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extended, and many whom their conscience can scarcely charge with stooping to a lie, have vitiated the morals of others by their vanity, and patronized the vice which they believe themselves to abhor. Truth is, indeed, not often welcome for its own sake; it is generally unpleasing because contrary to our wishes and opposite to our practice; and as our attention naturally follows our interest, we hear unwillingly what we are afraid to know, and soon forget what we have no inclination to impress upon our memories. For this reason many arts of instruction have been invented, by which the reluctance against truth may be overcome; and as physic is given to children in confections, precepts have been hidden under a thousand appearances, that mankind may be bribed by pleasure to escape destruction.
[Clare Hall Scholarships, 1833.]
55. The very narrow capacity of man can proceed but a little way in the investigation of knowledge the most obvious and familiar; far less in deep and abstruse matters; but, excepting as to one particular object, is wholly at a loss when it presumptuously attempts the consideration of infinity. To this it is so totally inadequate, that on the comparison it appears humble and modest when it endeavours to fathom the ocean and measure the heavens with an inch of line.
[Craven Scholarship, 1834.]
56. WILLIAM, Earl of Pembroke, was next, a man of another mould and making, and of another fame and reputation with all men, being the most universally beloved and esteemed of any man of that age; and having a great office in the court, he made the court itself better esteemed and more reverenced in the country. And as he had a great number of friends of the best men, so no man had ever the confidence to avow himself to be his enemy.—He was a man very well bred, and of excellent parts, and a graceful speaker upon any subject, having a good proportion of learning, and a ready wit to apply it, and enlarge upon it; of a pleasant and facetious humour, and a disposition affable, generous and magnificent. He was master of a great fortune from his ancestors, and had a great addition from his wife; but all served not his expense, which was only limited by his great mind, and occasions to use it nobly. He was exceedingly beloved in the court, because he never desired to get that for himself which others laboured for, but was still ready to promote the pretences of worthy men.-And he was equally celebrated in the country, for having received no obligations from the court, which might corrupt or sway his affections and judgment. He was a great lover of his country, and of the religion and justice, which he believed could only support it; and his friendships were only with men of those principles. And as his conversation was most with men of the most pregnant parts and understanding, so towards any such, who needed support or encouragement, though unknown, if fairly recommended to him, he was very liberal.-Sure never man was planted in a court, that was fitter for that soil, or brought better qualities with him to purify that air.
[Craven Scholarship, 1834.]
57. VANITY is gratified as much by a false as by a true reputation, and to the vain man, a false has this advantage above a true reputation for an excellent virtue, that it is gained far more easily, at a less expense of time and of exertion. Thus the love of reputation at once introduces a connexion with fraud and falsehood, a carelessness and a desertion of truth. And where these have come, nothing bad has not come. So that it is not without reason that the great philosopher and statesman of the last generation, said that “when full grown, vanity is the worst of all vices, and the occasional mimick of them all; that it makes the whole man false; that it leaves nothing sincere or trustworthy about him; that his best qualities are perverted and poisoned by it, and operate exactly as the worst; that its disciples exist by every thing which is spurious, fictitious, and false; by every thing which takes a man from his house, and sets him on a stage; which makes him up an artificial creature, with painted theatrick sentiments fit to be seen by the glare of candlelight, and formed to be contemplated at a due distance."
[Classical Tripos, 1834.]
58. WHEN Rome had thrown from her the warrior who had led his countrymen to victory, and galled and fretted the proud spirit of her boldest hero; he, driven onwards by the demon of revenge, gave himself as a leader where he had before been a conqueror, and taking a hostile banner into his passionate grasp, headed the foes who sought to subjugate the land of his nativity. Ye remember, it may be, how intercession saved the city: The mother bowed before the son; and Coriolanus, vanquished by tears, subdued by plaints, left the capitol unscathed by battle.
(Classical Tripos, 1834.]
59: IF men would be content to graft upon Nature, and assist her operations, what mighty effects might we expect! Tully would not stand so much alone in oratory, Virgil in poetry, or Cæsar in war. To build upon Nature, is laying a foundation upon a rock; every thing disposes itself in order as it were of course, and the whole work is half done as soon as undertaken. Cicero's genius inclined him to oratory, Virgil's to follow the train of the Muses; they piously obeyed the admonition, and were rewarded. Had Virgil attended the bar, his modest and ingenious virtue would surely have made but a very indifferent figure; and Tully's declamatory inclination would have been as useless in poetry.
Nature, if left to herself, leads us on in the best course, but will do nothing by compulsion and constraint; and if we are not always satisfied to go her way, we are always the greatest sufferers by it.
[Chancellor's Medals, 1834.]
60. It was now broad day; the hurricane had abated nothing of its violence, and the sea appeared agitated with all the rage of which that destructive element is capable; all the ships, on which alone the whole army knew that their safety and subsistence depended, were seen driven from their anchors, some dashing against each other, some beat to pieces on the rocks, many forced ashore, and not a few sinking in the waves. In less than an hour fifteen ships of war, and an hundred and forty transports with eight thousand men, perished; and such of the unhappy crews as escaped the fury of the sea, were murdered without mercy by the Arabs, as soon as they reached land. The Emperor stood in silent anguish and astonishment beholding this fatal event, which at once blasted all his hopes of success, and buried in the depths the vast stores which he had provided, as well for annoying the enemy, as for subsisting his own troops.... At last the wind began to fall, and to give some hopes that as many ships might escape, as would be sufficient to save the army from perishing by famine, and transport them back to Europe. But these were only hopes; the approach of evening covered the sea with darkness; and it being impossible for the officers aboard the ships which had outlived the storm, to send any intelligence to their companions who were ashore, they remained during the night in all the anguish of suspense and uncertainty.
[Trinity College Scholarships, 1834.]
61. Such was the end, and such the funeral, of Pompey the Great; a man who had many opportunities of enslaving his country, but rejected them all. He was fonder of glory than of power, of praise than command, and was more vain than ambitious. His talents in war were every way superior to those of his contemporaries except Cæsar; it was, therefore, his peculiar misfortune to contend with a man, in whose presence all other military merit lost its lustre. Whether his aims during the last war were more just than Cæsar's must for ever remain doubtful; certain it is, that he frequently rejected all offers of accommodation, and began to talk of punishment, before he had any pretentions to power. But whatever might have been his intentions, in case of victory, they could not have been executed with more moderation than those of Cæsar. The corruptions of the state were too great to admit of any other remedy but that of an absolute government, and it was hardly possible that power
could have fallen into better hands than those of the conqueror.
From Pompey's death, therefore, we may date the total extinction of the republic. From this period the senate was dispossessed of all its power;