Imágenes de páginas


The same subject continued. 1. A few weeks after the resignation of the Netherlands, Charles, in an assembly no less splendid, and with a ceremonial equally pompouş, resigned to his son the crowns of Spain, with all the territorie, depending on them, both in the old and in the new world. Of all these vast possessions, he reserved nothing for himself

, but an annual pension of a hundred thousand crowns, to de. fray the charges of his family, and to afford him a small sum for acts of beneficence and charity.

2. Nothing now remained to detain him from that retreat for which he languished. Every thing having been prepared some time for his voyage, he set out for Zuitburgh in Zealand, where the fleet had orders to rendezvous. In his way thither, he passed through Ghent: and after stopping there a few days, to indulge that tender and pleasing melancholy, which arises in the mind of every man in the decline of life, on visiting the place of his nativity, and viewing the scenes and objects familiar to him in his early youth, he pursued his journey, accompanied by his son Philip, his daughter the arch-duchess, his sisters the dowager queens of France and Hungary, Maximilian his son-in-law, and a numerous retinue of the Flemish nobility. Before he went on board, he dismissed them, with marks of his attention or regard; and taking leave of Philip with all the tenderness of a father who embraced his son for the last time, he set sail under convoy of a large fleet of Spanish, Flemish, and English ships.

3. His voyage was prosperous and agreeable; and he arrived at Laredo in Biscay, on the eleventh day after he left Zealand. As soon as he landed, he fell prostrate on the ground; and considering himself now as dead-to the world, he kissed the earth, and said, “ Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked I now return to thee, thou common mother of mankind." From Laredo he proceeded to Valladolid. There he took a last and tender leave of his two sisters; whom he would not permit to accompany him to his solitude, though they entreated it with tears: not only that they might have the consolation of contributing, by their attendance and care, to mitigate or to sooth his sufferings, but that they might reap instruction and benefit, by joining with him in those pious exercises, to which he had consecrated the remainder of his days.

4. From Valladolid, he continued his journey to Plazencia in Es. tremadura. He had passed through that city a great many years before ; and having been struck at that time with the delightful situation of the monastery of St. Justus, belonging to the order of St. Jerome, not many miles distant from that place, he had then observed to some of his attendants, that this was a spot to which Dioclesian might have retired with pleasure. The impression had remained so strong on his mind, that he pitched upon it as the plaee of his retreat.

5. It was seated in a vale of no great extent, watered by a small brook, and surrounded by rising grounds, covered with lofty trees. From the nature of the soil, as well as the temperature of the climate, it was esteemed the most healthful and delicious situation in Spain.

6. Some months before his resignation, he had sent an archi. tect thither, to add a new apartment to the monastery, for his accommodation ; but he gave strict orders that the style of the building should be such as suited his present station, rather than his former dignity. It consisted only of six rooms, four of them in the form of friars' cells, with naked walls; the other two, each twenty feet square, were hung with brown cloth, and furnished in the most simple manner. They were all on a level with the ground; with a door on one side into a garden, of which Charles himself had given the plan, and had filled it with various plants, which he proposed to cultivate with his own hands. On the other side, they communicated with the chapel of the monastery, in which he was to perform his devotions.

7. Into this humble retreat, hardly sufficient for the comfortable accommodation of a private gentleman, did Charles enter, with twelve domesticks only. He buried there, in solitude and silence, his grandeur, his ambition, together with all those vast projects, which, during half a century, had alarmed and agitated Europe filling every kingdom in it, by turns, with the terrour of his arms, and the dread of being subjected to his power.

8. In this retirement, Charles formed such a plan of life for himself, as would have suited the condition of a private person of a moderate fortune. His table was neat but plain; bis domesticks few; his intercourse with them familiar; all the cuinbersome and ceremonious forms of attendance on his person were entirely abolished, as destructive of that social ease and tranquillity, which he courted, in order to sooth the remainder of his days. As the mildness of the climate, together with his deliverance from the burdens and cares of government, procured him, at first, a considerable remission from the acute pains with which he had been long tormented, he enjoyed, perhaps, more complete satisfaction in this humble solitude, than all his grandeur had ever yielded him.

9. The ambitious thoughts and projects which had so long engrossed and disquieted him, were quite effaced from his mind. Far from taking any part in the political transactions of the princes of Europe, he restrained his curiosity, even from any inquiry concerning them; and he seemed to view the busy scene which he had abandoned, with all the contempt and indifference arising from his thorough experience of its vanity, as well as from the pleasing reflection of having disentangled himself from its

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]




'Tis education forms the common mind;
Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclin'd.

