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4. Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
172. CATO'S SOLILOQUY.
T must be -Plato, thou reasonest well!
Ilse, whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
'Tis Heaven itself, that points out a hereafter,
2. Eternity!-thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
1 Marcus Porcius Cato, greatgrandson of Cato the Censor, was born B. C. 95. From his youth he was celebrated for his bravery, virtue, decision, severity, and harshness of character. He was the principal supporter of Cicero in his measures for suppressing the Catilinerian conspiracy; and on the commencement of civil war, in B. c. 49, he joined the party of Pompey against Cæsar. After the defeat of the former, Cato proceeded to Africa, where the hopes
of the republican party were finally extinguished by the battle of Thapsus, April 6th, B. C. 46. Failing to inspire his countrymen, who were collected at Utica, with courage to endure a siege, he resolved not to outlive the downfall of the republic. After providing for the safety of his friends, and spending the greater part of the night in perusing Plato's Phædo, he inflicted on himself the wound of which he died, in the fortyninth year of his age.
But when? or where? This world was made for Cæsar. this must end them.
I'm weary of conjectures,
[Laying his hand on his sword.
3. Thus am I doubly armed. My death' and life,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.
JOSEPH ADDISON, the eldest son of an able and learned clergyman, was born at his father's rectory of Milston, in Wiltshire, England, on the first day of May, 1672. He was educated chiefly at the Charter-house and at Oxford, and distinguished himself as a writer of Latin verse. He took his master's degree in 1693, and held a fellowship from 1699 to 1711. He first appeared in print by contributing English verses, some of which are original, and others translations from the classics, to Dryden's Miscellanies. Political encouragement from the whig party, soon after induced him to write a poem complimenting King William on the campaign in which he took Namur. A pension, procured for him by Lord Somers, enabled him, in 1699, to visit the Continent, where he resided for three years. The best of his poems, a "Letter from Italy," was written in 1701, while he was still abroad; and his "Travels in Italy," his first extended prose work, exhibited his extensive knowledge, and his skill and liveliness in composition. Soon after his return to England he wrote "The Campaign," a poem celebrating Marlborough's victory at Blenheim, which, receiving extraordinary applause, secured him an appointment, in 1704, as one of the commissioners of appeal in excise. He became an under secretary of state in 1706, and secretary to the lord-lieutenant of Ireland in 1709, about a year and a half before the dismissal of the ministry which he served. From the autumn of 1710 till the end of 1714, four of the best years of his life, the opposition having deprived him of office, Addison's principal employment was the composition of his celebrated Periodical Essays. In 1709 he began to furnish papers for the "Tattler," a periodical conducted by his schoolfellow and friend, Richard Steele, writing, in all, more than sixty of the two hundred and seventy-one essays which the work contained. On the first day of March, 1711, these two writers commenced the "Spectator," which appeared every week-day till the 6th day of December, 1712. The two contributing almost equally, seem together to have written not very much less than five hundred of the papers. On the cessation of the "Spectator," Steele set on foot the "Guardian," which, started in March, 1713, came to an end in October, with its one hundred and seventy-fifth number, fifty-three of the papers
Death, bane, and the first this, refer to his sword; and life, antidote and the second this, to the book he held in his hand.
being Addison's. In point of style the two friends resembled each other very closely, when dealing with familiar objects; but, in the higher tones of thought and composition, Addison showed a mastery of language raising him very decisively, not above Steele only, but above all his contemporaries. In April, 1713, he brought on the stage his tragedy of "Cato," which was rendered so immensely popular, partly through political considerations, as to raise the reputation of the author to its highest point. The accession of George I. occurring in the latter part of 1714, restored the whigs to power, and thus again diverted Addison from literature to politics. After acting as secretary to the regency, he was made one of the lords of trade early in 1715. Owing, it is said, to the influence of his wife, the Countess-dowager of Warwick, whom he had married a few months before, he was induced to become one of the two principal secretaries of state in 1717; but ill health caused him to resign, eleven months after his appointment, from which period he received a pension of £1500 a year. He died at Holland House, on the 17th of June, 1719. His body, after lying in state, was interred in the poet's corner of Westminster Abbey.
173 SELECT PASSAGES IN PROSE.
I. EVIDENCE OF A CREATOR.-TILLOTSON.1
OW often might a man, after he had jumbled a set of letters in a bag, fling them out upon the ground before they would fall into an exact poëm, yea, or so much as make a good discourse in prose! And may not a little book be as easily made by chance, as this great volume of the world?How long might a man be in sprinkling colors upon a canvas with a careless hand, before they could happen to make the exact picture of a man! And is a man easier made by chance than this picture?-How long might twenty thousand blind men, which should be sent out from the several remote parts of England, wander up and down before they would all meet upon Salisbury Plains, and fall into rank and file in the exact order of an army! And yet this is much more easy to be imagined, than how the innumerable blind parts of matter should rendezvous' themselves into a world.'
