new pleasure ; but I think my inge- expanse of antiquity. It is he who nious friend Sophos is more worthy recognises in a fact the importance of of such a recompence who has invent- a general principle and makes it the ed a successful method of not only centre of a system to enlighten all ohmitigating pain but of converting it jects within its range, who is rightfully into a source of enjoyment. As in its discovarer ; not he who may have this “ vale of tears" the recurrence of seen and used it once or twice for a painful objects is greatly more frequent particular purpose, and then thrown than of occasions for enjoying any it aside as a thing of no farther or more single pleasure whatever, especially a general interest or utility. In this way new one, so he that can teach us to is my friend the discoverer of this great disarm the former wholly of their charm for quenching all the evils of power to annoy us, and even turn Pandora's box;mbut I must now unthem to account of annuseinent is much fold to you the history of its discovery ; more worthy of our gratitude than he and this I do with the more readiness who merely may have added another because along with it you will likewise to the short list of our pleasures. The have the manner in which he makes secret of my worthy friend's art is to use of it. piilosophize on all the evils which be- When a mere boy, you must know, fall him; or, in other, words, when my friend was extremely inquisitive a.y thing unfortunate happens to him, and wished to understand the reason instead of fixing his attention on the of everything which fell under irritating or painful qualities of the his observation. So far indeed did accident and yielding his mind pas- he indulge this turn of his mind sively to the fretful sensations which that he has often voluntarily subwould be produced in other men, he mitted to a good deal of danger looks upon it as an experiment in the and pain to acquire an experimental matter with which it is connected, and and personal knowledge of any thing gathers from it, nota lesson of patience, which interested his fancy as curious. for he endeavours to feel no uneasi- Once, having witnessed the execution ness, but an addition to his knowledge of a malefactor, he became exceedingly of things and of men. Unlike all desirous to feel iu his own person the other great discoveries this one was sensations of strangulation. Accordeffected by design and not by accident; ingly he procured one of his companbut it has this character which is com- ions, an urchin not older than himself, mon to them all, that men wonder who volunteered to cut him down as after it is announced how a thing so soon as he was told to do so by the much needed and seemingly so very subject of the experiment. But poor obvious should never have been thought Sophos unfortunately not being able of before. Some indeed may prétend to speak, was permitted by his comthat it is not new and may bring for- panion to hang until his astonished ward examples of its having been used Father unwittingly came upon them, several thousand years ago ; but this who undid the noose just in time to save is no more than what may be said of the young philosopher's life, and by all the discoveries of modern science, doing so, to perform a signal service some obscure glimmerings of which to the most important brauch of all being here and there perceptible in the philosophy, that which instructs us in milky way of scientific record which the art of easy living. When he came the learned can trace upon the dark to himself after his experiment he did

[ocr errors]

not say that his feelings had been pain- liquium and mortal paleness," was not

very curious, and immediately realized in his person, and is much dis. Cormier a minute detail of them to posed to think that it does not apply the jumps of his common-place book. to many of the cases which occur in

