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on the contrary, those that are more obscure, do not give the animal spirits a sufficient exercise; whereas, the rays that produce in us the idea of green, fall upon the eye in such a due proportion, that they give the animal spirits their proper play, and by keeping up the struggle in a just balance, excite a very pleasing and agreeable sensaiion. Let the cause be what it will, the effect is certain ; for which reason the poets ascribe to this particular colour, the epithet of cheerful.
To consider further this double end in the works of na. ture and how they are at the same time both useful and entertaining, we find that the most important parts in the vegetable world, are those which are ihe most beautiful. These are the seeds by which the several races of plants are propagated and continued, and which are always lodged in flowers or blossoms. Nature seems to hide her principal design, and to be industrious in making the earth gay and delightful, while she is carrying on her great work, and intent upon her own preservation. The husbandman, after the same manner, is employed in lay. ing out the whole country into a kind of garden or landscape, and making every thing smile about him, whilst, in reality he thinks of nothing, but of the harvest and in crease which is to arise from it.
We may further observe how Providence has taken care to keep up this cheerfulness in the mind of man, by having formed it after such a manner, as to make it capa. ble of conceiving delight from several objects which seem to have very little use in them; as from the wildness of rocks and deserts, and the like grotesque parts of nature.. Those who are versed in philosophy, may still carry this consideration higher, by observing, that if matter had appeared to us endowed only with those real qualities which it actually possesses, it would have made but a very joyless and uncomfortable figure ; and why has Providence given it a power of producing in us such imaginary qualities, as tastes and colours, sounds and smells, heat and cold, but that man, while he is conversant in the lower stations of nature, miglıt have his mind cheered and delighted with agreeable sensations ? In short, the whole universe is a
theatre, filled with objects that either raise in us pleasure, amusement or admiration.
The readers own thoughts will suggest to hin the vicis. situdes of day and night, the change of seasons, with all that variety of scenes which diversify the face of nature, and fill the inind with a perpetual succession of beautiful and pleasing images.
I shall not liere mention the several entertainments of art, with the pleasures of friendship, books, conversation and other accidental diversions of life, because I would only take notice of such incitements to a cheerful temper, as offer themselves to persons of all ranks and conditions, and which may sufficiently shew us that Providence did not design this world should be filled with murmurs and repinings, or that the heart of mail should be involved in gloom and melancholy.
I the more inculcate this cheerfulness of temper, as it is a virtue in which our countrymen are observed to be more deficient than any other nation, Melancholy is a kind of demon that haunts our island, and often conveys herself to us in an easterly wind. A celebrated French novelist, in opposition to those who begin their romances with the Rowery seasons of the year, enters on his story thus : "In the gloomy month of November, when the people of Eng. land hang and drown themselves, a disconsolate lover walked out into the fields,” &c.
Every one ought to fence against the temper of his climate or constitution, and frequently to indulge in himself those considerations which may give him a serenity of mind and enable him to bear up cheerfully, against those little evils and misfortunes, which are common to human nature, and which, by right improvement of them, will produce a satiety of joy, and uninterrupted happiness.
At the same time that I would engage my reader to consider the world in its most agreeable lights, I must own there are many evils which naturally spring up, amidst the entertainments that are provided for us; but these, if rightly considered, should be far from overcasting the mind with sorrow, or destroying that cheerfulness of temper which I have been recommending. This interspersion of evil with good, and pain with pleasure, in the works of nature, is very truly ascribed, by Mr. Locke, in his essay on human understanding, to a moral reason, in the following words:
“ Beyond all this, we may find another reason why God hath scattered up and down several degrees of pleasure and pain, in all the things that environ and affect us, and blended them together in almost all that our thoughts and senses have to do with; that we, finding imperfection, dissatisfaction, and want of complete happiness in all the enjoyments which the creatures can afford us, might be led to seek it in the enjoyment of Him, with whom there is fullness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
I.--The bad Reader.-PERCIVAL's Tales.
JULIUS had acquired great credit at Cambridge, by his compositions. They were elegant, animated and judicious; and several prizes, at different times, had been adjudged 10 him. An oration which he delivered the week before he left the university, had been honoured with particular applause; and on his return home he was impatient to gratify his vanity, and to extend his reputation, by having it read to a number of his father's literary friends.
A parly was therefore collected ; and after dinner the manuscript was produced. Julius declined the office of reader, because he had contracted a hoarseness on his journey ; and a conceited young man, with great forwardness, offered his services. Whilst he was settling himself on his seat, licking his lips and adjusting his mouth, hawking, hemming and making other ridiculous preparations, for the performance which he had undertaken, a profound silence reigned through the company, the united effect of atiention and expectation. The reader at length began; but his tone of voice was so shrill and dissonant, his utterance so vehement, his pronunciation so affected, his emphasis so injudicious, and his accents were so improp. erly placed, that good manners alone restrained the laugh. ter of the audience. Julius was all this while upon the rack, and his arm was more than once extended to snatch bis composition from the coxcomb who delivered it. But he proceeded with full confidence in his own elocution; uniformly overstepping, as Shakespeare expresses it, the modesty of nature.
When the oration was concluded, the gentlemen returued their thanks to the author ; but the compliments which they paid him were more expressive of politeness and civility, than the conviction of his merit. Indeed, the beauties of his composition had been converted, by bad
reading, into blemishes; and the sense of it rendered obscure, and even unintelligible. Julius and his father could not conceal their vexation and disappointment; and the guests, perceiving they laid them under a painful restraint, withdrew, as soon as decency permitted, to their respec: tive habitatiops.
II.-Respect due to Old Age.--SPECTATOR. IT happened at Athens, during a public representation of some play exhibited in honour of the commonwealth, that an old gentleman came too late for a place suitable to his age and quality. Many of the young gentlemen who observed the difficulty and confusion he was in, made signs to him that they would accommodate him, if he came where they sat. The good man bustled through the crowd accordingly; but when he came to the seat to which he was invited, the jest was to sit close and expose him, as he stood out of countenance, to the whole audience, The frolick went round all the Athenian benches. But on those occasions there were also particular places assigned for foreigners. When the good man skulked towards the boxes appointed for the Lacedemonians, that honest people, more virtuous than polite, rose up all to a man, and with the greatest respect, received him among them. The Athenians being suddenly touched with a sense of the Spartan virtue and their own degeneracy, gave a thunder of applause; and the old man cried out, the Athenians understand what is good, but the Lacedemonians practise it.'
111.-Piety to God recommended to the Young.-BLAIR.
WHAT I shall first recommend, is piety to God. With this I begin, both as the foundation of good morals, and as a disposition particularly graceful and becoming in youth. To be void of it argues a cold lieart, destitute of some of the best affections which belong to that age. Youth is the season of warm and generous emotions. The heart should then spontaneously rise into the admiration of what is great; glow with the love of what is fair and excellent; and melt at the discovery of tenderness and goodness. Where can any object be found so proper to kindle these affections, as the Father of the universe, and