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TIIE MAN OF PROMISE.
The praise of wisdom may contest;
Pursue the bird of Jove, that sails along the skies.—WEšt's Pindar."
vails among mankind in intel- cept to a very limited degree, from lectual abilities and attainments, is the advantages of good society, are attributed by philosophers to various generally for the same reasons de.. causes. of the diversity of mental prived of the endowments of litera capacity, one reason indeed, is ob- ture. Real genius, however, acconvious: that Providence, in its wis- panied by good sepse, will break dom, has allotted to different crea- through the trammels of circumtures, different powers, not only in stance, undismayed by privations, their specific, but in their individual unchecked by obstacles; and will natures. The individual distinction, proceed so far without foreign assisthowever, does not obtain to the ex ance, to clear away the mists of ignotent which is generally believed; rance and prejudice with which it is and many, who are sensible of their encompassed, as to open to itself a deficiency in this respect, have fre- prospect in which the intellectual quently more cause io ascribe it to vision can repose with security, satisthemselves than to their Maker; faction, and delight; in which it can because, though undoubtedly some discern the travellers up the ascent have greater advantages than others of knowledge, though favoured by for the improvement of the intellect more propitious fortune, and conseual faculties, few endeavour so far quently passing above it, some incitas they are able, and with the op- ed by hope, and others supported by poriunities which they possess, io application, yet few more ardent in strengthen or refine the understand- the pursuit, and none making more ing.
rapid advances. In this laudable Many who, for the support of life, progress, when mindful of its partialways adhere to the same track, cular condition, it never rejects with compelled by necessity, or led by contempt the counsels of a friend, or accident, are often obliged to want vainly assumes to itself that which it the invaluable benefits of a liberal has no right to adopt, and no ability, education and polished society, and to support. Its deportment is chamany, who, by their external circui- racterized by affability without lostances, or the smiles of fortune, quacity, modesty without servility, a might be enabled to enjoy those disposition to listen to the decision blessings, are equally precluded from of more experienced judges; a willthem by casualties of a peculiar na- ingness to arrive at truth, but withture; by the objections of a particu- out the compromise of principle, or lar sect in religion to which they the degradation of subserviency. Its may be united, by avaricious motives, knowledge of things appears to be or the ignorant apprehension that gained by intuition, its ideas of right those who should gain the knowledge and wrong almost without reflection; of life, may recede from the paths of and those whon chance has brought virtue; that those who partake of within its influence, derive from it the elegances and gaieties of refine- such assistance and gratification, as ment are rendered unfit for the ac- induce attention and homage, and cumulation of wealth, for the cares excite that applause and veneration of domestic life, or the sober sphere which the more sensible part of the of active usefulness.
community are always found ready
to confer on merit, however dignified, counsels; where he can pass his or however depressed.
jokes and his witticisms without fear The man of sense and genius, by of restraint or interruption except his superior powers in the compre- from the bursts of applause which hension of what to others may appear they elicit. Hle, like Cæsar, would difficult or abstruse, is less liable to rather be first in the second, than
the admiration of what is great and second in the first, class of the coms splendid ; to that inquisitiveness in munity. His incessant study is ra
the investigation of truth, or to that ther the exaltation of himself than loquacity in the display of his know. the benefit of others. He regards ledge, for which persons of more
with invidious jealousy the pretenordinary capacities, though great pre- sions of any one of his associates, tenders to science, are remarkable. who prompied by his success in the He is, indeed, frequently distinguish- acquisition of honour and homage, ed by a natural taciturnity ; since or by the hope of transcendency, what to him can be the use of an may set himself up as a competitor. exuberance of words about things, To be considered a man of genius whose nature is to his understanding is of such great importance and graso easy of perception ? He measures tification to some, that the reality has the perspicuity of others by his own; naturally given rise to imitators, and and therefore hesitates, through mo- has called forth pretenders in the tives of delicacy, to relieve their he- art of pleasing, but little qualified,
betude, or through ignorance of their froin want of the requisite talents in - insufficiency, fancies they are equally method or in substance : such persagacious with himself.
