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out confusion, and without hurry. It was the assemblage of these traits of character, so early visible in him, that recommended him when scarcely more than a boy, to an embassy of no ordinary importance, hazard, and difficulty."*

Happy were it if the youths of America, would, in this respect, copy after the example of one whose memory they so delight to honor.

few things are impossible to industry skilfully directed. By it, men of but middling talents rise sometimes to deserved eminence; by it the man of “small things” expands himself by little and little, till he comes at last to occupy a respectable space in society; and by it the face of the living world is illumined and gladdened. What difficulties have been overcome, what wonders have been wrought, and what immense benefits have been procured, by the industrious application of the mental and corporeal powers of man!

On the other hand, no gifts of nature, or of fortune, can supersede the necessity for industry. Sloth is a rust, that eats up the finest ingredients of genius, and mars and consumes the greatest of fortunes. He that is slothful of mind, loseth his mind : instead of enlarging, it contracts and diminishes as he increases in years. He that is slothful in business, will at last have neither business to do, nor any thing to sustain bis declining age. In short, a downright slug, whether in high life or low, vegetates, rather than lives. Habitual indolence is one of the worst of syınptoms in youth; a fever is less hopeless than a lethargy.

* Bancroft's Life of Washington.

CHAP. LXXI.

Of the two opposite errors--the extreme of suspicion

and the extreme of confidence. MANKIND are alike betrayed by the excess of suspiciou, and of confidence. The maxim, that in suspicion is safety, is true only in a qualified sense; for overmuch suspicion érrs as often as overmuch confidence. As to believe nothing, would be quite as wrong as to believe every thing; so, to trust no body, is no less an error than to trust every body. Indeed it is the worse error of the two, because there is more evil in causelessly thinking ill, than in causelessly thinking well of our fellow beings.

Bad men, who look chiefly into themselves for information concerning the human kind, are ready to believe the worst of others. Conscious of their own insincerity, they can hardly think that any speak friendly to them or act kindly toward them, with intentions that are really sincere. They suspect religion to be hypocrisy, and that apparent virtue is but a mask to conceal the naughtiness of the heart. Piety, self-government, munificence, and all the charities of life, they impute to corrupt, or interested motives. Hence they repose firm confidence scarcely in any one. Now, as to persons of this cast, they are not only the dupes of their own jealousy, but the victims.

A suspicion of every body they have to do with, as it keeps them in perpetual fear and disquietude, and prevents their enjoying the common comforts and benefits of society, so it precludes all likelihood, and almost all possibility, of self-amendment. For their minds are too intent upon others' faults to attend to their own; and besides, their mistrusting ill of all about them, furnishes a powerful opiate to their own consciences.

It has been boasted by some men of business, that they never in all their lives suffered by imposition or imposture; that they had always accustonied themselves to keep so sharp an eye upon mankind that no body could cheat or deceive them. This is not, however, any great matter of boasting; for it is scarcely possible they should have been so constantly upon their guard against deception, if they had not had a vigilant monitor and prompter in their own hearts. Upon the same ground, it is an ill mark in any one, to decry apparent virtue in others, and assign bad motives to their good deeds; since it argues that the only motives that can fall within the ken of his own mental eye are generally faulty, if not totally corrupt. In short, it is better

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now and then to be deceived, and even duped, than never to confide.

On the contrary, persons of honest, benevolent views, are apt, from that very circumstance, to run into the opposite extremne. Conscious of their own uprightness and probity, they are hard to suspect that any who wear the semblance of these virtues should have it in their hearts to beguile them; and, of course, for want of prudent caution, are peculiarly liable, through an amiable weakness, to be ensnared, and sometimes desperately injured. It is especially in youth that we find this error; which is commonly cured by time and experience. An unsuspecting youth, soured by bitter experience, may become too suspicious in old age: whilst a youth of an excessive jealousy of temper, commonly grows more jealous or suspicious as he advances

There are two classes of men who are often betrayed by an excess of confidence: these are creditors and debtors. As it respects the former, the remark is too obvious to need proof or illustration. The error of giving indiscriminate credit, is too visible in its deplorable consequences not to be generally seen.

