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distinguished infamy. Few are fo totally vitiated, as to have abandoned all fentiments of fhame; and when every other principle of integrity is furrendered, we generally find the conflict is still maintained in this last post of retreating virtue. In this view, therefore, it fhould feem, the function of a fatirift may be justified, notwithstanding it should be true (what an excellent moralist has afferted) that his chastisements rather exasperate, than reclaim those on whom they fall. Perhaps, no human penalties are of any moral advantage to the criminal himfelf: and the principal benefit that feeins to be derived from civil punishments of any kind, is their restraining influence upon the conduct of others.
It is not every arm, however, that is qualified to manage this formidable bow. The arrows of fatire, when they are not.
pointed by virtue, as upon the hand that
well as wit, recoil directs them, and
wound none but him from whom they proceed. Accordingly, Horace refts the whole fuccefs of writings of this fort upon the poet's being Integer ipfe; free himself from those immoral stains which he points
out in others. There cannot, indeed, be a more odious, nor at the fame time a more. contemptible character, than that of a vitious fatirift:
Quis cœlum terris non mifceat & mare cœlo, Si fur difpliceat Verri, homicida Miloni ?
The most favorable light in which a cenfor of this fpecies could poffibly be viewed, would be that of a public executioner, who inflicts the punishment on others, which he has already merited himself. But the truth of it is, he is not qualified even for fo wretched an office; and there is nothing to be dreaded from a fatirift of known dishonesty, but his applause. Adieu.
EREMONY is never more unwelcome, than at that season in which you will probably have the greatest share of it; and as I fhould be extremely unwilling to add to the number of thofe, who, in pure good
manners, may interrupt your enjoyments, I chuse to give you my congratulations a little prematurely. After the happy office fhall be completed, your moments will be too valuable to be laid out in forms; and it would be paying you a compliment with a very ill grace, to draw off your eyes from the highest beauty, tho, it were to turn them on the most exquifite wit. I hope, however, you will give me timely notice of your wedding day, that I may be prepared with my epithalamium. I have already laid-in half a dozen deities extremely proper for the occafion, and have even made fome progrefs in my firft fimile. But I am fomewhat at a lofs how to proceed, not al being able to determine whether your future bride is moft like Venus or Hebe. That The resembles both, is univerfally agreed, I find, by thofe who have seen her. But it would be offending, you know, against all the rules of poetical juftice, if I should only fay fhe is as handsome as the is young, when after all, perhaps, the truth may be, that he has even more beauty than youth. In the mean while, I am turning over all the tender compliments that love has in
fpired, from the Lesbia of Catullus to the Chloe of Prior, and hope to gather fuch a collection of flowers as may not be unworthy of entering into a garland compofed for your Stella. But before you introduce me as a poet, let me be recommended to her by a much better title, and affure her, that I am your, &c.
AM much inclined to join with you in thinking, that the Romans had no peculiar word in their language, which an fwers precifely to what we call good-fenfe in ours. For tho prudentia indeed seems frequently used by their beft writers to express that idea, yet it is not confined to that fingle meaning, but is often applied by them to fignify skill in any particular sci
But good-fenfe is fomething very diftinct from knowledge; and it is an instance of the poverty of the Latin language, that she is obliged to use the fame word as a mark for two fuch remote ideas.
WERE I to explain what I understand by good-sense, I should call it right reason; but right reason that arifes, not from formal and logical deductions, but from a fort of intuitive faculty in the foul, which diftinguishes by immediate perception: a kind of innate fagacity, that in many of its properties feems very much to resemble inftinct. It would be improper, therefore, to say, that Sir Ifaac Newton fhewed his good-fenfe, by thofe amazing discoveries which he made in natural philofophy: the operations of this gift of heaven are rather inftantaneous, than the refult of any tedious process. Like Diomed, after Minerva had endowed him with the power of difcerning gods from mortals, the man of goodfense discovers at once the truth of those objects he is most concerned to distinguish; and conducts himself with suitable caution and fecurity.
It is for this reason, poffibly, that this quality of the mind is not fo often found united with learning as one could wish: for good-fenfe being accustomed to receive her discoveries without labor or ftudy, fhe cannot so easily wait for those truths, which R being