« ПретходнаНастави »
We saw through the whole in a moment. It is there. fore absolutely necessary that every rich man should be surrounded by others more indigent than himself. If it were otherwise, in what manner would he induce them to supply his factitious wants, or gratify his luxurious incli. nations ? Cottages, then, must necessarily be found in the vicinity of palaces; and lordly cities must be sur. rounded by suburbs of wretchedness! Sordidness is the offspring of splendour ; and luxury is the parent of want. Civilization consists in the refinement of a few, and the barbarism and baseness of many.
As the grandeur of any establishment is augmented, servile and base offices are multiplied. Poverty and baseness must be united in the same person, in order to qualify him for such situations. Who fill servile and low employ. ments in your Atlantic cities? There are not American minds to be found sufficiently degraded for these contemptible occupations. You find it necessary to have recourse to the more highly polished nations of Europe for suitable drudges to sweep your streets and remove nuisances, to stand behind your carriages, and perform degrading duties about your persons.
Civilized Europeans, when they visit your country, complain loudly of your barbarism. You are little better, in their estimation, than the savages of the wilderness. They cannot meet with that obsequiousness and servility which is necessary to their happiness. They complain, most dolefully, of the impertinence of their servants, and, indeed, of the difficulty of procuring any one sufficiently qualified for the situation of a menial. You frequently blush for the rudeness and barbarity of your countrymen, when you listen to these complaints of your polished visi. tants; but do not despair. The seeds are sown; and the growth will be rapid. The causes have begun to operate, and the effects to be seen. There will soon be a suffi. ciency of indigence and poverty of spirit to make servants obsequious, and multiply the number of domestics. Let splendour, refinernent, and luxury triumph; and we promise that sordidness, baseness, and misery, will walk in their train.
Man was designed by nature to cultivate the fields, or roam in woods. He has sufficient strength to do every thing for himself that is necessary to be done. He can erect a hut of poles and cover it with bark or skins with. out the assistance of another. A small portion of his time procures clothing and food; and the remainder is devoted to amusement and rest. The moment you leave this point, your destination is certain, though your progress may be slow. The Savage.
The Hindoo Religion. The Hindoo religion probably spread over the whole earth. There are signs of it in every northern country, and in almost every system of worship. In England it is obvious; Stone-henge is evidently one of the temples of BUODH; and the arithmetic, as. tronony, astrology; the holidays, games, names of the stars and figures of the constellations; the ancient monu. ments, laws and coins; the languages of the different na. tions, bear the strongest marks of the same original. The Brahmins of the sect of Brahma were the true authors of the Ptolemaic system; the Boodhists, followers of Budha, the authors of the Copernican system, as well as of the doctrine of attraction; and probably the established religion of the Greeks, and the Eleusinian mysteries, were only varieties of the two different sects.—Forbes-Oriental Memoirs.
Useless Labour. We have many examples of authors, who impair both their health and understanding, in illustrating such points, as no sensible man would desire to know. Inquiries about the neckcloths, shoes, boots, hats, bracelets, armour, &c., of the ancient Greeks and Romans, have filled numerous volumes. Learned men have procured great reputation by very insignificant labours. Columbus cannot be more famous than a man who describes the temple of Jerusalem; the bare attempts to which have cost as much pains as the discovery of America, though it is as hard to see the usefulness of such a de. scription as difficult to make it. But this serves to show what men might do were they in earnest to discover new arts, and not bestow their me in examining old walls and altar-pieces, pillars and doors, or determining whe. ther a curtain hung in the east or west of the temple.The Reflector.
Useless Books.—Immense numbers of books are published, serving neither to use, ornament, or recreation, as they neither instruct nor please. Such books are like nauseous physic, which we swallow against our will, and yet receive no benefit from it. The most astonishing part is, that learned men should publish comments upon things, before they know whether the things exist; as basilisks, dragons, the phenix, witches, conjurers, apparitions, &c. Some men excruciate themselves about such points of chronology as are dark and unsearchable. Others dis. pute about the actions of a person, whilst it is not known there ever was such a person in the world. Many plunge into metaphysics, or endeavour to explain the nature and
properties of spirits and incorporeal substances, which nobody has any idea of. And with this refined rubbish, all libraries are loaded. Such works are like cobwebs, and their authors like spiders, who spin themselves to skeletons, and leave their insnaring productions behind them.-Ibid.
Strangeness of Men.—There are some phenomena of men which it is hard to assign adequate causes for; and particularly why a frugal person should censure frugality in another; why one pedant should hate another; one drunkard, one liar, &c., condemn another; when no clashing of interest can be pretended. The strangeness of man shows itself in many instances. On every occasion, he despises his own good qualities, and condemns his bad, if they appear in others. This, indeed, is a paradox. However, it is certain, that differences and quarrels may arise from similarity of affections; and that a man may hate and despise another, for the very vices and virtuess which hiinself possesses.
It might, indeed, seem as if men looked upon their own virtues and vices, as their property or possession; and could not bear to see that property transferred upon others; from the acknowledged possession of which, they imagine themselves entitled to fame and character, either good or bad. And in this view, jealousy, envy, and hatred, may be used as paltry weapons, to keep off invaders: whilst self-love makes the vicious hug even their vices, as their means of rising to infamous reputation. But this does no honour to human nature; and whatever debases the species ought, if possible, to be checked, reformed, or abolishod.-Ibid.
Education as it is.-As men are now educated, they can neither understand nor believe any thing; for of those things they are taught to believe, they do not begin with evidence to prove them, they do not so much as know, by what rules things are to be proved, but go upon other people's words, and so never come to any certainty in any point; they treat the Scriptures as they have been learned to treat heathen stories, to find out the constructions of words; but offer not to seck for the evidence of the facts, or the intention of the author, or what effects it is to have upon them.-Hutchinson's Religion of Satan.
Lxxxvii. Law in China. In China, no fees are paid for the administration of justice. The judge, whose office costs him nothing, and who has his salary stated, can require nothing of the parties at law: which empowers every poot man to prosecute his own rights, and frees him from be. ing oppressed by the opulence of his adversary, who can. not be brought to do justly and reasonably because the other has not money.—Chinese Traveller.
Avarice and Extravagance. Among the many properties of human nature, which almost exceed comprehension, comes the parsimony of the rich, and the extravagance of the poor. Some rich men spare to-day, as if they feared starving to-morrow; and the indigent often consume in an hour, what they may feel the want of for a year. These properties are the more unaccountable, because parsimony is chiefly found to predominate in old people,