« PreviousContinue »
MAXIMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF LIFE.
SELECTED FROM THE WORKS OF
SIR MATNEI HALE.
Tois celebrated man united, in a remark. Magelalen Hall in Oxford, where Obadiah able degree, the virtues of moral life, and the Sedgwick was bis tutor. He was an extrawisdom of ancient philosophy, with tke most ordinary proficient at school, and for some ardent piety towards God and charity to mau. time at Oxford. But the stage-players come He had one of the blessings of virtue in the ing thither, he was so much corrupted by seehighest measure, and wbich does not always ing many plays, that he almost wholly forsook follow it, that he was universally valued and his studies By this he not only lost much admired by men of all sides and persuasions time, but found that bis head came to be His name is scarcely ever mentioned but with thereby tiiled with much vain images of things, accents of particular respect, and all those who that they were at best unprofitable, if not knew, and have written of Sir Mathew Hale, hurtful to him; and being atterwards sensible (and the most illustrious writer of his age, of the mischief of this, he resolved upon his Dr. Burnet, Eishop of Salisbury, was his coming to London, (where lie knew the opporbiographer) speak of him as one of the most tunities of such sights would be more frequent perfect patterns of religion and virtue. and inviting) never to see a play again, to
His Maxims, which were written to bis which be constantly adhered. children, for the direction of their lives in the “ The corruption of a young man's mind in great affairs of religion and morality, deserve one particular generally draws on a great many to be imprinted upon the minds of the rising more after it, so be being now taken off from generation. Without the fuppery and affecta following his studies, and from the gravity of tion of Chesterfield, the instructions he lays bis deportment, that was formerly eminent in down for manners are more amiable and sini him, far beyond his years, set bimself to many erre. They inculcate the proper principles of the vanities incident to youth, but still prce of good breeding, ly tracing them to the only served his purity, and a great probity of mind. tcontain of benevolence--kbe beurt. They ex- | Heloved fine clothes, and delighted much in alt manner's to a high point in the scale of!
company: and being of a strong and robust human virtie, by requiring that they should body, he was a great master at all those exeroriginate in a desire to please by conduct and cises, that required much strength. He also not by gesture, by sincerity and not by afiec learned to fence, and handied his weapons, in tation. In an age, when virtue is reduced to
wbich he became so expert, that he worsted exterior conduct, and the honours of it pretty many of the masters of those arts: but as he generally assigned to mere dt corum; when
was exercising bimself in them, an instance lite is artificially accommodated to popular appeareil, that shewed a good judgment, and gize and applause, and the test of conscience
gave some hopes of better things. One of his is superseded by that of worlatty approbation,
masters told him he could teach him no more, whea religion langiisles without vital warmth, 1 for he was now better at bis own trade than and morality is seldom nearer to the beart
bimself was. This Mr. Hale looked on as than the tongile, in such an age, we say, the battery: so to make tbe master discover hinsMAXIMS of Sir Mathew Hale may be deemed
self, he promised bim the house he lived in, a suitable stail for a declining virtue to repose
for he was his tenant, if he could hit him a upon.
blow on the bead; and bid bim do his best, Before we make a selection from these ex
for he would be as good as his word: so after ccllent maxime, we shall bring together a few
a little engagement, his master being really anecdotes from the biography of Sid Mathew
superior to him, bit him on the head, and he Hale, which will place him in a most amiable performed his promise; for be gave bim the view.
house freely : and was not unwilling at that “Great care (says Buruet) was taken of his rate to learn so early to distinguish Aattery education, and his guardian intended him for a from plain and simple truth. divine, and being inclined to the way of these “When he was past the twentieth year of his then calleel Purilaus, put hiin to some schools age he was admitted into Lincolns-ing: and that were tanglit by those of that party, and in being deeply sensible how much time he had the seventeenth year of his age, seni bim to 30st, and that idle and vaju things had over..
