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and discover such pleasing resemblances, as will tempt him to make similar comparisons of other eminent men who have figured in modern and ancient history.
It has often occurred to me, that a very entertaining and useful book might be written on these characteristical resemblances. Strong touches of similitude might be found between Cromwell and Pisistratus, Richard III. and Jugurtha, Dionysius and Harry VIII.; Lewis XIV., Augustus, and Alyattes; Mithridates and Hyder Ally:-on the fairer side of the comparison, between Henry VII. and Vespasian; between Washington, Timoleon, and Doria; Andrew Marvel, Aristides, and Scipio Nasica; Wolfe, Epaminondas, and the son of Cato the younger. The point of resemblance between the three last heroes, was the moment of their deaths: they all died in the lap of victory, rejoicing to think that the last instant of their lives should add a fresh laurel to their brows.
This leads me to observe another very solemn resemblance, which must come home to the memories and the bosoms of the sensible
readers. The illustrious earl Chatham, and that Crassus whom Cicero so feelingly deplores, sealed their patriotism with the last act of their lives, and sunk down, in the midst of an awe-struck senate, under the weight of their duty and the excess of their exertions. Cicero concludes his account of this melancholy event with these affecting expressions: “ Illa tanquam cycnea fuit divini hominis vox et oratio, quam quasi ex pectantes post ejus interitum veniebamus in curiam, ut vestigium illud ipsum in quo ille postremum institis. set, contueremur; namque tum latus ei dicenti condoluisse, sudoremque multum consecutum esse audiebamus; ex quo cùm cohorruisset, cum febri do
mum rediit, dieque septimo lateris dolore consumptusest.”_"Thelast words of thisexcellent man were like the dying notes of the swan. At the news of his death we repaired to the senate-house, where we dwelt with enthusiasm on this last trace of him, and almost worked up our fancies to the expectation of hearing again that voice which we had often listened to with delight. This last effort was too much for the frame of his body, which laboured under the ardour of his exertions. He proceeded with symptoms of great inward pain, and the sweat dropped from him in quantities; after which, he was seized with a shivering, and returned home in a raging fever, which terminated in his death at the end of seven days."
Having now presented my readers with enough of my own reflections on the advantages and abuses of biography, I shall lay before them a letter which has been brought to me since the appearance of my paper of last Saturday: it is from the gentleman whom I have already introduced under the title of Projector.
“ MY OLD FRIEND,
“ I approve so much of most of your ideas on the subject of biography, that I have resolved to scheme a little upon them; and as soon as the distraction of my other engagements will allow me a moment's respite, I will send you the draught of a plan, in which you will recognize many of your favourite ideas. I have started so many embryos lately, that it is now a full week, by my housekeeper's almanack, since my beard has been shaved, or my watch wound up. But as soon as my diving-machine is finished, which is to disclose to us the kingdoms of Behemoth and the great Leviathan, and to carry my wife and children to the bottom of the ocean, I shall have leisure to meditate some scheme of advantage to the art of biography.
“ Some thoughts occurred to me the other night in bed :- I was thinking that my countrymen might be distributed into twelve classes, or tribes ; and that for each of these classes there should be made twelve little bags, to answer to the months of the year; that these bags again should be divided into four lots, representative of the four seasons; and that in every bag there should be thirty tickets, numbered according to the days of the month; that to each class also there should be twelve other bags, containing each thirty tickets, that, on every one of these last thirty tickets, there should be written some suitable and natural event, agreeable to the class to which it belonged.
“ With this apparatus, suppose me sitting down to the task of biography. The only assistance I require is that of a little boy who can put his hand into a bag, and reckon as far as thirty; so that the saving of labour will be almost as one to a hundred. Suppose a two-and-sixpenny life of a man of fashion be wanted : I call for my twelve bags belonging to his class, which I shall name, for distinction sake, Bagatelles ; I give my boy the bag for January, and take the other
bag into my own hand, containing the eventful tickets: he calls out with a solemn voice, • No. 13.' I draw my ticket, and find on it, ' Rose at twelve-breakfasted-took three turns in Bondstreet—tried on a pair of pantaloons-sat two hours with while she thrummed on the pianodined at the Piazza-went drunk to lady D-'s, and lost my money to the general.' Now, by the help of these thirty tickets, contained in every bag,
which may be transposed and diversified like the letters of the alphabet, I can produce an exhaustless variety; and though each person at the end of the month, will have gone though pretty much the same process with the rest of his class, yet the order and succession of events may always be different. My wife prefers getting into my bag, to going down in my diving-bell ; and my eldest boy, who has just finished the life of Whittington and his Cat, declares he will wait till he is lord-mayor of London, and then let the cat out of the bag, by getting into it himself.
“ Yours, &c.”
“P. S. As fast as the emperors and kings of Sweden can die, I shall put them into my bags ; as I shall of course have a particular class for princes, popes, emperors, czars, chams, kings of the gipsies, sultans, bashaws, &c.
“The idea of my bags is classical, inasmuch as it was suggested to me by the wind-bags of which Ulysses talks to Alcinoüs in the Odyssey."
Nunc ego te in hac re mihi oro ut adjutriz fies.
Now, reader, tell me what I shall do to satisfy such opposite
demands. I AM mightily encouraged in the prosecution of my work, by the notice that is taken of me by the ladies, who begin to favour me with their censures and commendations through the channel of a delightful correspondence. As none of these letters are sent to me with any limitations or injunctions, I shall make no scruple of laying them before the public.
“ I am one of those who took in your first and second papers, but have since discontinued them : nor do I know why I should scruple to declare to you my reasons, since I am sure I shall be countenanced in them by all those ladies who live in the great world, and have the true dash and fire of fashion about them. I tell thee fairly then, Old Simon, that thou art too quakerish and formal for me; and there is in thy manner something too much of-of-I don't know what exactly, but I believe of virtue.
“I expected something monstrously wicked and delightful was coming, when you called yourself the Looker-on. Well, I read over your first paper with great attention, and found it very chaste and very dull ; but I made sure of being shocked at a