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He had said that it was every man's duty to make the sphere of his innocent pleasures as extensive as possible, that within this sphere he might find a safe retreat and laudable satisfaction. The transition, therefore, is loosely made. It would have been better, if he had said, “this advantage we gain,” or “this satisfaction we enjoy,” by means of the pleasures of the -imagination. The rest of the sentence is correct.
“ We might here add, that the pleasures of the fancy are more conducive to health than those of the understanding, which are worked out by dint of thinking, and attended with too violent a labor of the brain.
Worked out by dint of thinking, is a phrase which borders too nearly on the style of common conversation, to be admitted into polished composition.
“Delightful scenes, whether in nature, painting, or poetry, have a kindly influence on the body, as well as the mind, and not only serve to clear and brighten the imagination, but are able to disperse grief and melancholy, and to set the animal spirits in pleasing and agreeable motions. For this reason Sir Francis Bacon, in his Essay upon Health, has not thought it improper to prescribe to his reader a poem or a prospect, where he particularly dissuades him from knotty and subtile disquisitions, and advises him to pursue studies that fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects, as histories, fables, and contemplations of nature."
In the latter of these two periods a member is out of its place. Where he particularly dissuades him from knotty and subtile disquisitions, ought to precede has not thought it improper to prescribe, fc.
4 I have in this paper, by way to introduction, settled the notion of those pleasures of the imagination, which are the subject of my present undertaking, and endeavored by several considerations to recommend to my readers the pursuit of those pleasures: I shall in my next paper examine the several sources from whence these pleasures are derived."
These two concluding sentences furnish examples of proper collocation of circumstances. We formerly showed that it is difficult so to dispose them, as not to embarrass the principal subject. Had the following incidental circumstances, by way of introduction-by several considerations-in this paper-in the next paper, been placed in any other situation, the sentence would have been neither so neat, nor so clear, as it is on the present construction,
BIANCA CAPELLO. Bianca, descended from the noble house of the Capelli, at Venice, and daughter of Bartolomeo Capello, was born in 1545. Her childhood and early youth passed in the retirement of her father's palace, where, accordmg to the custom of the country, she conversed only with her family and relations.
Opposite to the palace of the Capelli was the house of the Salviati, where, in 1565, Bianca, having entered her twentieth year, attracted, by the charms of her person, the attention of a young Florentine, by the
name of Pietro Buonaventuri, whose birth was obscure, and who served in the family of the Salviati in' the capacity of a clerk. Indebted more to nature than to fortune, possessing a fine person, insinuating manners. and an aspiring temper, Pietro secured the affections of Bianca, and they were privately married. It is not our present purpose to pursue the narrative of her adventures, which finally led to a separation from her husband, nor the story of her connexion with the house of Medici. Leaving these details to the historian, we propose to present merely those traits of her character by which she was peculiarly distinguished.
On a survey of the life of Bianca Capello, whatever may be thought of the qualities of her heart, which, it must be confessed, are doubtful, it is impossible not to be struck with the powers of her mind, by which, amidst innumerable obstacles, she maintained, undiminished, through life, that ascendancy which her personal charms had first given her over the affections of a capricious prince. The determination and perseverance with which she prosecuted her plans, sufficiently testify her energy and talents : if, in effecting the end proposed, she was little scrupulous respecting the means, the Italian character, the circumstances of the times, the disadvantages attending her entrance into the world, subjected to artifice, and entangled in fraud, must not be forgotten. Brought up in retirement and obscurity, thrown at once into the most trying situations, her prudence, her policy, her self-government, her knowledge of the human mind, and the means of subjecting it, are not less rare than admirable. She possessed singular penetration in discerning characters, and the weaknesses of those with whom she conversed, which she skilfully adapted to her purposes. By an eloquence, soft, insinuating, and powerful, she prevailed over her friends; while, by ensnaring them in their own devices, she made her enemies subservient to her views. Such was the fascination of her manners, that the prejudices of those by whom she was hated, yielded, in her presence, to admiration and delight: nothing seemed too arduous for her talents; inexhaustible in resource, whatever she undertook she found means to accomplish. If she was an impassioned character, she was uniformly animated by ambition. In her first engagement with Buonaventuri, she seems to have been influenced by a restless enterprising temper, disgusted with inactivity, rather than by love: through every scene of her connexion with the duke, her motives are sufficiently obvious. With a disposition like that of Bianca, sensibility and tenderness, tho appropriate virtues of the sex, are not to be expected. Real greatness has in it a character of simplicity, with which subtlety and craft are wholly incompatible : the genius of Bianca was such as fitted her to take a part in political intrigues, to succeed in courts, and rise to the pinnacle of power; but, stained with cruelty, and debased by falsehood, if her talents excite admiration, they produce no esteem; and while her accomplishments dazzle the mind, they fail to interest the heart.