run and almost corrupted his mind, lie resolved, before them, so that all that were present to follow his studies with a diligence that could were not a little affrighted at it, who did what not be believed, if the signal effects of it did they could to bring hiin to himself again : this not gain it credit. He studied for many years did particularly affect Mr. Hale, who there. at the rate of sixteen hours a day; be threw upon went into another room, and shutting aside all fine clothes, and betook himself to a | the door, fell on his knees, and prayed earnest. plain fasbion, which he continued to use in ly to God, both for his friend, that he might nany points to his dying day.
be restored to life again; and that himself “ The honour of reclaiming bim from the might be forgiven for giving such countenance idleness of his former course of life, is due to to so much excess : and he vowed to God, that the memory of that eminent lawyer, serjeant he would never again keep company in that Glanvil, and since my design in writing is to manner, nor drink a health while he lived: his purpose a pattern of heroic virtue to the friend recovered, and he most religiously obworld, * I sbali menuion one passage of the ser. served his vow till his dying day. And though jeant which ought never to be forgotten. His he was afterwards pressed to drink healths, father had a fair estate which he intended to particularly the king's, which was set up by settle on his elder brother, but he being a too many as a distinguished mark of loyalty, vicious young man, and there appearing no and drew many into great excess after bis hopes of his recovery, he settled it on bim, majesty's happy restoration, yet he could that was his second son. Upon his death, bis never dispense with bis vow, though he was eldest son finding that what he had before sometimes roughly treated for this, which looked on as the threatnings of an angry
some hot and indiscreet meo called obstinacy. father
, was now but too certain, became “This wrought an entire change on him: now melancholy, and that by degrees wrought so he forsook all vain company, and divided him. great a change on him, that what his father self between the duties of religion, and the could not prevail in while he lived, was now studies of his profession; in the former he effected by the severity of his last will, so that was so regular, that for six-and-thirty years it was now too late for him to change in hopes time, he never once failed going to church on of an estate that was gone from him. But his the Lord's day; this observation he made brother observing the reality of the change, when an ague first interrupted that constant resolved within himself what to do : so be call course, and he reflected on it, as an acknow. ed bim, with many of his friends together to a ledgement of God's great goodness to him, in feast, and after other dishes bad been served so long a continuance of his health. to the dinner, be ordered one that was covered “Once as he was buying some cloth for a new to be set before his brother, and desired bim to suit, the draper, with whom he differed about uncover it; which he doing, the company was
the price, told him he should bave it for uo. surprized to find it full of writings. So he told thing, if he would promise him an hundred them that he was now to do what he was sure pounds when he came to be Lord Chief Justice his father would have done if he had lived to of England; to which he answered, that he see that happy change, which they now all saw
could vot with a good conscience wear any in his brother : and therefore he freely restored mau's cloth, unless he paid for it; so he satisa to him the whole estate. This is so great an
fied the draper, and carried away the cloth, instance of a generous and just disposition, Yet that same draper lived to see him advancthat I hope the reader will easily pardon this ed to the same dignity.” digression, and that the rather, since that It will not seem strange, that a judge be. worthy serjeant was so instrumental in the haved himself as he did, who at the entry into happy change that followed in the course of his employment, set such excellent rules to Mr. Hale's life.
himself, which will appear in the following “ Yea he did not at first break off from keep paper, copied from the original under his own ing too much company with some vain people, hand: till a sad accident drove hin from it; for he with some other young students, being invited
THINGS NECESSARY TO BE CONTINUALLY to be merry out of town, one of the company
HAD IN REMEMBRANCE. called for so mnch wine, that notwithstanding 1. That in the administration of justice, I all that Mr. Hale could do to prevent it, he am intrusted for God, the king and country; went on in his excess till he fell down as dead and therefore,
2 That it be done, 1. Uprightly, 2. DelibeThese selections are from Burnet, who rately, 3. Resolutely. opeaks in the first person.
