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to be permitted to speak for himself: upon which Cicero, who was never at a loss, instead of pronouncing the ordinary form of the oath, exalting the tone of his voice, swore out aloud, so as all the people might hear him, that he had saved the republic and the city from ruin; which the multitude below confirmed with a universal shout, and with one voice cried out, that what he had sworn was true. Thus the intended affront was turned, by his presence of mind, to his greater honor, and he was conducted from the forum to his house, with all possible demonstrations of respect by the whole city.
His language was copious an
CHARACTER OF POMPEY.
his chief instrument of gover but always the art to conces better soldier than a statesma wally lost in the city; an (dten affronted and mortified bin of the senate drove hii Czsar, which proved fatal bi lick in these two, not as the Lis power; that, by giving t make his own authority un prehend that they could eve them had any credit or chai raise them above the laws; war, with the militia of the purely his own; till, by che
Pompey had early acquired the surname of the Great, by that sort of merit which, from the constitution of the republic, necessarily made him great; a fame and success in war, superior to what Rome had ever known in the most celebrated of her generals. He had triumphed at three several times over the three different parts of the known world, Europe, Asia, Africa; and by his victories had almost doubled the extent, as well as the reve. nues, of the Roman dominion; for, as he declared to the people on his return from the Mithridatic war, he had found the lesser Asia the boundary, but left it the middle of their empire." He was about six years older than Cæsar; and while Cæsar, im. mersed in pleasures, oppressed with debts, and suspected by all honest men, was hardly able to show his head ; Pompey was flourishing in the height of power and glory, and by the consent of all parties placed at the head of the republic. This was the post that his ambition seemed to aim at, to be the first man in Rome; the Leader, not the Tyrant of his country : for he more than once had it in his power to have made himself the master of it without any risk; if his virtue, or his phlegm at least, had not restrained him : but he lived in a perpetual expectation of receiv. ing, from the gift of the people, what he did not care to seize by force; and, by fomenting the disorders of the city, hoped to drive them to the necessity of creating him Dictator. It is an observa. tion of all the historians, that while Cæsar made no difference of power, whether it was conferred or usurped: whether over those who loved, or those who feared him : Pompey seemed to valua none but what was offered ; nor to have any desire to govern, but with the good will of the governed. What leisure he found from his wars, he employed in the study of polite letters, and especially of eloquence, in which he would have acquired great fame, if his genius had not drawn him to the more dazzling glory of arms: vet he pleaded several causes with applause, in the defence of his friends and clients ; and some of them in conjunction with Cicero.
bands the only thing whic! mand, he made him at last i to fear bin ill it was too la union and his breach wit warmly still, the thought counsels had been followed brner, and the republic its by a natural superstition, an which he was flattered by sume temper in Marius and dit: but they assumed it They used it to animate pro sable opportunity of fig probability, was encourage saw all his mistakes at las rect them; and in his wre to confess, that he had try Cicero had judged better, The resolution of seeking trophe of this great man: teen bishly obliged to hii
His language was copious and elevated ; his sentiments just; his voice sweet; his action noble, and full of dignity. But his talents were better formed for arms, than the gown : for though, in both, he observed the same discipline, a perpetual modesty, temperance, and gravity of outward behaviour; yet, in the license of camps, the example was more rare and striking. His person was extremely graceful, and imprinting respect : yet with an air of reserve and haughtiness, which became the general better than the citizen. His parts were plausible, rather than great; specious, rather than penetrating; and his view of politics but narrow; for his chief instrument of governing was dissimulation; yet he had not always the art to conceal his real sentiments. As he was a better soldier than a statesman, so what he gained in the camp he usually lost in the city; and though adored when abroad, was often affronted and mortified at home; till the imprudent opposition of the senate drove him to that alliance with Crassus and Cæsar, which proved fatal both to himself and the republic. He took in these two, not as the partners, but the ministers rather of his power; that, by giving them some share with him, he might make his own authority uncontrollable : he had no reason to ap prehend that they could ever prove his rivals; since neither of them had any credit or character of that kind which alone could raise them above the laws; a superior fame and experience in war, with the militia of the empire at their devotion: all this was purely his own; till, by cherishing Cæsar, and throwing into his hands the only thing which he wanted, arms and military command, he made him at last too strong for himself, and never began to fear him till it was too late : Cicero warmly dissuaded both his union and his breach with Cæsar; and after the rupture, as warmly still, the thought of giving him battle: if any of these counsels had been followed, Pompey had preserved his life and honor, and the republic its liberty. But he was urged to his fate by a natural superstition, and attention to those vain auguries with which he was flattered by all the haruspices : he had seen the same temper in Marius. and Sylla, and observed the happy effects of it: but they assumed it only out of policy, he out of principle. They used it to animate their soldiers, when they had found a probable opportunity of fighting; but he, against all prudence and probability, was encouraged by it to fight to his own ruin. He saw all his mistakes at last, when it was out of his power to correct them; and in his wretched flight from Pharsalia was forced to confess, that he had trusted too much to his hopes; and that Cicero had judged better, and seen farther into things than he. The resolution of seeking refuge in Egypt, finished the sad catastrophe of this great man: the father of the reigning prince had been highly obliged to him for his protection at Rome, and resto
ration to his kingdom : and the son had sent a considerable fleet to his assistance in the present war: but, in this ruin of his fortunes, what gratitude was there to be expected from a court, governed by eunuchs and mercenary Greeks? all whose politics turned, not on the honor of the king, but the establishment of their own power; which was likely to be eclipsed by the admission of Pompey. How happy had it been for him to have died in that sickness, when all Italy was putting up vows and prayers for his safety! or, if he had fallen by chance of war on the plains of Pharsalia, in the defence of his country's liberty, he had died still glorious, though unfortunate ; but, as if he had been reserved for an example of the instability of human greatness, he, who a few days before commanded kings and consuls, and all the noblest of Rome, was sentenced to die by a council of slaves; murdered by a base deserter; cast out naked and headless on the Egyptian strand; and when the whole earth, as Velleius says, had scarce been sufficient for his victories, could not find a spot upon it at last for a grave.
