תמונות בעמוד

coat and plain Mirt, we should often fee pedantry appear in an embroidered suit and Brussels lace : instead of being bedaubed with snuff, we should find it breathing perfumes; and, in place of a book.worm, crawling through the gloomy cloisters of an university, we hould mark it in the state of a gilded butterfly, buzzing through the gay region of the drawing-room.

Robert Daily Esq. is a pedant of this last kind. When he tells you that his ruffles cost twenty guineas a pair ; that his buttons were the first of the kind, made by one of the most eminent artists in Birmingham ; that his buckles were procured by means of a friend at Pa. ris, and are the exact pattern of those worn by the Comte d'Artois;. that the loop of his hat was of his own contrivance, and has set the fashion to half a dozen of tlie finest fellows in town: when he descants on all these particulars, with that smile of felf-complacency which sits for ever on his cheek, he is as much a pedant as his quondam tutor, who recites verses from Pindar, tells stories out of Herodotus, and talks for an hour on the energy of the Greek particles...

But Mr Daisy is struck dumb by the approach of his brother Sir Thomas, whose pedantry goes a pitchhigher, and pours out all the intelligence of France and Haly, whence the young Baronet is just returned, after a tour of fifteen months over all the kingdoms of the continent. Talk of music, he cuts you short with the biftory of the first finger at Naples; of painting, he runs you down with a description of the gallery at Florence; of architecture, he overwhelnıs you with the dimensions of St Peter's, or the great church at Antwerp; or, if you leave the province of art altogether, and introduce me name of a river or hill, he instantly deluges you with the Rhine, or makes you dizzy with the height of Ætna, or Mount Blanc.

Miss will liave no difficulty of owning her great aunt: to be a pedant, when she talks all the time of dinner on the composition of the pudding, or the feafoning of the ince-pies; or enters into a difquisition on the figure of the damask table-clotlı, with a word or two on the thrift of making one's own linen: but the young lady will be furprised when I inform her, that her own history of lait


Tharsday's assembly, with the episode of Lady Di's. feather, and the digression to the qualities of Mr Frizzle the hair-dreller, was alto a piece of downright pedantry.

Mrs Caudle is guilty of the fame weakness, when she. recounts the numberless witticisms of her daughter Emmy, describes the droll figure her little Bill made yesterday at trying on his first pair of breeches, and iuforms us, that Bobby bas got leven teeth, and is just cutting. an eighth, though he will be but nine montlıs old next Weduesday at fix o'clock in the evening. Nor is hier pedantry less disgusting, when the proceeds to enumerate the virtues and good qualities of her husband ; though this laft species is so uncommon, that it may, perhaps, be admitted into conversation for the sake of novelty.

There is pedantry in every difquifition, however masterly it may be, that stops the general conversation et the company. When Silius delivers that fort of lec, ture he is apt to get into, though it is supported by the most extenlive information and the clearest discernmeni, it is still pedantry; and, while I adınire the talents of Silius, I cannot help being unealy at his exhibition of them. Last night, after lupper, Silius began upon Protestantisin, proceeded to the Irish matsacre, went through she Revolution, drew the character of King William, repeated anecdotes of Schonberg, and ended at a quare ter past twelve, by delineating the course of the Boyne, in half a bumper of port, upon my bell table ; -which river, happening to overflow its banks, did infinite damage 20 my cousin-Sophy's white fatin petticoat.

In short, every thing, in this sense of the word, iş pedantry, which tends to destroy that equality of coil versation which is necessary to the perfect eale and good humour of the company. Every one would be ftruck with the unpolitepess+of that person's behaviour, who faruld help lriın self to a whole plate of peale or trawberries which fome friend had sent him for a rarity in the beginning of the season. Now, conversation is one of those good things of which our guests or companions. are equally intitled to a share, as of any other con!lia Luent part of the entertainment; and it is as if zatial

want of politepefs to engross the one as to monopolize the other. XVII. The Journey of a Day; a Pitture of Human Life. OBIdah, the fon of Abensina, left the caravansera

early in the morning, and pursued his journey through the plains of Indoftan. He was fresh and vigorous with: ret; he was animated with hope ; be was incited by. desire ; he walked swiftly forward over the vallies, and Saw the bills gradually rising before him. As hie pasied along, his ears were delighted with the morning fong of the bird of paradise, he was fanned by the last flutters of the finking breeze, and sprinkled with dew by groves of spices; he sometimes contemplated the towering height of the oak, monarch of the hills; and fome. times caught the gentle fragrance of the primrose, eldest daughter of the Tpring: all his senses were gratified, and all care was banished from his heart.

