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designate a seminary of learning, or indeed, an association
or corporation of any kind. All the literary foundations
in Europe were in some manner or other connected with
the education of ecclesiastics, and if not endowed by, were
under their superintendance. Now, as an association of
regulars, that is, of monastics, who lived under a certain



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rule, such as that of Augustin, Francis, or Dominic, were
said to live in a convent, so, to a similar association of
seculars, who were attached to no particular fraternity of
the Romish Church, the name of College was applied, the
head of which was styled provost Thus, in England,
the heads or presidents of Trinity College, Cambridge,
and of Eton College, are so named. The same was for-
merly the case with regard to Trinity College, Edinburgh,
which was founded by Mary, widow of King James 11.
There were no fewer than twenty-six colleges of this kind
in Scotland before the Reformation; besides, the chief
church in large towns was a collegiate church, though not
the seat of a bishopric. In short, the word college, as it
relates to university, signifies the different bodies which
compose it, or which are under its protection. Thus, the
universities of Oxford and Cambridge, are severally com-
posed of a great number of separate colleges ; but they
constitute only two universities, forming two great cor-
porations ; and in Scotland, the two colleges at Aberdeen
form only one university, though not linked so closely as
to deserve that name in so stiict a sense as those in Eng-
land. Many other incorporated bodies have adopted the
name of college, though, as a society, they have no con-
nexion whatever, either with any monastic institution or
university. Thus the Pope and his seventy-two Car-
dinals constitute what is called the Sacred College ; and,
in our country, we have the College of Justice, and the
Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons.



A singer once complaining to Sheridan that himself
and his brother (both of whom were deemed simpletons)
had been ordered to take ass's milk, but that on account
of its expensiveness he hardly knew what they should do
— " Do ?" cried Sheridan, " why suck one another, to be
sure." •



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VISITORS BY PROFESSION.

Mefanoth^ in one of his elegant epistles, thus justly de-
nounces these obsequious intruders. "The misfortune is,
(says he) no retirement is so remote, nor sanctuary so
sacred, as to afford a protection from their impertinence ;
and though one were to fly to the desert, and take refuge
in the cells of saints and hermits, one should be alarmed
with their unmeaning "voice, crying," even "in the
wilderness." They spread themselves, in truth, over the
whole face of the land, and lay waste the fairest hours of
convei-sation. For my own part, (to speak of them in a
style suitable to their taste and talents) I look upon them,
not as paying visits, but visitations ; and am never
obliged to give audience to one of this species, that I do
not consider myself as under a judgment for those num-
berless hours, which I have spent in vain. If these sons
and daughters of idleness and folly would be persuaded
to enter into an exclusive society among themselves, the
rest of the world might possess their moments unmolested :
but nothing less will satisfy them, than opening a general
commerce, and sailing into every port where choice or
chance may drive them. Were we to live, indeed, to the
years of the antediluvians, one might afford to resign some
part of one's own time in charitable relief of the unsuffer-
able weight of their's ; but since the days of man are
shrunk into a few hasty revolutions of the sun, whole
afternoons are much too considerable a sacrifice, to be
offered up to tame civility. What heightens the contempt
of this character, is, that they who have so much of the
form, have always least of the power of friendship ; and
though they will "craze their chariot wheels " (as Milton
expresses it) to destroy your repose, they would not drive
half the length of a street to assist your distress."



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THESSALIANS.

It was a law among the Thessalians^ that women should
not diink wine ; but that females, of whatever age, should
have water only. Theophrastes affirms that a similar law
prevailed among the Milesians. At Rome, this custom
was strictly observed, that no free woman, nor slave,
should be allowed to drink wine, nor indeed any female,
however exalted her rank, till she was thirty-five years
of age.



TEN THOUSAND POUNDS.

My father left ten thousand pounds,

And willed it all to me ;
My friends, like sun-flies, flocked around,

As kind as kind could be.

This sent a buck, and that a hare,
And some the Lord knows what ;

In short, I thought I could declare,
No man such friends had got.

They ate my meat — they drank my wine ;

In truth, so kind were they,
That, be the weather wet or fine.

They'd dine with me next day.

They came : and like the circling year.
The circling glass went round ;

Till something whispered in my ear,
"Ah, poor ten thousand pound !"

