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be precipitant in buying; but that you will bestow a very serious perufal, before you honour any of them with a place in your cabinet. They are to be met with (to speak still in the way of my profeffion) of different forts and fizes; but indeed, among my fellow citizens, moftly duodecimos. Many, I dare fay, of real merit. Perhaps, a few who are little more than title page and blank paper. Take with you the opinion of a critic, for young readers are too apt to be pleased; and you will think the delay in chufing, very amply repaid, by your meeting with fuch a compofition, as will both entertain and improve you, and may be read over and over again with pleasure, to the end of your life.
I fhall not fail to mention your cafe to my friend. But, in the mean time, let me take the liberty to observe, that, tho' seventeen of panot be an age may t'ence, it is certainly not an age for despair. Your many excellences and advantages, cannot fail of foon fecuring your wish. Proceed to cultivate that good fenfe which you evidently poffefs. Attend to your health, fpirits, and good temper, as three of the firft of nature's bleffings; and enjoy freely the innocent delight arifing from a conscioufnefs of beauty; onl remembering, when you furvey that lovely figure in your glass, to throw up a thought of thankfulness to HIM who formed it.
I am, Madam,
Your moft obedient humble fervant,
To Mr. FLYN,
The fentiments of your friend in yesterday's paper, must be pleafing to every perfon who is acquaint
ed with the feelings of humanity. This indeed is a virtue, of which it may be faid, in a peculiar manner, that her ways are the ways of pleafantnefs. It begins in felf-complacency, affords a variety of the truest joys as we proceed, and leads directly to happiness. hereafter. Our excellent Fielding, with his usual benignity, affirms, that of all profpects, that of happy human faces is the finest. How exquisitely pleafing then must it be, when we additionally feel the consciousness of having removed the cloud of mifery, let in the fun-fhine on the dreary landscape, and produced. a vernal finile of gaiety, where all before was gloomy, cold, and comfortlefs! Acts indeed of this nature are fo amply rewarded at the time, that one would hardly think the additional motive of duty were necessary to inforce them.
It is recorded of an ancient emperor, that when jaded with the fameness of fenfuality, he published great rewards for the invention of fome new pleasure. Had he been poffeffed of that kind of men al sense which is fo voluptuously gratified by the exercife of. benevolence, it would have opened on him a scene of delights, incapable of cloying, and which, from his unlimited abilities for indulging in them, would have exalted him as high in happiness, as he was in power, above the reft of mankind.
In an age of epicurifm like this, it is strange that this exquifite delicacy is fo little understood, even among the connoiffeurs and profeffors of pleasure. But it is ftill more fo, that, among the thinking part of the world, fo great an inattention fhould generally prevail to the wants and calamities of others Under the preffure of pain, the anxiety of apprehenfion, or even the perplexities of bufinefs, our natural felf-attention
will unavoidably leffen our fenfibility of foreign diftrefs. But when all the comforts of life are in our hands, every uneafy idea removed, and the mind in a ftate of tranquil leisure, it is amazing that even the frequency of mifery can reconcile us to the cries of want, or to the filent forrow of thofe, who perish gradually in their wretched retreats, rather than be importunate for relief. I have often been affailed, in the midft of mirth and revelling, by the howling of a human being, lying under all the inclemency of the feverett night; but, with much more wonder, I have known the like pafs equally unregarded, in a company where ferious attention feemed to prevail, and where I knew that humanity ftill refided, tho' it was become torpid from inaction.
The truth is, diffipated pleasures involve the mind in a hurry which excludes reflection, and a too frequent use of them confequentially produces an habitual selfishness. Nay even in fedater difpofitions when the fprings of pity have been, from any cause, denied their play, they infenfibly lose their tone, and we come at laft to look, with a liftlefs indifference, on human calamities, as fo many neceffary evils, from which we are totally detached, and which it is not in our power either to prevent or relieve."
But neither heedlefs levity, nor calm infenfibility, can really make us happy. The beauties of an Elyfium would be loft on us, were we to run through thein, in a rapid purfuit after fome diftant, ftill receding phantom or crawl along in a state of dozing inattention, to every thing but a few unimportant objects immediately before our feet. To be truly happy, we must reflect. If we reflect, we cannot but compare, and muft confequently be struck with the contrafted
contrafted view of our own felicity and the woe of others. This will awaken every tender sensation, and focial fympathy will naturally arife from confcious happiness.
If fuch valuable effects are produced by a review of our prefent poffeffions, how infinitely muft they increafe, when we carry our thoughts beyond this spot, and open to them the delightful view of a happy eternity! If our ftores here are great, those that are in referve for us are not to be mea
fured by the imagination. These are contemplations which we cannot too frequently indulge. They open and enlarge the heart, raife us above every low, fordid, and felfifh affection, and extend the circle of benevolence as wide as the creation.
Every word of our religion is benignity. And it is very obfervable, that the great founder of it, in establishing it's authenticity, nev er difplayed his power in any acts of mere often ta tion. No removing of mountains, nor disturbing of the elements: but every miracle which he wrought, tended to relieve the pains, the diseases, and the diftreffes of human life; nor was the courfe of nature ever interrupted, but with a view to the prefent as well as future happiness of man.
It feens peculiarly proper to give a scope to reflections of this kind at a time when we commemorate thofe great mysterious events, by which the clouds and darkness, which before hung over futu rity, have been withdrawn, and the awfully-pleafing fcene is laid open to our view. Devotion fhould now rife into fervency, and our activity in difpenfing bleffings, fhould evince how ftrongly we are affected by the great and numberless bounties beftowed upon ourfelves. Where the obliga.ions are infinite, and
the benefactor infinitely above a poffibility of repayment, an ardent gratitude in an honeft breaft might have been attended with an uneasy sensation. The goodness of Providence has prevented this. It has transferred the debt, and placed the wretched before us to receive it. To add to human happiness, or leffen the fum of calamity, is the most acceptable offering that can be made to that GREAT BEING who is BENEVOLENCE itself.
I am, Sir, &c.
·Neque enim lex æquior ulla eft Quam necis artifices arte perire fua.
Monday, April 16, 1770.
AVING received many valuable favours from my correfpondents, which I fhall lay before my readers from time to time, I felect for this day's paper the following
letter, which, as it contains a very curious piece of hiftory, will, I doubt not, contribute much to their entertainment.
To Mr. FLYN.
The horrid crime of taking away a man's life by poison, which has been lately attempted in this city, and the extraordinary manner in which it was disco