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And say, the wreath her polish'd temples bore
No!-- Then go seek thy desert solitude,
Go! thread the trackless forest's wild'ring maze,
Child of the waste! adieu-for thee I sigh,
By hill, by rock and stream, thou wand'rest slow,
By some uprooted tree, or shiver'd rock,
Sleep!-Softly sleep! and when the lightning's flash
New-York, August 11th 1824.
* Lake Huron, in the region of “ Thunder Bay."
A Few Days in Athens, being the translation of a Greek manu
script, discovered in Herculaneum. By Frances Wright, author of " Views of Society, and Manners in America." London, 1822.
Few of our readers, probably, have ever seen or heard of the little work under the above title, the production of a lady who visited the United States with such kindly feelings ; and whose misfortune, perhaps, it was, that her predisposition in favour of our institutions led her to view every thing good through a magnifying medium. If the simple statement of facts, that are creditable to our civil or social character, throws our grandmother over the water into a passion, and makes the old lady savage and scurrilous, what else could be expected, in the case of a downright panegyric by one of her own daughters, than that she should forthwith proceed to cuff, scratch, and bemaul the delinquent, with all the vigour that her advanced age and infirm health would afford? Some of the sages of English criticism declared Miss Wright's book on America to be, from internal evidence, the work of no Englishwoman, but of an American Jacobin !
We owe the amiable and accomplished authoress of " Views of Society and Manners in America,” much regard for the good will she has shown towards us; and much gratitude for the flattering, though sometimes over-coloured picture, which she has drawn of those portions of our republic which she visited. For our own part, we have perused her“ Few days in Athens," with a delight not merely arising from the spirit and beauty of the sketch, but enhanced by the reflection that the writer had been the encomiast of America ; and that though she had travelled, unmarried and unattended, through several portions of our country, she was not only neither massacred nor gouged, but not even insulted or offended. It is truly a subject of wonder.
We extract a part of the preface, in which the author accounts for not giving the name of the supposed Italian scholar to whom she was indebted for the version of the Greek manuscript, referred to in the title.
“Since the establishment of the saintly domination of the Vandals through out the territories of the rebellious and heterodox Italy, and particularly in consequence of the ordonnance of his most orthodox, most legitimate, and most Austrian Majesty, bearing that his dominions being in want of good subjects, his colleges are forbidden to send forth good scholars,* it has
Je ne veux pas de savans dans mes elâts, je veux de bons sujets, was the dictum of the Austrian Autocrat to an Italian Professor.
become necessary for the gownsmen of the classic peninsula to banish all profane learning from their lectures and their libraries, and to evince a holy abhorrence of the sciences and arts which they erst professed. The list of the class books now employed in the transalpine schools is exceedingly curious ; I regret that I have mislaid the one lately supplied tome by an illustrious Italian exile. My memory recalls to me only that in the school of rhetoric, the orations of Cicero are superseded by those of the Marquis of Londonderry, and the philippics of Demosthenes by those of M. de Peyronnet; that the professors of history have banished the decades of Livy for the martyrs of Mons de Chateaubriand; and that the students of Greek, in place of the Odes of Pindar, and the retreat of the ten thousand from Cunaxa, construe the hexameters of the English Laureate, and the advance of Louis the XVIII. upon Ghent. In this state of the Italian world of letters, it is not surprising that the scholar, to whose perseverance, ingenuity, and learning the public are indebted for the following fragment, should object to lay claim to the honour which is his due.”
Theon, a young Corinthian, had been sent to Athens to study philosophy. His friendship for Cleanthes, and the majestic eloquence of Zeno, had attached him to the doctrine of the Porch. From the misrepresentations of Timocrates, an unworthy pupil of Epicurus, banished from the Garden for his immodest conduct, Theon had imbibed, in common with the other disciples of Zeno, a horror and aversion for the principles and practice of the sage of Gargetium and bis followers., Full of these impressions, he was seated one evening on the banks of the Cephisus, when his reverie was broken by the appearance of a stranger.
“ The shape, the attitude, the foldings of the garment, were such as the chisel of Phidias would have given to the God of Elocution. The head accorded with the rest of the figure; it sat upon the shoulders with a grace that a painter would have paused to contemplate-elevated, yet somewhat inclining forward, as if habituated gently to seek and benevolently to yield attention. The face a poet would have gazed upon, and thought he beheld in it one of the images of his fancy embodied. The features were not cast for the statuary; they were noble but not regular. Wisdom beamed mildly from the eye, and candour was on the broad forehead: the mouth reposed in a soft, almost imperceptible smile, that did not curl the lips or disturb the cheeks, and was seen only in the serene and holy benignity that shone over the whole physiognomy : It was a gleam of sunshine sleeping on a lucid lake. The first lines of age were traced on the brow and round the chin, but so gently as to mellow rather than deepen expression: the hair indeed seemed prematurely touched by time, for it was of a pure silver, thrown back from the forehead, and fringing the throat behind with short curls."
This was Epicurus. He did not, however, announce himself, until the youth had followed him to his own dwelling, the temple, as his imagination heated by the gross falsehoods of Timocrates had painted it, of abominable and disgusting orgies. Very different, however, was the scene which presented itself to the hesitating Corinthian. Good humour, intellectual animation, and affection for their master, character
ized the disciples of Epicurus. Temperance presided at their cheerful repast; while wisdom without austerity, and mirth chastised by modest decorum, protracted the feast of reason. Two females are described.
“Beside one of the lamps, a female figure was reclining on a couch, reading with earnest study from a book that lay upon her knee. Her head was so much bowed forward as to conceal her face, besides that it was shadowed by her hand, which, the elbow supported on an arm of the couch, was spread above her brows as a relief from the glare of the light.