In his riper years he fell in love, this cold climate and commercial moe for the purpose, as he truly said, country. of analysing the passion in his own Advanciug still farther in life and inind, and discovering how far it agreed being rather sedentary in his habits as with the many descriptions of it to be most philosophers are, and likewise found in the writings of the poets and (but this is under the rose) indulging novelists than for gratifying his ani- pretty freely in wine, purely however mality; though this too, being an ex- for the laudable purpose of ascertaining periment on human frames, he had in distinctly the phenomena of intoxicaview as the ultimate part of his design. sion, he became on one occasion a great He found the traits of it, however, so martyrto gout. Unlike Franklin under very sagacious and so difficult to similar circunstances (which by the bye catch and analyse, that much time was shews the great superiority of our phi. occupied in making up his mind as to losopher over him) the firi: visit of its real nature ; so that his mistress this distemper was very acceptable to who was more desirous of the thing Sophos. He had just read Sydenthan of the mode, and being wearied ham's admirable description of this of tantalizing delays, set off' one fine disease and ventured to entertain some : morning with Dennis O'Grady, a doubts 'as to the accuracy of certain Captain in an Irish marching regiment, parts of it. In his account of it, which and left our philosopher to conclude was taken from his own fcelings, Sy: his experiinent upon the fair person of denham says that the pain is somesome other less impatient inamorata. times similar to what you would expeThis misfortune, however, was not rience if the joint of your great toè permitted to ruffle his temper in the were suddenly and forcibly wrenched least. He now philosophized on the open and a boilmg concentrated acia fickleness and warmth of the female poured upon the lacerated parts at the constitution, and even felicitated him- very moment of their separation. Now self on what had happened, inasmuch Sophos had the hardihood to suspeo as he now had an opportunity of oh- that this picture was rather overcharge serving the phenomena of the decline ed by our English Hippocrates; and and fall, as he formerly had of the rise wished, above all things, that Mrs. and progress, of this passion ; without Gout, as Franklin facetiously calls her, which, as he wisely remarked, his would put it to the test of experiment knowledge of the matter would not in his own person. Accordingly one have been complete. And from all night about 12 o'clock she visited him he experienced on this occasion our in her sternest - mood, and (oh the philosopher thinks himself warranted triumphs of philosophy!) while expeamong other things to maintain that riencing to the fullest extent the truth the description of the symptoms of of Sydenham's simile, he leapt out of love as given by Sappho, viz. “ the bed, like another Archimedes, and faultering voice, the burning blush, the exclaimed in an extacy of joy " I have languid eye, the sudden sweat, the “ found it, I have found it, He is tumultuous pulce; and at length the “ right, He is right !' persion otcrcoming the spirits, a de- As a reward, however, of bis Ports

tude and philosophy he experienced. ( duce of land and stock falling every at the same time the truth of another day. From this he anticipates great remark of this great physician, viz. things; and though he rents a sinall that any sudden and highly excited | Sabine farm himself, he subinits to his passion, such as joy or fear, sometimes losses with the greatest cheerfulness. entirely removes this complaint ; for, He foresees that the farmers will not from that night to this, he has had no long be able to pay their stipulated farther opportunity of philosophizing rents; and that the landlords of courso on this painful destemper.

cannot much longer both pay

their Lic all other inen of this age So- taxes and support their present exphos must needs be a politician. The pensive establishments. He calculates taxes are the great national evil of that their selfishness is greater than which we are now complaining, and their costliness and knows full well to them also has Sophos directed his that as, by their votes in parliament, attention. But he pays them all they have the power in their own cheerfully because he regards their hands, they will use it much more present magnitude and weight as a readily to reduce the former than to beautiful experiment on the durability curtail the latter. Away go the taxes and self-adjusting power of the British therefore, the undue influence of the constitution. During the war while crown arising therefrom, will be prothe debt and taxes were accumulating he portionally dininished; and the conwitnessed with infinite delight the expe- stitution novy raised off its level by the riment made of how much a brave and unsafe elevation of one of its supports, generous people would do and suffer will gradually and peaceably resume its for the preservation of their hiberties ; ancient equipoise, affording as heretoand rejoiced, with a truly British heart, fore the blessings of peace and protec in those splendid successes of our arins tion to a free and prosperous people. which deprived our enemies of the Thus does my old friend live the power to annoy us, and gave Great quietest and easiest of men. As a tree Britain a name which all nations must derives its nourishment and strength reverence, and none but the brave can not only from the inild dews of heaven emulate, in the ages which are to fol- but from the beating rains which are low. But at the peace he could not dashed against it by the tempest, so but be sensible that the debt and taxes does he convert every accident which which were accumulated during the befals him, prosperous as well as adwar, gave an undrie and dangerous verse, to the advancement of his knowpreponderancy to the crown over the lodge and the promotion of his happiother branches of the constitution; ness. And although if pushed too far, which, if long submitted to, might, in the system on which he has foundthe hands of a weak or profligate mi-ed, and by which he has secured nister, from a means of preservation his happiness may soinetimes expose during war, become a destroyer during him in ridiculous lights, yet there is peace, of noblest privileges. But much in it which we would do well he waits with an enlightened tran- among other things to avail ourselves quility the result of the experiment.-of, if we would have an easy and comHe saw the progress of self-adjustment fortable passage through this chequered begin at the general peace, and just and transitory scuric. now,predicts the beautiful issue of it. He sees the nominal value of the pro




things, which may be detinded cannot be PARLIAMEŠTARY ELOQUENCE.

applauded; the coalition between his lordLORD XORTH-MR. FOX-MR.

ship, and Mr. Fox, was of this description. PITT-MR. BURKE.

