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*' die, and went with him to fight the ** Frenchmen. I hate the French, be*' cause they are all slaves, and wear *' wooden shoes.
"Though we hnd no arms, one "Englishman isabletobeat five French '* at any time; so we went down to the ** door, where both the centries were *' posted, and, rustling upon them, "seized their arms in a moment, and *' knocked them down. From thence *' nine of us ran together to the quay, ** and seizing the first boat we met, *' got out of the harbour,, and put to "sea. We had not been here three "days before we were taken up by the "Dorset privateer, who were glad of *' so many good hands, and we con*' sented to run our chance. However, "we had not as much luck as we ex"pected. In three days we fell in "with the Pompadour privateer, of "forty guns, while we had but twenty•' three; so to it we went, yard-arm *' and yard-arm. The fight lasted for "three hours, and I verily believe we "should have taken the Frenchman, "had we but had some more men left "behind ; but, unfortunately, we lost *' all our men just as we were going to "get the victory.
"I was once more in the power of "the French, and I believe it would ** have gone hard with me had I been "brought back to Brest; but, by good "fortune, we were retaken by the Vi"per. 1 had almost forgot to tell "you that, in that engagement, I was *' wounded in two places; I lost four "singers off" the left hand, and my leg *' was shot oft". If I had had the good "fortune to have lost my leg and use "of my hand on board a king's ship, "and not a-board a privateer, I should *' have been entitled to cloathing and "maintenance during the rest of my *' life ! but that was not my chance: "one man is born with a silver spoon "in his mouth, and another with a "wooden ladle. However, bjessed be ** God, I enjoy good health, and will •* for ever love liberty and Old Eng•' land. Liberty, property, and Old '* England for ever, huzza!"
Thus saying, he limped ofF, leaving me in admiration at his intrepidity and
content; nor could I avoid acknowledging, that an habitual acquaintance with misery serves better than philosophy to teach us to despise it. Goldsmith.
§ 12. A Dialogue hetween Ulysses and Circe, in Circe'j IJland.
Circe. You will go then, Ulysses; but why will you go i I desire you to speak the thoughts of your heart. Speak without reserve.—-What carries you from me?
Ulyjfit. Pardon, goddess, the weakness of human nature. My heart will fish for my country. It is a tenderness which all my attachment to you cannot overcome.
Circe. This is not all. I perceive you are afraid to declare your whole mind: but what do you fear? my terrors are gone. The proudest goddess on earth, when she has favoured a mortal as 1 have savoured you, has laid her divinity and power at his feet.
Ulysses. It may be so, while there still remains in her heart the fondness of love, or in her mind the fear of shame. But you, Circe, are above those vulgar sensations.
Circe. I understand your caution, it belongs to your character; and, therefore, to take all diffidence from you, I swear by Styx, I will do no harm to yoa or your friends for any thing which you fay, though it should offend me ever fo much, but will send you away with all marks ofmy friendship. Ttll me now, truly, what pleasures you hope to enjoy in the barren island of Ithaca, which caa compensate for those you leave in this paradise, exempt from all cares, and overflowing with all delights?
Vlyjfcs. The pleasures of virtue; the supreme happiness of doing good. Here I do nothing: my mind is in a palsy; its faculties are benumbed. I long to return into action again, that I may employ those talents and virtues which I have cultivated from the earliest days of my youth. Toils and cares fright not me: they are the exercise of my soul; they keep it in h.-alth and in vigour. Give me again the fields of Troy, rather th*an those vacant groves; there I could reap the bright harvest of glory ; here I
am am hid from the eyes of mankind, and begin to appear contemptible in my own. The image of my fqrmer self haunts and seems to upbraid me whereever I go: I meet it under the gloom of every made; it even intrudes itself into your presence, and chides me from your arms. O goddess! unless you have power to lay that troublesome spirit, unless you can make me forget myself, I cannot be happy here, I shall every day be more wretched.
Circe. Miy not a wise and good man who has spent all his youth in active life and honourable danger, when he begins to decline have leave to retire, and enjoy the rest of his days in quiet and pleasure t
Vlyjsei. No retreat can be honourable to a wise and good man, but in company with the Muses; I am deprived of that sacred society here. The Muses will not inhabit the abodes of voluptuousness and sensual pleasure. How can I study, how can I think, while so many beasts (and the worst beasts 1 know are men turned into beasts) are howling, or roaring, or grunting about me?
