Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

In the first rank of these did Zimri stand:

Dryden, and raised upon the same founda- | estate left him, which he said was welcome tion:

to him upon no other account, but as he

hoped it would remove all difficulties that A man so various, that he seemd to be

lay in the way to our mutual happiness. Not one, but all mankind's epitome.

You Stiff in opinion, always in the wrong;

may well suppose, sir, with how much Was every thing by starts, and nothing long; joy I received this letter, which was followBut, in the course of one revolving moon,

ed by several ot ers filled with those exWas chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon! Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking,

pressions of love and joy, which I verily Besides ten thousand freaks that dyd in thinking.

believe nobody felt more sincerely, nor Blest madman, who could every hour employ, knew better how to describe, than the genWith something new to wish, or to enjoy !*

C.

tleman I am speaking of. But, sir, how shall I be able to tell it you! By the last

week's post I received a letter from an inNo. 163.] Thursday, September 6, 1711. timate friend of this unhappy gentleman,

acquainting me, that as he had just settled his -Si quid ego adjuero, curamve levasso

affairs, and was preparing for his journey, Quæ nunc te coquit, et versat sub pectore fixa,

he fell sick of a fever and died. It is imEcquid erit pretii ?

Enn. apud Tullium. Bay, will you thank me if I bring you rest,

possible to express to you the distress I am And ease the torture of your troubled breast? in upon this occasion. I can only have

recourse to my devotions; and to the INQUIRIES after happiness, and rules for reading of good books for my consolation; attaining it, are not so necessary and useful and as I always take a particular delight to mankind as the arts of consolation, and in those frequent advices and admonitions supporting one's self under affliction. The which you give the public, it would be a utmost we can hope for in this world is very great piece of charity in you to lend contentment; if we aim at any thing higher; me your assistance in this conjuncture. If we shall meet with nothing but grief and after the reading of this letter you find disappointment. A man should direct all yourself in a humour, rather to rally and his studies and endeavours at making him- ridicule, than to comfort me, I desire you self easy now and happy hereafter.

would throw it into the fire, and think no The truth of it is, if all the happiness that more of it; but if you are touched with my is dispersed through the whole race of misfortune, which is greater than I know mankind in this world were drawn toge- how to bear, your counsels may very much ther, and put into the possession of any sin support, and will infinitely oblige, the afgle man, it would not make a very happy Aicted

LEONORA.' being. Though on the contrary, if the miseries of the whole species were fixed

A disappointment in love is more hard to in a single person, they would make a get over than any other: the passion itself very miserable one.

so softens and subdues the heart, that it I'am engaged in this subject by the fol- disables it from struggling or bearing up lowing letter, which, though subscribed by against the woes and distresses which befall a fictitious name, I have reason to believe it.

The mind meets with other misforis not imaginary.

tunes in her whole strength; she stands MR. SpectaTOR, I am one of your collected within herself, and sustains the disciples, and endeavour to live up to your shock with all the force which is natural to rules, which I hope will incline you to pity her; but a heart in love has its foundation my condition. I shall open it to you in a sapped, and immediately sinks under the very few words. 'About three years since, weight of accidents that are disagreeable a gentleman, whom, I am sure, you your- to its favourite passion. self would have approved, made his ad- In afflictions men generally draw their dresses to me. He had every thing to re-consolations out of books of morality, which commend him but an estate, so that my indeed are of great use to fortify and friends, who all of them applauded his strengthen the mind against the impresperson, would not for the sake of both of us sions of sorrow, Monsieur St. Evremont, favour his passion. For my own part, I who does not approve of this method, reresigned myself up entirely to the direction comniends authors who are apt to stir up of those who knew the world much better mirth in the mind of readers, and fancies than myself, but still lived in hopes that Don Quixote can give more relief to a some juncture or other would make me heavy heart than Plutarch or Seneca, as it happy in the man, whom, in my heart, I is much easier to divert grief than to conprefered to all the world; being determined quer it. This doubtless may have its effects if I could not have him, to have nobody on some tempers. I should rather have else. About three months ago I received a recourse to authors of a quite contrary kind, letter from him, acquainting me, that by that give us instances of calamities and the death of an uncle he had a considerable misfortunes, and show human nature in its

greatest distresses. " Absalom and Ahithophel." It is perhaps unneces. If the afflictions we groan under be very sary to observe, that the character of Zimri is that of George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, author of the heavy, we shall find some consolation in the " Rehearsal."

