صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

grounds for the report of her chamber being haunted. “I am as well persuaded as yourself « of that,” she replied; “I know 'tis only one of « Johnson's whims; but people you know will $6 have their whims, and it was great courtesy in

you to facrifice a night's rest to his humour: “ my servants have been spoilt by indulgence, « but it is to be hoped they will learn better " submission by your example.” There was a sarcastic tone in my aunt's manner of uttering this, which gave it more the air of ridicule than compliment, and I blutht to the eyes with the consciousness of deserving it.

After breakfast she took me into her closet, and, defiring me to fit down to a writing table, “ Nephew,” says she, “I know my brother * Antony full well; he is a tyrant in his nature,

a bigot to his opinions, and a man of a most “ perverted understanding, but he is rich and you

fortune to make; he can insult, “ but you can flatter; he has his weaknesses, Ss and you can avail yourself of them ; suppose

you write him a penitential letter.”-I now saw the opportunity present for exerting my new-made resolution, and felt a spirit rifing within me, that prompted me to deliver myself as follows. “ No, madam, I will neither gra

66

have your

1

« tify my uncle's pride, nor lower my own felf6 efteen, by making him any fubmission; I

despise him for the infults he has put upon me, I and myself for having in some fort deserved y them; but I will never fatter him or any « living creature more; and if I am to forfeit

your favour by resisting your commands, I & mult meet the consequences, and will rather 16C trust to my own labour for support than de"pend upon the caprice of any perfon living ; & least of all on him.” “Heyday,” cried my aunt, " you refuse to write !--you will not do as " I advise you?" " In this particular,” I replied, “ permit me to say I neither can, nor will, u obey you.” “And you are resolved to think

and act for yourself?” “In the present cafe e. I am, and in all cases, let me add, where my * honour and my conscience tell me I am right." «. Then,” exclaimed my aunt, “ I acknowledge

you for my nephew; I adopt you from this 16 hour;" and with that she took me by the hand most cordially; "I saw,” said the, “or " thought I faw, the symptoms of an abject s fpirit in you, and was resolved to put my s« suspicions to the teft; all that has past here 6 since your coming has been done in concert “ and by way of trial ; your haunted chamber,

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

“ the pretended fears of my butler, his blunt “ refufal, all have been experiments to found

your character, and I should totally have de« spaired of you, had not this last instance of a “ manly spirit restored you to my esteem : you ' “ have now only to persist in the same line of « conduct to confirm my good opinion of you, 6 and ensure your own prosperity and hapa « piness,"

Thus I have given my history, and if the example of my reformation shall warn others from the contemptible character, which I have fortunately escaped from, I shall be most happy, being truly anxious to approve myself the friend of mankind, and the Observer's very sincere well-wisher.

WILL. SIMPER.

N° CXXXIII.

Citò fcribendo non fit ut bene fcribatur ; bene

fcribendo fit ut citò. (QUINTIL. LIB. X.)

THE

HE celebrated author of the Rambler in

his concluding paper says, I have laboured to refine our language to grammatical purity, and

to

to clear it from colloquial barbarisms, licentious idioms and irregular combinations : something perhaps I have added to the elegance of its construElion, and something to the harmony of its cadence. I hope our language hath gained all the profit, which the labours of this meritorious writer were exerted to produce: in file of a certain description he undoubtedly excels; but though I think there is much in his eslays for a reader to admire, I should not recommend them as a model for a diseiple to copy.

Simplicity, ease and perspicuity should be the first objects of a young writer : Addison and other authors of his class will furnish him with examples, and afist him in the attainment of these excellencies; but after all, the ftile, in which a man shall write, will not be formed by imitation only ; it will be the stile of his mind; it will affimilate itself to his mode of thinking, and take its colour from the complexion of his ordinary discourse, and the company he conforts with. As for that distinguishing characteristic, which the ingenious eilayist termıs very properly the harmony of its cadence; that I take to be incommunicable and immediately dependant upon the ear of him, who models it. This harmony of cadence is so strong a mark of discrimination

between

between authors of note in the world of letters, that we can depose to a stile, whose modulation we are familiar , with, almost as confidently as to the hand writing of a correspondent. But though I think there will be found in the periods of every established writer a certain peculiar tune, (whether harmonious or otherwife) which will: depend; rather upon the natural ear than upon the imitative powers, yet I would not be understood to say that the study of good models can fail to be of use in the first formation of it When a subject presents itself to the mind, and thoughts arise, which are to be committed to writing, it is then for a man to.chure whether he will express himself in simple or in elaborate diction, whether he will compress his matter or dilate it, ornament it with epithets and robe it in metaphor, or whether he will deliver it plainly and naturally in fuch language as a well-bred person and a scholar would use, who affects no parade of speech, nor aims at any Nights of fancy. Let him decide as he will in all these cases he hath models in plenty to chuse fromn, which may be said to court his imitation.

For indtance ; if his ambition is to glitter and furprize with the figurative and metaphori. cal brilliancy of his period, let him tune his eas.

to

« السابقةمتابعة »