« EdellinenJatka »
the highest personal merit. If, without it, wisdom is not kind; without it, folly nust be brutal.
Let it, therefore, be once more repeated, “ The quality moft “ effential to conjugal felicity, is Good NATURE." And, surely, whatever accidental difference there may happen to be in the conceptions or judgment of a hura band and wife, if neither can give pain or pleasure without feeling it themselves, it is easy to perceive which sensation they will concur to produce.
It may now be expected, that I should give some general rules, by which the ladies may discover the difposition of those, by whom they are addressed: but it is extremely difficult to detect malevolence amidst the affiduities of courtship, and to distinguish the man under that almost inscrutable disguise the lover. Goop NaTURE, however, is not indicated by the fulsome fawning of a perpetual grin, the loud laughter which almost anticipates the jest, or the constant echo of every sen. timent ; neither is it safe to trust the appearance of profuse liberality, or busy officiousness. Let it rather be remarked, how the lover is affected by incidents, in which the lady is not concerned; what is his behaviour to his immediate dépendants, and whether they apo proach him with a slavish timidity, or with chearful reverence of voluntary servitude. Is he ever merry at the expence
of another; or does he ever attempt thusto excite mirth in his mistress ? Does he mention the absent with candor, and behave to those who are prefent with a manly complacency? By a diligent attendance to these circumstances, perhaps a probable judgment may be formed of his character.
To conclude with a general remark, Good NATURE is not of less importance to ourselves than to others. The morofe and petulant first feel the anguish that they give : reproach, revilings, and invective, are but the overflowings of their own infelicity, and are constantly again forced back upon their source. Sweetness of temper is not, indeed, an acquired but a natural excellence ; and, therefore, to recommend it to those who have it not, may be deemed rather an insult than advice. But let that which in happier natures is instinct; in these be reason; let them pursue the same conduct, impelled by a nobler motive. As the fousness of the crab inhances the value of the graft, so that which on its parent plant is Good Nature, will on a less kindly flock be improved into Virtue. No action by which others receive pleasure or pain, is indifferent: the sacred rule, “ Do that to others which ye would " that others should do to you,” extends to every deed; and “every word shall be brought into judgment."
Benevolence urged from the Misery of Solitude.
[Advent. N° 132.]
ARAZAN, the merchant of Bagdat, was emi
nent throughout all the East for his avarice and his wealth: his origin was obscure, as that of the spark which by the collision of feel and adamant is ftruck out of darkness; and the patient labour of persevering diligence alone had made him rich. It was remembered, that when he was indigent he was thought to be generous; and he was still acknowledged to be inexorably juft. But whether, in his dealings with men, he discovered a perfidy which tempted him to put his trust in gold, or whether in proportion as he accumulated wealth he discovered his own importance to increase, Carazan prized it more as he used'it less : he gradually lost the inclination to do good, as he acquired the power; and as the hand of time scattered snow upon his head, the freezing influence extended to his bofom.
But though the door of Carazan was never opened by hospitality, nor his hand by compassion, yet fear led him constantly to the mosque at the stated hours of prayer; he performed all the rites of devotion with the most scrupulous punctuality, and had thrice paid his vows at the temple of the PROPHET. That devotion which arises from THE LOVE OF. GOD, and necessarily includes The Love of Man, as it connects gratitude with beneficence, and exalts that which was moral to divine, confers new dignity upon good.
ness, and is the object not only of affection but reve
On the contrary, the devotion of the fellish, whether it be thought to avert the punishment which every one wishes to be inflicted, or to insure it by the complication of hypocrisy with guilt, never fails to excite indignation and abhorrence. Carazan, therefore, when he had locked his door, and turning round with a look of circumspective suspicion, proceeded to the mosque, was followed by every eye with silent malignity; the poor suspended their supplication when he passed by ; and though he was known by every man, yet no man saluted him.
Such had long been the life of Carazan, and such was the character which he had acquired, when notice was given by proclamation, that he was removed to a magnificent building in the center of the city, that his table should be spread for the public, and that the stranger should be welcome to his bed. The multitude soon rushed like a torrent to his door, where they beheld him distributing bread to the hungry and apparel to the naked, his eye softened with compassion, and his cheek glowing with delight. Every one gazed with astonishment at the prodigy; and the murmur of innumerable voices increasing like the sound of approaching thunder, Carazan beckoned with his hand; attention suspended the tumult in a moment, and he thus gratified the curiosity which had procured him audience.
