Page images

she has no independent provision. But let me, above all, inquire, To-morrow may ravish from her whether rational piety, its sanctions, grasp the frail and precarious props duties, and consolations, are any that uphold her. This reflection thing to you but empty sounds? has made her a pattern of economy Have the ideas of a future state, a and industry. She is, in many re- pure and all-seeing eye, ever found spects, her own laundress, and, in all a moment's place in your thoughts? respects, her own sempstress. Are you at all acquainted with that

She well knows the magic graces principle, which enables us to love that flow from personal purity and merit, though beautiful or rich, and babits of delicacy. Beauty is be- to look down with pity on arrostowed by some power beyond our gance and pomp? selves. it most commonly entails To some of these questions, canon the possessor infinite depravity dour may oblige you to answer, but and folly, and can never confer any not without reluctance; and your real good. A temper, serene amidst heart, impatient of blame, may the evils of life, and the fluctuations whisper- I have as much of theseof others, forbearing and affectionate estimable qualities, as most others. to all ; manners, soft, mild, full of I can scarcely point out one of my dignity and personal decorum, con- acquaintance, who (no older than 1) stitute the lasting power, the bewitch- has more simplicity, frugality, ining grace, the irresistible charm dustry, charity, candour, or devo

but if I run on thus, I shall write tion. If I err, my judgment, and a volume, instead of a letter; so I will not my inclination, is to blame. I stop here, and ask you, Madelina, ardently wish to attain all that is in what respects this creature of my good, graceful, and lovely in the fefancy resembles you ?

male character. I am always strivAre you studious ? Do you spend ing to attain them, and the failure of a certain propotion of each day in my efforts humbles and distresses reading? Were the reflections of me. any five minutes of your life sug- “ Above all things, I want to be gested by any thing you met with in reputed sensible and learned, but a book? Are any of the terms or my poor head will not allow it. I ideas, which occur in your conversa. cannot keep alive my curiosity for tion, derived from this source? Are books. When I read, unless it be your friends and intimates distin. some fashionable play or novel, all guished by their charitable, devout, is tedious, dark, and unintelligible : thoughtful, and home-loving habits? but I did not chuse my own underAre none, of them vain, giddy, ridi. standing, and I cannot recreate myculously prejudiced or spoilt by self; and, though nature will not se. fashion ?

cond my wishes, to reach the highest Are you diligent and economical ? place, yet I am not the very lowest Do you spend nothing upon super- in the scale. I know myself to pose fluities? Have you, in all you buy, sess some sense, some generosity, a or all you do, a view to future inde- heart that is both pure and warm, pendence, to be raised on your own and principles that will never let efforts? Do you perform for your me stoop to meanness or falsehood; self all that decency permits, and and my great comfort is, that few that a noble humility, a laudable fru- are better than me, many, very gality requires you to do?

many, are worse.” Is your temper benign and equa. Thy pleas, Madelina, are perble? Do you never repine at the fectly just. Inclination and zeal will want of those advantages of person go far to make us better, but they and fortune, which others possess ? will not do every thing; and what Would not a splendid villa and an ever charm there may be in diffi. equipage atone for many misfor- dences and disclaimings, it is absurd tunes of yourself and friends? and pernicious to give up our dues.

I rejoice in thy anxiety for improve. It has been very ingeniously obment, and applaud thee for respect- served by an Italian moralist, that ing thyself. In looking round, I praise is a tax which merit exacts also find very few that are thy su- from the world ; but if we pay it periors, but very many that are, in ourselves, the world is absolved from all estimable qualities, much below the debt. Madelina.

At a time when it has become

fashionable for every self-sufficient For the Literary Magazine. coxcomb to sneer, in all the fancied

consciousness of superiority, at the ADVERSARIA.

intellectual qualities of woman, it

gives me pleasure to find my own NO. VII.

opinion fortified by that of the leart

ed Vicessimus Knox, Fiestigmatizes DULL authors write more than the notion that learning belongs not they think; lively ones think more to the female character, and that the than they write. When wit inspires, female mind is not capable of a deand fancy is on the wing, it is impos- gree of improvement equal to that of sible for the writer, under the influ. the other sex. The present times, ence of such spontaneous talents and he says, and every liberal reader such impulsive faculties, to train or can attest the truth of the assertion, restrain the range of his creative exhibit most honourable instances genius to the present lure of what- of female learning and genius. 'The ever subject he may then have in superior advantages of boys' educahand. In such cases, all he can do tion are perhaps, the sole reason is to arrest their course, by writing of their subsequent superiority down his ideas, for the amusement Learning is equally attainable, and, of his leisure hours, or to enrich I think, equally valuable, for the sasome future work, as occasion may tisfaction arising from it, to a wocall thein forth. This reservoir man as a man. may be considered as a casket of jewels, the beauty and brilliancy of which we contemplate and admire, The oriental poetry exhibits the without any regard to their arrange- most picturesque scenes of nature, ment.

