Page images

shut up.

e Vice-roy, vise'-rde, he who gov-in Ru-ral, rồ8-rål,existing in, or re

erns in place of the king with lating to the country. regal authority.

o Ob-scu-ri-ty, ôb-ska-re-te, darkf Do-cil-i-ty, do-sill-d-té, aptness to ness, privacy: be taught.

p Scheme, sk me, a plan, design. & Ex-trem-i-ty, éks-trêm'-e-tė, the 9 In-del-i-bly, in-dai-e-bl.', in utmost point.

manner not to be effaced. h Im-part, im-pårt', to give, com- r Post-pone, post-póne , to put off, municate.

delay. i Sur-vey, sür-va', to overlook, to s Im-mure, im-múre', to confine,

have under the view, a view, a prospect.

\t In-sa-ti-a-blo, in-sl-she-a-bl, with k Va-ri-ous, va'-ré-as, different, greediness. several..

u Con-nu-bl-al,kôn-nu'-be-al, matri1 Ac-cu-mu-la-tion, åk-ku-mu-la monial.

shữn, increase, addition. v Con-tem-pla-tive, kin-tem'-pl&m Sub-urb, sůb-úrb, the out part of tỉv, studious, thoughtful. a city.

Schemes of life often illusory. 1. Ozar, the son of Hassan, had passed seventy-five years in honour and prosperity. The favour of three successive califsb had filled his house with gold and silver; and whenever he appeared, the benedictions of the people proclaimed his passage.

2. Terrestrial happiness is of short continuance. The brightness of the flaine is wasting its fuel; the fragrant flower is passing away in its own odours. The vigour of Omar began to fail; the curls of beauty fell from his head; strength departed from his hands; and agilityd from his feet. He gave back to the calif the keys of trust, and the seals of secrecy; and sought no other pleasure for the remains of life, than the converse of the wise, and the gratitude of the good.

3. The powers of his mind were yet unimpaired. His chamber was filled by visitants, eager to catch the dictates of experience, and officious to pay the tribute of almiration. Caled, the son of the viceroye of Egypt, entered every day early, and retired late. He was beautiful and eloquent; Omar admired his wit, and loved his docility.

4.“ Tell me," said Caled, “thou to whose voice nations have listened, and whose wisdom is known to the extremities of Asia, tell me how I may resemble Omar the prudent. The arts by which thou hast gained power and preserved it, are to thee no longer necessary or useful; impart" to me the secret of thy conduct, and teach me the pian upon which thy wisdom has built thy fortune.”

3. " Young man,” said Omar, “it is of little use to form

plans of life. When I took my first survey of the world, in my twentieth year, having considered the various conditions of mankind, in the hour of solitude I said thus to myself, leaning against a cedar, which spread its branches over my head:

6. “ Seventy years are allowed to man; I have yet fifty remaining. Ten years I will allot to the attainment of knowledge, and ten I will pass in foreign countries; I shall be learned, and therefore shall be honoured; every city will shout at my arrival, and every student will solicit my friendship. Twenty years thus passed, will store my

mind with images, which I shall be busy, through the rest of my life, in combining and comparing:

7. “I shall revelin inexhaustible accumulations of intellectual riches; I shall find new pleasures for every moment; and shall never more be weary of myself. I will not, however, deviate too far from the beaten track of life; but will try what can be found in female delicacy. I will marry a wife beautiful as the Houries, and wise as Zobeide: with her I will live twenty years within the suburbs of Bagdat, in every pleasure that wealth can purchase, and fancy can invent.

8. "I will then retire to a rural" dwelling; pass my days in obscurityo and contemplation; and lie silently down on the bed of death. Through my life it shall be my settled resolution, that I will never depend upon the smile of princes; that I will never stand exposed to the artifices of courts; I will never pant for publick honours, nor disturb my quiet with the affairs of state. Such was my scheme of life, which I impressed indelibly, upon my memory.

9. “ The first part of my ensuing time was to be spent in search of knowledge, and I know not how, I was diverted from my design. I had no visible impediments without, nor any ungovernable passions within. I regarded knowledge as the highest honour, and the most engaging pleasure; yet day stole upon day, and month glided after month, till I found that seven years of the first ten had vanisher, and left nothing behind them.

10. “ I now postponed' my purpose of travelling; for why should I go abroad, while so much remained to be learn. ed at home? I immured myself for four years, and studied the laws of the empire. The fame of my skill reached the judges; I was found able to speak upon doubtful questions; and was commanded to stand at the footstool of the

[ocr errors]

calif. I was heard with attention; I was consulted with confidence; and the love of praise fastened on my heart.

11. “I still wished to see distant countries; listened with rapture to the relations of travellers; and resolved some time to ask my dismission, that I might feast my soul with norelty: but my presence was always necessary; and the stream of business hurried me along. Sometimes I was afraid lest I should be charged with ingratitude: but I still proposed to travel, and therefore would not confine myself by marriage.

12. “In my liftieth year, I began to suspect that the time of travelling was past; and thought it best to lay hold on the felicity yet in my power, and indulge myself in domestick pleasures. But at fifty no man easily finds a wo. man beautiful as the Houries, and wise as Zobeide. I inquired and rejected, consulted and deliberated, till the sixty-second year made me ashamed of wishing to marry. I had now nothing left but retirement; and for retirement I never found a time, till disease forced me from publick employment.