Mr. For and Mr. Pite.
Lord North

On his first separation from the ministry, A very expressive word in our language, Mr. l'ox assumed the character of a whig,

which describes an assemblage of many and from that time,-uniformly advocat. real virtues, of many qualities approachinged the cause of civil and religious liberis, nearly to virtue, and an union of manners on their broadest principles. at once pleasing and comnianding respect, Alinost the whole of his political life was the word “gentleman, was never ap- spent in opposition to bis majesty's zinis plied to any person in a higher degree, or It may be said of liim, as of lord more generally, than it was to lord North, North, that he had political adversaries, and to all he said or did in the house of but no enciny. Good-nature, 190 easily commons.

carried to excess, was one of the distinctive His lordship did not aspire to the liigh- marks of his character. In vehemence and er eloquence, but the house never possessed power of argument lie reseinbled Durresa more powerful debater ; nor could any thenes ; but there, the rest nublance ended. one avail himself of the strong part of a Ile possessed a strain of ridicule and wit, cause with greater ability, or defend its' wbich nature denied to the Athenian, ard weak, with greater skill; no speaker was it was the more powerful as it always apever so conciliating, or enjoyed a greater peared to be blended with argument, and proportion of the esteem and love of the identified in a manner with it

The mnohouse. Among his political adversaries he ment of his grandeur was, when,-after! had not a single enemy. With an unwiel- had stated the argument of luis adversary, dy figure and a dull eye, the quickness of with much greater strength tran his adverhis mind seemed intuition. « I,"_lord sary liad done, and with much greater Sandwich once said to the Reminiscent, — strength than any of his hearers thought “ must have pen and ink, and write down, possible, he seized it with the strength of " and ruminate: give lord North a bundle a giant, and tore and trampled on it to “ of papers, and he'll turn them over, destruction. If, at this moment, he had “perhaps, while liis hair is dressing; and possessed the power of the Athenian over “ he instantly knows their contents and all the passions or the imaginations of his “ their bearings." His wit was never hearers, he might have disposed of the house surpassed, and it was attended with this at his pleasure,- but this was denied to him ; singular quality, that it never gave offence, and, on this account, his speeches fell very and the object of it was sure to join with short of the effect, which, otherwise, they pleasure in the laugh. The assault of Mr. inust have produced. Adam on Mr. Fox, and of colonel Fullar. It is difficult to decide on the compariton on lord Shelbourne, lad once put the itive merit of him and Mr. Pitt; the lattı: house into the worst possible humour, and had not the vehement reasoning, or arguthere was inore or less of savageness in ev- mentative ridicule of Mr. Fox: but he had ery thing that was said :-Lord North more splendour, more imagery, and much deprecated the too great readiness to take more method and discretion. In addition, offence which then sceined to possess the hehad the command of bitter contemptuous house. “ One member," he said, “who sarcasm, which stung to madness. It was “ spoke of me, called me, that thing call- prettily said by Mr. Gibbon, Billy's “ ed a minister :'-to be sure,”-he said, “ painted galley will soon sink under patting his large form,-“ I am a thing ; “ Charles's black collier :”—but never did “ die inember therefore, when he called me horoscope prove more false ;-Mr. For

a thing, said what was true; and I could said more truly," Pitt will do for us, if “ not be angry with him ; but, when he he does not do for himself.” “added, that thing called a minister, he Mr. Fox had a captivating earnestness “ called me that thing, which of all things, he of tone and manner; Mr. Pitt was more “ himself wished most to be, and therefore, dignified than eamest: it was an observa“ said lord North, “ I took it as a com- tion of the reporters, in the gallery, that it “pliment." These good-natured sallies required great exertion to follow Mr. Fox dropped from luin incessantly.-On his while he was speaking, none to remember resignation, he should liarc rctired: many' what he had said ; tbat it was easy and delightful to follow Mr. l'itt, not su casy tu after bis return to office. Narrow, and recollect what laddelighted them. It may short, was the orily piarik on which tie be ajiled that, in all Mr. Fox's speeches, could stand: but there be placed himself; even when he was most violent, there was and he defemied liimselt upon it with such an unquestionable indication of good-l:u- case and adroitness, that he was seldom mour, which attracted every heart. Where touched by his adversaries, and had often there was such a seéning equipoise of the posture of a successful assailant." merit the two last circumstances might