and illustrates every moral sentiment or argumentative assertion by

similies, not indeed exact in the reIt may be laid down as a position, semblance, but sufficiently analogous which will seldom deceive, tliat when to strike and gratify the imaginaa man cannot bear his own company, tion. Strong imagery, animated senthere is something wrong. He must timent, warmth and vivacity of exfly from himself, either because he pression, all of which are the effects feels a tediousness in life, from the of a lively fancy, are its constant equipoise of an empty mind, which, characteristics. The accuracy of having no tendency to one motion logic, and the subtlety of metaphymore than another, but as it is im- sics are of a nature too frigid to inpelled by some external power, must fluence the oriental writer. He feels always have recourse to foreign ob- not the beauty of demonstration, he jects; or he must be afraid of the pursues not the chain of argument, intrusion of some unpleasing ideas, and he submits to the force of perand is, perhaps, struggling to escape suasion rather from the dictates of from the remembrance of a loss, his feeling than from any rational the fear of a calamity, or some other conviction. He endeavours to influthought of greater horror,

ence his reader in the same manner,

and commonly excites an emotion of the frequent causes of vice; but so violent, as to produce a more he who loves a book will never powerful effect than would be expe- want employment. The pursuits of rienced even from conclusive argu. learning are boundless, and they mentation.

present to the mind a delightful variety which cannot be exhausted. No life is long enough to see all the

beautiiul pictures which the arts Horace, the politest writer whom and sciences, or which history, poethe world ever produced, was a sa- try, and eloquence are able to distirist, though there is every reason play. The man of letters possesses to believe that his natural disposi- the power of calling up a succession tion was not severe. The truth is, of scenes to his view infinitely nuhe was a man of the world, as well merous and diversified. He is as a man of reflection, and wrote therefore secured from that unhaphis remarks on men and things in py state which urges many to vice familiar verse, not without censur- and dissipation, merely to fill a paining them, indeed, but without in- ful vacuity. Even though his purdulging the asperity of sarcasm. suits should be trilling, and his disHe probed every wound with so gen coveries unimportant, yet they are tle a hand, that the patient smiled harmless to others, and useful to under the operation. The gay himself, as preservatives of his infriend of Mecænas had lived in nocence. courts, and knew too much of the world to think he could reform the voluptuous part of it by abrupt severity.

If we consider Swift's prose style, we shall find a certain masterly conciseness, that has never been equal

led by any other writer. The truth It is not among the least happy of this assertion will more evidently effects of a studious life, that it with- appear, by comparing him with some draws the student from the turbu- of the writers of his own time. Of lent scenes and pursuits, in which it these Dr. Tillotson and Mr. Addiis scarcely less difficult to preserve son are to be numbered among the innocence than tranquility. Suc- most eminent. Addison has all the cessful study requires so much at powers that can captivate or imtention, and engrosses so much of prove: his diction is easy, his pethe heart, that he who is deeply en- riods are well turned, his expresgaged in it, though he may, indeed, sions are flowing, and his humour is be liable to temporary lapses, will delicate. Tillotson is nervous, grave, seldom contract an inveterate habit majestic, and perspicuous. We must of immorality. There is, in all join both these characters together books of character, a reverence for to have an adequate idea of Swift : virtue, and a tendency to inspire a yet as he outdoes Addison in hulaudable emulation. He who is mour, he excels Tillotson in perspiearly, long, and successfully conver- cuity. The archbishop, indeed, consant with them will find his bosom fines himself to subjects relative to filled with the love of truth, and his profession ; but Addison and finely affected with a delicate sense Swift are more diffusive writers. of lionour.

They continually vary in their manThrough all the vicissitudes of ner, and treat different topics in a life, he has a source of consolation different style. When the writings in the retirement of his library, and of Addison terminate in party, he in the principles and reflections of loses himself extremely, and from a his own bosom.

delicate and just comedian deviates The want of employment is one into one of the lowest kind.

It is well observed, by our late should be restrained by Phoebus, and venerable president, that every ob- not resigned to the nerveless hand servation in Swift's “ Contests and of Phaton. Might not this latter Dissentions between the Nobles and allusion of Plato likewise hint a com. Commons of Rome" is justified by parison between some souls and the history of every government we cart-horses, mules, asses, &c.? have considered. How much more naturally, says he, had this writer weighed the subject than Mr. Tur. Lord William Russel was the sad got! Perhaps there is not to be victim to his virtuous design of prefound, in any library, so many accu. serving the liberty and constitution rate ideas of government, expressed of his country, from the attempts of with so much perspicuity, brevity, the most abandoned set of men that and precision.

