« PreviousContinue »
these times well, and our times of business also, is not our professional education, but our general one. It is the education which all need equally-namely, that which teaches a man, in the first place, his duty to God and his neighbor; which trains him to good principles and good temper; to think of others, and not only of himself. It is that education which teaches him, in the next place, his duties as a citizen; to obey the laws always, but to try to get them
made as perfect as possible; to understand that a good and 5 just government cannot consult the interests of one partic
ular class of calling, in preference to another, but must see what is for the good of the whole ; that every interest, and every order of men, must give and take; and that if each were to insist upon having every thing its own way, there would be nothing but the wildest confusion, or the merest tyranny. And because a great part of all that goes wrong in public or private life arises from ignorance and bad reasoning, all that teaches us, in the third place, to reason
justly, and puts us on our guard against the common tricks 6 of unfair writers and talkers, or the confusions of such as
are puzzle-headed, is a most valuable part of a man's education, and one of which he will find the benefit whenever he has occasion to open his mouth to speak, or his ears to hear. And, finally, all that makes a man's mind more active, and the ideas which enter it nobler and more beautiful, is a great addition to his happiness whenever he is alone, and to the pleasure which others derive from his company when he is in society. Therefore, it is most
useful learn to love and understand what is beautiful, 7-whether in the works of God, or in those of man; whether
in the flowers and fields, and rocks and woods, and rivers, and sea and sky; or in fine buildings, or fine pictures, or fine music; and in the noble thoughts and glorious images of poetry. This is the education which will make a man and a people good, and wise, and happy.
The Monk.-STERNE. 1 A POOR Monk, of the order of St. Francis, came into the room to beg something for his convent. The moment I cast my eyes upon him, I was determined not to give him a single sous; and accordingly, I put my purse into my pocket-buttoned it upset myself a little more upon my centre, and advanced up gravely to him; there was something, I fear, forbidding in my look: I have his picture this moment before my eyes, and think there was that in it, which deserved better.
The monk, as I judged from the break in his tonsure, 2 a few scattered white hairs upon his temples being all that
remained of it, might be about seventy--but from his eyes, and that sort of fire that was in them, which seemed more tempered by courtesy than years, could be no more than sixty-Truth might lie between. He was certainly sixtyfive : and the general air of his countenance, notwithstanding something seemed to have been planting wrinkles in it before their time, agreed to the account.
It was one of those heads which Guido has often painted-mild, pale, penetrating; free from all common3 place ideas of fat contented ignorance, looking downwards upon the earth.
It looked forward ; but looked as if it looked at something beyond this world. How one of his order came by it, Heaven above, who let it fall upon a monk's shoulders, best knows; but it would have suited a Bramin; and had I met it upon the plains of Indostan, I had reverenced it.
The rest of his outline may be given in a few strokes ; one might put it into the hands of any one to design; for
it was neither elegant nor otherwise, but as character and 4 expression made it so. It was a thin, spare form, some
thing above the common size, if it lost not the distinction by a bend forward in the figure—but it was the attitude of entreaty; and, as it now stands present to my imagination, it gained more than it lost by it.
When he had entered the room three paces, he stood still; and laying his left hand upon his breast
, (a slender white staff with which he journeyed being in his right) when I had got close up to him, he introduced himselt
with the little story of the wants of his convent, and the 5 poverty of his order—and did it with so simple a grace, and such an air of deprecation was there in the whole cast of his look and figure—I was bewitched not to have been
struck with it. A better reason was, I had predetermined not to give him a single sous.
"Tis very true, said I, replying to a cast upwards with his eyes, with which he had concluded his address—'tis very true--and heaven be their resource, who have no other but the charity of the world ; the stock of which, I
fear, is no way sufficient for the many great claims which 6 are hourly made upon it.
As I pronounced the words great claims, he gave a slight glance with his eyes downwards upon the sleeve of his tunic-I felt the full force of the appeal--I acknowledge it, said I-a coarse habit, and that but once in three years, with a meagre diet—are no great matters; but the true point of pity is, as they can be earned in the world with so little industry, that your order should wish to procure them by pressing upon a fund, which is the property of the lame,
the blind, the aged, and the infirm—the captive, who lies 7 down counting over and over again, in the days of his
affliction, languishes also for his share of it; and had you been of the order of mercy, instead of the order of St. Francis, poor as I am, continued I, pointing at my portmanteau, full cheerfully should it have been opened to you, for the ransom of the unfortunate. The monk made me a bow. But, resumed I, the unfortunate of our own country, surely have the first rights; and I have left thousands in distress upon the English shore. The monk gave a cor
dial wave with his head- -as much as to say, No doubt; 8 there is misery enough in every corner of the world as
well as within our convent. But we distinguish, said I, laying my hand upon the sleeve of his tunic, in return for his appeal--we distinguish, my good father, betwixt those who wish only to eat the bread of their own labor, and those who eat the bread of other people's, and have no other plan in life, but to get through it in sloth and ignorance, for the love of God.
The poor Franciscan made no reply; a hectic of a moment passed across his cheek, but could not tarry. Nature g seemed to have done with her resentments in him. He
showed none; but letting his staff fall within his arm, he pressed both his hands with resignation on his breast and retired.
My heart smote me the moment he shut the door.
Pshaw! said I, with an air of carelessness, three several times. But it would not do; every ungracious syllable I had uttered, crowded back into my imagination. I reflected I had no right over the poor Franciscan, but to deny him;
and that the punishment of that was enough to the disap10 pointed, without the addition of unkind language—I con
sidered his gray hairs, his courteous figure seemed to re-enter, and gently ask me what injury he had done me, and why I could use him thus ? I would have given twenty livres for an advocate : I have behaved very ill, said I within myself; but I have only just set out upon my travels, and shall learn better manners as I get along.
And from the prayer of want, the plaini of wo;
Pairing and Incubation of Birds.—Thomson.
They haste away, all as their fancy leads,
Offers its kind concealment to a few,
Others apart far in the grassy dale,
But most in woodland solitudes delight,
They frame the first foundation of their domes, 3 Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid,
And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought
Clean, and complete, their habitation grows. 4 As thus the patient dam assiduous sits,
Not to be tempted from her tender task,
With pious toil fulfilled, the callow young, 5 Warmed and expanded into perfect life,
Their brittle bondage break, and come to light,
The search begins. Even so a gentle pair,
And charmed with cares beyond the vulgar breast,