« ПредишнаНапред »
heal the lacerated heart, or calm the tortures of an anguished mind.
He had a friend, rather an humble friend, because he was in a great measure dependant upon him: he was possessed of a fine person, and great acquired endowments of learning. The study of the college may impart wisdom to the head, but it cannot give the more amiable virtues of the heart : yet how often do the learned follow that occupation, whose chief and first lesson of instruction is virtue ; and which early teaches the lisping infant to repeat the maxim, « Do as you would be done by.”
The polished ease of fashion, and a liberal mind and education, allow of freedoms and intimacies unknown to the middling and lower classes of life. Sir Jacob's connexions and acquaintance ranked amongst the highest circles, his Ami was l’Ami de la maison, and Sir
Imprudent conduct of his Wife.
Jacob well knew that a virtuous woman is in no danger with a male companion, if that man is an honourable man; for he often acts, in every correct sense, not only as a protector, but, at the same time, a cherished friend, and with whom, thought he, could his wife be so safe, as with a good and sensible man, whose calling is that of virtue and principle?
But the conduct of Lady Sampson seemed to be divested of its accustomed prudence; so that an affectionate husband began to be alarmed,
Just to his own honour, yet unwilling to make any eclat in the world, he was at first like Joseph, “minded to put her away privately :" yet her still endearing behaviour, the recollection of the happiness she had once diffused over his social and private hours, made him look into his own thoughts, and imagine that, perhaps, a spark of jealousy, almost insepa
Admonitions received with Contempt.
rable from true love, had crept into the enlarged composition of his heart; and still he would have stronger proofs before he came to extremities; as for a trial in Westminster Hall, and suing for da mages, that never once entered his mind.
He became still more alarmed; and, as he imagined, with reason; and, it is said, he ventured to expostulate with her, on the unguarded partiality she evinced for his hunible friend. We should hope all that has been spoken on this event is not strictly true; it is, however, confidently reported, that she not only refused to alter her conduct, but treated her unhappy husband, and his kind admonitions, with the utınost contempt. The pangs that inward agitations produce, especially those of the heart, are indescribable, and their result not to be accounted for : A settled and dark melancholy came over the once-active mind of Sir Jacob; the interests of his country were no longer VOL. 1.
His untimely Death.
dear to him; the habit of diffusing good to others, was continued, from systematic order, but it gave not its accustomed glow to his lonevolent mind; it was become habitual only, and mechanical, as the hourly time-piece strikes, unconscious itself of the effect it produces.
Worked up to a state of melancholy frenzy, this useful life was closed by his own"rash hand *. We have been persuaded to believe, that a chronic disorder, gradually ascending to the recesses of the brain, produced this fatal event : we sincerely trust it was so.
We hope for the honour of the female sex, that his wife, however suspected by
* These beautiful lines might be well applied to this unfortunate man.
“ Ho core anch'io che morte sprezza e crede « Che ben si cambi con l'Onor la Vita."
Observations on Suicide.
the fancies of melancholy, engendered chiefly, perhaps, by severe indisposition, was yet innocent: that he was in a state of lunacy, at the time he committed the fatal deed, is certain ; so is nearly every one who perpetrates the act of suicide, however scemingly predetermined: nature, in herlucid moments, shudders at the thought of being her own destroyer, and the preservation of life is the first law.
It may be urged that, there are many instances, where a person has acted very methodically and cooly, before he has lifted a daring hand against his own life: we acknowledge it all; but then the lunacy has already taken place; for the lunatic generally dwells on one subject; and what instances of regular method will their not occur in maduess! how will à man, in all the raging fury of a brain fever, lay plans for his escape ! how will he not watch the drowsy eyes of the Argusses who surround him, to see if