« ZurückWeiter »
English version of the Psalms must be pronounced irreconcileable with analogy, "Many one there be that fay of my foul."
, As the article A, or an, signifies one in the languages from whence we have adopted it, so it likewise is used instead of one, or the unites of a collective n Umber , taken feparatively j thus we fay, a hundred A year; /*, /. a hundred every single year in a certain series.
Though the articles are not properly used before such words as are in their oiun nature as definite as they may be, and upon that account are not set before Proper names; yet there are cases in which even proper names receive them. Tho' proper names signify originally individuals, yet when they are used as family names, which extends to all the individuals, they then admit an article, as The Honuards, The Pelhams. Again, when the high characler or eminence of some individual, was so remarkable, that his name became afterwards a common or appellative noun, used to denote those who excelled in the fame way, it then assumed an article; . thus any great critic may be called An Aristarchus, any illustrious warrior, An Alexander, or a Marlborough; every great beauty An Helen, or a Venus; and Shylock very properly exclaims, " A Daniel come to judgment! yea, A Daniel!" when he would applaud the wisdom of the young lawyer.
In some few instances the definite article T H E is prefixed to the names of towns, as The Hague, The Ha-, •vannah, The Devizes; in the two former instances we follow the French, who prefix their article to those words; and we add the article in the. last, because the word has a plural termination. - . 1
The use or omission os the article *-makes a nice, and sometimes an important, distinction in a sentence;
thus if we fay, "tie behaved with A little reverence," the sense is quite different from what it is when we drop the article, and fay, *' He behaved with little reverence." In the former sense we praise, and assert that some reverence was shewn, tho' not a great deal; in the latter, we dispraise, and intimate that the person did not Ihew so much reverence as he ought, because he should have shewn a great deal.
The very position of the article has a great effect upon the sense: when we insert the article A between the adjective and substantive, as in half A croven, we mean only half the value of a crown-piece; but when we fay A Half Crown, we mean a piece of money which is but half the value of a crown-piece. To make this plainer, two shillings and sixpence u half A croiun, but not A half croiun.
The definitive article T H E is sometimes joined to adverbs in the comparative and superlative degree, and its effect is to mark the degree more strongly, and to define the more precisely; as "The more I examine it, The more I like it. I like this The least. But this article is sometimes omitted, both by writers and speakers, before the superlative degree, but especially by the Scots, who have not contributed a little to corrupt our language by the multiplicity of their works. Thus a Scotch historian and essayist writes,. " At ix-orst, time might be gained." To the fame writers we may attribute the omission of this article, before substantives, when they, are used in an eminent or emphatical senfcx and require a definitive the most. Thus, we read preface, dedication, introduction. And the politicians of that country too frequently tell us of tht •wants of government; and that government cannot .subsist without a change, not considering that government is used as 4 species without
the she History ofMirril; a Grecian Tale, t
T HAVE been unfortunate almost from my
cradle. Fortune, I believe, delights in persecuting those on whom nature has bestowed fume ot her gifts..
A woman, named Melita, had the cars of my infancy, and I believed me was my mother: she was of the city of Syracuse, but fortune crossing her expectations, slie lived in a kind of obscure, mediocrity.
As soon as my understanding began to be illuminated with the light of reason, Melita acquainted me that 1 was not her daughter, but her slave; and that she had bought me of an African merchant.
Melita told me also that I was handsome, and that it was on my beauty me depended to re-establish her fortune and my own.
Melita gave me an education suitable to the projects (he had formed: pleasure, said stie to me, Is the sovereign bliss of life. There are indeed some men whom age or loss of health have rendered austere and peevish, who would persuade us that pleasures should be used with Caution, and that they ou^ht to be confined whhin proper limits. Others, who are called sages, who act on nearly the fame principles, tho1 trom dilierent motives, endeavour to implant these maxims in all nations and countries.
Before the laws had insulted nature, every heart was sensible and generous; then there was no perfidy or cruelty; but thus nature will be revenged. '»
In those happy days of innocence and peace, there was no blushing at the transports of love; each listened to the voice cf their desires; they never imagined that an invincible inclination could be criminal; they had not so much vanity as to torture and tear the foul to combat with the softest sentiments. But do not think, that error is now generally received. Every thing that exists breathes pleasure. Women are the bestowers of it, beauty is the goddess of it. Charms and attractions will subdue to us the most illustrious of.men. Can there be a nobler ambition than that which ftowers on us wealth and pleasure?
