« ПретходнаНастави »
·lar may want prudence, the statesman
may have pride, and the champion ferocity; but shall we prefer to these the
low mechanic, who laboriously plods on • through life, without censure or ap• plause? We might as well prefer the. • tame correct paintings of the Flemish,
school to the erroneous, but sublime ani.. «mations of the Roman pencil.'
• Sir,' replied I, your present obser-- . “vation is just, when there are shining vir
tues and minute defects; but when ić. * appears that great vices are opposed in • the same mind to as extraordinary virtues, • such a character deserves contempt.'
• Perhaps, cried he, there may be. - some such monsters as you describe, of
great vices joined to great virtues; yet ' in my progress through life, I never
yet found one instance of their existence : on the contrary, I have ever perceived, that where the mind was capacious, the affections were good. And indeed Pro5
* vidence seems kindly our friend in this
particular, thus to debilitate the under
standing where the heart is corrupt, and "diminish the power where there is the & will to do mischief. This rule seems to 6 extend even to other animals : the little « vermin race are ever treacherous, cruel, "and cowardly, whilst those endowed « with strength and power are generous,
brave, and gentle.'
« These observations found well,' returned I, and yet it would be easy this • moment to point out a man,' and I fixed my eye stedfastly upon him, r whose head 6 and heart form a most detestable con“traft. Ay, Sir, continued I, raising my voice, and I am glad to have this op"portunity of detecting him in the midst 6 of his fancied security. Do you know 6 this, Sir, this pocket-book?'- Yes, « Sir,' returned he, with a face of impenetrable assurance, that pocket-book is
mine, and I am glad you have found it. And do you know,' cried I,
• this letter? Nay, never falter, man; buc • look me full in the face: I fay, do you
know this letter?-_That letter, returned he, yes, it was I that wrote that • letter.' And how could you;' faid I, so basely, fo ungratefully presume to ( write this letter? And how came
you,' replied he, with looks of unparalleled effrontery, • fo basely to presume to • break open this letter ? Don't you know, • now, I could hang you all for this ? All < that I have to do is to swear at the next justice's that you have been guilty of
breaking open the lock of my pocket• book, and so hang you all up at his
door.' This piece of unexpected infolence raised me to such a pitch, that I could scarce govern my passion. Un-'
grateful wretch, begone, and no longer pollute my dwelling with thy baseness. Begone, and never let me see thee ägain:
go from my door, and the only punish• ment I wish thee, is an alarmed conscience, which will be a sufficient tormen
• tor!' so saying, I threw him his pocketbook, which he took up with a smile, and shutting the clasps with the utmost.composure, left us, quite astonished at the serenity of his assurance. My wife was particularly enraged that nothing could make him angry, or make him seem ashamed of his villainies : “My dear,' cried I, willing to calm those passions that had been raised too high among us, we are not to « be surprized that bad men want shame; they only blush at being detected in den ing good, but gļory in their vices.
« Guilt and Shame, says the allegory, " were at first companions, and in the
beginning of their journey inseparably
kept together. But their union was foon 'found to be disagreeable and inconve
nient to bath; Guilt gave Shame frequent uneasiness, and Shame. often be
trayed the secret conspiracies of Guilt. 6. After long disagreement, therefore, they at length consented to part for ever.
• Guilt boldly walked forward alone, to
overtake Fate, that went before in the shape of an executioner : but Shame be
ing naturally timorous, returned back " to keep company with Virtue, which, in • the beginning of their journey, they had
left behind. Thus, my children, after
men have travelled through a few stages • in vice, shame forsakes them, and re. turns back to wait upon the few virtues
they have still remaining.'