Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

and placed upright on tablets, disposed step above step along the sides of the vault, the head, the arms, and the feet are left naked. A preservation like this is horrid. The skin discoloured, dry, and as if it had been tanned, nay, torn in some places, is glewed close to the bone. It is easy to imagine, from the different grimaces of this numerous assemblage of fleshless figures, rendered fill more frightful by a long beard on the chin, what a hideous spectacle this must exhibit; and whoever has seen a Capuchin alive, may form an idea of this singular REPOSITORY of dead friars,

NATIONAL INSTITUTE

OF

TH

SCIENCES AND ARTS AT PARIS. "HIS establishment belongs to the whole nation. 1.

Its object is the advancement of the arts and sciences by a course of uninterrupted enquiry, and a constant correspondence with literary and philofophical societies in foreign nations; and particularly to mark and record the literary and scientific labours, that have for their object not only the general benefit of mankind, but the glory of the Republic. 2. It is composed of 144 members, resident in Paris, and an equal number of associates_dispersed throughout the different provinces of the Republic. Its asociates in foreign nations are in number twenty-four, being eight for the three different classes. 3. The Institute is di. vided into three classes, and each class into different sections ; thus

First Class.--Sciences, Physical and Mathematical, comprehending 1. Mathematics. 2. Mechanical Arts. 3. Astronomy, 4. Experimental Physics. S. Chymistry. 6. Natural History and Mineralogy. 7. Botany and Vegetation in general. 8. Anatomy and

Zoology

Zoology. 9. Medicine and Surgery. 10. Rural Economy and the Veterinary Art.

Second Class.--Moral and Political Sciences, com prehending 1. The Analysis of Sensations and Ideas. 2. Morals. 3. The Science of the Social Order and Legislation. 4. Political Economy. 5. History. 6, Geography.

Third Clafs.Literature and the Fine Arts, comprehending, 1. Grammar and Antient Languages. 2. Poetry. 3. Antiquities and Monuments. 4. Painting and Sculpture. 5. Architecture. 6. Music and Declamation. The coupling of these two laft articles reminds us of thefe beautiful lines :

« The angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charming left his voice, that he awhile.
Thought him ftill speaking, ftill ftood fix'd to hear.

MILTON."

ON MARRIAGE:

BY W, MUDFORD.

TH

HERE is no time of life when mature considera

tion and cool reflection are so powerfully demanded, as when a man begins feriously to think of marriage. It is then, and only then, that we stand fo much in need of all our powers of ratiocination. It is then that we ought to look into ourselves, and see, with an impartial eye, whether or not we are in any refpect hit for the bondage. We should weigh in the fcale of confideration our humours, our paffions, our caprices, our exacerbations, and, lastly, our virtue; then observe which bears the greater weight. If our foibles, how should we act then? Should we inconsiderately load them on the weaknesses of another? No. Should we not rather keep them to ourselves, and use our utmost endeavours to suppress them? Most certainly.

L 2

Another

Another consideration cught to form a part of our reflections previous to marriage. We should question ourselves rigidly. Ask if we are qualified to bear the many petty cares and difficulties which inevitably attend the marriage state. Whether we are qualified to endure all the individually trifling demands of attention which are due; but which, following in quick fucceffion, weigh down the spirits and four the na. tural gaiety and vivacity of man. Attentions which, considered singly, appear to demand little or no regard as to the performance of their being in themselves so trivial; and then erroneoufly imagining they will na. turally come, or at least will be rendered habitual. But it is no such thing.

The man who considers himself attentively, will quickly observe that he is born with a spirit of superiority and an ardent defire of liberty; he will observe that things which scarce excite notice in a woman, are to himn fetters of the most impregnable nature. Thus when married, unused to be controuled, he cannot at first submit to the yoke ; he cannot tacitly obey the apparent imposition--he endeavours to harmonize it to his feelings, but cannot. It becomes then still more insupportable, and at length utterly impossible ; at that instant he feels he would be a man ;-at that instant he feels there is nothing on earth so desirable as libertybut his is bartered. He reflects it cannot be regained, and sits down determined to quarrel with the world, and view, with the jaundiced

eye

of envy, those plea: sures in which he cannot participate.

Such too often is the bitter result of indiscreet and early marriages. By indiscreet marriages, I would be understood alliances where there is too great a disparity of age; where tempers are not similar, or where pursuits are diametrically opposite. For what in nature can be more ridiculous and absurd, than for a man in the prime of youth to marry a woman of fifty; or a man of placid manners a woman of a volatile temper;

or

or a man of genius his own illiterare maid-fervant ? It is madnefs in the extreme, and an insult to the human species.

Thus far I have considered marriage as an evil, under peculiar circumstances, I shall now make a few observations relative to the subject, and conclude my essay with an enumeration of the happy circumstances which attend a well premeditated and equitable union.

It is an undoubted fact, that that man is wise who can act confonant to his own feelings. From thence then is obviously deducible, that a marriage founded on difinterested motives, and every way congenial to the pure dictates of either heart, muft prove a fource of lafting and uninterrupted happiness; I mean as far as relates to the mere marriage itself. It is of the highest importance, generally speaking, that a man should be made acquainted with the motives which may actuate the woman. It would be the means of obviating the miferies attendant on deceptions of that nature.

The cohabitation of the two fexes, constitute part of the duty we owe to the Almighty. We were formed for each other, and, separated, our existence would become miserable. How unfociable a being would man be, were he deprived, for a certain period, of all intercourse with woman? Desire to please-to captivateto enjoy, would in him become extinct. In the midst of his species he would be alone, the evening would be as the morning, the morning as the evening-all to him dark, gloomy, and void of hope ; he would retire to reft, to sleep his cares away, and with to sleep for ever; he would wake but to imbibe a still stronger hatred to life. These pofitions are equally applicable to the female sex.

The human mind has certain perceptions which, if suffered to remain idle, would become callous. They must be exercised, not left to inactivityCondemn a man to perpetual slavery in the deserts of Arabia ; let him not have the most diftant hope of renovation,

and

L 3

and by progressive approximation to misery, he will at length become so hardened, that the very idea of happiness will be banished from his mind, and he will cease to look upon it as a desirable object. Thus with a man debarred the intercourse with woman, he would in time learn to suppress every finer feeling, sentiment, and sensation, which inclined towards them; and estab. lith in his breast one only passion, a final and determined hatred of his species. I shall take a future opportunity to expatiate more largely on this subject ; for the present I shall regard the nature of my essay.

Marriage may certainly be considered as a lottery of good and evil; but, at the same time, it must be allowed, that the possession of either the one or the other, depends alınost entirely on the reasoning faculties of the principal agent in it. As I have before observed, let every thing bear, as far as possible, a similarity. Let not parfimony be wedded to profuseness—the young to the adult-urbanity to petulancy-nor learning to ignorance ; for any one of these disproportionate unions must almost inevitably terminate in tauntings, revile. ings, and misery. Would men allow themselves a lit sober reflection ere they marry, they would then have no cause to repent it afterwards. I shall conclude the present effay with some few remarks on the foregoing affumption

It is not in the power of man to look into the book of fatė. We, therefore, can but speculatively provide for future happiness. In that, then, our reason ought to be the grand criterion by which we ought to act.

We decisively affix to a man who meets a danger he might avoid, the appellation of a fool, dolt, or even coward, in some instances. What then can we call that man who voluntarily drags upon himself an irremediable evil; an evil which nor time nor circumstance can feldom cure? What but madness! and that too in the

extreme.

Hc

« ZurückWeiter »