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wisdom, nor human virtue, unsupported by religion, is equal to the trying situations which often occur in life.
19 By the shock of temptation, how frequently have the most virtuous intentions been overthrown? Under the pressure of disaster, how often has the greatest constancy sunk? "Every good, and every perfect gift, is from above." Wisdom and virtue, as well as “riches and honour, come from God.” Destitute of his favour, you are in no better situation, with all your boasted abilities, than orphans left to wander in a trackless desert, without any guide to conduct them, or any shelter to cover them from the gathering storm.
20 Correct, then, this ill-founded arrogance. Expect not, that your happiness can be independent of Him who made you. By faith and repentance, apply to the Redeemer of the world. By piety and prayer, seek the protection of the God of heaven.
21 I conclude with the solemn words, in which a great prince delivered his dying charge to his son : words, which every young person ought to consider as addressed to himself, and to engrave deeply on his heart: “ Solomon, my son, krov thou the God of thy fathers; and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind. For the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts. If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever."
СУ АРГ" : .
SECTION 1. Earthquake at Cala!: ia, in the year 1638. An account of this dread w earthquake is viven by the celebrated father Kirchis. It happened tilet he was on his journey to visit Mount ina, and the rest of the war ders that lie towards the Southoritaly. Kircher is considered, by scholars, as one of the greatest prodigies of learning - Häving hired a boat, in company with our more, (two friars of the order of St. Francis, and two seculars,) we launched from the harbour of Viessinil, ia Sicily : and arrived, the saine day, at the promontory, Pols. Our destination Was for the city of Euphemsiw, ia Culahi where we had
some husiness to transact; and where we designed to tarry for some time.
2“However, Providence seemed willing to cross our desig : ; for we were obliged to continue three days at Pelorus, on account of the weather; and though we often put out to sea, yet we were as often driven back. At length, wearied with the delay, we resolved to prosecute out voyage; and, although the sea seemed more than usually agitated, we ventured forward.
3 “The gulf of Charybdis, which we approached, seemed whirled round in such a manner, as to form a vast hollow, verging to a point in the centre. Proceeding onward, and turning my eyes to Atua, I saw it cast forth large volumes mf smoke, of mountainous sizes, which entirely covered the island, and blotted out the very shores from my view. This, together with the dreadful noise, and the sulphurous stench which was strongly perceived, filled me with apprehensions, that some more dreadful calamity was impending.
4. “ The sea itself seemed to wear a very unusual appearance: they who have seen a lake in a violent shower of rain, covered all over with buhbles, will conceive some idea of its agitations. My surprise was still increased, by the calmness and serenity of the weather; not a breeze, not a cloud, which might be supposed to put all nature thus into motion. I therefore warned my companions, that an earthquake en approaching; and; after some time, making for the sinore with all possible diligence, we landed at locü,happy and thanksul for having escaped the stat aing dangers of the sea.
5 “But our popis at land were of short duration; for we had spreely arrived at the Jesuits' College, in that city, wku our ears were stunned with a horrid sound, resemnling that of an infinite number of chariots, driven fiercely forward ; the wheels rattling, and the thongs cracking. Soon after this, a most dreadful earthquake ensued; the whole tract upon wilich wę stood seemed to vibrate, as if we were in the scale of a balance that continued wavering. This motion however soon grew more violent; and being no longer able to keep my legs, I was thrown prostrate upon the g.ouud. In the mean time, the universal ruin round me, redoubled my amazement.
6 “The crash of falling hove, the tottering of tower, and the groans of the dying, all contributed to raise my terror and despair. On every side of me, I saw nothing but a scene of ruin; and da:ger threatening wherever I should ily. I recommended nyself to God, as my last great refuge.
7 " At thai hour, O now'vain was every sublunary happiness! Wealth, honour, empire, wisdom, all mere useless sounds,and as mnty as the bubblesofthedeep Just standing on the threshold of tern.ty, nuthuuy bui Gud was my pleasure; and the nearer i appraichid, i only loved him the more.
8 "After so ne time, however, iiding ihat, remained unhurt, amidst the general concussion, i resolved to veature for safety; and runcing as fast as I could, I reached the shore, but almost terrified out of iny reason. I did not search long hure, tiil I found the boutin which I had landed; and niy companions also, whose terrors were even greater tian mine. Our meeting w Snot of that kind, where every one is desirous of telling his own happy escape ; it was all silence, and a gloomy dread of inspending terrors.
9 " Leaving his seat of disolution, we prosecuted our 'voyage along the coast; and the next day came to Rochetta, where we landed, although the earth still continued in violent agitations. But we had scarcely arrived at our in), when we were once more obliged to return to the boat; and, in about half an hour, we saw the greatest part of the town, and the inn at which we put up, dashed to the ground, burying the inhabitants beneath the ruins.
