網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

And until we are persuaded to stop, and step a little aside, out of the noisy crowd and encumbering hurry of the world, and calmly take a prospect of things, it will be impossible we should be able to make a right judgment of ourselves, or know our own misery. But after we have made the just reckonings, which retirement will help us to, we shall begin to think the world in great measure mad, and that we have been in a sort of Bedlam all this while.

Reader, whether young or old, think it not too soon or too late to turn over the leaves of thy past life; and be sure to fold down where any passage of it may affect thee; and bestow thy remainder of time, to correct those faults in thy future conduct, be it in relation to this or the next life. What thou wouldst do, if what thou hast done were to do again, be sure to do as long as thou livest, upon the like occasions.

Our resolutions seem to be vigorous as often as we reflect upon our past errors; but, alas! they are apt to flag again upon fresh temptations to the same things.

The author does not pretend to deliver thee an exact piece; his business not being ostentation, but charity. It is miscellaneous in the matter of it, and by no means artificial in the composure. But it contains hints, that may serve thee for texts to preach to thyself upon, and which comprehend much of the course of human life: since whether thou art parent or child, prince or subject, master or servant, single or married, public or private, mean or honorable, rich or poor, prosperous or unprosperous, in peace or controversy, in business or solitude; whatever be thy inclination or aversion, practice or duty, thou wilt find something not unsuitably said for thy direction and advantage. Accept and improve what deserves thy notice; the rest excuse, and place to account of good-will to thee and the whole creation of God.

PENN'S ADVICE TO HIS CHILDREN. Next, betake yourself to some honest, industrious course of lise, and that not of sordid covetousness, but for example, and to avoid idleness. And if you change your condition and marry, choose with the knowledge and consent of your mother, if living, or of guardians, or those that have the charge of you. Mind neither beauty nor riches, but the fear of the Lord, and a sweet and amiable disposition, such as you can love above all this world, and that may make your habitations pleasant and desirable to you.

And being married, be tender, affectionate, patient, and meek. Live in the fear of the Lord, and he will bless you and your offspring. Be sure to live within compass; borrow not, neither be beholden to any. Ruin not yourselves by kindness to others; for that exceeds the due bounds of friendship, neither will a true friend expect it. Small matters I heed not.

1 Read, esp.cially, Life by Samuel M. Janney," undoubtedly the life of Penn. Also, an admirable " Discourse on the Virtues aud Public Services of William Penn," by Albert Barnes.

Let your industry and parsimony go no further than for a sufficiency for life, and to make a provision for your children, and that in moderation, if the Lord gives you any. I charge you help the poor and needy ; let the Lord have a voluntary share of your income for the good of the poor, both in our society and others; for we are all his creatures ; remembering that “he that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord.”

Know well your incomings, and your outgoings may be better regulated. Love not money nor the world : use them only, and they will serve you; but if you love them you serve them, which will debase your spirits as well as offend the Lord.

Pity the distressed, and hold out a hand of help to them ; it may be your case, and as you mete to others, God will mete to you again.

Be humble and gentle in your conversation ; of few words 1 charge you, but always pertinent when you speak, hearing out before you attempt to answer, and then speaking as if you would persuade, not impose.

Affront none, neither revenge the affronts that are done to you; but forgive, and you shall be forgiven of your heavenly Father.

In making friends, consider well first; and when you are fixed, be true, not wavering by reports, nor deserting in affliction, for that becomes not the good and virtuous.

Watch against anger; neither speak nor act in it; for, like drunkenness, it makes a man a beast, and throws people into desperate inconveniences.

Avoid flatterers, for they are thieves in disguise ; their praise is costly, designing to get by those they bespeak; they are the worst of creatures, they lie to flatter, and flatter to cheat; and, which is worse, if you believe them, you cheat yourselves most dangerously. But the virtuous, though poor, love, cherish, and prefer. Remember David, who, asking the Lord, « Who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell upon thy holy hill ?" answers, “ He that walketh uprightly, worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart; in whose eyes the vile person is contemned, but honoreth them who fear the Lord.”

Next, my children, be temperate in all things : in your diet, for that is physic by prevention; it keeps, nay, it makes people healthy, and their generation sound. This is exclusive of the spiritual advantage it brings. Be also plain in your apparel, keep out that lust which reigns too much over some; let your virtues be your ornaments, remembering life is more than food. and the body than raiment. Let your furniture be simple and

cheap. Avoid pride, avarice, and luxury. Read my “ No Cross, no Crown." There is instruction. Make your conversation with the most eminent for wisdom and piety, and shun all wicked men as you hope for the blessing of God and the comfort of your father's living and dying prayers. Be sure you speak no evil of any, no, not of the meanest ; much less of your superiors, as magistrates, guardians, tutors, teachers, and elders in Christ.

