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CHARACTER OF KING ALFRED 1. THE merit of this prince, both in private and pube lic life, may with advantage be set in opposition to that of any monarch or citizen, which the annals of any nation, or any age, can present to us. He seems indeed to be that complete model of that perfect character, which, under the denomination of a sage or-wise man, the philos-ophers have been fond of delineatiog, rather as a fiction of their imagination, than in hopes of ever seeing it reduced to practice; so happily were all his virtues tempered together, so justly were they blended, and so powerfullydid each prevent the other. from exceeding its proper : bounds!
2. He knew how to conciliate the boldest enterprise, "with the coolest moderation; the most obstinaté persevere. ance, with the easiest flexibility; the most severe justice, with the greatest lenity; the most vigorous command, with the greatest affability of deportment; the highest capacity and inclination for science, with the most shin. ing talents for action. The civil and military virtues are almost equally the objects of our admiraiton, excepting anly that the former, being more rare among princes, as well as more useful, seem chieily to challengeourapplause,
3. Nature, al:o, as if desirous that a bright production of her skill should be set in the fairest light, had bestow. ed on him all bodily accomplishments; vigour of limbs, dignity of shape and air, and a pleasant, engaging, and open countenance. Fortune alone, by throwing him into that barbarous age, deprived him of historians worthy to transmit his fame to posterity; and we wish to see him delineated in more lively colours, that we inay at least . perceive some of those small specks and blemishes, from which, as a man, it is impossible he could be entirely ex-> empted.
AN EASTEARN $TORY. 1. THERE was among the Caliphs one more renown** od than all the rest for the goodness and singularity of bis temper, whose name was Haroun Abrashid. It was. Bis custom to walk unknown among his subjects, and
hear from their own mouths their grievances, and their opinion of their rulers. He advanced and degraded according to these reports; perhaps sometimes too hastily, though always with an upright purpose; and used to say he was the only sovereign that heard the thoughts of his people.
2. One morning about sun-rise, as he was walking along the side of a river, he saw an old man and his grandson earnest in discourse.
The boy in wantonness, had taken a water worm out of the flags; and having thrown it on the ground, had lifted up his foot to crush it. The old man pulled him back, and just as the Caliph came up was saying to him, “ Boy, don't take away that which is not in thy power to give. He, who gave life to that insect, gave life also to thee; how darest thou destroy what he bestowed ? shew mercy and thou wilt find mercy.”
3. The Caliph stopped, and hearing rags and beggary 80 eloquent, stood astonished,
“ What is your name, and where is your habitation ?" said he. The old man · told-hiin he was called Atelmoule, and pointed to his cottage In an hour a robe of state was sent to the cottage, officers attended, and Atelwoule was told he was appointed Visier. They conducted him full of wonder and con, fusion to the Caliph, when he fell upon his face before the throne, and without daring to look up, kissed the verge of the royal robe. “ Rise, Atelmoule, said the Caliph, you are now next the throne, forget not your own lesson, “Shew merry, and you shall find it.”
4. The man with astonishment and surprise recollected in the Caliph, the person whom he had spoken with in the morning. Meantime the sun was warm ; the worni whose life this new Visier had saved, opened bis shelly back, and gave birth to a fly that buzzed about and enjoyed his new born wings with rapture ; he settled on the mule that carried back the Visier, and stung the creaturer The mule pranced and threw his unaccustomed rideri The Visier hung by part of his robe, and was killed by a blow from the creature's heel
5. The account was brought to the palace, and even those who had murmured at the exaltation of the man, pitied the death he owed to his virtue. Even Providence was censured, so daring and ignorant is man ; but the Caliph, superior to the rest in virtue as in office, lifting up his hands to heaven, cried, “Blessed be thy sacred name, O Prophet, I had decreed honors to Atelaoule, but thou hast snatched him tothy paradise, to enjoy greater honors."
DEVOTION. 1: IT is of the greatest importance to season the pas-sions of a child with devotion; which seldom dies in a mind that has received an early impression of it. Though it may seemn extinguished for a while by the cares of the world, the heats of youth; or the allurements of vice, it' generally breaks out and discovers itself again as soon as discretion, consideration, age, or misfortune, have brought the man to himself The fire may be covered and over laid, but cannot be entirely quenched and smorberedo.
