H́nh ảnh trang

Among the allurements of minifterial power, the temptation it affords of accumulating family wealth, is generally efteemed one of the most powerful. Yet this, like every other ministerial pursuit, there is good reason to believe, is often productive of effects, very dif ferent from thofe intended. Domeftic tranquillity is perhaps the circumftance which contributes the most towards the happiness of mankind. But a great and fudden influx of wealth, is, perhaps of all others, the circumstance which ofteneft difturbs the peace of families. If that wealth be even in the most permanent manner fecured, it affords temptations to diffipation and irregularities of conduct among the younger branches of a family, that can feldom add to the happiness of the parents, but much the reverse: But if the wealth be only temporary, arifing from emoluments that may be withdrawn, the confequences are more deplorably diftreffing. A man whole family has been accustomed to live in a certain ftile, finds it neceffary that they should continue to live at the fame rate. When his temporary emoluments therefore are withdrawn, he finds himself subjected to a real diftrefs, which the habits his family have acquired, render it impoffible for him to evade. Had they been accustomed to live on his original patrimonial estate, his family would have been contented and happy, and he himself might have preferved all that independency of mind, which juftly constitutes the pride of a free man. By the fortunate event, as it is ufually deemed, of his temporary elevation to office, he is however effectually deprived of all this comfort: a continuance of emoluments becomes neceffary; he must court

object worth regarding; but to moderate the power of the rulers of the people, fo as to make them cautiously avoid engaging in thofe ruinous fchemes, which, while they ferve to augment minifterial influence, by increasing the sphere of corruption, directly tend to relax the industry, and to weaken the energy of the ftate, will ever, by him, be viewed as objects of the very highest importance, that call for the utmost exertions of his powers, to counteract.

[ocr errors]

this at the expence of compliances, which his mind, before it fuffered this degradation, would have spurned at with contempt. He becomes a little, mean, dependent thing, who, if ever he poffeffed any native dignity of mind, muft feel how much he deferves to be defpifed, and who, therefore amidst the glare of pomp that furrounds him, muft envy the fuperior refpectability of the independent man, however low in rank, who dares to look inward with felf approbation, and to affert without fear his own privileges, alike against the minions of the minifter, the minifter himself, or even the king, and all the powers that be.

The philofopher thus coutemplates at a distance, the confequence of thofe pursuits in which mankind are ever engaged, with the keeneft ardour, and the moralift attempts to appreciate the value of thofe high offices that are fo univerfally defired; not with a hope of diffuading those who think these things are within their reach, from attempting to obtain them, but with a view to prevent many others from looking forward to thefe objects, and coveting them as the most certain means of procuring enjoyment in life; as there cannot be a doubt, that those men who depend upon their own exertions alone for fubfiftence, without any fhare of court favour, have the best chance of enjoying life with fatisfaction to themselves, and comfort to their families.

For the Bee.

Hiftorical Fragments.

If the Editor of the Bee fhall think the following fragments worthy of a place in his publication, they are at his fervice. It is unneceffary to make any apology fo the ftile in which they are written, or to tell how they fell into my hands; it is enough for me to fay, that

[ocr errors]

he will never receive any challenge froth the writer for inferting them :-But whether I fhall be permitted to transcribe more largely from the work of which this is a part, I cannot say.-Wishing fuccefs to your lau dable undertaking, I am, &c.


Chronicles of Great Britain, Chap. cv.

21. AND it came to pass, that, in those days, a defire of revolutions prevailed, and whole nations were employed in afcertaining the rights of men ; and scarcely any thing else was spoken of than liberty.

22. And the people of Britain believed themfelves to be a free people, and they prided themselves upon this privilege.

23. And they boasted, that by their bill of rights, it was decreed, that the person of no man among them could be seized, unless he had been guilty of a crime; and that their judges had declared that no man could be a flave in this land.

24. And the trade of this nation was very great, and its feamen were hardy and bold, infomuch that the people used to boast that their fhips formed a wooden rampart around their ille.

Chap. cvi. The Sailors.

1. Now it came to pass, that a fhip had returned from a voyage to a far country, the mariners whereof were emaciated with hunger and fatigue; for they had been abfent from home many years.

2. And when they landed, they rejoiced; and their hearts leaped within them, on the profpect of once more meeting their wives, their children and friends, and in recruiting their exhaufted ftrength in the bofom of their families.

3. And they went cheerfully along converfing together, unfufpicious of harm,-when lo! a band of ruffians fell fuddenly upon them in broad day, in the fight of all the people.


4. And they beat them with clubs, and bound them with cords, and dragged them along to a darksome dungeon, into which they were thrust among many others who had been treated after the fame man


5. And they said to the ruffians who attacked them, what evil have we done; but they got no answer, except oaths and curfes, and severe usage.

6. And they called out to the people for affiftance, faying, we have done no harm; but no one regarded


[ocr errors]

7. And they paffed forrowfully along through crouds of people; and they fmiled at their fate, while they fhouted inceffantly, Liberty liberty for ever!-"This is the land of freedom !"


8. And these men were forced to go down again directly into the fea in fhips, without having feen their wives, their children, and their friends.

9. And their wives and their children were fore diftreffed by poverty, and hunger, and nakedness.

10. Neither could the men afford them any relief, for they were conftrained to go out to battle against their enemies.

11. And many of them fell in battle, and perished ; and their names were fergotten among the people.

12. And their children were reduced to beggary, and were defpifed because they were poor.


13. Behold fuch is the liberty that mariners enjoy, and fuch is the protection that the law affords to their best defenders in this land of freedom.



[ocr errors]


Chap. cxxv. William and Elixaleth.

1. And it came to pass, that, in those days, there lived a poor man, a weaver to trade, and his name was William.

2. And William was an induftrious man, and he toiled hard for bread; but his gains were fo small, as to be fufficient barely to fubfift himself.

3. And he caft his eyes upon a young maiden, who was comely to behold, and bis heart was fmitten with love of her. And the name of the maiden was Eliza


4. And he courted the damfel, and he found favour in her eyes, and they married together.

5. And William doated on his wife, for fhe was fair and lovely; and he delighted to fee her decked forth in gay apparel, for he faw that the rejoiced in it; and every with of his heart was to please her.

6. And Elizabeth was lively and gay; and when fle was dreffed, the delighted to be feen and admired by others; and she went to vifit her neighbours, and had neither time nor inclination to work, to affist in adding to the ftores of the family; neither did fhe know that it was neceffary for her fo to do.


7. But William, for the love he bore to her, redoubled his activity. He rofe early, and went late to reft t; nor ever loft a moment that could be saved.

8. But all this would not do. His income was too fmall to support the expence he now incurred;—and his heart was wrung with anguish on that account: nor did he know how to relieve his diftrefs.

9. His neighbours alfo obferved his countenance was fallen, and pitied him ; but neither did they know how to afford him any relief..

10. And there was among them a little old man, whofe name was Jacob. And Jacob poffeffed great wealth; for his fole ftudy from his youth upwards had been how to amafs gold. His heart was fteeled against every tender

[ocr errors]
« TrướcTiếp tục »