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petitors, and qualified at all times to enforce his unquestioned preëminence; but his mind was conciliating, his behavior unassuming, and his bosom the receptacle of all the social affections. It is these virtues alone which can disarm superiority of its terrors, and make the eye which is raised in wonder beam at the same moment with affection. There have been intellectual, as well as civil despots, whose motto seems to have been, “Let them hate, provided they fear.” Such men may triumph in their fancied distinctions; but they will never, as was John Henderson, be followed by the child, loved by the ignorant, and yet emulated by the wise.
LXXV. - SELF-KILLING.
1. As the world is at present situated, it is possible to acquire learning upon almost every subject, and an infinite amount of knowledge, useful and otherwise, without even by chance lighting upon a knowledge of the most indispensable observances necessary for the preservation of a sound mind in a sound body. Half of the multiformet languages of Asia may be mastered, while the prodigy who boasts so much learning knows not that to sit a whole day within doors at close study is detrimental to health; or, if he knows so much, deliberately prefers the course which leads to ruin. Leyden, El an enthusiast of this order, was ill with a fever and liver complaint at Mysore, and yet continued to study ten hours a day.
2. His physician warned him of the dangerous consequences that were likely to ensue, when he answered, * Very well, doctor, you have done your duty, but I cannot be idle : whether I am to die or live, the wheel must go round to the last.”-“I may perish in the attempt,” he said, on another occasion ; “but, if I die without surpassing Sir William Jones a hundred-fold in Ori. ental learning, let never tear for me profane the eye of a Borderer.” And he eventually sank, in his thirty-sixth year, under the consequences of spending some time in an ill-ventilated library, which a slight acquaintance with one of the most famil. iar of the sciences would have warned him against entering. Alexander Nicoll, a recent professor of Hebrew at Oxford, I who was said to be able to walk to the wall of China without the aid of an interpreter, died at the same age, partly through the effects of that intense study which so effectually but so uselessly had gained him distinction.
3. Dr. Alexander Murray, a similar prodigy, died in his
thirty-eighth year of over-severe study; making the third of a set of men remarkable for the same wonderful attainments, and natives of the same country, who, within a space of twenty years, fell victims to their deficiency in a piece of knowledge which any well-cultivated mind may acquire in a day. Excessive application unquestionably cut short the days of Sir Walter Scott, and also of the celebrated Weber, Es whose mournful exclamation in the midst of his numerous engagements can never be forgotten,“ Would that I were a tailor, for then I should have a Sunday's EI holiday!” The premature extinction of early prodigies of geniuski is generally traceable to the same cause. We read that while all other children played they remained at home to study, and then we learn that they perished in the bud, and balked the hopes of all their admiring friends.
4. The ignorant wonder is, of course, always the greater, when life is broken short in the midst of honorable undertakings. We wonder at the inscrutable decrees which permit the idle and the dissolūte to live, and remove the ardent benefactor of his kind, the hope of parents, the virtuous and the self-devoted ; never reflecting that the highest moral and intellectual qualities Et avail nothings in repairing or warding off a decided injury to the physical system, which is regulated by an entirely distinct code of laws. The conduct of the Portuguese sailors in a storm, when, instead of working the vessel properly, they employ themselves in paying vows to their saints, is just as rational as most of the notions which prevail on this subject.
5. When Sir Philip Sidney Es was at Frankfort, he was advised by the celebrated printer Langueter in the midst of his studies not to neglect his health, “ lest he should resemble a traveller who, during a long journey, attends to himself, but not to his horse." The body may indeed be well likened to a horse, and the mind to its rider; for the one is the vehicle of the other, and whatever be the object of the journey, whether to perform, the most generous actions, or engage in the most patriotic enterprises," the animal will sink under excessive labor or inădëquate nutrition; there being only this important difference, that with the horse the rider sinks also, as their existence cannot be separated without death.
5. It ought to be universally made known, by means of education, I — and for this purpose the best-informed amongst us would require to go back to school, — that the uses of our intellectual nature are not to be properly realized without a just regard to the laws of that perishable frame with which it is connected; that, in cultivating the mind, we must neither overtask nor undertask the body, neither push it to too great a speed, nor leave it neglected
and that, notwithstanding this intimate connection and mutual dependence, the highest merits on the part of the mind will not compensate for muscles mistreated, or soothe a nervous system which severe study has tortured into insanity.
7. To come to detail, - it ought to be impressed on all, that to spend more than a moderate number of hours in mental exercise diminishes insensibly the powers of future application, and tends to abbreviate life; that no mental exercise should be attempted immediately after meals, as the processes of thought and of digestion cannot be safely prosecuted together; that pure air and thoroughly ventilated apartments are essential to health ; and that, without a due share of exercise to the whole of the mental faculties, there can be no soundness in any, while the whole corporeal system will give way beneath a severe pressure upon any one in particular. These are truths completely established with physiologists, El and upon which it is undeniable that a great portion of human happiness depends. CHAMBERS.
