« السابقةمتابعة »
parent and the weeping orphan. Never sport with pain and distress in any of your amusements, nor treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty.
VII.-- Industry and Application.-IB. DILIGENCE, industry, and proper improvement of time, are material duties of the young. To no purpose are they en
wed with the best abilities, if they want activity for exerting them. Unavailing in this case, will be every direction that can be given them, either for their temporal or spiritual welfare. In youth the habits of industry are most easily acquired ; in youth the incentives to it are strongest, from ambition and from duty, from emulation and hope, from all the prospects which the beginning of life affords. If dead to these calls, you already languish in slothful inaction, what will be able to quicken the more sluggish current of advancing years? Industry is not only the instruinent of improvement, but the foundation of pleasure. Nothing is so opposite to true enjoyment of life, as the relaxed and feeble state of an indolent mind. He who is a stranger to industry may possess, but he cannot enjoy. For it is labour only which gives the relish to pleasure. It is the appointed vehicle of every good man. It is the indispensable condition of our possessing a sound mind in a sound body. Sloth is so inconsistent with both, thai it is hard to detertime whether it be a greater foe to virtue, or to health and happiness. Inactive as it is in itself, its effects are fatally powerful. Though it appear a slowly flowing stream, yet it undermines all that is stable and flourishing. It not only saps the foundation of every virtue, but pours upon you a deluge of crimes and evils. It is like water, which first putrefics by stagnation, and then sends up noxious vapours, and fills the atmosphere with death. Fly therefore from idleness, as the certain parent both of guilt and ruin. And under idleness I include, not mere inaction only, but all that circle of trifting occupations in which too many saunter away their youth; perpetually engaged in frivolous society or public amusements; in the labours of dress or the ostentation of their persons. Is this the foundation which you lay for future usefulness and esteem? By such accomplishments do you desine to recommend yourselves to the thinking part of the
world, and to answer the expectations of your friends and your country ? Amusements youth requires; it were vain, it were cruel to prohibit them. But though allowable as the relaxation, they are most culpable as the business of the
young. For they then become the gulf of time, and the poison of the mind. They foment bad passions. They weaken the manly powers. They sink the native vigour of youth into contemptible effeminacy.
VIII.- Proper Employment of Time.-IB. REDEEMING your time from such dangerous waste, seek to fill it with employments which you may review with satisfaction. The acquisition of knowledge is one of the most honourable occupations of youth. The desire of it discovers a liberal mind, and is connected with many accomplishments and many virtues. But though your train of life should not lead you to study, the course of education always furnishes proper employments to a well disposed miod. Whatever you pursue, be emulous to excel. Generous ambition, and sensibility to praise, are, especially at your age, among the marks of virtue. Think not that any affluence of fortune, or any elevation of rank, exempts you from the duties of application and industry. Industry is the law of our being; it is the demand of nature, of reason and of God. Remember, always, that the years which now pass over your heads, leave permanent memorials behind them. From the thoughtless minds they may escape; but they remain in the remembrance of God.' They form an important part of the register of your life. They will hereafter bear testimony, either for, or against you, at that day, when, for all your actions, but particularly for the employments of youth, you must give an account to God. Whether your future course is destined to be long or short, after this manner it should commence, and if it continue to be thus conducted, its conclusion, at what time soever it arrives, will not be inglorious
IX.-The true Patriot.-ART OF THINKING. ANDREW DORIA, of Genoa, the greatest sea captain of the age he lived in, set his country free from the yoke of France. Beloved by his fellow citizens, and supported
þy the the Emperour Charles V. it was in his power to assume sovereiguty, without the least struggle. But he preferred the virtuous satisfaction of giving liberty to his countrymen, He declared in public assembly, that the happiness of seeing them once more restored to liberty, was to him a full reward for all his services; that he claim. ed no pre-eminence above bis equals, but remitted to them absolutely to settle a proper form of government. Doria's magnanimity put an end to factions, that had long vexed the state ; and a form of government was established, with great unaniinity, the same, that with very little alteration, subsists at present. Doria lived to a great age, beloved and honoured by his countrymen; and without ever making a single step out of his rank, as a private citizen, he retained to his dying lour, great influence in the republic. Power, founded on love and gratitude, was to him more pleasant than what is founded on sovereignty. His memory is reverenced by the Genoese; and, in their histories and public monuments, there is bestowed on him the most honourable of all titles-FATHER of his COUNTRY, and RESTORER of its LIBERTY.
