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advancing no nearer to it-except on the wise and patient calculation that he must, by the simple movement of growing older, be coming somewhat nearer to every event that is yet to happen to him. He is like a traveller, who, amidst his indolent musings in some soft bower, where he sat down to be shaded a little while from the rays of the noon, falls asleep, and dreams he is in the midst of all the endearments of home, insensible that there are many hills and dales for him yet to traverse. But the traveller will awake; so too will the man of fancy, and if he has the smallest capacity of just reflection, he will regret to have wasted in reveries the time which ought to have been devoted to practical exertions.
But even though reminded of the necessity of in. tervening means, the man of imagination will often be tempted to violate their relation with ends, by permitting himself to dwell on those happy casualties which the prolific sorcery of his mind will promptly figure to him as the very things, if they would but occur, to accomplish his wishes at once, without the toil of a sober process. If they would occur-and things as strange might happen: he reads in the newspapers that an estate of twenty thousand pound per annum was lately adjudged to a man who was working on the road. He has even heard of people dreaming that in such a place something valuable was concealed; and that, on searching or digging that place, they found an old earthen pot, full of gold and silver pieces of the times of good king Charles the Martyr. Mr. B. was travelling by the mail-coach, in which he met with a most interesting young lady, whom he had never seen before; they were mutually delighted, and were married in a few weeks. Mr. C. a man of great merit in obscurity, was walking across a field when Lord D. in chase of a fox, leaped over a hedge, and fell off his horse into a ditch. Mr. C. with the utmost alacrity and kind solicitude helped his lordship out of the ditch, and recovered for him his escaped horse. The consequence was inevitable; his lordship, superior to
the pride of being mortified to have been seen in a condition so unlucky for giving the impression of nobility, commenced a friendship with Mr.C. and introduced him into honourable society and the road to . fortune. A very ancient maiden lady of large fortune happening to be embarrassed in a crowd, a young clergyman offered her his arm, and politely attended her home; his attention so captivated her, that she bequeathed to him, soon after, the whole estate, though she had many poor relations.
That class of fictitious works called novels, though much more like real life than the romances which preceded them, (and which are now, with some alterations partly come into vogue again,) is yet full of these lucky incidents and adventures, which are introduced as the chief means toward the ultimate success. A young man without fortune, for instance, is precluded from making his addresses to a young female in a superior situation, whom he believes not indifferent to him, until he can approach her with such wordly advantages, as it might not be imprudent or degrading for her to accept. Now how is this to be accomplished? Why, I suppose by the exertion of his talents in some fair and practicable department; and perhaps the lady besides will generously abdicate for his sake some of the trappings and luxuries of rank.You really suppose this is the plan? I am sorry you have so much less genius than a novel-writer. This young man has an uncle, who has been absent a long time, nobody knew where, except the young man's lucky stars. During his absence, the old uncle has gained a large fortune, with which he returns to his native land, at a time most opportune for every one, but a highwayman, who attacks him in a road through a wood, but is frightened away by the young hero, who happens to come there at the instant, to rescue and recognize his uncle, and to be in return recognized and made the heir to as many thousands as the lady or her family could wish. Must not the reader think it very likely that he too has some old uncle,
or acquaintance at least, returning with a ship-load of wealth from the East-Indies; and very desirable that the highwayman should make one such attempt more; and very certain that in that case he should be there in time to catch all that fortune sends? One's indignation is excited at the immoral tendency of such lessons to young readers, who are thus taught to regard all sober regular plans for compassing an object with disgust or despondency, and to muse on improbabilities till they become foolish enough to expect them, and to be melancholy when they find they may expect them in vain. It is unpardonable that these pretended instructors by example should thus explode the calculations and exertions of manly resolution, destroy the connection between ends and means, and make the rewards of virtue so depend on chance, that if the reader does not either regard the whole fable with contempt, or promise himself he shall receive no favors of fortune in some similar way, he must close the book with the conviction that he may hang or drown himself as soon as he pleases; that is to say, unless he has learnt from some other source a better morality and religion than these books will ever teach him.
PERHAPS there is not any word in the English language less understood than HONOUR, and but few that might not have been equally mistaken, without producing equal mischief. Honour is both a motive and an end. As "a principle of action," it differs from Virtue only in degree, and therefore necessarily includes it, as Generosity includes Justice; and as" a reward," it can be deserved only by those ac-
tions which no other principle can produce. To say of another, "That he is a man of Honour," is at once to attribute the principle, and to confer the reward but in the common acceptation of the word, HONOUR, as a principle, does not include virtue ; and therefore, as a reward, is frequently bestowed upon vice. Hence, (such is the blindness and vassalage of humon reason) men are discouraged from virtue for fear of shame, and incited to vice by the hope of honour. Honour, indeed, is always claimed in spacious terms; but the facts upon which the claim is founded are often flagitiously wicked.
Honour, as a principle, is the refinement of vir. tue; as the end, it is the splendor of reputation, the reward of such virtue: and the true man of honour is he, who, from the native excellence and real dignity of justice, goodness, and truth, is led to act at all times consistently with them; ever reverencing his conscience and his character, and solicitous to fill up the great, the worthy part, far above the narrow restraint and coercion of the laws, or the infallible testimony of mere human judgment. And can it be supposed that a principle like this can ever allow, can ever justify the hazarding our own, or taking away the life of a brother, for a slight, nay for the greatest affront imaginable? Can it be supposed that a principle like this can ever give rise to duels, or attain its great end and reward, a splendid reputation, in consequence of them?
Men instigated by the meanest passions, with revenge and guilt boiling in their hearts, preparing by the pistol or the sword to finish each other's short and precarious existence; and to plunge, the one with all his vices blossoming upon him, into awful eternity; the other, to drag the miserable remains of life, haunted with the distracting conciousness of his brother's, his friend's, perhaps his once dearest friend's murder upon his soul. Perhaps he lives the sole hope and stay of some ancient and venerable house; and after all the labour and anxiety of youthful education
is past, is advancing on the great theatre of the world, the delight of his friends, and the solicitous expectation of his affectionate parents, who, in the decline of life, see with transport their youth renewed, and the hopes and honour of their family reflourishing in their beloved son.
But dearer, tenderer ties still remain, to twine about the heart, to touch it with the keenest sensibility, and to preserve it from the seducing calls of false honour and romantic bravery. If thou wilt needs engage in the desperate duel, see, on one side, to unnerve thy wretched arm- -Honour, reason, humanity, religion, disavowing the deed; and from what source then shall Courage spring? And, on the other side, see the faithful and beloved partner of thy bed, with streaming eyes, and anguish too great for utterance, pointing to the little pledges of your mutual affection, and with dumb but expressive oratory, bewailing her widowed and their orphan state!
EUGENIO, in consequence of a quarrel with the illiberal and brutish Ventosus, received a challenge from the latter, which he answered by the following billet "Sir, your behaviour last night has convinced: me that you are a scoundrel; and your letter this morning that you are a fool. If I should accept your challenge, I should myself be both. I owe a duty to God and my country, which I deem it infamous to violate; and I am entrusted with a life, which I think cannot without folly be staked against your's. I believe you have ruined, but you cannot degrade me. You may possibly, while you sneer over this letter, secretly exult in your own safety; but remember, that, to prevent assassination, I have a sword; and to chastise insolence, a cane."
FORGIVENESS of injuries, and a merciful disposition towards those who have offended us, is not only an infallible mark of a great and noble mind, but it