« ПретходнаНастави »
Next Anger rushed; his eyes on fire
In lightnings owned his secret stings; In one rude clash he struck the lyre
And swept with hurried hand the strings.
With woeful measures wan Despair –
Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled, A solemn, strange, and mingled air,
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ? Still it whispered promised pleasure
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail ! Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale She called on Echo still through all the song;
And, where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close;
And longer had she sung:- but with a frown
Revenge impatient rose:
And with a withering look
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat;
Dejected Pity at his side
Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien, While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fixed :
Sad proof of thy distressful state!
And now it courted Love, now raving called on Hate.
With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
And dashing soft from rocks around
Bubbling runnels joined the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole, Or, o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing, In hollow murmurs died away.
But O! how altered was its sprightlier tone
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad known!
Satyrs and Sylvan Boys were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green: Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;
And Sport leaped up, and seized his beechen spear.
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest:
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best: They would have thought who heard the strain
They saw, in Tempe's vale, her native maids
Amidst the festal-sounding shades
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round:
As if he would the charming air repay
O Music! sphere-descended maid,
Arise, as in that elder time,
LETTERS OF LORD CHESTERFIELD TO HIS SON.
[PHILIP DORMER STANHOPE, EARL OF CHESTERFIELD, was born in London, September 22, 1694. After leaving Cambridge University he made a European tour and on his return sat in Parliament until 1726, when he inherited the earl. dom and passed into the House of Lords. A favorite of George II., he became a privy councilor, ambassador to Holland, lord steward of the household, and lord lieutenant of Ireland. He was one of Sir Robert Walpole's bitterest antag. onists, distinguishing himself by his writings in the Craftsman as well as by his powerful eloquence in the House. He was also noted for his brilliancy of wit, grace of manners, and elegance of conversation, and lived in intimacy with Pope, Swift, and other celebrated contemporaries. He retired from public service on account of failing health, and died March 24, 1773. As an author his reputation rests upon the well-known “ Letters to his Son."']
TRUE GOOD COMPANY DEFINED.
October 12, 0. s. 1748. To keep good company, especially at your first setting out, is the way to receive good impressions. If you ask me what I mean by good company, I will confess to you that it is pretty difficult to define; but I will endeavor to make you understand it as well as I can.
Good company is not what respective sets of company are pleased either to call or think themselves, but it is that company which all the people of the place call, and acknowledge to be, good company, notwithstanding some objections which they may form to some of the individuals who compose it. It consists chiefly (but by no means without exception) of people of considerable birth, rank, and character; for people of neither birth nor rank are frequently and very justly admitted into it, if distinguished by any peculiar merit, or eminency in any liberal art or science. Nay, so motley a thing is good company that many people without birth, rank, or merit intrude into it by their own forwardness, and others slide into it by the protection of some considerable person; and some even of indifferent characters and morals make part of it. But in the main, the good part preponderates, and people of infamous and blasted characters are never admitted. In this fashionable good company, the best manners and the best language of the place are most unquestionably to be learnt; for they establish and give the tone to both, which are therefore called the language and manners of good company, there being no legal tribunal to ascertain either.
A company consisting wholly of people of the first quality cannot for that reason be called good company, in the common acceptation of the phrase, unless they are into the bargain the fashionable and accredited company of the place; for people of the very first quality can be as silly, as ill bred, and as worthless as people of the meanest degree. On the other hand, a company consisting entirely of people of very low condition, whatever their merit or parts may be, can never be called good company; and consequently should not be much frequented, though by no means despised.
A company wholly composed of men of learning, though greatly to be valued and respected, is not meant by the words "good company”; they cannot have the easy manners and tournure of the world, as they do not live in it. If you can bear your part well in such a company, it is extremely right to be in it sometimes, and you will be but more esteemed in other companies for having a place in that. But then do not let it engross you; for if you do, you will be only considered as one of the literati by profession, which is not the way either to shine or rise in the world.
The company of professed wits and poets is extremely inviting to most young men, who if they have wit themselves, are pleased with it, and if they have none, are sillily proud of being one of it; but it should be frequented with moderation and judgment, and you should by no means give yourself up to it. A wit is a very unpopular denomination, as it carries terror along with it; and people in general are as much afraid of a live wit in company as a woman is of a gun, which she thinks may go off of itself and do her a mischief. Their acquaintance is however worth seeking, and their company worth frequenting; but not exclusively of others, nor to such a degree as to be considered only as one of that particular set.
But the company which of all others you should most carefully avoid is that low company which in every sense of the word is low indeed, - low in rank, low in parts, low in manners, and low in merit. You will perhaps be surprised that I should think it necessary to warn you against such company, but yet I do not think it wholly unnecessary from the many instances which I have seen of men of sense and rank discredited, vilified, and undone by keeping such company. Vanity, that source of many of our follies and of some of our crimes, has sunk many a man into company in every light infinitely below himself, for the sake of being the first man in it.
There he dictates, is applauded, admired; and for the sake of being the Coryphæus of that wretched chorus, disgraces and disqualifies himself soon for any better company. Depend upon it, you will sink or rise to the level of the company which you commonly keep; people will judge of you, and not unreasonably, by that. There is good sense in the Spanish saying, “Tell me whom you live with, and I will tell you who you are.” Make it therefore your business, wherever you are, to get into that company which everybody in the place allows to be the best company next to their own; which is the best definition that I can give you of good company. But here, too, one caution is very necessary, for want of which many young men have been ruined, even in good company. Good company (as I have before observed) is composed of a great variety of fashionable people, whose characters and morals are very different, though their manners are pretty much the same. When a young man, new in the world, first gets into that company, he very rightly determines to conform to and imitate it. But then he too often and fatally mistakes the objects of his imitation. He has often heard that absurd term of “genteel and fashionable vices.'
He there sees some people who shine and who in general are admired and esteemed, and observes that these people are ... drunkards or gamesters, upon which he adopts their vices, mistaking their defects for their perfections, and thinking that they owe their fashion and their luster to those genteel vices. Whereas it is exactly the reverse; for these people have