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Original Letters from a Father to his Son.

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fell precisely upon the tomb of Nero, all possible precaution- Well,' said he, where it was shivered to pieces. This after a moment's reflection, it is better circumstance was told to Buonaparte with that it should fall there than in the dirt !""

My dear Son,

LETTERS FROM A FATHER.

LETTER IV.

From the European Magazine.

earlier employ, he did not throw away in empty and fruitless amusements. Had IT T was said of one of the wisest and it been said of this great ornament of his best men this country ever knew, country, that, when a young man, "his that " Study was his amusement.' amusements were his study," the honThis man was Lord Chief Justice Hale. ourable mention of his maturer years He was a person of infinite persever- would never have been heard of; for, I ance, and laborious attention, in the am sure, you will allow, that nothing can performance of his professional duties. be a clearer indication of a frivolous disHe felt the pledge he had made to his position, than an anxious desire to concountry as the most imperative call upon form every pursuit of professional busihis exertions, and he had no personal ness or official employ, to the amusive reservation whatever to consult. The recreations of a passing hour. It is not business of his official pursuits left him only a profligate abuse of the present, but little leisure at his disposal, and that but a heedless surrender of all power to little he applied to the acquirements of seize the better opportunities of the fu bis younger days, and to writing many ture. A man who, in his youth, has of those learned and useful books, for laid up a tolerable store of primary which the world is greatly his debtor. knowledge, and has taken care to retain In his lordship's instance we have a it in his possession, by making it the strong evidence of that satisfaction with subject of his contemplation at every which the mind, when matured in its season of remission from the graver conjudgment, retires from its severer toils of cerns of business, will find that he has occupation, to the studies of its earlier reserved for himself the most pleasing progress; and this is universally proved source of recreation, when he shall have to be the case with men of mind,-by made a greater advance into life. which expression I mean men of intel- But, perhaps, you will tell me, I have lectual reflection, who appreciate, as they forgotten that you are not yet arrived at ought, the opportunities which they en- that period, when a man has no longer joy of making themselves serviceable to a relish for the common amusements of society, not only in public life but in society, and that, in the interim, I am retirement also. To such a man we falling into an anachronism, in my apmay naturally conclude, that this mode plication of Lord Hale's example to of recreating the mental powers, must yourself. I admit, my dear G-, that have been productive of much delight- there is something more prospective in ful gratification; and for this reason,— it, than what an immediate application in his public capacity he was called upon of it may seem, at first view, to require; to think for others; in his season of re- but, if it should please God, that you tirement he enjoyed the privilege of rise to eminence in the path which you thinking for himself; and then it was have chosen for yourself, you will find that he experienced the pleasure of con- that the most delightful recreation which templating the effects of his youthful in- you will then enjoy, will be to go dustry, which had put him in possession to the studies of your youth, and to hold of the most pleasing resources for every converse with those authors who formed leisure moment that he might be able to your classical taste, and who gave up command. But we must, at the same their valuable treasures of refined ac time, infer, that the time which he was able to appropriate to himself, when engaged in fulfilling the obligations of his

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quirement to your early application. And as, from the nature of your situa tion, progress towards eminence must,

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Letters from a Father to his Son.

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of necessity, be slow, it is more than cy on your part, in permitting them to probable, that by the time you reach it, be so; for I would anxiously hope, my your appetite for those amusements, to dear son, that, in this portrait, not a sinwhich you are now so strongly attached, gle feature of likeness to yourself can be will have lost its zest, and you will be found, or will ever hereafter be recognizcontented to depend upon yourself for ed in you, by those who have sense those seasons and subjects of recreation, enough to despise the similitude; and, which the bustle of public entertainments I confess, it is my ambition, that those and crowded assemblies, are most cal- alone should be your companions and culated to disqualify you from enjoying. friends.

