Obrázky na stránke


N one of my papers, some time ago, ding for the following Saturday. - The

I threw out a hint relative to a paso proposition being approved by the parent fion which my young rogue Harry had of each, I retired to make Harry happy conceived for Miss Cornelia March. with the intelligence, and in pursuance mont, whom I mentioned as the very of the agreement, I faw him blessed with abstract of every mental perfection, and one of the wortbiest, as well as sweetest, every personal accomplishment. Mycon- girls in the universe, with ten thousand jeature, for a confiderable while, was ac, pounds in her pocket, last Saturday quiring fresh foundation; but as my ne- morning. Harry has fifteen hundred a phew Paid nothing of the matter to me, year himself; and my lifter, who has a I took no notice of it to him, though I very good jointure, is, I fancy, make could not help smiling at the belief ing a purse for him into the bargain; fo which he entertained, that I was totally that, between what he muft have upon ignorant in regard to the object of his her decease, and upon the decease of atfe Stions. Last Monday fevennight, another person, who shall be nameless however, he came to me with an air of there will be ample provision for a ribog the greatest transport, and after apolo- family, gizing for not having made me ac. As I look upon a wedding-day to be quainted with the business a little sooner, one of the most important calls which informed me, that Miss Marchmont either of the sexes have in their whole had blesed him that morning with the lives for the exertion of an extraordiacknowledgment of a reciprocal esteem, nary delicacy, I was not a little atten. and that I was the person whom she had tive to the behaviour of my two favou. pitched upon to open a negotiation be- rites; and it gave me infinite pleasure to tween the two families.

obferve, upon the whole, that Harry's As I do not know any young lady behaviour was manly, tender, and re'existing who possesses a greater Mare of spectful, without deviating into that ful. my esteem than Mifs Marchmont, nor some disagreeable fondness, of which

ever saw a person so immediately calcu. even men of the beit fenfe are often lated to make my boy happy, I thook guilty, when they have just obtained him cordially by the hand, wished him the woman of their heart. As to Cor, joy from the bottom of my heart, and nelia, I never saw a young creature in instantly set out to my filter Rattle, who her fituation conduct hertelt with more is a very worthy woman, though the propriety : to all the dignity of conscious Loinetimes will argue with me about a virtue, she joined all the ineffable fweet, point of philosophy; and is a very fen:ness of an engaging timidity; and though lible one too, though he has within the seemed proud of the inan whom the these three months found fault with one had thus preferred to all the world, yet or two of 'niy Bablers. Luckily, on The had too much fenfibility not to feel my entrance, I found Mr. Marchmon, fome amiable terrors, at fo awful an al, Cornelia's father, chatting with her at teration of her circumitances, the parlour fire; and as he and I have After the perfornance of the cere; been intimately acquainted above thirty mony, we all retired to Mr. March years, I opened the business of my er- mont's; and there being a large com. rand without any ceremony, and this pany of us, Harry judiciously proposed the more especially, because I kne v nej- an unremitting round of amusements, ther could have any reasonable cbjection both before dinner and after, which ento the match. Every thing turned out tirely employed the attention even of the 35 I expected; both were rejoices as the most volatile, and prevented the circuaffection between the young people; and lation of those indelicate ambiguities there being no mighty matters of law to with which the generality of weddingretard the celebration of the nuptials, į days are frequently disgraced, so that thought it belt to make short work of the our mirth was, as it ought to be, ming. and accordingly fixed the wed, led with good sense and manners; and

* A2

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of course the harmony of a day could circumstances fufficiently embarrassed, be little liable to interruption, while that without hearing any illiberal pleasantries harmony was regulated by reason and, from the company to enhance the difticivility.

culties of her fituation. When the con I have been often locked, at the so- liders that the happiness or misery of lemnization of a marriage, to see the her life materially depends upon the ridiculous, I had almost laid the profilia choice which the has then made, the has gate, levity with which people have ap-' cause enough for terror; and when the proached the altar of the D.vine Being, conlides the privilege which is shortly. and jested with one another at the instant to be claimed by the object of that choice; of fupplicating a blefling from his hand; when the considers that the delicate re. nay, I have been many rimes prefent serve, in wbich he has all her life been where the clergyman who read the fer- brought up, is in an initant to be facrivice has congidered the affair as a matter ficed to his inclination; I say, when all of the greatest merriment, and even these things are con ludered, nothing can winked with a peculiar degree of arch- be more in olent, or indeed more cruel pels at the bride, when he cane to men. than to aggravate her dittress by the tion she procreation of children. practice of any improper jocularities.

