Thomas Patrick Hughes.

Alden's cyclopedia of universal literature: presenting biographical and ... online

. (page 35 of 38)
Online LibraryThomas Patrick HughesAlden's cyclopedia of universal literature: presenting biographical and ... → online text (page 35 of 38)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

be furnished with the means to give away. For
it is easy to observe, that most of them are not so
much by nature generous, as they are misled by a
kind of pride to do a great many things to get
themselves the character of being generous, and
this kind of generosity is not so much the effect of
principle, as of ostentation. Now such a disguise
of disposition is more nearly allied to vanity than
to generosity or virtue.

The third head of circumspection I proposed to
treat of, was, that in our generosity we should
have regard to merit ; and consequently examine
both the morals of the party to whom we are gen-
erous, and his disposition towards us, together
with the general good of society, and how far he
may have already contributed to our own utility.
Could all those considerations be united, it were
the more desirable, but the objects in whom is
united, the most numerous, and the most import-
ant of them, ought with us to have the prefer-
ence.— De Officiis.


You must know that at present I want nothing
so much as a certain friend, to whom I can im-
part whatever gives me concern ; the man who
loves me. who is wiso in himself, the man with

Digitized by GoOgk


whom I converse without guile, without dissimu-
lation, without reserve. For my brother is absent,
who is the very soul of sincerity and affection for
me. As to Metellus, lie is as devoid of these socia-
ble qualities, as the sounding shore, the empty air,
or the uncivilized waste. But thou, my friend,
where art thou, who hast so often reasoned and
talked away my cares, and the anguish of my
mind ; thou partner of my public, thou witness of
my private concerns; thou partaker of all my
conversation, thou associate in all my counsels,
where, I say, art thou? So forsaken, so forlorn
am I, that my life knows no comfort, but what it
has in the company of my wife, my charming
daughter, and my dear little Cicero ; for our in-
terested, varnished friendships, serve indeed to
make a kind of figure in the forum, but they are
without domestic endearment. Thus, in the
morning, when my house is filled, when I proceed
to the forum surrounded with hordes of friends, I
cannot, in all that mighty confluence, find a per-
son to whom I can indulge my humor with free-
dom, or whisper my complaints in confidence. I
therefore expect you, I want you, nay I summon
you to my relief ; for many are my perplexities,
many are my troubles, which, did I once enjoy
your attention, I think I could dissipate in the
conversation of one familiar walk. But I shall
here conceal from you all the agonies which I suf-
fer in my private affairs ; nor will I trust them to
a letter, which is to be conveyed by a bearer un-
known to me. Yet the stings which I endure, for
I would not have you to be too much alarmed, are
not intolerable. My anxieties, indeed, haunt and
tease me, and can be allayed only by the counsels
and conversation of the friend I love.

As to public affairs, though they lie at my heart,
yet my inclination to offer them any remedy daily
diminishes. For if I were to give you a brief
statement of what happened after your departure, I
think I should hear you cry out that the Roman
government could be of no long continuance. For
the first public act in which I engaged after your
departure was, if I mistake not, the tragical in-

Digitized by Google


trtgue of Clodius. Here I imagined that I had a
fair field for restraining licentiousness, and for
bridling our young men ; and indeed I was warm,
and poured forth all my strength and fire of
genius, not from any particular spite, but from a
sincere desire to serve my country, and to heal her
constitution, which had been wounded by a mer-
cenary, prostituted judgment. Now you shall
hear what followed upon this.

We had a consul forced upon us, and such a
consul, as none but philosophers like us, can be-
hold without a sigh. What a calamity was this?
The Senate had passed a decree concerning corrup-
tion in elections and trials. This decree never
passed into a law ; the Senate was confounded, the
Roman Knights were disobliged. Thus did one
year overthrow the two barriers of the govern-
ment, which I had erected, by taking authority
from the Senate, and breaking the union of our
orders. . . . One Herennius, whom you, perhaps,
know nothing of, is a tribune of the people ; but
you may know him, for he is of your tribe, and
his father Sextus used to be the paymaster of
your election money. This man has transferred
Clodius to the commons ; arid prevailed with all
the tribes of the people to pass a vote in the
Campus Martius concerning his adopted son. I
gave him a proper reception, as usual, but the
fellow is incorrigibly stupid. Metellus proves an
excellent consul, and my very good friend ; but
he hurts his authority, because he has suffered the
formality of the peoples assembling in tribes to
pass. As to the son of Aulus, good God ! what a
dunce, what a spiritless creature he is, and how de-
serving is he of the abuse which Palicanus every
day pours out against him to his face. Flavius
has promoted an Agrarian law, in which there is,
indeed, no great matter, and is much the same
with that of Plotius. But in the meantime, not a
man can be found who pays the slightest attention
to the interests of the republic. Our friend Pom-
pey (for I would have you to know that he is my
friend) preserves, by his silence, the honors of the
triumphal robe, which he is permitted to wear at

