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dowed by Providence with climate and productions, that were it not for this prejudice to the natale folum, the greater part of the habitable world would be a fcene of envy and repining. National predilection is in this fenfe a bleffing, and perhaps a virtue; but if it operates otherwife than in the beft fense of its definition, it perverts the judgment, and in fome cafes vitiates the heart. It is an old faying, that charity begins at home, but this is no reason it fhould not go abroad: A man fhould live with the world as a citizen of the world; he may have a preference for the particular quarter, or fquare, 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 fhort fojourner in common with himfelf, fubject to the fame wants, infirmities and neceffities, and one that has a brother's claim upon him for his charity, candour and relief. It were to be wifhed no traveller would leave his own country without these impreffions, and it would be ftill better if all who live in it would adopt them; but as an Obferver of mankind (let me fpeak it to the honour of my countryN 2 men)
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 ruft of the foul in their excurfions 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 lefs agreeable guests than hofts: I am afraid their national prejudices reach a little beyond candour in moft cafes, and they are too apt to indulge a vanity, which does not become fo enlightened a nation, by fhutting their eyes against every light except their own; but I do a violence to my feelings, when I exprefs myself unfavourably of a people, with whom 'we have long been implicated in the most honourable of all connections, the mutual purfuits of literary fame, and a glorious emulation in arts and sciences.
Prejudices of education are lefs dangerous than religious prejudices, lefs common than national ones, and more excufable than any; in general they are little elfe than ridiculous habits, which cannot obtain much in a country where public education prevails, and fuch as a com'merce with the world can hardly fail to cure: They are characteristic of feraglio princes; the property of fequeftered beings, who live in celibacy
celibacy and retirement, contracted in childhood and confirmed by age: A man, who has paffed his life on fhipboard, will pace the length of his quarter-deck on the terrace before his houfe, were it a mile in length.
These are harmless peculiarities, but it is obvious 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 fuffered 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 fuffer death by the law, how many are there, who, when standing at the bar to receive fentence of execution, might urge this plea in extenuation of their guilt!
"This action, which you are pleased to term "criminal, I have been taught to confider as "meritorious: The arts of fraud and thieving, "by which I gained my living, are arts in"ftilled 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 fee the equity of putting me to death for N 3
“actions, which, if your police had taken, any charge of me in my infancy, I never had "committed. If you would fecure yourselves "from receiving wrong, you should teach us "not to do wrong; and this might eafily be "effected, if you had any eye upon your parish "poor. For my part, I was born and bred in "the parish of Saint Giles; my parents kept a "fhop for the retail of gin, and old rags; "chriftening I had none; a church I never "entered, and no parish officer ever vifited our "habitation: If he had done fo, he would have "found a feminary of thieves and pick-pockets, ་་ a magazine of ftolen goods, a house of call "where nightly depredators met together to “ compare accounts, and make merry over their plunder: Amongst these and by thefe I was "educated; I obeyed them as my mafters, and "I looked up to them as my examples: I be"lieved them to be great men; I heard them "recount their actions with glory; I faw them "die like heroes, and I attended their execu"tions with triumph. It is now my turn to << fuffer, and I hope I fhall 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 "child of poverty, I was the fon of the public:
"If there be any honour, it is my own; for I "have acted up to my inftructions in all things, "and faithfully fulfilled the purposes of my "education."
I cannot excufe myself from touching upon one more prejudice, which may be called natural, or felf-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 conftitutions; being feasonably applied, it acts like the fpur 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 difcretion which administer it: If a man rightly knows himself, he may be called wife; if he justly confides in himself, he may be accounted happy; but if he keeps both this knowledge and this confidence to himfelf, he will neither be lefs wife nor lefs happy for fo doing: If there are any fecrets, which a man ought to keep from his nearest friends, this is one of them. If there were no better reason why a man should not vaunt himself, but because it is robbing the poor mountebanks of their livelihood, methinks it would be reafon enough: If he must think aloud upon fuch occafions, let him lock himself into his closet, and take it out in foliloquy: If N 4