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Parliament of Newport, in the Isle of Wight. Opposed at first to the despotic plans of the Court, when he believed that the leaders of the popular party were pursuing objects not less perilous to the constitution, he became a powerful opponent to them; and Charles, wishing to enlist all such on his own side, appointed him to be Secretary of State. It was with great reluctance that he was persuaded-chiefly by Clarendon, his personal friend-to march under the banner of Charles. Sincerely attached to the constitution in its balanced form, conscientiously observant of truth, and severely upright in moral principle, he was no more prepared to defend the absolutism and duplicity of the Monarch, than to support the opposing party in their movements towards republicanism. Perhaps his early habits and feelings, as well as his position in the State, contributed, with the influence of private friendship, so far to overcome his indecision, as to induce him to engage with Charles. Having taken his part, he maintained it with his characteristic firmness, and with the undeviating consistency which his high honour demanded. But, though he accompanied Charles, and shrank from no danger, he accepted no command, and sought, at every opportunity, to effect a reconciliation. A romantic, as well as principled, lover of his country, his heart bled over the wounds inflicted on her by her contending children. He became thoughtful even to sadness, and the deep melancholy of his spirit continually shadowed his countenance. Even among his friends, to whom he was ardently attached, and in whose society, especially in the literary and philosophical conversation for which it afforded opportunity, had been his chief earthly delight, it was evident that his chief sympathies were with his suffering country, and that her wretchedness was his own. The passionate and increasing longings of his soul were for the restoration of tranquillity. His most frequent ejaculation, alone or with others, was, “ Peace, peace !" He on one occasion declared that his sleep had departed from him, and that his heart was breaking under the oppressive sense of the calamities experienced by the nation. He was present at the battle of Newbury, September 20th, 1643. The preceding evening he paced up and down his tent, repeatedly uttering the term, “Peace, peace, peace!" which disclosed the object of his thoughts and desires, on the very eve of what proved to be his last conflict. He insisted on taking his place in the first rank of the cavalry which charged the army of the Parliament; and on the first encounter he was slain, being only thirty-three years of age.
SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATIONS. Numbers xi. 5. “We remember the fish that we did eat freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, and the MELONS,” &c.—The cucurbitacea, or gourd tribe, are remarkable for their power of adapting themselves to the different situations where they can be grown. Thus Mr. Elphinstone describes some of them as yielding large and juicy fruit in the Indian desert, where water is three hundred feet from the surface. Extreme of moisture, however, is far from injurious to them, as the great majority of them are successfully cultivated in the rainy season in India. Mr. Moorcroft describes an extensive collection of melons and cucumbers in the beds of weeds which float on the lakes of Cashmere. They are similarly cultivated in Persia and in China. In India, some of the species may be seen in the most arid places, others in the densest jungles. Planted at the foot of a tree, they emulate the vine in ascending its branches ; and near a hut, they soon cover its thatch with a coating of green. They form a principal portion of the culture of Indian gardens: the farmer even rears them in the neighbourhood of his wells.
In Egypt they formed a portion of the food of the people at the very early period when the Israelites were led by Moses from its rich cultivation into the midst of the desert. The melon, the water-melon, and several others of the cucurbitaceæ, are mentioned by Wilkinson as still cultivated there; and are described as being sown in the middle of December, and cut, the melons in ninety, the cucumbers in sixty, days.
It was known to the Romans, and cultivated by Columella,
with the assistance of some precaution at cold times of the year. It is said to have been introduced into this country about the year 1520, and was called musk-melon, to distinguish it from the pumpkin, which then was usually called melon.
The fruit of the melon may be seen in great variety, whether with respect to the colour of its rind, or of its flesh, its taste or its odour, and also its external form and size. The flesh is soft and succulent, of a white, yellowish, or reddish hue, of a sweet and pleasant taste, of an agreeable, sometimes musk-like, odour; and forms one of the most delicious of fruits, which, when taken in moderation, is wholesome, but, like all other fruits of a similar kind, is Jiable to cause indigestion and diarrhea when eaten in excess, especially in those unaccustomed to its use.
All travellers in eastern countries have borne testimony to the refreshment and delight they have experienced from the fruit of the melon. Hasselquist, speaking of what he calls the “ Egyptian melon” and “ Queen of cucumbers,” says that “it grows only in the fertile soil round Cairo; that the fruit is a little watery, and the flesh almost of the same substance as that of the melon, sweet and cool;” that “the Grandees and Europeans in Egypt eat it as the most pleasant fruit they find, and from which they have the least to apprehend ;” adding, that “it is the most excellent fruit of this tribe of any yet known.”
