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For the Monthly Miscellany.
SICK-ROOM MUSINGS.

From the International. A NEW PORTRAIT OF CICERO.

BY MRS. ELECTA M. SHELDON.

In the third volume of his History of the Oh Scarletina! thou, with thy hot breath

Romans under the Empire, just published in Did'st blow upon me, and the scorching fire London, Mr. Merrivale gives some elaborate Drank up the gurgling health-stream; quiveringly,

pieces of character writing, one of which has As if fear-struck, th' unsteady pulses beat,

for its subject Cicero. It is not good for a And ali the "instrument of thousand strings" Seemed but a useless wreck.

man to think harshly of Cicero, and however Thank Heaver ! the Hand | easy it may seem to be to condemn manifest That formed the fragile harp, through which the faults in his character, it is by no means easoul

sy to be fair in the estimate we make. Mr. May breathe out melody, hath given new tension

| Merrivale sums up a character which has too To the unstrung chords and bid them thrill again, To hymns of spirit praise.

often been roughly put down as that of a Yet slow comes back great writer and a little man, as follows: The wasted strength-the harp-strings feebly play-1. “Many writers, it has been remarked, have And in the sick-room I am prisoned still,

related the death of Cicero, but Plutarch While all the outer world is glorious With joy and sunlight.

alone has painted it. In the narrative here Glorious indeed,

laid before him, the reader has the substance Are these mid-winter days; a cloudless sky

of this picturesque account, together with And soft, bland zephyrs, as if Spring had stole some touches introduced from collateral Old Winter's crown, and now proclaimed herself

sources. In this, as in many other passages The sole dispenser of all earthly good. One can well bear to be shut up at home

of his Lives, the Greek biographer bas eviWhen clouds and tempest shroud the outer world, dently aimed at creating an effect, and tho Or e'en when bustling life is all around,

he seems to have been mainly guided by the In labor's six days' 'lotment; but when comes genuine narrative of Tiro, Cicero's beloved The blessed day of rest, when chiming bells Call to the house of God, and cheerful Sol

| freedman, we may suspect him of having Looks smiling from his car, as if to lure,

embellished it to furnish a striking terminaThe laggart to obey the high behest

tion to one of his favorite sketches. NeverFor which a seventh of time was consecrate; theless, the narrative is mainly confirmed by When pass the throngs of worshippers, and now a fragment of Livy's history, which has forAnd then an upward glance reveals some loved Familiar face; and hymns of praise and prayer,

tunately been preserved. The Roman author And holy teachings from a pastor's lips

vies with the Greek in throwing dignity and Are beckoning-then comes the pattering

interest over the great statesman's end. But Of tiny footsteps, and the Sabbath class

in reviewing the uneven tenor of his career, Without a teacher, and the saddened look

Livy concludes with the stern commentOf each dear little face - ah! these things make

*He bore none of his calamities as a man The sick-room thraldom seem a weariness, And fuith is needed now, and grateful love,

should, except his death.' These are grave To make one prize returning health, and wait

words. In the mouth of one who had cast With patient hope, until the Master says,

his scrutinizing glance over the characters “To-day go forth again, and do the work

and exploits of all the heroes of the great I have appointed thee."

| republic, and had learnt by the training of If I but learn To say “Thy will be done," to watch and wait,

his life-long studies to discriminate moral How blessed will the hard learned lessons prove,

qualities and estimate desert, they constitute Of these long days, these weary Sabbath hours. the most important judgment on the Thy withering touch, oh Scarletina, ,

conduct of Cicero that antiquity has beThen will prove but a refiner's fire

queathed to us. Few indeed among the To purify the dross of worldliness From one of those for whom the Savior died.

