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grossest venality, when tinseled over with the semblance of gratitude, sit easy on the weakest stomach. There is an anecdote of Sir Robert Walpole, so much to my present purpose, that I cannot refrain from relating it, as I conceive that it will be considered apposite by all my readers, and may perhaps be new to some.

Sir Robert wished to carry a favourite measure in the House of Commons. None understood better than this minister, two grand secrets of state,the great power of principal, and the great weakness of principle. A day or two previous to the agitation of the measure alluded to, he chanced upon a county member, who sometimes looked to the weight and value of an argument, rather than to its justice, or its truth. Sir Robert took him aside, and rather unceremoniously put a bank note of a thousand pounds into his hand, saying I must have your vote and influence on such a day. Our Aristides from the country thus replied: Sir Robert, you have shown yourself my friend on many occasions, and on points where both my honour and my interest were nearly and dearly concerned; I am also informed that it was owing to your good offices, that my wife lately met with so distinguished and flattering a reception at court; I should think myself therefore, continued he, putting however the note very carefully into his own pocket, I should think myself, Sir Robert, a perfect monster of ingratitnde, if on this occasion I refused you my vote and influence. They parted: Sir Robert not a little surprized at having discovered a new page in the volume of man, and the other scarcely more pleased with the valuable reasoning of Sir Robert, than with his own specious rhetoric, which had so suddenly metamorphosed an act of the foulest corruption, into one of the sincerest gratitude.

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II. AS that gallant can best affect a pretended passion for one woman, who has no true love for another, so he that has no real esteem for any of the virtues, can best assume the appearance of them all.

III. TRUE friendship is like sound health, the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.

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IV. WE are all greater dupes to our own weakness than to the skill of others; and the successes gained over us by the designing, are usually nothing more than the prey taken from those very snares we have laid ourselves. One man falls by his ambition, another by his perfidy, a third by his avarice, and a fourth by his lust; what are these ? but so mány nets, watched indeed by the fowler, but woven by the victim.

V. THE plainest man that can convince a woman that he is really in love with her, has done more to make her in love with him than the handsomest man, if he can produce no such conviction. For the love of woman is a shoot, not a seed, and flourishes most vigorously only when ingrafted on that love which is rooted in the breast of another.

VI. CORRUPTION is like a ball of snow, when once set a rolling it must increase. It gives momentum to the activity of the knave, but it chills the honest man, and makes him almost weary of his calling: and all that corruption attracts, it also retains, for it is easier not to fall, than only to fall once, and not to yield a single inch than having yielded to regain it.

VII. WORKS of true merit are seldom very popular in their own day; for knowledge is on the march, and men of genius are the Præstolatores or Videttes that are far in

advance of their comrades. They are not with them, but before them; not in the camp, but beyond it. The works of Sciolists and Dullards are still more unpopular, but from a different cause; and theirs is an unpopularity that will remain, because they are not before the main body but behind it; and as it proceeds, every moment increases the distance of those sluggards that are sleeping in the rear, but diminishes the distance of those heroes that have taken post in the van.

Who then stands the best chance of that paltry prize, contemporaneous approbation ? He whose mediocrity of progress distances not his comrades, and whose equality of merit affords a level on which friendship may be built ; Who is not so dull but that he has something to teach, and not so wise as to have nothing to learn; Who is not so far before his companions as to be unperceived, nor so far behind them as to be unregarded.

VIII

A TOWN, before it can be plundered and deserted, must first be taken; and in this particular Venus has bor·rowed a law from her consort Mars. A woman that wishes to retain her suitor, must keep him in the trenches; for this is a siege which the besieger never raises for want of supplies, since a feast is more fatal to love than a fast, and a surfeit than a starvation. Inanition may cause it to die a slow death, but repletion always destroys it by a sudden

We should have as many Petrarchs as Antonies, were not Lauras much more scarce than Cleopatras.

one.

IX.

THOSE orators who give us much noise and many words, but little argument and less wit, and who are most loud when they are the least lucid, should take a lesson from the great volume of Nature; she often gives us the lightning

even without the thunder, but never the thunder without the lightning

X. LET us so employ our youth that the very old age, which will deprive us of attention from the eyes of the women, shall enable us to replace what we have lost with something better, from the ears of the men.

XI, THE reason why great men meet with so little pity or attachment in adversity, would seem to be this. The friends of 2. great man were made by his fortunes, his enemies by himself, and revenge is a much more punctual paymaster than gratitude. Those whom a great man has marred, rejoice at his ruin, and those whom he has made, look on with indifference; because, with common minds, the destruction of the creditor is considered as equivalent to the payment of the debt.

XII. OUR achievements and our productions are our intellectual progeny, and he who is engaged in providing that these immortal children of his mind shåll inherit fame, is far more nobly occupied than he who is industrious in order that the perishable children of his body should inherit wealth. This reflection will help us to a solution of that question that has been so often and so triumphantly proposed, “What has posterity ever done for us? This sophism may be replied to thus. Who is it that proposes the question ? one of the present generation of that particular moment when it is proposed : but to such it is evident that posterity can exist only in idea. And if it be asked, what the idea of posterity has done for us? we may safely reply that it has done, and is doing two most important things; it increases the energies of virtue and diminishes the excesses of vice; it makes the best of us more good, and the worst of us less bad.

XIII. NO improvement that takes place in either of the sexes can possibly be confined to itself; each is an universal mirror to each; and the respective refinement of the one, will always be in reciprocal proportion to tlie polish of the other.

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XIV. THOSE who at the commencement of their career meet with less cotemporaneous applause than they deserve, are not unfrequently recompensed by gaining more than they deserve at the end of it: and although at the earlier part of their progress such persons had ground to fear that they were born to be starved, yet have they often lived long enough to die of a surfeit. But this applies not to posterity; which decides without any regard to this inequality. Contemporaries are anxious to redeem a defect of penetration, by a subsequent excess of praise ; but from the very nature of things it is impossible for posterity to commit either the one fault or the other. Doctor Johnson is a remarkable instance of the truth of what has been advanced; he was considered less than he really was in his morn of life, and greater than he really was in its meridian. Posterity has calmly placed him where he ought to be,-between the two extremes. He was fortunate in having not only the most interesting, but also the most disinterested of biographers, for he is constantly raising his hero at the expense of himself. He now and then proposes some very silly questions to his oracle. He once asked him, pray, Doctor, do

you think you could make any part of the Rambler better than it is? Yes, sir, said the Doctor, I could make the best parts better. But posterity, were she to cite the Doctor before her, might perhaps propose a more perplexing question,--Pray, Doctor, do you think you could make the worst parts worse ?

XV.
THE testimony of those who doubt the least is not,

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