Be no busybodies; meddle not with other folk's matters, but when in conscience and duty pressed; for it procures trouble, and is ill manners, and very unseemly to wise men.

In your families remember Abraham, Moses, and Joshua, their integrity to the Lord, and do as you have them for your examples.

Let the fear and service of the living God be encouraged in your houses, and that plainness, sobriety, and moderation in all things, as becometh God's chosen people; and as I advise you, my beloved children, do you counsel yours, if God should give you any. Yea, I counsel and command them as my posterity, ihat they love and serve the Lord God with an upright heart, that he may bless you and yours from generation to generation.

And as for you, who are likely to be concerned in the government of Pennsylvania and my parts of East Jersey, especially the first, I do charge you before the Lord God and his holy angels, that you be lowly, diligent, and tender, fearing God, loving the people, and hating covetousness, Let justice have its impartial course, and the law free passage. Though to your loss, protect no man against it; for you are not above the law, but the law above you. Live, therefore, the lives yourselves you would have the people live, and then you have right and boldness to punish the transgressor. Keep upon the square, for God sees you : therefore, do your duty, and be sure you see with your own eyes, and hear with your own ears. Entertain no lurchers, cherish no informers for gain or revenge, use no tricks, fly to no devices to support or cover injustice; but let your hearts be upright before the Lord, trusting in him above the contrivances of men, and none shall be able to hurt or supplant.

JOSEPH ADDISON. 1672–1719.

JOSEPH ADDISON, one of the brightest names in English literature, was born at Milston, in Wiltshire, of which place his father was rector, on the 1st of May, 1672. After the usual course of study, he entered the University of Oxford, at the age of fifteen. Heru he devoted himself with great assiduity to classica studies, the fruits of which were soon seen in a small volume of Latin poems, which attracted considerable attention. In his twenty-second year lie addressell some verses :o Mr. Dryden, which procured him the notice

and approbation of that poet, for whom he arteriaris wrote a prefatory “ Essay on the Georgics," which Dryden prefixed to his translation in 1697. Before this, however, he had become acquainted with that distinguished patron of letters, Lord Keeper Somers, who, in 1699, procured for him a pension of £300 a year, to enable him to travel in Italy In this classic land he composed his Epistle to Lord Halifax, one of his best poetical productions, hi: · Dialogue on Medals," and the greater part of his “Cato.” Soon after his return he published his travels in Italy, dedicated to his patron, Lord Somers illustrative chiefly of the classical associations of what renowned land.

The change of the administration in 1702 deprived Addison of his pen sion; and he had lived more than two years in retirement when he was requested by one of the ministry to write a poem in praise of the victory of Blenheim, gained by the Duke of Marlborough, in August, 1704. He did so, and before the year closed, appeared the “Campaign,"| which procured for him the office of under-secretary of state. In 1709 he went to Ireland as secretary to the lord-lieutenant, and while here, on the 12th of April (O. S.) of that year, appeared the first number of “The Tatler. When the sixth number of this appeared, Addison knew that the author was his friend Sir Richard Steele, from a critical remark which lie had privately made to him alone, and he therefore immediately took a very active part in the conduct of this periodicals

The “Tarler” had scarcely terminated, when Addison formed the plan of that work on which his fame chiefly rests—the “Spectator."" The essays in it most valuable for humor, invention, and precept, are the product of his pen, and it soon became the most popular work England had produced. So great was its reputation, that sometimes twenty thousand copies of a number were sold in one day. It travelled through every part of the kingilom, and was

1 Warton has not too severely called this poem "a Gazette in Rhyme." How ininitely superior for its fine moral tone, as well as for its pathos and poetry, is that touching ballad of Southey's, on the same subject; the last verse of which reads thus:

And everybody praised the Duke,

Who this great fight di win:
"But what good came of it at last >

Quoth little Peterkin.
“Why, that I cannot tell," said he,

“But 'twas a famous victory." 2 The critical remark which Addison made to Steele was upon the hero of the Æneld, which Steele gives as follows:

"Virgil's common epithet to Æneas Is Pics or Pater. I have therefore considered whal passage there is in any of his hero's actions where either of these appellations would have been most inproper;--and this, I think, is his meeting with Dido in the cave, where Pius Æneas would have been aosurd, and Pater nens a burlesque: tbe poet therefore wisely dropped them both for Dur Trojanua; which he has repeated twice in Juno's speech and his own narration: for he very well knew a loose action might be consistent enough with the 1sual manners of a soldier, though it became neither the chastity of a pious man, nor the gravity of the father of a people.”