Romans ever betrayed a want of resolution Detroit, Feb. 1852.

in the face of impending death. But it was

in the endurance of calamity, rather than the neglected to enlist him in their design, were defiance of danger, that the courage of Cice- we not assured that he was not to be trusted to was deficient. The orator, whose genius as a confederate either for good or for evil. lay in the arts of peace and persuasion, ex- “Of all the characters of antiquity, Cicero hihited on more than one occasion a martial is undoubtedly that with which we are most spirit worthy of other habits and a ruder intimately acquainted; for he alone has left training. In the contest with Catilina, he to us the record of his thoughts and actions displayed all the moral confidence of a vet- for more than half his political career, in a eran general; in the struggle with Antonius, voluminous mass of farniliar as well as politbe threr himself without reserve into a po- ical correspondence. No public charactor sition where there was no alternative but to probably could pass unscathed through the conquer or to perish. In the earlier con- fiery ordeal to which he has thus subjected ffiet, be had still his fame to acquire, his himself. Cicero, it must be avowed, is conproud ascendency to establish ; and the love victed from his own mouth of vanity, inconof praise and glory inspired him with the stancy, sordidness, jealousy, malice, selfishandacity which makes and justifies its own ness, and timidity. But on the other hand,

cesz But in the later, he courted danger no character, public or private, could thus for the sake of retaining the fame he so dear- bare its workings to our view, without layby prizel. He had once saved his country, ing a stronger claim to our sympathy, and and he could not endure that it should be extorting from us more kindly consideration, said he had ever deserted it. He loved his than we can give to the mere shell of the eriatry; but it was for his own honor, which human being with which ordinary history be could preserve, rather than for his coun- brings us in contact. Cicero gaivs more try's fresdom, which he despaired of, that he than he loses by the confessions he pours returned to his post when escape was still into our ear. We read in his letters what posable. He might have remained silent, we should rainly search for in the meagre but he opened the floodgates of his elo- pages of Sallust and Appian, in the captious

auce. When indeed he had once launched criticism of Dion, and ever in the pleasant binas-lf on the torrent, he lost all self-com- anecilotes of his friendly biographer, Plumand; he could neither retrace nor moder- tarch, his ariableness, bis refined urbanity, ate his career ; he saw the rocks before him, I his admiration for excellence, his thirst for bait he dished himself headlong against fame, his love of truth, equity, and reason.them. But another grave authority has giv- Much indeed of the patriotism, the honesty, en as the julgrpent of antiquity, that Cice- the moral courage he exhibited, was really m's defect was the want of steadfastness. no other than the refined ambition of attainHis crurage had no dignity because it lacked ing the respect of his contemporaries, and Consistency. All men and all parties agreed bequeathing a name to posterity. He might that he could not be relied upon to lead, to not act from a sense of duty, like Cato, but 6-operate, or to follow. In all the great his motives, personal and selfish as they in Enterprises of his party, he was left behind, some senge were, coincided with what a more except that which the nobles undertook enlightened conscience would have felt to be Egainst Catilina, in which they rather thrust duty. Thus bis procopsulate is perhaps the him before them than engaged with him on purest and most honorable passage in his terms of mutual support. When we read life. His strict and rare probity amidst the the vehement claims which Cicero put forth temptations of office, arrests our attention to the honor of association, however tardy, and extorts our praise : yet assuredly Cicero With the glories and dangers of Cæsar's as- had no nice sense of honor, and was consassins, we should deem the conspirators trolled by no delicacy of sentiment, where guilty of a monstrous oversight in having I public opinion was silent, or a transaction strictly private. His courting his ward Pub- tice towards the great men of his day, we lilia for her dower, his caressing Dulabella are bound also to specify the gross dishonfor the sake of getting his debt paid, his esty with which he magnifies his own mersoliciting the historian Lucceius to color and its where they are trivial, and embellishes exaggerate the merits of his consulship, dis- them where they are really important. The play a grievous want of magnanimity, and perpetual recurrence to the topic of his own of a predominant sense of right. Fortunate-political deserts must bave wearied the ly, his instinct taught him to see in the con- most patient of friends, and more han balstitution of the republic, the fairest field for anced the display of sordidness and timethe display of his peculiar talents; the ora- serving which Atticus doubtless reflected tor and the pleader could not fail to love the back in his share of the correspondence bearena on which the greatest triumph of his tween them. " genius bad been, or were yet, is he hopeil, “But while Cicero stands justly charged to be acquired. And Cicero indeed was not with many grave infirmities of temper and less ambitious than Cæsar or Pompeius, An- defects of principle, while we remark with a tonius or Octavius. To the pursuit of fame, sigh the vanity, the inconstancy, and the inhe sacrificed many interests and friendships. gratitude he so often manifested, while we He was not less jealous of a rival in his cho- lament his ignoble subserviencies and his fesen career, than any of the leaders of party rocious resentments, the high standard by and candidates for public favor. He could which we claim to judge him is in itself the not endure competition for the throne of el- fullest acknowledgment of his transcendent oquence and the sceptre of persuasion. It merits. For undoubtedly had he not placed was on this account perhaps that he sought himself on a higher moral level than the his associates among the young, from whose statesmen and sages of his day, we should rivalry he had nothing to fear, rather than pass over many of his weaknesses in silence, from his own contemporaries, the candidates and allow his pretensions to our esteem to for the sanje prize of public admiration pass almost unchallenged. But we demand which he aimed at securing for himself.- a nearer approach to the perfection of human From bis pages there flows an incessant wisdom and virtue, in one who sought to apstream of abuse of all the great masters of prove himself the greatest of their teachers. political power in his time-of Cæsar and Nor need we scruple to admit that the judge Pompeius, or Crassus and Antonius, uot to ment of the ancients on Cicero was for the mention his coarse vituperation of Piso and most part un favorable. The moralists of Gabinius, and his uneasy sneers at the im- antiquity required in their beroes virtues practicable Cato. We may note the differ with which we can more readily dispense ; ent tone which his disparagement assumes and they too had less sympathy with many towards these men respectively. He speaks qualities which a purer religion and a wider of Cæsar with awe, of Poropeius, with mor- experience have taught us to love and adtification, with dislike of Crassus, with bit-inire. Nor were they capable, from their ter malice of Antonius. Cæsar, even when position, of estimating the slow and silent he most deeply reprobates him, he peison-effects upon human happiness of the lessons ally loves ; the cold distrust of Pompeius which Cicero enforced. After all the severe vexes his self-esteem ; between him and judgments we are compelled to pass on his Crassus there subsists a natural antipathy of conduct, we must acknowledge that there temperament; but Antonius, the hate of his remains a residue of what is amiable in his old age, becomes to him the incarnation of character and noble in his teaching beyond all the evil his long and bitter experience of all ancient example. Cicero lived and died mankind have discovered in the human in faith. He has made converts to the beheart. While we suspect Cicero of injus- lief in virtue, and had disciples in the wis.