society of as great sufferers as ourselves,

[ocr errors]

especially when we find our companions | nary wit and beauty, but very unhappy in men of virtue and merit. If our afflictions a father, who having arrived at great riches are light, we shall be comforted by the by his own industry, took delight in nocomparison we make between ourselves thing but his money. Theodosius* was the and our fellow-sufferers. A loss at sea, a younger son of a decayed family, of great fit of sickness, or the death of a friend, are parts and learning, improved by a genteel such trifles, when we consider whole king- and virtuous education. When he was in doms laid in ashes, families put to the the twentieth year of his age he became sword, wretches shut up in dungeons, and acquainted with Constantia, who had not the like calamities of mankind, that we are then passed her fifteenth. As he lived but out of countenance for our own weakness, if a few miles distant from her father's house, we sink under such little strokes of fortune. he had frequent opportunities of seeing her,

Let the disconsolate Leonora consider, and by the advantages of a good person and that at the very time in which she lan- a pleasing conversation, made such an imguishes for the loss of her deceased lover, pression on her heart as it was impossible there are persons in several parts of the for time to efface. He was himself no less world just perishing in a shipwreck; others smitten with Constantia. A long acquaintcrying out for mercy in the terrors of a ance made them still discover new beauties death-bed repentance; others lying under in each other, and by degrees raised in the tortures of an infamous execution, or them that mutual passion which had an the like dreadful calamities; and she will influence on their following lives. It unfind her sorrows vanish at the appearance fortunately happened, that in the midst of of those which are so much greater and this intercourse of love and friendship bemore astonishing.

tween Theodosius and Constantia, there I would further propose to the considera- broke out an irreparable quarrel between tion of my afflicted disciple, that possibly their parents, the one valuing himself too what she now looks upon as the greatest much upon his birth, and the other upon misfortune, is not really such in itself. For his possessions. The father of Constantia my own part, I question not but our souls was so incensed at the father of Theodoin a separate state will look back on their sius, that he contracted an unreasonable lives in quite another view than what they aversion towards his son, insomuch that he had of them in the body; and that what forbade him his house, and charged his they now consider as misfortunes and dis- daughter, upon her duty, never to see him appointments, will very often appear to more. In the mean time, to break off all have been escapes and blessings.

communication between the two lovers, The mind that hath any cast towards who he knew entertained secret hopes of devotion, naturally flies to it in its afflic- some favourable opportunity that should tions.

bring them together, he found out a young When I was in France I heard a very gentleman of a good fortune and an agreeremarkable story of two lovers, which I able person, whom he pitched upon as a husshall relate at length in my to-morrow's band for his daughter. He soon concerted paper, not only because the circumstances this affair so well, that he told Constantia of it are extraordinary, but because it may it was his design to marry her to such a serve as an illustration to all that can be said gentleman, and that her wedding should on this last head, and show the power of be celebrated on such a day. Constantia, religion in abating that particular anguish who was overawed with the anthority of which seems to lie so heavy on Leonora. her father, and unable to object any thing The story was told me by a priest, as I tra- against so advantageous a match, received velled with him in a stage-coach. I shall the proposal with a profound silence, which give it my reader, as well as I can remember, her father commended in her, as the most in his own words, after having premised, decent manner of a virgin's giving her conthat if consolations may be drawn from a sent to an overture of that kind. The noise wrong religion and a misguided devotion, of, this intended marriage soon reached they cannot but flow much more naturally Theodosius, who, after a long tumult of from those which are founded upon reason passions, which naturally rise in a lover's and established in good sense.

L. heart on such an occasion, writ the follow

ing letter to Constantia. No. 164.) Friday, September 7, 1711. • The thought of my Constantia, which ma, Quis et me, inquit, miseram, et te perdidit, Orpheu? for some years has been my only happiness, Jamque vale : feror ingenti circumdata nocte,

is now become a greater torment to me than Invalida que tibi tendens, heul non taa, palmas. I am able to bear. Must I then live to see

Virg. Georg, iv. 494.

you another's? The streams, the fields and Then thus the bride: What fury seiz'd on thee, Unhappy man! to lose thyself and me?

meadows, where we have so often talked And now farewell! involv'd in shades of night, together, grow painful to me; life itself is For ever I am ravish'd from thy sight:

become a burden. May you long be happy In vain I reach my feeble hands to join In sweet embraces, ahl no longer thine. Dryden.