“ The student was still intent upon the scroll over which she hung, when the sage advanced towards her, and laying a finger on her shoulder, “What read you, my daughter?” She dropt her hand, and looked up in his face. What a countenance was then revealed! It was not the beau. ty of blooming blushing youth, courting love and desire: it was the selfpossessed dignity of ripened womanhood, and the noble majesty of mind, that asked respect and promised delight and instruction. The features were not those of Venus, but Minerva. The eyes looked deep and steady from beneath two even brows, that sense, not years, had slightly knit in the centre of the forehead, which else was uniformly smooth and polished as marble. The pose was rather Roman than Grecian, yet perfectly regular, and though not masculine, would have been severe in expression, but for a mouth where all that was lovely and graceful habited. The chin was elegantly rounded, and turned in the Greek manner. The colour of the cheeks was of the softest and palest rose, so pale, indeed, as scarcely to be discernible until deepened by emotion. It was so at this moment : startled by the address of the sage, a bright flush passed over her face. She rolled up the book, dropt it on the couch, and rose.”
This was Leontium ; she whom Timocrates had described as a licentious, profligate minister to the infamous purposes of a teacher of vice. A few hours' intercourse with the pupils of the garden and their illustrious master dispelled the illusion by which the young stoic had been inflamed against them. He has the courage, even in the Portico, and in the awful presence of Zeno, to vindicate the character and doctrines of the much abused Gargetian. We can only give, in our ex., tracts, the portrait of the stoic philosopher.
"At this moment the circle behind him gave way, and Zeno advanced into the midst: he stood by the head and shoulders above the crowd: his breast, broad and manly: his limbs, cast in strength and symmetry: his gait, erect, calm, and dignified: his features, large, grand, and regular, seemed sculptured by the chisel for a colossal divinity: the forehead, broad and serene, was marked with the even lines of wisdom and age; but no harsh wrinkles, nor playing muscles disturbed the repose of his cheeks, nor had sixty years touched with one thread of silver his close black hair: the eyes, dark and full, fringed with long strait lashes, looked in severe and steady wisdom from under their correct and finely arched brows: the nose came from the forehead, strait and even: the mouth and chin, were firm and silent. Wisdom undisturbable, fortitude unshakeable, self-respect, self-possession, and self-knowledge perfected, were in his face, his carriage, and his tread."
We are also introduced to Cleanthes, the pupil and successor of Zeno, and Metrodorus the follower of Epicurus ; names
well known in the annals of ancient philosophy. Our limits, however, do not admit of more copious extracts from the descriptive parts of this work. We can only select a few of the sentiments put in the mouth of Epicurus, as fairly illustrating some of the doctrines of that philosopher, according to the most rational accounts transmitted to us by his disciples.
“Epicurus stood in the midst of his expectant scholars. • My sons,' he said, “why do you enter the garden? Is it to seek happiness, or to seek virtue and knowledge ?- Attend, and I will show you that in finding one, you shall find the three. To be happy, we must be virtuous; and when we are virtuous, we are wise. Let us then begin: and first, let us for a while hush our passions into slumbers, forget our prejudices, and cast away our vanity and our pride. Thus patient and modest, let us come to the feet of Philosophy; let us say to her, · Behold us, scholars and children, gifted by nature with faculties, affections, and passions. Teach us their use, and their guidance. Show us how to turn them to account--how best to make them conduce to our ease, and minister to our enjoyment,'
“Sons of earth,' says the Deity, ‘you have spoken wisely ; you feel that you are gifted by nature with faculties, affections, and passions; and you perceive that on the right exertion and direction of these depends your well-being. It does so. Your affections both of soul and body may be shortly reduced to two, pleasure and pain; the one troublesome, and the other agreeable. It is natural and befitting, therefore, that you shun pain, and desire and follow after pleasure. Set forth then on the pursuit; but ere you start, be sure that it is in the right road, and that
have your eye on the true object. Perfect pleasure, wbich is happiness, you will have attained when you have brought your bodies and souls into a state of satisfied tranquillity. To arrive at this, much previous exertion is requisite ; yet exertion, not violent, only constant and even. And first, the body, with its passions and appetites, demands gratification and indulgence But beware! for here are the hidden rocks which may shipwreck your bark on its passage, and shut you out for ever from the haven of repose. Provide yourselves then with a skilled pilot, who may steer you through the Scylla and Charybdis of your carnal affections, and point the steady helm through the deep waters of your passions. Behold her! It is Prudence, the mother of the virtues, and the handinaid of wisdom. Ask, and she will tell you, that gratification will give new edge to the hunger of your appetites, and that the storm of the passions shall kindle with indulgence. Ask, and she will tell you, that sensual pleasure is pain covered with the mask of happiness. Behold she strips it from her face, and reveals the features of disease, disquietude, and remorse. Ask, and she will tell you, that happiness is not found in tumult, but tranquillity; and that, not the tranquillity of indolence and inaction, but of a healthy contentment of soul and body. Ask, and she will tell you, that a happy life is like neither to a roaring torrent, nor a stagnant pool, but to a placid and crystal stream, that flows gently and silently along. And now Prudence shall bring to you the lovely train of the virtues. Temperance, throwing a bridle on your desires, shall gradually subdue and annihilate those whose present indulgence would only bring future evil; and others more necessary and more innocent, she shall yet bring down to such becoming moderation, as shall prevent all disquiet to the soul, and injury to the body. Fortitude shall strengthen you to bear those diseases which even temperance may not be efficient to prevent; those afflictions which fate may level at you; those persecutions which the folly or malice of man may invent. It shall fit you to bear