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RATORS and poets have, in
a ray of gladness even through the melancholy gloom of a prison; it is that for which we." bear to live or dare to die."
"Hope springs eternal in the human breast,
every age, been lavish of their "Man never is, but always to be blest.” commendations upon HOPE, as a pas- Having thus considered the universion or affection of the mind. They sal influence of this passion upon every have considered it, not without human being, whatever may be his cause, as the only thing which can rank in existence, let us now proenable us in this life to bear up a- ceed to examine the question under gainst the evils of adversity and to two different aspects; first, whether struggle, with the bitterness of dis- Hope while existing as an affection of appointment. They have painted its the mind produces more real happiness illusions in the gayest colours, and than when its expectations are realscattered round its fallacies the most ised? brilliant flowers of imagination.
It is readily allowed by every one, If all excellence consist in truth, that imagination too often gives to great indeed must be the excellence the prospective of life, tints and of those, who have concurred to de- colours very different from reality; pict the invariable blessing of hope and Young feelingly exclaimsunder every shape. It may be asked,
How distant oft
which we wish.
The mind of man when expatiating
indeed, does there exist a man, a The thing we wish for most from that for being, who has not, at one period or other, of his life, felt its benign influence on whom it has not shed its fairy rays? or whose prospects it has in the boundless fields of fancy, creates to itself unnumbered images not gilded with blissful expectation? various in their forms, and still more No condition can be so forlorn as to various in their supposed application. be totally destitute of its exhilarating Individual inclination gives a superpower: Milton, when he would added energy to our conceptions, and paint the horrid state of the fallen angels, in all its magnitude, has described one of their torments in the following line:
Propels the intellect just in that track,
which it would follow if attracted by some real and positive good. What we wish we willingly believe; and
"Hope comes not here which comes to that kind of self-deception, which in
P. L. B. 1.
duces a man to consider as real, what is in fact the result of his own fancy, It would indeed be impossible fully is an error so common that its very to conceive the wretchedness of that frequency makes it unsuspected. How man's situation whose heart owns not few are the instances wherein the acthe pleasing delight of expectation or quisition of any supposed benefit has of HOPE. Life would be to him a produced that pleasure which we exdreary blank, without one consolatary pected from it while contemplated ray to chear the darkness spread a- at a distance. The fact is, gifted as round by moral certainty. He would we are with such limited powers of even want one grand impulse to ac- prescience, we can only mark the tion; for if he could build no joys grand and invariable caracteristics of upon the basis of future probability, those events which are likely to hap he would have no wish to act beyond pen, for we are not able to discrimi the present moment, or to engage in nate the thousand various accidents any thing which did not terminate which may lie between the comple immediately in himself. Hope is the tion of a circumstance and its first foundation on which we build every existence in our own mind, softened pleasing expectation of life; it is that by the pleasing expectancy of hope. which makes the poor man toil con- Nothing indeed less than omniscitentedly; which bids the rich dissi- ence could contemplate them, or pate their wealth; and which diffuses guard against their evils; which are UNIVERSAL MAG. VOL. IX.
