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fiction; and I often apply to myself, what an excellent antient has faid upon a fimilar occafion, Vereor ne nunc negligentius vivam, There is nothing, in truth, puts us fo much upon our guard, as to act under the constant inspection of one, whofe yirtues, as well as years, have rendered him venerable. Never indeed, did the dignity of goodness appear more irresistible in any man: Yet there was fomething at the fame time fo gentle in his manners, fuch an innocency and chearfulness in his converfation, that he was as fure to gain affection as to inspire
IT has been obferved (and I think, by Cowley) "That a man in much business
muft either make himself a knave or "the world will make him a fool." If there is any truth in this obfervation, it is not, however, without an exception. My father was early engaged in the great scenes of bufinefs, where he continued almoft to his very last hour; yet he preferved his integrity firm and unbroken, thro' all those powerful affaults he muft neceffarily have encountered in fo long a courfe of action.
If it were juftice, indeed, to his other virtues, to fingle out any particular one as fhining with fuperior luftre to the reft; I fhould point to his probity as the brightest part of his character. But the truth is, the whole tenor of his conduct was one uniform exercise of every moral quality, that can adorn and exalt human nature. To defend the injured, to relieve the indigent, to protect the diftreffed, was the chief end and aim of all his endeavors; and his principal motive both for engaging and perfevering in his profeffion was, to enable himself more abundantly to gratify fo glorious an ambi
No man had a higher relish of the pleafures of retired and contemplative life; as none was more quailified to enter into those calm scenes with greater ease and dignity. He had nothing to make him defirous of flying from the reflections of his own mind; nor any paffions which his moderate patrimony would not have been more than fufficient to have gratified. But to live for himself only, was not confiftent with his generous and enlarged fentiments. It was a fpirit of benevolence that led him into the
active scenes of the world; which upon any other principle he would either never have entered, or foon have renounced, And it was that godlike fpirit, which conducted and fupported him thro' his useful progrefs, to the honor and intereft of his family and friends, and to the benefit of every creature, that could poffibly be comprehended within the extenfive circle of his beneficence.
I WELL know, my dear Euphronius, the high regard you pay to every character of merit in general, and the esteem in which held this most valuable man in particular. I am fure, therefore, you would not forgive me were I to make an apology for leaving with you this private monument of my veneration for a parent, whose least and lowest claim to my gratitude and esteem is, that I am indebted to him for my birth, I am, &c.
AM particularly pleased with a paffage in Homer, wherein Jupiter is represented as taking off his eyes, with a fort of fatiety, from the horror of the field of battle, and relieving himself with a view of the Hippomolgi; a people famous, it feems, for their innocence and fimplicity of manners. It is in order to practise the fame kind of experiment, and give myself a short remiffion from that scene of turbulence and contention in which I am engaged, that I now turn my thoughts on you, Philotes, whose temperance and moderation may well justify me in calling a modern Hippomolgian.
I FORGET which of the antients it is, that recommends this method of thinking over the virtues of one's acquaintance: But I am fure it is fometimes neceffary in order to keep one's felf in humour with our species, and preferve the fpirit of philanthropy from being entirely extinguished. Those who frequent the ambitious walks of life, are apt to take their estimate of man
kind from the fmall part of it that lies before them, and confider the rest of the world as practising, in different and under-parts, the fame treachery and diffimulation which marks out the characters of their fuperiors. It is difficult indeed to preferve the mind from falling into a general contempt of our race, whilft one is converfant with the worst part of it. I labor, however, as much as poffible, to guard against that ungenerous difpofition; as nothing is fo apt to kill those feeds of benevolence which every man fhould endeavour to cultivate in his breast.
ILL furely, therefore, have those wits employed their talents, who have made our fpecies the object of their satire, and affected to fubdue the vanity, by derogating from the virtues, of the human heart. But it will be found, I believe, upon an impartial examination, that there is more folly than malice in our natures, and that mankind oftener act wrong through ignorance than defign. Perhaps the true measure of human merit is neither to be taken from the hiftories of former times, nor from what paffes in the more striking scenes of the prefent generation. The greatest virtues have, probably, Z3