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in solitude, or without some agents, partners, confederates, or witnesses; and, therefore, the servant must commonly know the secrets of a master, who has any secrets to intrust; and failings, merely personal, are so frequently exposed by that security which pride and folly generally produce, and so inquisitively watched by that desire of reducing the inequalities of condition, which the lower orders of the world will always feel, that the testimony of a menial domestic can seldom be considered as defective for want of knowledge. And though its impartiality may be sometimes suspected, it is at least as credible as that of equals, where rivalry instigates censure, or friendship dictates palliations.
The danger of betraying our weakness to our servants, and the impossibility of concealing it from them, may be justly considered as one motive to a regular and irreproachable life. For no condition is more hateful or despicable, than his who has put himself in the power of his servant; in the power of him whom, perhaps, he has first corrupted by making him subservient to his vices, and whose fidelity he therefore cannot enforce by any precepts of honesty, or reason. It is seldom known that authority thus acquired, is possessed without insolence, or that the master is not forced to confess, by his tameness or forbearance, that he has enslaved himself by some foolish confidence. And his crime is equally punished, whatever part he takes of the choice to which
he is reduced; and he is from that fatal hour, in which he sacrificed his dignity to his passions, in perpetual dread of insolence or defamation; of a controller at home, or an accuser abroad. He is condemned to purchase, by continual bribes, that secrecy which bribes never secured, and which, after a long course of submission, promises, and anxieties, he will find violated in a fit of rage, or in a frolic of drunkenness.
To dread no eye, and to suspect no tongue, is the great prerogative of innocence; an exemption granted only to invariable virtue. But guilt has always its horrors, and solicitudes ; and, to make it yet more shameful and detestable, it is doomed often to stand in awe of those, to whom nothing could give influence or weight but their power of betraying.
WIFE, CHILDREN, AND FRIENDS. WHEN the black-letter'd list to the gods was pre
sented, The list of what fate for each mortal intends,) At the long string of ills a kind goddess relented, And slipp'd in three blessings—wife, children, and
In vain surly Pluto maintain'd he was cheated,
For justice divine could not compass its ends ; The scheme of man's penance he swore was de
feated, For earth becomes heaven-with wise, children, and
If the stock of our bliss is in stranger hands vested,
The fund ill secured, oft in bankruptcy ends; But the heart issues bills which are never protested When drawn on the firm of-wife, children, and
Though valour still glows in his life's dying embers,
The death-wounded tar, who his colours defends, Drops a tear of regret, as he dying remembers How bless'd was his home with-wife, children
The soldier, whose deeds live immortal in story,
Whom duty to far distant latitude sends, With transport would barter old ages of glory, For one happy day with-wife, children, and
Though spice-breathing gales on his caravan hover,
Though for him Arabia's fragrance ascends, The merchant still thinks of the woodbines that
cover The bower where he sat with-wife, children, and
friends. The day-spring of youth still unclouded by sorrow,
Alone on itself for enjoyment depends ; But drear is the twilight of age, if it borrow No warmth from the smile of --wife, children, and
Let the breath of renown ever freshen and nourish
The laurel which o'er the dead favourite bends O’er me wave the willow, and long may it flourish, Bedew'd with the tears of-wife, children, and
Let us drink, for my song, growing graver and graver,
To subjects too solemn insensibly tends,
Let us drink, pledge me high, love and virtue shall
flavour The glass which I fill to-wife, children, and
THE CONSTANCY OF WOMAN. WOMAN! Blest partner of our joys and woes' E'en in the darkest hour of earthly ill, Untarnished yet, thy fond affection glows, Throbs with each pulse, and beats with every
thrill! Bright o'er the wasted scene thou hoverest still, Angel of comfort to the failing soul ; Undaunted by the tempest, wild and chill,
That pours its restless and disastrous roll, O'er all that blooms below, with sad and hollow howl.
When sorrow rends the heart, when feverish pain
Alike thy care and constancy consess,
ADDRESS IN CONVERSATION. Is it not an extraordinary circumstance, that although conversation is an art wbich every man is obliged continually to practise, and on which so much of our social happiness depends, we so rarely meet with any who excel in it? I have frequently, when surrounded at a dinnertable, or on entering a drawing-room with well informed and agreeable men, and elegant and refined women, from whose conversation I have looked for the highest gratification, seen my anticipated pleasure destroyed, and the harmony of the company broken, by some mal-apropos observation, or ill-timed discussion. The truth is, that the conversation of most men is disagreeable, not from any deficiency in wit or judgment, but from a want of that refinement and good breeding, which may be properly called discretion, or tact. Few know where to proceed and where to stop ; few are acquainted with that exact boundary beyond which an argument ought never to be pressed. Most aim at being distinguished rather than entertaining, and speak more to gratify some particular passion or vanity of their own, than to contribute to the amusement or information of others. Almost every man has some favourite study or pursuit to which he is peculiarly devoted, and on which he may be enabled to communicate the most correct and judicious information. But he should remember, that, however pleasing this subject may be for him to discourse upon, it may not be equally so to others; and that which is to him an agreeable topic, may be to some uninteresting, and to others offensive. This consideration ought to put every one especially on his guard, and prevent him from introducing a subject to which he is but