often more powerful, and more hid- doors of all cells open in the common den, than we can either imagine or cloister. In that cloister are often tombs; and she may well be supposed
It is a trite, though not less just to have quitted her cell (more especiobservation, that fruition destroys at ally in that warm part of France) for once all those tumultuous sensations air, change of place, and refreshment." with which we may have contemplat- Will it be doubted that after this ed any object. Nay it rarely happens ocular proof, Mr. Mills read ever that we find reality half so delightful afterwards, with diminished pleasure as imagination paints it; and this is those beautiful lines in this poem? abundantly verified in almost every and did not imagination give to him circumstance of life. If we read a more exquisite sensations than realglowing and animated description of ity? rural scenery, where every combina- But numberless are the instances tion, every grace, and every harmony which might be adduced in support of of language, are united to depict in that opinion, which supposes hope the strongest colours, its superior to produce more solid joy while excharms, how the mind is filled and isting as a passion of the mind, to elevated; how the bosom beats with what it does when all its dreams are responsive ardor, and seems to trace realised. It may indeed be asked, is the living objects even in the words; there a single instance in the course and while this impression remains of any man's life, in which the comupon the mind, which is thus derived pletion of his wishes has commu from mere description, the individual nicated such refined gratification as be continues to feel the most unqualified expected? Whether he has not rerapture whenever he reverts to it. gretted some lost charm, or wonderBut should he be prompted to visit ed at the absence of some locked for reality, to explore with his own eyes, benefit? What is it but the perpetual. each beauty and each grace, can we renovation of hope in the human be sure that disappointment will not breast, that could induce him again to follow, and that he will acknowledge form schemes and to plan projects, the power of language can even lend the success of which must rest upon a charm to nature? Who, in read- future exertions? What but the in'ing Pope's Eloisa to Abelard, but fluence of that never-dying passion, feels his mind carried away by the could have roused the faculties of his poet's grand and impressive descrip- mind, or given energy to the feelings tion of the sacred gloom, the un- of his heart thus depressed and disapwearied supplications, the solemn pointed? The illusions of hope still scenery, and the ceaseless religious lead him forward, and inspire Lim duties of the Paraclete? Yet we are with new expectations.
informed by a pleasing writer, and Let us now consider the nature and enlightened traveler, (the Rev. An- end of what is called happiness : drew Hervey Mills,) that nearly all With the poet we may exclaim, these captivating images are the off- «Oh happiness, our being's end and aim, spring of the poet's brain. His words Good, pleasure, ease, content! what c'er are as follow:
Where grows? where grows it not? if vain
Before dinner St. Romain walked Plant of celestial seed! if dropt below with me round the demesne. Mr. Say in what mortal soil thou deign'st to Pope's description is ideal and to poetical minds easily conveyed; but I saw neither rocks nor pines, nor was it a kind of ground which ever seemed to encourage such objects. On the contrary, it was in a vale; and mountains like the Alps generally produce views of this kind.
"I cannot but say too that the line
We ought to blame the culture not the
Tis no where to be found or every where.
See IN her cell sad Eloisa spread. It is acknowledged by every one that should be NEAR her cell. The happiness is merely comparative; no
thing in this world being either felici- ly exclaim in the language of a poet tous, or unfortunate, but as the mind, whose muse has sung with peculiar of man apprehends it. Provided we grace the aerial charms of this pascan give to any object those views sion.
which constitute in our opinion hap- With thee, sweet hope! resides the heavenpiness, and we are decidedly impressed with the conviction that it is 50, That pours remotest rapture on the sight; then to all intents and purposes our Thine is the charm of life's bewildered peculiar wish is as much attained, way,
during the period that that conviction That cal's each slumbring passion into remains upon the mind, as ever it can
And fly where'er thy mandate bids them
To pleasure's path or glory's bright ca
Primeval hope, the Aonian muses sav
