Page images
PDF
EPUB

Wonder.

Reproof. Ambitious fools !” (the Queen reply'd and

frown'd) “ Be all your deeds in dark oblivion drown'd. There sleep forgot, with mighty Tyrants gone ; Your statues moulder'd, and your names un

known."
A sudden cloud straight snatch'd them from

my sight,
And each majestic phanton sunk in night.

When came the smallest tribe I yet had seen ;

Plain was their dress, and modest was their mien. Indiff'rence Great idol of mankind! We neither claim

The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame ;
But safe in desarts from the applause of men,
Would die unheard of as we liv'd unseen.
"Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight

Those acts of goodness, which themselves requite. Delight. O let us still the secret joy (1) partake,

To follow virtue e'en for virtue's sake.' Wonder. “And live there men who slight inmortal fame?

Who then with incense shall adore our name? Information But, mortals ! know, 'tis still our greatest pride

To blaze those virtues which the good would hide. Exciting. Rise, Muses ! rise! Add all your tuneful breath!

These must not sleep in darkness, and in death." Peautiful

She said. (2) In air the trembling music floats, defeription And on the winds triumphant swell the notes ;

So soft, tho' high ; so loud, and yet so clear ;
Ev'n list' ning angels lean from heaven to hear,
To farthest shores th' ambrosial spirit flies,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.

While thus I stood intent to see and hear,

One came, methought, and whisper'd in iny ear ; Queft. with (3) What could thus high thy rash ambition Reproof.

raise ? Art thou, fond youth! a candidate for praise ?!!

(1). The secret joy,” to be expressed with the hand laid upon the breas.

(2)To be spoken as melodiously as possible.

(3) What could thus high," &c. must be spoken with a lower voice than the foregoing.

'Tis true, said I, not void of hopes I came; Apology. For who so fond, as youthful bards, of fame? But few, alas! the casual blessing boast,

Concern.
So hard to gain, so easy to be lost.
How vain that second life in others' breath,
Th' estaté, which wits inherit-after death.
Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign,
(Unsure the tenure, and how vast the fine !)
'The great man's curse, without the gains endure,
Though wretched, flatter'd, and though envy'd,

poor.
All luckless wits their enemies profest,
And all suceessful, jealous friends at best.
Nor fame I slight, nor for her favours call :

Indiff'rence
She comes unlooked for, if she comes at all,
But if the purchase costs so dear a price,

Apprehena As soothing folly, or exalting vice;

fion of evita And if the Muse must flatter lawless sway, And follow still, where fortune leads the way i Or if no basis bear my rising name, But the fall’n ruins of another's fame ; Then teach me, Heav'n, to scorn the guilty bays, Depreca. Drive from my breast that wretched lust of praise. Unblemish'd let me live, or die unknown ; O grant ine honest fame ; or grant me none

X.XX.

POLITE CONVERSATION.

[ocr errors]

The scene between Mr. Bevil and Indiana, in which she endeas

vours to find out whether he has any other regard for her, than that of rational esteem, or Platonic love.

(CONSCIOUS LOVERS.) BEVIL and INDIANA,

Bev. MadaM, your most obe

Refpect

, your most obedient. How do you do to-day? I ain afraid you wished me gone last night before I went. But you were partly to blame. For who could leave you in the agreeable kumour you was in ?

Humility.

Ind. If you was pleased, Sir, we were both pleased. For your company, which is always agreeable, was more peculiarly so last night.

Bev. My company, Madam! You rally, I said very little.

Ind.' Too little you always say, Sir, for my improvement, and for my credit; by the same token, that I am afraid, you gave me an opportunity of saying too much last night ; and unfortunately when a woman is in the talking vein, she wants nothing so much as to have leave to expose herself.

Bev. I hope, Madam, I shall always have the sense to give you leave to expose yourself, as you call it, without interruption.