" Pshaw ! stuflf !" cried I, " I'll hear it not-
Besides, such friends are mine,

That what they have will be my lot, ,
So push about the wine !"

The glasses rung — the jest prevail'd,

'Twas summer every day !
Till, like a flower by blight assail'd.

My thousands dropt away.



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Alas ! and so my frieDds dropt off,

Like rose-leaves from the stem ;
My fallen state but met their scoff,

And I no more saw them !

One friend, one honest friend remained.

When all the locusts flew j
One that ne'er shrunk, nor friendship /djm'<^

^j faithful dog, 'twas you !



CHRISTIANITY.

It is (says a reviewer of Dr. Channing's admirable lec-
ture on the " Evidences of Revealed Religion") it is in
the sublimity of its precepts, and in the loveliness of the
conduct of its founder, that we feel the truth of the Chris-
tian religion.

Tell any person unacquainted with Christianity, that
there was such a character as Jesus, and he must vene-
rate him. Tell him, that he was possessed of so wonder-
ful a mind, that, even as a boy, the most learned of his
nation hearkened unto him, and were amazed at. his doc-
trines ; and yet, withal, that his character, too, was so
simple, mild, unaffected, and kind, that little children
loved to approach and be near him ; — that his whole life
was dedicated to the good of others; — that he was so
disinterested, that when consulted by the rich, he bade
them divide their fortunes with the poor and needy, al-
though he himself " had not where to lay his head ;" — that
he was so tender a son, that even in the pangs of agonizing
death, he enjoined the friend whom he loved, to take his
mother home, and be the support of her old age ; — so
warm a patriot, that he wept bitterly when he thought
on his country's downfal ; — so patient and meek of spirit,
that when hanging on the cross, and pierced, he uttered
not a single complaint ; — so forgiving, that amid the ten
thousand curses of his enemies, who had crucified him,
one solitary prayer alone broke from his lips — '* Father,
forgive them ; they know not what they do."



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LIFE'S PARALLEL.

In glowing youth he stood beside
His native stream, and saw it glide,
Showing each gem beneath its tide.

Calm as though nought could break its rest,

Reflecting heaven in its breast ;

And seeming, in its flow, to be

Like candour, peace, and piety.

When life began its brilliant dream,

His heart was like his native stream :

The wave- shrined gems could scarcely seem

Less bidden than each wish it knew ;

Its life flow'd on as calmly too ;

And heaven shielded it from sin.

To see itself reflected in.

He stood beside that stream again,
When years had fled in strife and pain ;
He looked for its calm course in vain, —
For storms prophaned its peaceful flow.
And clouds overhung its crystal brow ;
And turning then, he sigh'd to deem
His heart still like his native stream.



THE SHIFTS OF IGNORANCE.

The conduct of a man in public life, occupied in con-
cealing his ignorance, is an absolute system of tactics. It
is curious to remark his studied silence when the conver-
sation turns upon a subject which he is conscious he ou^t
to know well, and of which he is equally conscious that
he knows nothing ; to see how he slinks away when this
conversation approaches too near him, and the looks of
the circle around seem to express that they are all expec-
tation to hear his opinion. He goes up, in an absent way,
to the chimney-piece, takes up some papers that lie there,
and begins to look them over with profound at^ntion,
while, nevertheless, if he hears any thing said on which



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he may venture with confidence to put in a word, 'tis so,
says he, exactly so, not taking his eyes, however, from
the papers, till the moment when he can adroitly give
another turn to the conversation ; and to this resource he
has been obliged to recur so often, that it has become en-
tirely familiar to him.

Sometimes he will be a little more adventurous ; and
if a debate arises in his company upon the period when
some event of antiquity happened, or upon the distance
between two large towns, and different opinions on the
question are siippoited with equal pertinacity, one main-
taining, for instance, that it was the year 300 before oiu* era ;
another, that it was the year 200 ; one that the distance
between the towns was 2,000 leagues, another that it was
2,400, he will fix the period at the year 250, the distance
at 2,200 leagues ; this is a medium he ventures to take,
without having any notion whatever upon the subject, only
he feels confident that he cannot be very wide of the mark.
But with such fortunate opportunities to display his know-
ledge he is not often favoured. It is more easy for him to
terminate a controversy on any axiom laid down, since
he has always some common-place remark or assertion
ready at hand, suited to the occasion. Sometimes he takes
his revenge ; and if he happens to have been reading in
the morning, in the way of his business, any paper or
papers, through which he has acquired some piece of sta-
tistical knowledge, he does not rest till he gives the con-
versation such a turn as will enable him to bring it out
Woe, then, to any one who thinks he shall pay his court
to him by making many inquiries upon the subject, or
who offers some dight objection, that he may ask for an
explanation ; our man of ignorance is ah'eady at the full
length of his tether ; he answers only by monosyllables,
and becomes evidentiy out of humour.