Majestic in stature, beautiful in her person, animated, eloquent, and insinuating, she commanded all hearts; a power of which the tranquillity and silence of her own enabled her to avail herself to the utmost. Ill health impaired her beauty at an early period; many portraits of her remain, in all of which she is represented as grand-duchess, when the first bloom of her charms had faded. A beautiful portrait of her, in the ducal robes, is preserved in the palace of the Capelli, at Padua ; several are likewise to be found in the Palazzo Pelti, at Florence; and one, also, said to be still superior, in Palazzo Caprara, at Bologna.
COLLEGE EXERCISES. *
The preceding lessons, it is thought, contain most, if not all, of the principles necessary to be understood by the student to prepare him for the performance of such exercises as are generally prescribed in an academic course. The following specimens of the exercises of those to whom academic honors have been awarded, are presented, with the hope that they may be useful to those who may hereafter have similar exercises to perform.
CONFERENCE, COLLOQUY, AND DIALOGUE. A Conference is a discoursing between two or more, for the purpose of instruction, consultation, or deliberation; or, it may, in a technical sense, be defined, an examination of a subject by comparison. It is a species of conversation, and is generally confined to particular subjects and descriptions of persons. · A Dialogue signifies a speech between two persons. It is mostly fictitious, and is written as if it were spoken. It is always formal and contains an assertion or question with a reply and a rejoinder.
A Colloquy is a species of dialogue. It literally signifies, the act of talking together and is not confined to any particular number of persons nor subjects.
Example of a Theme.
* Est Deus in nobis." OVID, Lib. I. Metaphysical speculations are, of all others, the most wild and most exposed to error. The relation between volition and action, mind and body,
* The specimens and models here presented, are taken, by the consent of the respective authors, from the files of one of our most respectable universities. To the highly respected President of that university, the author is greatly indebted for the kind facilities rendered, by which he was enabled to examine the files of that institution, and to select such as he had been permitted to copy. He does not, however, consider himself authorized more particularly to name the institution nor its presiding officer. It is due, also, to the gentlemen whose juvenile exercises he has been permitted here to present, to state, that their reluctant permission has been given with the understanding that their names will not be mentioned in connexion with the exercises. The question may, perhaps, be asked, why exercises of this kind are presented at all. To this the author replies, that a knowledge of what has been done on any given occasion cannot be without its use to those who are called upon to exert their talents on any similar occa sion; and if any of the following exercises should be considered as speci mens, rather than models, the author can only say, that he deems examples of this kind, which can be emulated by the student, more encouraging than faultless models. It is the business of the teacher to infuse that spirit which . hall adopt as its motto, -" Excelsior.”
the decisive influence of the former on the motions of the latter, and how this intercourse obtains, are subtleties, the investigation of which has ever baffled the ingenuity of philosophers. Nor is reasoning on this subject in any respect conclusive. It sets out from hypothethis, and, instead of leading to any just conclusions, usually leaves the inquirer in a labyrinth of doubt.
In spite of these obstacles, however, there is something in the mind of man that takes a delight in diving into these mysteries ; a curiosity which is always alive and restless, grasping at some hidden truth; a fancy that is prone to explore an unknown path, — that loves to float in whimsical reveries. “Est Deus in nobis."
On our first introduction to this world, whether our minds are free from ideas and vacant, “like a piece of white paper," as Mr. Locke quaintly phrases it; and, if this be the fact, whether, as originally cast by the creator, they differ as widely in quality, as the various kinds of white paper from the mill; - are questions which have not yet been determined. When we contemplate society, we are struck with the diversities of character which it discloses. We ask ourselves, how it happens, that such varieties of genius exist; how it is, that one person has a mathematical, another a poetical turn of mind ; that one has an imagination, that “bounds from earth to heaven, and sports in the clouds,” and another possesses a mind that gropes in the deepest recesses of philosophy, and learns to conceive the most abstruse truth. We wonder for a while, and presently conclude, that all the peculiarities of each mind are coeval with its existence, and impressed by the Deity.