Circe. There is something in this; but this is not all: you suppress the strongest reason that draws you to Ithaca. There is another image, besides that of your former self, which appears to you in all parts of this island, which follows your walks, which interposes itself between you and me, and chides ynu from my arms: it is Penelope, Ulysses, I know it is.— Do not pretend to'deny it: you sigh for her in my bosom itself.—And yet she is not an immortal.—She is not, as I am, endowed with the gift of unfading youth: several years have past since her's has been faded. I think, without vanity, that she was never so handsome as I. But what is (he now?
Uhjsei. You have told me yourself, in a former conversation, when I inquired of you about her, that she is true to my bed, and as fond of me now,after twenty yeiirs absence, as when I left her to go to Troy. I left her in the bloom of her youth and her beauty. How much mult her constancy have been tried since that time! how meritorious is her fidelit*! Shall I reward her wiih falsehood? shall I forget her who cannot forget me ; who
has nothing so dear to her as my re* membrance?
Circe. Her love is preserved by the continual hope of your speedy return. Take that hope from her: let your companions return, and let her know that you have fixed your abode here with me ; that you have fixed it for ever: let her know that she is free to dispose of her heart and her hand as she pleases. Send my picture to her; bid her compare it with her own face.—If all this does not cure her of the remains of her passion, if you do not hear of her marrying Eurymachus in a twelvemonth, 1 understand nothing of womankind.
Ulyjses. O cruel goddess! why will you force me to tell you those truths I wish to conceal? If by such unjust, such barbarous usage, I could lose her heart, it would break mine. How should I endure the torment of thinking that I had wronged such a wife? what could make me amends for her not being mine, for her being another's? Do not frown, Circe; I own, (since you will have me speak) I own you could not: with all your pride of immortal beauty, with all your magical charms to assist those of nature, you are not such a powerful charmer as she. You feel desire, and you give it; but you never felt love, nor can you inspire it. How can I love one who would have degraded me into a beast? Penelope raised me into a hero : her love ennobled, invigorated,exalted my mind, She bid me go to the siege of Troy, tho' the parting with me was worse than death to herself: she bid me expose myself there toall perils among the foremost heroes of Greece, though her poorheart trembled to think of the least I fliould meet, and would have given all its own blood to save a drop of mine. Then there was such a conformity in all our inclinations 1 when Minerva taught me the lessons of wisdom, flie seved to be present; she heard, she retained the moral instructions, the sublime truths of nature, she gave tham back to me, soft* tened and sweetened with the peculiar
f races of her own mind. When we unent our thoughts with the charms of poetry, when weread togetherthe poems of Orpheus, Musaeus, and Linus, with, what taste did she mark every excellence
in them! My feelings were dull, compared to her's. She seemed herself to be the Muse who had inspired those verses, and had tuned their lyres to infuse into the hearts of mankind the love of wisdom and virtue, and the sear of the gods. How beneficent was (he, how good to my people! what care did (lie take to instruct them in the finer and more elegant arts; to relieve the necessities of the sick and the aged ; to superintend the education of children; to do my subjects every good office of kind intercession; to lay before me their wants; to assist their petitions; to mediate for those who were objects of mercy ; to sue for those who deserved the favours of the crown! And (hall I banish myself for ever from such a consort? (hall I give up her society for the brutal joys of a sensual life, keeping indeed the form of a man, but having lost the human soul, or at least all its noble and godlike powers? Oh, Circe, forgive me; I cannot bear the thought.
Circe. Begone—do not imagine I a(k you to stay. The daughter of the Sun is not so mean-spirited as to solicit a mortal to (hare her happiness with her. It is a happiness which I find you cannot enjoy. I pity you and despise you. That which you seem to value so much 1 have no notion of. All you have said seems to me a jargon of sentiments sitter for a silly woman than for a great man. Go, read, and spin too, if you please, with your wife. I forbid you to remain another day in my island. You (hall have a fair wind to carry you from it. Aster that, may every storm that Neptune can raise pursue and overwhelm you! Begone, I say, quit my sight.
Ulyjscs. Great goddess, I obey—bat remember your oath.
§ 13. Low and Joy, a Tale.