be in cases of the most decided cer- Wak'd by thy touch, I see the sister band tainty. A man who gratuitously sup- On tiptoe watching, start at thy com poses that any event will happen according to his expectation, feels himself fully gratified, and never once reflects upon the various occurrences which may take place to frustrate his hopes. He applies the pleasing baim of certainty to his mind, and rests in contented security while nothing hap pens which can alarm it. He feels all the effects of real happiness; and when the fairy prospect is destroyed by any contingency, he only considers it as one of the unavoidable evils of Yok'd the red dragons to her iron car; life, and forms again new expecta- When peace and mercy, banish'd from the tions with equal confidence and equal pleasure. Such being the case, if we admit these premises, as tainly we must, there will be no difficulty in deducting from them those opinions which it is wished here Thus, man being the artificer of his to establish. Taking it for granted, own pleasures, creating them at will, that happiness being comparative and and adorning them with every adventinot really existing in any thing, but tious embellishment which an ardent proceeding from objects only accord- fancy can suggest, it cannot for a moing to the light in which we view ment be doubted that by producing them; surely that man commands every varied combination of imaginary the greatest portion of felicity, who happiness, he ultimately generates can create it for himself under every the greatest portion of that which is aspect of his existence. He then finds real. He therefore continues to revel HOPE to be indeed our greatest hap- in supposititious bliss, and only sighs piness, for that can lend a charm even when that bliss is destroyed by reality. to the most sombre delineations. He is reckless of what we may call the substantial goods of this life, content that he can transform every object into a source of pleasure. He is not depressed when calamities hap- How common is that remark pen, because he knows them to be which tells us that the expectations of the lot of existence, and he knows life seldom answer our ideas. Hapalso that he can efface their remem- piness, indeed, may be compared to a brance by the creation of new specu- picture which requires a peculiar lations at once felicitons and gratify- light in order that all its excellence ing. Thus conscious of the extatic may be perceived and felt. If we influence of hope, his bosom beats approach too near, the images bewith rapture, and his eye glistens come confused and indistinct, the with animation, and he would proud- coloring appears injudicious and heavy,
Shot from malignant stars to earth below;
Sprung on the viewless winds to heaven
All, all forsook the friendless guilty mind,
Thus far it is evident, that imaginary happiness is greater than real, and a few concluding observations will tend to establish that position the more firmly.
and the design monotonous and incor- one another, and advanced with boldrect. If, on the contrary, we recede ness to the fight. too far, then the same indistinctiveNo. 27-Zopyrus. ness arises, added to a diminished ap- Darius had besieged Babylon durpearance of every object. So it is ing a length of time, and was not with life; happiness contemplated at able to take the city. Zopyrus, one a certain distance possesses all the of his courtiers, having defaced him. charms, elegance, and grace which self by cutting off his nose and ears, the most enthusiastic fancy can de- went over to the side of the besieged, pict, nothing is either minute, over- with a pretence that these amputacharged, or ill proportioned; but on tions had been inflicted by Darins, all there is conferred that indefinable The Baylonians giving credit to his propriety which at once exalts and mutilated countenance, entrusted to gratifies the mind. Never hardly him the city; in the night he opened does it happen that our expectations the gates, and Darius made himself are completely answered; and the master of Babylon, expressing himreflection of every man can prove self in this generous manner: "I that in those cases where this expec- would not for the sake of taking tation has been extraordinarily excited, twenty Babylons, have seen Zopyruš our disappointment has been propor- suffer thus." tionably great. The prevalence then No. 29.-Alexander. of this general truth sufficiently proves Alexander was in India and wished that real happiness is centered only in to lead his army over the river Hy. the dreams of hope; that it exists daspes. Porus an Indian king, drew only while unpossessed; that each up his forces on the other side, and it progressive advance towards it gra- was impossible to pass it. Alexander dually diminishes some one or other led his army to the upper part of the of its delights, and that actual fruition, river, Porus did the same. Alexander destroys for ever the fairy illusions, then marched it to the lower end; and shows it at once in all its naked deformity.
Let us then banish from our minds those ideas which only tend to diminish its active energies by holding up false views of nature and of things; let us cling to truth wherever she is to be found, and discard error when ever we detect the fallacy in which it is enveloped.
EXTRACTS from POLYENUS' STRA-
Porus also proceeded to that end. This was done often, and for many days; so that the Indians laughed at the timidity of the enemy, and left off marching in movements correspon dent to theirs, from one spot to an other; supposing, that they whose resolution had so often failed then, would not venture to pass over it. But Alexander made a very expediti ous march on the banks of the river, and by the means of ships and boats, and skins filled with grass, he crossed it, deceiving the Indians by the quick. ness of his passage.
