Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

A

account.

.

countries which he had discovered,

MORAL CHARACTERS. and of the colony that he had left

[Concluded from Vul.xmn. p. 118.] there. “ Having wrapped up this in an oiled cloth, which he enclosed in

Cresus. a cake of wax, he put it into a cask T the age of twenty-one, Cresus, carefully stopped up and threw it into the sea, in hopes that some fortunate siderable estate, resolved to fix his accident might preserve a deposit of happiness in giving himself up to so much importance to the world.”- pleasures of every kind, which, alRobertson's Hist. of America, vol. vi. though permitted in a certain degree, p. 149.

become criminal in the abuse. A A curious and important reflection continual listlessness impelled him to arises to the mind upon reading this search for amusement, and in the

We bave no evidence, I choice of it he was guided by his believe, that the cask, thus carefully senses and imagination. Being always prepared, was ever picked up, or ever inconstant, and wavering in his deciafterwards heard of: the remedy, sions, he began a thousand things therefore, was inadequate; and bad which he immediately relinquished, the vessel of Columbus been lost, it each appearing less worthy of his atis probable that America had been, to tention than the former. He then this day, undiscovered, as no one passed to another object, which in its would afterwards have thought of a turn lost all its charms; and thus, in western world when Columbus bad order to please his fickle and waverfailed in tlre attempt. He too would ing fancy, he leads a restless and unhave been branded as a visio:rary ad- easy life, and, for the mere gratificaventurer, and his nane remained as a tion of his senses, exposes himself to watch-word for ridicule, or as a bea- ridicule. con to warn others from similar un

He purchased a considerable estate dertakings.

in the country, and bis joy was unWhat beneficial, or what injurious bounded in the acquisition. The influence, might have been ihus pro- chace now became his ruling passion. duced upon society, it is not easy to -Every thing was important in his say. Whether we should have been eyes which bore the most distant relaequally enlightened, bappy, and civi- tion to it. The breed of his horses Bised, is uncertain ; that we should and his dogs was now the particular have had less money is obvious; but object of his attention. On those money is not the necessary source of days in which the weather permitted felicity nor of wealth. However, I him not to enjoy the sports of the am not of opinion, with Dr. Johnson, field, the stable was his constant that it had been better for the world lounge. From the stable he repaired if Prince Henry of Portugal had not to the dog.kennel, and from the doga been born. The impulse which he kennel back again to the stable. Ifa gave to the spirit of discovery was friend chanced to visit him on one of laudable in itself, and has been pro- those days, he was obliged to undergo ductive of important consequences to the mortification of passing his time posterity. Whatever enlarges the in one of the above places, hearing a boundaries of knowledge, raises us a dissertation on the feetness of Buin the scale of thinking beings'; and cephalus, or the sagacity of Jowler. whatever so elevates us brings us The cloth was no sooner removed nearer to that perfection here below after dinner than his visitors were for which we are evidently designed. constrained to listen to an exaggeOur information respecting man has rated report of hair-breadth escapes, been greatly extended by the dis. of the gates which he had leapt, the coveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth brushes which he had gained, the centuries.

extraordinary bottom of his hunter, I am, Sir,

which naturally led him into a long

winded history of his pedigree, and be Your constant reader,

generally finished his barangue by a

X. Y. profusion of abusive epithets on all Newcastle, July 4, 1910.

those who were averse from hunting.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

One day, after having read the list of year, lavishing his property on parathe horses which were to be sold at sites and pretended tiiends, until, at Tattersall's, he deigned to cast bis last, he became disgusted with it, and eyes over the remaining part of the resolved to lead a more sober and newspaper, and he observed an ad. retired liie. vertisement of a hunting-box to be During the course of dissipation sold. From that moment his own which he underwent to gratify his house was irksome to him. A hunt- friends, his health had suffered mate. ing-box had, in his eyes, innumerable rially, and to restore it, be resolved to charins : he purchased it, but in a apply hinself to the culture of his short time be found that a hunting- garden. in this occupation be found box is nothing more than a house, a peculiar delight. His tulips were and that the one which he had guit- the finest in the country, and the ted was, in every respect, more con- most noted ilorists repaired to his venient and better situated for the garden to admire his carnations and chace than his newly acquired pur- auriculas. He ordered the most exhouse; but he discovered, in a short houses in the vicinity of the metrotime, that his house was destitute of polis were ransacked for the most a few conveniences, which be bad curious plants; the Pitaybaza of Peru found at his hunting-box. He there, blossomed beneath his fostering 'care; fore began to build ; and before a the pomegranate and the vine tempta year had elapsed, he was surprised ed the gazer with their delicious that any one could exchange the fati, fruits. Horticulture now appeared in guing and dangerous employment of bis eyes the notlest of sciences, and the chace for the nobler enjoyment during a whole summer he felt the of the study of architecture.

