« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
My mind to me a kingdom is ;
Such perfect joy therein I find, As far exceeds all earthly bliss,
That God or nature has assigned Though much I want that most would have, Still my
mind forbids to crave. Content I live, this is my stay ;
I seek no more than may suffice I press to bear no haughty sway;
Look, what I lack, my mind supplies. Lo! thus I triumph like a king, Content with what my mind doth bring. Some have too much, yet still they crave;
I little have, yet seek no more They are but poor, though much they have;
And I am rich, with little storeThey poor, I rich; they beg, I give; They lack, I lend ; they pine, I live.
BEAUTY AND VIRTUE.
NOBLE BEHAVIOUR OF SCIPIO.
Scipio the younger, at twenty-four years of age, was appointed by the Roman republic to the command of the army against the Spaniards. Soon after the conquest of Carthagena, the capital of the empire, his integrity and virtue were put to the following exemplary and ever memorable trial, related by historians, ancient and modern, with universal applause.
Being retired into his camp, some of his officers brought him a young virgin, of such exquisite beauty that she drew upon her the eyes and admiration of every body. The
young conqueror started from his seat with confusion and surprise, and seemed to be robbed of that presence of mind and self-possession so necessary in a general, and for which Scipio was very remarkable. In a few moments, having recovered himself, he inquired of the beautiful captive, in the most civil and polite manner, concerning her country, birth, and connections; and finding that she was betrothed to a Celtiberian prince, named Allucius, he ordered both him and the captive parents to be sent for.
When the Spanish prince appeared in his presence, Scipio took him aside, and, to remove the anxiety he might feel on account of the young lady, addressed him in these words :-“You and I are young, which admits of my speaking to you with freedom. They who brought me your future spouse, assured me, at the same time, that you loved her with extreme tenderness; and her beauty and merit left me no room to doubt it. Upon which I reflected, that, if I were in your situation, I should hope to meet with favour. I therefore think myself happy, in the present conjuncture, to do you a service.
“ Though the fortune of war has made me your master, I desire to be your friend. Here is your wife: take her, and may you be happy! You may rest assured, that she has been amongst us, as she would have been in the house of her father and mother. Far be it from Scipio to purchase any pleasure at the expense of virtue, honour, and the happiness of an honest man! No; I have kept her for you, in order to make you a present worthy of you,
and of me. The only gratitude I require of you for this inestimable gift is, that you will be a friend to the Roman people."
Allucius's heart was too full to make him any answer; but, throwing himself at the general's feet, he wept aloud. The captive lady fell down in the same posture, and remained so, till the aged father, overwhelmed with transports of joy, burst into the following words: “Oh, excellent Scipio! Heaven has given ee more than human virtue. O glorious leader! O wondrous youth! what pleasure can equal that which must now fill thy heart, on hearing the prayers of this grateful virgin for thy health and prosperity!"
Such was Scipio; a soldier, a youth, a heathen! Nor was his virtue unrewarded. Allucius, charmed with such magnanimity, liberality, and politeness, returned to his own country, and published, on all occasions, the praises of his generous and humane victor; crying out,
" that there was come into Spain a young hero, who conquered all things less by the force of his arms than by the charms of his virtue and the greatness of his beneficence.”
THE HAPPY CHOICE.
Beset with snares on every hand,
SOCRATES AND LAMPROCLES. Lamprocles, the eldest son of Socrates, fell into a violent passion with his mother. Socrates was witness to his shameful behaviour, and attempted the correction of it in the following gentle and rational manner.
“ Come hither, son," said he; “have you never heard of men who are called ungrateful ?” “Yes, frequently," answered the youth.
“And what is ingratitude ?” demanded Socrates. “It is to receive a kindness," said Lamprocles, “without making a proper return, when there is a favourable opportunity' Ingratitude is therefore a species of injustice," said Socrates. “I should think so, answered Lamprocles.
“If then,” pursued Socrates, “ingratitude be injustice, doth it not follow, that the degree of it must be proportionate to the magnitude of the favours which have been received ?” Lamprocles admitted the inference; and Socrates thus pursued his interrogation.
“Can there subsist higher obligations than those which children owe to their parents; from whom life is derived and supported, and by whose good offices it is rendered honourable, useful, and happy ?” “I acknowledge the truth of what you say,” replied Lamprocles ; “but who could suffer, without resentment, the ill humours of such a mother as I have ?"
“What strange thing has she done to you?” said Socrates. “She has a tongue,” replied Lamprocles, “that no mortal can bear." “How much more," said Socrates, “has she endured from your wrangling, fretfulness, and incessant cries, in the period of infancy! What anxieties has she suffered from the levities, capriciousness, and follies of your childhood and youth! What affliction has she felt, what toil and watching has she sustained in your illness!
“These and various other powerful motives to filial duty and gratitude have been recognised by the legislators of our republic. For, if any one be disrespectful to his parents, he is not permitted to enjoy any post or trust of honour. It is believed, that a sacrifice offered by an impious hand, can neither be acceptable to Heaven, nor pro
fitable to the state ; and that an undutiful son cannot be capable of performing any great action, or executing justice with impartiality. Therefore, my son,
if you are wise, you will pray to Heaven to pardon the offences committed against your mother. Let no one discover the contempt with which you have treated her, for the world will condemn and abandon
for such behaviour. And if it even be suspected that you repay with ingratitude the good offices of your parents, you will inevitably forego the kindnesses of others; because no man will suppose that you have a heart to requite either his favours or his friendship."
THE HAPPY END.
When life’s tempestuous storms are d'er,
Who lived averse to sin !
The good man's joys begin.
To lift his soul on high!
for the blest abode,
Who taught him how to die.
As from the sinner's breast;
And soothes his heart to rest!
When Herodotus, taking advantage of the domestic troubles at Rome, possessed himself of the capital, the Consul Valerius Publicola repulsed him, but fell at the