« AnteriorContinuar »
He who is puffed up with the first gale of prosperity, will bend beneath the first blast of adversity.
Indulge not desire, at the expense of the slightest article of virtue; pass once its limits, and you fall headlong into vice.
SECTION 11. To be angry, is to punish myself for the fault of another.
The most profitable revenge, the most rational, and the most pleasant, is, to make it the interest of the injured person not to hurt you a second time.
Precipitationa ruins the best contrived plan; patience ripens the most difficult.
The pensionary De Witt being asked how he could transact such a variety of business without confusion, answered, that he never did but one thing at a time.
When you descantb on the faults of others, consider whether you be not guilty of the same. To gain knowledge of ourselves, the best way is to convert the imperfections of others, into a mirror' for discovering our own.
The best practical rule of morality is, never to do but what we are willing all the world should know.
No man is so foolish but he may give good counsel at a time: no man so wise but he may err, if he take no counsel but his own.
He whose ruling passion is love of praise, is a slave to every one who has a longue for detraction.d
Vile and obscenee expressions are the sure marks of an abject and grovelling mind, and the corrupt overflowings of a vicious heart.
Modesty in your discourse will give a luster to truth, and an excuse to your errors.
Speak always according to your conscience; but let it be done in terms of good nature, civility, and good manners.
Common swearing argues in a man a perpetual distrust of his own reputation, and is an acknowledgment that he thinks that his bare word is unworthy of credit.
From ill air we take disease; from ill company, vices and imperfections.
Sincerity of heart and integrity of life, are the great and indispensablef ornaments of human nature.
Useful knowledge can have no enemies except the ignorant. It cherishes youth, delights the aged, is an ornament in prosperity, and yields comfort in adversity. a Pre-cip-i-ta'-tion, rash haste.
e Ob-scene', offensive to chastity and deDes-cant', discourse, comment.
licacy. c Mirror, a looking glass.
f In-dis-pens'-a-ble, not to be spared.
d De-traction, slander, defamation.
Socrates was esteemed the wisest man of his time, because he turned his acquired knowledge into morality, and aimed at goodness more than greatness.
Proud men never have friends; neither in prosperity because they know no body; nor in adversity, because then nobody knows them.
A good conscience is to the soul, what health is to the body; it preserves a constant ease and serenitya within us, and more than compensates for all the calamities and afflictions which can possibly befall us.
Knowledge, like patrimonial possessions, cannot be transmitted to successors. It is the purchase of application.
True politeness is modest, unassuming, and generous. It appears as little as possible; and when it does a polite act, would willingly conceal it.
Let us survey the natural equality on which providence has placed man with man, and reflect on the infirmities common to all. If the reflection on natural equality and mutual offenses be insufficient to prompt humanity, let us at least remember what we are in the sight of our Creator. Have we none of that forbearance to give one another, which we all so earnestly entreat from heaven? Can we look for clemency' or gentleness from our Judge, when we are so backward to show it to our brethren.
Modestyd always sits gracefully upon youth; it covers a multitude of faults, and doubles the luster of every virtue which it seems to hide: the perfections of men being like those flowers which appear more beautiful, when their leaves are a little contracted and folded up, than when they are full blown, and display themselves without any reserve to the view.
He who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows out that plan, carries on a thread which will guide him through the labyrinthe of the most busy life. The orderly arrangement of his time, is like a ray of light, which darts itself through all his affairs. But, where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidents, all things lie huddled together in one chaos, which admits neither of distribution nor re. view.
Whatever ornamental or engaging endowments you now possess, virtue is a necessary requisite, in order to their shining with proper luster. Feeble are the attractions of the
a Se-ren'-i-ty, clearness, calmness. .d Mod'-est-y, a lowly, unassuming tena. b Pat-ri-mo-ni-al, derived by inheritance. per. c Clem'-en-cy lenity, kindness.
e Lab'-y-rinth, a place full of windings f Cha'-os, a confused mass, disorder."
fairest form, if it be suspected that nothing within corresponds to the pleasing appearance without. Short are the triumphs of wit, when it is supposed to be the vehicle of malice.
As in the succession of the seasons, each, by the invariable laws of nature, affects the productions of what is next in course; so, in human life, every period of our age, according as it is well or ill spent, influences the happiness of that which is to follow. Virtuous youth gradually brings forward accomplished and flourishing manhood; and such manhood passes off itself without uneasiness, into respectable and tranquil old age.
· CHAPTER II.
SECTION 1. Catharina, Empress of Russia. 1. CATHARINA ALEXOWNA, born near Derpat, a little city in Livonia, was heir to no other inheritance than the virtues and frugality of her parents. Her father being dead, she lived with her aged mother, in her cottage covered with straw, and both, though very poor, were very contented.Here, retired from the gaze of the world, by the labor of her hands she supported her parent, who was now incapable of supporting herself.
