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purposes, were necessary to carry them into effect. He was not insensible of the value of habitual courtesy and conciliating manners; and his gracious carriage on many occasions is especially recorded: but to expect that a minister, placed under such circumstances as were those of Wolsey, could conduct with success the affairs of a great kingdom, involves an entire ignorance of human nature, and the laws of human events. The Commons of that age regarded him as their benefactor; nor did his fall deprive him of their affectionate attachment. To the last stage of his temporal existence they testified their esteem, and supplicated the blessings of heaven upon him.
But he was ambitious. Unprincipled ambition, which desires to attain the highest preferment only for the reward attached to it, in whatever shape that reward is bestowed, and alike disregards the means by which the end is to be obtained, or the ability with which the duty is to be executed, is a vice most base and contemptible, and can only exist in a very sordid mind. Such was not Wolsey's. His public employments, and his sovereign’s favour, conferred on him a revenue truly regal; and he spent it with a magnificence, splendour, and judgment, which merits praise. He had no paltry ambition of elevating his family by bestowing the rewards of his distinguished talents and services on nephews and cousins, who had no claims to honour and wealth, but what they derived from their kindred to him. His family is alike unknown, before and after him. His wealth came from the public. While he lived, he spent it in upholding the grandeur, or cherishing the interests, or providing for the instruction of that public. Had he been suffered to descend to the grave in peace, we can only suppose
many and glorious monuments he would have left of his love for learning, and of his liberality to those, who, void of patronage and wealth, seek the peaceful distinctions of literary excellence; or how many, like himself, might have been raised to eminence, upon funds provided by his munificence. We only know that such foundations would have been neither few nor poorly endowed. One remains, and, mutilated as it has been, is the noblest monument of departed worth existing in the three kingdoms. Would to heaven that such were the common effects of ambition !
SOCRATES' BODILY EXERCISES. Amongst the voluntary labours and exercises of the body, which are practised for the purposes of strength and fortitude, we learn that the following was the custom of Socrates. Of him it is said, that he would stand in a fixed attitude, night and day, from the rising of one sun to another, without winking, or any kind of motion. His foot never stirred from its place; and in deep meditation, his eyes and countenance were directed to one individual spot, as if his mind and soul had been totally abstracted from his body. Favorinus, speaking on this subject, with many remarks on this man's fortitude, says, his abstemiousness also is said to have been so great, that he passed almost the whole of his life in uninterrupted health. Amidst the havoc of that pestilence, which at the commencement of the Peloponnetian war, depopulated Athens with a most destructive species of disease, by similar rules of forbearance and moderation he is said so to have abstained from all indulgences, and to have enjoyed his bodily vigour, as not at all to have been injured by the universal contagion.
MEMOIR OF MISS JANE PORTER.
“ Crave, historical, and chaste."
Nothing is more just than the sentiment so well expressed by Lord Bacon, that mind is power. The intellectual superiority of this country forms, therefore, its highest praise ; since, instead of being restricted to mankind, it here includes that sex in whose persons are united the attractions and endearments of civilized life. England may truly pride herself on possessing an order of females to be found in no other land, who at once adorn the virtues and extend the renown of that nation, to whose intelligence and felicity they so much contribute.
The family of the lady whose portrait now embellishes the present work, and who herself is acknowledged an author of rank, are already known for their literary taste. According to the statement first made public by the late Mrs. Robinson, they are maternally descended from two ancient families in Northumberland;" but their father was a native of Ireland, and embraced the profession of a soldier. His daughters are represented as having received the elements of knowledge “north of Tweed," where the eldest of them, the subject of this passing sketch, is believed to have in reality perfected the formation of her mind.
Deprived of their father at an early stage of life, it devolved on their mother not only to watch the progress of their infant years, but to assist in urging them forward to that distinction at which her children have since arrived. She first encouraged that genius, and gloried in that spirit, to the display of which her family owe alike their respectability and fame. Maternal love has never been more energetically exerted than by this excellent mother ;
any mother found greater cause to rejoice in the result of her cares, as exemplified in the affection and prosperity of her offspring.
Mrs. Porter came with her family to town, many years ago, with the design of introducing the present Sir Robert Ker Porter to the Royal Academy, which he attended for the purposes of improvement in that pictorial school. Attracted by the graces and talents of the subject of the present sketch, together with those of her sister, their residence soon became the favourite resort of persons of genius and literature. It is alluding to this fact, that one of the most accomplished poets of modern times, then continually in the habit of visiting them, thus describes the feelings which their society had imparted to him.
“ Blest pair! how fast the rosy-pinion'd hours
Fled when wit, sense, and harmony, combining,
A while my spirit charm'd from sad repining.”
Encompassed by ingenious friends," Miss Jane Porter soon began to try the strength of her talents, by contributing to one or two magazines no longer in existence. Her first great work, “ Thaddeus of Warsaw," did not appear till after she had ascertained the reception which her writings were likely to experience in the world; and its success has proved that she
did not judge too partially of her literary skill. Every person who is endued with intellectual sensibility will agree with the critic, that it “ is a work of genius,” which must“ receive the precious meed of sympathy from every reader of unsophisticated sentiment and genuine feeling ;" and also, that it“ inculcates virtuous and magnanimous sentiments.”
This work, exhibiting a new species of composition,” has reached to a sixth edition, in four volumes; and has been followed by the Romance of “ The Scottish Chiefs," in five volumes, from the same pen.
Between the publication of these works, however, Miss Porter sent into the world two volumes of “ Aphorisms of Sir Philip Sidney; with Remarks." Of all the authors whom Miss Porter has adverted to, it appears that Sir Philip Sidney, who, when living, was
the secret wish of many a female heart,” is eminently her favourite one. Whether his fair commentator will ever add to literary biography her“ projected life of Sir Philip Sidney,” of which she here speaks, forms a question which she only can answer ; but the present writer has reason to believe that such a performance must for several years have occupied her attention,
The age of chivalry is not past. Animated by the noble spirit of that age, “ soaring upward,” Miss Porter has caught much of the virtue of the hero, whose character she has contemplated with such admiration. Hence the high and magnanimous style of thinking and feeling which distinguish and dignify her works; hence, indeed, her writings at once soften and improve the heart, while they eleyate and ennoble the mind.
Literature is indispensable to society. With this conviction as to the actual state of the public taste, and particularly as it applies to the female sex, it is gratifying to narrate the literary career of a lady, whose volumes bear the uniform stamp of pure morality, sound sense, and just taste. Persevering in her amiable course, Miss Porter will have the satisfaction of reflecting that she has not lived in vain ; and, what must be still dearer to such a mind, that she has employed with honour those talents, for whose application she must hereafter be made accountable,
How swift the shades of Evening rise,
And intercept the wand'ring sight;
Pursue the last saint streaks of light,
Adds greater force to my despair;
And wakens every terror there.
The soul on Reason's wings may rise,
And, soaring, pierce beyond the skies.
Thus sinks my grovelling thoughts to earth;
Trace the Great Source that gave it birth ?
In my afflicted breast is found;