In the happy period ofthegolden age, when all the celestial inhabitants descended to the earth, and conversed familiarly with mortals, among the most cherislied of the heavenly powers were twins, theoffspring of Jupiter, Love and Joy. Where they appeared the flowers sprung up beneath their feet, the sun (hone with a brighter radiance, and all nature seemed embellished by their pre
sence. They were inseparable companions, and their growing attachment was favoured by Jupiter, who had decreed that a lasting union mould be solemnized between them so soon as they were arrived at maturer years: but in the mean time the sons of men deviated from their native innocence; vice and ruin over-ran the earth with giant strides; and Astrea, with her train of celestial visitants, forsook their polluted abodes: Love alone remained, having been stolen away by Hope, who was his n urse, and conveyed by her to the forests of Arcadia, where he was brought up among the shepherds. But Jupiter assigned him a different partner, and commanded him to espouse Sorrow, the daughter of Ate: he complied with reluctance; for her features were harfli and disagreeable; her eyes funk, her forehead contracted into perpetual wrinkles, and her temples were covered with a wreath of cypress and wormwood. From this union sprung a virgin, in whom might be traced a strong resemblance to both herparents; but the sullen and unamiable features of her mother were so mixed and blended with the sweetness of her father, that her countenance, though mournful, was highly pleasing. The maids and (hepherds of the neighbouring plains gathered round, and called her Pity. A red-breast was observed to build in the cabin where (he was born; and while (he was yet an infant, a dove pursued by a hawk flew into her bosom. This nymph had a dejected appearances but so soft and gentle a mien, that (he was beloved to a degree of enthusiasm. Her voice was low and plaintive, but inexpressibly sweet ; and (he loved to lie for hours together on the banks of some wild and melancholy stream, singing to her lute. She taught men to weep, for (he took a strange delight in tears; and often, when the virgins of the hamlet were assembled at their evening sports, soe would (teal in amongst them, and captivate their hearts by her talcs full of a charming sadness. She wore on her head a garland composed of her father's myrtles twisted with her mother's cypress.
One day, as (he fat musing bythewaters of Helicon, her tears by chance fell into the fountain; and ever since the Muses' spring has retained a strong taste of the infusion. Pity was commanded by Jupiter to follow the steps of her mother through the world, dropping halm into the wounds she made, and binding up the hearts flie had broken. She follows with her hair loose, her bosom bare and throbbing, her garments torn by the briars, and her feet bleeding with the roughness of the path. The nymph is mortal, for her mother is so ; and whea ihehas fulfilled her destined course upon the earth, they shall both expire together, and Love be again united to Joy, his immortal and long-betrothed bride. Aikin's Miscel.
§14. Scene hetiveen Colonel Rivers and &>harry ; innuhichtheColonel,from Principles of Honour, refuses to give bis Daughter to Sir Harry.
Sir Har. Colonel, your most obedient: I am come upon the old business; for, unless I am allowed to entertain hopes of Miss Rivers, I shall be the most miserable of all human beings.
Ri<u. Sir Harry, I have already told you by letter, and I now tell you personally, I cannot listen to your proposals.
Sir Har. No, Sir!
Riv. No, Sir: I have promised my daughter to Mr. Sidney. Do you know that, Sir?
Sir Har. I do: but what then? Engagements of this kind, you know
Ri-v. So then, you do know I have promised her to Mr. Sidney?
Sir Har. I do—But I also know that matters are not finally settled between Mr. Sidney and you; and I moreover know, that his fortune is by no means equal to mine: therefore—
Ri-v. Sir Harry, let me ask you one question before you make your consequence.
Sir Har. A thousand, if you please, Sir.
Riv. Why then, Sir, let me ask you, what you have ever observed in me, or my conduct, that you desire me so familiarly to break my word? I thought, Sir, you considered me as a man of ho. nour i
Sir Har. And so Ido> Sir—a man of the nicest honour.
Ri-v. And yet, Sir, you ask me to ■ violate the sanctity of my word; and tell me directly, that it is my interest to be a rascal.
Sir Her. I really don't understand you, Colonel; I thought, when I was talking to you, I was talking to a man who knew the world; and as you have not yet signed —
Riv. Why, this is mending matters with a witness 1 And so you think, because I am not legally bound, I am under no necessity of keeping my word! Sir Harry, laws were never made for men of honour: they want no bond but the rectitude of their own sentiments; and laws are of no use but to bind the villains of society.
