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we were in the fcale of a balance, that continued wavering. This motion, however, foon grew more violent; and being no longer able to keep my legs, I was thrown prostrate upon the ground. In the mean time, the universal ruin rouod me redoubled my amazement. The crash of falling houses, the tottering of towers, and the groans of the dying, all contributed to increafe my terror and despair. On every side of me, I saw nothing but a scene of ruin ; and danger threatening wherever I fhould fly. I recommended myself to God, as my last great refuge. At that hour, o how vain was every sublunary happiness ! Wealth, honour, empire, wisdom, all mere useless founds, and as empty as the bubbles of the deep! Just standing on the threshold of eternity, nothing but God was my pleasure ; and the nearer I approached, I only loved him the more. After some time, however, finding that I remained unhurt, amidst the general concullion, 1 resolved to venture for safety; and, running as fait as I could, I reached the shore, but almost terrified out of my reason. I did not search long here, till I found the boat in which I had landed ; and my companions also, whose terrors were even greater than mine. Our meeting was not of that kind, where every one is desirous of telling his own happy escape ; it was all silence, and a gloomy dread of impending terrors.
Leaving this feat of defolation, we prosecuted our voyage along the coast ; and the next day came to Ro. chetta, where we landed, although the earth ftill continued in violent agitations. But we had fcarcely arrived at our inn, when we were once more obliged to return to the boat; and, in about half an hour, we saw the greater part of the town, and the inn at which we had set up, dalhed to the ground, and burying the inhabitants beneath the ruins.
“ In this manner proceeding onward in our little vessel, finding no fafety at land, and yet, from the smallness of our boat, having but a very dangerous continuance at fea, we at length landed at Lopizium, a castle midway between Tropæa and Euphæmia, the city to which, as I faid before, we were bound. Here, wherever I turned my eyes, nothing but fcenes of ruin and horror appeared; towns and castles levelled to the ground; Strombalo, though at fixty miles distance, belching forth fames in an unusual manner, and with a noise which I could difa tinctly hear. But my attention was quickly turned from more remote, to contiguous danger. The rumbling found
of an approaching earthquake, which we by this time were grown acquainted with, alarmed us for the consequences; it every moment seemed to grow louder, and to approach
The place on which we stood now began to shake most dreadfully ; so that being unable to stand, my companions and I caught hold of whatever Ihrub grew next to us, and supported ourselves in that manner. ·
“ After some time, this violent paroxysm ceasing, we again stood up, in order to prosecute our voyage to Euphæ- . mia, which lay within sight. In the mean time, while we were preparing for this purpose, I turned my eyes towards the city, but could see only a frightful dark cloud, that seemed to rest upon the place. This the more surprised us, as the weather was so very serene. We waited, therefore, till the cloud had passed away : then turning to look for the city, it was totally funk. Wonderful to tell ! nothing but a dismal and putrid lake was seen where it stood. We looked about to find some one that could tell us of its fad ca. tastrophe, but could see no perfon. All was become a melancholy solitude : a scene of hideous desolation. Thus proceeding pensively along, in quest of some human being that could give us a little information, we at length saw a boy sitting by the shore, and appearing stupified with ter
Of him, therefore, we inquired concerning the fate of the city ; but he could not be pruvailed on to give us an answer. We entreated him, with every expression of tenderness and pity, to tell us ; but his senses were quite wrapt up in the contemplation of the danger he had escaped. We offered him some victuals, but he seemed to loath the fight. We still persisted in our offices of kindness; but he only pointed to the place of the city, like one out of his senses ; and then running up into the woods, was never heard of after. Such was the fate of the city of Euphæmia. As we continued our melancholy course along the shore, the whole coalt, for the space of two hundred miles, presented nothing but the remains of cities ; and men scattered, with out a habitation, over the fields. Proceeding thus along, we at length ended our distressful voyage, by arriving at Naples, after having escaped a thousand dangers both at fea and land.”
Letter from Pliny to Geminius. Do we not fometimes observe a sort of people, who, though they are themselves under the abject dominion
every vice, show a kind of malicious resentment against the errors of others ; and are most severe upon those whom they most resemble ? yet, surely a lenity of difpofition, even in persons who have the least occasion for clemency themselves, is of all virtues the most becoming. The highest of all characters, in my estimation, is his, who is as ready to pardon the errors of mankind, as if he were every day guilty of some himself ; and, at the same time, as cautious of committing a fault, as if he never forgave
It is a rule then which we should, upon all occa. fions, both private and public, most religiously observe ; “ to be inexorable to our own failings, while we treat those of the rest of the world with tenderness, not excepting even such as forgive none but themselves."