Let me then be allowed to recommend The man of pleasure is the most most earnestly to your serious considera- heartless and most selfish of mankind : tion, the propriety and advantage of I had very nearly said, of all God's creamaking the first source of recreation, tures; but I corrected myself, for God that which your classical studies abun- never created a man of pleasure: he is dantly bestow, and have always ready a creature of preternatural conception to your hand. and monstrous birth, begotten by the in

By such a plan you will, at all events, cubus Folly upon Fashion, and has nosecure that satisfaction to which I have thing in common with human kind but adverted, the profitable employment of his form. Is he a son or a brother, is your leisure time; for I really do not he a husband or a father, he disclaims know a more desirable profit to be made the social union of filial and domestic of the present, than that of providing relation the instant that the duties of that for the future; and this provision you relation demand a surrender of his diswill be assured of, if now, in the young- solute inclinations. Good principles my er part of your life, you take care that dear G-, influence the mind, not by the knowledge of the gentleman be not any natural or physical force, or neceslost in the pursuits of the man of plea- sarily as pleasure or pain affect the body, sure. These certainly comprehend but making men attentive to them whether a very slight connection with that recre- they will or not; but in quite a differation which you may wish to obtain, ent manner, and for their agency depend both for your mind and body; not upon the permission of the will, the conthat I would be understood as urging an sent of the heart, and the governing inascetic rejection of what are termed the clinations and passions. But can such pleasurable amusements of society. By an improvement and management of no means for it is not only a social principles ever be expected from a man concession, but a physical fact, that the of pleasure? whose will and heart and mind cannot be profitably kept upon an passions are the debasing agents of his unbending stretch of application, either degeneracy? He studiously flies from to business or study; yet I would have all impressions of such principles-he is it,-pleasure, which, really yields amuse- uneasy whenever by chance they steal ment, and amusement, which produces or force themselves into his mind, and something profitable, both in enjoyment always feels their visits unseasonable and and reflection.

impertinent.-His powers of existence A young man, who is a man of plea- are consumed between the sloth of the gure by choice, and a man of business sluggard and the activity of a demon. ely from necessity, is one who can Sensuality is his system, and seduction never be respected by the wise, nor es- his study-the call of his passions, and teemed by the industrious; and his not the dictate of his conscience, is the companions can be only the dissolute standard of his conduct; the luxury of and the idle. Let me give you a de- living, and not the rectitude of life, is his scription of one of these foolish youths, ruling law. Extravagant profusion makes and request you will apply the portrait up the accounts of the day; dissipation to some of those who, if they be your and debaucheries fill up the diary of its associates, can only become so in conse- events. Time is his bitterest enemy, if quence of an inconsiderable complacen- it leaves him to a moment's reflection, T ATHENEUM. Vol. A

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Letters from a Father to his Son.

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reflection, and therefore his chief anxie- -No one, not even the fools of fashion, whose vices he imitates; for they, as well as this compound of crime and folly, feel themselves, by a superior influence which they cannot resist, compelled to pay homage to the very virtues which they ridicule.

ty is to kill this enemy, by a constant succession of amusements, follies, and vice. He is a fop in his dress, and a fool in his talk, the fashion of both is his boast. In short, he is a morbid excrescence upon the comfort of the family to which he belongs, and carries with him an infectious atmosphere into whatever part of society he curses with his presence.

