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And why the heart beats on, or how the brain
(8) An allusion to John Howard. “Wherever he came, in whatever country, the prisons and hospitals were thrown open to him as to the general censor. Such is the force of pure and exalted virtue !"
(9) Aristotle's definition of Friendship, “one soul in two bodies," is well exemplified by some ancient author in a dialogue between Ajax and Achilles. “Of all the wounds you ever received in battle,” says Ajax, “which was the inost painful to you ? "__" That which I received from Hector," replies Achilles. - “But Hector never gave you a wound?” -“Yes, and a mortal one ; when he slew my friend, Patroclus."
(10) This light, which is so heavenly in its lustre, and which is everywhere and on everything when we look round us on our arrival here; which, while it lasts, never leaves us, rejoicing us by night as well as by day and lighting up our very dreams; yet, when it fades, fades so fast, and, when it goes, goes out forever, - We may address it in the words of the poet, words which we might apply so often in this transitory life : Too soon your value from your loss we learn !
R. Sharp's Epistles in Verse, ii.
(11) See “Observations on a Diarnond that shines in the dark.” — Boyle's Works, I. 789
(12) Cicero, in his Essay De Senectute, has drawn his images from the better walks of life ; and Shakspeare, in his Seven Ages, has done so too. But Shakspeare treats his subject satirically ; Cicero, as a philosopher. In the venerable portrait of Cato we discover no traces of “the lean and slippered pantaloon."
Every object has a bright and a dark side ; and I have endeavored to look at things as Cicero has done. By some, however, I may be thought to have followed too much my own dream of happiness ; and in such a dream indeed I have often passed a solitary hour. It was castle-building once ; now it is no longer so. But whoever would try to realize it would not perhaps repent of his eudeavor.
(13) A Persian poet has left us a beautiful thought on this subject, which the reader, if he has not met with it, will be glad to know, and, if he has, to remember.
Thee on thy mother's knees, a new-born child,
(14) The anecdote here alluded to is related by Valerius Maximus, Lib. iv. c. 4.
(15) In our early youth, while yet we live only among those we love, we love without restraint, and our hearts overflow in every look, word and action. But when we enter the world, and are repulsed by strangers, forgotten by friends, we grow more and more timid in our approaches even to those we love best.
How delightful to us, then, are the little caresses of children! All sincerity, all affection, they fly into our arms; and then, and then only, do we feel our first confidence, our first pleasure.
(16) This is a law of nature. Age was anciently synonymous with power ; and we may always observe that the old are held in more or less honor as men are more or less virtu
Shame," says Homer, “bids the youth beware how he accosts the man of many
years.” “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of an old man." -Leviticus.
Among us, and wherever birth and possessions give rank and authority, the young and the profligate are seen continuaily above the old and the worthy ; there age can never find its due respect. But among many of the ancient nations it was otherwise ; and they reaped the benefit of it. : Rien ne maintient plus les moeurs, qu'une extrême subordination des jeunes gens envers les vieillards. Les uns et les autres seront contenus, ceuxlà par le respect qu'ils auront pour les vieillards, et ceuxci par le respect qu'ils auront pour eux-mêmes. Montesquieu.
(17) How many generations have passed away, how many empires and how many languages, since Ilomer sung his verses to the Greeks! Yet the words which he uttered, and which were only so much fleeting breath, remain almost entire to this day, and will now, in all probability, continue to delight and instruct mankind as long as the world endures.
(18) Before I went into Germany, I came to Brodegate in Leicestershire, to take my leave of that noble Lady Jane Grey, to whom I was exceeding much beholding. Her parents, the duke and duchess, with all the household, gentlemen and gentlewomen, were hunting in the park. I found her in her chamber reading Phædo Platonis in Greek, and that with as much delight as some gentlemen would read a merry tale in Boccace. After salutation, and duty done, with some other talk, I asked her why she would lose such pastime in the park ? Smiling, she answered me, “I wist, all their sport in the park is but a shadow to that pleasure which I find in Plato.” -- Roger Ascham. .
(19) Dante in his old age was pointed out to Petrarch when a boy; and Dryden to Pope.
Who does not wish that Dante and Dryden could have known the value of the homage that was paid them, and foreseen the greatness of their young admirers ?
(20) IIe had arrived at Naples, and was preparing to visit Sicily and Greece, when, hearing of the troubles in England, he thought it proper to hasten home.
(21) I began thus far to assent ... to an inward prompting which now grew daily upon me, that by labor and intent study (which I take to be my portion in this life), joined with the strong propensity of nature, I might perhaps leave something so written to aftertimes as they should not willingly let it die. - Milton.
Nor can his wish be unfulfilled. Calumniated in his lifetime and writing what few would read, he left it to a voice which none could silence, - a voice which would deliver it to all nations, - in the Old World and the New.