3 The Tatler may be considered as the father or English periodical literature. It was pubhshed, cvery Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, from the 12th of April, 1709, to the 2d of January, 1711. Or the 271 papers, Steele wrote 189; Addison, 42; Steele and Addison jointly, 36; Swift and Addison, 1. Hughes, 2; Swift, 1; Fuller, 1.

4 The Spectator was commenced on the 1st of March, 1711, and continued every day, Sundays ex. cepted, till the 6th of December, 1712. The plan is founded upon the fiction of a club that assembles every Tuesday and Thursday, to carry on the publication. of the 635 numbers, Addison wrote 274, Siele, 240; Budgell, 37; Hughes, 21; Grove, 4; Pope, Parnell, Pearce, Martyn, Byrom, 2 each; Swift, Brown, Franchiam, Dunlop, Hardwicke, Fleetwood, I each; and 53 were Anonymous. Aldison's papers are designated by the letters of the word C110.

alike the recreation of the learned, the busy, and the ille. The Spectalor" was followed by the “Guardian,"? which was commenced by Steele, but to which Audison largely contributed. In the mean time he published luis tiagedy of “Cato," which inct with unbounded popularity, being represented on He stage thirty-five nights successively; not, however, so much from its merite as a tragedy, as from the noble sentiments of liberty which it breathes through. ont, and which, in those times of great political excitement, each party, the Whig and the Tory, wished to appropriate to itsell.2

In 1716, Addison married the Countess of Warwick, who was, in cvery respect, vastly his inferior, except in the adventitious circumstance of family rank, which in England is of “wondrous potency.” “In point of intellect," says Dr. Drake, “there could be no competition; and despicable must have been the ignorance of that woman who could for a moment suppose that the mere casualty of splendid birth entitled her to treat with contempt, and 10 arrogate a superiority over a man of exquisite genius and unsullied virtue." That she was the means of imbittering his life, and shortening his days, there is no doubt. He had long been subject to an asthmatic affection, and it soon became evident that the hour of his dissolution could not be far distant « The death-bed of Addison was the triumph of religion and virtue. Reposing on the merits of bis Redeemer, and conscious of a life well spent in the service of his fellow-creatures, he waited with tranquillity and resignation the moment of departure. The dying accents of the virtuous man have frequently, when other nicans lave failed, produced the happiest effect; and Addison, anxious that a scene so awful might make its due impression, demanded the attendance of his son-in-law, Lord Warwick. This young nobleman was amiable, but dissipated ; and Addison had often, though in vain, endeavored to correct his principles, and to curb the impetuosity of his passions. He came, says Dr. Young, who first related the affecting circumstance; but life was now glimmering in the socket, and the dying friend was silent. After a decent and proper pause, the youth said, Dear sir, you sent for me; I believe, I hope you have some commands; I shal} hold them most sacred.' May distant ages not only hear but feel the reply. Forcibly grasping the youth's hand, he softly said, “SEE IN WIAT PEACE A CHRISTIAN CAN DIE;'S and soon after expired, on the 17th of June, 1719.4

Of the merits of Addison as a writer, there never has been but one opinion among the crities. Mr. Melmoth says of liim, “ In a word, one may justly

1 The first number of the Guardian was published on the 12th of March, and the last on the 1st of October, 1713. or the 176 numbers, Stecle wrote 82; Addison, 53; Berkeley, 14; Pope, 8; Tickell, 7 Budgell, Hughes, and Parnell, 2 each; Gay, Young, Philips, Wotton, Birch, Bartlett, 1 each.

tragedy of Cato," says Dr. Warton, “Is a glaring instance of the force of party. So sen tentious and declamatory a drama would never have met with such rapid success, if every line and sentiment had not been particularly tortured and applied to recent events. It is a fine dialogue on uberty and the love of one's country, but considered as a dramatic performance it wants action and pathor, the two hinges on which a just tragedy ought to turn, and without which it cannot subsist." Dr. Johnson bas censured it as a “dialogue too declamatory, of unaffecting clexance, and chill phllosophy,”--the very terms most applicable to his own tragedy "TRENE."

“O) wad some power the giftie gie us

To see oursels as others see us."--BURS. & Tickeli toki Dr Young, that in the following couplet of his elegy on the death of Addison, be aluded to this interview with the Earl of Warwick :

“He taught us how to live, and oh, too high

The price of knowledge, taught us how to die." . * Read-an admirable sketch of Addison's life in Drake's Essays, vol. i. Also an article in the Edinocrgh Review, July 1843, and in Macaulay's Miscellanles, vol. v. p. 82: also, Life by Lucy Alkin.

« 上一頁繼續 »