dom of love. There have been dark periods friend earnestly and severely lectured him in the history of man, when the feeble ray for bis unkind and unjust conduct. The of religious instruction paled before the torch culprit li tened with a gloomy ai ; and then of his generous philanthropy. The praise replied: "Your reproaches are pe fectly wbich the great critic pronounced upon his just: I condemn my own conduct far more excellence in oratory, may be justly extend- strongly than you can do, and I make mang ed to the qualities of his heart, and even in resolutions of amendment, but without our enlightened days, it may be held no avail. My unhappy temper is too strong mean advance iu virtue to venerate the mas- for me; and constantly in a few hours after tor of Roman philosophy.”

the bitterest repentarice, I find myself again

breaking out. 'Tis terrible!” "CORRECT THYSELF!"

"It is, indeed, very terrible!”

"I have need of a strong lesson, and I FROM THE FRENCH..

shall give myself one." So saying, he took SOME years ago, there lived in the neigh- several turns up and down the room, pacing borbood of Paris a retired military officer of with a determined step, his eyes bent on high rank and large fortune. Possessed of the ground, and his lips firmly closed. Evimany valuable qualities-brave, just. and dently some strong internal conflict was honorable, there were two sad drawbacks to going on. Suddenly he stopped, opened a his character-hc was vivlent-tempered and casket wbich lay in bis scrutoire, and took avaricious. He married a beautiful and from it a bank-note of a thousand francs. gentle girl, whom he fondly loved, but His friend watched him with curiosity, not who, nevertheless, ofteu sought her chamber, knowing what he was about to do. He veeping bitterly at the harsh and unjust re- twisted the bank-note, applied one end to proaches wbich her husband heaped on her a lighted taper, and then throwing it on the When the merest trifle had excited his un-hearthstone, watched until the curling flame governed temper. Often, indeed she felt had quite devoured the light and precious turrified lest his violence should be more paper. than verbal: and although his fits of rage His friend, amazed at an action which were regulariy followed by penitent apolo- would seem strange for any one, but espegies, she trembled at the thought that he cially for one whose parsimony was notori. might some day forget himself so far as to ous, ran to him and caught his arm. strike her.

