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swift, nor the battle to the strong ;-nay, what is stranger still, nor yet bread to the wise, who should least stand in want of it,-nor yet riches to the men of understanding, whom you would think best qualified to acquire them, nor yet favour to men of skill, whose merit and pretences bid the fairest for it, but that there are some secret and unseen workings in human affairs, which baffle all our endeavours, and turn aside the course of things in such a manner,--that the most likely causes disappoint and fail of producing for us the effect which we wish, and naturally' expected from them.
You will see a man, of whom were you to form a conjecture from the appearance of things in his favour,—you would say, was setting out in the world with the fairest prospect of making his fortune in it;-with all the advantages of birth to recommend him, of personal merit to speak for him, and of friends to push him forwards : yon will behold him, notwithstanding this, disappointed in every effect you might naturally have looked for, from them; every step he takes towards his advancement, something invisible shall pull him back, some unforeseen obstacle shall rise up perpetually in his way, and keep there.—In every apphication he makes—some untoward circumstance shall blast it.—He shall rise early,late take rest, and eat the bread of carefulness,-yet some happier man shall rise up, and ever step in before him, and leave him struggling to the end of his life, in the very same place in which he first began.
The history of a second shall in all respects be
the contrast to this. He shall come into the world with the most unpromising appearance, shall set forward without fortune, without friends -without talents to procure him either the one or the other. Nevertheless you will see this clouded prospect brighten up insensibly, unaccountably before him ; every thing presented in his way shall turn out beyond his expectations, in spite of that chain of unsurmountable difficulties which first threatened him,-time and chance shall open him a way,-a series of successful occurrences shall lead him by the hand to the summit of honour and fortune; and, in a word, without giving him the pains of thinking, or the credit of projecting, it shall place him in a safe possession of all that ambition could wish for.
How many may we observe every day, even of the gentler sex, as well as our own, who, without conviction of doing much wrong, in the midst of a full career of calumny and defamation, rise up 'punctual at the stated hour of prayer; leave the cruel story half untold till they return,-g0,and kneel down before the throne of Heaven, thank God that he had not made them like others, and that his Holy Spirit had enabled them to perform the duties of the day, in so Christian and conscientious a manner. . This delusive itch for slander, too common in
all ranks of people, whether to gratify a little ungenerous resentment; whether oftener out of a principle of levelling, from a narrowness and poverty of soul, ever impatient of merit and su. periority in others; whether a mean ambition, or the insatiate lust of being witty, (a talent in which ill-nature and malice are no ingredients); or, lastly, whether from a natural cruelty of disposition, abstracted from all views and considera. tions of self; to which one, or whether to all jointly; we are indebted for this contagious malady, this much is certain, from whatever seeds it springs, the growth and progress of it are as destructive to, as they are unbecoming a civilized people. To pass a hard and ill-natured reflection upon an undesigning action; to invent, or, which is equally bad, to propagate a vexatious report, without colour and grounds; to plunder an inno. cent man of his character and good name, a jewel which perhaps he has starved himself to purchase, and probably would hazard his life to secure; to rob him at the same time of his happiness and peace of mind; perhaps his bread,—the bread, may be, of a virtuous family, and this, as Solomon says of the madman, who casteth fire-brands, arrows, and death, and saith, Am I not in sport? all this out of wantonness, and oftener from worse motives; the whole appears such a complication of badness, as requires no words or warmth of fancy to aggravate. Pride, treachery, envy, hypocrisy, malice, cruelty, and self-love, may have been said, in one shape or other, to have occasioned all the frauds and inischiefs that ever happened in the world: but the chances against a coincidence of them all in one person are so many, that one would have supposed the character of a common slanderer as rare and difficult a production in nature, as that of a great genius, which seldom happens above once in an age.
To know truly what it is, we must know what masters it serves ;- they are many, and of various casts and humcurs,—and each one lends it something of its own complexional tint and character.
This, I suppose, may be the cause that there is a greater and more whimsical mystery in the love of money, than in the darkest and most nonsensical problem that ever was pored on.
Even at the best, and when the passion seems to seek something more than its own amusement, there is little— very little, I fear, to be said for its humanity.-It may be a sport to the misér,—but consider,--it must be death and destruction to others. The moment this sordid liumour begins to govern- farewel all honest and natural affection ! farewel, all he owes to parents, to children, to friends !-how fast the obligations vanish! see
- he is now stripped of all feelings whatever: the shrill cry of justice and the low lamentation of humble distress, are notes equally beyond his compass.-- Eternal God! see !-he passes by one whom thou hast just bruised, without one pensive reflection :- he enters the cabin of the widow whose husband and child thou hast taken to thyself,-exacts his bond, without a sigh!—Heaven! if I am to be tempted_let it be by glory,-by ambition,-by some generous and manly vice: if I must fall, let it be by some passion which thou hast planted in my nature, which shall not harden my heart, but leave me room at last to retreat and come back to thee!
The love of variety, or curiosity of seeing new. things, which is the same, or at least a sister passion to it,-seems wove into the frame of every son and daughter of Adam ; we usually speak of it as one of nature's levities, though planted within us for the solid purposes of carrying forwards the mind to fresh inquiry and knowledge : strip us of it, the mind (I fear) would dose for ever over the present page, and we should all of us rest at ease with such objects as presented themselves in the parish or province where we first drew breath.
It is to this spur, which is ever in our sides, that we owe the impatience of this desire for travelling: the passion is no way bad, but as others
in its mismanagement or excess ;-order it rightly, the advantages are worth the pursuit; the chief of which are—to learn the languages, the laws and customs, and understand the government and interest of other nations, to acquire an urbanity and confidence of behaviour, and fit the