« AnteriorContinuar »
Reveals the charms of nature. Ask the swain
he loiters to behold
spread his careless limbs amid the cool Of plantain shades, and to the listning deer , The tale of slighted vows and love's disdain Resounds soft warbling, all the live-long day: Consenting Zephyr sighs; the weeping rill Joins in his plaint, melodious; mute the groves; And hill and dale with all their echoes mourn. Such and so yarious are the tastes of men. AKENSIDE.
CHA P. X X V I. The Pleasures arising from a cultivated
imagination. Oblest of Heavon, whom not the languid songe Of luxury, the Siren! not the bribes Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils Of
pageant hononr , can seduce to leave Those ever blooming sweets, which from the store Of nature, fair imagination culls To charm th' enliven'd soul! What tho' not all Of mortal offspring can attain the height Of envied life; tho' only few possess Patrician treasures or imperial state : Yet nature's care, to all her children just, With richer treasures and an ampler state Endows at large whatever happy man Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp, The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns The princely dome, the column and the arch, The breathing marbles and the sculptur'd gold , Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the spring, Distils her dews, and from the silken gem Its lucid leaves unfolds; for him the hand Of autumn tinges every fertile branch With blooming gold, and blushes liko the morn. Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings; And still new beauties meet his lonely walk, And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain From all the tenants of the warbling shade Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake Fresh pleasure, unreprov'd. Nor then partakes Fresh pleasure only: for th' attentive mind By this harmonious action on her pow'rs Becomes herself harmonious: wont so oft In outward things to mediate the charm
Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home
she assumes the
her gen'rous pow'rs?
divine: he tells the heart,
BOOK I V.
CH A P. I.
WHETHER Anger ought to be suppressed entirely , or only to be confined within the bounds of moderation.
THOSE who maintain that resentment is blameable only in the excess, support their opinion with such arguments as. these.
SINCE Anger is natural and useful fo man, entirely to banish it from our breast, would be an equally foolish and vain attempt : for as it is difficult, and next to impossible, to oppose nature with success ; so it were imprudent, if we had it in our power, to cast away
weapons with which she has furnish'd us for our defence.. The best armour against injustice is a proper degree of spirit, to repel the wrongs that are done, or designed againt us : but if we divest ourselves of all resentment, we shall perhaps: prove too irresolute ard languid, both in resisting the attacks of injustice, and inflicting punishment upon those who have committed it
. We shall therefore sink into contempt , and by the tameness of our spirit, shall invite the malicious to abuse and affront us. Nor will others fail to deny us the regard which is due from
them, if once they think us incapable of resentment. To remain unmoved at gross injuries, has the appearance of stupidity, and will make us despicable and mean in the eyes of many who are not to be influenced by any thing but their fears.
And as a moderate share of resentment is useful in its effects, so it is innocent in itself, nay often commendable. 'The virtue of mildness is no less remote from insensib:lity, on the one hand, than from fury on the other. It implies that we are angry only upon proper occasions, and in a due degree; that we are never transported beyond the bounds of decency, or indulge a deep and lasting resentment; that we do not follow, but lead our passion, governing it as our servant, not summitting ourselves to it as our master. Under these regulations it is certainly excusable, when moved only by private wrongs: and being excited by the injuries which others suffer, it bespeaks a generous mind, and deserves commendation. Shall a good man feel no indignation against injustice and barbarity ? not even when he is witness to shocking instances of them ? when he sees a friend basely and cruelly treated; when he observes
Th’ oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes
The truth is, there seems to be something