Such was the discourse of the pernicious Melita; me neglected nothing that might tend to mould me to her desires. She gave me continual lesions in every branch of coquetry. She did not however succeed in all her projects, though ilie augmented in me the natural inclination which we have to love.
She was continually entertaining me with seductive lectures, to Matter and alarm the passions; stie did not disapprove of irregularity or excess.
Upon these principles I was impatient to
find an object to engage mv desires, but Me
'unstated from the Triomphe de VAmttis*
lita kept me close confined; stie had her reasons for it.
1 had attained my fifteenth year, when she made a proposition for me to gd to Klida; Iconsented to it with joy. MeAka promised herJelf that my attractions would procure me the most brilliant conquests; nor was she mistaken. As soon as 1 appeared in Elide, every eye was fixed upon me; my vanity was nourished by it, but my heart continued yet untouch'd; Melita was not impatient for me to determine my choice; her intentions were to work up the desire of my lovers, and not to< have me yield but to the charms of interest. . I saw the Olympic games: I need not describe them; you are Greeks, and therefore cannot be unacquainted with them. . I took notice of the different shews which were presented to my view, and the combats of the Atheletes. What delights tak,: possession of our soul when ideas oqknown beforeare communicated to it. The mind naturally,aspires after knowledge; it is ever dissatisfied*, because it must not exceed its limits.
The new objects which I beheld created in me a thousand various reflections, and I communicated them ail to the ideas which Melita. had given me. Prejudice, of what kind soever, has infinite power over us.
Strength then, said I to myself, is a great advantage to mankind, since the prize is destined to him who overcomes by his superior might; but I think they have not much reason to be proud of it^ .if they employ it thus cruelly against their fellow-creatures.
While I was reasoning thus all my senses were agitated at the fight of a young Aihelete, who was more beautiful than even love himself.: I will pot make, you a portrait of him J for it is impassible: words cannot express it. ■ 1 experienced ih seeing Thyamis (that was the name of this young Athelete) those tremblings and agitations which are the common^ symptoms of love. I could not lose a moments sight of Thyamis j my eyes were intoxicated with pleasure while 1 was gazing on him; my heart kap'd into his possession; I formed the most ament wist»es in his favour; I felt every blow he received; I would have ran to hia assistance and warded them off, but insuririouiH-ib'.c banters opposed my purpose.
'If love in gencr.U, when it attacks a heart, fills it with agitations of the most violent transports; With, what ardour must mine be enstamed, disposed as it had been to receive it?
Thyamis was conqueror; the glorious laur&l was fixed upon his forehead. I follow'd with the crowd who ran to admire him. Thysmis perceived me, he fixed hi* eves u;>on me! he appeared to forget hi* glory: the noble fierceness which fat upon his countenance was instantly changed to an engaging tenderm i's. After this view I was no longer mistress of myself, I ran to Thyamis; I took from my hair a crown of roses which ornamented it, Here, amiable conqueror, said I to Thyarnis, presenting him with it, receive the prize os a second victory; love has presented you with my heart, and this crown of roses. Thyamis displayed an emotion, mingled with surprize and joy at my discourse, and the manner of expressing it.
The spectators were at first astonish'd; presently they applauded me: love can justify itself in excess.
I receive this crown, said Thyamis, on talcing it of me, from the hands of the goddess of beauty; what a dear and glorious present! Call me no longer conqueror, I resign to you the honours of the triumph.
In speaking thus, Thyamis caused his car to approach; he presented me with his hand, and ushered me into it; he placed himself by me: then, transported with love, he forgot the applause and honours that were prepared for him; he conducted me into his tent.
Of all the passions, love is the most impetuous, because it is born of sentiment, and has an existence in our heart even before we have perceived it; we may dispute with and guard against the other passions; but love is a rapid fire which seizes and inflames us in a moment.