A good book (to quote his own words) is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, and to destroy it is to slay an immortality rather than a life.
(22) Love and devotion are said to be nearly allied. Boccaccio fell in love at Naples in the church of St. Lorenzo ; as Petrarch had done at Avignon in the church of St. Clair.
(23) Is it not true that the young not only appear to be, but really are, most beautiful in the presence of those they love ? It calls forth all their beauty.
(24) Xenophon has left us a delightful instance of conjugal affection.
The King of Armenia not fulfilling his promise, Cyrus entered the country, and having taken him and all his family prisoners, ordered them instantly before him. Armenian, said he, you are free ; for you are now sensible of your error.
And what will you give me, if I restore your wife to you ? - All that I am able. - What, if I restore your children ?
All that I am able. - And you, Tigranes, said he, turning to the son, what would you do to save your wife from servitude ? Now, Tigranes was but lately married, and had a great love for his wife. Cyrus, he replied, to save her from servitude, I would willingly lay down my life.
Let each have his own again, said Cyrus ; and, when he was departed, one spoke of his clemency, and another of his valor, and another of his beauty and the graces of his person. Upon which Tigranes asked his wife if she thought him handsome. Really, said she, I did not look at him.---- At whom then did you look ?--At him who said he would lay down his life for me. -Cyropædia, L. III.
(25) “When such is the ruling, the habitual sentiment of our minds," says Paley, “the world becomes a temple, and life itself one continued act of worship.” We breathe aspirations all day long.
(26) Hers the mournful privilege, "adsidere valetudini, fovere deficientem, satiari vultu, complexu.” — Tacitus.
(27) We may have many friends in life ; but we can only have one mother ; "a discovery,” says Gray, “which I never made till it was too late.”
The child is no sooner born than he clings to his mother; nor, while she lives, is her image absent from him in the hour of his distress. Sir John Moore, when he fell from his horse in the battle of Corunna, faltered out with his dying breath some message to his mother ; and who can forget the last words of Conradin, when, in his fifteenth year, he was led forth to die at Naples, “O my mother ! how great will be your grief, when you hear of it!"
(28) How exquisite are those lines of Petrarch !
Le crespe chiome d'or puro lucente,
(29) These circumstances, as well as some others that follow, are happily, as far as they regard England, of an ancient date. To us the miseries inflicted by a foreign invader are now known only by description. Many generations have passed away since our country-women saw the smoke of an enemy's camp.
But the same passions are always at work everywhere, and their effects are always nearly the same; though the circumstances that attend them are infinitely various.
(30) Si tout cela consistoit en faits, en actions, en paroles, on pourroit le décrire et le rendre en quelque façon : mais comment dire ce qui n'étoit ni dit, ni fait, ni pensé même, mais goûté, mais senti. Le vrai bonheur ne se décrit pas. - Rousseau.
(31) How welcome to an old man is the society of a young one! IIe, who is here mentioned, would propose a walk wherever we were, unworthy as I was of his notice; and one as great, if not greater, when we were interrupted in his library at St. Anne's, and I withdrew but for a moment to write down what I wished so much to remember, would say when I returned, “Why do you leave me ? ” words which few would forget, and which come again and again to me when half a century is gone by.
(32) So many pathetic affections are awakened hy every exercise of social devotion, that most men, I believe, carry away from public worship a better temper towards the rest of mankind than they brought with them. Ilaving all one interest to secure, one Lord to serve, one judgment to look forward to, we cannot but remember our common relationship, and our natural equality is forced upon our thoughts. The distinctions of civil life are almost always insisted upon too much, and whatever conduces to restore the level inproves the character on both sides. If ever the poor man holds up his head, it is at church ; if ever the rich man looks upon him with respect, it is there; and both will be the better the oftener they meet where the feeling of superiority is mitigated in the one and the spirit of the other is erected and confirmed. - - Paley.
(33) A custom in some of our country churches.
(34) An English breakfast ; which may well excite in others what in Rousseau continued through life, un goût vif pour les déjeûnés. C'est le temps de la journée où nous sommes le plus tranquilles, où nous causons le plus à notre aise.
The luxuries here mentioned, familiar to us as they now are, were almost unknown before the Revolution.
(35) He who resolves to rise in the world by politics or religion can degrade his mind to any degree, when he sets about it. Overcome the first scruple, and the work is done. “ You hesitate," said one who spoke from experience. “Put on the mask, young man ; and in a very little while you will not know it from your own face.”
(36) Zeuxis is said to have drawn his IIelen from an assemblage of the most beautiful women; and many a writer of fiction, in forming a life to his mind, has recourse to the brightest moments in the lives of others.