3. That I rest not npon my own under No. I. Yol. I.-N. S.
standing or strength, but implore and rest of causes but in open court, where both parties upon the direction and strength of God.
were to be beard alike;' so he would not suffer 4. That in the execution of justice, I care bim to go on : whereupon his Grace (for he fully lay aside my own passions, and not give was a Duke) went away not a little dissatisfied, way to them, however provoked.
and complained of it to the King, as a rude5. That I be wholly intent upon the business ness that was not to be endured. But bis I am about, rensitting all other cares and Majesty bid him coutent himself that he was thoughts, as unseasonable and interruptions. no worse used, and said, he verily believed he
6. Tbat I suffer not myself to be prepos would have used himself no belter, if he had sessed with any judgment at all, till the whole goue lo svilcit him in any of his own causes.' business and both parties he heard.
“Another passage fell out in one of his cir7. That I never engage myself in the begin- i cuits, wbich was somewhat censored as an ning of any cause, but reserve myself unpre. affectation of an unreasonable strictvess, but judiced till the whole be heard.
it flowed from his exactoess to the rules he 8. That in business capital, thouglı my had set himself: a gentleman had sent him a nature prompt me to pity; yet to consider, buck for his table, that had a trial at the that there is also a pity due to the country. assizes, so when lie heard his name, he asked,
9. That I be not too rigid in matters purely if he was not the same person that had sent consciencious, where all the harm is diversity bim venison;' and finding he was the same, of judgment.
he told him, he could not suffer the trial to 10. That I be yot biassed with compassion go on, till be liad paid him for his buck;' to to the poor, or favour to the rich, io poiut of which the gentleman answered, that he justice.
never sold bis venison, and that he had done 11. That popular, or court applause, or dis- nothing to him, which he did not do to every tuste, have no influence into any thing I do judge that had gone that circuit;' which was in point of distribution of justice.
confirmed by several gentlemen then present : 12. Not to be solicitous what men will say but all would not do, for the Lord Chief Baron or think, so long as I keep myself exactly ac had learned from Solomon,' that a gift per: cording to the rule of justice.
verteth the ways of judgment,' and therefore 13. If in criminals it be a measuring cast, to he would not suffer the trial to go on, till be incline to mercy and acquittal.
bad paid for the present; upon which the 14. In criminals that consist merely iu gentleman withdrew the record : and at Salise words, when no more harm ensues, modera- | bury the dean and chapter having according tion is po injustice.
to the custom presented him with six sugar. 15. In criminals of blood, if the fact be loaves in his circuit, he made his servants pay evident, severity is jastice.
for the sugar before he would try their cause. 16. To abhor all private solicitations, of “It was not so easy for birn to throw of the what kind soever and by whomsoever, in mat importunities of the poor, for wliom his cou. ters depending.
passion wrought more powerfully than bis re. 17. To charge my servants, I. Not to in- gard to wealth and greatness; yet when jus. terpose in any business. 2. Not to take more tice was conccrued, even that did not turn him than their known fees. 3. Not to give any un. out of the way. There was one that had been due precedence to causes. 4. Not to recom put out of a place for sonie ill behaviour, who mend counsel.
urged the Lord Chief Baron lo sct his hand 18. To be short and sparing at preals, that to a certificate, to restore him to it, or provide I may be the fitter for business.
him with another: but he told him plainly,'his "He would never receive private addresses or fault was such that be could not do it;' the recommendations from the greatest persons in other pressed bim vehemently, and fell down on any matter, in which justice was concerned. bis knees, and begged it of him with many One of the first peers of England went once to tears; but tinding that could not prevail, he his chamber and told him,-' Tbat having a said, he should he utterly ruined if he did it suit in law to be tried before him, he was then pot; and he should curse bisn for it every to acquaint bim witb it, that be might the bet.day.' But that having no effect, then lie fell jer onderstand it, wben it should come to be out into all tbe reproachful words that passion heard in court. Upon wbicb the Lord Chief and despair could inspire him with : tu which, Baron interrupted bim, and said, “He did not all the auswer the Lord Chief Baron made, deal fairly to come to his chamber about such was, that he could very well bear all his re. etmirs, for be vever received any information proaches, but be cvuld out for all that set his
bind to his certificate.' He saw he was throws wild-fire into the tongue, whereby men poor, so he gave bim a large charity and sent give others advantage against them; it reuders biu away.”