I wiped off the sweat and dnst which covered-the face of Thyamis; I gave myself up to the most exalted tenderness; and how should I be able to do otherwise? Melita had told me that love was the sovereign happiness; my heart and mind were filled with this system; the eager transports of Thyamis did noc undeceive me.
Thyamis did not know who I was, I knew not him, we knew that we loved each other, and that our united fouls could not be separated: we did not ask one another any questions; the raptures which love created deprived us of the faculty of thinking: our tender intoxication would have lasted a long time, if Melita had not come to interrupt it: I heard her cries and her complaints; I requested Thyamis to suffer her to enter the tent. She beheld in me the confusion and agitation which love had given birth to; she appeared uneasy; and not daring to explain herself before Thyamis, she ordered me to follow her out.
No, said I, Thyamis will leave us a moment to ourselves: well, continued I, when I was left alone with Melita, have not I profited by your lesions : you was desirous that my happiness should arise from love! it does. AcqiHnt me new what I can do «,orc to ebli£c you.'
My simplicity in some measure apptaW Melita; she flattered herself with bringing me back to her desires. What have you done, Mirril, said she, and what is it you fay to me? I fee but too plainly that you have imprudently suffered yourself to be" led away by your desires; and I perceive by your discourse that you think you have fully executed my scheme, by procuring yourself a lively pleasure of a short duration: love is not a blessing unless followed or accompanied with the gifts of fortune.
Love, interrupted I with vivacity, is a blessing of itself; J now experience it. Suffer me to speak, replied Melita, you are delirious, and I have my reason perfect. —
Come to yourself, Mirril, the step which you have taken will deter other lovers fron coming near you: men are capricious; they esteem in us what they call virtue and reserve. We most take advantage of their foiblesses; quit this fatal tent, follow me; and never think of bestowing yourself on any person who has not riches sufficient to render your condition happy.
You would have me thepropertythen, crieJ I, of another than Thyamis! and can it be? Ah! rather give me instant death! cruel Melita, you have deceived me! Love is the greatest of all misfortunes, if it is the flave of interest; but I perceive it is not love that you would have me practice; my heart has followed your lesions, as long as they have accorded with those of nature; it will reject them when they are foreign to those. I know not who Thyamis is, but was he a simple shepherd, my heart would only burn for him.
Melita, irritated with this discourse, expressed her indignation; she told me that I was her flave; she was about to make me sensible of it, when Thyamis entered, who had listened to our discourse.
Oh Thyamis! cried I, appease Melita;/he wants to take me from you; she can do it. Her views arc centered all in interest; satisfy her; give her up all your riches, and only reserve your heart for me; mine shall be ener yours!
Thyamis, affected with my transports, embraced me, he wiped off my tears; he strove to appease Melita, and to re-establish harmonj between us; he in some degree succeeded.
I continued in the tent of Thyamis while he continued in Elida. The moments which I passed with him even the Gods might envy me! How short did they appear! The days which we consume in grief ar.d wearincssseem of an insupportable length: those which we pass in pleasures, appear to fly from us with rapidity: but they do not on those principle' present themselves to our memory: whole years made up of misery and misfortunes appear but as a moment to »s when they a"
The History of Mirri
pafled; and the moments of pleasure seem the longest days ot our whole life. The foul does not ■ njoy its existence but when it is happy, it deems as nothing the hours of uneasiness and fries.
. Melita persecuted me; her anxiety for riches was Dot abated; Thyamis could not suffice her exactions: he offered her considerable sums to obtain my favours; she was at last unwilling to refuse; it was against her inclination to proceed so vigorously with me, as being her slave, entitled her: but she had some respect for me, and thought me capable of destroying myself if she should contradict me.
In the arms of Thyamis I forgot all my misfortunes; I deposited in his heart every unwelcome thought. I presently perceived in me the natural effects of his tenderness; we w^re both of us as much delighted w ith it, as Melita was afflicted: she was now obliged to suspend the execution of her designs.
We were then at Athens; a friend of Thyamis had furnished us with a lodging in his house: I never weni out of it; I breathed but for Thyamis; I would not be seen of any one but him; I spent my days in the enjoyment of his dear company. Melita, exasperated with my passion, conceived as great an aversion to rne as slie had had a friendship. These sentiments made Thyamis tremble. Melita was the absolute mistiess of my fate.
