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present humour of the prince, whatever it is. Of all this I found myself so incapable, that I could not talk a language I did not mean, nor serve a turn I did not like. Besides, I have had, in twenty years' experience, enough of the uncertainty of princes, the caprices of Fortune, the corruption of ministers, the violence of factions, the unsteadiness of counsels, and the infidelity of friends; nor do I think the rest of


life enough to make any new experiments.

“And so I take my leave of all those airy visions which have so long busied my head about mending the world, and at the same time of all those shining toys or follies that employ the thoughts of busy men ; and shall turn mine wholly to mend myself, and, as far as consists with a private condition, still pursuing that old and excellent counsel of Pythagoras : That we are, with all the cares and endeavours of our lives, to avoid diseases in the body, perturbations in the mind, luxury in diet, factions in the house, and seditions in the state.'

All these rules and axioms, whether of Pythagoras or himself, are golden ; and with these he closes his justification for retiring from public life. To this we will add, in proof of his sincerity, that he never breathed a wish to return, but betook himself to the exercise of his delightful mind on subjects more congenial to his taste, and more conducive to his happi

The proof of this appears in the consequences that attended his retreat; for it was to the leisure and freedom from constraint which this procured for him we owe some of the most admired of his works;


eminently those on “Heroic Virtue,” “Long Life,"

“ and the “ Gardens of Epicurus;" * full of classic lore, full of philosophy, full of all that which makes the reader happier, better, and wiser, for every perusal which his own retirement may enable him to give them. Nor can we close this whole subject more fitly than with his own honest account of himself in the new path he had chosen; for, though in danger of being thought prolix, the good it does both to our hearts and minds to contemplate this wise and good man living for himself, after having so long and usefully lived for the world, will be our sufficient apology.

“I may, perhaps, be allowed to know something of this trade (gardening), since I have so long allowed myself to be good for nothing else, which few men will do; or enjoy their gardens without often looking abroad to see how other matters play, what motions in the state, and what invitations they may hope for into other


“For my own part, as the country life, and this part of it more particularly, were the inclination of my youth itself, so they are the pleasure of my age; and I can truly say, that, among many great employments that have fallen to my share, I have never asked or sought for any one of them, but often endeavoured to escape from them into the case and freedom of a private scene, where a man may go his own way, and his own pace, in the common paths or circles of life.

* Written in the first years after his retirement.


“The measure of choosing well is, whether a man likes what he has chosen, which, I thank God, has befallen me; and though among the follies of my

life building and planting have not been the least, and have cost me more than I have the confidence to own, yet they have been fully recompensed by the sweetness and satisfaction of this retreat, where, since my

resolu. tion taken of never entering again into any public employments, I have passed five years without ever going once to town, though I am almost in sight of it, and have a house there always ready to receive

Nor has this been any sort of affectation, as some have thought it, but a mere want of desire or humour to make so small a remove; for, when I am in this corner, I can truly say with Horace,

• Me quoties reficit gelidus Digentia rivus,
Quid sentire putas, quid credis, amice, precari?
Sit mihi quod nunc est, etiam minus ; et mihi vivam

Quod superest ævi, si quid superesse volunt Dî.'"* With this wish of the sage and the Christian we close this (I trust not useless) account of one of the brightest ornaments of our history. Well did he deserve the motto from Pliny's account of the death of Virginius Rufus, who had refused the empire, and which Swift affixed to the last of his Memoirs, justifying his retirement from public affairs: “Et ille quidem plenus annis abiit, plenus honoribus, illis etiam

** As often as Digentia, that cool stream, refreshes me,

What does my friend think are my feelings, what my prayer ?
That I may only continue to possess my present fortune, or even less, -
So that I may live the rest of my life, should the gods permit it to

be prolonged - to myself."

quos recusavit.

"* May we not then say that he was one of the few, the very few, who,

“ Too wise for pride; too good for pow'r,
Enjoy'd the glory to be great no more?” +

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Epist. lib. ii. 1. † It will here, perhaps, be not amiss if we record what seems said of his character as well as his style, in a critique on the latter by a pleasing author. “No writer whatever has stamped upon his style a more lively impression of his own character. In reading his works we seem engaged in conversation with him. We become thoroughly acquainted with him, not merely as an author, but as a man, and contract a friendship for him. He may be classed as standing in the middle between a negligent simplicity and the highest degree of ornament." Blair's Lectures, ii. 26.

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“ Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
In the same time 'tis made."

SHAKSPEARE: Coriolanus.

ANOTHER example of the sound ambition, above all low selfishness and vulgar attachment to place for its own sake, is presented by Lord Townshend, long one of the most considerable ministers of George I.; equal indeed to Temple in integrity and independence of mind and of conduct, though inferior to him in mental accomplishments and polite learning.

His character has been drawn with his usual clearness and force by Chesterfield, who does not conceal his defects, which, being chiefly confined to too much impetuosity, and a want of elegance, or rather a coarseness of manner, partook of nothing approaching to a spot on his reputation, though they were sins in the eyes of his Lordship, and rendered him disagreeable to Queen Caroline. On the other hand, Lord Chesterfield bears warm testimony to the kindness of his nature, as a husband, father, and master, and to his integrity and knowledge of business, observing that never minister had cleaner hands. He retired, therefore, because not of a temper to act a second part under George II., after having acted a first under George I. But, though he felt forced to

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