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HE events which have long agitated all Europe appear to have been increafing, every year, in awful importance. Habituated, in this country, to connect the endearing idea of liberty with that of facial happiness, we furvey the fcenes, exhibited in a neighbouring country, with aftonishment and horror. We have feen a civilized and philofophical people zealous to destroy, not only the popular fuperftition, but even every idea of religion; and yet, with an unaccountable infatuation, madly rushing to an oppofite extreme, and reviving the lang-exploded abfurdities of paganifm. Investing Liberty with the character of a goddefs, they have profaned her altars with the blood of her votaries; her officiating minifters exercifing, under the name of a revolutionary government, the moft terrible defpotifm. Sufpicion and deftruction we have feen to be fynonymous terms; the life of every man in the power of an informer; and to be accufed, imprisoned, and executed, events of course, with fcarce the interval of a moment, Yet, amid all the horrors of a state, fo emphatically called the fyftem of terror,' this nation has difplayed unexpected energy and refources; not only fuccefsfully refifting the combined efforts of the moft formidable powers, but over-running entire countries with her invincible armies. The politician, contemplating fuch a change in the fyftem of Europe, relies no longer on the experience of ages, but is loft in the uncertainty of conjecture: he dreads the propagation of principles, which he thinks fubverfive of all the fanctions of religion and law, and of all the relations and pleasures of focial intercourfe; while, on the other hand, there are not wanting thofe, who, accustomed to confider all events as under the guidance of an over-ruling Providence, are perfuaded, that even those which now feem the most gloomy and inaufpicious, may ultimately tend to promote, in the highest degree, the knowledge, virtue, and felicity of mankind,
In the eastern part of Europe, events have happened, of which virtuous and reflecting minds have entertained more united fentiments. They have beheld, with indignation, a ònce powerful and independent nation deprived of fome of her fineft provinces, by the ruthless hand of violence; a foreign defpot destroying a constitution, not dictated by the madness of a moment or of a faction, but which the paternal fovereign and his people were unanimous in forming, with a rational attention to their own welfare, and the most benevolent views to the happiness of pofterity. The formation of this conftitution they have
feen to be the fignal for a fecond difmemberment of the country; a glorious infurrection, intended to reftore the nation to its ancient independence, fubdued with circumstances of cruelty, characteristic of the most barbarous nations; while the Colofial Power of Oppreffion, perhaps, is preparing to pronounce the fentence of utter political extinction.
We return, for happier profpects, to our own natal foil. We wait, with anxious expectation, the approach of the Royal Virgin,' and invoke the aufpicious gales' to waft her, in safety, to these happy fhores; perfuaded that every circumftance that can augment the domeftic felicity of a beloved fovereign will accord with the fondeft wifhes of expecting thoufands. She will behold a country where loyalty and liberty are united; and where a constitution, in fome points theoretically defective, has been found practically productive of national profperity. With this pleafing theme, however, the recollection of the calamities of war, though yet remote from our native land, will fill recur; and we cannot but exclaim with the courtly Laureat:
O that amid the nuptial flowers we twine
Our hands the Olive's fober leaves might join;
Her prefence teach the storm of war to cease,
Difarm the battle's rage, and charm the world to peace."
In the mean time, in the conduct of this Mifcellany, we shall continue indefatigable in exploring the moft pleafing fources of inftruction and amufement, and by a series of ingenious Original Effays, a judicious Selection of Mifcellaneous Literature, and an impartial Hiftory of the Times, endeavour to merit the diftinction to which we constantly afpire, of being the Repofitory of whatever may contribute to diffuse ufeful Knowledge, or be productive of real, ennobling, and permanent Pleasure.
January 1, 1795.
KNOWLEDGE AND PLEASURE,
The CHOICE of HERCULES; a celebrated ALLEGORY: Illuftrative of the FRONTISPIECE.
Now had the son of Jove mature attain'd
The joyful prime: when youth, elate and gay,
Steps into life, and follows unrefrain'd
Where paffion leads, or prudence points the way.
In the pure mind, at those ambiguous years,
Or vice, rank weed, firft ftrikes her pois'nous root;
Or haply virtue's op'ning bud appears
By just degrees; fair bloom, of fairest fruit:
Summer shall ripen what the spring began ;
Youth's generous fires will glow more conftant in the man.
WHEN Hercules was in that faw two women of a larger ftature
part of his youth, in which it than ordinary approaching toward was natural for him to confider what him. One of them had a very noble courfe of life he ought to purfue, he one day retired into a defert, where the filence and folitude of the place favoured his meditations. As he was mufing on his prefent condition, and very much perplexed in himself on the ftate of life he should choose, he
air, and graceful deportment: her beauty was natural and easy, her perfon clean and unfpotted, her eyes caft toward the ground with an agreeable reserve, her motion and behaviour full of modesty, and her raiment as white as fnow. The other had a great deal
of health and floridnefs in her coun-
My dear Hercules, fays fhe, I find you are very much divided in your own thoughts upon the way of life that you ought to choofe: be my friend, and follow me; I will lead you into the poffeflion of pleafure, and out of the reach of pain, and remove you from all the noife and difquietule of bufinefs. The affairs of either war or peace fhall have no power to disturb you. Your whole employment thall be to make your life ealy, and to entertain every fenfe with its proper gratifications. Sumptuous tables, beds of rofes, clouds of perfumes, concerts of mufic, crowds of beautics, are all in readiness to receive you. Come along with me into this region of delights, this world of pleasure, and bid farewell for ever to care, to pain, to bufinefs
Hercules hearing the lady talk after this manner, defired to know her name: to which the antwered, My friends, and those who are well acquainted with me, call me Happiness; but my enemies, and thofe who would injure my reputation, have given me the name of Pleafore.
By this time the other lady was come up, who addrefied herself to the
young hero in a very
Hercules, fays fhe, I offer my felf to you, because I know you are defcended from the gods, and give proofs of that decent by your love of virtue, and application to the ftudies proper for your age. This makes me hope you will gain both for yourself and me an immortal reputation. But, before I invite you into my fociety and friendship, I will be open and fincere with you, and muft lay down this as an eftablished truth, that there is nothing truly valuable which can be purchated without pains and labour. The gods have fet a price upon every would real and noble pleasure. If gain the favour of the Deity, you muit be at the pains of worshipping him; if the friendship of good men, you must study to oblige them; if you would be honoured by your country, you must take care to ferve it. In fhort, if you would be eminent in war or peace, you must become master of all the qualifications that can make you fo. Thefe are the only terms and conditions upon which I can propofe happiness.
The goddefs of Pleasure here broke in upon her difcourfe: You fee, Her, cules, faid he, that, by her own confellion, the way to her pleature is long and difficult, whereas that which I propoie is thort and eafy.
Alas! faid the other lady, whose vifage glowed with a paffion, made up of fcorn and pity, what are the pleasures you propofe? To eat before you are hungry, drink before you are thirsty, fleep before you are tired, to gratify appetites before they are raifed, and raife fuch appetites as Nature never planted. You never heard the mol delicious mufic, which is the praife of one's felf; nor faw the mott beautiful object, which is the work of one's own hands. Your votaries pafs away their youth in a dream of miftaken pleasures, while they are ho ding up anguish, torment, and remorfe, for old age,