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LORD CLONMELL.



The death of Lord ClonmeU is said to have originated
in a very curious incident. In the year 1792, Mr. John
Magee, the spirited proprietor of the Dublin Evening
Post, had a fiat issued against him in a case of lihel, for
a sum which the defendant thought excessive. The hench
and the press were directly committed ; and in such a
case, had a Judge tenfold the power he has, he would be
comparatively harmless. The subject made a noise — was
brought before Parliament — and was at last, at least poli-
tically, set at rest, by the defeat of the Chief Justice, and
the restriction of the Judges in future, in such cases, to
an inferior and a definite sum. Discomfited and mortified.
Lord ClonmeU retreated from the contest; but he re-
treated like an harpooned leviathan, — the barb was in his
back, and Magee held the cordage. He made the life of
his enemy a burden to him : he exposed his en-ors ; denied
his merits; magnified his mistakes; ridiculed his preten-
sions ; and, continually edging, without overstepping the
boundary of libel, poured upon the Chief Justice, from
the batteiy of the press, a perpetual broadside of sarcasm
and invective. *' The man," says Dr. Johnson, chal-
lenging Junius, " the man who vilifies established author-
ity is sure to find an audience." Lord ClonmeU too
fataUy verified the apothegm. Wherever he went he was
lampooned by a baUad-singer or laughed at by the popu-
lace. Nor was Magee's arsenal composed exclusively of
paper ammunition : he rented a field bordering his Lord-
ship's highly improved and decorated desmesne ; he ad-
vertised, month after month, that on such a day he would
exhibit in this field a grand Olympic pig hunt, — that the
people, out of gratitude for the patronage of his newspaper,
should be gratuitous spectators of this revived classical
amusement, and that he was determined to make so
amazing a provision of whiskey and porter, that if any



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man went home thirsty it should be his own fault. The
plan completely succeeded — hundreds and thousands as-
sembled — every man did justice to his entertainers hos-
pitality^ and his Lordship's magnificent demesne^ uprooted
and desolate, next day exhibited nothing but the ruins
of the Olympic pig-hunt ! The rebellion approached — the
popular exasperation was at its height — and the end of it
was, that Magee went mad with his victory, and Lord
ClonmeU died literally broken-hearted with his defeat and
his apprehensions.



EARLY RISING.



J ust at the early peep of dawn,

While brushing through the dewy lawn,

And viewing all the sweets of mom

That shine at early rising ;

Ere the ploughman yok'd his team,
Or sun had power to gild the stream.
Or woodlarks 'gan their morning hymn

To hail its early rising ;

With modest look and bashful eye,
Artless, innocent, and shy,
A lovely maiden pass'd me by.

And charm 'd my early rising.

Her looks had every power to wound,
Her voice had music in the sound,
When modestly she turn'd around

To greet my early rising.

Good nature forced the maid to speak,
And good behaviour, not to seek.
Gave sweetness to her rosy cheek.

Improved by early rising.

While oflfering help to climb the stile,
A modest look and winning smile
(Love beaming in her eyes the while)

Repaid my early rising.



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Aside the green hiU's steepy brow,
Where shades the oak its darksome bough,
The maiden sat to milk her cow,

The cause of early rising.

The wild rose mingling with the shade.

Stung with envy, clos'd to fade.

To see the rose her cheeks displayed.

The fruits of early rising.

The kiss desired — against her will,
To take the milk-pail up the hill, —
SeemM from resistance sweeter still ;

Thrice happy early rising!

And often since, aside the grove,
I've hied to meet the girl I love ;
^Repeating truths that time shall prove,

Which past at early rising.

