« VorigeDoorgaan »
way assistance he would long ere this have perished in a prison :- | the favours I have rendered him are innumerable ! But for what cause does he insult you? Ay, that's the thing; the fellow amidst his poverty, pretends to flossess a shirit Did you ever hear any thing so ridiculous : A wretch, without a groat assuming airs of delicacy! Exclusive of money. I often gave him good advice, and requested him to adhere to some maxims of my own, and he had the impudence to intimale; that they were against his firinciples. This I mentioned to several intimate Friends, also stating (as I now do to you) the favors I had rendered him ; he has heard of it: some fool or other has lent him the armount of my demand, and he has this afternoon returned it, accompanied with the most virulent abuse, for my duftlicity, as he terms it, and the injury I have done his character. Pray did you ever witiness a similar case ?' I made a few common-place remarks—and, upon motioning to go, was folitely invited to tarry the night, which invitation(after what had been said) I thought proper to decline.
• Certainly, said I mentally, (as I unfastened my horse from the garden pales). Merlin is wrong the 'heart unknown to true generosity and goodness, should never claim a tribute from gratitude. The landlord at whose inn I put up (according to the adage) was “more lo
quacious than wise,” he appeared
well acquainted with the gentle"
man I had just left and of course
(for country-folks as well as town
folks love to tattle) I was soon in
formed of some anecdotes not
much to his credit. My host said,
his neighbor Merlin was a rich, man, loved show, and carried a smooth owtside : the generality of persons supposed him rigid in his morals, charitable to the poor, and humane to his dependents; but, said he, . I know him better. : his sanctified mien does not proceed from either religion or morality, but from hyfiocrisy ; his liberality may shade with a film the eyes of the unobserving, but will not bear investigation : I have seen him. throw a dollar, in fublic, to a hostler, while he has refused to relieve suffering and shrivate merit with a shilling ; his charity is, therefore, nothing but ostentation. As to defiendants, like all other wealthy men, he has many, but for his
humanity, judge for yourself. He will lend his money to those from
whom he expects again to receive
it, and takes the liberty of com
municating the circumstance to
every body, with this addition, that
if he lends a man one hundred dol
lars, he is sure to report it was four
or five hundred. What is still
worse, he exacts from all he sup
poses, obliged to him the most
servile deference and obedience,
and when once offended his hatred
is as implacable as death.
Had I been unacquainted with mankind, I should have thought
the geod publican had made some little exaggeration, but I am sorry to say there are many such characters.
Those who are in the least conversant with life must daily meet with instances of persons charging their suftflosed dependants with ingratitude, when in truth the ingrate (as he is called) is only endeavouring to rescue his reputation from the obloquy cast upon it by his firetended benefactor; and it must also be allowed, that there is not a more ready way of blasting both a man's credit and happiness, than the ene pursued by the masked professor of charity. To exemplify my subject without entering into a too lengthy disquisition, I shall condense it in the following manner. Horatio is a man of opulence and by numbers thought to possess virtue and prudence in an eminent degree. He has uniformly been prosperous in his pursuits, and takes it for granted (without considering the many incidents to which the life of man is subjected) that all ought to be equally fortunate, for his ignorance restricts his views from penetrating any further than the great desideratum of moJiey making. His virtue (like that of my acquaintance Merlin) is put on with his coat, to answer his purposes during the wordly intercourse of the day, but at night, when he retires to his closet, with his coat it is again laid aside as an unnecessary appendage. His prudence is avarice, and that avarice
he strives to cloak, with the cunning of a jesuit, and by boasting of the many disinterested favours he has conferred on others. Such is the man with whom Meetus, in early life, became acquainted; he like others was deceived by Horatio’s specious outside, and loved him for the qualities he supposed him to possess. Acetus stood in need of a patron and an adviser, and he thought he had found both. When he wished pecuniary aid, 'tis true Horatio supplied him, but at that time the affairs of Acetus were prosperous. The scene changed—sickness, and a concatenation of events, which could only be known and prevented by an overruling providence, aad which the precaution of man could not guard against, overwhelmed him with distress. Did Horatio step forward to save him 2 No, far from it ! He was the very first to insult his fallen friend; he disseminated the munificence of his former bounty to those he thought would forever be unable to detect his deceit, accompanied with the grossest falsehoods and misrepresentations. Many believed the reports of Horatio, and denied Acetus the succour he might otherwise have obtained, in. consequence of which he lost confidence in all and was reduced to the most pitiable situation : those who formerly estgemed, now abandoned him to his fate, and it may take years to wipe away the foul aspersions thrown upon his character. Acetus had
derstanding and shallow mind of Horatio, but until the exposition of this base attempt to ruin the fame of the man who never injured him, he was unacquainted with the blackness of his heart.
would to Heaven this were the only instance, wherein such depravity has been and still continues to be betrayed. What is something astonishing these very men, who do the most mischief, and scatter the greatest ruin among their species, are the first to demand gratitude : . With a smiling countenance they hold out in one hand the scroll of promises and the purse of plenty, and in the other the dagger of persecution dipt in the cup of defamation ; and, if a person is visionary enough to believe and accept from the one, it is an hundred chances to ten if he does not receive a wound from the ether.
Heav'n's Sovereign saves all beings but himself That hedious sight—a naked human
heart. O. W. Rift's Bay, May 20, 1810.
o For the Lady's Miscellany.