sons try every plan that can be imaAs genius is sometimes united with gined to attract the attention of their pride, so is it often conjoined with company, excite merriment, or provanity, the characters of both of voke laughter; but their ignorance of which are extremely distinct; for things, and their awkward address, according to an observation of Swift, generally conspire to obscure that a man may be too proud to be vain. sunshine of approbation which they
The proud man of genius acts with had contemplated would burst forth De regard to others in nearly the same after the sudden and copious emission
manner as the character just describ- of all the pretty things which they ed, but with this difference; that had treasured up to amuse. This what the latter does from motives of disposition, however, is not always ignorance or delicacy, the former the most conspicuous trait in their does chiefly by design. The vain character. To be held an adept in man of genius may sometimes gain literature, in poetry, history, classical
applause from the ignorant and illite- learning, in short, in the whole comfit rate, but frequently meets with ridi- pass of science, is a consideration like cule and contempt from the wise; with them tantamount to that of the
for the generality of mankind are possession of genius. To effect their
Thraso possesses some parts, but nius without good sense. He will, very little learning. When young therefore, after several ineffectual he was sent to a public school in the attempts to extort regard from the north, where he was instructed in lit
most reputable quarter, rather than tle else than the common rudiments bi forego the darling object of his pur- of a plain English education. By
suit, shrink back into more congenial the general consent of his teachers, society, where he can be made presi- however, he was regarded as a prodent of their assemblies, looked up digy of skill, because he could parse to as a prodigy of excellence, chosen with ease and correctness a supposed umpire of disputes, or guide in their difficult sentence in an English au54 ATHENE UM, VOL. 9, 2d series.
thor, and could solve a question in of his auditors, as soon as he com. Double Position by the rule of Al- menced operations before them. gebra. Flattered and caressed by No sooner had he conceived him. bis schoolfellows, young Thraso soon self sufficiently accomplished, than began to assume the airs of conceit, he set out on his expedition of vaniand the arrogance of imagined supe- ty, with all the flush of expectation, riority ; believing no head so wise, dignity of self-importance, and preand no talents so powerful as his tended sagacity of an amateur. la
With such endowinents and order that in whatever company he such vanities, he continued to attract happened to fall, his quotations might regard until the time arrived that he be apt, and his allusions witty, he reb was to leave school; when it was not solved whenever the conversation to be wondered if his masiers, equals did not suit his designs, to turn it, if ly foolish, should have recommended possible, to a point that would suit him to a situation in which he might his purpose. When there happened indulge, as they termed it, the bent to be a warm discussion, and the of his genius and his taste for litera- opinions of the disputants to be very ture.
discordant, Thraso would relieve the When eighteen years old, he was obstinacy of opposition, by observadmitted into an office where he was ing, with a very consequential air, surprised to find others of superior" but you know, gentlemen, quot capacity and attainments. Some homines, tot 'sententia," looking were ready at quotations, though meanwhile at every countenance for they seldom indulged in them, from that flattering approbation to which Greck, Romail, and other classical such a display of learning opdoubtwriters. Others were adepis in mu- edly entiiled him. sic and painting, and could almost if the subject of physiognomy be rival a Braham in the “ mellow ene introduced, and whether the visage ergies of song.” Thraso, as he was be a true'index of the mind, Thraso
, equally a stranger to all these ac in endeavouring to hit the right nail quirements, as well as ignorant of upon the head, remarks that it is not their different degrees of excellence, as one of the Latin poets, he thinks conceived that he wanted no requi- Sallust, decides the question by say. site for equal cleainess, and equal ing, Fronti nulla fides. The smiles fame, but a little initiatory instruc of ridicule consequent 10 such bluntion, and courage for the exhibition ders, his vanity will sometimes lead of his powers, whenever an opportu him to mistake for praise, of which nity should offer itself. He there- every repetition tends to embolden fore commenced to learn with assi- future attempts to shine ; so that we duity so much of the Greek and have him continually interrupting ar. Latin authors as would qualify him, gunentative discussion, or convivial by the quantity and variety of his jollity, by ostentatious interlocutions, quotations, for the display of his pro- or an express desire to sing a song. ficiency in classical learning. Of He has been known to repeat the music and singing, and other light same anecdote fifteen different times accomplishments, he expected to be in nearly the same words. If oue quite master in a short time, by de well qualified for narrative, begins a voting for a month one hour in the tale for general entertainment, with day to the former, and half that time which Thraso should happen to have to the latter. His music-master had been already acquainted, he will ofiev told him that he had no ear for wrest it from the mouth of the speak• music, and no voice for singing ; ne er, and give it himself; which he vertheless, he was determined to sur- generally does with such hurry and mount, if possible, every impediment, force of gesture, and confusion of when he reflected on the pleasure he statements, by anticipating the event, should experience from the applause that at the close the effect is deaden
ed, the hearers remain unmoved, ly promoted by giving to the rising except with disgust, and he finds generation, a better grounded, and himself left alone to enjoy it. He wore solid, but less extended educasometimes engrosses the whole at- tion; an education that would, at tention of a company by puerile least, deter the inexperienced from loquacity, sallies of false wit, inapt falling into the follies so much to be allusions, and trite anecdotes; and deprecated, of vanity, pride, and seems resolved to unburden before conceit; and occasion the justness them his whole cargo of knowledge, of the lines in Pupe to be less frewhether they are disposed to suffer quently verified : it or not.