One would imagine, on a wedding. People, I ain lensible, are strangely arday, that if the friends of the married tached to old cultonis; but every custom couple had even no veneration for the should be abolithel, which is in the least Deity, they would at least have fone l'epugnant to reason and civility: on little share of politeneis; jod be actu- which account, I flatter myself the ated by a tender concern for the feelings leader will give a proper attention to of ihre la ly, if they even felt no awe this fubjiet, and correct the error I have whatrouver in the presence of their God. here ben speaking of, as far as he is A woman of any sensibility, on her able, in the circuit of his acquaintance. wedding-slay, muß naturally be in

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

8 No CXXI." SATURDAY, MAY 21. URING the ime of the celebrat- When I got home, however, I could

Tomas Kouli Kahn, it was not help reflecting, that notwithstanding a common amusement with him and his the conscious pride of heart which we officers to take a number of aftes, and all poiletfest in the monient of self-contry, who could make the deepest incifion gratulation, a number of amusements in the backs of those unfortunate ani, . could be, pointed out in this kingdom mals with a fabre: he that cut fartheit conbderabiy more barbarous than the was allowed the regulation of the strong practice of hewing an ass to pieces, eft manj and frequently it happens ud though this appeared fo justly flocking that one of the miserable greatuiles was to our imaginations : nay, what is stil entire divided afunder by the force of wole, the enjoyment of several barbaa liugleitigke, This, antcaute, was men- rities is particularly reserved for people tioned at a cluh, tu which I have the of the butt figure and understanding, as honour of belonging, by a gentleman of if thole, whose feeling should be ununquitongbie, veracity and good fense, commonly tender, had an additionat whu was, inany years are identin Perfia, . title to the commission of cruelties, and and was an occafional, fpectator at leve; as if, a violent outrage upon every fentia: ral of tbefe inhuman, Jivellions :, the ment of humanity Mould be the peculiar whoic coinpany, to their bonour it inutt privilege of birth and fortune. My he nentioned, exprefied in' henait ab- readers may be surprized at this ohferhorrence at fuch, labarous relaxations; vation upon the people of Englaus ; and we all congratulated ourselves upon yet, let me alk, if it be more cruel to : living in a country where it would be torture anals, than to torture a ftay? or fcandalous for the yery firt orders to whether it is not even more compailior. imitate the Perfian licro in his brutal ate to dispatch the firit at a blow, than exerçiluse

to pursue, the latter for a number of


[ocr errors]

hours, encreasing the wretched animal's cultivated savage with horror, and give agonv at every step, and yielding it up liim, if posible, a ftill invre contemptible at lait to a death that must harrow up iHea of Christianity. An Indian Brachthe bosum of any good-natored man min, for instance, will frequently go to who allows himself a moment's fpace the sea-side, while the fishermen are for reflection?

drawing their ners, and purchase a whole The inore, in reality, that we consider' boatful of fish, for the humane fatisfacthis point, 'the more we shall find it ne- tion of restoring the expiring creatures cellary to condemn the inhabitants of to their natural element, and snatching this civilized, this benevolent country.' them from death: way, the tenderness The Persian, when he dispatches the un. of the Brachning is so excessive with fortunate als, commits no trespal's upon regard to the animal creation, that they' the property of his neighbour, nor ma- have been known to purchase càttle at nifests any disregard to the distresses of an extraordinary price, merely to save a friend. The animal whom he deltroys them from faughter; compassionately is his own, it is confined to a particular thinking the lowing heifer or the bleatspot, and nobody can suffer in it's death ing lamb an equal, though an humbler but himself; whereas, in the prosecu- heir of existence, with themselves. What, tion of the chace with us, we trample then, wouki men of this exalted benevoinconfiderately through half a county, lence think of the British nation, wert perlaps over the corn grounds and in theġ to fee with what lolemnity the right clotures which the industrious farmer of murdering an innocent partridge, or has cultivated, or planted at a very great a harmless hare, is settled by the legislaexpence; and if the person whom we tive power of the kingdom? Were they thus injure expresses any relentinent at to fee the armies which at particular seaour conduct, we possibly horsewhip himi fonis illue forth to destroy the warbling for his infolence, and tend him home inhabitants of the air for actual diverwith the reparation of a bleeding head fion, the sportive tenants of the river for to comfort his wife and children. This idle recreatior; but, above all, what is not all; in the phrenzy of a hunting- wonld they feel to see a generous domatch, as well as being sensible of the meltic little bird fcandaloufly tied to a wrongs which we offer to others, we 'Rake, and denied' the malleit chance of become wholly unmindful of the preju. hfe, at the eve of a facred faft set apart, dice which we do ourselves; for, let our by our holy religion for the purposes of lives be of ever such consequence to our extrordinary fanétity, and the business families, we be me regardlets of dans of unulural mortification. It is impoffigers, we never hettare at leaps that are ble to imagine what they would feel, manifestly big “with dettroction; and when there are even Christians to be 'even if the brother of our 'breait ihould found who cannot see the practice with meet with any accident in this mad- out horror, nor think of it without tears. headed courle, so far from ftopping to I am far from carrying my notions of allilt him, we make an absolute jeit of ten lerness to the animal creation behis misfortune, and expréis a renle of yond the bounds of reason, as the pieafure in proportion 4s we find him Brachmins do, who think it irreligious involved in diftrets: if he dislocates a to feed upon any thing which has ever leg or an art by a fall from his horse, heen endried with life, because I believe he affords us an exquisite entertainment; the great Author of all things designer] but if he actually fractures his skull, these animals principally for the ule and our mirth becoines extravagant, and we fuftenance of man: yet," at the same continue wild with delight, vill happi- time that I hippose they were formed by ness is totally efficed by intoxication. the Deity for the relief of ons necessities,

