« السابقةمتابعة »
himself and the world, and he had a heart as liberal and compaffionate as it was fincere and open; this great estate was then out of sight; it must be this estate then, which has wrought the unhappy change in his manners and disposition ; and if riches operate thus upon a nature like his, where is the wonder if we meet so es, who derive their wants from their abundance ?
How beautiful is the maxim of Menander ! Yuxcho freiv de Arouolav-enrich your mind! Riches, says the same elegant and moral dramatist, are no better than an actor's wardrobe, the paltry tinsel, th at enables him to glitter for a few minutes in a counterfeited character
To fret and strut his hour upon the stage,
In another place he says, they transform a man into a different kind of being from what he was originally
Εις έτερον ήθος, εκ ενώ το πρόσθεν ήν.
and then concludes with that Attic fimplicity, fo neatly turned and elegantly expressed as to distance all translation.
Κρείττον γάρ έστιν, αν σκοπή τις κατά λόγον,
“ Better to choose, if you would choose the best, “ A chearful poverty, than wealth unblelt."
Ω τρισάλθιοι Αιταντες οι φυσώντες έφ εαυτοις μέχα, 'Αυτόι γαρ εκ ίσασιν ανθρώσε φύσιν,
« Oh wretched mortals ! by false pride betray'd, “ Ye know not of what nature man is made.”
HOUGH I think our nation can never
be accused of want of charity, yet I have observed with much concern a poor unhappy set of men amongst us, whose case is not commiserated as it ought to be ;-and as I would gladly contribute any thing in my power towards their relief, the best proof I can give them of my good will is by. endeavouring to convince them of a certain truth, which all the world except them
felves has discovered long ago, viz.-That a proud man is the most contemptible being in nature.
Now if these proud men, to whom I address myself and for whose miserable situation I have such compaffion, shall once find a friend to convince them, that they are truly the most contemptible beings in nature, it can never be supposed they will perfift to entertain a companion in their bofoms, who affords them so little pleasure, and yet involves them in so much disgrace. I must consider them therefore as mistaken rather than obftinate, and treat them accordingly; for how can I fuppose there would be such an absurdity in the world as a proud man, if the poor creature was not behind hand with the rest of mankind in a discovery that concerns himself so materially? I admit indeed that pride is a very foolish thing, but I contend that wise men are sometimes surprized into very foolish things, and if a little friendly hint can rescue them, it would be an ill-natured action to withhold the information: “If you are proud, you are a fool”fays an old r:Greek author called Sotades Αν' αλαζονής, τέτ' ανοίας εστί φρύαγμα- but I hope a little plain English, without the help of Sotades, will serve to open the eyes of a plain Englishman, and prevent him from strutting about the
world merely to make sport for his neighbours ; for I declare in truth, that so far from being annoyed and made splenetic as some folks are, when I fall into company with a proud fellow creature, I feel no other impulse than of pity, with now and then a small propensity to titter, for it would be downright rudeness to laugh in a man's face on such an occasion, and it hurts me to see an honest gentleman, who may have many more natural good qualities, than he himself is aware of, run about from house to house only to make sport for the scoffers, and take a world of pains and put
an air of gravity and importance for no better purpose than to provoke ridicule and contempt—Why is earth and ashes proud ? says the Son of Sirach ; Pride was not made for men. As I am determined to put these
poor men upon their guard in all points, I shall remind them of another error they are in, which fadly aggravates their misfortunes, and which arises from a circumstance of a mere local nature, viz, That England is the worst country a proud man can exhibit himself in.--I do really wish they would well consider the land they live in ; if they do not know, they ought to be told, that we are a free people ; that freedom tends to make us independant of one another, fearless in our per
fons, warm in our resentments, bold of tongue and vindictive against insult; England is the place upon earth, where a proud ftomach finds the least to feed upon; indeed it is the only stomach, that can here complain of its entertainment: if the proud man thinks it will be sufficient to pay his fine of affability to his neighbours once in seven years upon a parliamentary canvass, he is cruelly mistaken ; the common people in this country have such a share of intuition, understand their own strength fo well, and scrutinize into the weaknesses of their superiors so acutely, that they are neither to be deceived nor intimidated; and on that account, (as the proud man's character is compounded of the impostor and the bully) they are the very worst people he can deal with. A man may strut in Spain, vapour in France, or kick and cuff the vulgar as he likes in Russia; he may fit erect in his palanquin in India without dropping his eyes upon the earth he moves over ; but if he carries his head in the air here, and expects the crowd to make way for him, he will foon run foul of somebody that will make him repent of his statelinefs.
Pride then, it seems, not only exposes a man to contempt, but puts him in danger; it is also a very expenfive frolick, if he keeps it up as it lhould be kept,