Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 476 pages of information about Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists.

The Rabbi then treats of the seduction and the fall of man; of the consequent fall of the demon, and the punishment which God inflicted on Adam, Eve, and the serpent.  “He made them all come before him; pronounced nine maledictions on Adam and Eve, and condemned them to suffer death; and he precipitated Sammael and all his band from heaven.  He cut off the feet of the serpent, which had before the figure of a camel (Sammael having been mounted on him), and he cursed him among all beasts and animals.”


------True Gentrie standeth in the trade
Of virtuous life, not in the fleshy line;
For bloud is knit, but Gentrie is divine.

  —­Mirror for Magistrates.

I have mentioned some peculiarities of the Squire in the education of his sons; but I would not have it thought that his instructions were directed chiefly to their personal accomplishments.  He took great pains also to form their minds, and to inculcate what he calls good old English principles, such as are laid down in the writings of Peachem and his contemporaries.  There is one author of whom he cannot speak without indignation, which is Chesterfield.  He avers that he did much, for a time, to injure the true national character, and to introduce, instead of open, manly sincerity, a hollow, perfidious courtliness.  “His maxims,” he affirms, “were calculated to chill the delightful enthusiasm of youth; to make them ashamed of that romance which is the dawn of generous manhood, and to impart to them a cold polish and a premature worldliness.

“Many of Lord Chesterfield’s maxims would make a young man a mere man of pleasure; but an English gentleman should not be a mere man of pleasure.  He has no right to such selfish indulgence.  His ease, his leisure, his opulence, are debts due to his country, which he must ever stand ready to discharge.  He should be a man at all points; simple, frank, courteous, intelligent, accomplished, and informed; upright, intrepid, and disinterested; one that can mingle among freemen; that can cope with statesmen; that can champion his country and its rights, either at home or abroad.  In a country like England, where there is such free and unbounded scope for the exertion of intellect, and where opinion and example have such weight with the people, every gentleman of fortune and leisure should feel himself bound to employ himself in some way towards promoting the prosperity or glory of the nation.  In a country where intellect and action are trammelled and restrained, men of rank and fortune may become idlers and triflers with impunity; but an English coxcomb is inexcusable; and this, perhaps, is the reason why he is the most offensive and insupportable coxcomb in the world.”

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Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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