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mored to some regard for me by qualities which you know only by report, will guess what; pangs that spirit must go through wrich has been made dizzy by looking upon your qualities day after day, and yet must tear itself from a happiness in which it would plunge headlong. But by the great and good God, which created all this beauty around us, and
you the most beautiful of all beautiful things in the midst of it, I do love the generosity, and the sincerity, and the harmony that keeps them beautiful, so much more than my own will, that although I think the bappiness might be greater, it shall never be said that Galgauo made it less; and that he made it less too, because the generosity trusted him, and the kind sincerity leaned on him for support. One embrace, or I shall die.” And Galgano not only gave, but received an embrace almost as warm as what he gave; and Minoccia kissed his eyelids, and then putting her hand over them and press. ing them as if not to let him see, suddenly took it off, and disappeared.
We know not how Signor Stricca received the account of this interview at the time ; for Madame Minoccia certainly related it to him; but it is in the records of Sienna, that years afterwards, while she was yet alive, her husband became bound for Signor Galgano in a large sum of money, as security for an office which the latter held in the state; and it appears by the dates in the papers, that they were close neighbours as well as friends.*
ON THE SLOW RISE OF THE MOST RATIONAL OPINIONS.
It would be surprising to think by what slow degrees the most rational, and apparently the most obvious improvements take place in human opinion, did not habit, and self-love, and the fear of change, sufficiently account for them. Some fiod it as difficult to leave off a mere habit of opinion, however pernicious, as drunkards their drams. Others cannot bear a diminution in the respect which they have long entertained for themselves, as sensible and conclusive thinkers. Others are afraid of all innovation, in consequence of the shock it gives to society; and yet the next minute they would wage à dozen wars to preserve the old notions. Again, it is thought a triumphant argument with
some, if the new opinion proposed be to the advantage of the proposer ;-which is a very idle objection ; because if it supposes the general good, it includes his among the rest.
Innovation, as mere innovation, is a want of reverence for antia quity; an insensibility to the accumulated habits of time, and to the comforts and consolations they have gathered by the way. But on the
* This story (with the usual difference of detail) is from the Italian Novelists, and has been told in Painter's Palace of Pleasure, one of the store-houses of our great dramatie writers.
other hand, objection to it, as mere objection, is cowardice and selfishness; cowardice, for fear of responsibility; selfishness, for fear of losing a certain property in our self-respect, and having the notion of our own wisdom and sufficiency disturbed. You may know the goodness of either in proportion to it's enthusiasm, sincerity, gentle. ness, and wish to reason. You may know the badness, by a certain mixture of coldness and violence, by it's shuflling, it's petulance, and it's tendency to dismiss a subject at once with abuse. As to the innova. tor, it is his business to make up his mind to a certain portion of misrepresentation; for who was the innovator, great or small, that ever was without it? But it is his business also to examine narrowly into his own consciousness, and to be sure, from experiment, that he can deny himself for the good of others, what he would willingly enjoy with them in common.
There is not a liberal opinion now existing, which has not gone through heaps of ugly faces and yelling threats, like the saints in the old pictures. "To differ in religious faith was once thought the height of undeniable villainy; and is so still by some ignorant sects. The Spaniards were taught to believe that all heretics had monsterolike faces, till Lord Peterborough's officers persuaded the nuns otherwise. Milton says that he could not propose some new things even after an ancient fashion, and indeed almost every proposition for human improvement is to be found in the ancient writers), but
-Straight a hideous noise environs me
Which after held the sun and moon in fee. It is lamentable to see such a man as Bacon trying to feel his way into popular persuasion, by smoothing the king's and people's prejudices as he goes, giving even into the superstitions about witchcraft. A friend was observing to us a short time since, that he was not aware of the existence of any denouncement of cruelty to animals, till Pope wrote a paper on it in the Guardian. Shakspeare, who says every thing, has said something about “ the poor beetle whom we tread upon, feeling as great a pang as when a giant dies ;" but it is only in a cursory manner, and by way of illustration. His reflections upon the hunted slag, as if by way of excuse for the novelty of their sympathy, are put into the mouth of an eccentric and saturnine pbilosopher. His age indeed, so great and humane in many respects, was so insensible in this particular point, that one of the greatest and humanest of its ornaments, Sir Philip Sidney, describes his ladies and courtiers as laudably diverting themselves with sealing up a dove's eyes, to see it strain higher and higher into the light, --with other “cunning” diversions too gross and cruel to repeat. Poor ignorant old beldams, whom their neighbours or themselves took for witches, were put to death at a later period, with great approbation, not only of the British Solomon," King James, but of a high legal Authority, and even the good old Sir Matthew Hale. The celebrated Robert Boyle, as our readers know, was accounted a sort of perfection of a man, especially in all respects intellectual, moral,
and religious. This excellent person was in the habit of moralizing upor every thing that he did or suffered, such as 6 Upon his manner of giving meat to his dog,"_" Upon his horse stumbling in a very fair way," “ Upon his sitting at ease in a conch that went very fast," &c. Among other Reflections, is one " Upon a fish's struggling after having swallowed the hook." It amounts to this, that at the moment when the fish thinks himself about to be most happy, the hook “does so wound and tear his tender gills, and thereby puts him into such restless pain, that no doubt he wishes the hook, bait and all, were out of his torn jaws again. Thus," says he, who do what they should not to obtain any sensual desires,' &c. &c. Not a thought comes over him ag to his own part in the business, and what he ought to say of himself for tearing the jaws and gills to indulge his own appetite for excitement. Take also the following :-"Fifth Section--Reflection 1. Kill. ing a crow (out of window) in a hog's trough, and immediately tracing the ensuing reflection with a pen made of one of his quills.-Long and patiently did I wait for this unlucky crow,wallowing in the sluttish trough (whose sides kept him a great while out of the reach of my gun), and gorging himself with no less greediness than the very, swinish proprietaries of the feast, till at length my no less unexpected than fatal shot in a moment struck him down, and turning the scene of his delight into that of his pangs, made him abruptly alter his note, and change his triumphant chaunt into a dismal and tragic noise. This method is not unusual to divine justice towards brawny and incorrigible sinners,” &c. &c. Thus the crow, for eating his dinner, is a rascal worthy to he shot by the liovourable Mr. Robert Boyle, before the latter sits down to his own; while the said Mr. Boyle, instead of contenting himself with being a gentleman in search of amusement at the expence of birds and fish, is a representative of Divine Justice.