“ A little learning is a dangerous thing, -usque adeone,
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring; Scire tuuni nihil est nisi te scire hoc sciat
Their shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, alter ?
But drinking largely sobers us again,” &c. As if 'tis nothing worth that lies conceald,
It was observed by Goldsmith in And science is not science till reveal’d, his day, and is equally true in the
present, that there is a prevalent It would conduce materially to the passion to make children learn all benefit and comforts of society, if things ; the languages, the sciences, real merit were more generally and music, the exercises, and painting. more carefully distinguished from Thus the child soon becomes a talker counterfeit ; and if solid acquisitions in all, but master in none. He thus and substautive virtues were not al- acquires a superficial fondness for lowed to be so frequently eclipsed by everything, and ouly shows his ignothe false glare of superficial preten- rance when he attempts to exhibit sion. And this end would be great- his skill."
THE FINDING OF MOSES..
THE ADVENTURER'S STORY.
who possess any romance of England, 10 forget, if possible, the character, to find how little of the vile common places of his native land. savage is now remaining to us. Men He was a man of singular tempervery generally wear skirts to their perhaps I should call him rather too coats, and brigands, pirates, bandit heteroclite, but that his crotchets chiefs, and others of the same inter were generally harmless. Yet the esting species, are growing very being a continual exception to the tame. Gad! it was a satisfaction common role of humanity, made his to be pilfered in those days, when a companions rather more like so many tall horseman in black, struck with dittos of each other than was agree; the appearance of your travelling able,- for their little deviations and carriage, insinuated a pale aristocra- small eccentricities, seemed very ors, tic band, and declared as he was a dinary by the side of his exceeding gentleman, that your purse was all be crookedness. desired. But this, afier all, was but We left Falmouth together in a a silly mode of entertainment, com- Mediterranean packet.-France was pared with the horrible delights of dull, and laud-travelling ipsipid, unan all but murder in Italy, or the less the road happened to be unfreBlack Forest. Singular the sweet- quented. But a first voyage
is a sad ness of being torn from your family, tamer of your wild spirits. Aod thumped on the head by genuine when poor Roberts appeared on desperadoes, gagged, blindfolded, deck after his noviciate of sickness, handcuffed, or what not, and after a it was strange to hear him babble of fortnight of bread and water, giving his relations, and wonder how far it up half your patrimony as a ransom. might be to Gibraltar, Ye mountains of Abruzzi, and
ye And,” said he," I should like to dear villains, who were wont to mur- know how Napoleon looked in a der so beautifully, though I bave gale of wind? Was he faint of heart never myself been slain, nor robbed think you, when these desperate of anght but two bad pocket band- lurches, here's ove,-take care Ned kerchiefs, somewhere near Covent --take care !-I thought we had Garden.-Oh! sabres, scymitars, been down !- Eh? they call that a caves, and all other bloody places ! sea, don't they?—these hanged sail--Oh!
money and lives lost! Whators are never satisfied but with a rapturous visions do these holy ideas hurricane, But I was asking just excite !
now, whether Alexander,-no, wheSuch have been the exclamations ther Napoleon was likely to suffer of sone amongst the giddy rout, who much from this torture, which I can't rush from merry England for excite- help thinking"ment abroad. I grieve for the pro Here was a pause, during which fessor of these tenets, that police all the features of his face seemed to laws, like snufsers, have cleared away undergo a change of position ;- his so many thieves;- it is distressing to lips quivered, but uttered nought. think, that even Lord Cochrane “ What can't you help thinking, should have taken arms against the Roberts ?" pirates, and that so few adventures " Ehl-Think? was I thinking? being to be had now-a-days, foreign --what can it matter,-to-morrow land is no longer desirable, as a gen- Ned, to-morrow we'll talk all about teel means of procuring them. it ;-better weather then, I hope
This is not much to the purpose. to-morrow”. --I had a friend, who, with knap And so saying, he, tottered dowa