For my own part, although I consider these speculations to be as uninportant, as they are doubtful, they frequently find an indulgence in my mind. Nor are they altogether fruitless. They answer the purpose of a romance. They amuse the imagination, and occupy the vacant thought of a leisure hour. I am inclined to the belief, that, as our minds may be considered to emanate from the same creative spirit, they bear a nearer resemblance to each other than we are apt to imagine. It is probable that our minds are all equally endowed, and, at first, are precisely the same. That they are susceptible of like impressions. And if a case be supposed, where two persons could be brought up in such a manner, that every external circumstance, having the least effect on the senses, could be precisely the same to each, that their dispositions would be in all res pects similar ; indeed, the men would be perfectly alike. This hypothesis is reconcilable with the maxim (under existing circumstances) that no two persons were ever in every respect alike. For, in the earliest state of the mind, it is so susceptible of impressions, that the slightest circumstances vary its direction and character. Frivolous causes produce the most important and lasting effects. Whence, we may readily account for the numberless shades of character, as resulting, not from an original difference in minds, but from the secret operation of physical causes.
It is curious to observe the relation between the senses of seeing and hearing, and the mind, and how sensibly the imperfections of the former tend to sharpen the faculties of the latter. So uniform has this rule held within the circle of my own acquaintance, that I am apt to conceive one's intellectual powers merely from a knowledge of his faculties of sight. One who is near-sighted, for example, usually possesses mental powers that are clear and nervous. In him, on the contrary, whose vision is bounded only by the horizon, we should look for a mind capable of please ing in the arts of poetry and fiction ; for he embraces at a glance all the beauties of nature. A retentive memory is also naturally associated with one who hears and sees with difficulty. Thus, by a little refinement, (I think reasonably,) we may refer the different faculties of the mind to the construction of the senses. The different bearings of these causes are obvious. They prove the importance of acquiring a habit of close thinking. He who hears and sees with difficulty, treasures up what he learns with care. A partial blindness invites contemplation. A man is not liable to have his attention distracted by frivolous events. They are in some measure shut out. He finds a study everywhere.
Example of a Conference.* Public Amusements, Splendid Religious Ceremonies, Warlike Preparations
and Display, and a Rigid Police, as means of Despotic Power.
Various as are the means by which an individual may acquire despotic power over a nation; none are more easy in their application, or more effectual in their results, than the mere act of providing and supporting, what, in such cases, are most erroneously called public amusements. Public amusements ! yes, - let but your tyrant, who would lord it with impunity, open his theatres, provide his shows, and procure every thing that can please the fancy, and delight the eyes and ears of the people, then he may rest in security, for those whom he would make slaves are placed upon the broad road that leadeth backward to darkness, but never onwards to light. They may pause at first, but the fatal charm soon overcomes their strength, and, blind to all evil consequences, they plunge madly on in pursuit of present pleasure.
It is easy to show how the people are so readily and so fatally de ceived, - it requires few examples and little reasoning to prove that temptations are strong, indulgence ruinous, the truth is written within, legibly upon our hearts.
I cannot, however, pass over this subject without calling your attention to one of the most instructive, the most splendid, and, at the same time, most appalling portions of history, the latter days of the Roman Empire. We have before us a nation that has raised itself from obscurity to gran. deur. — that has exchanged the name of exiles and vagabonds for the proud title of conquerors and sovereigns of the world; yet, in this very people, in their proudest day, we can trace the seeds of corruption.
They had early acquired a taste for public amusements, that had ever been gaining strength, and that was soon to be employed as the certain means of working their destruction.
The Roman frame retained as yet too much of its former strength and vigor to be roughly handled. An attempt to force chains upon it would have called forth a third Brutus full of the fire and patriotism of his an. cestors. They who aimed at the imperial purple, knew this, and, avoiding all violence, sought to accomplish their designs by craft and subtlety. Roman citizens, in their amusements, had already reached the limits, which cannot be passed with impunity; the only work that remained for
* One part only of this Conference is presented.