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2. Heaven, I said, was merciful!- Or," exclaimed he_“I could not have been thus guilty. What has it noi done to bless, and to save me! I have been too strong for Omnipotence; I have plucked down ruin.” the blessed Redeemer --" Hold! hold ! you wound me ! That is the rock on which I split: denied his name !" 3. Refusing to hear any thing from me,
any thing from the physician, he lay silent, as far as sudden darta of rain would permit, till the clock struck; Then with vehemence he exclained :-"Oh! lime! time! it is fit thou shouldest thus strike thy murderer to the heart !-How art ihop fled forever! A month !-Oh, for a single week! I ask not for years ! though an age were too little for the much I have to do." 4. On my saying we could'not do too much :that heav
was a blessed place--- So much the worse.--"Tis Jost ! 'lis lost. lleaven is to me ihe severest part of hell!" Soon after, I proposed prayer--- Pray you that can, I neyer prayed. I cannot pray--por need I.. lo not Heaven on my side already? It closes with my conscience. Its severest strokes but second by own."
5. Observing that his friend was much touched at this, even to teare--(wbo could forbear? I could not)--with a most affectionate look, he said. 6. Keep those tears for thyself. I have undone thee--Dost thou weep for me? That is cruel. What can pain me more ?" Here his friend, too much affected, would have left him.. 6. “ No stay--thou still mayest hope ; therefore hear
liow madly have I talked! How madly hast thout listened! and believed.! But look on my present state, as a full answer to thee, and 10 myself. This body is all wenkness and pain ; but my soul, as if stung op by forment to greater strength and spirit, is full powerful to reason; full mighty to suffer, And that, which thus triumphs within the jaws of immortality, is doubtless immortal-- And, as for a Deity, nothing less than an 'Almighty could inflict what I feel.
7. I was about to congratulate this passive, involuntary confessor, on his asserting the two prime articles of his creed, extorted by the rack of nature, when he thus very passionately, exclaimed:-- No, no! let me speak on.
I have not long to speak--My much injured friend! my soul
as my body, lies in ruins ; in scattered fragments of broken thought.
*8. 65 Remorse for the past, throws my thoughuis on the future. Worse dread for the future, strikes it hack on the past.
I corn, and turn, and find no ray Didst hou feel half the mountain that is on me, thou wouldst struggle with the natyr for his stake; and bless heaven for the flames !--that is not an everlasting game; that is not an unqueochable Gre!"
9. How were we strick ! yet soon after, still more.-With what an eye of dixtraction, what a face of despair, he cried out! "My principles bave poisoned my friend; my extravagance has beggared roy boy! my unkindness has murdered my wise !--And is there another bell? Ohdihou blasphemed, yet indulgent LORD GOD! Hell itself is a . refuge, if it hide me from thy frowa !!!
Soon after his understanding failed. His terribed imagination uttered horrors not to be repeated, or ever forgotten. And ere the sun (which I hope has seen tew like him) arose, lhe gay, youg, noble, ingenuogs, accom: phebed, and most wretched Altamont, expired !
11. If this is a man of pleasure, what is a man of pain ? How quick, how total, is the transit of such persons ! In what a dismal gloom they set forever ! bow short, alas! the day of their rejoicing! For a moment they glitter' they dazzle! In a momeut where are they? Oblivion covers their memories. Ah! would it did ! Infamy snatches them from oblivioa. Is the long living annals of infamy their triumphs are recorded.
12.Thy sufferings, poor Altamont ! still bleed in the bosom of thy heart-stricken friend--for Altamont had friend. He might have had many. His transient morning migbi bave been the dawn of an immortal day. His nama might pave been gloriously enrolled in the records of eterpity. His memory might have left a sweet fragrance be. hind it, grateful to the surviving friend, salutary to the succeeding generation.
13. With what capacity was he eodowed ; with what advantages, for being greatly good! But with the talents of an angel, a man may be a fool. If he judges amiss in the supreme point, judying right in all else, but aggravates his folly; as it shows him wrong, though blessed with the best capacity of beiog right,
The vices and follies of inen should excite compassion rather
Deinocritus. I find it impossible to reconcile myself 10 a 90. lancholy philosophy.
Heraclitus. And I am equally unable to approve of that vain philosophy, wbich teaches nen to despise anid ridiculo one another. To a wise and feeling mind, the world apo pears in a wretched and paintal lighe
Deinocritus. Thou art too much affected with the state of things, and this is a source of misery to thee.