greatest delight in the pursuit of it, His mind was now turned to the The winter, at last, set in, and deerection of different edifices, of which stroyed a number of his finest plants. he was the sole architect, and which His' taste for horticulture vanished, stood the monuments of his folly. and literature now became his faIn his buildings neither utility nor vourite theme. He established a convenience were consulted: he di- most splendid and extensive library. lapidated his house merely for the He purchased books in all languages, purpose of re-erecting it. One day at the same time that he was ignorant he determined to erect a spacious sa- of every one but his own. For the loon; another, it was colonade.- first month his favourite study was First, he determined on the modern geography. Chemistry then attracted stile; then it was the Gothic; at last, his atiention, and he pursued that he determined to have a stile of his science for some time wiih unwearied own. He collected every book on application. In one of his experi. architecture, and read—what he did ments he had nearly set his house on not understand : yet he learned the fire, and he was surprised how any names of the authors, and his friends one could adhere to a science with wondered at his knowledge. To dis- such dangerous consequences. play this knowledge, it was necessary From chemistry he passed to his to have his friends around him, and tory, from history to poetry, and thus he aspired to the honour of keeping from one science to another, skiman open iable. His friends praised ming but the surface of each, and bis taste which he exhibited in his never penetrating into their depths. buildings, and his friends therefore At last, reading became irksome to found a ready welcome to his table. bim: he abandoned his books in the - His attention was now directed to same precipitate manner as all his have that table profusely filled. The other pursuits. The country appearchoicest viands were collected. The ed to him tame and insipid, and he recreation of his friends was his study, determined to mingle in the noise and he was amply repaid by their and follies of the city. He repaired professions of t. endship and esteem, to court, and he soon distinguished by their fattery and applause. He himself by the elegance of his equicontinued this course of life for a pages and the splendour of his routs,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

He vied with the most inflated puppy lent, friendly, and sincere. He makes
of Bond-street, in his adherence to use of the meanest artifices to com-
all the punctilios of fashion. He plete the seduction of a female, al-
made his coachınan his equal, and ihough at the same time he cannot
studied the slang language of thieves, behold the unfortunate without feel-
housebreakers, and mail.coachmen. ing compassion and hastening to their
-He was a regular attendant on the relief. His benevolence makes him
opera, though he had as great a taste beloved by persons whose society
for a bravura, or the distorsions of the confers an honour on him, and who
Italian mountebanks, as he formerly are acquainted with the vice to which
possessed for architecture. He now he is attached. He has a strong aver-
laughed at himself when he thought of sion from places of prostitution; but
his useless taste for books and a well. to keep a mistress, and to cast one off,
selected library: he wondered how a merely for the purpose of taking ·
being, endowed with reason, could another, appears to kim of very little
so misuse a portion of his life as to consequence. On giving bis cast off
employ it in reading. It was, at mistress a few hundred pounds, he
length, hinted to him, by a very inti- considers himself released from every
inate friend and a good sort of a fel. obligation towards her. The world
low, that his fashionable parapherna- says, Dora te lias an excellent heart;
lia were not complete ; and on asking but this circumstance does not pre-
his kind friend to name the article vent him, whose situation in life and
that was wanting, he was answered apparent strictness of morals give him
that it was a mistress. He therefore access to the first houses, from being
immediately set about procuring this a dangerous enemy to a family, not-
most important branch of his esta- withstanding be be a man of honour
blishment: and by the aid of his and probity. He is always ready to
aforesaid very intimate friend, he had perform a friendly act, and will never
very soon the delight to drive some accept of a reward, for he finds his
demirep from Bond-street into Ox. gratification in the performance. If
ford-street, thence into the Park, and one of his acquaintance is spoken evil
then into Bond-street again. He saw of, he is ever ready to defend him,
himseif gazed at by.he empty cox- and he shew's a noble hatred of the
combs of the pavé, and naturally con- nefarious custom of detracting from
cluded that he was an object of envy. the merit of an absent person. He
At last, he found that bis chere amie might have been nominated the heir
was driving him fast into a prison; to a rich relation, if he would have
and, after having dissipated his for- paid a proportioned respect to him.
pline, misused his time, and abused No, says Doronte, he has persons
his reason, he returned once more more closely related to bim than my-
into the country, where he soon fell self, and who stand more in need of
a martyr to the dissipation in which riches; then let them have them.-
he bad indulged.