LXXVI. — HUMANITY OF ROBERT BRUCE. 1. ONE morning the English and their Irish auxiliaries were pressing hard upon King Robert Bruce, who had given his army orders to continue a hasty retreat; for to have risked a battle with a much more numerous army, and in the midst of a country which favored his enemies, would have been extremely imprudent. On a sudden, just as King Robert was about to mount his horse, he heard a woman shrieking in despair. “ What is the matter?” said the king; and he was informed by his attendants that a poor woman, a laundress or washerwoman, mother of an infant who had just been born, was about to be left behind the army, as being too weak to travel.
2. The mother was shrieking for fear of falling into the hands of the Irish, who were accounted very cruel, and there were no carriages or means of sending the woman and her infant on in safety. . They must needs be abandoned if the army retreated. King Robert was silent for a moment when he heard this story, being divided betwixt the feelings of humanity, occasioned by the poor woman's distress, and the danger to which a halt would expose his army. At last he looked round on his officers, with eyes which kindled like fire.
3. “ Ah, gentlemen,” he said, “ let it never be said that a man who was born of a woman, and nursed by a woman's tenderness, should leave a mother and an infant to the mercy of barbarians
In the name of God, let the oddset and the risk be what they will, I will fight Edmund Butler rather than leave these poor creatures behind me. Let the army, therefore, draw up in line of battle, instead of retreating.”
4. The story had a singular conclusion; for the English general, seeing that Robert the Bruce halted and offered him battle, and knowing that the Scottish king was one of the best generals then living, conceived that he must have received some large supply of forces, and was afraid to attack him. And thus Bruce had an opportunity to send off the poor woman and her child, and then to retreat at his lēisure, without suffering any inconvenience from the halt.
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
LXXVII. — THE FIRST PREDICTOR OF AN ECLIPSE.
1. To those who have given but little attention to the subject, even in our own day, with all the aids of modern science, the prediction of an eclipse Et seems sufficiently mysterious and unintelligible. How, then, it was possible, thousands of years ago, to accomplish the same great object, without any just views of the structure of the system, seems utterly incredible. Follow me, then, while I attempt to reveal the train of reasoning which led to the prediction of the first eclipse of the sun, the most daring prophecy ever made by human gevius.
2. Follow in imagination this bold intěrrogator of the skies to his solitary mountain summit, withdrawn from the world, surrounded by his mysterious circles, there to watch and ponder through the long nights of many, many years. But hope cheers him, on, and smooths his rugged pathway. Dark and deep is the problem; he sternly grapples with it, and resolves never to give over till victory crown his efforts.
3. He has already remarked that the moon's track in the heavens crossed the sun's, and that this point of crossing was in some way intimately connected with the coming of the dread eclipse. He determines to watch and learn whether the point of orossing was fixed, or whether the moon in each successive revolution crossed the sun's path at a different point. If the sun in its annual revolution could leave behind him a track of fire marking his journey among the stars, it is found that this same track was followed from year to year, and from century to century, with andeviating precision."
4. But it was soon discovered that it was far different with the moan. In case she, too, could leave behind her a silver thread of light sweeping round the heavens, in completing one revolution, this thread would not join, but would wind around among the stars, in each revolution crossing the sun's fiery track at a point west of the previous crossing. These points of crossing were called the moon's nodes. At each revolution the node occurred further west, until after a circle of about nineteen years it had circulated in the same direction entirely round the ecliptic. El
5. Long and patiently did the astronomer watch and wait; each eclipse is duly observed, and its attendant circumstances are recorded; when at last the darkness begins to give way, and a ray of light breaks in upon his mind. He finds that no eclipse of the sun ever occurs unless the new moon is in the act of crossing the sun's track. Here was a grand discovery.E1 He holds the key which he believes will unlock the dread mystery, and now, with redoubled energy, he resolves to thrust it into the wards! and drive back the bolts.
6. To predict an eclipse of the sun, he must sweep forward from new moon to new moon, until he finds some new moon which should occur while the moon was in the act of crossing from one side to the other of the sun's track. This certainly was possible. He knew the exact period from new moon to new moon, and from one crossing of the ecliptic to another. With eager eye he seizes the moon's place in the heavens, and her age, and rapidly computes where she will be at her next change.
7. He finds the new moon occurring far from the sun's track; he runs round another revolution; the place of the new moon falls closer to the sun's path, and the next year closer, until, reaching forward with piercing intellectual vigor, he at last finds a new moon which occurs precisely at the computed time of her passage across the sun's track. Here he makes his stand, and on the day of the occurrence of that new moon he announces to the startled inhabitants of the world that the sun shall expire in dark eclipse.
8. Bold prediction! Mysterious prophet! with what scorn must the unthinking world have received this solemn declaration ! How slowly do the moons roll away, and with what intensek anxiety does the stern philosopheral await the coming of that day which should crown him with victory, or dash him to the ground in ruin and disgrace. Time to him moves on leaden wings ; day after day, and, at last, hour after hour, roll heavily a way. The ast night is gone; the moon has disappeared from his eagle gazo in her approach to the sun, and the dawn of the eventful day breaks in beauty on a slumbering world.
9. This daring man, stern in his faith, climis alone to his rocky home, and greets the sun as he rises and mounts the heavens scattering brightness and glory in his path. Beneath him is