Thyamis had frequently in vain proposed to Melita to carry us into a delicious country, where we should have nothing left us to desire i Melita was determined not to part from Greece; (he would not rely on the promises of Thyamis. Souls full of deceit, like that of Melita, are ever full of jealousy and distrust.
My dear Mirril, said Thyamis one day to rne, I can no longer endure that yon mould be a (lave. I will be wedded to you. Hymen I know cannut make our bands more sweet and amiable, but nothing will afterwards be able to break them. Melita has fixed a price upon ypu, which appears exorbitant to those who are unacquainted with you. I am sensible that I cannot pay too dear for so precious and invaluable a treasure; but I must go into the country to procure the sum which Melita asks. I will recommend you to my friend; continue you with him; my voyage will not »e long; love will favour me, and we (hall never more be separated.
I neither doubted of the words or heart of Thyarnis; but I, who could not pass a day without feeing him, who enumerated every moment he was absent, how.could I endure an absence so long, so insupportable? Thyamis amused me when he promised me a quick return; he went into Gaule; the distance between as then seemed almost infinite,
7; it Grecian Tale. 22 3
I submitted, however, notwithstanding my alarms, to reason and my lover's interest. Melita promised Thyamis to wait for him she mon hs before (he disposed of me.
It is impossible for me to express what I endured at parting with Thyamis; I embraced him; I would have expired in his arms, but I was forced from him in that very moment, when my grief had deprived me of strength and reason.
The emotion of Thyamis was not inferior to mine. I was acquainted that his (laves had carried him on board the (hip in which he was to embark.
The friend of Thyamis exerted his utmost endeavours to allay the grief with which I was overwhelmed. His wife was amiable, compassionate and generous, we were united with the strictest ties of friendship ; she gave me the most convincing proofs, of her sincere attachment: she received in her arms a son which I was delivered of, (h; to k ca: e of him, white I was labouring under pangs and misery, and at the po^nt of death. ,
When I recovered my health, Melita renewed her persecutions and her threats: (he protested that I should (hew myself at Athens, I promised to obey her when the time was expired which had been limited to Thyamis. The time was at length elapsed. I gave myself over to the most poignant grief. Is this then, said I, the happiness I expected? It would have been better for me had I never seen Thyamis. J should indeed have tasted less of pleasure, but I should have endured less pain: love presently made me repent what my despair had dictated.
Never was a heart more tortured than mine! What did I not fear for Thyamis? What did I not fear for myself? I imagined Thyamis was become a prey to the most deplorahle accidents; and this idea augmented my distress: I did not accuse Thyamis of inconstancy; a heart incapable of infidelity does not suspect it of another: but Melita, cruel Melita! wanted to separate me for ever from my dearest Thyamis: I could no longer resist her. I presently underwent all the misfortunes which I dreaded.
Melita preferred a petition concerning me to the magistrates of Athens: she came one day to tear me by force from the house of the friend of Thyamis; my tears and prayers could not; move her. I was hardly allowed time to embrace my generous friends, and recommend to them the care of my seq; they swore to me by the hospitable Jupiter, that he should be the object of their tenderness and protection.
[To it ctr.cluiti in air next.]