ever governed it. True patriotism, not ambition nor interest, directed

his intentions. Posterity must apVanity makes terrible devastation plaud his unavailing engagements, in a female breast : it batters down with the due censure of the Machiall restraints of modesty, and care avelian necessity of taking off so ries away every seed of virtue. dangerous an opposer of the machi.

nations of his enemies. The law of politics gives sanction to the remo

val of every obstacle to the designs Jeremy Collier, in his Essay on of the statesman. At the same Power, gives a good reason for the time, we never should lessen our adsupposed superior strength of men miration and pity of the generous in the beginning of the world " to characters who fell sacrifices to supply their defect of skill.” Art their hopes of delivering purified to and address are capable of effecting their descendants the corrupted gomany things now, that required bo. vernment of their own days. To dily strength then. They were at attempt to clear lord Russel from first, says he, more giants in their the share in so glorious a design, limbs than their understandings; would be to deprive him of the most but when the mind grew larger, the brilliant part of his character. His body became less. The same rea- integrity and ingenuousness would son he might have added for their not suffer even himself to deny him longevity also : to make experience from that part of the charge. Let supply the deficiency of science that remain unimpeached, since he

continues so perfectiy acquitted of the most distant design of making

assassination a means, or of inPlato calls the passions the wings triguing with a foreign monarch, of the soul. According to this me- the most repugnant to the religion taphor, a bird may be considered as and freedom of his country, even the type of it. In applying this though it were to accomplish so lau. figure to the several characters of dable an object. men, some to be eagles, others bats, a few swans, and the rest but geese : not one phænix among the flock. Before the introduction of print. The same philosopher, in another ing, the student, who revolted at the place, styles them the chariot-horses idea of languishing in the sloth of of the soul ; by which it is implied, monkery, had scarcely any scope that, though strong and fleet, they for his industry and talents, but in should be under command. These the puerile perplexities of scholastic

philosophy, as little adapted to call Volucres Pyrois & Eous & Æthon, forth the virtues of the heart as to Solis equi, quartusque Phlegon,

promote useful knowledge: but since that important era in the annals of much more than formerly. Hence learning, every individual, even the the chances of contracting it natu. poorest of the muses' train, has been rally have been greatly multiplied. enabled, without difficulty, to consult It has likewise occasioned more those great masters in practical and mortality upon the whole, since ino. speculative ethics, the Greek and culation does not continually save Roman philosophers. He is taught from death ; it is only less likely to by the same instructors who formed end fatally than the natural disease. a Xenophon and a Scipio, and can It is hard to assign the exact pro. hold converse, in the retirement of portion of this difference, but it his chamber, with the celebrated seems to be generally allowed, that sages of antiquity, with nearly the more individuals have died of the same advantages as if he actually inoculated small-pox, than formerly sat with Socrates beneath the shade died of the natural. Supposing the of the plane tree, walked with Plato latter to kill all that it attacks, and in the Lyceum, or accompanied Ci the former only one out of twenty, cero to his Tusculan villa.

yet if two only are sick of the latter disease, two only can die of it, whereas if sixty are sick of the former, the deaths may be three in

number, which is a greater actual For the Literary Magazine. mortality by one half.

Those versed in medical history OBJECTIONS TO VACCINATION. may know whether this consequence

was ever urged against the use of ONE of the most curious facts, in inoculation. If it were, it was, no the history of human opinions, is the doubt, rejected with derision and light in which it is now customary, contempt; yet now the whole fa. among medical enquirers, to regard culty combine to affirm its truth, the inoculated small-pox. Former- and, if their reports be true, the inly, when the faculty espoused the troducers of inoculation into Europe practice of inoculation, the argu. were the murderers, and not the ments and eloquence were endless benefactors, of the human race, which were employed in proving its By recent accounts from Great advantages. The benefits arising Britain it appears, that the vaccine from preparing the constitution for has lately suffered some formidable the disease, and from selecting the attacks. Its enemies have discover. suitable and most convenient season ed instances in which the variolous and age for contracting it; the supe. has been contracted after the vacrior mildness and safety of the mala. cine infection ; and some have even dy contracter in this mode, were all started a suspicion that the security fruitful topics of persuasion.

afforded by the vaccine is only temLately, the vaccinating system porary. has obtained the preference: and These circumstances have excitsuch is the nature of the mind, en- . ed great alarm and anxiety in the gaged in defending any favourite public. Some well-attested cases system, that physicians seem not having taken place in a certain contented with proving that the quarter of London, in which small. vaccine is an antidote against the na. pox followed vaccination, a medical tural small-pox, far milder and safer committee, composed of the most than the variolous inoculation, but eminent practitioners, was formed they now discover, what would for- to investigate these cases. This merly have ranked the discoverer committee has published, in its re. among prejudiced and siliy old wo- port, a minute and faithful account men, that, in truth, inoculation has of every fact connected with these done more harm than good. It has cases. After admitting the regular contributed to diffuse the small-pox progress of the previous vaccination


« PreviousContinue »