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twenty years of age, having finished his studies and exercises with great applause, he was removed from the university to the inns of court, where there are very few that make themselves considerable proficients in the studies of the place, who know they shall arrive at great estates without them. This was not Florio's case; he found that three hundred a year was but a poor "estate for LEONTINE and himself to live upon, so that he studied without intermission till he gained a very good insight into the constitution and laws of his country.
I should have told my reader, that whilst FLORIO lived at the house of his foster-father, he was always an acceptable guest in the family of Eudoxus, where he became acquainted with LEONILLA from her infancy. His acquaintance with her by degrees grew into love, which in a mind trained up in all the sentiments of honour and virtue became a very uneasy passion. He despaired of gaining an heiress of so great a fortune, and would rather have died than attempted it by any indirect methods. LEONILLA,* who was a woman of the greatest beauty joined with the greatest modesty, entertained at the same time a secret passion for Florio, but conducted herself with so much prudence that she never gave him the least intimation of it. FLORIo was now engaged in all those arts and improvements that are proper to raise a man's private fortune, and give him'a figure in his country, but secretly tormented with that passion which burns with the greatest fury in a virtuous and noble heart, when he received a sudden summons from LEONTINE to repair to him in the country the next day. For it seems Eudoxus was so filled with the report of his son's reputation, that he could no longer withhold making himself known to him. The morning after his arrival at the house of his supposed father, LeONTINE told him that Eudoxus had something of great
* The fable of Mr. OʻK! Efe's Agreeable Surprize seems to be taken from this story.
importance to communicate to him ; upon which the good man embraced him, and wept. Florio was no sooner arrived at the great house that stood in his neighbourhood, but Eudoxus took him by the hand, after the first salutes were over, and conducted him into his closet. He there opened to him the whole secret of his parentage and education, concluding after this manner : « I have no other way left of acknowledging my gratitude to LEONTINE, than by marrying you to his daughter. He shall not lose the pleasure of being your father by the discovery I have made to you. LEONILLA too shall be still my daughter; her filial piety, though misplaced, has been so exemplary that it deserves the greatest reward I can confer upon it, You shall have the pleasure of seeing a great estate fall to you, which you would have lost the relish of had you known yourself born to it. Continue only to deserve it in the same, manner you did before you were possessed of it. I have left your mother in the next room. Her heart yearns towards you. She is making the same discovery to LEONILLA which I have made to yourself.” FLORIO was so overwhelmed with this profusion of happiness, that he was not able to make a reply, but threw himself down at his father's feet, and amidst a flood of tears, kissed and embraced his knees, asking his blessing, and expressing in dumb shew those sentiments of love, duty, and gratitude that were too big for utterance. To conclude, the happy pair were married, and half EuDoxus's estate settled upon them, LEONTINE and Eupoxus passed the remainder of their lives together; and received in the dutiful and affectionate behaviour of FLORIO and LEONILLA the just recompence, as well as the natural effects of that care which they had bestowed upon them in their education,
A MAN who publishes his works in a volume, has an infinite advantage over one who communicates his writings to the world in loose tracts and single pieces, We do not expect to meet with any thing in a bulky volume, till after some heavy preamble, and several words of course, to prepare the reader for what follows. Nay, authors have established it as a kind of rule, That a man ought to be dull sometimes; as the most severe reader makes allowances for many rests and nodding-places in a voluminous writer. This gave occasion to the famous Greek proverb which I have chosen for my motto, “ That a great book is a great evil.”
On the contrary, those who publish their thoughts in distinct sheets, and as it were by piece-meal, have none of these advantages. We must immediately fall into our subject, and treat every part of it in a lively manner, or our papers are thrown by as dull and insipid. Our matter must lie close together, and either be wholly new in itself, or in the turn it receives from our expressions, Were the books of our best authors thus to be retailed to the public, and every page submitted to the taste of forty or fifty thousand readers, I am afraid we should complain of many flat expressions, trivial observations, beaten topics, and common thoughts, which go off very
well in the lump. At the same time, notwithstanding some papers may be made up of broken hints and irregular sketches, it is often expected that every sheet should be a kind of treatise, and make out in thought what it wants in bulk : that a point of humour should be worked up in all its parts; and a subject touched upon in its most essential articles, without the repetitions, tautologies, and enlargements, that are indulged to longer labours. * The ordinary writers of morality prescribe to their readers after the Galenic way; their medicines are made up in large quantities. An essay-writer must practise in the chemical method, and give the virtue of a full draught in a few drops. Were all books reduced thus to their quintessence, many a bulky author would make his appearance in a penny-paper. There would be scarce such a thing in nature as a folio ; the works of an age would be contained on a few shelves; not to mention millions of volumes, that would be utterly annihilated.
I cannot think that the difficulty of furnishing out separate papers of this nature, has hindered authors from communicating their thoughts to the world after such a manner: : though I must confess I am amazed that the press should be only niade use of in this way by newswriters, and the zealots of parties; as if it were not more advantageous to mankind, to be instructed in wisdom and virtue, than in politics; and to be made good fathers, husbands and sons, than counsellors and statesmen. Had the philosophers and great men of antiquity, who took so much pains in order to instruct mankind, and leave the world wiser and better than they found it; had they, I say, been possessed of the Art of Printing, there is no question but they would have made such an advantage of it, in dealing out their lectures to the pub
* Swift, in his Tale of a Tub, very humorously describes the modes in swelling out performances. MARTINUS SCRIBLERUS strongly recommends prolixity to all who are desirous of attaining perfection in the bathos.
lic. Our common prints would be of great use were they thus calculated to diffuse good sense through the bulk of a people, to clear up their understandings, animate their minds with virtue, dissipate the sorrows of a heavy heart, or unbend the mind from its more severe employments with innocent amusements. *. When knowledge, instead of being bound up in books and kept in libraries and retirements, is thus obtruded upon the public; when it is canvassed in every assembly, and exposed upon every table, I cannot forbear reflecting upon that
passage in the Proverbs : “ Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets; she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates. In the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning? And fools hate knowledge ?"
The many letters which come to me from persons of the best sense in both sexes, (for I may pronounce their characters from their way of writing) do not a little encourage me in the prosecution of this my undertaking: hesides that my bookseller tells me, the demand for these my papers increases daily. It is at his instance that I shall continue my rural speculations to the end of this month; several having made up separate sets of them, as they have done before of those relating to wit, to operas, to points of morality, or subjects of bumour.
I am not at all mortified, when sometimes I see my works thrown aside by men of no taste nor learning. There is a kind of heaviness and ignorance that hangs upon the minds of ordinary men, which is too thick for“ VOL, III,
* This is a most excellent idea, and worthy of the mind of an ADDISON. It may deserve the consideration of the conducLors of papers, whether the frequent insertion of essays on moral and literary subjects might not add to the value of their publie cations.