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But Mr. Daisy is struck dumb by the approach of his brother, Sir Thomas, whose pedantry goes a pitch higher, and pours out all the intelligence of France and Italy, whence the young baronet is just returned, after a tour of fifteen months over all the kingdoms of the continent. Talk of music, he cuts you short with the history of the first singer in Naples; of painting, he runs you down with the description of the gallery at Florence; of architecture, he overwhelms you with the dimensions of St. Peter's, or the great church at Antwerp, or, if you leave the province of art altogether, and introduce the name of a river or hill, he instantly deluges you with the Rhine, or makes you dizzy with the height of na, or Mont Blanc.
Miss will have no difficulty of owning her great aunt to be a pedant, when she talks all the time of dinner, on the composition of the pudding, or the seasoning of ile mince pies; or enters into a disquisition on the figure of the damask tablecloth, with a word or two on the thrift of making one's own linen ; but the young lady will be surprised when I inform her, that her own history of last Thursday's assembly, with the episode of Lady D's feather, and the digression to the qualities of Mr. Friza zle, the hairdresser, was also a piece of downright ped-.antry.
Mrs. Caudle is guilty of the same weakness, when she recounts the numberless willicismsof her daughter Lmma, describes the droll figure her little Bill made yesterday at trying on his first pair of breeches, and informs us, that Bobby has got seven teeth, and is just cutting an eighth, though he will be but nine months old next Wednesday, at six o'clock in the evening. Nor is her pedantry less disgusting, when she proceeds to enume. rate the virtues and good qualities of her husband :though this last species is so uncommon, that it may, perhaps, be admitted into conversation, for the sake of novelty.
There is a pedantry in every disquisition, however masteriy it may be, that stops the general conversation of the company. When Silius delivers that sort of lecture he is apt to get into, shough it is supported by the
most extensive information and the clearest discernment, it is still pedantry; and while I admire the talents of Silius, I cannot help being uneasy at his exhibition of them. Last night, after supper, Silius began upon Prot. estantism,proceeded to the Irish massacre,went through the Revolution, drew the character of King William, repeated anecdotes of Schomberg, and ended, at a quarter past twelve, by delineating the course of the Boyne, in half a bumper of port, upon my best table; which river, happening to overflow its banks, did infinite damage to my cousin Sophy's white satin petticoat.
In short, every thing, in this sense of the word is pedantry, which tends to destroy that equality of conver. sation, which is necessary to the perfect ease and good humor of the company. Every one would be struck with the unpoliteness of that person's behavior, who should help himself to a whole plateful of peas or strawa berries, which some friend had sent him for a rarity, in the beginning of the season. Now conversation is one of those good things, which our friends or companions are equally entitled to share, as of any other constituent part of the entertainment, and it is as essential a want of politeness to engross the one, as to monopolize the other. XVI.-The Journey of a Day - Picture of Human
Life.RAMBLER. OBIDAH, the son of Abensina, left the caravansera early in the morning, and pursued his journey through the plains of Indosten. He was fresh and vigorous with rest; he was animated with hope ; he was inciled by desire; he walked swiftly forward over the vallies, and saw the hills gradually rising before liim. As he passed along, his ears were delighted with the morning song of the bird of paradise, he was fanned by the last flutters of the sinking breeze, and sprinkled with dew by groves of spices; he sometimes contemplated the towering height of the oak, monarch of the hills ; and sometimes caught the gentle fragrance of the primrose, ellest daughter of the spring ; all his senses were gratified, and all care was banished from his heart,
Thus he went on till the sun approached his meridian, and the increasing heat preyed upon his strength ; hethen looked round about him for some more commodious path. He saw,on bis right hand,a grove that seemed to wave its shades as a sign of invitation ; he entered it, and found the coolness and verdure irresistibly pleasant. He did not however forget whither he was travelling, but found a narrow way, bordered with flowers, which appeared to have the same direction with the main road, and was pleased, that, by this happy experiment, he had found means to unite pleasure with business, and to gain the reward of diligence without suffering its fatigues. He, therefore, still continued to walk, for a time, without the least remission of his ardor, except that he was sometimes tempted to stop by the music of the birds, whom the heat had assembled in the shade,and sometimes amused himself with plucking the flowers that covered the banks on either side, or the fruits thathung upon the branches. At last, the green path began to decline from its first tendency, and to wind among hills and thickets,cooled with fountains, and murmuring, with water falls. Here Obidah paused for a time, and began to consider, whether it were longer safe to for. sake the known and common track ; but remembering that the heat was now in its greatest violence, and that the plain was dusty and uneven, he resolved to pursue the new path, which he supposed only to make a few meanders,in compliance with the varieties of the ground, and to end at last in the common road.