“Let me alone!” said the officer in a It was very sad to see the happiness of a hoarse voice." union forined under the most promising

“Are you mad?” auspices thus destroyed by brutal and un

"No." meaning fits of rage, which each day became “Do you know what you have done?” more frequent. It required all the young

ng "I do: I have punished myself.” Then wife's tenderness and fidelity to sustain her when po trace of the note remained, save a beneath the constant grief and terror which little light dust, the hero, for so we may she felt. One day when the husband, in the call him, added firmly: "I solemnly vow presetice of several visitors, had given way that, whenever I lose my temper, I will into a more than usually outrageous expłosion flict punishment on my love of money." of temper, he retired to his own apartment, “I adınire your conduct, and approve of whither he was followed by one of his your sacrifice," said his friend. friends-a true friend, who never sbrank! The promise was faithfully kept. From from administering a faithful reproof. With- that time the avaricious man paid for the out regarding the officer's anger, the dying faults of the ill-tempered husband. embers of which still glowed fiercely, this After every outbreak, 1 ppeared before

his own tribunal, and submitted to its selfimposed penalty. The condemned culprit then opened his casket, and, pale and trembling with suppressed agitation, took out a note and burned it. The expiation was always in proportion to the crime: there was a regular scale of penalties, varying, according to the nature of the offence, from 100 to 1000 francs.

A few of these chastisements had the happiest effect on both the defective phases of our hero's character. By degrees he became not only mild and good-tempered, but generous, ready to dispense his treasures in ways which, if more agreeable to his friends, could not, however, be esteemed more useful to himself than the notes which he had bravely consigned to the flames.

Rising from their knees at length: These to win a state-or school; Those for flight or stronger rule. All that nations dare or feel. All that serves the common wcal; All that tells of government, On the wondrous impuise sent, Marks how bold invention's flight Makes the widest realms unite. It can fetters break or bind, Foster or betray the mind, Urge to war, incite to peace, Toil impel, or bid it ceuse.

Sing who will of Orphean lyre, Ours the wonder-working wire!

THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.

Speak the word, and think the thought, Quick 'tis as with lightning caught, Over-under-lands or seas, To the far antipodes. Now o'er cities thronged with men, Forest now or lonely glen; Now where busy Commerce broods, Now in wildest solitudes; Now where Christian temples stand, Now afir in Pagan land. Here again as soon as gone, Making all the earth as one. Moscow speaks at twelve o'clock, London reuds ere noon the shock; Seems it not feat sublime, Intellect hath conquered Time!

Hark! the warning needles click,
Hither--thither-clear and quick.
Swinging lightly to and fro,
Tidings from afar they show,
While the patient watcher reads
As the rapid movement leads.
He who guides their speaking play
Stands a thousand miles away.

Sing who will of Orphean lyre, Ours the wonder-working wire!

Sing who will of Orphean lyre, Ours the wonder-working wire!

Eloquent, though all unheard, Switily speeds the secret word, Light or dark, or foul or fair, Still a message prompt to bear: None can read it on the way, None its unseen transit stay. Now it comes in sentence brief, Now it teUs of loss and grief, Now of sorrow, now of mirth, Now a wedding, now a birth, Now of cunning, now of crime, Now of trade in wane or prime, Now of safe or sunken ships, Now the murderer outstrips, Now it warns of failing breath, Strikes or stays the stroke of death.

Flash all ignorance away, Knowledge seeks for freest play; Flash sincerity of speech, Noblest aims to all who teach; Flash till bigotry be dumb, Deed instead of doctrine come; Flash to all who truly strive, Hopes that keep the heart alive; Flash real sentiments of worth, Merit claims to rank with Birth; Flash till Power shall learn the Right, Flash till Reason conguer Might; Flash resolve to every mind, Manhood flash to all mankind.

Sing who will of Orphean lyre, Ours the wonder-working wire!

Sing who will of Orphean lyre, Ours the wonder-working wire!

Now what stirring news it brings,
Plots of emperors and kings;
Orof people grown to strength

WISHES. WISHES! what are wishes: roses of the tongue; Flowers of speech whose beauty never last us long! Wishes! what are wishesi---easy things to say, | Fancies of a moment!-Phrases of a day!

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