The civilized nations' of Europe are I calhotinigine he ever intended they extremely ready, apon all occasions, to thould be tortured through «antonnels, itigmatize every other part of the world or destroyed for diversion: Nor can I with the epithet of barbarians; though inagine, but that even the fuperftitious the appellation might, with infinitely forbearance of the Brachmins is infi. more propriety, be conferred upon them. nitely more pleasing in his fight, than selves. Among the politeft of our neigh- the inconfiderate cruelty of those who bours there are a thoufand customs profefs an immediate obedience to his kept up which would fill the most un. word. A God all-merey never takes


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

delight in the unneceffary agony of a less are apt to promote their amusements creatare whom he has been pleased to at the expence of their humanity, should endue with existence: we therefore offer what I have here offered be aftended with an insult to him, when we give a need, the reformation but of an individual, less pang to the meanest of his creatures; I shall think my time well employed, and absolutely pervert the design of bis Ridicule I must naturally expect from Providence, whenever we facrihce those numbers, for daring to combat with fa. animals to our amusements which he vourite prejudices; but it is my consola. has constituted entirely for the relief tion, that no witticism whatever which of our wants.

may be aimed at me as a writer can, on I have thrown out these reflections the present subject of animadverfion, do with a benevolent purpose. As such me the minutest injury as a man. numbers of the ignorant and the thought

[merged small][ocr errors]


E are told by Plutarch, that In poetical composition, there is no

whenever the celebrated Pho- thing more frequent than the practice of cion stood up in the senate to speak up- clogging a line with a load of useless on the business of the nation, Demofthe. epithet, or unmeaning pleonasm, merely nes, who generally espoused a different to fill out the necesiary quantity of lyl. fyltem of politics, would whisper the per- lables. To point out what I inean more fon who sat next him, and say, Here comes trongly, I shall give the reader an exthe pruning-hook of my periods. For my ample from a man of no less consequence own part, greatly asb myself may fall than Addison. The following ill-writunder the cominon censure with the ge- ten fimile in Cato has been greatly adnerality of my brother scribblers, I could mired, and even in the Guardian it is nevertheless with that the present age had quoted as one of the principal beauties some falutary pruning-hook to lop off which excites the admiration of Lady the redundancies of expression in literary Lizard and her familycomposition, that the reader might not be put to the trouble of going over an

So the pure limpid stream, when foul'd with "unnecessary number of words, which,

ftains instead of helping out a writer's fenfe, Qf gufping torrents, and ending rains most commonly have quite a contrary Works itself clear, and as it runs refines, effect, and only serve to obscure the ten- Tillby degrees ibe floating mirror fbines; Idency of his arguments.