X.-On Contentment.--SPECTATOR. CONTENTMENT prodúces, in some measure, all those effects which the alchemist usually ascribes to what he calls the philosopher's stone ; and if it does not bring riches, it does the same thing, by banishing the desire of them. It it cannot remove the disquietudes arising out of a man's mind, body or fortune, it makes him easy under them. I has, indeed, a kindly influence on the soul of a man, in re. spect of every being to whom he stands related, It extinguishes all murmur, repining and ingratitude towards that Being, who has allotted him his part to act in this world. It destroys all inordivate ambition, and every tendency to corruption, with regard to the community wherein he is placed. It gives sweetness to his conversation, and per. petual serenity to all his thoughts.
Among the many methods which might be made use of for acquiring this virtue, I shall only mention the two following. First of all, a man should always consider how much he has more than he wapts; and, secondly, hos much more unhappy he might be, than he really is.
First of all, a man should always consider how much he has more than he wants. I am wonderfully well pleased with the reply which Aristippus made to one who condoled him upon the loss of a farm: “Why," said he, “I have three farms still, and you have but one, so that I ought rather to be afflicted for you than you for me."
On the contrary, foolish men are more apt to consider what they have lost, than what they possess; and to fix their eyes upon those who are richer than themselves, rather than on those who are under greater difficulties. All the real pleasures and conveniences of life lie in a narrow compass; but it is the humour of mankind to be always looking forward, and straining after one who has got the start of them in wealth and lionour. For this reason, as there are none can be properly called rich who have not more than they want; there are few rich men, in any of the politer tations, but among the middle sort of people, who keep their wishes within their fortunes, and have more wealth than they know how to enjoy. Persons of higher rank live in a kind of splendid poverty; and are perpetually wanting, because, instead of acquiescing in the solid pleasures of life, they endeavour to outvie one another in shadows and appearances. Men of sense have at all times beheld, with a great cord of mirth, this silly game that is playing over their leac. and by contracting their desires, enjoy all that secret satisfaction which others are always in quest of.
The truth is, this ridiculous chase after imaginary pleasure cannot be sufficiently exposed, as it is the great source of those evils which generally ando a nation. Let a man's estate be what it will, he is a poor man if he does not live within it, and naturally sets himself to sale to any one who can give him his price. When Pittacus, after the death of his brother, who had left him a good estate, was offered a great sum of money by the king of Lydia, he thanked him for his kindness, but told him he had already more by half than he knew what to do with. In short, content is equivalent to wealth, and luxury to poverty; or, to give the thought a more agreeable turn, “ Content is natural wealth," says Socrates; to which I shall add, Luxury is artificial poverty. I shall therefore recommend to the consideration of those who are always aiming after superfuous and imaginary enjoyments, and will not be at the
trouble of contracting their desires, an excellent saying of Bion the philosopher, namely, “That no man has so much care as he who endeavours after the inost happiness."
In the second place every one ought to reflect how much more unhappy be might be than he really is. The former consideration took in all those who are sufficiently provided with the means to make themselves easy ; this regards such as actually lie under some pressure or misfor. tune. These inay receive great alleviation from such a comparison as the unhappy person may make between himself and others, or between the misfortunes which he suffers, and greater misfortunes which might have befalley him.
I like the story of the honest Dutchman, who upon breaking his leg by a fall from the mainmast, told the standers by, it was a great mercy it was not his neck. To which, since I am got into quotations, give me leave to add the saying of an old philosopher, who, after having invited some of his friends to dine with him, was ruffled by his wife, who came into the room in a passion, and threw down the table that stood before them: “ Every one," says he, “has his calamity, and he is a happy man that has 110 greater than this.” We find an instance to the same purpose in the life of doctor Hammond, written by bishop Fell. As this good man was trouble plication of distempers, when he had the gou . upon him, he used to thank God that it was not the stone ; and, when he had the stone, that he had not both these distempers on him at the same time.
I cannot conclude this essay without observing, that there was never any system, besides that of Christianity, which would effectually produce in the mind of man the virtue I have been hitherto speaking of. In order to make us contented with our condition, many of the present philosophers tell us that our discontent only hurts ourselves, without being able to make any alteration in our circumstances; others, that whatever evil befals us is derived to us by a fatal necessity, to which the gods themselves are subject; while others very gravely tell the man who is miserable, that it is necessary he should be so, to keep up the harmony of the universe, and that the scheme of Providence would be troubled and perverted were he oth
We a com.