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lock and key. What a contemptible thing is poor quality!"
Is there on earth a greater object of contempt than a poor scholar to a splendid beau; unless, perhaps, the splendid beau to the poor scholar! the philosopher and the world, the man of business and the man of pleasure, the beauty and the wit, the hypocrite and the profligate, the covetous and squanderer, are all alike instances of this reciprocal contempt.
Take the same observations into the lowest life, and we shall find the same proneness to despise each other. The common soldier who hires himself out to be shot at for five-pence a day; who is the only slave in a free country, and is liable to be sent to any part of the world without his consent, and, whilst at home, subject to the severest punishment, for offences which are not to be found in our law books; yet this noble personage looks with a contemptuous air on all his brethren of that order in the common. wealth, whether of mechanics or husbandmen, from whence he was himself taken. On the other hand, however adorned with his brickdustcoloured cloth, and bedaubed with worsted lace of a penny a yard, the very gentleman soldier is as much despised in his turn, by the whistling
carter, who comforts himself, that he is a free Englishman, and will live with no master any longer than he likes him; nay, and, though he never was worth twenty shillings in his life, is ready to answer a captain, if he offends him, "D-n you, Sir, who are you! is it not We that pays
This contemptuous disposition is, in reality, the sure attendant on a mean and bad mind in every station; on the contrary, a great and good man will be free from it, whether he be placed at the top or bottom of life. I was therefore not a little pleased with a rebuke given by a blackshoe boy to another, who had expressed his contempt of one of the modern town-smarts. Why should you despise him, Jack?" said the honest lad; "we are all what the Lord pleased to make us."
I will conclude this paper with a story which a gentleman of honour averred to me to be truth. His coach being stopped in Piccadilly by two or three carts, which, according to custom, were placed directly across the way; he observed a very dirty fellow, who appeared to belong to a mud cart, give another fellow several lashes with his whip, and at the same time heard him repeat more than once, "D-n you, I will
teach you manners to your betters.' My friend could not easily, from these words, divine what might possibly be the station of the unhappy sufferer, till at length, to the great satisfaction of his curiosity, he discovered that he was the driver of a dust-cart drawn by asses.
COVENT-GARDEN JOURNAL, No. 61. August 29, 1752.
THERE are a number of people who live in a manner that disgraces the name of Christian and of man; and this not from any prepossession in favour of libertinism, or infidelity, but from a mere inattention to the means of conviction. I don't know that an indolence of this kind is more pardonable in respect to the laws of God, than to those of man; yet he who dares to treat his Creator in this manner, has not the courage to behave with the same criminal indifference to his sovereign, or to the people in whom the supreme head has vested the power of punishing. The laws of God are as open, as intelligible, and surely they are as important, as those of the community; the latter every man is expected to know, nor was it ever understood as a plea against submitting to their penalties, that the offender was not informed there were such. 'Tis at least as much our interest to be acquainted with those of heaven: there is no more excuse in ignorance for the
offending against these, than for breaking the others: the penalties attending a disregard of them, are infinitely greater: and we have this additional consideration, that the remaining in wilful ignorance of them, is not only a means of falling in the way of the punishments they inflict, but is in itself a crime; and, on the other hand, that as pains and penalties only are the attendants on the breach of earthly laws, rewards are promised to the observance of those of heaven.
The system by which we are required to be governed here, in order to our preparing for a happiness in a future period of existence, is, in itself, so rational, so easy, and so conducive to our very pleasure and tranquillity, to the true relish of every rational enjoyment, even here, that there can be no other motive to the too general disregard of it, but the too general ignorance of its nature! It is this criminal ignorance that I charge upon the indolence and inattention of the people who affect to be thought wise; it is this obstinate blindness that is the great reproach of such as have capacities, that must be convinced as soon as they would open the way to conviction.
I have often looked upon the Sabbath as the intended remedy for this unhappy evil, and, as