Haying thuscalmed his solicitude, he renewed his pace, though he suspected he was not gaining ground. This uneasiness of his mind inclined him to lay hold on every new object, and give way to every sensation that might soothe or divert him. He listened to every echo, he mounted
every hill for a fresh prospect, he turned aside to every cascade, and pleased himself with tracing the course of a gentle river, that rolled among the trees, and watered a large region, with innumerable, circumvolutions. In these amusements,the hours passsed away unaccounted, his deviations had perplexed his memory, and he knew not towards what point to travel, E
stood pensive and confused, afraid to go forward, lest he. should go wrong, yet conscious that the time of loitering was now past.
While he was thus tortured with uncertainty, the sky was overspread with clouds, the day vanished from before him, and a sudden tempest gathered round his head. He was now roused by his danger, to . a quick and painful remembrance of his folly ; he now saw how happiness was lost when ease is consulted; he lamented the unmanly impatience that prompted him to seek shelter in the grove, and despised the petty curiosity that led him on from trifle to trifle. While he was thus reflecting, the air grew blacker, and a clap of thunder broke his meditation.
He now resolved to do what remained yet in his power, to tread back the ground which he had passed, and try to find some issue, where the wood might open into the plain. He prostrated himself upon the ground, and commended his life to the Lord of nature. He rose with confidence and tranquillity, and pressed on with Iris sabre in his hand; for the beasts of the desert were in motion, and on every hand were heard the mingled howls of rage and fear, and ravage and expiration, all the horrors of darkness and solitude surrounded him;the winds roared in the woods, and the torrents tumbled from the hills.
Thus forlorn and distressed, he wandered through the wild, without knowing whither he was going, or wheth. er he was every moment drawing nearer to safety or to destruction. At length, not fear but labor began to overcome him ; his breath grew short; and his knees trembled,and he was on the point of lying down in resignation to his fate, when he beheld through the brambles, the glimmer of a taper. He advanced towards the lights and, finding that it proceeded from a cottage of a here mit, he called humbly at the door, and obtained admis. sion. The old man set before him such provisions as he had collected for himself, on which Obidah fed with eagerness and gratitude:
When the repast was over, “ Tell me, said the her: mit, by what chance thou hast been brought hither; I have now been twenty years an inhabitant of the wil.
derness, in which I never saw a man before." Obidah theu related the occurrences of his journey, without any concealment or palliation.
" Son, said the hermit, let the errors and follies, the dangers and escapes of this day,sink deep into thy heart. Remember, my son, that human life is the journey of a day. We rise in the morning of youth, full of vigor, and full of expectation ; we set forward with spirit and hope, with gaiety and with diligence, and travel on a while in the straight road of piety, towards the mansions of rest. In a short time we remit our fervor, and endeavor to find some mitigation of our duty, and some more easy means of obtaining the same end. We then relax our vigor, and resolve no longer to be terrified with crimes at a distance, but rely upon our own constancy, and venture to approach what we resolve never to touch. We thus enter the bowers of ease, and repose in the shades of security. Here the heart softens, and vigilance subsides ; we are then willing to inquire. whether another advance cannot be made, and whether we may not, at least, turn our eyes upon the gardens of pleasure. We approach them with scruple and hesitation ; we enter them, but enter timorous and trembling, and always hope to pass through them without loosing the road of virtue, which we, for a while, keep in our sight, and to which we propose to return.
But tempo tation succeeds temptation and one compliance prepares us for another ; we in time lose the happiness of innocence, and solace ourdisquiet with sensual gratifications. By degrees, we let fall the remembrance of our original intention, and quit the only adequate object of rational desire. We entangle ourselves in business, immerge ourselves in luxury, and rove through the labyrinths of inconstancy, till the darkness of old age begins to invade us, and disease and anxiety obstruct our way. We then look back upon our lives with horror, with sorrow, with repentance ; and wish, but too often vainly wish, that we had not forsaken the ways of virtue. Happy are they, my son, who shall learn from thy example not to despair, but shall remember, that though the day is past, and their strength is wasted, there yet remains one