No. 29. Alexander took Thebes partly with gainst the Carthaginians, who had a large body of concealed forces, the sailed over into that island, was met command of which he gave to Antiby a mule, loaded with parsley. The pater; while he himself openly soldiers were terrified at the omen, the rest up against the strongest for it was their custom to adorn the places in the fortification. The The tombs of the dead with garlands of bans advanced forward, and boldly parsley. Timoleon observed, that led out their forces against the army thus the gods assured them of cer- in sight. Antipater, at the same intain victory; for the Corinthians stant, in the moment of engagement, crown with parsley the victors at the drew out the concealed part of the Isthmian games." Saying this he en- army, and leading it round to the un twined his own brows with this herb, protected parts of the wall, took the and crowned his officers with it. So city and erected his flag. Alexander the soldiers seized the parsley from seeing it, cried out: that he had
possession of Thebes." The The- The Persians, surprised and surroundbans, who were courageously fight- ed above and below, were slain, or ing, as soon as they saw, on turning thrown headlong from the heights, about, that the city was taken, filed. or taken by the enemy.
No. 30. Alexander, as soon as he learnt Alexander marching through a defrom the soothsayers, that the sacri- sart, he and the Macedonians suffered fices exhibited propitious omens, severely from the want of water. commanded that they should be car- The spies found a small quantity of ried round and shewn to the soldiers, water in a hollow rock, and, taking it that they might not hear only, but up in an helmet, carried it to Alexsee that good hopes were to be en- ander. He shewed it to the army to tertained with respect to their dangers.
raise their spirits, as water was discovered: yet he would not drink it, but poured it out before them all. The Alexander conquered Darius at Ab- Macedonians, raising a shout, desired dela. Phrasaortes, a relation of Da- him to proceed on the march, courius, having raised a considerable band rageously supporting their own thirst, of Persians, guarded the fortress of Su- on account of the self-denial the king sida: these were high and straight practised. mountains. The Barbarians, shoot-, ing their darts and throwing pieces of rock with their slings from these LITERARY and DOMESTIC WIVES? heights, easily repulsed the attack of
[To be continued.]
WAS lately engaged in a conver
Nothing lovelier can be found the Macedonians. So that Alexander, In woman, than to study household good; calling his soldiers back, dug a trench And good works in her husband to proat the distance of thirty furlongs. An oracle of Apollo had declared, that "a foreign wolf would become the leader of his forces." There came an herdsman, to Alexander, covered with peared to me of such importance, that the skin of a wild beast, and assum- I could not forbear, when alone, ing the name of Wolf, he said, that in the windings of the mountains there was a path, concealed by the foliage of the wood, which he only, as he was feeding his cattle, had discovered. Alexander, recollecting the By an accomplished or literary woprediction, gave the herdsman credit. man, I would be understood one He commanded all the army to re- who, to a knowledge of music, danmain encamped, and to light up cing, drawing, singing, &c. joins an many fires, to attract the eyes of the adequate acquaintance with the learnPersians. He gave it privately in ed languages. She shall know Itacharge to Philotas and Hæphestion, lian, French, Latin, and, to be sure, a that when they saw the Macedonians little Greek; she shall be able to appearing at the top of the moun- blunder through Racine, mistake tains, they should attack the enemy Tas-o, sit still at Virgil, and tear Hobelow. He himself, with his guards, mer in a pet; she shall decline nouns one phalanx of armed soldiers, and as like a schoolboy, and conjugate verbs many Scythian archers as he had, ad- like a boarding school miss; she vancing through the secret passage, shall, lastly, be able to write essays eighty furlongs, fixed his station un- with little labour, and compose sonder the cover of the thick wood, and nets on love extempore. taking a circuit about in the middle On the contrary, a domestic woof the night, he fell upon the enemy man is, according to my motto, one wn they were asleep. When day who "studies household good, and opened, the trumpets resounded from in her husband good works to prothe top of the mountains. At this mote." signal Haphastion and Philotas led the Macedonians out of the camp.
throwing together the following reflections upon it. The thing discussed was "the respective conjugal merits of an accomplished or literary woman and a domestic one."
She is neither the enthusiast of Homer, nor the disciple of Plato. It