The recreation which is alone worthy of a wise and virtuous mind, is that which unbends it without debasing it, and which refreshes without diminishing Now what is there in this character its vigour. There are many resources that you would wish to engraft into your of intellectual amusement that may be own? Is there, indeed a single trait enjoyed in a degree of refined gratificathat you would desire to have blended tion peculiar to a metropolitan residence. with your own conduct? I should hope The libraries and lectures of the Institunot; and I should flatter myself that tions; the Exhibitions; the Literary you would shun such a being as contemp- Societies of this great depository of the tible in himself as he is unworthy of the Arts and Sciences,-all afford to the attention or acquaintance of any one mind a continual feast of rational and who has a manly sense of what is due to improving entertainment; and, with society and himself. Ask yourself to certain restrictions, I will add to these what purpose this disgrace of his kind the theatres. I say with certain restriclives? To the worst of all purposes, to tions, because I cannot divest this amuthe indulgence of his own vain selfish- sive medium of the pernicious latitude ness, and to the idle, unprofitable waste which it gives to the demoralizing corof life and the means of life. And can ruptions of the age; and a young man it be, my son, that you would ever de- who commits himself to such a medium, grade yourself so low as to call such a risks the purity of his principles for an man your friend, and suffer him to usurp object of amusement, which conveys but an influence over your mind, and induce little instruction unmixed with something you to deviate from those proprieties which he neither ought to hear nor see; which your better convictions justify you but I doubt I am treading upon what in maintaining? No, my dear G-, I you consider hallowed ground, and the will stake my best hope of your future names of Shakspeare, Otway, and Sheprogress, that should any one of his per- ridan, will be placed by you in array nicious principles have communicated against my observation, which, if you the infection of his manners to your's, do not reject it as a strait-laced objection, you will ere long open your eyes, and you will wave perhaps as an unnecessaview him nearer, in all the ugliness of ry apprehension. We shall be able to his heart, and deformity of his disposi- judge of this when we discuss the comtion, nor suffer that insipid oscitancy, parative profitableness of the various which he calls fashionable ease, to de- sources of recreation which I have alceive you any longer, into an adoption ready mentioned. For the present, my of his independence of sentiment, which dear G-, I shall not presume that to a is nothing more than a shameless disre- young man of your sound education it gard of all moral and social restraints; will at all be necessary for me to urge or his freedom of speech, which is only any other appeal to your judgment, than the licentiousness of the libertine- that which it will of itself suggest ; I "Hic niger est hunc te Romane Caveto." shall therefore content myself with the Who, then, can suppose that the in- adventitious service of confirming your temperate dissipations of such a man are good impressions-fungar vice cotis, but the amusements which a prudent youth I shall certainly avoid all reference to would adopt, or his libertine habits that Spartan sentiment-" vice to be those recreating pursuits which can re- hated needs but to be seen;" a saying novate the mind, or invigorate the frame? which, like many others that have crep

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Sketches of Bath, a Poem.

139

into common acceptation, is to be taken with vice, in order to discover her hideous propensities, and ruinous influence, With this confidence in your moral fortitude, I cordially assure you that although I am your anxious father, I am not the less your assured and affectionate friend W.

in a more qualified sense than it generally has been contemplated in. As far as you are concerned in it, I trust you will long continue to be sensible of the advantage of virtuous associations, and that under such auspices it will never be requisite for you to claim an intimacy,

SIN

Aug. 1817.

ROUGH SKETCHES OF BATH,

IMITATIONS OF HORACE; AND OTHER POEMS. BY Q: IN THE CORNER.

From the Literary Gazette.

:

INCE the publication of the Bath ther write that we may know there are Guide, Bath has become a sort of other parts of the world, then those nursery for light and humorous poetry. which to us are known and this story To this class belongs the present work, I should not have believed, if it were not which appears to be that of a young testified by so many and so credible witwriter destitute of neither humour nor nesses as it is." talent, but in some parts rather crudely put forth, and not sufficiently attendant upon the celebrated rule of the Roman bard, who supplies the subjects for several imitations:

Nonumque prematur in annum.

We do not think so much of the imitations of Horace. To be only endured, pieces of this kind must now be exquisite; these are but mediocre.

The other poems display fancy and an easy vein of writing, though not of the highest order. We select one of them as a specimen, and as worthy of preserving, from its familiar description of an imposition which attracted much public attention. It may perhaps be allowed us to preface "Caraboo" with an extract from Baker's Chronicle of the Reign of King Stephen, which is curious in itself, and serves to shew that, after all, we do not far excel our rudest ancestors in the novelty or cunning of our impostures.