13. “ Such was my scheme, and such has been its consequence. With an insatiablet thirst for knowledge, I trifled away the years of improvement; with a restless desire of seeing different countries, I have always resided in the same citý; with the highest expectation of connubial" felicity, I have lived unmarried; and, with unalterable resolutions of contemplative retirement, I am going to die within the walls of Bagdat.”.


SECTION XI. **a Re-lieve, ré-léér', to support, as- f Cor-di-al-i-ty, kôr-je-å!'-e-te,sin. sist.

cerity, friendship. b Di-late, de-làte', to extend, spread g Mere-ly, mére-lè, simply, only. out, to relate at large.

h El-e-vate, el'-e-vate, to raise, dig. c At-trac-tive, åt-tråkt-tiv, invit nify. ig, alluring.

li En-no-ble, én-nd-bl, to raise to d Coun-ter-bal-ance, koủn-tůr-bål - nobility.

lånse, to act against with an oppo- k E-strange, e-stranje', to withsite weight.

draw, to keep at a distance. e Grat-i-fi-ca-tion, gråt-e-fe-kaloi Com-pe-tit-ion, kom-pe-tish'-ån, shủn, the act of pleasing.

rivalry, contest. The pleasures of virtuous sensibility. 1. The good effects of true sensibility on general virtue and happiness, admit of no dispute. · Let us consider its effect on the happiness of him who possesses it, and

the various pleasures to which it gives him access. If he is master of riches or induence, it affords him the means of increasing his own enjoyment, by relievinga the wants, or increasing the comforts of others.

2. If he commands not these advantages, yet all the comforts, which he sees in the possession of the deserving, become in some sort his, by his rejoicing in the good which they enjoy. Even the face of nature yields a satisfaction to him, which the insensible can never know.-The profusion of goodness, which he beholds poured forth on the universe, dilates his heart with the thought, that innumerable multitudes around him are blest and happy.

3. When he sees the labours of men appearing to prosper, and vievs a country flourishing in wealth and indu try; when he beholds the spring coming forth in its beauty, and reviving the decayed face of nature; or in autumn beholds the fields loaded with plenty, and the year crowned with all its fruits; he lift's his affections with giatitude to the great Father of all, and rejoices in the general felicity and joy.

4. It may indeed be objected, that the same sensibility lays open the heart to be pierced with many wounds, from the distresses which abound in the world; exposes us' to frequent suffering from the participation which it communicates of the sorrows, as well as of the joys of friendship. But let it be considered, that the tender melancholy of sympathy, is accompanied with a sensation, which they who feel it would not exchange for the gratifications of the se h.

5. When the heart is strongly moved by any of the kind affections, even when it pours itself forth in virtuous sorrow, a secret attractive charm mingles with the painful emotion; there is a joy in the midst of grief. Let it be faither considered, that the griefs which sensibility introduces, are counterbalanceda by pleasures which flow from the same source. . Sensibility, heightens in general the human powers, and is connected with acuteness in all our feelings.

6. If it makes us more alive to some painful sensations, in return, it renders the pleasing ones more vivid and animated. The selfish man languishes in his narrow circle of pleasures. They are confined to what affects his own interest. He is obliged to repeat the same gratifications, till they become insipid.

7. But the man of virtuous sensibility moves in a wider sphere of felicity. His powers are much more frequently called forth into occupations of pleasing activity. Numberless occasions open to him of indulging his favourite taste, by conveying satisfaction to others. Often it is in his power, in one way or other, to sooth the afflicted heart, to carry some consolation into the house of wo.

8. In the scenes of ordinary life, in the domestick and social intercourses of men, the cordiality of his affections cheers and gladdens him. Every appearance, every description of innocent happiness, is enjoyed by him. Every native expression of kindness and affection among others, is felt by him, even though he be not the object of it. In a circle of friends enjoying one another, he is as happy as the harpiest.

9. In a word, he lives in a different sort of world, from what the selfish man inhabits. He possesses a new sense that enables him to behold objects which the selfish cannot see. At the same time, his enjoyments are not of that kind which remain merelys on the surface of the mind. They penetrate the heart. They enlarge and elevate, they refine and ennoble it. To all the pleasing emotions of affection, they add the dignified consciousness of virtue.

10. Children of men! men formed by nature to live and to feel as brethren! how long will ye continue to estrangek yourselves from one another by competitions' and jealousies, when in cordial union ye might be so much more blest? How long will ye seek your happiness in selfish gratifications alone, neglecting those purer and better sources of joyi which flow from the affections and the heart?


SECTION XII. a Re-nown,re-ndůn',fame, O-di-ous, 8-de-ús, or -jd-ůs, 6 Con-quest, kóng'-kwest, victory, hateful, detestable, exposed to success in arms.

hate. c Fa-mous, fa'-más, renowned, cel- i Co-los-sal, kó-los-sál, giant-like. ebrated.

|k Er-u-dit-ion, er-t-dinh-ản, learnd Be-dew, be-du', to moisten gen-ling, knowledge. tly.

11 Ri-val, ri-vål, competitor, emula. e Rap-ine, rap'-in, plunder,violence. f Sor-did, sỏr'-did, foul, mean, cov- m O-ver-awe, -vůr-w', to keep in & Su-per-fic-ial, sů-pér-fish-al, ly- n Ef-fu-sion, èf-ful-zhủn, a pouring ing on the surface.

out, waste. On the true honour of man. 1. The proper honour of man arises not from some of




« PreviousContinue »