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first principles of morality, in estimating the beauty of truth, and the solid worth of integrity, the decisions of mankind are seldom, or never wrong ;-but in the common transactions of life, in matters of apparently minor importance, but on which our happiness or misery chiefly depends, public opinion veers with every breeze of fashion. He, whose whole attention is directed towards it, will find his eye scarcely ever fixed for a moment. He will be distracted by the vain attempt to follow the motions of an object, so changeful in its nature, and depending on such an infinite variety of influences.
“ How different is the situation of him, who wisely concludes, that the faculty of reason was not given him in vain ! He feels, that he is something more than a mere machine ;that he is a being, who has a part to perform, and an account to render, in which the world has no concern. His first care is to satisfy his own mind. Having done that, he trusts, with confidence, to the sure effects of good intentions, conscientiously performed. Should the world applaud, he rejoices at the triumph of virtue, and is stimulated to future exertions by the public confirmation of his rectitude. Should the world censure, he feels the loss of that respect, which is so gratifying to every one ; but he knows too well the changeful nature of the opinion of mankind, and the degree of estimation, which it ought to hold, ever to sacrifice, for its attainment, the secret approbation of a good conscience.
“ Such a man appears to be like an upright judge in his tribunal. He is addressed, on one side, by the specious arguments of interest ; and the voice of flattery, in soothing accents, calls upon him from the other.. Doubts are started, and positions advanced, to entangle, and to mislead his judgment; and the passions successively throw in their claims to be heard. He bears with the importunities, which he cannot resist, and looks with compassion on the weakness, which employs so many vain stratagems to seduce him from his duty. But he attends only to the evidence of truth, and decides by the laws of right and wrong, written on the heart; indifferent as to applause or censure, when his integrity is concerned, and assured, that, according to the purity of his motives, and the rectitude of his conduct, in this life, his own case will be decided by the Supreme Fudge of All, in that which is to come.
My readers are already informed of the mournful occasion of Mr. Verdict's visit to his paternal estate in Connecticut. I have just received a letter from him, every line of which expresses the excellent heart, and amiable disposition of my friend. The following extract, which I have made from it for the benefit of my readers, will serve, I hope, in some degree, to interest their feelings, and to variegate, a little, the subject
of this paper.
“The pleasure, which we enjoy, on returning, after a long absence, to our native country, can be better understood from experience, than made known by any powers of description. They, who have felt them, can, alone, judge of my sensations, when, after a period of near twenty years, I, once more, revisited the place of my nativity. In that time how many changes had taken place !--I felt myself, as it were, a stranger at home!--The friends of my youth had grown out of recollection ; myself grown out of theirs. Some, whom I left advanced in life, had gone down into the grave; and others had started up in their places, with whom I had no acquaint
My feelings were of a mournful, melancholy nature, such as arise at the recollection of happy days which are passed, and of pleasures, which can return no more. I discovered signs of weakness, which I scarcely thought I possessed. Where-ever I turned, I was reminded of some little pleasing adventure, either of my boy-hood, or of my riper years.
“Never can I forget my sensations, for the first two or three days, after my arrival. Every object appeared to me under so singular a guise !--I seemed to have awakened from a dream.--I derived peculiar delight merely from strolling about the streets. In almost every decaying post I met an old friend. Over this I remember to have leaped a thousand times, when a boy ;--on this I have reclined and ruminated on my hopes and expectations in ļife. In that mansion I have passed many a social hour with a friend, who now moulders in the tomb.
Beneath this dear, peaceful roof, I drew the first breath of life ; here I spent the days of my infancy; here the laughing hours of my early youth glided away. But no friendly voice hails my return!-no out-stretched arms are ready to VOL. II.
clasp me to 'a parent's bosom :-no-all, -all, are gone ;and these very apartments, where I have, so often, hung upon my friends, so dearly beloved, are now quite desolate, and nothing but naked walls meet my, wandering eyes.—At that window my reverend father was wont to sit;-it was the most retired spot in the house, and he could there study without fear of interruption to that window I advanced involuntarily.—His venerable form rose to my imagination.—My eye wandered towards the path, which leads to the church, where his sacred remains were so recently laid. In my mind's
eye I saw the fresh grave of my father !--My heart, which, but the moment before, beat with violent emotion, sunk chill and deadly in my breast.--My feelings were almost too powerful to support.
To describe them alas! is impossible.
" When I was sufficiently recovered, I walked into the yard. Here I looked about, in vain, for some friend, some one to weep with me. My eyes roamed in search of an old favourite spaniel ;—but he was not there to fawn upon me.—Every thing had undergone a change !-over-come by painful reflections, I was about to retire, when, accidentally, I cast my eyes upon a willow-tree, which grew at the bottom of the garden. The recollection burst upon me. -I hastened towards it, as I would have done to meet the best friend on earth. He, who hath mourned over the grave of a mother, will understand my feelings, when I clung around this trunk, bedewed it with my tears, and kissed it with my ardent lips! that tree was planted by the hands of a beloved mother! My friend, bear with my weakness, for a moment. Daily, do my wandering steps involuntarily approach this sacred spot ; and, duly as evening steals
upon the tranquil scenes of nature, a warm tear falls from my aching eyes, and, mingling with the dews of heaven, cherishes my favourite willow-tree !"
E are so pressed and crowded with matter, this month,
that we can only insert the following little poem by Rushton, who was once a common sailor, in the British service; he, some years since, became blind, and is, now, we believe, the keeper of a little retail bookstore, where paper, pens and ink, and small stationary wares are vended, at Liverpool, in Britain. Many little poems, written by him, have been long handed about in manuscript; at length, in the month of April, 1806, a small volume of poems were published by him in London ; we believe, that this volume is, not yet, very generally known in America :—from it we select some lines on the death of a late Welsh poet; we shall, probably, from time to time, present the reader with a selection from Rushton, because, although he seldom, or ever pens a single stanza without discovering his want of a liberal education, and his imperfect' acquaintance with the English language, yet his lays are poured so directly warm from the heart, and abound in such exquisite touches of nature and feeling, that he must, be, indeed, squean ishly fastidious, who cannot over-look the little inaccuracies of the untaught bard, for the sake of the beauties, which he so abundantly, and continually produces.
ON THE DEATH OF HƯGH MULLIGAN.
Whose carols with energy flow'd;
And a sweetness but rarely bestow’d.
Of wreaths, that for ages will bloom,
Go silently down to the tomb?
2 When the lordly are call'd from their state,
The marble their virtue imparts;
hearts. When the life of the warrior is o'er,
His deeds every tongue shall rehearse,
Gives his song to the winterly gale, And the violet, ’midst half-melted snow,
Diffuses its sweets through the vale. And, thus, while the minstrel, I mourn,
'Mid the blasts of adversity pin'd, While he droop'd, all obscure, and forlorn, He pour'd his wild sweets on the wind.
4 Tho’the clouds, that had sadden'd his days,
Were scatter'd and ting'd near the close ; Tho' he saw a few comforting rays,
'Twas too late, and he sunk to repose. So the bark, that fierce winds has endur'd,
And the shocks of the pityless wave, Finds a harbour, yet scarcely is moor’d, When she sinks to the dark, oozy grave:
5 To the turf, where poor Mulligan lies,
The lover of genius shall stray, And, there, should a rank weed arise,
He shall pluck the intruder away. But, lowly, and simple, and sweet, Ah! should the wild violet
appear, He will sigh o'er an emblem so meet,
And will water its cup with a tear.