"In this King's time also, there appeared two children, a boy and a girl, clad in green, in a stuffe unknown, of a strange language, and of a strange diet; whereof the boy being baptized, dyed shortly after, but the girl lived to be very old; and being asked from whence they were, she answered, They were of the Land of St. Martyn, where there are Christian Churches erected; but that no Sun did ever rise unto them: but where that land is, and how she came hither, she herself knew not. This I the au

soar

CARABOO.

Oh! aid me, ye Spirits of wonder! who In realms of Romance where none ventured before;

Ye Fairies! who govern the fancies of men,
And sit on the point of Monk Lewis's pen;
Ye mysterious Elves! who for ever remain
With Lusus Naturæs, and Ghosts of Cock-

Lane;

Who ride upon broomsticks, intent to deceive
And softly repeat from your home in the
All those who appear predisposed to believe,

spheres

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Recent Sketches of Swiss Scenery.

Did some chemical process occasion her birth?
Did galvanic experiments bring her on earth?
Is she new? is she old? is she false ? is she
true?

Come read me the riddle of Miss CARABOO.
Astronomers sage may exhibit her soon,
A daughter-in-law to the man in the moon ;
Or declare that her visit accounts for the rain
Which happen'd last year, and may happen
again;

That dark spots appear in the course she
has run,

Coeval perhaps with the spots on the sun; That she may be connected with Corsairs---all these,

And as many more possible things as you please.

In what hand does she write ?---In what
tongue does she speak ?

Is it Arabic, Persic, Egyptian, or Greek?
She must be a blue-stocking lady indeed,
To write an epistle which no man can read ;
Though we have some publishing scribes I
could name,

Whose letters will meet with a fate much the

same.

She then wore no ear-rings, though still may be seen

The holes in her ears, where her ear-rings had been;

I

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Have forgotten their doubts when they look'd
in her face.

I never have seen her; but if, when I see,
The truth of her tale is apparent to me,
I will cancel these lines, and most gladly re-
hearse

Her swimming and fencing in beautiful verse;
In the graces and charms of my muse to adorn
her,

Shall be the employment of

Q. IN THE CORNER.

Bath, June 10th, 1817.

SKETCHES OF SWISS SCENERY.

From the Monthly Magazine.

Martigny; Sept. 17, 1816. I pictured to myself the army transportThe Valley of Triant. ing its materiel-its cannon, caissons, ADDRESS you, my dear madam, forges, &c. dismounted and conveyed from the Octodurum of the Romans. piece-meal to the mountain-summit; Here the roads from the upper Valais, the massive artillery-pieces removed the Pays de Vaud, the valley of Cha- from their carriage and bedded in the mouny, and the great St. Bernard, unite: trunks of trees, hollowed for that purhere it was that, in the spring of the year pose, and dragged through ice and show 1800, Bonaparte remained during some by companies of one hundred men, each days, while the French army defiled be- company yoked to ropes for that purfore him to pass the St. Bernard; and pose; the rest of the army bearing the it was from this place that he addressed arms, provisions, &c. every individual the subjoined lines to his brother trailing a burden of seventy or eighty Lucien :pounds. But what will not the thirst of "May 18, at night. glory accomplish, whether that feeling "I am at the foot of the great Alps, in be kindled by the legitimate love of the midst of the Valais. The great St. liberty, or the unlicensed passion of Bernard presented many obstacles, but conquest? Perhaps a more splendid they have been surmounted. A third of display of talent, of physical energy, and the artillery is in Italy: the army is de- unbounded enthusiasm, was never witscending by forced marches. Berthier is nessed! Marmont, Lasnes, Berthier, in Piedmont. In a few days all will be and Murat, were the springs that put that vast body in action, which, like a How much is the interest attending torrent, swept the plains of Piedmont, great events increased when we visit the and in three weeks decided the fate of Aps where they have once had being! Italy.

over."

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