d by Google

-tf? I T-H. _». ~.


the public shows. Crassns would not, for the
world, speak anything to disoblige. I need to say
no more of all the others, who could see their
country sunk if their fish-ponds are safe. One
patriot, indeed, we have, but in my opinion, he is
patriotic more from courage and integrity, than
from judgment or genius, I mean Cato. He has
for these three months plagued the poor farmers
of the revenue, though they have been his very
good friends ; nor will he suffer the Senate to re-
turn any answer to their petition. Thus, we are
forced to do no kind of business, before that of the
revenue is dispatched, and I believe even the depu-
tations will be set aside. You see wliat storms we
encounter, and from what I have written, you
may form a clear judgment of what I have
omitted. Pray think upon returning hither ; and
though it is, indeed, a disagreeable place, let your
affection for me prevail so far upon you, as to bear
with it, with all its inconveniences. I will take
all possible care to prevent the censors from regis-
tering you before your return. But to delay your
return to the very last moment, will betray too
much of the minute calculator ; therefore I beg
that you will let me see you as soon as possible. —
Epistle to Attieus,

I have learnt from your letters all that passed
till the 25th of May. I waited fcr acoounla of
what has happened since that timo, by yo".r ad-
vice, at ThesSalonica. When I have received
them, I shall the more easily determine where I
am to reside. For if there is occasion, if anything
is in hand, if I have any encouragement, I either
will remain here, or I will repair to you. But if *
as you inform me, there are but small hopes of
such incidents, then must I determine on some
Other course. Hitherto you have hinted nothing
to me but the divisions that prevail among my ene-
mies : but those divisions spring from other mat-
ters than my concerns ; I cannot therefore, see
how they can be of advantage to me. I will, how-
ever, humor you as to every circumstance, from

Digitized by GoOgle


which you desire me to. hope for the best. As to
the frequent and severe reproofs you throw out
against my want of fortitude, let me ask you
whether there is an evil which is not included in
my misfortunes? Did ever man fall from so ele-
vated a station, in so good a cause, with such ad-
vantages of genius, experience and popularity, or
so guarded by the interest of every worthy patri-
ot? Is it possible I should forget who I have
been ; that I should not feel who I am ; what
glory, what honor, what children, what fortunes,
and what a brother I have lost? A brother, that
you may know my calamities to be unexampled,
whom I loved, whom I have ever loved more
than myself ; yet have I been forced to avoid the
sight of this very brother, lest I should either be-
hold his sorrow and dejection, or present myself
a wretch undone and lost, to him who had left
me in high and flourishing circumstances. I
omit my other intolerable reflections that still re-
main ; for I am stopped by my tears. Tell me am
I most to blame, for giving vent to such sorrows,
or for surviving my happy state, or for not still
possessing it, which I easily might have done, had
not the plan of my destruction been laid within
my own walls. I write this that you may rather
administer your wonted condolence than expose
me as deserving of censure and correction. I
write but a short letter to you because I am pre-
vented by my tears ; and the news I expect from
Rome is of more importance to me than anything
I can write of myself. Whenever anything comes
to my knowledge, I will inform you exactly of my
resolution. I beg you will continue to inform me
so particularly of everything, that I may be igno-
rant of nothing that passes. —Epistle to Atticus.