2. Though Catharina's face and person were modelsb of perfection, yet her whole attention seemed bestowed upon her mind. Her mother taught her to read, and an old Lutheran minister instructed her in the maxims and duties of religion. Nature had furnished her, not only with a ready, but a solid turn of thought; not only with a strong, but a right understanding.
3. Catharina was fifteen years old when her mother died. She then left her cottage, and went to live with the Lutheran minister, by whom she had been instructed from her childhood. In his house she resided in quality of governess to his children; at once reconcilinge in her character, unerring prudence with surprising vivacity. The old man, who regarded her as one of his own children, had her instructed
a In-her-it-ance, a hereditary estate. 6 Mod'-els, patterns.
c Rec'-on-cl-ling, bringing to agreement d Vi-vac-i-ty, liveliness, sprightliness.
in the elegant parts of female education, by the masters who attended the rest of his family.
4. Thus she continued to improve until he died; by which accident she was reduced to her former poverty. The country of Livonia was at that time wasted by war, and lay in a miserable state of desolation. Those calamities are ever most heavy upon the poor; wherefore, Catharina, though possessed of so many accomplishments, experienced all the miseries of hopeless indigence. Provisions becoming every day more scarce, and her private stock being entirely exhausted, she resolved at last to travel to Marienburgh, a city of greater plenty.
5. With the effects of her scanty wardrobe packed up in a wallet, she set out on her journey on foot." She was to walk through a region, miserable by nature, but rendered still more hideousb by the Swedes and Russians, who, as each happened to become masters, plundered it at discretion : but hunger had taught her to despise the danger and fatigues of the way. One evening upon her journey, as she had entered a cottage by the way-side, to take up her lodging for the night, she was insulted by two Swedish soldiers..
6. They might, probably, have carried their insults into violence, had not a subalterno officer, accidentally passing by, come to her assistance. Upon his appearing, the soldiers immediately desisted ;d but her thankfulness was hardly greater than her surprise, when she instantly recollected in her deliverer, the son of the Lutheran minister, her former instructor, benefactor, and friend.
7. This was a happy interview for Catharina. The little stock of money she had brought from home was by this time quite exhausted ; her clothes were gone, piece by piece, in order to satisfy those who had entertained her in their houses: her generous countryman, therefore, parted with what he could spare to buy her clothes ; furnished her with a horse; and gave her letters of recommendation to a faithful friend of his father, the superintendente of Marienburgh.
8. The beautiful stranger was well received at Marienburgh. She was immediately admitted into the superintendent's family, as governess to his two daughters; and though but seventeen, showed herself capable of instructing her sex, not only in virtue, but in politeness. Such were her good sense and beauty, that her master himself in a short time offered her his hand, which to his great surprise she thought proper to refuse. Actuated by a principle of gratitude, she rea In-di-gence, need, poverty.
d De-sist'-ed, stopt from action. Hide-ous, frightful, horrible.
e Su-per-in-tend'-ent, an overseer. Sub-al'-tern, inferior, subordinate.
solved to marry her deliverer only, though he had lost an arm, and was otherwise disfigured by wounds received in the service.
9. In order, therefore, to prevent further solicitations from others, as soon as the officer came to town upon duty, she offered him her hand which he accepted with joy, and their nuptialsa were accordingly solemnized. But all the lines of her fortune were to be striking. The very day on which they were married, the Russians laid siegeb to Marienburgh; and the unhappy soldier was immediately ordered to an attack from which he never returned.
10. In the mean time the siege went on with fury, aggravated on one side by obstinácy, on the other by revenge.The war between the two northern powers at that time was truly barbarous: the innocent peasant, and the harmless virgin, often shared the fate of the soldier in arms. Marienburgh was taken by assault; and such was the fury of the assailants, that not only the garrison, but almost all the inhabitants, men, women, and children, were put to the sword. At length, when the carnagee was pretty well over, Catharina was found hid in an oven.
11. She had hitherto been poor, but free; she was now to conform to her hard fate, and learn what it was to be a slave. In this situation, however, she behaved with piety and humility; and though misfortunes had abated her vivacity, yet she was cheerful. The fame of her merit and resignation, reached even prince Menzikoff, the Russian general. Hé desired to see her; was pleased with her appearance; bought her from the soldier, her master; and placed her under the direction of his own sister. Here she was treated with all the respect which her merit deserved ; tyhile her beauty every day improved with her good fortune.
12. She had not been long in this situation, when Peter the Great paying the prince a visit, Catharina happened to come in with some dried fruits, which she served round with peculiar modesty. The mighty monarch saw her, and was struck with her beauty. He returned the next day; called for the beautiful slave; asked her several questions; and found the charms of her mind superior even to those of her person.
13. He had been forced, when young, to marry from motives of interest: he was now resolved to marry pursuants to his own inclinations. He immediately inquired into the
a Nup-tials, marriage.
0 Siege, the besetting of a place with troops.
c Peas'-ant, one who lives by rural labor.
d Gar'-ri-son, a body of troops in a fort.