I may be suspected of having done so here, and of having designed, as it were, from living models; but, hy making an allusion now and then to those who have really lived, I thought I should give something of interest to the picture, as well as better illustrate my meaning.
(37) “By the Mass !” said the Duke of Norfolk to Sir Thomas More, “by the Mass! Master More, it is perilous striving with princes; the anger of a prince is death."_" And is that all, my lord ? then the difference between you and me is but this --- That I shall die to-day, and you to-morrow." - Roper's Life.
(38) Traitor's gate, the water-gate in the Tower of London.
(39) This very slight sketch of Civil Dissension is taken from our own annals ; but, for an obvious reason, not from those of our own age.
The persons here immediately alluded to lived more than a hundred years ago, in a reign which Blackstone has justly represented as wicked, sanguinary and turbulent ; but such times have always afforded the most signal instances of heroic courage and ardent affection.
Great reverses, like theirs, lay open the human heart. They occur indeed but seldom ; yet all men are liable to them ; all, when they occur to others, make them more or less their own; and, were we to describe our condition to an inhabitant of some other planet, could we omit what forms so striking a circumstance in human life?
(40) A prisoner, prosecuted for high treason, may now make his defence by counsel. In the reign of William the Third the law was altered ; and it was in rising to urge the necessity of an alteration, that Lord Shaftesbury, with such admirable quickness, took advantage of the embarrassment that seized him. “If I,” said he, “who rise only to give my opinion of this bill, am so confounded that I cannot say what I intended, what must be the condition of that man, who, without any assistance, is pleading for his life ? "
(41) Lord Russell. May I have somebody to write, to assist my memory ? Mr. Attorney General. Yes, a servant.
Lord Chief Justice. Any of your servants shall assist you in writing anything you please for you. Lord Russell. My wife is here, my Lord, to do it. -- State Trials, II.
(42) See the Alcestis of Euripides, v. 194.
(43) Such as Russell found in Cavendish ; and such as many have found.
(44) An allusion to the last interview of Sir Thomas More and his daughter Margaret. “Dear Meg," said he, when afterwards with a coal he wrote to bid her farewell, “I never liked your manner towards me better ; for I like when daughterly love and dear charity have no leisure to look to worldly courtesy." - Roper's Life.
(45) Epaminondas, after his victory at Leuctra, rejoiced most of all at the pleasure which it would give his father and mother; and who would not have envied them their feelings ?
Cornelia was called at Rome the mother-in-law of Scipio. “When," said she to her sons,
"shall I be called the mother of the Gracchi ?"
(16) At illa quanti sunt, animum tanquam emeritis stipendiis libidinis, ambitionis, contentionis, inimicitiarum, cupiditatum omnium, secum esse, secumque (ut dicitur) vivere ? --- - Cic de Senectute.
(47) Hinc ubi jam emissum caveis ad sidera cceli
Nare per estatem liquidam suspexeris agmen,
(48) Richard the First. For the romantic story here alluded to we are indebted to the French chroniclers. — See Fauchet. Recueil de l’Origine de la Langue et Poësie Fr.
(49) She was under all her sails, and looked less like a ship incrusted with ice than ice in the fashion of a ship. - See the Voyage of Captain Thomas James, in 1631.
(50) An act of filial piety represented on the coins of Catana, a Greek city, some remains of which are still to be seen at the foot of Mount Ætna.* The story is told of two brothers who, in this manner, saved both their parents. The place from which they escaped was long called the field of the pious ; and public games were annually held there to commemorate the event.
(51) What a pleasing picture of domestic life is given to us by Bishop Berkeley in his letters! “ The more we have of good instruments, the better ; for all my children, not excepting my little daughter, learn to play, and are preparing to fill my house with harmony against all events, that, if we have worse times, we may have better spirits.”
(52) See the Alcestis of Euripides, v. 328.
(53) How often, says an excellent writer, do we err in our estimate of happiness! When I hear of a man who has noble parks, splendid palaces, and every luxury in life, I always inquire whom he has to love; and, if I find he has nobody, or does not love those he has, in the midst of all his grandeur I pronounce him a being in deep adversity. }
(54) Cicero. It is remarkable that, among the comforts of old age, he has not mentioned those arising from the society of women and children. Perhaps the husband of Terentia and “the father of Marcus felt something on the subject, of which he was willing to spare himself the recollection."
(55) An old writer breaks off in a very lively manner at a later hour of the night. “But the Hyades run low in the heavens, and to keep our eyes open any longer were to act our Antipodes. The huntsmen are up in America, and they are already past their first sleep in Persia."
* It is introduced also, and very happily, by two great inasters; by Virgil in the Sack of Troy, and by Raphael in the Incendio di Burgo,