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history of any of those heroes of the moral scene, whose life has been one continued deed of generosity to mankind, without feeling that, if there be virtue on earth, there has been virtue in that bosom which has suffered much, or dared much, that the world might be free from any of the ills which disgraced it. The strong lines, with which the author of the “Botanic Garden” concludes his praise of one of the most illustrious of these heroes of benevolence, scarcely express more than we truly feel on the contemplation of such a character. It does seem as if man, when he acts as man should act, is a being of some higher order than the frail, erring creature among whom we ourselves pass a life, that, with all its occasional acts of generosity and self-command, is still, like theirs, a life of frailty and error :
CHARACTER OF HOWARD.
And now, Philanthropy! thy rays divine
The benevolent spirit, as its object is the happiness of all who
reach of its efforts, or almost of its wishes. When we speak of benefactions, indeed, we think only of one species of good action; and charity itself, so comprehensive in its etymological meaning, is used as if it were nearly synonymous with the mere opening of the purse. But “it is not money only which the unfortunate need; and they are but sluggards in well-doing,” as Rousseau strikingly expresses the character of this indolent benevolence, “who know to do good only when they have a purse in their hand.” Consolations, counsels, cares, friendship, protection, are so many resources which pity leaves us for the assistance of the indigent, even though wealth should be wanting. The oppressed -often continue to be
oppressed, merely because they are without an organ to render their complaints known to those who have the power of succor. It requires sometimes but a word which they cannot say; a reason which they know not how to state; the opening of a single door of a great man, through which they are not permitted to pass, to obtain for them all of which they are in need. The intrepid support of a disinterested virtue is, in such cases, able to remove an infinity of obstacles : and the eloquence of a single good man, in the cause of the injured, can appal tyranny itself in the midst of its power.
THE GOODNESS OF GOD.
The goodness of God is, of all subjects of inquiry, that which is most interesting to us. It is the goodness of him to whom we owe, not merely that we exist, but that we are happy or uniserable now, and according to which we are to hope or fear for a future, that is not limited to a few years, but extends through all the ages of immortality. Have we, then, reason to believe that God is good ? that the designing power, which it is impossible for us not to perceive and admit, is a power of cruelty or kindness? Of whom is this the question? of those whose whole life has been a continued display of the bountiful provision of Heaven from the first moment at which life began.
But we are not to think that the goodness of God extends only to man. The humblest life, which man despises, is not despised by Him who made man of nothing, and all things of nothing, and
Is thine alone the seed that strews the plain?
The birds of Heaven shall vindicate their grain."! In vain do we strive to represent to ourselves all nature as our own, and only our own. The happiness which we see the other races around us enjoying is a proof that it is theirs as well as ours ; and that he, who has given us the dominion of all things that live on earth, has not forgotten the creatures which he has intrusted to our sway. Even in the deserts, in which our sway is not acknowledged, where the lion, if man approached, would see no lord before whom to tremble, but a creature far feebler than the ordinary victims of his hunger, or his wrath-in the dens and the wildernesses, there are pleasures which owe nothing to us, but which are not the less felt by the fierce hearts that inhabit the dreadful recesses. They, too, have their happiness; because they too were created by a Power that is good—and of whose beneficent design, in forming the world, with all its myriads of myriads of varied races of inhabitants, the happiness of these was a part.
So also is the seemingly happy existence of that minute species of life which is so abundant in every part of the great scene in which we dwell. I shall not attempt to trace the happiness upward, through all the alacrity and seeming delight in existence, of the larger animals—an ever-flowing pleasure, of which those who have had the best opportunities of witnessing multitudes of gregarious animals feeding together, and rejoicing in their common pasture, will be the best able to appreciate the amount. All have means of enjoyment within themselves; and, if man be the happy sovereign of the creation, he is not the sovereign of miserable subjects.
“Ask for wbat end the heavenly bodies shine,
My footstool earth--my canopy the skies."2 All these sources of blessings, that are infinite as the living beings that enjoy them, were made, indeed, for man, whose pride of many elements, that perhaps bears but a small proportion to the rest; and it is not of this single element that we are to think, when we consider the benevolence of that God who has willed the whole.
Of Dr. Brown's poetry, "The Paradise of Coquettes" ba been by far the most popular, though it is now but little read. Of it, the “Edinburgh Review"! thus speaks: “It is by far the best and most brilliant imitation of Pope that has appeared since the time of that great writer ; with all his point, polish, and nicely-balanced versification, as well as his sarcasm and witty malice: deficient, indeed, in the strong sense and compressed reasoning by which he is distinguished, but possessing all the brightness and elegance and vivacity of his lighter and more exquisite productions; and almost entitled, if it were not for its injudicious diffuseness and the defect of its machinery, to take its place by the side of the “Rape of the Lock.'"
The poem is in nine parts. The first part is prefatory, and has not much connection with the rest of the poem. The second part discovers to us “ Zepbyra," just returned at daybreak from an evening party; mortified at having been eelipsed by the charms of a late-arriving rival; and weighing in her bosom the pleasures of a coquette's life against the endless inquietudes and disappointments with which it is attended. The latter, she finds, vastly preponderate; and just as she has passed a solemn vow of abjuration of coquetry, a person called the Genius of Coquetry appears-pardons her basty resolve-and, by dint of flattery, wins her back to her pristine allegiance. With true feminine curiosity, she implores the deity to make use of his omniscient faculties in disclosing to her all the conquests she is to make: this he declines to do, but hints to her that they will be all that the most inordinate ambition could desire. The following is a part of the coquette's repining :
SOLILOQUY AFTER THE BALL.
How did I hope to vex a thousand eyes !
Why was the triumph given? Too flattering joy!
1 Vol. xxiv. p. 397.
Held my light fan with more than woman's grace,
The bubble he may break, but not my heart. The third canto begins in an ambiguous tone, somewhat between raillery, sarcasm, and apology for
THE CHANGEFULNESS OF WOMAN.
Ye watchful sprites, who make e'en man your care,
ANNE HUNTER, 1742–1821.
Anne Hunter, the wife of the celebrated anatomist, John Hunter, and the