1 John Tillotson, a distinguished prelate of the English Church, was born in Sowerby, Yorkshire, in 1630. He was educated at Clare Hall College, Cambridge. Soon after leaving that institution, he rose to distinction as a preacher, and preferments flowed upon him in rapid succession, till in 1690 he became Archbishop
of Canterbury. Died in 1694. His sermons, his principal compositions, were, for half a century, more read than any in our language.
2 Rendezvous (ren'de vô), to assemble, or meet at a particular place, as troops, ships, &c.; to bring together at a certain place.
' World, (world).
II. NATURE PROCLAIMS A DEITY.-CHATEAUBRIAND.1 THERE is a God! The herbs of the valley, the cedars of the mountain, bless him; the insect sports in his beam; the bird sings him in the foliage; the thunder proclaims him in the heavens; the ocean declares his immensity ;-man alone has said, There is no God! Unite in thought at the same instant the most beautiful objects in nature. Suppose that you see, at once, all the hours of the day, and all the seasons of the year, -a morning of spring, and a morning of autumn-a night bespangled with stars, and a night darkened by clouds-meadows enameled with flowers-forests hoary with snow-fields gilded by the tints of autumn,-then alone you will have a just conception of the universe!
While you are gazing on that sun which is plunging into the vault of the West, another observer admires him emerging from. the gilded gates of the East. By what inconceivable power does that aged star, which is sinking fatigued and burning in the shades of the evening, reäppear at the same instant fresh and humid with the rosy dew of the morning? At every hour of the day, the glorious orb is at once rising, resplendent as noonday, and setting in the west; or, rather, our senses deceive us, and there is, properly speaking, no East or West, no North or South, in the world.
III. THE UNBELIEVER.-CHALMERS.
I PITY the unbeliever-one who can gaze upon the grandeur, and glory, and beauty of the natural universe, and behold not the touches of His finger, who is over, and with, and above all; from my very heart I do commiserate his condition. The unbeliever!-one whose intellect the light of revelation never penetrated; who can gaze upon the sun, and moon, and stars, and upon the unfading and imperishable sky, spread out so magnificently above him, and say all this is the work of chance!
The heart of such a being is a drear and cheerless void. In him, mind-the god-like gift of intellect-is debased, destroyed; all is dark-a fearful chaotic labyrinth, raylèss, cheerless, hopeless! No gleam of light from heaven penetrates the blackness of the horrible delusion; no voice from the Eternal bids the
desponding heart rejoice. No fancied tones from the harps of seraphim arouse the dull spirit from its lethargy, or allay the consuming fever of the brain. The wreck of mind is utterly rem'ediless; reason is prostrate; and passion, prejudice, and superstition, have reared their temple on the ruins of his intellect.
I pity the unbeliever. What to him is the revelation from on high but a sealed book? He sees nothing above, or around, or beneath him, that evinces the existence of a God; and he denies-yea, while standing on the footstool of Omnipotence, and gazing upon the dazzling throne of Jehovah, he shuts his intellect to the light of reason, and DENIES THERE IS a God.
IV. BLESSINGS OF RELIGIOUS FAITH.-DAVY.1
I ENVY no quality of the mind or intellect in others-not genius, power, wit, or fancy; but if I could choose what would be most delightful, and I believe most useful to me, I should prefer a firm religious belief to every other blessing; for it makes life a discipline of goodness; creates new hopes, when all earthly hopes vanish; and throws over the decay, the destruction of existence, the most gorgeous of all lights; awakens life even in death, and from corruption and decay calls up beauty and divinity; makes an instrument of torture and of shame the ladder of ascent to paradise; and far above all combinations of earthly hopes, calls up the most delightful visions of palms and amaranths, the gardens of the blest, the security of everlasting joys, where the sensualist and the skeptic view only gloom, decay, annihilation, and despair.
174. INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY.
HERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
To me did seem appareled in celestial light
1 Sir Humphrey Davy,who ranks, not an extended, he was an able as a man of science, second to none prose writer, and possessed a fine in the nineteenth century, was born poetical imagination, which, had he at Penzance, in Cornwall, England, not been the first chemist, would December, 1778. Of his numerous have placed him among the first discoveries, that of the safety-lamp poets of his age. He died at Geneva, was, perhaps, most useful. Though on the 30th of May, 1829.