Jr. Burke. be thought to turn the scale: but Nr. Pitt's undeviating circumspection,-- Girently inferior to cither of these extra... times concealed, but sometiines ostentati- ordinary men, if we are to judge of himn by ously displayed,--tended to obtain for lis speeches, as be delivered them, but him from the prudent and the grave, & greatly superior to both, if we are to judge confidence which they denied to his rival; ; of him loy his specchies, as he published besicks Mr. l'itt had no coalition, no India them,--Ednund Burke will always hold bill to defend.


an eminent rank among the most distin. Both orators were verbose: Mr. Fox by guished characters of this country. 'Estibis repctions,-Ur. litt by his amplifica- i mating him by his written specches, we shall tions. Nr. Grattan observed to the find nothing comparable to him, till we Reniniscent,-hat no one heard Mr. Fox reach thuc loinan orator. Equal to that tu advantage, who died not hear him before great man in dialect, in imagery, in occae the coalition ; or Jr. Pitt, who did not sional splendour, and in general informa. hear hiin betore he quitted office. Each lion ;-exceeding him in political wisdom, detended himself on these occasions, with and the applicaton of history and plnilososurprising ability : but cach felt he had phy to politics, le yields to him in grace. done something that required defence :- and taste, and even in that which was not the talent remained, the mouth still spoke the forte of Cicero, in discretion. A phialoud, but the swell of soul was no more. I lysophical review of his speeches and writThe situation of these eminent men at this ings, keeping his politics, as his inferior gift, time, put the Reyniniscent in mind of a in the background, might serve for the sub. reunark of Bossuet on Fenelon,--" Fenc ject of a useful and interesting discussion, " lon," he said, "has great talents; much What particularly distinguished' Mr, " greater than mine; it is his niisfortune Burke from the Greek and Roman orator, “to have brought himself into a situation, and from his contemporary rivals, was his " in which all his talents are necessary for frequent admixture of coarse and low ex. '* his defence,"

pressions, even into his most splendid pas. On two occasions, Mr. Pitt and Mr. sages. The effect of it was soinetimes great, Fox may be thought to have brought into and then redecined them; but they sometimes the field, something like an equality of deforined and disgusted." The Venus of force. When the attack was made on the Phidias,' Wilkes used to say, "was so love. coalition, Mr. Pitt hall the king, Mr. Fox “ ly, that the Athepians called her the Ve. a great inajority of the members of the house

“nus of roses: Lovely too, speaking geof coinmons on his side: when the regen- “nerally, is the Venus of Burke, but she cy was in question, Mr. Pitt had the same " sometimes is the Venus of Whisky." majority in the house, Mr. Fox had the In familiar conversation, the thiree great Die heir-apparent:he tug of war was nen, u bon we have mentioned, equally exgreat; but may it not be said, that, on each celled: but even the most intimate frends of occasion. Ir. Fox facilitated by his own Mr. Fox complained of his too frequent imprudence the victory of his adversary, ruminating silence.' Mr. Pitt talked ;“ Give nie," said the cardinal de Retz to and his talk was fascinating. A good judge a person who had tauntingly observed to said of him, that he was the only person him, cardinal Plazarin's superiority over he had known, who possessed the talent of lin, Give me the king but for one day | condescension. Yet his loftiness never for" and you'll see whicla las the real authori- sook luim; still, one might be sooner seis ty." - Mr.' For nçver had the king with duced to take liberties with him, than with kim, even for a day.

Mr. Fox. Mr. Burke's conversation was The must astonishing display of talent by rambling, but splendid, rich ankiusiructive Mr, Pitt, witnessed by thë keminiscent beyond comparison. *** then the catholic vill was first agitated!

« ElőzőTovább »