« PreviousContinue »
enjoy their guilty spoils in the fumes of strong waters and tobacco. The place of rendezvous is generally the vicinity of a mill, the proprietor of which, by affording to these wandering tribes an undisturbed asylum, not only secures his pro. perty from their depredations, but, by the idle tales with which they contrive to amuse his ear, respecting the characters and conduct of his neighbours, furnishes himself with new subjects of conversation for his next evening's coterie.
Minds that derive all their pleasures from the levity and mirth of promiscuous company, are feldom able to contribute, in any high degree, to their own amusement. Characters like these search every place for entertainment, except their own bosoms, and the bofoms of their surrounding families, where, by proper cultivation, real happiness, the happiness arising from Love and FRIENDSHIP, is alone capable of being found.
From Love and FRIENDSHIP, flowers of heav'nly
Or fascination of a high-born smile.
The wearied pleasurist, sinking under the weight that preys upon his spirits, Alies to scenes of public gaiety or private splendor, in fond, but vain, expectation, that they will dispel his disa content, and recreate his mind; but he finds, alas! that the fancied asylum affords him no rest. The ever-craving appetite for pastime grows by what it feeds on; and the worm, which devoured his delight amidst the fylvan scenery of Solitude, still accompanies him to crowded halls of elegance and festivity. While he eagerly embraces every object that promises to supply the direful vacancy of his mind, he exhausts its remaining strength; enlarges the wound he is fo anxiously endeavouring to heal; and, by too eagerly grasping at the phantom Pleasure, loses, perhaps for ever, the substantial power of being happy.
Men whose minds are capable of higher enjoyments, always feel these perturbed sensations, when, deluded into a fashionable party, they find nothing to excite curiofity or inte. reft their feelings; and where they are peftered by the frivolous importunities of those for whom they cannot entertain either friendship or esteem. How, indeed, is it possible for a sensible mind to feel the slightest approbation, when a coxcomb, enamoured of his own eloquence, and swoln with the pride of self-conceited merit, tires, by his loquacious nonsense, all around him?
The great Leibnitz* was observed by his servant frequently to take notes while he fat in church, and the domestic very rationally conceived that he was making observations on the subject of the sermon; but it is more consistent with the character of this philosopher to conclude, that he was indulging the powers of his
* William Godefroi, Baron de Leibnitz, the son of Frederick Leibnitz, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Leiphg, was born at Leiphg, in Saxony, on the 33d of June, 1646. He was one of those rarc productions upon whom Nature had profusely bestowed her richest gifts. His capacious mind was faturated and adorned with every species of literature. The arts and sciences were equally at his command. · The poets, orators, historians, lawyers, divines, philosophers, and mathematicians, furnished him with their choicest stores. He reconciled PLATO with ARISTOTLE, and ARISTOTLE with Dis CARTES. But the study of the law was his principal object, and in which he attained to an uncommon degree of excellence. He died on the 14th of November, 1716.
own capacious and excursive mind, when those of the preacher ceased to intereft him. Thus it happens, that while the multitude are driven from Solitude to Society, by being tired of themfelves, there are some, and those not a few, who feek refuge in rational retirement from the frivolous dissipation of company.
An indolent mind is as irksome to itself as it is intolerable to others; but an active mind finds inexhaustible resources in its own power. The firft is forced to Ay from itself for enjoyment ; while the other calmly resigns itself to its own fuggestions, and always meets with the happiness it has vainly sought for in its communion with the world.
"The man who consecrates his hours
Το * “ Quite jaded with protracted amusements," says a celebrated moral writer, “ we yawn over them. The dull drone of To rouse the foul from that lethargy into which its powers are so apt to drop from the tediousness of life, it is necessary to apply a stimulus both to the head and to the heart. Something must be contrived to strike the senses and intereft the mind. But it is much more difficult to convey pleasure to others than to receive it ourselves; and while the many wait in anxious hope of being entertained, they find but few
16 nominal diverfion still hums on when the short tune of en. “ joyment is over. Like the bear in the fable, we hug our 66 darling to death. Instead of rejoicing in tribulation, we “ sorrow in delight: for this eternal round of vanities is trod « less for the pleasure it brings than for the pain it suspends. “ It is a refuge, not a prize. Like criminals, we fly to it " from our much-injured, unfortunate foes, OURSELVES ; " which chide and sting us when alone : when together, we " fapport each others spirits ; which is like sailors clinging
to each other for safety when the vessel is sinking. In the “ boundless field of licentiousness, some bastard joys may " rise that look gay, more especially at a distance; but they “ foon wither. No joys are always sweet, and flourish long, “ but such as have self-approbation for their root, and the di. • vine favour for their shelter : but we are for joys of our own “ creation, the feeds of which heaven never sowed in our “ hearts. But we may as well invade another prerogative of “.heaven, and, with the tyrant of Elis, pretend to make thun“ der and lightning, as real joy. I say real joy; for joy we
may make, but not cheerfulness. Joy may subsist without " thought; Cheerfulness will frame it. Joy is from the pulse; - Cheerfulness from the heart. That may give a momentary
dash of pleasure; This alone makes a happy man.”