I shall, perhaps, be asked, who it is that has given occalion to these reflections. Know then that a certain per. son lately—but of that when we meet-though, upon second thoughts, not even then ; left, whilft I condemn and expose his conduct, I shall act counter to that maxim I particularly recommend. Whoever, therefore, and whatever he is, shall remain in silence : for though there may be some use, perhaps, in setting a mark upon the man, for the sake of example, there will be more, however, in sparing bim, for the sake of humanity. Farewell.
MELMOTH'S PLINY. SECTION 111. Letter from Pliny to Marcellinus, on the Death of an amiable
I WRITE this under the utmost oppression of forrow : the youngest daughter of my friend Fundanus is dead ! Never surely was there a more agreeable, and more amiable young person ; or one who better deserved to have enjoyed a long, I had almost faid, an immortal life! She had all the wisdom of age, and discretion of a matron, joined with youthful sweetness and virgin modesty. With what an engaging fondness did the behave to her father! How kindly and respectfully receive his friends! How affectionately treat all those who, in their respective offices, had the care and education of her! She employed much of her time in reading, in which she discovered great strength of jude. Si heitir
na is, ami chole with nucl. did!
.; orkearance with what patience, with what curaze, udine endre her lat illness! encouraged her fifter, and her father ; and, when all her strength of body was exhausted, supported herself by the single vigour of her mind. That, indeed, continued, even to her last moments, unbroken by the pain of a long illness, or the terrors of approaching death ; and it is a refection which makes the loss of her so much the more to be lamented : A loss infinitely severe ; and more severe by the particular conjuncture in which it happened! She was contracted to a most worthy youth ; the wedding day was fixed, and we were all invited. How sad a change from the highest joy, to the deepest forrow! How shall I express the wound that pierced my heart, when I heard Fundanus himself, (as grief is ever finding out circumstan. ces to aggravate its affliction) ordering the money he had designed to lay out upon clothes and jewels for her mar. riage, to be employed in myrrh and spices for her funeral ? He is a man of great learning and good sense, who has applied himself, from his earliest youth, to the noblest and most elevated studies : but all the maxims of fortitude, which he has received from books, or advanced himself, he now absolutely rejects ; and every other virtue of his heart gives place to all a parent's tenderness. We shall excuse, we shall even approve his sorrow, when we consider what he has loft. He has lost a daughter who resembled him in his manners, as well as his perfon ; and exa&tly copied out all her father. If his friend Marcellinus shall think proper to write to him, upon the subject of so reasonable a grief, let me remind him not to use the rougher arguments of consolation, and such as seem to carry a fort of reproof with them ; but those of kind and sympathising humanity. Time will render him more open to the dic. tates of reason : for as a fresh wound shrinks back from the hand of the surgeon, but by degrees submits to, and even requires the means of its cure ; so a mind, under the first impressions of a misfortune, shuns and rejects all arguments of confolation : but at length, if applied with tenderness, calmly and willingly acquiesces in them. Farewell.
od with all he pisections of her physicians; the
On Discretion. I HAVE often thought, if the minds of men were laid open, we should see but little difference between that of a wise man, and that of a fool.
There are infinite reveries, numberless extravagances, and a succession of vanities, which pass through both. The great difference is, that the first knows how to pick and cull his thoughts for conversation, by fupprefling fome, and communicating others; whereas the other lets them all indifferently fly out in words. This sort of discretion, however, has no place in private conversation between intimate friends. On such occasions, the wifeft men very often talk like the weakest ; for indeed talking with a friend is nothing else than thinking aloud.
Tully has therefore very juftly exposed a precept, delivered by some ancient writers : That a man should live with his enemy in such a manner, as might leave him room to become his friend ; and with his friend, in such a manner, that, if he became his enemy, it should not be in his power to hurt him. The first part of this rule, which re. gards our behaviour towards an enemy, is indeed very reasonable, as well as very prudential; but the latter part of it, which regards our behaviour towards a friend, savours more of cunning than of discretion ; and would cut a man off from the greatest pleasures of life, which are the freedoms of conversation with a bosom friend. Besides that, when a friend is turned into an enemy, the world is just enough to accuse the perfidiousness of the friend, rather than the indiscretion of the person who confided in him.
Discretion does not only show itself in words, but in all the circumstances of action ; and is like an under-agent of Providence, to guide and direct us in the ordinary concerns of life.
There are many more shining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none so useful as discretion. It is this, indeed, which gives a value to all the rest ; which sets them at work in their proper times and places ; and turns them to the advantage of the person who is possessed of them. Without it, learning is pedantry, and wit impertinence ; virtue itself looks like weakness; the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in errors, and active to his own prejudice.
Discretion does not only make a man the master of his own parts, but of other men's. The discreet man finds out the talents of those he converses with ; and knows how to apply them to proper uses. Accordingly, if we look into particular communities and divisions of men, we may observe, that it is the discreet man, not the witty, nor the