To Him who touches the mountains and they smoke, THE ALMIGHry and The Most MERCIFUL, be everlasting honour! He has ordained, sleep to be the minister of instruction, and his visions have reproved me in the night. As I was fitting alone in my Harum, with my lamp burning before me, co.nputing the product of my merchandize, and exulting in the increase of my wealth, I fell into a deep sleep, and the hand of Him who dwells in the third heaven was upon me.
I beheld the angel of death coming forward like a whirlwind, and he smote me before I could deprecate the blow. At the same moment I felt myself lifted from the ground, and transported with astonishing rapidity through the regions of the air. The earth was con
256 THE MORAL MISCELLANY.
but that Ak forward
tracted to an atom beneath ; and the stars glowed round me with a lustre that obscured the fun. The .gate of in and thi Paradise was now in fight; and I was intercepted by a sudden brightness which no human eye could behold: the irrevocable sentence was now to be pronounced; my day of probation was past; and from the evil of my life Elidelpa nothing could be taken away, nor could any thing be added to the good. When I reflected that my lot for eternity was cast, which not all the powers of nature could reverse, my confidence totally forsook me ; and while I stood trembling and filent, covered with confufion and chilled with horror, I was thus addressed by jeunes, as the radiance that flamed before me.
s time." “ CARAZAN, thy worship has not been accepted, e because it was not prompted by Love of God; nei" ther can thy righteousness be rewarded, because it tqata (f " was not produced by Love of Man; for thy own “ fake only, hast thou rendered to every man his due; “ and thou hast approached the ALMIGHTY only for “ thyself. Thou haft not looked up with gratitude,
nor round thee with kindness. Around thee, thou “ hast, indeed, beheld vice and folly; but if vice and “ folly could justify thy parsimony, would they not 46 condemn the bounty of Heaven? If not upon the “ foolish and the vicious, where shall the sun diffuse " its light, or the clouds distil their dew? where fall “ the lips of the spring breathe fragrance, or the hand “ of autumn diffuse plenty? Remember, Carazan, that
Ry; and • thou haft shut compassion from thine heart, and “ grasped thy treasures with a hand of iron ; thou haft « lived for thyself; and therefore, henceforth, for ever “ thou shalt subfift alone. From the light of heaven, " and from the society of all beings, shalt thou be « driven, folitude shall protract the lingering hours of “eternity, and darkness aggravate the horrors of de“ spair.” At this moment I was driven by some secret and irresistible power through the glowing system of creation, and pafled innumerable worlds in a moment.. As I approached the verge of nature, l' perceived the shadows of total and boundless vacuity deepen be. fore me, a dreadful region of eternal Glence, foli.
ae I beer
I would ha dreadful fo.
Bare high 10 Golcond
Once with whom ti beyond for the
tude and darkness ! Unutterable horror seized me at the prospect, and this exclamation burst from me with all the vehemence of desire: "O that I had been doomed " for ever to the common receptacle of impenitence and
gailt! there society would have alleviated the tor“ ment of despair, and the rage of fire could not have “ excluded the comfort of light. Or if I had been con“ demned to reside on a comet, that would return but
once in a thousand years to the regions of light and “ life; the hope of these periods, however diftant, “ would chear me in the dreary interval of cold and “ darkness, and the vicissitude would divide eternity “ into time.” While this thought passed over my mind, I lost fight of the remotest star, and the last glimmering of light was quenched in utter darkness. The agonies of despair every moment increased, as every moment augmented my distance from the last habitable world. I reflected with intolerable anguish, that when ten thousand thousand years had carried me beyond the reach of all but that Power, who fills infinitude, I should still look forward into an immense abyss of darkness, thro? which I should still drive without succour and without fociety, farther and farther still, for ever and for ever. I then stretched out my hands towards the regions of existence, with an emotion that awaked me. Thus have I been taught to estimate society like every other blefling, by its loss. My heart is warmed to liberality; and I am zealous to communicate the happiness which I feel, to those from whom it is derived ; for the fociety of one wretch, whom in the pride of prosperity I would have spurned from my door, would, in the dreadful solitude to which I was condemned, have been more highly prized, than the gold of Afric, or the gems of Golconda,
At this reflection upon his dream, Carazan became suddenly filent, and looked upward in an extacy of gratitude and devotion.. The multitude were struck at once with the precept and example; and the Caliph, to
whom the event was related, that he might be liberal : beyond the power of gold, commanded it to be recorded
for the benefit of pofterityi