* Dr. Langhorne's Theodosius and Constantia is CONSTANTIA was a woman of extraordi- I founded upon this paper.

in the world, but forget that there was ever | inquire after Constantia; whom he looked such a man in it as THEODOSIUS.' upon as given away to his rival upon the

day on which, according to common fame, This letter was conveyed to Constantia their marriage was to have been solemn that very evening, who fainted at the read- ized. Having in his youth made a good ing of it; and the next morning she was progress in learning, that he might dedimuch more alarmed by two or three mes- cate himself more entirely to religion, he sengers, that came to her father's house, entered into holy orders, and in a few years one after another, to inquire if they had became renowned for his sanctity of life, heard any thing of Theodosius, who, it and those pious sentiments which he inseems, had left his chamber about mid-spired into all who conversed with him. It night, and could no where be found. The was this holy man to whom Constantia had deep melancholy which had hung upon his determined to apply herself in confession, mind some time before, made them appre- though neither she nor any other, besides hend the worst that could befal him. Con- the prior of the convent, knew any thing stantia, who knew that nothing but the of his name or family. The gay, the amiareport of her marriage could have driven ble Theodosius, had now taken upon him him to such extremities, was not to be the name of Father Francis, and was so far comforted. She now accused herself of concealed in a long beard, a shaven head, having so tamely given an ear to the pro- and a religious habit, that it was impossible posal of a husband, and looked upon the to discover the man of the world in the new lover as the murderer of Theodosius. venerable conventual. In short, she resolved to suffer the utmost As he was one morning shut up in his effects of her father's displeasure, rather confessional, Constantia kneeling by him than comply with a marriage which ap- opened the state of her soul to him; and peared to her so full of guilt and horror. after having given him the history of a life The father seeing himself entirely rid of full of innocence, she burst out into tears, Theodosius, and likely to keep a considera- and entered upon that part of her story in ble portion in his family, was not very much which he himself had so great a share. concerned at the obstinate refusal of his . My behaviour,' says she,'has I fear been daughter; and did not find it very difficult the death of a man who had no other fault to excuse himself upon that account to his but that of loving me too much. Heaven intended son-in-law, who had all along re- only knows how dear he was to me whilst garded this alliance rather as a marriage he lived, and how bitter the remembrance of convenience than of love. Constantia of him has been to me since his death.' had now no relief but in her devotions and She here paused, and lifted up her eyes that exercises of religion, to which her afflic- streamed with tears, towards the father; tions had so entirely subjected her mind, who was so moved with the sense of her that after some years had abated the vio- sorrows, that he could only command his lence of her sorrows, and settled her voice, which was broke with sighs and thoughts in a kind of tranquillity, she re- sobbings, so far as to bid her proceed. She solved to pass the remainder of her days in followed his directions, and in a flood of a convent. Her father was not displeased tears poured out her heart before him. with a resolution which would save money The father could not forbear weeping aloud, in his family, and readily complied with insomuch that in the agonies of his grief the his daughter's intentions. Accordingly in seat shook under him. Constantia, who the twenty-fifth year of her age, while her thought the good man was thus moved by beauty was yet in all its height and bloom, his compassion towards her, and by the he carried her to a neighbouring city, in horror of her guilt, proceeded with the order to look out a sisterhood of nuns among utmost contrition to acquaint him with that whom to place his daughter. There was vow of virginity in which she was going to in this place a father of a convent who was engage herself, as the proper atonement very much renowned for his piety and ex- for her sins, and the only sacrifice she could emplary life; and as it is usual in the Ro- make to the memory of Theodosius. The mish church for those who are under any father, who by this time had pretty well great affliction, or trouble of mind, to apply composed himself, burst out again in tears themselves to the most eminent confessors upon hearing that name to which he had for pardon and consolation, our beautiful been so long disused, and upon receiving this votary took the opportunity of confessing instance of unparalleled fidelity from one herself to this celebrated father.

