Графични страници
PDF файл

noisy infant or a chattering wife? And I believe the case is very rare, when life becomes so insupportable as to drive a man from his home, and make him view, with “ the jaundiced eye of envy, the whole human race." Let me ask, how many such gloomy hus. bands have come within the speculation of Mr. Mud


He next declares against early marriages, and would frighten youth from a licenced confummation of their happiness; he is there most im politic, for his advice tends to decrease the population of his country, of which he is, no doubt, a friend; befides which, he differs from some of the first men who have treated on the fubject, amongst whom are Swift, and Goldsmith, and Franklin.

He observes that, “ For a man to marry his fervant is an insult to the human recies.Perhaps he does not admit, that a servant forms a part of that species ; or if so, how can it be disgraced ? Since it is but one part elevating another. For, the master, whom we will allow (for the sake of Mr. Mudford) to be the nobler being, does not descend from his own exalted height, but only lifts ariother to his honours; it is an amiable act, and worthy of a benign soul; and in what superior sphere, in the scale of existence, does Mr. Mudford triumph that he should presume to reprobate it?

Let not the learned,says he, i marry with the ignorant.Where is his philanthropy? I thought it the propensity of a good heart to delight in unveiling the cloud of ignorance, and to display to the expanding fenfibility of human nature, the radiance of truth and knowledge ?

But where are his powers of ratiocination, when he affirms, with such unrivalled modesty, that “It is an undoubted fact, that that man is wife who acts confonantly to his own feelings." The man who destroys the loveliest works of heaven-INNOCENCE and VIRTUE, and the man who murders his father, are both

G g 3


actuated by their orun feelings. Will Mr. Mudford call those men wise? --He does not! for, spite of the erring reason of his brain, his heart must acknowledge that VIRTUE and WISDOM are the same. But what that learned axiom has to do with the subject, I leave for him to explain; the following appears to me equally inexplicable.

Let a man,” says he, “ be banished to perpetual havery, he will by progressive approximation to misery become so hardened, that the very idea of happiness will be expelled from his mind, and he will cease to think of it as a defirable obje&t."

He must cease then to be miserable, (let me inform Mr. Mudford) or there must be happiness in his slavery, the object only is changed; wild and extravagant as the hypothesis may appear, he must aliow the lait, if he admits the first; for a sigh in misery indicates an idea of happiness, of which a man can never think without defiring to poffefs it ; and, without comparison, woe would not impress us with a ligh, nor would joy exhilarate us to a smile.-The man then in banishment must cease to be miserable if he ceases to defire happiness.

Mr. Mudford's Essay abounds with a number of other propositions equally as curious as the above; and I do confess (let him triumph) that I dare not attack them, they tower so much above my comprehension.

They seem to me “ As two grains of whear hid under two bushels of chaff; we thall search all day before we find them, and when we do, they are not worth the search.”



[From White's Natural History of Selborne.] n n September 21, 1741, being intent on field di

versions, I rose before day-break; when I came into the inclosures, I found the ftubbles and clover

grounds grounds matted all over with a thick coat of cobweb, in the meshes of which a copious and heavy dew hung so plentifully, that the whole face of the country seemed, as it were, covered with two or three feiting nets, drawn one over another. When the dogs attempted to hunt, their eyes were so blinded and hoodwinked, that they could not proceed, but were obliged to lie down and scrape the incumbrances from their faces with their fore feet. As the morning advanced the fun became bright and warm, and the day turned out one of those most lovely ones, which no reason but the autumn produces; cloudleis, calm, serene, and worthy the south of France itself.

About nine an appearance, very unusual, began to demand our attention ; a shower of cobwebs falling from very elevated regions, and continuing without any interruption till the close of day. These webs were not single filmy threads, floating in the air in all directions, but perfect Hakes or rags; some near an inch broad and five or fix long. On every side, as the observer turned his eyes, might he behold a continual succession of fresh Rakes falling into his fight, and twinkling like stars as they turned their fides towards the sun. Neither before nor after was any shower observed; but on this day the flakes hung in the trees and hedges so thick, that a diligent person might have gathered baskets full.

[ocr errors]



THE ANTIENT JEWS. HIS punishment was not to exceed forty stripes, I and therefore the whip, with which it was to be inflicted, being made of three thongs, and each blow giving three stripes ; they never laid on any cri. minal more than thirteen blows. Because thirteen of


[ocr errors]

those blows made thirty-nine stripes, and to add another blow, would have been a tranfgreffion oi the law, by adding two stripes over and above forty..

See Prideaux's Gonnetions,

Part II. Book V.



[From Edwardss History of the West Indies.] THERE is (says Mr. Edwards preserved among

I the journals of the honourable council in Jamaica, a very old volume in manuscript, confisting of diaries and reports of governors, which relate chiefly to the proceedings of the arıny, and other tranfactions, in the first settlement of the colony. In this book is to be found the translation of a letter to the King of Spain, said to be written by COLUMBUS during his confinement on this island. As it appears to me to bear marks of authenticity, I thall prelcnt it to my readers. It was written, probably, about eight months after the departure of his messenger, Diego Mendez, who had attempted to reach Hispaniola in an Indian canoe. Hiaring nothing from hiin in that interval, COLUMBUS seems to have relinquished every hope of relief, and to have written this letter in an hour of despondency, not as having any probable means of sending it to Spain; but on the idea that it would be found after his death. It is as follows : A Letter from CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, in Ja. maica, to King Ferdinand.

Jamaica, 1504. “ Diego Mendez, and the papers I sent by him, will thew your Highness what rich' mines of gold I have discovered in Veraqua, and how I intended to have


left my brother at the river Belin, if the judgments of heaven, and the greatest misfortunes in the world, had not prevented it. However, it is sufficient that your Highness, and your successors, will have the glory and advantage of all; and that the full discovery and set.. tlement are reserved for happier persons than the unfortunate Columbus. If God be fo merciful to me, as to conduct Mendez to Spain, I doubt not but he will convince your Highness, and my great Mistress, that this will not only be a Castile and Leon; but a disa covery of a world of subjects, lands, and wealth, greater than man's unbounded fancy could ever comprehend, or avarice itself covet ; but neither he, this paper, nor the tongue of mortal man, can express the anguish and amictions of my body and mind, nor the misery and dangers of my son, brother, and friends! Already have we been confined ten months in this place, lodged on the open decks of our ships, that are run on shore and lashed together; those of my men that were in health, have mutinied under the Porras's of Seville; my friends, that were faithful, are mostly sick and dying; we have consumed the Indians' provisions, lo that they abandon us. All, therefore, are like to perith by hunger, and these miseries are accompanied with so many aggravating circumstances, that render me the most wretched object of misfortune this world shall ever fee; as if the dilpleasure of heaven seconded the envy uf Spain, and would punish, as criminal, those undertakings and discoveries which former ages would have aç. knowledged as great and meritorious actions ! Good heaven, and you holy saints that dwel in it, let the King, Don Ferdinand,' and my illustrious mistress, Donna Isabella, know that my zcal for their service and interest hath brought me thus low; for it is impoffible to live and have afflictions equal to mine ! I see, and with horror apprehend my own, and for my fake, my unfortunate and deserving people's destruction. Alas! piety and justice have retired to their habita

. tions

« ПредишнаНапред »