Is it really so ? Has all that has been done by our
common Brutus, come to this, that he should live
at Sanuvium, and Trebonius repair by devious
marches to his government ! That all the actions,
writings, words, promises and purposes of Caesar,
should carry with them more force than they

Digitized by GoOgk


would have done, had he been alive? You may
remember what loud remonstrances I made the
very first day we met in the capitol, that the
Senate should be summoned thither by the
praetors. Immortal gods ! What might we not
have then carried amidst the universal joy of our
patriots, and eveu our half-patriots, and the
general rout of those robbers. You disapprove
of what was done on the 18th of March, but what
could be done? We were undone before that day.
Do not you remember you called out that our
cause was ruined, if Caesar had a public funeral ?
But a funeral he had, and that too in the Forum,
and graced with pathetic encomiums, which en-
couraged slaves and beggars, with naming torches
in their hands, to burn our houses. What followed ?
Were they not insolent enough to say, " Caesar
issued the command, and you must obey?" I
cannot bear these and other things. I therefore
think of retiring, and leaving behind me country
after country ; and even your favorite Greece
is too much exposed to the political storm to
continue in it.

Meanwhile, has your complaint quite left you ?
For I have some reason to believe, by your manner
of writing, that it has. But I return to the
Thebassi, the ScaBvae, and the Frangones. Do
you imagine that they will think themselves
secure in their possessions, while we stand our
ground ; and experience has taught them, that
we have not in us the courage which they im-
agined. Are we to look upon those to be the
friends of peace, who have been the fomenters of
rebellion? What I wrote to you concerning
Curtilius, and the estates of Sestilius, I apply to
Censorinus, Messala, Planca, Posthumius, and
the whole clan. It would have been better to
t perish with the slain than to have lived to witness
things like these. Octavius came to Naples
about the 16th, where Balbus waited upon him
next morning, and from thence he came to me
at Cumae, the same da)-, where he acquainted me,
that he would accept of the succession to his uncle's
estate. But this as you observe, te*y bo tlve

Digitized by GoOgle


source of a warm dispute between him and
Anthony. I shall bestow all due attention and
pains upon your affair at Burthrotum. You ask
me whether the legacy left me by Cluvius, will
amount to a hundred thousand serterces a year.
It will amount pretty near it, but this first year I
have laid out eighty thousand upon repairs. My
brother complains greatly of his son, who, he says,
is now excessively complaisant to his mother,
though he hated her, at a time when she deserved
his respects. He has sent me flaming letters
against him. If you have not yet left Rome, and
if you know what he is doing, I beg you will
inform me by a letter, as indeed, you must do of
everything else, for your letters give me the
greatest pleasure. — Epistle to Atticus.


I fear, my Atticus, that all we have reaped from
the Ides of March, is but the short-lived joy of
having punished him whom we have hated as the
author of our sufferings. What news do I hear
from Rome ! What management do I see here !
It was, indeed, a glorius action, but it was left im-
perfect. You know how much I love the Sicil-
ians, and how much I thought myself honored in
being their patron. Caesar (and I was glad of it)
did them many favors, though granting them the
privileges of Latium was more than could be well
borne. However I said nothing even to that. But
here comes Antony, who, for a large sum of money,
produces a law passed by the dictator in an assem-
bly of the people, by which all Sicilians are made
denizens of Rome, an act never once heard of in
the dictator's lifetime. Is not the case of our
friend Deictarus the almost same? There is no
throne which he does not deserve, but not through
the interest of Fulvia. I could give you a thou-
sand such instances. Thus far, however, your
purpose may be served. Your affair of Buthro-
tum is so clear, so well attested, and so just, that
it is impossible for you to fail in obtaining part of
your claim, and, the rather, as Anthony has suc-
ceeded in many things of the same kind.

Digitized by GoOgk

JO&N CLAR«. 49*

Qctaviua lives here with me, upon a very hon-
orable and friendly footing. His own domestics
call him by the name of Caesar ; but his step-
father Philip does not, neither do I, for that reason.
I deny that he can be a good citizen ; he is sur-
rounded by so many that breathe destruction to
our friends, and who swear vengeance against
what they have done. What is your opinion will
be the consequence when the boy shall go to
Rome, where our deliverers cannot live in safety?
It is true, they must be glorious, and even happy,
from the consciousness of what they have done.
But we, who are delivered, if I mistake not, must
still remain in a state of despicable servitude. I
therefore long to go where the news of such deeds
can never reach my ears. I hate even those ap-
pointed consuls, who have forced me so to declaim,
that even Baiae was no retreat for me. But this
was owing to my too great condescension. It is
true there was a time when I was obliged to sub-
mit to such things, but now it is otherways, what-
ever may be the event of public measures. It is
long since I had anything to write to you, and } r et
I am still writing, not that my letters give me
pleasure, but that I may provoke you to answer
them. I write this on the 21st of April, being at
dinner at the house of Vestorius, who is no good
logician, but I assure you, an excellent account-
ant.— Epistle to Atticus.