May it be mine to spend my days

With her, whose beauty claims my praise ;

Then joy shall crown my rural lays.

And bless my early rising.



MONUMENTAL TRIBUTE TO CONJUGAL WORTH.

M. Lagnons, minister of Berne, who was living in
1775, had a wife who was a perfect beauty in her person,
but whose mental accomplishments were far superior.
This amiable creature died in child-bed, in the twenty-
eighth year of her age ; her child only outhved her a few
hours. M. Naal, a celebrated German sculptor, was en-
gaged to erect a monument to the memory of this mother
and her child ; he represented Madame Lagnons at the
moment of resurrection. After having sunk a kind of
grave, sufficient to contain a statue, he placed therein a
large stone, that seemed unequally split or broken ; and
so contrived, that the young wife appeared rising from
her coffin, just awoke from the sleep of death, holding her
child with one hand, and pushing away a stone with the



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other, that apparently impeded her resurrection. The
dignity of her figure, her candour, innocence, and that
pui'e celestial joy which shines in her countenance, gives
it a most feeling and suhlime expression. The epitaph is
worthy of the tomh ; it is engraved upon it, and notwith-
standing the large cleft, may he easily read : it is written
in the German language, and Madame Lagnons is sup-
posed to speak. The following is a translation : —

*' I hear the trumpet ! it penetrates to the depth of the
tomhs ! Awake ! child of anguish ! The Saviour of the
world calls ; the empire of death is ended, and an im-
mortal palm will crown innocence and virtue. Behold
me. Lord ! with the infant thou gavest me !"



THE FLOWERS.



With each expanding flower we find

Some pleasing sentiment combined :

Love in the myrtle bloom is seen,

Remembrance to the Violet clings.
Peace brightens in the Olive's green,
Hope from the half-closed Iris springs ;
And Victory on the Laurel grows.
And Woman blushes in the Rose !



Bruce, the traveller, was fond of shewing his visitors
at Kennau-d,/ac similes of the thirty different languages
that were spoken in the camp of the Cai*avans in Africa.
To spai*e the ears of the unlearned, he called these lan-
guages the red, blue, green, &c., accoi-ding to the colours
of its character. On shewing these MSS. to a lady dis-
tinguished for the vivacity of her remarks, and informing
her that the word kiss was to be met with, expressing the
same idea, in some passages of his rainbow of languages,
she pleasantly observed : — " Well now, and did not I tell
you, Mr. Bruce, that kissing is the same all the world
over ?"



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THE AFFECTIONS.



Q, Why do the affections of parents run upwards to
their children, and not their children's regard run down-
wards to them ?

A, Experience tells us that parents are more tender
and loving to their children, hy far, than children are
dutiful and obsequious to their parents. Even as the sap
in the root of a tree ascends into the branches, but re-
turning not from the branches to the root, runs foith
from thence into the seed ; so pai*ents love their children,
who, returning not that love to them again, suffer their af-
fections to run forward to a further communication. Hence
comes it, that one father brings up with more wiUingness
ten children, than ten children will sustain one father in
his wants. And whereas you hear of one unnatural
parent, you shall hear often disobedient children.



THE OLD MAN'S COMFORTS, AND HOW HE
GAINED THEM.

You are old, Father William, the young man cry'd,
The few locks that are left you are grey,

You are hale, Father William, a hearty old man,
Now tell me the reason I pray.

In the days of my youth, Father William reply*d,
I remembered that youth would fly fast,

And abused not my health, and my vigour, at first,
That I never might need them at last.

You are old, Father William, the young man cry*d,

And pleasures with you pass away.
And yet you lament not the days that are gone,

Now tell me the reason I pray.

In the days of my youth, Father William replied,
I remember*d that youth could not last,

I thought of the future whatever I did,
That I never might grieve for the past.



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You are old, Father William, the young man cryM,

And life must be hastening away ;
You are cheerful, and love to converse upon death !

Now tell me the reason I pray.

I am cheerful, young man, Father William replied.
Let the cause thy attention engage —

In the days of my youth, I remember'd my God !
And he hath not forgotten my age.



THE BORROWER.



Every body knows that Pitt raised the character and
prosperity of England by loans^ but it is not generally
known, that Pitt " borrowed the idea of bon*owing" from
the following anecdote.

