them.
ANECDOTE OF FRANCIS II. THE PRESENT EMPEROR of
NONE of the princes of Germany = have higher claims on the love of the people, or the eulogy of the modern bards, than the amiable and youthful monarch who now fills the imperial throne. Of his warlike atchievements, during the prefent campaign, the trump of fame has fufficiently informed you; but there is a trait of his heart in private and domestic life, which I receive from the most unquestionable authority, and which will endear him to you more than a thousand victories.
Jofeph the fecond, who was an economist, left to Leopold, who did not Live long enough, after he became emperor, to diffipate (them) an unincumbered diadem and immenfe treasures. Thefe all concentered in the prefent Emperor, to whom was bequeathed the difpofal of them fo unconditionally, that the dowager Empress his mother was, in a manner, rather a dependent on his bounty, than poffeffed of powers in herfelf to claim as widow, wife, and mother. No fooner did the youth find himself thus dangerously placed, than he refolved to put it out of his own power to act unbecoming the fon of an emprefs and queen. Convening, therefore, his court and council, he appropriated an early day for his coronation, or rather nomination to the emperor hip, (the regular ceremony being performed long after at Frankfort) and he intreated the honour that the Queendowager would affift at it. The affembly was brilliant; the young monarch rofe in the midst of it, and holding in his hand a feroll, thus addreffed him felf to his minifters, in the presence of thousands of his fubjects: I perceive a paffage of great importance is omitted in the will of my royal father., No fuitable and independent provifion has been made for my beloved and imperial mother. The long tried virtues of that noble lady, the tender confidence and and domestic love in which the lived with my father, convinces me, that it never could have been intended that fo
good a wife, so kind a parent, and fo excellent a woman, could be left in a ftate of dependence on her fon. Much more likely is it, that the fon should have been bequeathed to the commands, indulgence, and management of his mother. Or if it was intended that the fon fhould receive the whole revenues of the empire, it could only be in confidence that he would act as her agent, and fee that her private, her natural, and proper rights were paid into her coffers with the leaft care and inconvenience to herself.
"In the latter cafe, I hope I fhould be found, throughout my reign, a faithful fteward of my dear parent and of the people; and, fuppofing, for a moment, this cafe a poffible one, I cannot be infenfible to the exalted affection and efteem the late emperor and king muft have had for me, that he could, after his death, confide the fortunes of fuch a wife to the truft of his fon. But human nature is so frail, and the truft is so awful, that I tremble while I poffefs it; and cannot, indeed, be eafy, till I have difburdened myfelf of the weight it imposes. To this end, my loving friends, minifters and fubjects, I have herein bound myfelf, (fhewing the feroll) by an inftrument of the laft folemnity, to become refponfible in a yearly fum fuited to her rank although inferior to her defervings. And I have, as nearly as may be, made this difpofition from my private funds, and from fources the leaft likely to infringe on, or to affect, the treasures of the ftate, which I hold in truft alfo,for the honour of my empire, and the profperity of Auftria; yet I confider myfelf as called upon by my fubjects to explain, account for, and juftify every expenditure, before I make an arrangement in favour of any part of my own family: but I feel, at the fame time, that it is an act of duty and juftice on my part, which will be crowned by the fanction of all my people.
"Here then, (madam, continued the royal youth,) dropping on his knee as he defcended
defcended from his throne, and prefent- time, as exigences may arife, to derive ing the fcroll-here is the deed by which benefit, in their application, from your I relieve myself from an infupportable known wifdom,goodnefsof heart and judgburden, the idea of your majefty's be- ment, and your love of the empire." coming the victim of a fon's weakness, indifcretion, or ingratitude and you will find that I have, by the fame act, taken the liberty to appoint you the guardian of my youth, in all that can properly be called (if any thing can) my private fortunes. I retain in my hand the public treasures, because the weight of them would, from the multiplicity of demands, be attended with fatigue to you; but I fhall not fail, from time to
With regard to the public, one might very reasonably expect from such an outfet, what has happened in the progrefs of the reign of this monarch ;—we were prepared for his having almost emptied the coffers of his private property, and almost stript its palace of his furniture, many of its neceffaries, and all its luxuries, before he invited the affistance of his people to carry on this unparelleled war. From Gleanings through Holland.
SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF MÆCENAS. CAIUS CILNIUS MECENAS was a celebrated Roman knight, defcended from the kings of Etruria. He has immortalised himself by his liberal patronof learned men, and of letters; and, to his prudence, Auguftus Cæfar acknowledged himself indebted for the fecurity he enjoyed.
ing fentance or death on the criminals.
His fondness for pleasure removed him from the reach of ambition, and he preferred to die, as he was born, a Roman knight, to all the honours and dignities which either the friendship of Auguftus, or his own popularity, could heap upon him. It was in confequence of his advice, and that of Agrippa, that Auguftus refolved to retain the fupreme power, and not, by a voluntary refignation, to plunge Rome into civil commotions. The emperor received the private admonitions of Mecenas in the fame friendly manner as they were given; and he was not displeased with the liberty of his friend, when he threw a paper to him with these words, Defcend from the tribunal, thou butcher! while he fat in the judgment-feat, and betrayed revenge and impatience in his countenance. He was ftruck with the admonition, and left the tribunal, without paff
To the interference of Mecenas, Virgil was indebted for the restoration of his lands; and Horace was proud to boast that his learned friend had obtained his pardon from the emperor for engaging in the caufe of Brutus at Philippi. Maecenas himself cultivated literature, and, according to the most received opinion, wrote a Hiftory of Animals, a Journal of the Life of Augustus, a Treatife on the different natures and kinds of Precious Stones, befides two tragedies entitled Octavia and Prometheus, and other things, all now lost. He died eight years before Chrift, and, on his death-bed, particularly recommended his friend Horace to the care and confidence of Auguftus. Seneca, who has liberally commended the genius and abilities of Mecenas, has not withheld his cenfure from his diffipation, indolence, and effeminate luxury. From the patronage and encouragement which the princes of heroic and lyric poetry, among the Latins, received from the favourite of Auguftus, all patrons of literature have ever fince been called Macenates Virgil dedicated to him his Georgics, and Horace his Odes.
OR A COFFEE-HOUSE SCENE AT ALEPPO, IN SYRIA.
IN Turkey, where the art of printing has not yet been known, where the circulation of literary productions is chain
ed down within the narrow compass of manufcript, and where therefore the efforts of genius are repreffed by difcour