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dead, and looks as he once looked when young,
and yet a lover; — the son, in whom also her present bliss, her future hopes on earth, are all bound up, as in the bundle of life ? — No;— there is a worm that dies not in her bosom, from the first moment when she feels its bite, on discovering the hectic rose upon his cheek, that awakens a thousand unutterable fears, not one of which in the issue is unrealised, — till the last withering lily there, as he lies in his coffin, with the impress on his countenance of Death's signet, bearing, even to the eye of love, this inscription, “ Bury me out of thy sight!” – Yet, of all the pangs that she has experienced, there is not one, which she did not choose even for its own sake, – she would not be comforted !- there is not one, which she would have foregone for any delight under heaven, except that which it was impossible for her to know-his recovery; and while she lives, and while she loves, the recollections that endear him to her happiest feelings are heightened almost to joy in grief, by the remembrance of how much she suffered for him.
To the man of thought, all that is terrible and afflictive in nature, in society, in imagination, is food for his mind, such as spirits, alone, of higher temperament can fully taste and turn into luxury; but which inferior ones can relish, too, in no small measure. Earthquakes, volcanoes, lightning, tempest, famine, plague, and inundation ; hard labour, penury, thirst, hunger, nakedness, disease, insanity, death; the existence of moral evil; the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of man's heart; envy, malice, hatred, and all uncharitableness ;-the commis
sion and the punishment of crimes against society; oppression, bondage, impotent resistance of injustice; with all the wrongs and woes of a corrupt or a tyrannical government; the desolations of foreign war; the miseries of civil strife; – to sum up all, the troubles to which we are born, the calamities which we bring upon ourselves, the outrages which we inflict on each other, the judgments of Divine Providence on individuals, families, nations, the whole human race, each class, and the whole accumulation of these awakening and appalling evils, not only afford inexhaustible subjects of sublime and inspiring contemplation to the sage, and themes for the poet; but by the manner in which they affect the entire progeny of Adam, prove that more than half the interest of mortal life arises out of the sufferings of our fellowcreatures.
The wisdom and kindness of God are most graciously manifested in thus educing good from evil. There is so much floating and perpetual distress in the world, and in every part of it, that were a person of the firmest nerve to know all that is enduring for one hour only, in one place, - the present hour, at this moment, throughout this great city, — and were he able to sympathise with it, in every case, and all at once, as though the whole were under his eyes, within hearing, in his neighbourhood, in his family, - his spirit would assuredly sink under it, and if life were prolonged, and reason not totally overthrown, he would never relapse into gaiety. On the other hand, there is so much selfishness in our nature, that if the groans of the whole creation around could
neither reach our ears, nor touch our hearts, we should be of all animals the most insensate, the most ferocious. It is good for us to be afflicted in the afflictions of others, but it would be death or madness to be so beyond that indefineable line, which Providence has drawn, and within which we are unconsciously kept by the power that wheels the planets in their orbits, and suffers not a sparrow to fall to the ground without permission.
While the last paragraph was passing through my pen upon paper, a fly glanced through the candleflame, fell backwards into the liquid round the wick, and lay weltering there for several seconds before the mercy of a trembling band could inflict a speedier death than that which it was enduring. What an age of misery might have been condensed within those few moments to the poor fly, is inconceivable to man ; but could this be ascertained by some curious enquirer, the nightly burnings alive of flies alone would be sufficient to render his own existence miserable; yet who would choose to be utterly regardless of the sufferings of the meanest insect, the structure of whose frame is a miracle of Omnipotence ? and whatever cold blooded scepticism may insinuate to the contrary, whose sensibilities are probably so acute, that, in the language of the poet, 66 E'en the poor
eetle that we tread on, feels As great a pang as when a giant dies.” And thus is man so “fearfully and wonderfully made,” as to require for the health of his body, the expansion of his intellect, and the purifying of his
heart, other and sterner excitements than those of either sensual and enervating pleasure, or of placid and serene enjoyment. From his own personal maladies, and from a strong but well-governed sympathy with the fiery trials of his fellow-creatures of all kinds and conditions, he may derive, if not positive happiness, the means at least of infinitely increasing his happiness, by learning to suffer with resignation, by loosening his affections from the world, and by having his heart and his treasure in heaven. The famous lines of Lucretius, at the opening of his second book, De Rerum Natura, have been so often quoted and criticised, that I shall merely allude to them as beautifully bearing on the subject before us.
Let us take a signal instance to illustrate the general argument. It is twice seven years, or nearly so, since the death of the Princess Charlotte of Wales, and her new-born offspring; the former, the most beloved person in the realm; the latter, the heir of the greatest throne in the world, though it lived not long enough to receive even a name to be inscribed upon its coffin; so uncertain are the destinies of man, when most absolutely decreed by himself or his fellow-mortals. On that occasion the grief of the public was deep, sincere, and lasting; but who can doubt that the interest — using the word in its favourite sentimental sense
- who can doubt that the interest, excited by these events, was transcendantly more sublime and affecting than would have been awakened by the loss of the same personages under circumstances less excruciating to
the common feelings of humanity, or less fatal to the fond expectations of a generous people ? In proportion to the agony was the interest, and in proportion to the interest was the enjoyment, by those who bore a part in the universal affliction. There was enjoyment in remembering and repeating, in tones of regret, the virtues and graces of the Daughter of England, - there was enjoyment in making a Sabbath of the day of her burial, — enjoyment in listen. ing to pious improvements from the pulpit of the sovereign dispensation of Providence, - enjoyment in mingling tears and lamentations with the whole British people, at the hour when her relics were laid in the grave, - enjoyment in composing and perusing the strains of eloquence and poesy, that celebrated her glory and her fall, — and there was enjoyment in every recollection of her name, after the bitterness of death had passed away, and her memory had been silently enshrined in hearts, where it had been fondly hoped that she would one day be enthroned.
Thus from the greatest felt calamity, which this country had suffered for ages, there was communicated the greatest benefit of the kind on record, to the minds of millions, by means of a chastening but benignant excitement, which produced a happier influence on the moral character of the people than all the victories of ten years' war had done, or the victories of ten more could now accomplish; for it quickened into expression, if not into immediate existence, more loyal, patriotic, compassionate, and devotional feelings than any national event, either prosperous or adverse, had done since Britain was a