whom he thought had several years since We must now return to Theodosius, who, given herself up to the possession of anthe very morning that the above-mentioned other. Amidst the interruptions of his sorinquiries had been made after him, arrived row, seeing his penitent overwhelmed with at a religious house in the city where now grief, he was only able to bid her from time Constantia resided; and desiring that se- to time be comforted—to tell her that her crecy and concealment of the fathers of the sins were forgiven her-that her guilt was convent, which is very usual upon any ex- not so great as she apprehended—that she traordinary occasion, he made himself one should not suffer herself to be afflicted of the order, with a private vow never to) above measure. After which he recovered himself enough to give her the absolution | where she resided; and are often read to in form; directing her at the same time to the young religious, in order to inspire repair to him again the next day, that he them with good resolutions and sentiments might encourage her in the pious resolu- of virtue. It so happened, that after Contions she had taken, and give her suitable stantia had lived about ten years in the exhortations for her behaviour in it. Con- cloister, a violent fever broke out in the stantia retired, and the next morning re- place, which swept away great multitudes, newed her applications. Theodosius having and among others Theodosius. Upon his manned his soul with proper thoughts and death-bed he sent his benediction in a very reflections, exerted himself on this occasion moving manner to Constantia, who at that in the best manner he could to animate his time was so far gone in the same fatal dispenitent in the course of life she was enter temper, that she lay delirious. Upon the ing upon, and wear out of her mind those interval which generally precedes death in groundless fears and apprehensions which sicknesses of this nature, the abbess, finding had taken possession of it; concluding with that the physicians had given her over, told a promise to her, that he would from time her that Theodosius was just gone before to time continue his admonitions when she her, and that he had sent her his benedicshould have taken upon her the holy veil. tion in his last moments. Constantia re• The rules of our respective orders,' says ceived it with pleasure. And now,' says he, 'will not permit that I should see you, she, 'if I do not ask any thing improper, but you may assure yourself not only of let me be buried by Theodosius. My vow having a place in my prayers, but of re- reaches no farther than the grave; what I ceiving such frequent instructions as I can ask is, I hope, no violation of it.'- She convey to you by letters. Go on cheerfully died soon after, and was interred according in the glorious course you have undertaken, to her request. and you will quickly find such a peace and Their tombs are still to be seen, with a satisfaction in your mind, which is not in short Latin inscription over them to the the power of the world to give.'

following purpose: Constantia's heart was so elevated with • Here lie the bodies of Father Francis the discourse of Father Francis, that the and Sister Constance. They were lovely very next day she entered upon her vow. in their lives, and in their deaths they were As soon as the solemnities of her reception not divided.'.

C. were over; she retired, as it is usual, with the abbess into her own apartment.

The abbess had been informed the night No. 165.] Saturday, September 8, 1711, before of all that had passed between her noviciate and Father Francis; from whom

Si forte necesse est, she now delivered to her the following

Fingere cinctutis non exaudita Cethegis,

Continget: dabiturque licentia sumpta pudenter. letter: “As the first fruits of those joys and con

-If you would unheard of things express,

Invent new words; we can indulge a muse, solations which you may expect from the Until the license rise to an abuse. life you now engaged in, I must ac

I sits so heavy upon your thoughts, is still business it is to watch over our laws, our

stitution there are several persons whose alive; and that the father to whom you liberties, and commerce, certain men might have confessed yourself, was once that be set apart as superintendents of our lanTheodosius whom you so much lament. The love which we have had for one an- coin from passing among us; and in par

guage, to hinder any words of a foreign other will make us more happy in its dis- ticular to prohibit any French phrases from appointment than it could have done in its becoming current in this kingdom when success. Providence has disposed of us for those of our own stamp are altogether as our advantage, though not according to our valuable. The present war has so adultewishes. Consider your Theodosius still as dead, but assure yourself of one who will it would be impossible for one of our great

rated our tongue with strange words, that not cease to pray for you, in Father

•FRANCIS.'

grandfathers to know what his posterity

have been doing, were he to read their exConstantia saw that the hand-writing ploits in a modern newspaper. Our waragreed with the contents of the letter; and riors are very industrious in propagating upon reflecting on the voice of the person, the French language, at the same time that the behaviour, and above all the extreme they are so gloriously successful in beating sorrow of the father during her confession, down their power. Our soldiers are men she discovered Theodosius in every par- of strong heads for action, and perform ticular. After having wept mth tears of such feats as they are not able to express. joy, 'It is enough,' says she, Theodosius They want words in their own tongue to is still in being: I shall live with comfort tell us what it is they achieve, and thereand die in peace.'

fore send us over accounts of their per. The letters which the father sent her formances in a jargon of phrases, which afterwards are yet extant in the nunnery they learn among their conquered enemies.

Hor. Ars Poet. v. 48.

