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ihey shall both lie down at last in the same low bed together. They who pride themselves in the splendour of their family% as well as they that are said to be basely born, are compelled to say to corruption, thou art my father, and to the worm, thou art my mother and my sister."
The endeavours of man to disguise his littleness have been all in vain: they have only tended to make it more conspicuous. He has sought to magnify his diminutive being by the voluminous drapery and plenitude of its dress; to swell out his narrow size by the amplification of his possessions; as if the branches of his outspread property "were to be regarded as limbs of the man, and the members of his numerous household as the members of himself; as if he imagined the height of the ground upon which he stands would be mistaken for his own, and supposed the lowliness of his head could be lifted by the loftiness of his roof. Alas! his minuteness, so far from having been enlarged, has been only illustrated, by this most mistaken method of magnifying it. A little object only looks the less by standing at the side of a large one. In the vast possession the possessor has been los(. The dress of the giant derides the dwarf that puts it on. Amid the immensity of his grounds, the dimensions of his mansion, the magnitude of his equipage, the pigmy proprietor appears like a speck. His tall turrets and his towering trees seem to look down upon him, as he walks under them, as upon a reptile. Man has sought, and with similar success, to procure the glory of excellence in strength, by borrowing the hands of others; to hide his individual impotence under the collected power of many servants. Strange method of impressing me with an idea of his dignity! to multiply, by sloth and by luxury, his necessities for the assistance of his fellow creatures, and then presenting himself before me in the midst of a multitude of ministers, to his wants, 'and guards of his weakness! spreading out before me, in full and ample display, the wide extent of his helplessness ! ranging around him the proofs, stationing on every side of him, lest it should not be sufficiently obvious, the evidences of his dependence; as if he were ambitious of exhibiting, of holding up his imbecility to the notice of mankind; as if he were ostentatious of his insufficiency to the supply of his desires, and the security of his person !—An equal increase of exposition to the eye, instead of concealment from it, his littleness has met, in the high sounding names by which he has been accosted, and the ceremonies that have accompanied access to his presence. Many of the salutations that have been addressed to the great ones of the earth sound like insult in the ear of reflection. "Live for ever J" to a shadow beneath a canopy! Sarcastic salutation !" High and mighty," to worms in state! Humiliating taunt !-^And the instituted forms of introduction into their presence, the slow steps, and awful regularity of approach, with which the inferior in station has been accustomed to draw nigh unto them, do they not appear to the thoughtful eye a mockery of mortality, and seem as if they were practised, instead of exalting, to ridicule dust and ashes? Death enters their room without,any of this ceremony: Sickness will not wait in the antichamber: Disease demands immediate admission. To him who thinks of this, the solemnity of human access, the sublimity of human greeting, to human grandeur seem but the gravity of irony.
From riches and honours man may derive a variety of things. .They can afford to his sloth a softer couch; to his appetites a wider range ; to his person a broader shield; to his vanity a sweeter incense ; to his curiosity, if he feel it, a larger field ; or to his virtue, if he have it, an ampler sphere : but that virtue as they cannot confer upon his character, neither can they yield any accession of excellence, of any sort, to his nature,—They cannot add one cubit to his stature; one sinew to his arm; one organ to his body; or one power to his mind.
But, so far as superior station involves intellectual superiority! does not this lay a foundation for the pride of those who occupy it, and justify them in looking down with disdain upon them, from whom they are thus distinguished? May not mankind behold with contempt their inferiors in knowledge? May not the enlightened contemn the ignorant? May not the learned look with scorn upon the unlettered? May not the refined despise the rude ? They would deserve to be despised themselves, if they did. This dis* tinction of the rich and great, if they chance to possess it, is adventitious as every other. Not only their exterior, but their intrinsic points of superiority are so. Delicacy of feeling, elegance of taste, polish of manners, liberality of sentiment, enlargement of knowledge, are accidents, as well as wealth and power. The same education would have communicated the same accomplishments to the poor. , The same powers of reasoning, the same seeds of taste, the same sparks of wit and fancy, are discoverable in those of low, as in them of high condition. Let it be remembered, that their roughness is not incapacity of refinement. Their ignorance is not owing to stupidity of intellect, but to the want of'opportunity for intellectual improvement.