THE BACHELOR's soliliquy.
Is it wise to wed, when on the chance stands happiness or woe 3
To marry, or not to marry, that is the question ?—Whether it is better for the mind's fieace, to ride out the storm of fate on fortune's billows 3 to run a hazard through a devious course—alone—without pole—star, or compass? or, whe
it is better to walk to the hymenial
altar, and there unite, hand, heart, life’s chance, and one's firesent fate, to angel or devil in human form 2 is a pivot, which the mind, like a needle that has lost its magnetic power, quivers and trembles Osl.
Poverty's extreme, is the whetstone of former pride, and in her
service often wears out nice ambi
tion : and that spark in man, so laudable—emulation—she too, of. ten, with her keener blasts, blows out, and quite extinguishes— What's more, she blunts and mans those points that prick a man's better parts, and spurs him to his noblest actions.
Riches too, poverty's adverse— have their charms; but, for me,
they're few—for what envenomed poison oft rankles in the bosom that's bedecked with sparkling diamonds and burnished gold :—I know too, that a mind as calm, and serene, as the unruffled lake, when there's not a breath of air to waft the jo. its surface, is happiness complete as mortals may here expect,
Happiness!—that word that sounds so delightful in every ear, and has so many invitings in its
sense: there is more reality in its
sound, than in its enjoyment— Well—since it is so, that all those things that men are in pursuit of, are naught but unrealities and ideal shadows, and those that we do enjoy, are happiness reversed Which is the way ? To go on— let chance be the guide—give her full rein 3—or, use one’s better judgment (which is but weak) and judge the best for the best :
Woman—the worst, has some charms, that in a dull hour e'en wakens the dormant senses of man to love and harmony. But—to be united by a sacred and eternal tie– with bond indissoluble-from which there’s no dissolution, but by foul dishonor?—and then—if she prove inconstant or unkind s—Oh! what pang so torturing and severe 2– what mind so brave, that with miseries such as these, like rankling vipers in the breast, can wear a placid countenance, indicating unconcern ?—None ; for their manhood fails | If she proves true, o . -
kind, and faithful to her fromise, how sweet the love, and social harmony, the pleasure that guilds every scene ! how rich and splendid the joys of the united pair, who glide down life's current smoothly 1
These are the points—the evils and the joys that the mind argues with itself to choose—am afraid too much, of wedding—when'wed I do, double woes to this short remnant of mortality—being my wish to spend it wisely, that is happily. -
The mind weighing and pondering with itself, often doubts and revolts upon the thought. Doubting is bad suspence; but doubt
upon doubt, is equal to despair.
For the Lady’s Miscellany.
NOC TA LUCUBRATIONS. NO, I.
IT becomes all men who aspire (said Sallust) to excel other animals; to labour with their utmost might, not to pass their life in silence as cattle, which nature has formed grovelling and subject to the belly. 'The similarity of the sentiments of Sallust and Thomson upon the impropriety of mispending our time, in substance are the same, differing only in this, that the one is recorded with that solemnity which was so congenial to the first Roman historian, in the
procome to a book which was to place, in a conspicuous light, the industry of man; the first page of which solicits us if we would aspire to excel the brute, if we would wish to become useful to our fellow men, or desirous to lay up for ourselves that which is more lasting than beauty and riches, and
Memoriam nostri quam maxume lon. gare officere.
it is to be accomplished only by labour and a persevering industry.
What species of writing is more capable of seizing irresistibly upon the mind, especially when fraught with all the elegance of diction that fancy can inspire or ingenuity invent; what is more capable of indelible impressing upon the mind the dictates of morality, than floetry 2 Thomson in the very commencement of that inimitable poem, Summer, indeavours, in all the majesty of language, to impress upon our minds the great importance of appropriating time to that use, the creator of which indubitably designed it.
Time is defined by Dr. Johnson to be the measure of duration. If we only consider for a moment "what a small portion of that measure is allotted, even to the longest life, we cannot but lament to ob-serve this most inestimable jewel so pittiably trifled with. Dissipation, vice, and an insatiable thirst for pleasure steal away the greater part of our youth, thereby infusing into the system the seeds of the
‘most dire diseases that can possi
bly perplex and disorganize our natures. It is the intemperance and folly of this period of our life, when every thing is pliant and ductile, that warps our judgment and enfeebles our bodies, by which we carry into manhood and old age all the tottering concomitants of our early and intemperate indulgence, and by which the greater part of the noon and evening of
life, is extinguished in endeavour
ing to patch up the pernicious effects of the foibles of youth. No lesson is capable of arresting the votary of indulgence, when fairly embarked in the sea of pleasure. Hurled around in its vortex, his senses are bewildered, and he becomes insensible of the fleeting moments, that continually pass without intermission and unimproved. In vain is it that the principles of morality are inculcated under the most pleasing inducement to our reformation, or to avoid the shoals and quicksands of intemperance and dissipation. Morality enlists on its side, the aid of historic truth, with all its illustrious examples, as lessons for the youthful votary of pleasure, to snatch the most inestimable gifts of heaven—his health—and those moments which ought to be devoted to the improvement of his understanding, from the unfathomable gulph of oblivion. Poetry, decked with every charm that genius can devise—flowing from the most fruitful and exalted sources, cheerfully contributes her assist