With pleasure let us own our errours past :
And make each day a critick on the last.

A soul without reflection, like a pile
Without inhabitant, to ruin runs.

Secret Virtue.
The private path, the secret acts of men,
If noble, far the noblest of their lives.

Necessary knowledge easily attained.
Our needful knowledge, like our needful food,
Unhedg’d, lies open in life's common field ;
And bids all welcome to the yital feast.

Disappointment lurks in many a prize,
As bees in flow'rs; and stings us with success.

Virtuous elevation.
The mind that would be happy, must be great;
Great in its wishes; great in its surveys.
Extended views a narrow mind extend.

Natural and fanciful life.
Who lives to nature, rarely can be poor;
Who lives to fancy, never can be rich.

In faith and hope the world will disagree;
But all mankind's concern is charity.

The prize of virtue.
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy,
The soul's calm sunshine, and the heart-felt joy,
Is virtue's prize.

Sense and modesty connected.
Distrustful sense with modest caution speaks ;
It still looks home, and short excursions makes ;
But rattling nonsense in full volleys breaks.

NOTE.-In the first chapter, the Compiler has exhibited a considerable variety of poetical construction, for the young reader's preparatory exercise.

Moral discipline salutary.
Heav'n gives us friends to bless the present scene;
Resumes them to prepare us for the next.
All evils natural are moral goods ;
All discipline, indulgence, on the whole.

Present blessings undervalued.
Like birds, whose beauties languish, half conceald,
Till, mounted on the wing, their glossy plumes
Expanded shine with azure, green, and gold,
How blessings brighten as they take their flight!

Hope, of all passions most befriends us here;
Passions of prouder name befriend us less.
Joy has her tears, and transport has her death;
Hope, like a cordial, innocent, though strong,
Man's heart, at once, inspirits and serenes.

Happiness modest and tranquil.

-Never man was truly blest,
But it compos'd, and gave him such a cast
As folly might mistake for want of joy:
À cast unlike the triumph of the proud;
A modest aspect, and a smile at heart.

True greatness.
Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.

The tear of sympathy.
No radiant pearl, which crested fortune wears,
No gem, that twinkling hangs from beauty's ears,
Nor the bright stars, which night's blue arch adorn,
Nor rising suns that gild the vernal morn,
Shine with such lustre, as the tear that breaks,
For others' wo, down Virtue's manly cheeks.


Bliss of celestial origin.
RESTLESS mortals toil for nought;
Bliss in vain from earth is sought;
Bliss, a native of the sky,
Never wanders. Mortals, try;
There you cannot seek in vain;
For to seek her is to gain.

The passions.
The passions are a num'rous crowd,
Imperious, positive, and loud.
Curb these licentious sons of strife;
Hence chiefly rise the storms of life:
If they grow mutinous, and rave,
They are thy masters, thou their slave.

Trust in Providence recommendech
'Tis Providence alone secures,
In ev'ry change, both mine and yours.

Safety consists not in escape
From dangers of a frightful shape :
An earthquake may be bid to spare
The man that's strangled by a hair.
Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oft'nest in what least we dread;
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.

How lov’d, how valu'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot:
A heap of dust alone remains of thee;
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be.

All fame is foreign, but of true desert;
Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart.
One self-approving hour, whole years outweighs
Of stupid starers, and of loud húzzas;
And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels,
Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels.

Virtue the guardian of youth.
Down the smooth stream of life the stripling darts,
Gay as the morn; bright glows the vernal sky,
Hope swells his sails, and Passion steers his course.
Safe glides his little bark along the shore,
Where Virtue takes her stand: but if too far
He launches forth beyond discretion's mark,
Sudden the tempest scowls, the surges roar,
Blot his fair day, and plunge him in the deep.

But yonder comes the powerful king of day,
Rejoicing in the east. The less'ning cloud,
The kinding azure, and the mountain's brow,
Illum’d with fluid gold, his near approach
Betoken glad. Lo, now, apparent all
Aslant the dew-bright earth, and colour'd air,
He looks in boundless majesty abroar;
And sheds the shining day, that burnish'd plays
On rocks, and hills, and tow’rs, and wand'ring streams,
High gleaming from afar.

May I govern my passions with absolute sway;
And grow wiser and better as life wears away.

On a mountain, stretch'd beneath a hoary willow,
Lay a shepherd swain, and view'd the rolling billow.

« AnteriorContinuar »