But the opposite error, that is, the error of taking too large credit, is not quite so manifest, though equally fatal.

As the creditor trusts the debtor, so, on the other hand, does the debtor trust the creditor, except in instances in which he is morally certain of making punctual payment. If one runs in debt beyond his ability

in good season, he has to trust to the mercy of his creditor, nel merely as to his house and land, goods and chattels, but even for the liberty of going at large. The creditor has a power over his personal liberty, as well as over his property. If he exact the last farthing of the debt the very instant it becomes due, and that notwithstanding the plea of inability, he may perhaps be called hard and unseeling, but not unjust. The promise in the note or bond, entitles him to be thus rigorous, and the law is on his side. Neither any debtor entitled, ordinarily, to expect any thing short of this rigor from his creditor, except on principles of compassion: and surely it evinces too much of con

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fidence, as well as too little of spirit, for one to place himself, unnecessarily, in circumstances to need the compassion of fellow inan as his only tarihly resource.

CHAP. LXXII.

Of the misusage of the faculty of Memory. In the little citadel of the mind, the Memory acts as. a sort of subaltern; and hence it is often blaned, and sometimes wrongfully, by the commander in chief. We seldom find men dissatisfied with their understandings, or their judgments, or with the character of their hearts. Very few are disposed to own that any of these are radically defective or greatly in fault. But nothing is more common than to hear them censuring their memories, as not only weak, but treacherous. The aged I have often heard complain of their memories, but seldom of their judgments.

" 'Tis with our judgments as our watches-none
Go just alike, yet each believes his own."

I said just now, that the memory sometimes is blamed wrongfully; and truth would bear me out, were I to add, that nothing is more common than taxing the memory with faults of which it is in no wise guilty. In many of the cases in which forgetfulness is pleaded for excuse or apology, if the memory were allowed to speak for herself, she would let it be known that the imputations cast upon her were slanderous falsehoods, and that, in these particular cases, she had performed her part in full measure.

Artificial methods of assisting the memory have been suggested by writers, and at least one invention for that purpose has been made and put in practice by those who could not write. It is worthy of notice as a curiosity, if not for its use.

According to Smith's History of the colony of NewYork, in 1689, Commissioners from Boston, Plymouth,

and Connecticut, had a conference with the Five Indian Nations at Albany; when a Mohawk sachem, in a speech of great length, answered the message of the commissioners, and repeated all that had been said the preceding day. The art they had for assisting their memories was this: The sachem who presided had a bundle of sticks prepared for the purpose, and at the close of every principal article of the message delivered to them, he gave a stick to another sachem, charging him with the remembrance of that particular article. By this nieans, the orator, after a previous conference with the sachems who severally had the sticks, was prepared to repeat every part of the message, and to give it the proper reply. This custom, as the historian remarks, was invariably pursued in all their public treaties.

The gift of memory, like the other gifts of nature, is distributed, to some individuals more, and to others less. While all are blest with such a measure of memory as might suffice them, if well improved, some few enjoy it in an extraordinary measure; and, what is truly wonderful, a very strong memory is sometimes found yoked with a very feeble intellect. There are some persons that can repeat, word for word, a considerably long discourse, upon hearing or reading it only once or twice, and yet are possessed of minds too weak and slender to reason upon matters with any considerable degree of ability, or to judge of them accurately. A man of this sort, ever makes himself tiresome, if not ridiculous, by dealing out wares from the vast store of his memory, without regard to time, place, or fitness. But wheneve er, on the other hand, an excellent memory is united with a sound and vigorous understanding, nothing but indolence can hinder such a one from becoming greatnothing but the want of good principle at heart, can prevent his acting with superior excellence, some part or other, upon the theatre of life.

In general, we forget for want of attention, more than for want of memory. Persons of very different memories find no difficulty in' remembering certain things that had excited their attention in a very high degree; while a thousand other things of far greater

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