The water-melon resembles the other kinds considerably in its properties, and chiefly differs from them in its deeply-cut leaves. The pulp abounds so much in watery juice, that it will run out through a hole made in the rind; and it is from this peculiarity that it has obtained the names of melon d'eau, wasser melon, water-melon. Hasselquist says, that “it is cultivated on the banks of the Nile, in the rich clayey earth which subsides during the inundation, and serves the Egyptians for meat, drink, and physic. It is eaten in abundance, during the season, even by the richest sort of people ; but the common people, on whom Providence hath bestowed nothing but poverty and patience, scarcely eat anything but these, and account this the best time of the year, as they are obliged to put up with worse at other seasons.”—Kitto's Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature.
MEMOIR OF SOCRATES.
(Concluded from page 445.) Perhaps the highest praise ever bestowed on mere mortal man by mere mortal man, is that given to Socrates by Cicero. This “prince” (perhaps it should be, chief ) “ of philosophy and eloquence,” (as he was termed by a Christian Father, Salvian,) who had studied the subject in its whole extent, says, that previously to the time of the Athenian sage, philosophers had mainly concerned themselves about speculative and physical matters, “whence all things arose, and whither they receded,” the stars, and all such celestial things; but that “Socrates was the first who called philosophy down from heaven," (the connexion fixes his reference to the visible heavens,)“ placed it in cities, introduced it even into houses, and caused it to inquire into what concerned life, and manners, and things good and evil.” He adds, “Whose manifold method of disputation, variety of subjects, and largeness of genius, consecrated by the memorials and works of Plato, have produced many kinds of philosophers dissenting from him."* He subjoins a curious observation, which we
* Unde omnia orirentur, quove recederent. Siderum magnitudines, etc., et cuncta celestia. Socrates autem primus philosophiam devocavit e cælo, et in urbibus collocavit, et in domos etiam introduxit, et coegit de vita, et moribus, rebusque bonis et malis quærere. Cujus multiplex ratio disputandi, rerumque varietas, et ingenii magnitudo, Platonis memoriæ et litteris consecrata, plura genera effecit philosophorum. E quibus nos id potissimum consectati sumus, quo Socratem usum arbitramur, ut nostram ipsi sententiam tegeremus, errore alios levaremus, et in omni disputatione, quid esset simillimum veri, quæreremus.--Tusc. Quæst., lib. v., $ 4.
By the way, we may just observe that in his “ Tusculan Questions," Cicero plainly makes the Socrates of Plato's “ Dialogues " his model. First, one of his friends suggested a subject, giving his opinion, on which sitting or walking Cicero disputed. “For this, as thou knowest, is the old and Socratic plan of disputing against the opinion of another. For thus Socrates judged, that which was most truth-like, might most easily be discovered." Hæc est enim, ut scis, vetus et Socratica ratio contra alterius opinionem disserendi. Nam ita facillime quid verisimillimum esset, inveniri posse, Socrates arbitrabatur.-Ibid., lib. i., $ 4.
quote as a good account (considering the authority) of the Socratic method. “From among whom we have especially chosen that way which we consider Socrates to have employed, that we might conceal our own opinion, extricate others from error, and in every disputation seek that which should be most like to truth.”
“What should be most like the true!” This seems to have been the highest point to which their hopes looked. Truth they did not expect to find; and even for verisimilitude they had diligently to search, and industriously to labour. No wonder that when the incarnate Wisdom and Word of God declared before the Roman Governor, who would scarcely be a stranger to this eloquent passage, that He was come into the world, not to erect a secular kingdom, but to bear witness of the truth, the reply should be,—whether in scorn or pity, who now can tell ?-" What is truth?”
It is evident from what Cicero thus states, that Socrates was eminently a practical man. The magnitudes and distances of the stars he left to others to measure; their courses to others to trace. Instead of mapping the heavens, he contented himself with seeking to describe the path to which duty called men upon earth. Moral good and evil, so far as he knew them, were the subjects on which he chose to descant, labouring to persuade his auditors to practise the one and avoid the other. And this is plain from Plato. His works are all dialogues, in each of which Socrates is the hero; each being devoted to a particular subject, correct notions concerning which he represents Socrates as endeavouring to give. For how much, in all these cases, we are indebted to the memory of Plato, as being actually the recollected conversations of Socrates, or for how much to his own exuberant powers of invention, cannot of course be now decided. Probably the groundwork was laid by the master, while the imaginative reason of the disciple gave the principles he had thus received further development, and thus raised him into the universally acknowledged highest rank of human philosophers. Two of these dialogues we are now going to consider.
We left Socrates condemned to die, but conducted to the prison where he was to be incarcerated for the thirty days