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tions that rendered me intolerable to myfelf and unfit for society. I had reason to apprehend, in spite of all my caution, that I was now narrowly watched, and that strong fufpicions were taken up against me; when as I was feasting my jaundiced eye one morning with a certain news paper, which I was in the habit of employing as the vehicle of my venom, I was startled at difcovering myself conspicuously pointed out in an angry column as a cowardly defamer, and menaced with personal chastisement, as soon as ever proofs could be obtained against mé; and this threatening denunciation evidently came from the very author, who had unknowingly given me such umbrage, when he recited my poem.
The light of this resentful paragraph was like an arrow to my brain : habituated to skirmish only behind entrenchments, I was ill prepared to turn into the open field, and had never put the question to my heart, how it was provided for the emergency: In early life I kad nọt any reason to suspect my courage, nay it was rather forward to meet occasions in those days of innocence; but the meanness, I had lately sunk into, bad fapped every manly principle of my nature, and I now discovered to my forrow, that in tako ing up the lurking malice of an affalsin, I had lost the gallant spirit of a gentleman.
There was still one alleviation to my terrors : it so chanced that I was not the author of the particular libel, which my accuser had imputed to me; and though I had been father of a thoufand others, I felt myself fupported by truth in almost the only charge, against which I could have fairly appealed to it. It seemed to me therefore adviseable to lose no time in disculpating myself from the accusation, yet to seek an interview with this irascible man was a service of some danger : chance threw the opportunity in my way, which I had probably else wanted fpirit to invite; I accosted him with all imaginable civility and made the strongest asseverations of my innocence: whether I did this with a fervility that might aggravate his suspicions, or that he had others impressed upon him besides those I was labouring to remove, so it was, that he treated all I said with the most contemptuous incredulity, and elevating his voice to a tone, that petrified me with fear, bade me avoid his fight, threatening me both by words and actions in a manner tov humiliating to relate.
Alas! can words express my feelings? Is there a being more wretched than myself? to be Vol. V,
. friendless, friendless, an exile from society and at enmity with myself is a situation deplorable in the extreme : let what I have now written be made public; if I could believe my shame would be turned to others' profit, it might perhaps become less painful to myself; if men want other motives to divert them from defamation, than what their own hearts supply, let them turn to my example, and if they will not be reasoned, let them be frightened out of their propensity.
I am, Sir, &c.
The case of this correspondent is a melancholy one, and I have admitted his letter, because I do not doubt the present good motives of the writer ; but I shall no: easily yield a place in these essays to characters so disgusting, and representations so derogatory to human nature. The historians of the day, who profess to give us intelligence of what is pafling in the world, ought not to be condemned, if they sometimes make a little free with our foibles and our follies; but downright libelş are grown too dangerous, and fcurrility is become too dull to find a market; the pillory is a great reformer. The detail of a court drawing-room, though not very edifying, is perfectly inoffensive; a lady cannot greatly complain of the liberty of the press, if it is contented with the humble task of celebrating the workmanship of her mantua-maker: as for such inveterate malice, as my correspondent Wormwood describes, I Aatter myself it is very rarely to be found : I can only say, that though I have often heard of it in conversation, and read of it in books, I do not meet in human nature originals so strongly featured as their paintings: amongst a small collection of fonnets in manuscript, descriptive of the human passions, which has fallen into my hands, the following lines upon Envy, as coinciding with my subject, shal! conclude this paper.
" Oh! never let me see that shape again,
“ Far from the social haunts of men !
“ Fang'd like the wolf it was, and all as gaunt, " And still it prowl'd around us and around,
“ Rolling its squinting eyes alkaunt,
« Furious :“ Furious thereat, the self-tormenting sprite “ Drew forth an afp, and (terrible to light) “ To its left pap the envenom'd reptile prest, ( Which gnaw'd and worm'd into its tortur'd breast.
6. The desperate fuicide with pain
“ Writh’d to and fro, and yell’d amain; « And then with hollow, dying cadence cries" It is not of this asp that Envy dies; 6 'Tis not this reptile's tooth, that gives the smart; ** 'Tis others’ happiness, that gnaws my heart,” ·
Alter in obsequium plus æquo pronus, et imi
T Am bewildered by the definitions, which mea Itaphysical writers give us of the human palsions: I can understand the characters of Theophrastus, and am entertained by his sketches; but when your profound thinkers take the subject in hand, they appear to me to dive to the bottom of the deep in search of that, which floats upon its surface: if a man in the heat of anger would de