Schneider, an inhabitant of the Canton of Unterwald,
in Switzerland, was left, at the age of twenty-one, to shift
for himself. His father had been a respectable man, but
had left nothing to his son, but some sketches for a new
Constitution, which Schneider could make no use of.
The doctrine of loans came into Schneider's head, as
happily as that of atti*action struck Newton. As nobody
knew that his father had died insolvent, he declared
openly that he was in want of 2,000 rix dollars, (£400)
for which he was willing to pay 5 per cent, interest, the
capital to be repaid in six months. He had no diflSculty
in obtaining this loan, which was very useful to him, and
by constantly saying that his father had left him veiy '
little, but that by economy he managed to make both
ends meet, every body thought him a modest rich man.
Two months before his bills came due, he borrowed of
another banker 3,125 lix dollars. Schneider instantly
went to the parties from whom he had borrowed the
2,000 rix dollars, and after remarking that 5 per cent,
was a heavy interest to pay, told them that he would re-
pay the capital if they would allow him discount for the
remaining part of the term. The bankers, convinced of
c



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the stability of Schneider^ were unwilling to take the
money ; he persisted, however, and they consented at
length, on condition that if ever he should have occasion
to borrow again, he would apply to them. Schneider
went to work upon a great scale, his credit being fully
established. In the course of three years, there was such
an eagerness in the first houses of Switzerland to lend
money to Schneider, that he frequently refused their
offers. He quieted his conscience, reflecting, that if he
lived sixty years, according to his inordinate expenditure,
his creditors would lose only 400,000 rix dollars by him ;
and he considered the excellence of his life, and the sug-
gestions which he made every now and then to the Go-
vernment, as an ample equivalent.

To make short of a long story, Schneider found himself
upon his death-bed at the age of 80 — not, however, before
he had rendered a great service to his coimtry, by intro-
ducing the mode of making the celebrated Gruy ere cheese,
which is now eaten over the whole Continent. He sum-
moned his creditors, one hundred in number, to his bed-
side, and after relating to them the mode which he had
adopted for his support, and as fi-ankly stating that he had
nothing to leave, terminated his dying speech in the fol-
lowing terms : — ^* What is the loss which you sustain by
me, compai'ed with the admirable system of finance, which,
through me, you can now reveal to your country ? I, a
poor mortal, at my dying hour, commit an act of bank-
ruptcy ; but the nation never dies. A nation may borrow
without limit, because its existence is without limit.
Switzerland has only to tread in my steps, to create loans,
and to pay the interest punctually, and one day or other
she will engross the capital of Europe."

The creditors were sti-uck dumb with admiration, and
as a mark of their esteem for the talents of the great
Schneider, erected over his grave a superb monument,
with this inscription —

"DER ENTLEHNER, "



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whieh signifies " The BoiTower." The celebrated Pitt,
in a tour through Switzerland, saw the monument, and
struck with its sihgidarity, enquired its histoiy. " The
nation never dies," repeated Pitt with ecstacy ; and he
scai'cely said any thing else till he reached London. The
people thought him mad ; but in a few months we heard
of the famous loans with which he subjected India, con-
quered colonies, and oveithrew Napoleon, who might,
probably, have been upon the throne of France to this
day, if the inventor of Gruyere cheese had never existed.



CONVERSATION.



Amongst the many improvements which are daily
making in the progress of Education, it is rather extraor-
dinary that Conversation should be so much neglected as
not to be considered an useful assistant in such a na-
tional concern. What is here meant by Conversation, is
that species of it which might be agreeably and profitably
conducted in assemblies of both sexes at one another's
houses, or other appropriate places, for the purpose of
discussing such occasional subjects as may be usefiU and
ornamental to society. By such an exchange of talents
each sex would be benefited, and a practical knowledge
of life acquired, which books alone cannot bestow.

Since the revival of letters, there have been but two
attempts to introduce this system of education amongst
us ; the one in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and the
other in that of Charles the First : of the former of these,
it would have been '* much more honoured in the breach
than the observance."

During the reign of James, there was no attempt at

establishing any kind of public Conversation whatever ;

it was the reign of male favouritism, and so far from any

sentimental intercourse between the two sexes being

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Online LibraryExperienced editorClassic cullings and fugitive gatherings → online text (page 2 of 23)