[Bowing respectfully. ] Ind. If I had your talents, Sir, or your power, to make my actions speak for me, I might be silent, and yet pretend to somewhat more than being agreeable. But as it is

Bev. Really, Madam, I know of none of my actions that deserve your attention, If I might be vain of any thing, it is, that I have understanding enough to mark you out, Madam, from all your sex, as the most deserving object of my esteem.

Ind. [Aside,] A cold word! Though I cannot claim even his esteem. [To him.] Did I think, Sir, that your esteem for me proceeded from any thing in me, and not altogether from your own generosity, I should be in danger of forfeiting it.

Bev. How so, Madain ?

Ind. What do you think, Sir, would be so likely to puff up a weak woman's vanity, as the esteem of a man of understanding ? Esteem is the result of cool reason ; the voluntary tribute paid to inward worth. Who, then, would not be proud of the esteem of a person of sense, which is always unbiassed; whilst love is often the effect of weakness. [Looking hard at Bevil, who casts down his eyes respectfully.] Esteem arises from

Anxiety.

Refpect.

fion.

a higher source, the substantial merit of the mind.

Bev. True, Madam-And great minds only can command it, [bowing respectfully.) The utmost pleasure and pride of my life, Madam, is, Apprehenthat I endeavour to ésteem you as I ought.

Ind. [Aside.) As he ought ! Still more perplexing ! He neither saves nor kills my hope. I will try him a little farther. [To him.) Now, I Question. think of it, I must beg your opinion, Sir, on a point, which created a debate between my aunt and me, just before you came in. She would needs have it, that no man ever does any extraordinary kindness for a woman, but from selfish. Respect. views.

Bev Well, Madam, I connot say, but I am in the main, of her opinion : if she means, by selfish views, what some understand by the phrase ; that is, his own pleasure ; the highest pleasure human nature is capable of, that of being conscious, that from his superfluity, an innocent and virtuous spirit, à person, whom he thinks one of the prime ornaments of the creation, is raised above the temptations and sorrows of life; the pleasure of seeing satisfaction, health and gladness, brighten in the countenance of one he values above all mankind. What a inan bestows in such a way, may, I think, be said, in one sense, to be laid out with a selfish view, as much as if he spent it in cards, dogs, bottle companions, or loose women. with this difference, that he shews a better taste in expense. Nor should i think this any such extraordinary matter of heroism in a man of an easy fortune. Every gentleman ought to be capable of this, and I doubt not but many are. For I hope, there are many who take more delight in in reflection than sensation ; in thinking, than in eating But what am I doing ? [Pulls out his Sudden Rewatch hastily] My hour with Mr. Myrtle is collection. come-Madam, I must take my leave abruptly.

But, if you please, will do myself the pleasure of waiting on you in the afternoon. Till when, Madam, your most obedient.

[Exit.]

XXXI.

SERIOUS MEDITATION.

From Young's Night THOUGHTS.

Alarm.

The
HE clock strikes one. We take no note of

time,
But by its loss. To give it then a tongue
Is wise in man.' As if an angel spoke,
I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright,
It is the knell of my departed hours.
Where are they With the years beyond the

flood.
It is the signal that demands dispatch.
How much is still to do ! My hopes and fears
Start

up

alarm'd, and o'er life's narrow verge Look down-on what ?-A fathomless abyss. Admiration How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,

How complicate, how wonderful is man!
How passing wonder He, who made him such !
Whoʻcenter'd in our make such strange ex-

tremes,
From diff'rent natures marvellously mixt,
Connexion exquisite of distant worlds!
Distinguish'd link in Being's endless chain,
Midway from nothing to the One Supreme.
A beam ætherial-sully'd, and absorpt!
Though sully'd and dishonor'd, still divine !
Dim miniature of Greatness absolute !
An heir of glory! A frail child of dust!
Helpless immortal ! Insect infinite .
A worin ! A God! I tremble at myself!
What can preserve my life? or what destroy?
An Angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave,
Legions of angels can't confine me there,

« EelmineJätka »