friend Alexander Pope," 10 David Mo lished a complete edition of his lords them were found a series of Essays a the caustic but just remark of Dr. Job bones, and pointed it against Christianity hiraself, but left hall-a-crown to a hun, bis death."
In Lord Bolingbroke's character as a ncondemn. His philosophical writin water contain little that is worth rea deserves some consideration in this w gress of English style, and to bring style was a happy medium between ti
of writts or rather it was a happy lyrightening tbe ease, freedom, fluen ben, with many of the deeper and rio trations and books. The example he considerable effect in moulding the sty
ABSURDITIES OF Some histories are to be read, may be neglected entirely, not advantage. Some are the prope yane of another's, and some of an object of curiosity for any taly, and absurdly makes it so, the curiosity of one, like the hui utsly, and without distinction, w ther of them digests. They ! parish and improve nothing t characters I have known, thoug treme into which men are apt 1 this country. He joined to a mi a prodigious memory, and to bot
HENRY ST, JOHN, VISCOUNT BOLINGBROKE. 1678-1751. HENRY St. John, son of Sir Henry St. John, of Battersea, Surrey county, was born October 1, 1678. He was educated at Eton and Oxford, and after spend ing many years of dissipation on the continent, he was, on his return, elected to parliament in 1701, when the Tories were in power. He was elevated 16 the peerage in 1712, by the title of Viscount Bolingbroke; but soon after the death of Queen Anne, fearing the course which might be taken against bin by the new administration, he fled to France. On the 9th of August of the same year, (1718, he was impeached by Walpole at the bar of the House of Lords of high-treason, and other high crimes and misdemeanors; and as he failed to surrender himself to take his trial, a bill of attainder was passed against him by parliament, on the 10th of September. In the mean time be showed what were his principles, and where his heart was, by entering the service of the Pretender, as secretary. In 1723 he obtained a full pardon, and returned to England: his property was restored to him, but he was es• cluded from the House of Lords. He then engaged in active opposition to the Whig ministry of Sir Robert Walpole, and published a great number of political tracts.
In 1735 he suddenly withdrew to France, for reasons which have never been explained, and resided there seven years, during which time he pub lished his « Letters on the Study of History," and a « Letter on the true Use of Retirement, both of which contain many valuable reflections. On the death of his father, 1742, he returned to take possession of the family estats at Battersea, and in 1749 published his “ Letters on the Spirit of Patriotisin," and the w Idea of a Patriot King." Most of his early friends, boch literary and political, of whom were Pope, Swift, Gay, and Atterbury, were now gone, and he himself expired on the 15th of December, 1751. He bequeathed all his manuscripts, was a legacy for traducing the memory of his own oid
There is est room here to go into the details
Whea Tully attenpted poetry, he became !
We wone reaks on his style in the 19
friend Alexander Pope," to David Mallet,' a Scotchman, who, in 1754, published a complete edition of his lordship's works, in five volumes. Among them were found a series of Essays against revealed religion, which led to the caustic but just remark of Dr. Johnson, that “ having loaded a blunderbuss, and pointed it against Christianity, he had not the courage to discharge it himself, but left half-a-crown to a hungry Scotchman to pull the trigger after his death."
