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dowed by Providence with climate and productions, that were it not for this prejudice to the natale solum, the greater part of the habitable world would be a scene of envy and repining. National predilection is in this sense a blessing, and perhaps a virtue ; but if it operates otherwise, than in the best sense of its definition, it perverts the judgment, and in some cases vitiates the heart. It is an old saying, that charity begins at home, but this is no reason it should not go abroad: A man should live with the world as a citizen of the world ; he
may have a preference for the particular quarter, or square, or even alley in which he lives, but he fhould have a generous feeling for the welfare of the whole; and if in his rambles through this great city (the world), he may chance upon a man of a different habit, language or complexion from his own, ftill he is a fellowcitizen, a short sojourner in common with himself, subject to the same wants, infirmities and necessities, and one that has a brother's claim upon him for his charity, candour and relief. It were to be wished no traveller would leave his own country without these impressions, and it would be still better if all who live in it would adopt them ; but as an Observer of mankind (let me speak it to the honour of my country
men) I have very little to reproach them with on this account: It would be hard if a nation, more addicted to travel than any other in Europe, had not rubbed off this rust of the foul in their excursions and collifions; it would be an indelible reproach, if a people, fo bleft at home, were not benevolent abroad. Our ingenious neighbours the French are less agreeable guests than hosts : I am afraid their national prejudices reach a little beyond candour in most cases, and they are too apt to indulge a vanity, which does not become so enlightened a nation, by shutting their eyes against every light except their own; but I do a violence to my foclings, when I express myself unfavourably of a people, with whom 'we have long been implicated in the most ho. nourable of all connections, the mutual pursuits of litcrary fame, and a glorious emulation in arts and sciences.
Prejudices of education are lefs dangerous thản religious prejudices, less common than na
tional ones, and more excufable than any; in general they are little else than ridiculous habits, 'which cannot obtain much in a country where public education prevails, and such as a commerce with the world can hardly 'fail to cure : They are characteristic of seraglio princes; the property of fequestered beings, who live in
celibacy and retirement, contracted in childhood and confirmed by age: A man, who has passed his life on shipboard, will pace the length of his quarter-deck on the terrace before his house, were it a mile in length.
These are harmless peculiarities, but it is obyious to experience that prejudices of a very evil nature may be contracted by habits of education; and the very defective state of the police, which is suffered yet to go on without reform in and about our capital, furnishes too many examples of our fatal inattention to the morals of our infant poor : Amongst the many wretched culprits who suffer death by the law, how many are there, who, when Itanding at the bar to receive sentence of execution, night urge this plea in extenuation of their guilt!
« This action, which you are pleased to term « criminal, I have been taught to consider as « meritorious: The arts of fraud and thieving, “ by which I gained my living, are arts in“ stilled into me by my parents, habits wherein “I was educated from my infancy, a trade to “ which I was regularly bred: If these are
things not to be allowed of, and a violation “ of the laws, it behoved the laws to prevent “ them, rather than to punish them; for I can. “not see the equity of putting me to death for
« actions, which, if your police had taken any
charge of me in my infancy, I never had “committed. If you would secure yourselves s from receiving wrong, you should teach us “not to do wrong; and this might eafily be ss éffected, if you had any eye upon your parish poor.
my part, I was born and bred in so the parish of Saint Giles ; my parents kept a «« shop for the retail of gin, and old rags ; s christening I had none; a church I never
entered, and no parish officer ever visited our « habitation : If he had done so, he would have « found a seminary of thieves and pick-pockets, “a magazine of stolen goods, a house of call " where nightly depredators met together to compare accounts, and make
merry “plunder: Amongst these and by these I was “educated; I obeyed them as my masters, and "I looked up to them as my examples: I beļ lieved them to be great men; I heard them « recount their actions with glory; I saw them “ die like heroes, and I attended their execu« tions with triumph. It is now my turn to “ fuffer, and I hope I shall not prove myself “ unworthy of the calling in which I have been “ brought up: If there be any fault in my
conduct, the fault is yours; for, being the a child of poverty, I was the son of the public:
“ If there be any honour, it is my own; for I.
I cannot excuse myself from touching upon one more prejudice, which may be called natural, or self-prejudice: Under correction of the Dampers I hope I may be allowed to fay, that . a certain portion of this is a good quickener in all constitutions; being seasonably applied, it acts like the four in the wing of the oftrich, and keeps industry awake : Being of the nature of all volatiles and provocatives, the merit of it confifts in the moderation and discretion which administer it: If a man rightly knows himself, he may be called wise ; if he justly confides in himself, he may be accounted happy; but if he keeps both this knowledge and this confidence to himself, he will neither be less wise nor less happy for so doing: If there are any secrets, which a man ought to keep from his nearest friends, this is one of them. If there were no better reason why. 'a man hould not vaunt himself, but because it is robbing the poor mountebanks of their livelihood, methinks it would be reason enough: If he must think aloud upon such occasions, let him lock himself into his closet, and take it out in soliloquy: If