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most extremities, rather than imbrue their hands in blood. When the young fellow noticed that his arguments made no impression, he then artfully enumerated the sore afflictions which his youngest brother endured in Flanders from cold, penury, and toil. Nor did he fail to insinuate, that now an occasion presented itself of succouring the wretched youth, who was daily surrounded with famine, disease, and death. The pitiable father burst into torrents of tears, and hastily said, "Whatsoever we are to do, let us do it immediately."
Thus the lacerated heart, although it had resolutely maintained its ground against the piercing solicitations of poverty, the approaching terrors of a prison, and the importunate clamours of an undone child, nevertheless, fell a sudden sacrifice to the inordinate transports of parental affection.
VISITOR, No. 40.
This dreadful tale is a counterpart of "The Fatal Curiosity of Lillo," a tragedy of great excellence with regard to the construction of its fable, and of which the following correct analysis has been given by Mr. Harris, in his Philological Inquiries:
"A long lost son, returning home unexpectedly, finds his parents alive, but perishing with indigence.
"The young man, whom, from his long absence, his parents never expected, discovers himself first to an amiable friend,
his long-loved Charlotte; and, with her, concerts the manner how to discover himself to his parents.
"'Tis agreed he should go to their house, and there remain unknown, till Charlotte should arrive and make the happy discovery.
"He goes thither accordingly, and having, by a letter of Charlotte's, been admitted, converses, though unknown, both with father and mother, and beholds their misery with filial affection-complains at length he was fatigued (which in fact he really was), and begs he may be admitted for a while to repose. Retiring, he delivers a casket to his mother, and tells her 'tis a deposit she must guard, till he awakes.
"Curiosity tempts her to open the casket, where she is dazzled with the splendour of inumerable jewels. Objects so alluring suggest bad ideas, and poverty soon gives to those ideas a sanction. Black as they are, she communicates them to her husband, who, at first reluctant, is at length persuaded, and, for the sake of the jewels, stabs the stranger while he sleeps.
"The fatal murder is perpetrating, or at least but barely perpetrated, when Charlotte arrives, full of joy, to inform them, that the stranger within their walls was their long-lost son." P. 154, et seq.
Denique, jam, quoniam generatim reddita finis
Quid porro nequeant, sancitum quandoquidem extat.
To all has nature giv'n a bound precise
THE little excursions of the Inspector on parties of pleasure generally furnish the town with something extremely different from what might have been expected as the result of such expeditions. If another man had attended the sailing-match the other day to Gravesend, the world, if they were to be afterwards acquainted with the result of his observations, would look for something about navigation: I am not without a relish for the entertainment which I see people about me receive from these occurrences; but I am not so easily satisfied: the observation of the productions of nature is ever infinitely superior to all art has to recommend it; and, as there is scarce any place which
does not afford the means of entering into new disquisitions in regard to these, the Inspector hardly misses any opportunity of improving them.
I ordered the barge, in which we had, on this occasion, followed the vessels to the extent of their course, to fall some miles farther down the river; and while we dined under the shelter of an old mound, ordered our people who were provided with an instrument for that purpose, to rake up from the bottom whatsoever accident should throw in the way of their search. To describe the variety of animals and plants which a half-hour's labour of this kind had spread upon the farther part of this vessel, by that time we had done our repast, would take up the quantity of a volume. I think it a duty upon me, while I am amusing myself, to provide for the entertainment also of those who pay me the sensible compliment of a quarter of an hour of their time every morning: I selected, with this intent, one of the many animals which offered, and took some care of the having it conveyed home alive without injury.
The creature was one of those shell-fish commonly called Sea-Eggs, and by authors Echini Marini: it was one of the round kind, but not of the most common species. We are used to
meet with the empty and naked shell of this animal in the cabinets of the modern collectors of natural curiosities, and we admire the structure of it, even in that state, while we observe the multitude of regularly disposed prominences, and the several series of elegant perforations, which adorn its surface.
It is laudable to admire every object of the creation, even for its form and external structure, but we ought to distinguish between natural history and natural philosophy; and to know the vast difference there is between recollecting the exuviæ of animals, and the investigating the nature, properties, and qualities, of the creature to which they belong, before we suppose ourselves in a condition to judge of the utility of those studies. The admiring the superficies of objects is the delight of children: the investigating the nature and economy of the creature, and the structure and use of its several parts, is an attempt to which the human understanding, at its utmost extent, is hardly equal. Every man who has leisure, to whom accident has given opportunities, or who has but money at his disposal, may get together a collection; he only, who has judgment can use one.
I have thought thus much proper to say on this subject, in an age in which natural history