2: A state of temperance, sobriety, and justice, without devotion, is a cold, lifeless, insipid condition of virtue, and is rather to be stiled philosophy than religion. Devotion opens the mind to great conceptions, and fills it with more sublime ideas than any that are to be met with in the most exalted science ; and at the same time warms and agitates the soul more than sensual pleasure.
3. Man is more distinguished from the animal world: by devotion than by reason, as several brute creatures discover in their actions something like a faint glimmering of reason, though they betray in no single circumstance of their behaviour any thing that bears the least affinity to devotion. It is certain the propensity of the mind to religious worship, the natural tendency of the soul to fly to some superior Being for succour in dangers and dis. tresses, the acts of love and admiration with which the thoughts of men are so wonderfully transported, in meditating upon the divine perfections, and the wniversal con. currence of all the nations under heaven in the great ar ticle of adoration, plainly shew that devotion, or religious worship must be the effect of tradition from some first founder of mankind, or that it is conformable to the natural light of reason, or that it proceeds from an instinct implanted in the soul itself
4 But which ever of them shall be assigned as the principle of divine worship, it manifestly points to a supreme
Being as the first author of it, and in the exercise of sucir a principle, the mind is raised to the contemplation of the amiable and infinite perfections of the supreme Governors of the Universe.
5. Notbing is so glorious in the eyes of mankind, and so ornamental to human natúre, setting aside the infinite : advantages which arise from it, as a strong and steady piety ; but enthusiasm and superstition are the weaknesses of human reason, that expose us to the scorn and derision of infidels, and sink us: even below, the beasts that perish.
6. The most illiterate man who is touched with devam tion and uses frequent exercises of-it, contracts a certain greatness of mind, mingled with a noble-simplicity, that raises him above those of the same condition ; and there is an indelible mark of goodness in those who sincerely possess it ; for the fervors of a pious mind will contract such an earnestness and attention towards a better being, as will make the ordinary passages of life pass on with becoming indifference,
THE PARTIAL JUDGE. 1. A FARMER.came to a neighbouring lawyer, exopressing great concern for an accident which he said had a just happened. One of your oxen, continued he, has been gored by an unlucky bull of mine; and I should be = glad to know, how I am to make you reparation.
2. Thou art a very honest fellow, replied the lawyer, and wilt not think it unreasonable, that I expect one of thy oxen in return. It is no more than justice, said the. farmer, to be sure ; but what did I say?-I mistake. It is
your bull that has killed one of my oxeh. Indeed ! says: the lawyer, that alters the case; I must inquire into the af. fair , and if And if said the farmer--the business, I. find, would have been concluded without an if, had you. been as ready to do justice to others,asto exact it from them..
THE PICTURE. 1. SIR WILLIAM LELY, a famous painter in the ! feign of Charles I. agreed before hand for the price of a
picture he was to draw for a rich London Alderman, who was not indebted to natare either for shape or face : the picture being finished, the Alderman endeavoured to beat down the price, alleging, that if he did not purchase it, it would lie on the painter's hands.
2. “ That's your mistake," says Sir William ; « For I can sell it at double the price I demand." * How can that be," says the Alderman, “ for 'tis like nobody but myself?” “True," replied Sir William, “but I can draw a tail to it, and then it will be an excellent monkey.” Mr. Alderman, to prevent being exposed, paid down the more ey demanded, and carried off the picture.
AFFECTION TO PARENTS. 1. AN amiable youth was lamenting, in terms of the :* sincerest grief, the death of a most affectionate parent. His companion endeavoured to console him by the reflection, that he had always behaved to the deceased with: Jury, tenderness, and respect.
2. So, I thought, replied the youth, whilst my parent :was living ; but now I recollect, with pain and sorrow, many instances of disobedience and neglect, for which,, alas ! it is too late to make atonemept.
CHAPTER LXXVII. .
1. ONCE at a certain time, the Seven Wise men of Greece were met together at Athens ; and it was propos--ed that every one of them should mention what he thought the greatest wonder in the creation. One of them, of higher conceptions than the rest, proposed the. opinion of some of the Astronomers about tbe fixed stars, which they believed to be so many suns, that had each their planets rolling about them, and were stored with plants and animals, like this earth.
2 Fixed with this thought, they agreed to supplicate Jupiter, that he would at least permit them to take a jour. ney to the moon, and stay there three days in order to see the wonders of that place, and give an account of them at their return. Júpiter consented, and ordered them to asRemble on a high mountain, where there should be a cloud.