He is indulgent towards his inferiors,
and his servants call hin the best of

He hates gaming and Dorante. Or the Nian who has tut drunkenness. What therefore must one Vice and

Mirimes.

be our opinion of Dorante? Accord.

ing to the language of the world, he Men are seldom so depraved as to has but one vice and many virtues ; yield themselves up to many vices at but, aceording to the language of ihe same time, or so hardened in evil truth, he has properly no virtue, but as not to make amends by some vir- a natural goodness and favourable distues for the favourite vice to which position to virtue. He has too much ihey lubituate themselves. Dorante sense to adopt every vice, and too belonged to this latter class. He is little to understand that a single vice inclined to voluptuousness, although to which we habituate ourselves is with certain considerations, and he sufficient to intect the whole heart. candidiy confesses that he is under His conscience is too delicate to comthe subjection of that passion; but, mit a sin without feeling remorse, and at the same time, he is just, benevo- therefore he wishes to compeusate

11

masters.

many

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the evil by the good, and to make make out. And yet so aniversally amends for his incontinence by the received is this notion among them, practice of the duties of society. Per- that it every where prevails, from the sons of this character are not rare, prince 10 ihe peasant. Nay, I myand it is one which is attended with a self was 'accidentaliy witness to the great detriment to society. We are diverting scene of a journeyman taitoo much addicted to the imitation of lor beating his wife about the ears a vice, which is accompanied with with a neck of mutton, to make her the display of so much virtue, and a know, as he said, her sovereign lord young man, though possessed of the and master. And yet this, perhaps, most moral sentiments, may be im- is as strong an argument as ihe best posed upon by it. It is also to be re- of their sex is able to produce, though greited inat characters of that stamp conveyed in a greasy light. enjoy in the world a certain degree But be this as it may, whether naof respect. Their predominant vice ture designed them for our masters or is merely made the subject of a few not, if their injunctions were the pleasantries; and thus what is crimi- sober dictates of sound reason, we nal in itself is, by a false treatment of should find the yoke of obedience an the world, rendered scarcely deserving agreeable weight; since obeying them of censure. With the very best dis- we should but submit our will to positions it is possible to commit an reason, and act like those intelligent error, and the most virtuous of men beings we know ourselves to be. And are subject to frailties; but to perse. that, generally speaking, the women vere in them, and not to acknowledge are more inclined so to do than the them, because we carinot resoive to men, where every circumstance is correct them, betrays a depravity of parallel, is too well known to admit of heart ; and that which before was a doubt. But then it would be called by the softened name of a putting ourselves upon the level with frailty, becomes a crime.

brutes, to descend to a compliance R. H. with the generality of their com

maids; since that alone would suftice to degrade us, and render us as

despicable as the upright unfeathered SCARCE TRACTS.

animals who lay them upon us.

