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admirable, than amiable: fit to be praised, rather than imitated.
[King's College, 1840.]
99. I NEVER am unmindful of those I think so well of as yourself; their number is not so great as to confound one's memory. Nor ought you to decline writing to me, upon an imagination, that I am much employed by other people. For though my house is like the house of a patriarch of old, standing by the highway-side, and receiving all travellers, nevertheless I seldom go to bed without the reflection, that one's chief business is to be really at home: And I agree with you in your opinion of company, amusements, and all the silly things which mankind would fain make pleasures of, when in truth they are labour and sorrow. I condole with you on the death of your relation, the Earl of C. as on the fate of a mortal man: esteem I never had for him, but concern and humanity I had: The latter was due to the infirmity of his last period, though the former was not due to the triumphant and vain part of his course.
[St Peter's College, 1840.]
100. THEREFORE the prince took a gallant resolution to give the enemy a brisk charge with his own regiment upon their advance, whilst the earl rallied his and prepared to second him as there should be occasion. This was as soon and fortunately executed as resolved, the prince in the head of his regiment charging so vigorously, that he utterly broke and routed that part of the front that received the impression. But almost half the enemies' horse that being extended longer than his front were not charged, wheeled about and charged the prince in the rear, and at the same time the Earl of Carnarvon
with his rallied regiment charged their rear, and all this so thoroughly performed that they were mingled pallmall one among the other and the good sword was to decide the controversy. [Jesus College, 1840.]
101. IRRESOLUTION on the schemes of life which offer themselves to our choice, and inconstancy in pursuing them, are the greatest and most universal causes of all our disquiet and unhappiness. When ambition pulls one way, interest another, inclination a third, and perhaps reason contrary to all, a man is likely to pass his time but ill, who has so many different parties to please. When the mind hovers among such a variety of allurements, one had better settle on a way of life that is not the very best we might have chosen, than grow old without determining our choice; and go out of the world, as the greatest part of mankind do, before we have resolved how to live in it. There is but one method of setting ourselves at rest in this particular; and that is, by adhering stedfastly to one great end as the chief and ultimate aim of all our pursuits. If we are firmly resolved to live up to the dictates of reason, without any regard to wealth, reputation, or the like considerations, any more than as they fall in with our principal design, we may go through life with steadiness and pleasure; but if we act by several broken views, and will not only be virtuous, but wealthy, popular, and every thing that has a value set upon it by the world, we shall live and die in misery and repentance. One would take more than ordinary care to guard one's self against this particular imperfection, because it is that which our nature very strongly inclines us to; for if we examine ourselves throughly, we shall find that we are the most changeable beings in the universe. There is scarce a state of life, or stage in it, which does not produce changes and revolutions in the mind of man. Our schemes of thought in infancy are lost in those of youth; these too take a different turn in manhood, till old age often leads us back into our former infancy.
[Trinity College Fellowships, 1840.]
PASSING political events are matters of importance to every people, who enjoy any share of freedom or intelligence; to Englishmen they are matters of deep and momentous interest. Sooner or later they must be known; more or less, they will be known immediately; but the more accurately they are known, the better. The narration of them will disclose many things to the honour and advantage of some men, to the shame and discredit of others. In the great drama of human life the actors are not all heroes. Fools, knaves, and cowards play their part upon the scene. Pericles and Agricola are contrasted with Cleon and Domitian. It is the business of the historian, to represent men as he finds them; to tell us what they say, and what they do. If this be libellous, things must change their names; the annals of Tacitus must be called the libels of Tacitus; Xenophon and Thucydides the traducers of their countrymen; the old Bailey calendar an infamous compilation of slander. What then is to become of contemporary history? Who is to furnish the materials, from which the philosopher of a future age shall draw his lessons of practical wisdom? Are the virtues alone, and not the vices of man to be recorded? Is the chronicler of his own times to be a mere composer of panegyric? Shall he describe a golden age of happiness, which, in the iron days that follow, the sad experience of mankind will force them to disbelieve? Shall he leave to his successor the laborious task of unravelling a tissue of misrepresentation ? And if so, at what period shall truth begin? Shall it commence with the epitaph? Or must the dead still be honoured, to spare the feelings of the living; and the monuments of literature contend with the sculptured marble for the glory of perpetuating falsehood? It cannot be. No man may hope, to escape from the sentence of his fellows. High or low, it is the same. The villager receives a character from his neighbours, the statesman from his country,
[Clare Hall Scholarships, 1841.]
103. It is the great boast of eloquence and philosophy, that they first congregated men dispersed, united them into societies, and built up the houses and the walls of cities. I wish, they could unravel all they had woven; that we might have our woods and our innocence again, instead of our castles and our policies. They have assembled many thousands of scattered people into one body: it is true, they have done so; they have brought them together into cities to cozen, and into armies to murder one another: they found them hunters and fishers of wild creatures; they have made them hunters and fishers of their brethren; they boast to have reduced them to a state of peace, when the truth is, they have only taught them an art of war. But the men, who praise philosophy from this topic, are much deceived; let oratory answer for itself, the tinkling perhaps of that may unite a swarm: it never was the work of philosophy to assemble multitudes, but to regulate only, and govern them, when they were assembled ;
to make the best of an evil, and bring them, as much as is possible, to unity again. Avarice and ambition only were the first builders of towns, and founders of empire. What was the beginning of Rome, the metropolis of all the world? What was it, but a concourse of thieves, and a sanctuary of criminals ? It was justly named by the augury of no less than twelve vultures, and the founder cemented his walls with the blood of his brother.
(Craven Scholarship, 1841.] 104. It is certain the consternation was very great at London, and in the two Houses, from the time that they heard, that the king marched from Shrewsbury with a formed army, and that he was resolved to fight, as soon as he could meet with theirs. However, they endeavoured to keep up confidently the ridiculous opinion among the common people, that the king did not command, but was carried about in that
of the Cavaliers, and was desirous to escape from them; which they hoped the Earl of Essex would give him opportunity to do. The first news they heard of the armies being engaged, was by those who fled upon the first charge; who made marvellous haste from the place of danger, and thought not themselves safe, till they were gotten out of any possible distance of being pursued. It is certain, though it was past two of the clock before the battle begun, many of the soldiers, and some commanders of no mean name, were at St Albans, which was near thirty miles from the field, before it was dark. These men, as all runaways do for their own excuse, reported all for lost, and the king's army to be so terrible, that it could not be encountered. [Classical Tripos, 1841.]
105. I NEVER wake without finding life a more insig