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tering with the sun, but soon turns aching away to verdure and to flowers. Gaiety is to good humour as animal perfumes to vegetable fragrance; the one overpowers weak spirits, and the other recreates and revives them. Gaiety seldom fails to give some pain; the hearers either strain their faculties to accompany its towerings, or are left behind in envy and despair. Good humour boasts no faculties which every one does not believe in his own power, and pleases principally by not offending.
[Trinity College Fellowships, 1842.]
125. If a Roman poet might have liberty to coin a word, supposing only that it was derived from the Greek, was put into a Latin termination, and that he used this liberty but seldom and with modesty ; how much more justly may I challenge that privilege to do it with the same prerequisites from the best and most judicious of Latin writers! In some places, where either the fancy or the words were his, or any other's, I have noted it in the margin, that I might not seem a plagiary: in others I have neglected it, to avoid as well tediousness, as the affectation of doing it too often. Such descriptions or images well wrought, which I promise not for mine, are, as I have said, the adequate delight of heroic poesy; for they beget admiration, which is its proper object; as the images of the burlesque, which is contrary to this, by the same reason beget laughter: for the one shews nature beautified, as in the picture of a fair woman, which we all admire; the other shews her deformed, as in that of a lazar, or of a fool with distorted face and antique gestures, at which we cannot forbear to laugh, beoause it is a deviation from nature. a
[Craven Scholarships, 1843.]
126. It is observed of this competition, that it was carried on without bribery or tumult. As the competitors were supposed to be all of the Senatorian party, the Senators thought their interest secure whichever of the candidates should prevail. And as the Senatorian party divided upon the occasion, the influence of Cæsar and Pompey easily cast the balance on the side of Sulpicius and Marcellus. Cato, during the competition, continued in the same habits of friendship as usual with both; and when the choice was decided in their favour, instead of withdrawing from public view, as was common under such disappointments, he went to the field of Mars as usual from the assemblies of the people, stript and went to exercise, and continued from thence forward to frequent the Forum in his common undress. To those who condoled with him, or pressed him to continue his suit for another year, as he had done when first disappointed of the Prætorship, he made answer, That he thought it was the part of a good man to undertake the public service, whenever he was intrusted with it, and to make his willingness known, but not to court the public for employments as a favour to himself. The people, he
a said, at the time that they refused me the Prætorship, were under actual violence: in this case, they have made a free choice, and it appears that I must either violate my own mind, or renounce their good-will. My own mind is of more consequence to me than their favour; but, if I retain my character, I shall not be so unreasonable as to expect consideration from persons to whom it is not agreeable.
[Classical Tripos, 1843.]
127. The emperor was easy of access, patient of hearing, courteous and affable in discourse, and a master
of the angry passions, which rage with such destructive violence in the breast of a despot. Procopius praises his temper to reproach him with calm and deliberative cruelty: but in the conspiracies which attacked his authority and person, a more candid judge will approve the justice, or admire the clemency of Justinian. He excelled in the private virtues of chastity and temperance; and his abstemious diet was regulated, not by the prudence of a philosopher, but the superstition of a monk. His repasts were short and frugal: on solemn fasts he contented himself with water and vegetables : and such was his strength, as well as his fervour, that he frequently passed two days and as many nights, without tasting any food. The measure of his sleep was not less rigorous; after the repose of a single hour, the body was awakened by the soul, and to the astonishment of his chamberlains, Justinian walked or studied till the morning light. [Magdalene College Scholarships, 1843.]
128. As honours are paid to the dead in order to incite others to the imitation of their excellencies, the principal intention of epitaphs is to perpetuate the examples of virtue, that the tomb of a good man may supply the want of his presence, and veneration for his memory produce the same effect as the observation of his life. Those epitaphs are, therefore, the most perfect, which set virtue in the strongest light, and are best adapted to exalt the reader's ideas and rouse his emula
ion. To this end it is not always necessary to recount the actions of a hero, or enumerate the writings of a philosopher; to imagine such information necessary, is to detract from their characters, or to suppose their works mortal, or their achievements in danger of being forgotten. The bare name of such men answers every purpose of a long inscription. Had only the name of Sir Isaac Newton been subjoined to the design upon his monument, instead of a long detail of his discoveries, which no philosopher can want, and which none but a philosopher can understand, those, by whose direction it was raised, had done more honour both to him and to themselves. This indeed is a commendation which it requires no genius to bestow, but which can never become vulgar or contemptible, if bestowed with judgment; because no single age produces many men of merit superior to panegyric. None but the first names can stand unassisted against the attacks of time; and if men raised to reputation by accident or caprice, have nothing but their names engraved on their tombs, there is danger lest in a few years the inscription require an interpreter.
[Chancellor's Medals, 1843.]
129. We are now to consider in what happiness does consist. In life, the great art is to know beforehand, what will please for a time and continue to please. But this fore-knowledge is difficult of attainment. Some pleasures, alluring at a distance, become when possessed insipid, or short-lived; while others start up unthought of. The necessity of this fore-knowledge is the greater as the power to change is the less, after the experiment has been tried; and were it more practicable, it would be unadvisable, as such shifting is unfavourable to the happiness of any condition. Through the great variety of taste in man, arising from every different shade of original structure and accidental situation, it is impossible to devise a plan of universal happiness. All that can be attempted, is, to describe a mode of life, in which
the majority will seem the happiest; for though the apparent is not the true measure of the real happiness, it is the best we can arrive at. [St Peter's College, 1843.]
man's power ;
130. Art can never give the rules that make an art. This is, I believe, the reason why artists in general, and poets principally, have been confined in so narrow a cir. cle; they have been rather imitators of one another than of nature; and this with so faithful a uniformity, and to so remote an antiquity, that it is hard to say who gave the first model. Critics follow them, and therefore can do little as guides. I can judge but poorly of any thing, whilst I measure it by no other standard than itself. The true standard of the arts is in
every and an easy observation of the most common, sometimes of the meanest things in nature, will give the truest lights, where the greatest sagacity and industry that slights such observation must leave us in the dark, or, what is worse, amuse and mislead us by false lights. In an inquiry, it is almost every thing to be once in a right road. I am satisfied I have done but little by these observations considered in themselves; and I never should have taken the pains to digest them, much less should I have ever ventured to publish them, if I was not convinced that nothing tends more to the corruption of science than to suffer it to stagnate.
[Clare Hall Voluntary Classical Examination, 1843.]
131. Your two letters, my dear John, were very acceptable, and it gives me great pleasure to find your situation so agreeable, with a prospect also of its being so advantageous with respect to your improvement. I miss you exceedingly, but the reflection and the hope