Masters theii, or not masters, they

have but one of these two means to WOMAN not inferior to Man.

chuse in exerting their pretended au. CHAPTER JI.

thority: either let them, as usual, JOWEVER, as the pleasure, suit their commands to their passions,

which the generosity of our sex in opposition to reason; and then makes us take in that office, is suffi- none but women, as irrational as cient to make us discharge ourselves themselves, will obey them, a preof it with the uimost tenderness, eminence which no woman of sense without any view of reward; I do will envy them: or let reason speak not here mean to complain of our in their orders, and all women of receiving none. I would only beg sense will listen to it; though the leave to say, that our being so much men should tickle themselves with more capable than the male kind to the notion, that our obedience is paid execute that office well, no ways to them. proves us unqualified to execute any Were the men to make choice of other. Indeed, the men themselves the latter, we would indulge them seem tacitly agreed to acknowledge the innocent liberty of fancying as much : but then, according to themselves masters, while we, pleased their wonted disinterestedness, they with seeing all the authority placed in are still for confining all our other reason, where it should be, must talents to the pleasant liivits of obey- know that each sex would have the ing, serving, and pleasing our masters. privilege of conveying it's intiuences That they are our masters, they take to the other in their turns: and if for granted; but by whai title they man biad steadiness enough to conare so, not one of them is able to form all his jnjunctions to woman 10 UNIVERSAL MAG, VOL. XIV.

C

REPUBLICATION OF

No. II.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

the dictates of reason; the same title over the whole creation. But steadiness would induce him to yield that is a more generous kind of brute to those dictates when woman was than those we are speaking of, though the means of conveying them. No not quite so fierce and ungovernable; matter by what mouth reason speaks: and therefore scorns to exert it's if men were strictly attached to it; strength, where it finds too great a whether we or themselves were the disproportion in even an adversary. vehicles of it's influence, we should I allow indeed, we ought to make on both sides be equally determined it part of our business to please the by it. But the case is at present quite poor things, if the attempt were likely otherwise. The men, who cannot to succeed. It would be quite bardeny us to be rational creatures, barous to let a child cry, if a rattle would have us justify their irrational would keep it quiet. But the mis. opinion and treatment of us, by our fortune is, that it is a study for life to descending to a mean compliance find out a means of pleasing these with their irrational expectations. But greater, more subborn brats. I have I hope, while women have any spirit heard, it is a vulgar proverb, that the left, they will exert it all, in shewing devil is good-humoured when he is how worthy they are of better usage, pleased, and if this proverb, like by, not submitting tamely to such others, be founded on experience, it misplaced arrogance.

is a proof, the devil can be pleased To stoop to some regard for the sometimes. I wish as good an argustrutting things is not enough; to ment could be brought to prove that humour them more than we could the men can ever be so. But such is children, with any tolerable decency, the fantastical composition of their is too little; they must be served nature, that the more pains is taken forsooth. Pretty creatures indeed! in endeavouring to please them, ihe How worthy do they appear of this less, generally speaking, is the labour boasted pre-eminence: To exact a like to prove successful; or if ever it servitude they want the courage them- does, the reward never pays the selves to submit to, from those whom expence. Apd surely the women their vanity stigmatizes with the cha- were created by Heaven for some racter of weaker vessels: and to us better end than to labour in vain their to be their drudges, whom they are whole life long. forced to court and decoy into their I foresee it may be urged, that we power by the most pitiful cringes! cannot be said to spend our lives in Upon what title do they build their vain, while we are answering the end claim to our services, greater than we of our creation : and as we were can shew to theirs ? Have they half created for no other end than for the so plausible a plea over us, as over men's use, our only business is to be those hapless savages, whose unsus- subject to, and please them: Neither pecting innocence has robbed them shall we be answerable for neglecting of the power of guarding against un- every thing else, because God has not natural violence and injustice? Are given us a capacity for more. But not the generality of our sex, when this must appear, from what I have weak enough to yield ourselves, in already said and shall hereafter more pity to their fawning, affected despair, fully 'shew, begging the question ; a prey to their dissimulation, made and supposing what should, but canthe dupes of our credulous good- not be proved. nature and innocence? Where is There are some however more conthere a woman, who having generously descending, and gracious enough to trusted her liberty with a husband, confess, that many women have wit does not immedsately find the spaniel and conduct; but yet they are of metamorphosed into tiger, or has opinion, that even such of us as are not reason to envy the lesser misery most remarkable for either or both, of a bond-slave to a merciless tyrant? still betray something which speaks If brutal strength, in which we ac- the imbecility of

Stale, knowledge their pre-eminence, is a threadbare notions, which long since sufficient plea, for their trampling sunk with their own weight; and the upon us; the lion has a much better extreme weakness of which seemed

3

our sex.

« ForrigeFortsæt »