CLARE, John, an English poet, born in
1793, died in 1864. His father was a poor
farm laborer, and he was apparently born to
a like lowly station in life. By one means or
another he managed to gain some education.
But the general course of his life was erratic.
We find him a pot-boy in a public-house, a gar-
dener's apprentice, a stroller with the gip-
sies; a lime-burner, and a militia recruit; and
in 1817 he was a recipient of relief from the
parish. In 1817 he had managed to save
twenty shillings which he expended in get-
ting out a prospectus for a Collection of Orig-

Digitized by GoOgle


inal Trifles. A copy of this prospectus fell
into the hands of a London publisher; whom
1820 put forth the poems, with additions,
under the title, Poems descriptive of Rural
Life and Scenery , by John Clare, a Northamp-
tonshire Peasant. The little volume attract-
ed much notice ; and what from the sale of
it, and from presents by patrons of literature,
Clare found himself in possession of an in-
come of some £45 a year, upon which he mar-
ried. He fell into irregular habits, and in
three years was penniless. In 1827 he got out
a volume entitled The Shepherd's Calendar,
copies of which he was accustomed to hawk
around the country. In 1835 he put forth
another volume entitled The Rural Muse.
Not long afterwards he began to manifest
symptoms of violent insanity, and in 1837 he
was committed to a Lunatic Asylum, where
the remaining twenty-seven years of his life
were passed. He had, however, periods of
lucidity, and in Dne of these he composed the
following poem:


I am ! yet what I am who cares or knows?

My friends forsake me like a memory lost.
I am the self-consumer of my woes,

They rise and vanish, an oblivious host,
Shadows of life, whose very soul is lost.
And yet I am — I live — though I am tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and worse,
Into the living sea of waking dream,

Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the huge shipwreck of my own esteem

And all that *s dear. Even those I loved the best

Are strange : — nay they are stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man has never trod

For scenes where woman never smiled or wept ;
There to abide with my Creator, God,

Digitized by GoOgk


And sleep, as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Full of high thoughts unborn. So let me lie,
The grass below, above, the vaulted sky.

Among the poems which Clare wrote in his
prime, are not a few which deserve to stand
high in their class. Such as these:


Bowing adorers of the gale,
Ye cowslips delicately pale

Upraise your loaded stems,
Unfold your cups in splendor ; speak !
Who decked you with that ruddy streak,

And gilt your golden gems ?

Violets, sweet tenants of the shade,
In purple's richest pride arrayed,

Your errand here fulfill !
Go, bid the artist's simple stain
Your lustre imitate in vain,

And match your Maker's skill.

Daisies, ye flowers of lowly birth,
Embroiderers of the carpet earth,

That stud the velvet sod ;
Open to Spring's refreshing air ;
In sweetest smiling bloom declare

Your Maker and my God.


Loud is the Summer's busy song,
The smallest breeze can find a tongue,
While insects of each tiny size
Grow teasing with their melodies,
Till noon burns with its blistering breath
Around, and day lies still as death.

The busy noise of man and brute
Is on a sudden lost and mute ;
Even the brook that leaps along,
Seems weary of its bubbling song,
And so soft its waters creep
Tired silence sinks in sounder sleep.

Digitized by GoOgk


The cricket on its bank is dumb ;
The very flies forget to hum ;
And, save the wagon rocking round,
The landscape sleeps without a sound.
The breeze is stopped, the lazy bough
Hath not a leaf tliat danceth now.

The taller grass upon the hill,

And spider's threads are standing still ;

The f eathers, dropped from moor-hen's wing,

Which to the water's surface cling,

Are steadfast, and as heavy seem

As stones beneath them in the stream.

Hawkweed and groundsel's fanny downs,

Unruffled keep their seedy crowns ;

And in the overheated air

Not one light thing is floating there,

Save that to the earnest eye,

The restless heat seems twittering by.

