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warrantable sort of detraction, and may be destruction to their prospects in life. That the persons so speaking are often not competent to form a judgment on the subjects on which they are so eager to decide.

That we never call the truth of a lawyer's opinion into question, and doubt and canvass it in society.

That many not contented with interfering with the prescriptions of the surgeon or physician, accuse them of killing this or that person, and say that to call them in would be inviting death.

That such language is defamation, and might be prosecuted, but that there is a tacit agreement in what is called good society, that such conversations are confidential, and are not to be repeated to the injury of the utterer of them.

That I have always beheld the medical profession with great respect, not only for the sake of near and dear relatives, but for its own. That, thinking its members are not treated with due distinction in society, I am always pleased when they are elevated by the favour of the sovereign, into a certain degree of rank, and thus lifted into more than equality with many who treat the medical attendant with a sort of supercilious graciousness, as if far below themselves in the grades of society.

That, in truth, if the medical man has received a complete education, he has had advantages in life rarely given to the sons of opulent tradesmen.

That no privilege, save that of enlightening

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the darkened souls of our fellow-creatures, can equal that of healing sickness, alleviating pain, and of being received, even by the depressed, with a smile of welcome.

That it is politic in all persons to cultivate a benevolent feeling towards their medical attendant.

That it is weak and dangerous in medical men to detract from the abilities of each other; that they should make common cause against the common enemy; and that the most respectable men in the profession set an example of this forbearance.

That those who have made a religious profession are particularly exposed to detraction, whether they have left the pleasures of the world in the prime of their days, in middle life, or in its decline.

That the reality of their call is doubted, and motives attributed to them of a vile, degrading nature, and they are called cants and hypocrites, or fanatics, enthusiasts, or maniacs.

That in judging of CONVERSION, more ignorance of the human heart is exhibited than in any thing else; but, that this detraction is the most excusable of

any. That it is excusable because it is difficult to believe, that what we ourselves delight in can ever cease to delight others.

That I suspect that detractors on these occasions are irritated into splenetic doubts and remarks, by this consideration, “If these enthusiasts are right, how wrong, how very wrong, must we be!”

That there is another set of men who are equally disposed to attack those who have entered on a religious course of life; I mean those who have tried to convince themselves that this life is all, and who either distrust these self-denying christians' sincerity, or despise their understandings.

That I believe this class of beings are impelled by a feeling of secret envy, as they can not be quite sure that another world is one of “the cunningly devised fables;” therefore they feel that the followers of the cross of Christ will have a great advantage over them, if their creed be right, and that consequently, the consistent christian is of all beings the most to be envied, and therefore to be hated and calumniated the most.

That it is a great error to believe that professors of serious religion are gloomy. That, on the contrary, the most perfect cheerfulness, evenness of spirit, and uninterrupted happiness, is to be found in the christian family, such as I have tried to describe.

That fathers and mothers in law, brothers' wives and sisters' husbands, are also prominent objects for detraction; that the detractors from the first of these should be particularly on their guard against the deceitfulness of their own hearts, because their

detraction springs probably from good and amiable motives; and lastly, that the latter are under the dominion of feelings which are less excusable, and which policy as well as principle should lead them to struggle with and subdue.

CHAPTER XIII.

ON DEFAMATION.

I must now discuss the most painful part of my subject; namely, that excess of detraction which becomes DEFAMATION. Defamation is always detraction; but though the tongue, which is ready to detract, is well fitted to defame, still, detraction is not positively defamation.

It was against the utterers of detraction amounting to defamation, that the punishment of standing in a white sheet in the aisle or porch of a church, was awarded by the justice of our ancestors; and when I first entered into society, and heard reputations gossiped away, I used to consider the abolition of this punishment as a national evil; nay, I have sometimes amused myself with imagining certain of our acquaintances standing in the aisle of their parish church, in this well-deserved attire! and had I possessed the power of grouping with my pencil, many persons might have seen their faces peeping from under its degrading folds, who would have been unconscious that they deserved to figure there, though, for the slanderous frequenters of an ale-house, or inhabit

ants of a cottage, they would have judged it a proper punishment. But as sinners in robes were always more offensive to me than sinners in rags, and the slanderer of the drawing-room than that of the kitchen, (as ignorance may excuse the one but can not the other,), I wrapt the white sheet in idea round the rich alone, and should have rejoiced to see my imaginations realized. But, as I have increased in years,

I have learnt to make more allowance for the infirmities of others, taught and humbled by a growing sense of my own; and the white sheet, or, indeed, any punishments for offences which are common to us all as erring mortals, I have ceased to feel any desire to see inficted, even, as I humbly trust, on those who have calumniated myself. Still, I have not ceased to feel a strong emotion of indignation whenever I hear defamation uttered against friend or foe; and alas! there are few persons who have lived in the world, whether in public or in private life, without hearing their acquaintances, male or female, accused of faults which, if proved, would have driven them from society. I have frequently heard accusations uttered, which made accusers responsible to the power of the law, and uttered too with a degree of self-complacency, for the ingenious malice with which the charge was worded, not only painful but appalling to witness. Which of my readers, as well as myself, has not heard a lawyer accused of taking a bribe to lose a cause for his client! or a physician or surgeon accused of killing his patients,

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