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shewing the same world that he is too inconsiderable to effect it.

The generality of injuries are of this kind; they call for contempt instead of resentment, and there is more triumph in baffling than there possibly could attend the returning them. It must be allowed, indeed, there are some of a higher nature; some that it is impossible to despise, and that the world could hardly blame us for resenting; but would we think justly in regard even to these, revenge is not the conduct that would be dictated to us by reason. Would we arrive at true greatness of soul in this point, we should consider, that by how much the greater the wrong is, by so much the nobler it is to pardon it; and by how much the more justifiable revenge would prove, by so much the more honour there is in clemency.


No. LXX.

Quid tibi tanto opere est, mortalis, quod nimis ægris
Luctibus indulges? Quid mortem congemis, ac fles ?—
Denique, tanto opere in dubiis trepidare pericliş
Quæ mala nos subigit vitæ tanta cupido!
Certe equidem finis vitæ mortalibus adstat,
Nec devitari letum pote, quin obeamus.



O mortal! whence these useless fears?
This weak, superfluous sorrow; why the approach
Dread'st thou of death?-

Through what vast woes this wild desire of life
Drives us, afraid! what dangers, and what toils!
Yet death still hastens, nor can mortal man,
With all his efforts, turn th' unerring shaft.


I HAVE often reflected with great pleasure on the moral conveyed by the ancient mythologists under the story of Chiron, who, when his father Saturn offered him immortality on earth, considered the conditions and refused it. How noble a lesson against the common dread of death is a determination like this thrown into the mouth of a character eminent for wisdom! If such was the resolution of mere prudence, among a people who had but very dark and uncertain expectations of a future period, how ought we to be scandalised at the terrors we see so

universal on this occasion, who have assurances, from the very mouth of heaven, of what their Socrates and their Cato were happy, when they could but shew to be probable from reason.

Fear is, in itself, a mean and contemptible quality; but, of all the circumstances under which it can influence us, it is most hateful when it thus robs us of every rational enjoyment of our lives, by the terror of an event which no art, no power, can evade, and which the ancients were perfectly right in determining that it would be folly and madness in us to escape even if we could.

One of the earliest notices we receive in the course of our lives is, that they must have a period, and every succeeding day not only puts us in mind of this, but gives us proof of it in the deaths of multitudes about us: would one suppose it difficult for people to resign themselves to an incident that they see so universal, that they know so unavoidable? yet nothing is more obvious, than that of the millions, who are continually submitting to it, there is but once, perhaps, in a dozen ages, a man who appears resigned.

Had we received our lives, such as they are, without this condition, without the means of parting with them, we might with great

justice have complained of them as an insupportable burden. Men, remarkable for their wisdom, have ventured to say, as it is, that no one would accept of life, if offered to him at a time when he was able to judge of it; but how infinitely more justifiable would this assertion have been, if life had been imposed on us without a period. To enjoy it easily, under whatever circumstances, is one of the most difficult attainments of human reason; but to leave it gracefully is yet more difficult. A consciousness of having employed it rationally, of having used it to the purposes for which it was given, is the great, indeed the only means of laying it down without discomposure; or, to quote from a book which I shall always be proud of professing an acquaintance with, the way to die the death of the righteous is to live their life.

It is infinitely oftener that we deceive the world, than that we impose upon ourselves: it is consequently much easier to keep up an affected spirit through the whole prior course of our life, than in the single moment of our leav ing it the love of fame, or a thousand other motives, may support the dissimulation, while we regard the world as connected with us, but when that is no longer the case, when the moment is arrived at which it is of no farther

concern to us what is thought or what said of us, it is no longer worth our while to dissemble. The mask drops off, and we shew a face of which our very intimates have no knowledge.

It is on this principle, that the hour of death has been always declared the test of our actions; their events, and even our resolution in the conducting them, the world may have been before acquainted with; but the principles that gave origin to them, and their real motives, are often, I could almost say are usually, concealed till that period.

:. When Epaminondas was told that it had been warmly disputed, whether Chabrias, Iphicrates, or himself, were the wiser and better man, he coolly answered, we must all die before that can be determined. One would not, after this, doubt the temper of his soul at the approach of what is, to others, an hour of so much terror; the calmness of his reply to a debate that would have roused the passions of almost any other man, bespake him perfectly easy under the expectation. We are not, however, without an instance of another sage of the same country, who was more than resigned to death; who treated it, even in the instant of its approach, nay at a time when he might have avoided it, with a glorious indifference, with a contempt

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