Reflect each flow'r that,

at on the border grows, In the prosaic productions of the press, And a new heaven in it's fair bolom thews. our modern writers, initead of aiming at conciseness and perfpicuity, are too apt In the four first lines of this fimile, the to study what is called a rotundity of judicious, reader will immediately. perperiod; and too ready to trespass upon ceive that the poet has done little more propriety, for the mere consideration of than called a spade a spade;' that is, made embellishment. Thus, to make a fen- use of synonimous epithets or meanings tence rollfloridly on the ear, they often entirely similar. The cpishet pure is sun into the moit tedious repetitions; and juit the same as limpid; and we all know ufe double the requisite quantity of that when a fream is fouled, it must be words, from an unaccountable fuppofi- ftained of course. In like manner, is ition that an elegance of stile is consti- work itself clear, it snuff refine asit rups; tused by an absolute prolixity. where- and, consequently, refining only, as it slims, a moment's recollection must fatisfy runs, it's thining must be gradual. Tots

a fenfible mind that the fooner we dil ferious, the poet night as well repeatene cover our meanings, the more maltely term pura, as follow it with, ihe term lin our peus mult be naturaily etteainesh; and pid; and lie might with just the same cle

the louner we inform the understanding gance tell us, that the stream was fained is of a leader, the more capable we are to with ftains, as use a word of just the same 14 anfwer the important denigas of his in. Agnification. Mr. Ashllon Lorerer 1 Aruciion.

highly entitled so ou acheiration in a


profe-writer, "has, as a versifier, but of the world is much more inclined to Imall pretenlións to our applause; it is kindle with disdain, than to sparkle with not therefore fo much to censure him admiration; he ought to consider that that I have pointed out the present im- an indifferent reader may look with the perfection, as to warn my poetical pur. greatest contempt upon the very passage chasers from copying the mistake. In which he himself views with fo exquilite poetry our epithets Mould never be a degree of satisfaction; and he ought forced--properly used, they have a fine also to consider, that the noblest flight effect; but when they are visibly drag- of genius, improperly brought in, is at ged in to spin out the measure of a line, best but a shining absurdity. and are moreover bald repetitions of the For these realons, therefore, when a same idea, they become abominable. writer fits down to work upon a subject Nothing contributes more to their beauty which he imagines of confequence to than variety; and nothing is easier than mankind, let him by all means prefer to render them various. A stream, for the substantial advantages of intrinsic instance, has more qualities than one; use to the Alimsey fripperies of outside it may be imooth as well as limpid; and ornament; let him endeavour to be clear a rofe, besides it's cotour, has fragrance before he itrives to be florid; and let to distinguish it. When, therefore, our him, where he aims at a floridity of obvjects have qualities enough to supply ftile, take care that he is not in danger us with a divertiry of epithets, it must of Atriking on the quick sands of a dull be a ttrange forgetfulness indeed to pick repetition, or a lifeless prolixity. Stile out a fynonim, and to tell the world is but a very insignificant circumstance, that what is excellent is excellent. unless it has actual matter to embellish;

The great art of all stile is for a writer and it must render a man truly ridicunever to throw away his words; never to lous indeed, who takes a world of pains introduce any thing into his piece but in the formation of a sentence which what is really necessary for the main cannot pollibly answer the most incongpurpose of his dehyn. It is not because derable end. Upon the whole, if we he has a pompous periori of prose to dif- cannot attain a ftile in literary compolplay, or has a mind to parade with a tion without tediousness or jaytology; particular blaze of poetical fancy, that if we are forced to load every period with he should overleap the bounds of pro- an unnecessary weight of words, merely priety. No coinpobition can have merit to give our sentiments a little air of but in proportion as it is founded upon smoothness and order; I think it would good fenfe; and good fenfe must always in general be adviseable if we avoided an feel an injury where a stab is directed at acquaintance with pen and ink; though, propriety. For these reasons, an author at any rate, a plain little frock will be ihould always aim at faying pertinent come us infinitely better than a tawdry things in préference to fine ones; and fantaitic coat covered entirely with tina when his partiality for some new fenti- fel, and marking us out to the world as ment is running away with his judge a ridiculous compound of affectation and ment, 'he ought to consider that the eye inability.

[ocr errors]



T is now above four years fince the humble enough to confess a consciourattention of the public; and during that in the cause of virtue has been the prinperiod he has been happily favoured with cipal basis of his success; and is fatis. a reception which, while it does the fied that he owes bis little reputation highest honour to the generosity of bis more to the uprightness of his design readers, inpresses the most lively sense than to the extent of his understanding; of gratitude upon his heart: yet this en- yer, upon recollection, he is not sure couragement he has not vanity to afcribe, but he betrays a greater thare of selfeven by implication, to the account of fushcience, even in his humility, than if fuperior abilities; on the contrary, he is he had laid the most arrogant pretention


« PredošláPokračovať »