Thus he went on till the sun approached his meridian, and the increasing heat preyed upon his strength ; he then looked round about him for some more commodious path. He law, on his right liand, a grove that seemed to wave its shades as a fign of invitation; he entered it, and found the coolness and verdure irresistibly pleasant. He did not, however, forget whither he was travelling, but found a narrow way bordered with flowers, which appeared to have the same direction with the main road, and was pleased, that, by this happy experiment, he had found means to unite pleasure with business, and to gain the rewards of diligence without fluffering its fatigues. He, therefore, still continued to walk for a time, without the least remission of his ardour, except that he was sometimes tempted to stop by the music of the birds, whom the heat had assembled in the shade, and sometimes amused himself with plucking the flowers that covered the banks on either side, or the fruits that hung upon the branches. . At last the green path began to decline from its first tendency, and to wind among hills and thickets, cooled with fountains, and murmuring with water-falls. Here Obidalı paused for a time, and began to consider whether it were longer safe to forfake the known and common track ; but remembering


[ocr errors]

that the heat was now in its greatest violence, and that the plain was dusty and uneven, he resolved to pursue the new path, which he supposed only to make a few meanders, in compliance with the varieties of the ground, and to end at last in the common road.

Having thus calmed his .folicitude, he renewed his pace, though he fufpected that he was not gaining ground. This unealiness of his mind inclined him to lay hold on every new object, and give way to every sensation that might faoth or divert him. He listened to every echo, he mounted every hill for a fresh prospect, he turned alide to every cascade, and pleased himlelf with tracing the course of a gentle river that rolled among the trees, and watered a large region with innumerable circumvolutions. In these amusements, the hours passed away unaccounted, his deviations had perplexed his memory, and he knew not towards what point to travel. He stood pensive and confused, afraid to go forward left he fhould go wrong, yet conscious that the time of loitering was now past. While he was thus tortured with uncertainty, the sky was overspread with clonds, the day vanished from before him, and a sudden tempeft gathered round his head. He was now roused by his danger to a quick and painful remembrance of his folly ; he now saw how happiness is loft when ease is consulted; he lamented the unmanly impatience that prompted liim to feek shelter in the grove, and despised the petty curio. sity that led him on from trifle to trifle. While he was thus reflecting, the air grew blacker, and a clap of thun. der broke his meditation.

He now resolved to do what remained yet in his power, to tread back the ground which he had pased, and try to find some issue where the wood' might open into the plain. He prostrated himself on the ground, and commended his life to the Lord of nature. He rose with confidence and tranquillity, and pressed on with his fabré in his hand, for the beasts of the defert were in motion, and on every hand were heard the mingled howls of rage and fear, and ravage and expiration ; all

lie horroirs of darkness and solitude surrounded him; the winds roared in the woods, and the torrents tumbled from the hills.


[ocr errors]

Thus forlorn and distressed, he wandered through the wild, without knowing whither he was going, or whether he was every momeno drawing nearer to safety or to destruction.

At length not fear but labour began to overcome him ; his breath grew short, and his knees trembled, and he was on the point of lying down in resignation to liis fate, when he beheld through the brambles the glimmer of a taper. He advanced towards the light, and finding that it proceeded from the cottage of a hermit, he called humbly at the door, and obtained admission. The old man set before him such provisions as he had collected for himself, on which O. bidah fed with eagerness and gratitude.

When the repait was over, . Tell me, said the her. mit, by what chance thou hast been brought hither ; E have been now twenty years an inhabitant of the wil. derness, in which I never saw a nian before.' Obidah ther related the occurrences of his journey, without any concealment or palliation.

• Son, said the hermit, let the errours and follies, the dangers and escape of this day, sink deep into thy heart. Remember, my son, that human life is the journey of a slay. We rise in the morning of youth, full of vigour and full of expectation ; we set forward with spirit and hope, with gaiety and with diligence, and travel on a while in the strait road of piety towards the manuons of rest. In a short time we remit our fervour, and endeavour to find fome mitigation of our duty, and fomne more easy means of obtaining the same end. We then relax our vigour, and resolve no longer to be terrified with criines at a distance, but rely upon our own confancy, and venture to approach what we refolve never to touch. We thus enter the bowers of ease, and repose in the fades of security. Here the heart foftens, and vigilance subsides; we are then willing to enguire whether another advance cannot be made, and wliether we may not, at least, turn our eyes upon the gardens of pleasure. We approach them with fcruple and hefita. tion; we enter thein, but enter timorous and trembling, and always hope to pats through tliem without losing the redd of virtue, which we, for a while, keep in our wid to which we propose to return.

But temp

« הקודםהמשך »