a man incapable of doing his duty to God, and After having filled the highest offices of the puts a man' upon acts of violence, unrighteouslaw with uosaspected and blameless integrity, || ness, and injustice to men : therefore keep Sir Mathew Hale resolved to retire, which be your passions under discipline, and under as did in a singular wanner. The King and the strict a chain as you would keep an unruly Court loved and respected him so much, that curst mastiff: look to it, that you give it not they would not aceept of his resignation; and too much line at first. But if it bath gotten old age aud sickness coming upon him, he one any fire within you, quench it presently, with day went into the Court of Chancery, and by consideration; and let it not break out into a deed, sigued and sealed, restored his hovours passionate, or unruly words or actions; but, juto the bands of the King, and retired from whatever you do, let it not gangrene into the office of Chief Justice of the King's malice, envy, or spite. Bench.
“ Send your children early to learn their cate
cbism, that they may take in the true princi. MAXIMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF LIFE, AD
ples of religion betimes, which may grow up' DRESSED IN LETTERS TO HIS SONS.
with them, and habituate them both to the “ Erery morning and every evening, upon knowlege and practise of it ; that they may your knees, hambly commend yourselves to escape the danger of corruption by error or Almighty God in prayer, begging his mercy vice, being antecedently seasoned with better to pardon your sins, his grace to direct you, principles. his providence to protect you; returning “ Receive the blessings of God, with very him humble thanks for all his dispensations | much thankfulness to him, for he is the root towards you ; yea, even for his very corrections and fountain of all the good you do, or can and afflictions ; intreating him to give you receive. wisdom and grace, to make a sober, patient, “ Bear all afflictions and crosses patiently; it bumble, profitable use of them; and, ir bis is your duty, for afflictions come not from the due time, to deliver you from them; conclud dust. The great God of heaven and earth is ing your prayers with the Lord's prayer. This he that sends these messengers to you, though will be a certain means to bring your mind possibly evil occurrences may be the iminto a right frame; to procure you comfort mediate instruments of them : you owe to and blessing, and to prevent thousands of io- | Almighty God 'an infinite subjection and conveniencies and mischiefs, to which you will obedience, and to expostulate with bim, is rebe otherwise subjected.
bellion; and as it is your duty, so it is your “ Every morning read seriously and rever wisdom, and your prudence : impatience wilt ently a portion of the holy scripture, and ac. not discharge your yoke, but it will make it quaint yourself with the history aud doctrine gall the worse, and sit the harder. thereof: it is a book full of light aud wisdom, “ Learn not only patience under your affic. will make you wise to eternal life, and furvish tions, but also profitably to improve them to you with directions and principles, to guide your soul's good : learn by them how vain and and order your life safely and prudently. onprofitable things the world, and the plea.
“ Conclude every evening with reading sures thereof, are, that a sharp, or a lingering some part of the scripture, and prayer in your sickness renders utterly tasteless. . Learn how family.
vain and weak a thing human nature is, which “ Be strict and religious observers of the is pulled down to the gates of death, and Lord's day; resort to your parish church twice cloathed with rottenness and corruption, by that day, if your healtb will permit, and attend a little disorder in the blood, in a nerve, in a diligently and reverently to the public prayers vain, in an artery. And since we have so little and sermons : he cannot reasonably expect a hold of a temporal life, which is shaken and blessing from God the rest of the week, that shattered by any small occurrence, accident, neglects his duty to God, in the due consecra. or distemper : learn to lay hold of eternal life, tion of this day to the special service and duty and of that covenant of peace and salvation, to God, which this day requires.
