« ПредишнаНапред »
the heavens, repair to Mara, and you will behold it buried in the dust!”
Whether the above cited Turkish narrative be matter of fact, or a moralizing fable, it is of interesting import. It strikingly pourtrays the instability of human greatness. It teaches impressively, that in humility is safety; that a haughty spirit goeth before a fall; and that the highest of mortals are not so far exalted above the lowest, as to warrant toward them disdainful feelings and behaviour.
Of all the various modifications of pride, the most in. tolerably disgusting is scornfulness of temper and carriage. Vanity is condescending and courteous; it praises and flatters, to be praised and flattered in return. Affectation always has the laudable aim of please ing, though it always misses it. Ambition is ofttimes polite, and “stoops to conquer.” But scorn has no covering : it is naked deformity, without a shade, and without a single undisgusting feature. It is a foul stain upon rank and wealth ; it is a loathsome canker in the rose-bud of beauty. Not only is it disgusting, but it enflames with the bitterest and most enduring resentment and rage. The wounds of scorn's inflicting, no balm can cure, no ointment can mollify; they continue to ulcerate and burn, not unfrequently after more serious injuries are forgotten or forgiven. It is easier to bear a blow of the hand, than a disdainful expression of the tongue. Almost any injury is more easily got over than downright contempt. The mere look of disdain is felt like the thrust of a sword. A scornful cast of the eye, or contemptuous air of the countenance, generates a hatred of the most desperate kind and character. In very deed, it is beyond the strength of unhallowed human nature to forgive those who scorn us and treat us with scorn, It is not near so hard to return love for hatred, as to return love for scorn. Nor are
instances uncommon in which the scornful are repaid in their own coin; being made to suffer the contempt of the very persons they had contemned. The age we live in teems with instances of this sort.
Parents can hardly do their children a greater injury, than by encouraging in them a scornful temper : a temper so directly repugnant to the example, the precepts, and the whole tenor of the religion of our divine Redeemer; a temper whose odious pravity, neither beauty, nor talent, nor any accomplishment of person or splendor of condition, can countervail. And yet, strange to tell ! there are parents--parents professing a veneration for the christian religion-whose lessons of instruction tend to encourage in their children a disdainfulness of feeling and carriage toward all such as are anywise behind them in rank, or wealth, or personal accomplishments. Instead of teaching them humility, gentleness, and courtesy, they teach them to practise airs of disdain towards such as are deemed their inferiors, in however small a degree. The little miss must hold up her head, and hold it still higher, if she has beauty. The seeds of scornful pride, thus planteď and watered in young minds, take so deep a root as to be seldom eradicated in after-life. By the time they are full grown men and women, scornfulness of feeling and manner becomes a habit, of which, even the severest discipline in misfortune's school very seldom mends them.
Nothing is to be scorned but vice, and the proper scorn of vice itself, is mingled with pity for the vicious. It is enough to despise folly and shun it, to hate vice, and guard ourselves, and warn others, against it. At the same time we should not forget that every person, however degraded by folly and vice, still claims the privilege of a fellow creature, and, as such, is more entitled to our compassion than deserving of our scorn.
One observation more, and I shall have done. Nothing so bloats with scorn a low-bred shallow mind, as the sudden transition from narrow circumstances to wealth, Mrs. Blazon was reared in the shade of humble life. But the wheel of furtune that turned so many down, chanced to raise her aloft, and now she figures away among the fashionables of the age. Whatever appears before her in Poverty's livery, she disdains at the core of her heart. Her standing topic, whenever she displays herself to her company, is the disgusting vileness of female domestics. Despicable herd! All lazy, or dishonest, or too paltry proud for the meanness of their condition. She hath sorted, and tried, and shifted them, many times over, and she verily believeth there is scarcely to be found a real good one in all this 'versal warld.
of the Contempt of Womankind.
" When pain and sickness wring the brow
The man who expresses or feels a general contempt of womankind, evinces, thereby, either that his acquaintance has been mostly with the baser sort, or that his heart is devoid of the common sensibilities of our nature. A satire upon Woman! It is revolting; it is dastardly and brutish. Particulars are deserving of the lash of satire, but not the species. Of women, as well as of men, there are the artful and treacherous, the unfeeling and cruel, the mischievous, the disgusting, the abominable.—The species, nevertheless, is entitled te a high degree of respect, esteem and love.
Dominic, than whom a more marble-hearted monster never existed, though he stands sainted in the Romish Kalendar ;-that same Saint Dominic, the inventor and author of the hellish inquisition, was confessedly a woman-hater.
Of him it is recorded, that “he never looked in the face of a woman, or spoke to one." In like manner
“ aside the devil turn'd,"'* when the first of female forms presented itself before him.
Woman was “ the last, best gift,” to man; moulded out of that part of his flesh and bone which lay nearest the heart. And what though she was first in the transgression ? Was she not principal, also, in the restoration ? And when the Divine Restorer, born of a woman, was in poverty and need, who were they that ministered to him ? Women. When the disciples had fled through fear, who stood by, and so deeply sympathized in his last agonies, undismayed by the ferocious countenances of the murderous throng ? Women.Who so affectionately prepared the embalming spicery, and were the first to visit the sacred tomb ? Wo
To whom have all the after-generations been most indebted for the pious culture of infancy and childhood ? To Women.
The Eternal Wisdom has, if I may use the expression, cast the minds of the two sexes in different n
moulds, each being destined to act in a sphere peculiarly its
“For contemplation he, and valour form'd,
For softness she, and sweet attractive grace." The one is destined and fitted for the more active and perilous scenes ; the other for the duties and trials of domestic life: the one to protect, the other to lean on the arm of her protector : the one to exhibit the sterner virtues; the other the milder : the one possessing
pro Gino in question
more of active courage ; and the other, more of fortitude, of resignation, and of unweariable patience, and more of the benevolent affections.
This is nature's distinctive line, which, on the part of female character can never be overleaped without producing disgust or ridicule. Hence it is, that, of all affectation, none is more displeasing than a woman's affecting the spirit and manners of the other sex. We have a sort of admiration of the heroic intrepidity of the Spartan ladies; of their contempt of danger; of the stoical apathy, or rather exultation, with which they received the news of their sons and husbands dying bravely in battle. We admire them as prodigies, but neither love nor esteem them as women, And why is it that the atheistical fair is regarded with such singular horror ? why is the foul oath, the heaven-daring blasphemy, doubly horrible, in the ear of decency, when proceeding from the lips of woman ? It is because we contrast the outrage with the attributes of timidity, gentleness, delicacy, and sensibility, belonging more peculiarly to the sex.
One of the most deplorable wants in woman, is the want of heart; the want of genuine sensibility, of the radical affection of sympathy and benevolence. It is a want, for which neither beauty, nor wit, nor the rarest accomplishments of person or mind, can by any means compensate. On the other hand, the most attractive graces of the female character, are not the artificial and showy ones; but those of a meek and quiet spirit, and of beneficent dispesitions, guided by moral principle and the discretion of sound sense :-in a word, graces the same that our holy religion inculcates and inspires.
In the fair daughters of Eve, domestic excellence is the predominating excellence; in comparison of which, all the ornaments that literature or manners can be stow are as tinsel compared with the fine gold.