We laugh at this wretched moral pedantry wow, and deplore the involuntary hard-heartedness which such mistakes in religion tended to produce; but in how many respects should it not make us look about us, and see where we fall short of an enlargement of thinking
TO CORRESPONDENTS. A True Story will be inserted with pleasure.
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There he arriving round about doth fie,
No. XL-WEDNESDAY, JULY 12th, 1820.
Tiere is an anecdote in Aulus Gellius (Noctes Atticæ, Lib. 10, Cap. 6,) which exhibits, we think, one of the highest instances of what may be called polite blackguardism that we ever remember to have read. The fastidiousness, self-will, and infinite resentment against a multitude of one's fellow-creatures for presuming to come in contact with one's own importance, are truly edifying: and to complete the lesson, this extraordinary specimen of the effect of superfioe breeding and blood is handed down to us in the person of a lady. Her words might be thought to have been a bad joke; and bad enough it would have been; but the sense that was shewn of them proves them to have been very gravely regarded.
Claudia, the daughter of Appius Cæcus, in coming away from a public spectacle, was much pressed and pushed about by the crowd; upon which she thus vented her impatience: What should I have suffered now, and how much more should I have been squeezed and knocked about, if my brother Publius Claudius bad not had his ships destroyed in battle, with all that heap of men? I should have been absolutely jammed to death! Would to heaven my brother were alive again, and could go with another fleet to Sicily, and be the death of this host of people, who plague and pester one in this horrid manner!" *
For these words, “so wicked and so uncivic," says good old Gel. lius, (tam improba ac tam incivilia) the Ædiles, Caius Fundanus and Tiberius Sempronius, got the lady fined in the sum of twenty-five thousand pounds brass. There is a long account in Livy of the speech which they made to the people, in reply to the noble families that interceded for her. It is very indignant. Claudia herself confessed her words, and does not appear to have joined in the intersession. They are not related at such length by Livy, as by Aulus Gellius. He
* “Quid me vunc factum esset, quantoque arctius pressiusque conflictata essem, si P. Claudius frater meus navali prælio classem navium cum ingenti civium nunero non perdidisset? certè quidem majore nanc copiâ populi oppressa intercidissem. Sed utinam, inquit, revivisca: frater, aliamque classem in Siciliam ducat, atque stam multitudinem perditum eat, quæ me malè nunc miseram convexavit.”
merely makes her wish that her brother were alive to take out another fleet. But he shews his own sense of the ebullition by calling it & dreadful imprecation; and her rage was even more gratuitous according to his account, for he describes her as coming from the shews in a chariot.
Insolence and want of feeling appear to have been hereditary in this Appian family : which gives us also a strong sense of their want of capacity; otherwise a disgust at such manners must have been generated in some of the children. They were famous for opposing every popular law, and for having kept the Commons as long as possible out of any share in public honours and government. The villain Appius Claudius, whose well-known story has lately been made still more familiar to the public by the tragedy of Mr. Knowles, was among it's ancestors. Appius Cæcus, or the Blind, the father of Claudia, though he constructed the celebrated Appian Way and otherwise benefited the city, was a very unpopular man, wilful, haughty, and lawless. He retained possession of the Censorship beyond the limited period. It is an instance perhaps of his unpopularity, as well as of the superstition of the times, that having made a change in one of the priestly offices, and become blind some years afterwards, the Romans attributed it to the vengeance of heaven; an opinion which Livy repeats with great devotion, calling it a warning against innovations in religion. It had no effect however upon Claudius the brother, whose rashness furnished the pious Romans with a similar example to point at. Before an engagement with the Carthaginians, the Sacred Chickens were consulted, and because they would not peck and furnish him with a good omen, he ordered them to be thrown into the sea. “ If they won't eat," said he, " let 'em drink.” The engagement was one of the worst planned, and the worst fought in the world; but the men were avowedly dispirited by the Consul's irreverend behaviour to the chickens; and his impiety shared the disgrace with his folly. Livy represents him as an epitome of all that was bad in his family; proud, stubborn, unmerciful though full of faults himself, and wilful and precipitate to a degree of madness. This was the battle, of which his sister wished to see a repetition. It cost the Romans many ships sunk, ninety-three taken, and according to the historian, the miraculous loss of eight thousand men killed and twenty thousand taken prisoners, while the Carthaginians lost not a ship or a man.
SHAKING HANDS. Among the first things which we remember noticing in the manners of people, were two errors in the custom of shaking hands. · Some we observed, grasped every body's hand alike,-with an equal fervour of grip. You would have thought that Jenkins was the best friend they had in the world; but on succeeding to the squeeze, though a slight acquaintance, you found it equally flattering to yourself; and on the appearance of somebody else (whose name, if turned out, the operator