which Christ hath brought for all that believe, “Be very careful to moderate your passions, and obey the gospel of peace and salvation: especially of choler and anger; it infames the there shall be no death, no sickness, no pain, blood, disorders the brain, and, for the time, no weakness, but a state of unchangeable, and exterminates not only religion, but common everlasting happiness : and if you thus inreason; it puts the mind into confusion, and li prove affliction, you are gainers by it; and
most certain it is, that there is no more pro- . “Reverence your minister; be is a wise, and bable way under the heaven to be delivered! a good man, and ove that loves you, and hath from affliction, if the wise God see it fit, a tender care aud respect for you: do not than thus to improve it: for affliction is a grieve bim, either by neglect, or disrespect. messenger, and the rod hath a voice; and that Assure yourselves, if there be any person, tbat is, to require mankind to be the more patient, ', sets any of you against bim, or provokes, or and the more humble, and more to acknow. ' encourages any of you to despise, or neglect ledge Almighty God in all our ways; and if bim; that person, whoever he be, loves not men listen to this voice of the rod, and co you, nor the office he bears; and therefore as form to it, the rod bath done bis erraud; and the laws of the land, and the divine provi. either will leave a man, or at least give a inau dence, hath placed him at Alderley, to have singular comfort, even under the sharpest a care of your souls ; so I must tell you, I do affliction : and this “affliction, which is but expect you should reverence and honour him for a moment, thus improved, will work for us for bis own, for your, and for his vfkce-sake.” an exceeding and eternal weight of glory." U
(To be continued.)
THE CIRCASSIAN SLAVE.
At the beginning of the eighteenth cen. efforts towards the sole abject of an advantage. tury the Turks pillaged a small town in Cir ous establishment in the world. cassia, and carried off the inhabitauts into But Mademoiselle d'Aissé (the name given captivity. The most beautiful girls were con to ber, for what reason we are not informed), veyed to Constantinople to adorn the harems | bad, in addition to her personal charms,receivof tbe great. Among these was a most lovely | ed from vature such an excellent disposition, child, foar years old, probably the daughter of that neither precept nor example produced a Circassiau prince; for the plunderers found upon her a pernicious effect. She possessed her in one of the finest houses in the place, profound sensibility, the most delicate taste, surrounded by attendant slaves. M. de Ferioles, and the most amiable sincerity. Her gentlewho was at that time the Ambassador from ness, good-humour, and affability rendered her France to the Sublime Porte, beheld the child, the idol of all who knew her, and amidst the and her beauty, together with her misfortune, | alluriug examples of vice she cherislied in her made a deep impression upon him. Hecares heart the love of virtue. The Ambassador, a sed the slave, who returned his caresses. This man of loose principles, unable to withstand affected bim still more, and he resolved if pos so many charms, was captivated by his slave; sible to ensure her future bappiness. He pur he conceived for her the most violent passion, chased her for fifteen hundred livres, and being wbich he would fain have compelled ber to 8000 afterwards recalled, he took ber with him return, and tormented her by the most vigilant to his native country. On his arrival at Paris, 1 jealousy. She carefully avoided every opporhe requested Madame de Ferioles, the wife of tunity of being alone with him; she was sensibis brother, in whose house he resided, to take ble that she owed bim the utmost gratitude for care of the child. Tbat lady actually con
the benefits he had conferred, but steadfastly ceived such an affection for her little charge, l, refused the too bigh price wbich he put upon that she could scarcely bear her to be for a them, and hore with equal fortitude the moriimoment out of her sight. Every body thatfications to which she was subjected in conse visited the house was euchapted with the child. quence of this denial. Nevertheless no sooner The Ambassador, wbo was rich and unmarried, | did he fall dangerously ill, thau she forgot spared no expence in her education. Sbe was her sufferings, and in the master who would taught, at least, every thing that it is neces have abused his rights, she now beheld only sary to kuow in order to shine in the fashion the benefactor. She flew to him, never quitted able world; but in the moral duties she re his chamber, and bestowed on him all those atceived no instruction. She lived, on the con tentions that a parent can expect of a daughtrary, among females who being themselves | ter. His disorder grew worse, he felt the apardent votaries of pleasure, took great pains | proach of death. Deeply afflicted with her to poison her heart also. They failed not in || filial attachment, be settled on her an annuity particular to repeat to her every day, that a of four thousand livres, and gave her a conpoor girl ought to direct all her thoughts and siderable sum besides, which his heirs were to