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A gentleman once went to Sir Eardley Wilmot, Knt. (late lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas,) under the impression of great wrath and indignation at a real injury he had received from a person high in the political world, and which he was meditating how to resent in the most effectual manner. After relating the particulars, he asked Sir Eardly if he did not think it would be manly to resent it. Yes,” said the knight, “it will be manly to resent it, but it will be God-like to forgive it.” The gentleman declared that this had such an instantaneous effect upon him, that he came away quite a different man, and in a very different temper from that in which he went.
Mr. Cecil observes of the late ingenious artist, , Bacon, that though he was naturally irritable, yet he was not at all vindictive: he was warm in his attachments, but more disposed to lament his wrongs than to resent them. " I do not recol. lect,” says Mr. C., any one in which I have observed so much natural irritability tempered with such meekness and forbearance. The following instance will exemplify this remark. While Mr. Bacon was walking one day in Westminster Abbey, he observed a person standing before his principal work, who seemed to pride himself on his taste and skill in the arts, and who was exuberant in his remarks. 16 This monument of Chatham,” said he to Mr. B. (whom it is evident he took for a stranger,)“ is admirable upon the whole, but it has great defects.” " I should be greatly obliged,” said Mr. B., “ if you would be so kind as to point them out to me.” Why, here,” said the critic; and there : do you not
see? Bad-very bad !" at the same time employing his stick upon the lower figures with a violence that was likely to injure the work." " said Mr. B., " I should be glad to be acquainted why the parts you touched are bad ?” He found, however, nothing determinate in the reply, but the same vague assertions repeated and accompanied with the same violence.“ I told Bacon," said he,“ repeatedly of this while the monument was forming : I pointed out other defects; but I could not convince him.” “What, then, you are personally acquainted with Bacon?” said Mr. B. “O yes,” replied the stranger; “ I have been intimate with him for many years.” Mr. B., instead of being roused to indignant anger, only said, “ It is well for you, then,” taking his leave of him,
“ that your friend Bacon is not now at your elbow; for he would not have been pleased at seeing his work so roughly handled.”
It happened, during a voyage from Pensacola to Cadiz, that a captain of infantry, who could not swim (one of the officers who had so basely trepanned Mr. Bowles, and was now accompanying him to Old Spain,) fell overboard; and, as his countrymen exhibited no great degree of celerity in hoisting out the boat, he was in the most im. minent danger of being drowned. Mr. Bowles viewed the scene, and, as it may be easily supposed, was not unmoved at it. He now beheid an enemy, who had committed a flagrant breach of faith on one element, about to be sacrificed by another ; but, at the same time, he saw a fellow creature struggling for existence, and the noble sentiment of a Pagan poet, not unworthy or infe. rior to any ever inculcated by a Christian sage, finally prevailed :
“ Homo sum et nihil a me alienum puto.” Mr. Bowles, at this criticai moment, happened to stand upon the poop, clothed in a Spanish dress, and, having determined on what he was to do, he instantly threw aside his gold-laced habit, and, leaping into the sea, swam towards the spot where his persecutor maintained a feeble and unequal struggle with the waves. Having come up with him, he lifted his head above the water, and addressed himn thus in the Castilian language, within sight and hearing of the officers and ship's crew : “ Wretch! it is in my power either to leave you to your fate, or to precipitate you, at this very moment, to the bottom of the ocean ; live, however (added he, raising him up,) if life can be desirable to such a man as you, and from my hands!” Having spoken thus, he bore him towards the frigate, and helped to get him on board. This circumstance made a suitable impression on the minds of the spectators; and, to the honour of the Spaniards be it recorded, it was mentioned afterwards at Madrid with great eulogium and applause.
“Let nothing,” says one, “ be done too sud. denly or angrily: let us be men of thoughts. It was the habit of more than one holy man, not to give a reply to any important query before he had made a pause, and put up a silent ejaculation; and a steady person used to stop another, inconsiderately hasty, with, “ Pray stay a little; and we shall have done the sooner.”
The late Rev. Mr. Clark, of Frome, was a man of peace. He was one day asked by a friend,
“ How he kept himself from being involved in quarrels?” He answered," By letting the angry person always have the quarrel to himself.” This saying seems to have had some influence on some of the inhabitants of that town; for, when à quarrel has been likely to ensue, they have said, “ Come, let us remember old Mr. Clark, and leave the angry man to quarrel by himself.” If this maxim were followed, it would be a vast saving of expence, of comfort, and of honour, to thousands of the human race.
FORTITUDE, INTREPIDITY, CONTEMPT
OF DEATH, &c. WHAT vast extremes characterise the mind of man! While some tremble at the shaking of a leat, and die in the very thought of danger, others possess not oniy strength of mind sufficient to bear the difficulties of life, but shrink not at the very approach of death itself.
Anaxarchus, the philosopher, having sharply reproved Nicroceon, and being by him ordered to be beaten to death with iron mallets, said, “ Strike, strike on : thou mayest break in pieces this vessel of Anaxarchus, but Anaxarchus himself thou canst not touch.” So Socrates is reported to have cried out, when persecuted, “ Amyntas and Meletus,” said he, “ can kill me, but they cannot hurt me."
When a handful of Spartans undertook to defend the pass of Thermopylæ against the whole army of Persia, so prodigious, it was reported, were the multitude of the Persians, that the very flight of their arrows, would intercept the shining
of the sun.
" Then,” said Dieneces, one of the Spartan leaders, " we shall have the advantage of fighting in the shade.”
Just before the battle of Agincourt, news was brought to King Henry's camp, that the French were exceedingly numerous; that they would bring into the field more than six times the num. ber of the English troops : to which the brave captain Gam immediately replied,
66 Is it so ? then there are enough to be cut in pieces, enough to be taken prisoners, and enough to run away.”
Sir Thomas Moore, some time Lord Chancellor of England, fell into disgrace with his sovereign, and was committed to the Tower: on which occasion, the Lieutenant of the Tower, made an apology for the diet, lodging, and accommodations, as unsuitable to the dignity of so great a man. “ No apology, Sir,” replies the courtly prisoner:
I don't onestion but I shall like your accommodations very well; and, if you once hear me complain, I give you free leave to turn me out of doors."
Sir John Lisle, a royalist in the civil wars, was sentenced to death, after being taken prisoner at the siege of Colchester. This brave man, having tenderiy embraced the corpse of Sir Charles Lucas, his departed friend, immediately presented himself to the soldiers who stood ready for his execution. Thinking that they stood at too great a distance, he desired them to come nearer. One of them said, “I warrant you, Sir, we shall hit you.” He replied, with a smile," Friends, I have been nearer you when you have missed me.”
When Sir Walter Raleigh was brought upon the scaffold to suffer death, he vindicated his conduct in a most eloquent and pathetic speech, and