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told, five hundred pounds were received, and I can well believe it, from the many thousands of people that must have visited the rooms that day. This appeared to me so important a sum to be used for good, and obtained for nothing, that my first thought was to tell you we must set about immediately to do the same. With the second thought, there came a calculation of the cost of what could not exactly be produced for nothing. The cost of materials might not be considerable ; but time, more precious than silver and gold—than any thing we hold in trust from Heaven--must not stand as nothing in the calculation. In this, as in other speculations, we shall be sorry traffickers, if we do not calculate the cost of production, before we estimate the profit of our trade. As every body's time is not of equal value, it would be difficult to fix a market price on it-but I can think of a process by which we might each one settle for ourselves how much we rightly thus dispose of. Let us do this : look carefully over our days

if there are any hours quite disoccupied, they may be seized at once, and confiscated to the publick use, as belonging to no. body. I believe you and I, dear E., have no hours unappropriated. We will proceed, therefore, to look hour by hour through our days; and taking first into account the duties of our condition, devotional, social, and domestick, to the best of our judgment we will determine which bours-or be they minutes, it is all the same are already occupied with more essential matters. If there be any of which this cannot be proved, let us consider how we can best dispose of them to promote these useful undertakings. Doubtless we shall lay hands on a few, that will have nothing to say for themselves, why they should not be escheated; especially those we spend in preparing useless ornaments, in talk that wants no aid of the fingers to carry it on, &c. &c. To trespass upon hours elsewhere claimed and due, would be rather an act of robbery than of benevolence. i I have certain thoughts too, about the nature of the

goods exhibited at this sale. The value of such articles rests simply in the paper ticket attached to them and as the motive of the buyer and seller are the same, the rate of exchange is a sort of compromise betwixt them, of which no account needs to be demanded. But it appears to me that an equal expenditure of time and money might produce something more useful, or ornamental, or at least tasteful, than the things I have seen; which, given in fee simple to a tradesman, would scarcely on their own merits bring pence into his till; though here they sold for hundreds of good pounds. Cannot we, dear E., contrive something that the purchaser will like to have, as well as submit to buy. If it could be useful, the time would be doubly repaid in the production, as well as in the appropriation of the gain. Surely something might be given in exchange for the money thus charitably expended, beside the trouble of carrying home what is but an incumbrance when we get it there. This is a hint for your next gossip with our friends-for I own I do not know what better is, though I fancy that better might be.

As to being our own salesmen, I have heard a great deal said against it, by those who really dislike the object, and therefore are not the best judges of the means. I cannot venture to give an opinion, but my feeling on seeing girls, very young, and some very attractive, ranged behind counters in a publick place, to be stared at, remarked upon, and spoken to, by any body who chooses to walk there, was one of embarrassment for them, which in the simplicity of their good intentions, I dare say they did not feel for themselves: it was not relieved when I heard it whispered by some who took no account of the motives, that these were our religious girls, who must not be taken into company to be made a show of—who must not be elbowed by the ungodlywho are brought up apart from the world, lest they should share its vanities and excitements. In our village, it would certainly be very different. Every one there is known to us, and in some sense a part of our domestick world. And if we determine to have our sale in the market town, we can do away all objection, by getting ladies to sell for us, of a certain age, or name, or consequence, that will make their appearance in publick in any task they think proper to assume, no question of propriety, however folly may choose to make it one of ridicule-which signifies nothing.

I am pleased you are so willing to enter into my feelings. We have often talked this matter over, and agreed that what may be “the business” of religion is not that which constitutes its character in the sight of God—that it may go on, make a great noise, and do a great deal of good, while the heart from which it seems to emanate, but does not, holds no communion in secret with its God, and is a stranger to the sanctifying influence of bis Spirit_admiring itself and pleasing itself as entirely as when revelling in the dissipations of the world. I am not disposed to change my opinion ; but I perceive we came to our conclusions on one proposition where there are two. If activity is not religion, religion is not idleness. We know that He who condemned the Pharisees attending to exterior things while they neglected the weightier matters of the law, said, “These ought ye to have done, and not to have left the others undone. We have time, and money, and talents, as well as others.

I think before we hold ourselves excused for not assisting these publick institutions, on the plea that it is no essential of piety, we should simply ask ourselves, what we have done instead that is better. If this can be satisfactorily answered, it is enough: but if not, we are guilty of dishonesty towards Him who has hired us into his vineyard, and from whom hereafter we expect our Wages.




AUGUST, 1826.



TUON, B.C. 490. We left the history of Athens at the death of Solon, which was considered to be about the year B.C. 562. A few years previously, Pisistratas had assumed a sort of sovereignty in Athens. That people began as they ended: they had always a sovereign in effect; and when they banished or put to death one they were tired of, it was only a concession to the influence of another. Pisistratus was the relation and intimate friend of Solon. He was in disposition courteous and affable, generous and beneficent in the extreme. He had always two or three slaves near him with bags of silver coin; when he saw any man look sickly, or heard that any one had died insolvent, he comforted the one with a sum of money, and buried the other at his own expense. If he perceived people melancholy, he enquired the cause; if it was poverty, he furnished them with what was sufficient, but not to live in idleness. He would not suffer his servants to shut up his gardens and orchards; but allowed every one to walk in, and take what they pleased. His manner was easy and


sedate, his speech was smooth and modest: he affected to be a great lover of equality and of the constitution. Such a character was sure to be popular: but Solon appears to have early penetrated the design of all this condescension. While yet his friend, he endeavoured to persuade him of the iniquity of his dissimulation, and said to him, “Sir, if it were not for your ambition, you would be the best citizen of Athens." And, unable to make any impression on Pisistratus, he did not fail to warn the citizens of his designs.

The warning did not avail. Under a false pretext of danger, Pisistratus prevailed with the Athenians to give him a guard. With these he seized the citadel, and made himself sovereign. B.C. 560.

Solon, who held all sovereignty to be tyranny, and saw the equality he had laboured to establish thus early destroyed, went into voluntary banishment. The name of tyranny apart, however, Athens was as free, and probably better governed than in the democracy. far from overturning the laws of Solon, Pisistratus did his utmost to provide for their better administration, and lost nothing of the moderate character that distinguished him in his private station. He did every thing he could to persuade Solon to return. All the rigid lawgiver would concede, was that Pisistratus was the best of tyrants, and he returned no more.

Megacles, a noble of Athens, a seditious rival of Pisistratus, had left the city on his usurpation, and soon carried on negociations with some that remained to accomplish his ruin. The facility with which this was done in Athens, will strike our attention throughout her history. There was no character so mischievous, but that by artful appearances of virtue could gain her favour—there was none so excellent, but could be discarded and disgraced, as soon as any one chose to attempt to ruin them in publick opinion. Without any other conduct than that which raised him to the throne, Pisistratus found himself obliged to retire and seek


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