Noon swoons beneath the heat it made.
And follows e'en within the shade ;
Until the sun slopes in the west,
like weary traveller, glad to rest
On pillowed clouds of many hues.
Then Nature's voice its joy renews,

And checkered field and grassy plain
Hum with their summer songs again,
A requiem to the day's decline,
Whose setting sunbeams coolly shine,
As welcome to the day's feeble powers
As falling dews to thirsty flowers.


Within a thick and spreading hawthorn bush

That overhung a molehill large and round,
I heard from morn to morn a merry thrush

Sing hymns of rapture, while I drank the
With joy— and oft an unintruding guest,

I watched her secret toils from day to day
How true she warped the moss to make her nest,

And modelled it within with wood and clay.

Digitized by GoOgle


And by-and-by, like heath-bells gilt with dew,
There lay her shining eggs as bright as flowers,

Ink-spotted over, shells of green and blue
And there I witnessed, in the summer hours,

A brood of nature's minstrels chirp and fly,
Glad as the sunshine and the laughing sky.

CLARENDON (Edward Hyde), Earl of, an
English statesman and historian, born in
1608, died, in 1674. Being the third son of a
wealthy father, he was destined for the
Church, and at the age of thirteen was sent
to Magdalen College, Oxford, to study for the
clerical profession. But the death of his two
elder brothers left him, at tho age of sixteen,
the heir of the family estates; and it was
thought that the bar was for him a more be-
fitting profession than the pulpit. He went
up to London, and entered the Middle Temple
as a student of law. He became intimate
with Ben Jonson, Waller, Carew, Selden,
Chillingworth, Hales, arid the other literary
celebrities of the day. He took a high place
in his profession, and at thirty was among
the leading members of tho bar. In 1640 he
entered Parliament, siding mainly with the
reforming party, and vigorously opposing the
arbitrary measures of the crown. But when
the disputes between King and Parliament
came to the point of open war, Hyde embraced
the Royal cause, and was one of the ablest
supporters of Charles I., by whom ho was
made Chancellor of the Exchequer. The
Royal cause was definitively lost by the de-
feat at Naseby (June 14, 1645). Hyde not
long after took up his residence in Jersey,
where ho resided nearly two years, studying
the Psalms and writing tho early chapters of
his History of the Rebellion. In the Spring of
1648 he drew up an answer to the ordinance
which had been issued by Parliament, declar-

Digitized by GoOgle


ing the King guilty of the civil war, and for-
bidding all future addresses to him.

Charles I. having been executed, and his
son, Charles II. having nominally acceded to
the throne, Hyde joined him on the Continent,
and became his chief adviser, drawing up all
the State papers, and conducting the volumi-
nous correspondence with the English
Koyalists; and in 1658 the dignity of Lord
Chancellor was conferred upon him by the as
yet crownless and landless King. He himself
was in the meantime often reduced to the
sorest pecuniary straits. In 1652 he writes:
" I have neither clothes nor fire to preserve
me from the sharpness of the season;" and
not long after, " I have not had a livre of my
own for the last three months."

Charles was at length restored to his king-
dom in May, 1660. Hyde accompanied him
to England, and took his seat as Speaker of
the House of Lords. At the coronation in
June, 1660, he was created Earl of Clarendon,
and received a royal gift of £20,000.* His
consequence was not a little increased by the
fact that, not long before, his daughter, Anne
Hyde, had been married to the King's brother,
tho Dukcot York, afterwards King James II. ;
and it came to be looked upon as not unlikely
that their children might sit upon the British
throne. This possibility was in time realized ;
for James II. was deposed, and his two
daughters, Mary and Anne, came in succes-
sion to be Queens-regnant of Great Britain.

Clarendon retained his position as Lord
Chancellor for six years, until 1667. He soon
became unpopular both with the people on
account of his haughty demeanor, and with
the Court on account of his determined oppo-
sition to the prevailing extravagance and
dissoluteness. At tho royal command he
resigned the Chancellorship. He was im-

Digitized by GoOgle


peached by the House of Commons for high
treason. The House of Lords refused to accept
tho charge as presented ; but it was evident to
Clarendon that his ruin was inevitable. In
November, 1667, he left the kingdom, never
to return ; having in tho meanwhile addressed
to the House of Lords a vindication of his
conduct. The House of Commons declared
this Vindication to be seditious, and ordered
it to bo burned by the hangman. A bill of

Online LibraryThomas Patrick HughesAlden's cyclopedia of universal literature: presenting biographical and ... → online text (page 35 of 38)