10 “ In this manner, proceeding onwd in our little vessel, finding no safety at land, and yet, from the smallness of our boat, having : at a very dangerous continuance at sea, we at length landed at Lopizium a castle midway between Tropæa and Euphæmia, the city tu nhich, as I said before, we were bound. Here', 'herever I turned my eyes, nothing but scenes of ruin and horror a weared; towns and castles levelled to the ground; Stron:boli, though at sixty miles distance, belching forth fames in an unusual manner, and with a noise which I could distinctly hear.
11 “ But my attention was quickly turned írom more remote, to contiguous danger. The rumbling sound of an approaching earthquake, which we by this time were grown acquainted with, alarmed us for the consequences it every moment seemed to grow louder, and to approach pearer. The place on which we stood now began to skake mest dreadfully: so that being unable to stand, my companions
and I caught hold of whatever shrub grew next to us, and supported ourselves in that manner.
12 “After some time, this violent paroxysm ceasing, we again stood up, in order to prosecute our voyage to Euphæmia, which lay within sight. In the mean time, while we were preparing for this purpose, I turned my eyes towards the city, but could see only a frightful dark cloud, that seemed to rest upon the place. This the more surprised us, as the weather was so very serene.
13 “ We waited therefore till the cloud had passed away; then turning to look for the city, it was totally sunk. Wonderful to tell! nothing but a dismal and putrid lake was seen where it stood. We looked about to find some one that could tell us of its sad catastrophe, but could see no person. All was become a melancholy solitude; a scene of hideous desolation.
14 "Thus proceeding pensively along, in quest of some human being that could give us a little information, we at length saw a boy sitting by the shore, and appearing stupified with terror. Orbim, therefore, we inquired concerning the fate of the city; but he could not be prevailed on to give us an answer.
15 “We entreated him, with every expression of tenderness and pity to tell us ; but his senses were quite wrapt up in the contemplation of the danger he had escaped. We of fered him some victuals, but he seemed to loath the sight. We still persisted in our offices of kindness; but he only pointed to the place of the city, like one out of his senses, and then, running up into the woods, was never heard of after. Such was the fate of the city Euphæmid. · 16 “ As we continued or melancholy course along the shore, the whole coast, for the space of two hundred miles, presented nothing but the remains of cities; and men scattered, without a habitation, over the fields. Proceeding thus along, we at length ender our distressful voyage by arriving at Naples, after having escaped a thousand dangers both at sea and landl.”
GOLDSMITH. SECTION II. Letter from Pliny to GEMINIUS. Do we not soinetimes observe a sort of people, who, though they are themselves under the abject dominion of.every vice, show a kind of malicious resentment against the errors of others, and are most severe upon those whom they most resemble ? yet, surely, a lenity of disposition, even in persous who have the least occasion for clemency themselves, is of all virtues the most becoming.
2 The highest of all characters, in my estimation, is his,' rho is as ready to pardon the errors of mankind, as if he were every day guilty of some himself; and, at the same time; as cautious of committing a Pault, as if he never forgave one. It is a rule then wlich we should, upon all occasions, both private and public, most religiously observe: “ to be inexorable to our own failings, while we treat those of the rest of the world with tenderness, not excepting even such as forgive none but themselves."
s I shall, perhaps, be asked, who is it that has given oc. casion to these reflections. Know then that a certain person lately--but of that when we meet-though, upon second thoughts, not even then ; lest, whilst I condemn and expose his conduct, I shall act counter to that maxim I particularly recommend. Whoever, therefore, and whatever he is, shall remain in silence; for though there may be some use, perhaps, in setting a mark upon the man, for the sake of example, there will be more, however, in sparing him, for the sake of humanity. Farewell. MELMOTH'S PLINY. :
SECTION III. Letter from PLINY to MARCELLINUS on the death of an ami
. able young woman. I write this under the utmost oppression of sorrow : the youngest daughter of my friend Fundanus, is dead! Nerer surely was there a more agreeable, and more amiable young person, or one who better deserved to have enjoyed a long, I had almost said, an immortal life! She had all the wisdom of age and discretion of a matron, joined with youthful sweetness and virgin modesty.
2 With what an engaging fondness did she behave to her father! How kindly and respectfully receive his friends! How affectionately treat all those who, in their respective offices, had the care and education of her! She employed much of her time in reading, in which she discovered great strength of judgment; she indulged herself in few diversions, and those with inuch caution. With what forbearance, with what patippce, with what courage, did she endure her last illness!