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Having thus demonstrated, by many instances, that the ear is the most material part in the whole mechanism of our structure; and that it is both the seat and source of honour, power, pleasure, and pain; I cannot conclude without an earnest exhortation to all my country folks, of whatsoever rank or sex, to take the utmost care of their ears. Guard your ears, ye princes! for your power is lodged in your Guard your ears, ye nobles! for your honour lies in your ears. Guard your ears, ye fair! if ye would guard your virtue. And guard your ears, all my fellow-subjects! if you would guard your liberties and properties.
FOG'S JOURNAL, Jan. 24, 1736.
I HAVE always been told, that true bravery, and true good sense, were accompanied with compassion and benevolence; and cannot help being surprised, that a nation so justly famous for the two former virtues, should give any room to have it said they are deficient in the latter. I am afraid, on examination, they will be found to do this but too palpably; else why this stagnation of all pursuits, all avocations, all subjects of discourse, but such as relate to those unhappy persons who either actually have, or are expected to suffer under the hands of the executioner ?
Why, when any of those spectacles of horror are exhibited, does the tradesman forsake his
shop, the merchant his counting-house, the physician his patient, the fine lady her toilet, and the man of pleasure his mistress and his bottle? Why is the Exchange, the markets, and even the streets, left empty, by those accustomed to occupy them?
It is not so much to be wondered at, that low people run to make holiday on these mournful occasions, because better cannot be expected from their education and way of life; but for those who boast a superior knowledge of things, are no strangers to the value of life and death, and the tremendous consequences which must inevitably attend the latter: these, methinks, should avoid giving any suspicion that they take pleasure in such dreadful sights; because it would shew a taste miserably depraved, and that they either did not think at all, or thought to very bad purpose.
Oh, but you will answer, those who of late have engrossed the attention of the town, were rebels, a set of wretches who would have subverted your religion and your laws, dethroned the best of kings, turned your parliament out of doors, and, in fine, thrown all things into confusion. Grant them such; the greater their crimes, the greater need had they of heaven's mercy; and I will appeal to yourselves, if it
would not have been more conformable to the principles and duties of that religion you profess, and seem so zealous in preserving, to have shut yourselves up in your closets, and passed those hours in prayers for their immortal welfare, which were taken up in gaping at their fate.
But were there nothing after death remaining, were there no future sense when once the mortal blow was past, is there no pity due to the living relatives of those unhappy persons, who, though innocent, must suffer in their kindred's fate. Few but have a parent, a brother, a sister, a wife, or children, some who have many, who survive to endure the shame of a guilt they are wholly free from themselves; how then can you behold a man, a man perhaps of family and fortune, a man once esteemed among you, dragged to the most ignominious death, without reflecting on the agonies of those dear persons he has left behind? And will not such reflections raise emotions within you to destroy all the satisfaction of gratifying a foolish and unjustifiable curiosity?
Compassion, and a fellow-feeling of the miseries of those of the same species with ourselves, seem natural to the whole creation: those animals, which are looked upon as most contemp
tible, are not without some share of it; but it is indeed most peculiar to man; as one of your laureats justly expressed it, though perhaps not without some partiality to his own mind.
Compassion proper to mankind appears,
Which nature witness'd when she lent us tears."
Is but a brute at best in human shape.
This natural piety did first refine
Our wit, and rais'd our thoughts to things divine:
His majesty has been most graciously pleased to grant his pardon to one of the lords taken in Scotland, and to respite the execution of several others of the lower class of those unhappy criminals, who were condemned at the same time they were whom you have seen suffer at Kennington Common; which act of truly royal clemency, I should think, must not only endear him more to all his good and faithful subjects, but also convert the most virulent malcontent, and turn the voice of faction into admiration.