In Lord Bolingbroke's character as a man there is but little to respect, much to condemn. His philosophical writings are now but little read, and for their matter contain little that is worth reading 2 As a rhetorician, however, he deserves some consideration in this work of ours, designed to mark the progress of English style, and to bring imder our notice the best writers. His style was a happy medium between that of the scholar and that of tne man of society-or rather it was a happy combination of the best qualities of both, " heightening the case, freedom, fluency, and liveliness of elegant conversation, with many of the deeper and richer tones of the eloquence of formal orations and books. The example he thus set has probably produced a very considerable effect in moulding the style of popular writing since his time.”g
ABSURDITIES OF USELESS LEARNING. Some histories are to be read, some are to be studied, and some may be neglected entirely, not only without detriment, but with advantage. Some are the proper objects of one man's curiosity, some of another's, and some of all men's; but all history is not an object of curiosity for any man. He who improperly, wantonly, and absurdly makes it so, indulges a sort of canine appetite; the curiosity of one, like the hunger of the other, devours ravenously, and without distinction, whatever falls in its way, but neither of them digests. They heap crudity upon crudity, and nourish and improve nothing but their distemper. Some such characters I have known, though it is not the most common extreme into which men are apt to fall. One of them I knew in this country. He joined to a more than athletic strength of body, a prodigious memory, and to both a prodigious industry. He had
1 There is not room here to go into the details of the controversy that arose from the base act or Mallet in maligning Pope, and the still baser feelings of Bolingbroke in first assenting to it, and afterwards rewarding it. Bolingbroke's pretended ground of offence was, that Pope, into whose hands he had placed his political tract, “The Patriot King," for publication, and distribution among his own (Bolingbroke's) friends, had published more than he ought. But he knew that Pope did it purely from his admiration of the tract, and a desire to have it more generally known. The real cause, therefore, of Bolingbroke's most ungrateful treatment of his old friend was, doubtless, that Pope had bequeathed his property in his printed works to Warburton, rather than to himself. For a more par. ticular account of this, see Roscoe's Pope, vol. 1. p. 557.
2 "When Tully attempted poetry, he became as ridiculous as Bolingbroke when he attempted pht losophy and divinity; we look in vain for that genius which produced the Dissertation ou Parties, in the tedious philosophical works, of which it is no exaggerated satire to say, that the reasoning them is sophistical and inconclusive, the style diffuse and verbose, and the learning seemingly con tained in them not drawn from the originals, but picked up and purloined from French critics and translations."- Marton's Poe. l. 119.
See also some remarks on his style in the 19th Lecture of Dr. Blair, and in Drake's Essays, vel Iv. p. 234.
read almost constantly twelve or fourteen hours a day for five-andtwenty or thirty years, and had heaped together as much learning as could be crowded into a head. In the course of my acquaintance with him, I consulted him once or twice, not oftener; for I found this mass of learning of as little use to me as to the owner. The man was cominunicative enough; but nothing was distinct in his mind. How could it be otherwise ? he had never spared time to think ; all was employed in reading. His reason had not the merit of common mechanism. When you press a watch, or pull a clock, they answer your question with precision; for they repeat exactly the hour of the day, and tell you neither more nor less than you desire to know. But when you asked this man a question, he overwhelmed you by pouring forth all that the several terms or words of your question recalled to his memory; and if he omitted any thing, it was that very thing to which the sense of the whole question should have led him or confined him. To ask him a question was to wind up a spring in his memory, that rattled on with vast rapidity and confused noise, till the force of it was spent; and you went away with all the noise in your ears, stunned and uninformed.
He who reads with discernment and choice, will acquire less learning, but more knowledge; and as this knowledge is collected with design, and cultivated with art and method, it will be at all times of immediate and ready use to himself and others.
Thus useful arms in magazines we place,
But to be found, when need requires, with case.
He who reads without this discernment and choice, and resolves to read all, will not have time, no, nor capacity either, to do any thing else. He will not be able to think, without which it is impertinent to read; nor to act, without which it is impertinent 10 think. He will assemble materials with much pains, and purchase them at much expense, and have neither leisure nor skill to frame them into proper scantlings, or to prepare them for use. To what purpose should he husband his time, or learn architec. lure ? he has no design to build. But then to what purpose all these quarries of stone, all these mountains of sand and lime, all these forests of oak and deal ?
establishes or illustrates. If able, however, to supply his industry: and when he give Wericans, of Chinese or Ta may blame him, but we must do not make it a good less pexeral use of history, it is u reke it who is able to read, a every one who makes it will anses from an early acquainta mankind. We are not only p bat we are absolute stranger Dar guides are often ignoran the country, which history s we please, to guide ourselves beset on every side. We a youngest holds. Terrors an arins of other men, assault o
ryand with these, betray us. ma of those who have trave hetn exposed to the same ac success are equally instructiv minense field is opened to u fane; the histories of pari particular orders, particular Bat we must not ramble i Crace, nor eren with these
THE WOR Whatever is best is safe porter ; can neither be giver