They ought however to be provided with | when our country was delivered from the secretaries, and assisted by our foreign mi- greatest fears and apprehensions, and raised nisters, to tell their story for them in plain to the greatest height of gladness it had English, and to let us know in our mother-ever felt since it was a nation, I mean the tongue what it is our brave countrymen are year of Blenheim, I had the copy of a letter about The French would indeed be in the sent me out of the country, which was writright to publish the news of the present warten from a young gentleman in the army to in English phrases, and make their cam- his father, a man of good estate and plain paigns unintelligible. Their people might sense. As the letter was very modishly flatter themselves that things are not so bad chequered with this modern military eloas they really are, were they thus palliated quence, I shall present my reader with a with foreign terms, and thrown into shades copy of it. and obscurity; but the English cannot be too clear in their narrative of those actions, and Bavarian armies they took post behind

'Sir,-Upon the junction of the French which have raised their country to a higher pitch of glory than it ever yet arrived at, a great morass which they thought imand which will be still the more admired practicable. Our general the next day sent the better they are explained.

a party of horse to “reconnoitre" 'them For my part, by that time a siege is car- of an hour's distance from the army, who

from a little "hauteur,” at about a quarter ried on two or three days, I am altogether returned again to the camp unobserved lost and bewildered in it, and meet with so through several “ defiles,”

in one of which many inexplicable difficulties, that I know which side has the better of it, until they met with a party of French that had I am informed by the Tower-guns that the been “ marauding," and made them all place is surrendered. I do indeed make prisoners at discretion. The day after a some allowances for this part of the war; which he would communicate to none but

drum arrived at our camp, with a message fortifications have been foreign inventions, the general; he was followed by a trumpet, and upon that account abounding in foreign who they say behaved himself very saucily, terms. But when we have won battles with a message from the Duke of Bavaria. which may be described in our own lan- The next morning our army being divided guage, why are our papers filled with so

into two “ many unintelligible exploits, and the French

corps," made a movement toobliged to lend us a part of their tongue be- wards the enemy. You will hear in the fore we can know how they are conquered the other circumstances of that glorious

public prints how we treated them, with They must be made accessary to their own disgrace, as the Britons were formerly so

day: I had the good fortune to be in that artificially wrought in the curtain of the Several French battalions, which some say

regiment that pushed the “ Roman theatre, that they seemed to draw were a “corps de reserve,” made a show it up, in order to give the spectators an op- of resistance; but it only proved a portunity of seeing their own defeat cele-conade,” for upon our preparing to fill up

gasbrated upon the stage; for so Mr. Dryden

a little « fosse" in order to attack them, has translated that verse in Virgil:

they beat the “chamade,” and sent us a Purpurea intextí tollunt aulæa Britanní.

“ carte blanche.” Their "commandant," Georg. iii. 25.

with a great many other general officers, Which interwoven Britons seem to raise,

and troops without number, are made priAnd show the triumph that their shame displays. soners of war, and will, I believe, give you

The histories of all our former wars are a visit in England, the “cartel” not being transmitted to us in our vernacular idiom, yet settled. Not questioning but these parto use the phrase of a great modern critic. * ticulars will be very welcome to you, I conI do not find in any of our chronicles, that gratulate you upon them, and am your most Edward the Third ever reconnoitred the dutiful son,' &c. enemy, though he often discovered the pos- The father of the young gertleman upon ture of the French, and as often vanquished the perusal of the letter found it contained them in battle. The Black Prince passed great news, but could not guess what it was. many a river without the help of pontoons, He immediately communicated it to the and filled a ditch with faggots as success- curate of the parish, who upon the reading fully as the

generals of our times do it with of it, being vexed to see any thing he could fascines. Our commanders lose half their not understand, fell into a kind of a passion, praise, and our people half their joy, by and told him, that his son had sent him a means of those hard words and dark ex- letter that was neither fish, flesh, nor good pressions in which our newspapers do so red-herring. I wish,' says he, the capmuch abound, I have seen many a prudent tain may be "compos mentis,” he talks of citizen, after having read every article, in- a saucy trumpet, and a drum that carries quire of his next neighbour what news the messages; then who is this “carte blanche?" mail had brought.

He must either banter us, or he is out of his I remember, in that remarkable year senses. The father, who always looked

upon the curate as a learned man, began to * Dr. Richard Bentley.

fret inwardly at his son's usage, and pro

gens d'armes."

« AnteriorContinuar »