On Chastity in the Nobility; with a Letter from the Lady Bacon on that SubjeS, to the Earl of EJ/ex and ike Earl's Anfaer. Gentlemen,
f\NE os your correspondnjj.5 who iav&ured though I' cduld excuse Sir W. B. P. for die
vuu with the grotesouc figure' of a torn- massacre which his Irish banditti intended to
Bvm-councihtvm in mascpjrrade, with a pair commit at' Brentford, on account cf the weak
oi horns on his head, yeryssivewdly insinuated,' ness of his understanding; yet I cannot etcufe*
that the person who wore that dress, at a late his seeming friends who advised him, becauic
entertainment, might have lived on this (:de they have not want of understanding to plead
of Temple-bar; and that, from the many di- in their behalf, tho' thev may have want of
vorces that have lately happened between great humanity, and Want of patriotism—but this
folks, it was probable that as many horns is a- plea they do not chnfe to make, tho1 it is
might be found' among them, as among the the only one they can make use of. I may
Opulent citizens of London. asiert'this ■ pretty confidently; for they have
Though I am entirely of his opinion, yet exposed their intentions in the very defence
I cannot help considering this circumstance in they have drawn up for him, and have made
a furious light.. The nobility arc supposed to him confess every thing that an honest, as well
take the k-ad not only in dress, but likewise as a iearaed serjeant at law has'laid to hi|
in vice: and he who cannot be as rich as a charge. But as this is :nct the first time the
L- , may be as drunk, -or as bad as one', author of -the Auditor, a bad politician, a bad
Indeed there is an unaccountable ambition in player, and a weak writer, has been overseen
the lowest to imitate thehigheft. This is the before (for he is confidently reported to be
only way the vulgar have to elevate themselves Sir 3——'s bul!y and tool upon this occasion)
to the lame rank as their betters, or at least to I fay it is no wonder that he ihould be overr
make their betters appear on a level with seen again; nor is it impossible that he who
■themselves. But this ambition of being on a expatiated Jo learnedly upon the Florida pest,
4cvet with our superiors in rank, confines it- ^should acknowledge that Sir W. B had
sdf only to their vices. I hardly ever knew 'done'what he is charged with doing—with
ene person who would imitate the virtue of a hiring a mob to assault the freeholders of Midr
Lucretia ; tho1 I knew a thousand w ho eclipse, dlesex, by way of assisting the civil magistrate,
or strive to eclipse, the lewd ness of a Lais, and securing the freedom cf elections. Many a justice may rival the Soutkivark Jus- I do not know how it is that I have wan
tices in indiscretion and inhumanity; but few dered so far from the topic which I sat out
attempt to emulate the prudence and discretion with, Unless it be that I look uson asiasiina
of the present lord mayor os London. Many tion and rnurdcr in the same li^ht as I do up
a marine officer mirht swear1 like an admiral; -on the unchastity which is predominant
hut very few have been found capable of being among our superiors in rank, as appears from
trusted with the command of a fleet. 'the uncommon number of' divorces, which
Virtues, when they are attendant upon high 'the great have procured; and which numbers,
birth, are like diamonds, which, tho' they if I am not misinformed, they are likely to
«o not acquire any new value irom" pdfling increase before the prorogation of the present
through the hands of the lapidary, are yet . Pompey and Ca-far, the song <ays,
viewed* with 'greater admiration, and appear "were both of them horned —but this is no
with all the charms-of radiance and lustre. But 'excuse or comfort; in the days of good <rucen
it is not so with vice; for that appears with Elizabeth it wa?not. The greatest character
an increase of deformity-in proportion to the 'in those tiir.es thought the imputation of un
rank of him in whom it is to be found. High chastity a very great crime, from w hich he
birth gives a lolire to virtue, but' makes the endeavoured all he could to exculpate him
defonnity of vice appear with gieater degrees self. 1 ho1 feme" grsat men may lauCh ?t ih*s
of ugrlnd'^. The uncultivated mind may be intimation, yet as a friend to s cietv, to rr.aa
sub^e^t to mistakes, and exposed to frailties; -kind, to religion, I cannot help frying, Re
but bo'.h the frailties and mistakes, as they , dcant Saturnia Rqrna.
proceed i>om ignorance, are the eh;eels of pity Aster the earl of Essex, the favourite of
and compassion. From a cultivated mind we queen Elizabeth, had returned from hs e*pc
exrect a regard to decency and decorum; but ration at Cadiz, hi thought it not unbecoming
Vri'.enwe snd it deficitut in that respect, it his high post to regulate his life by the nest
becomes, what it deserves \o became, an ob-. rigorous morality, and to appear in the public
j^el of contempt, if not of dettfi/.-icn. ior 1 ofmes of rel.gion m'-re fiveuently an 1 purc
tji"u«..,b we excuse a man for ftum-bti.r,.1. in the '< sally thnn evirhehad done before. Fut notdWk, we cither hi.:. ! at him, cr dc'p.le, or v/.ihi'r.nhng his infcgriiv and caution, h: b.Ainc him for stuinoiing iu the li^hl. 'iiius, could nu: escape the calumnies of susj icion,