TIeraclitus. And I think ihoy art too little moved by it. Thy mirth and ridicule bespeak the buffoon, rather ihan the philosopher. Does it not excite thy compassion, to see mankind s trail, so blind, so far departed from the rules of virtue?
Democritus. I am excited to laughter, when I see so much imperiinence and folly.
Heraclitus. And yet atter all, they, who are the objects of thy ridicule, include not only maokind in general, but the persons with whom ibou livest, thy friends, thy family, Day even thyself,
Democritus, I care very little for all the silly persons I meet with; and think I am justitiable in diferting myself with their folly.
Heraclitus. If they are weak and foolish, it marks nejther wisdom nor humanity, to insult rather than pily them. But is it certain, inat thou art not as extravagant as they ate ?
Democritus anel Heraclitus were two oncient philosophers, the former of whom laughed, and the latter wept, at the ex. rdis and follies of mankind.
Democritus, I presume that I am not; since in every point, my sentiments are the very reverse of theirs.
Heraclitus. There are follies of different kinds. Ву constantly amusing thyself with the errors aod misconduct of others, thuu mayst render thyself equally ridiculous and culpable.
Democritus. Thou art at liberty to indulge such senti. ments; and to weep over me too, if thou hast any tears to spare. For my part, I cannot refrain from pleasing myself with the levities and ill conduct of the world about me. Are not all men foolish or irregular in their lives?
Heraclitus. Alas! there is but too much reason to be. lieve, they are so : and on this ground, I pity and deprore their condition. We agree in this point, that men do noconduct ibeinselves according 10 reasonable and just pria ciples: but I, who do not suffer myself to act as they do, mast yet regard the dictates of my understanding and feelings, which compel me to love them, and that love fits me with compassion for their mistakes and irregularities.Canst thou condemn me for pitying my own species, my brethen, persons born in the same condition of life and destined to the same hopes and privileges ? If thou shouldest enter a hospital, where sick and wounded prisons reside, would their wouods and distresses escile thy mirth? And yet, the evils of the body bear 09 cumparison with those of the mind. - Thou wouldest certainly blush at thy barbarity, if thou hadst been so unfeeling as to laugh at or despise a poor miserable being who had lost one of bis legs; and yet thou art so destitute of humanity, as to ridicule those who appear to be deprived of the noble powers of the understanding, by the little regard which they pay to its dictates.
Democritus. He who has lost a leg is to be pitied, because the loss is not to be imputed to bi iself; but he who rejects the dictates of reason and conscience, volun(arily deprives himself of their aid. The loss originates in his owo folly.
Heraclitus. Ah! so much the more is ho to be pitied ! A furious maniac, who should pluck out his own eyes, would deserve more compassion than an ordinary blind man. Democritus. Come let us accomodate the business.
There is something to be said on each side of the question. There is every where reason for laughing, and reason for weeping: The world is ridiculous, and I laugh at it: it is deplorable, and thou lamentest over it. Every person views it in his own way, and accordiog to his owo lemper. One peint is unquestionable, that mankind are prepostePous : lo think right and to act well we must think and act differently from them. To submit to the authority, and follow the example of the greater part of men, would render us foolish and miserable.
Heraclitus. All this is indeed true ; but then thou badst po real love of feeling for thy species. The calamities of mankind exite thy mirth; and this proves that thou hast no regard for men, nor any true respect for the vike toes which they have unhappily abandoned.
Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray.
PIONYSIUS, PYTHIAS AND DAVON.
Genuine virtue commands respect even from the bad. Drorysius. ANAZING! What do I see? It is Pytbias just arrived.--It is indeed Pythias. I did not think it possible, He has come to die and to redeem bis friend!
Pythras. Yes, it is Pythias. I left the place of my confinement, with no other views, ihan to pay to heaven the vows I had made ; to settle my family concerns according to the rules of justice; and to bid adieu to my children, that I might die tranquil and sat-tied,
Dionysius. But why dost thou returu ? Hast thou no fear of death? Is it not the character of a inadman, to seek it tsus voluptarily ?
Pythias. I return to suffer, though I have not deserved deaih. Every principle of honour and guodness forbids me to allow my friend tu die for me.
Dionysius. Dust bou,then lore him better than thyself?
Pythias. Now I love him as myselt, Butl.m persuaded that I ought to suffer death, rather than any friend since it was Pythias when thou badsi decreed to die. It were put just Damop skould suffer, io deliver me from the death which was designed, uut for him, but for me oply.