Page images



Simp'ring is but a lay-hypocrisy:
Give it a corner, and the clue undoes.

Who fears to do ill, sets himself to task :

Who fears to do well, sure should wear a mask. By all means use sometimes to be alone. Salute thyself. See what thy soul doth wear. Dare to look in thy chest, for 'tis thy own; And tumble up and down what thou find'st there.

Who cannot rest till he good fellows find,

He breaks up house, turns out of doors his mind. By no means run in debt. Take thine own measure. Who cannot live on twenty pounds a year, Cannot on forty. He's a man of pleasure ; A kind of thing that's for itself too dear.

The curious unthrift makes his clothes too wide ;

And spares himself, but would his tailor chide. Wit's an unruly engine, wildly striking Sometimes a friend, sometimes the engineer. Hast thou the knack ? pamper it not with liking ; But, if thou want it, buy it not too dear.

Many, affecting wit beyond their power,

Have got to be a dear fool for an hour.
Thy friend put in thy bosom. Wear his eyes
Still in thy heart, that he may see what's there.
If cause require, thou art his sacrifice :
Thy drops of blood must pay down all his fear.

But love is lost, the way of friendship’s gone,
Tho' David had his Jonathan, Christ bis John.



Be calm in arguing; for fierceness makes
Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.
Why should I feel another man's mistakes,
More than his sicknesses or poverty?

In love I should; but anger is not love,

Nor wisdom neither : thereforo gently move.
Pitch thy behaviour low; thy projects, high,
So shalt thou bumble and magnanimous be.
Sink not in spirit: who aimeth at the sky,
Shoots higher much than he that means a tree.

A grain of glory mix'd with humbleness
Cures both a fever and lethargickness.

Scorn no man's love, though of a mean degree.
Love is a present for a mighty king.
Much less make any one thine enemy.
As guns destroy, so may a little sling.

The cunning workman never doth refuse
The meanest tool that he may chance to use.

Sum up, at night, what thou hast done by day;

And, in the morning, what thou hast to do.
Dress and undress thy soul. Mark the decay,
And growth of it. If, with thy watch, that too

Be down, then wind up both. Since we shall be
Most surely judg'd, make thy accounts agree.



[ocr errors]

A YOUNG man, named Robert, was sitting alone in his boat, in the harbour of Marseilles. A stranger stepped in, and took his seat near him, but quickly rose again ; observing, that since the master was not present, he would take another boat.

“This, sir, is mine," said Robert; "would you sail without the harbour ?”

I meant only to move about the basin, and enjoy the coolness of this fine evening. But I cannot believe

you are a sailor.” “Nor am I: yet on half-days and holidays I act the bargeman, with a view to make up a sum.”

“What! covetous at your age! your looks had almost prepossessed me in your favour."

“Alas! sir, did you know my situation, you would not blame me.”

Well ; perhaps I am mistaken. Let us take our little cruise; and acquaint me with your history."

The stranger having resumed his seat, the dialogue, after a short pause, proceeded thus: “I perceive, young man, you are sad. What grieves you thus ?"

“My father, sir, groans in fetters, and I cannot ransom him. He earned a livelihood by petty brokerage ; but in an evil hour embarked for Smyrna, to superintend in person the delivery of a cargo, in which he had a concern. The vessel was captured by

[blocks in formation]

a Barbary corsair; and my father was conducted to Tetuan, where he is now a slave. They refused to release him for less than two thousand crowns, a sum which far exceeds our scanty means. However, we do our best. My mother and sisters work day and night. I ply hard at my stated occupation of a journeyman jeweller; and, as you perceive, make the most I can of half-days and holidays. I had resolved to put myself in my father's stead; but my mother, apprised of my design, and dreading the double privation of a husband and an only son, requested the Levant captains to refuse me a passage."

'Pray, do you ever hear from your father? Under what name does he pass? or what is his master's address ? "

“His master is overseer of the royal gardens at Fez; and my father's name is Robert.”

Night drew on'apace. The stranger, upon landing, thrust into young Robert's hand a purse containing eight double louis d'ors, with ten crowns in silver, and instantly disappeared.

Six weeks passed after this adventure, and each returning sun bore witness to the unremitting exertions of the good family. As they sat one day at their unsavoury meal of bread and dried almonds, old Robert entered the apartment, in a garb little suited to a fugitive prisoner ; tenderly embraced his wife and children, and thanked them, with tears of gratitude, for the fifty louis they had caused to be remitted to him on his sailing from Tetuan, for his

[blocks in formation]

free passage, and a comfortable supply of wearing apparel. His astonished relatives eyed one another in silence. At length, the mother, suspecting that her son had secretly concerted the whole plan, recounted the various instances of his zeal and affection. “Six thousand livres,” continued she, “is the sum we wanted ; and we had already procured somewhat more than the half, owing chiefly to his industry. Some friends, no doubt, have assisted him upon an emergency like the present.”

A gloomy suggestion crossed the father's mind.

“Calm your apprehensions, my dearest father," cried the son, embracing him. Recollect, mother, the unknown gentleman, who gave me the purse. He was particular in his inquiries. Should I pass my life in the pursuit, I must endeavour to meet with him, and invite him to contemplate the fruits of his beneficence."

He then related to his father all that passed in the pleasure-boat, and removed every distressing suspicion.

Restored to the bosom of his family, the father again partook of their joys, prospered in his dealings, and saw his children comfortably established. Some time afterwards, on a Sunday morning, as the son was walking on the quay, he discovered his benefactor, clasped his knees, and entreated him as his guardian angel, as the preserver of a father, and a family, to share the happiness he had been the means of producing. The stranger again disappeared in the crowd—but, reader, this stranger was Montesquieu.

« PreviousContinue »