Sir Har. Well! but, my dear Colonel, if you have no regard for me, shew some little regard for your daughter.
Riv. I shew the greatest regard for my daughter, by giving her to a man os honour; and I must not be insulted with any farther repetition of your proposals.
Sir Har. Insult you, Colonel! Is the offer of my alliance an insult? Is my readiness to make what settlements you
Riv. Sir Harry, I should consider the offer of a kingdom an insult, if it were to be purchased by the violation os my word. Besides, though my daughter shall never go a beggar to the arms of her husband, I would ratherseeher happy than rich ; and if she has enough to provide handsomely fora young family, and something to spare for the exigencies of a worthy friend, I shall think her as affluent as if she were mistress of Mexico.
Sir Har. Well, Colonel, I have done; but I believe
Riv. Well, Sir Harry, and as our conference is done, we will, if you please, retire to the ladies. I (hall be alwaysglad of your acquaintance, though I cannot receive you as a son-in-law ; for a union of interest I look upon as a union of dishonour, and consider a marriage for money at best but a legal prostitution.
$ 1J. On dignity of Manners.
There is a Certain dignity of manners absolutely necessary, to make even the most valuable character either respected or respectable.
Horse-play, romping, frequent and loud fits of laughter, jokes, waggery, and indiscriminate familiarity, will fink both merit and knowledge into a degree, of contempt. They compose at molt a merry fellow; and a merry fellow was never yet a respectable man. Indiscriminate familiarity either offends your superiors, or else dubs you their dependent and led captain. It gives your inferiors just, but troublesome and improper claims of equality. A joker is near akin to a buffoon; and neither of them is the least related to wit. Whoever is admitted or sought for, in company, upon any other account than that of his merit and manners, is never respected there, but only made use of. We will have such-a-one, for he sings prettily; we will invite such-a-one to a ball, for he dances well; we will have such-a-one at supper, for he is always joking and laughing ; we will ask another, because he plays deep at all games, or because he can drink a great deal. These are all vilifying distinctions, mortifying preferences, and exclude all ideas of esteem and regard. Whoever // bad (as it is called) in company, for thesakeofanyone thing singly, is singly that thing, and will never be considered in any other light; consequently never respected, let his merits be what they will.
This dignity of manners, which I recommend so much to you, is not only as different from pride, as true courage is from blustering, or true wit from joking, but is absolutely inconsistent with it; for nothing vilifies and degrades more than pride. The pretensions of the proud man are oftener treated with sneer and contempt, than with indignation ; as we offer ridiculously too little to a tradesman, who asks ridiculously too much for bis goods ; but we do not haggle with one who only asles a just and reasonable price.
•Abject flattery and indiscriminate assentation degrade, as much as indiscri
minate contradiction and noisy debate disgust. But a modest assertion of one'» own opinion, and a complaisant acquiescence in other peop!e'«, preserve dignity.
Vulgar, low expression?,aukward motions and address, vilify, as they imply either a very low turn of mind, or low education, and low company.
Frivolous curiosity about trifles, and a laborious attention to little-objects, which neither require nor deserve a moment's thought, lower a man ; who from thence is thought (and not unjustly) incapable of greater matters. Cardinal de Retz, very sagaciously, marked out Cardinal Chigi for a little mind, from the moment that he told him he had wrote three years with the fame pen, and that it was an excellent good ona still. *
A certain degree of exterior seriousness in looks and motions gives dignity, without excluding wit and decent cheerfulness, which are always serious themselves. A constant smirk upon the face, and a whiffling activity of the body, are strong indications of futility. Whoever is in a hurry, shews that the thing he is about is too big for him—haste and hurry are very different things.
I have only mentioned some of those things which may, and do, in the opinion of the world, lower and sink cha* racters,inotherrespestsvaluable enough; but I have taken no notice of those that affect and sink the moral characters: they are sufficiently obvious. A man who has patiently been kicked, may as well pretend to courage, as a man blasted by vices and crimes, to dignity of any kind. But an exterior decency and dignity of manners, will even keep such a man longer from sinking, than otherwise he would be: of such consequence is the To arpETror, or decorum, even though, affected and put on!
§ 16. On Vulgarity.
A vulgar, ordinary way of thinking, acting, or speaking, implies a low education, and a habit of low company. Young people contract it at school, or among servants, with whom they are too often used to converse; but, after they
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