Let those, then, whose riches have purchased for them the page of knowledge, regard with respect the native powers of them, to whose eyes it has never been unrolled. The daily labourer, and the professor of science, belong naturally to the same order of intelligencies. Circumstances and situation have made all the difference between them. The understanding of one has been free to walk whether it would; that of the other has been shut up, and deprived of the liberty of ranging the fields of knowledge. Society has condemned it to the dungeon of ignorance, and then despises it for being in the dark. Many of those, whom the pride of refinement has styled barbarians, have contained capacities, which, if they had been called forth by education, would have excited not only the respect, but the astonishment of mankind. Nature has made more statesmen than have governed states; more generals than have headed armies; more philosophers than have taught; more orators than have harrangued; more poets than have sung. Wonderful, talents for literature, for eloquence, for science, for government, have been prevented from making their appearance, by the want of that cultivation which would have drawn them forth, and of that competence which is necessary to cherish genius. There have been multitudes that would have added to the sum, or have embellished the form of human knowledge, if their youth had been taught the rudiments, and their life allowed them leisure to prosecute the pursuit of it. The attention that would have been crowned with splendid successes in the inquiry after truth, has been all expended in the search of bread. The curiosity, that would have penetrated to the secrets of nature, have explored the recesses of mind, and compassed the records of time, has been choked by the cares of want. The fancy, that would have glowed with a heat divine, and made a brilliant addition to the blazing thoughts and the burning words of the poetical world, has been chilled and frozen by the cold winds of poverty. Many a one, who cannot read what others wrote, had the knowledge of elegant letters been given him, would himself have written what ages might read with delight. He that ploughs the ground, had he studied the heavens, might have understood the stars, as well as he understands the soil. Many a sage has lain hid in the savage, and many a slave was made to be an emperor.
BRIEF REMARK. The commerce, of neighbourly social life is carried on chiefly with small change. Vast favours are seldom bestowed, and heavy obligations as seldom incurred. It is the constant interchange of little obliging attentions that constitutes Conisubial happiness. It springs from an uninterrupted series of little acts of mutual kindness light as air of themselves and costing little or nothing, but of immeasurable importance in their consequences; as they furnish the only kind of food that will long sustain that delicate kind of friendship; for the absence of these small attentions occasions, first coldness, then distrust, and finally alienation.—Setting aside the brutish and the dissolute part of community, wives and husbands disagree oftener much about trifles, than about things of real weight. Perhaps nine in ten of their disputes and squabbles grow out of little things such as trivial neglects, petty trespasses, or a word unkindly spoken: nay, merely a hard look, sometimes lays the foundation of a hard quarrel. A husband never can please his wife any longer than his general conduct evinces that he is, in most respects, well pleased with her—and so vice versa
If we extend our view to the larger circle of social intercourse which comprehends relations, friends and acquaintance of every kind and degree, we shall find that the frequent interchange of courteous attentions and petty kindnesses, is the thing that keeps them united together and pleased with each other; and that in default of this, they presently lose all relish for one another's company. The truth is, as our tempers are oftener ruffled by trifles than by things of moment, so, on the other hand, our affections are more won by a long series of trival obligations, than by one single obliga« tion, however great.
Man, put him where you will, is a proud-hearted little animal. And hence we become attached to those who are in the habit of treating us as if they thought us worthy of their particular notice and regard, and at the same time cold and secretly resentful toward such as habitually neglect us in these little points; even though the former never has done us a single important favour, and the latter, in some or\e instance or other, have essentially befriended us.
With regard to neglects and trespasses in those little things which constitute the main substance of social life, the worst of it is, that they are incapable of free discussion; and, of course the wounds from them admit of no healing. We are deeply touched with omissions or slights, for which it would be ridiculous to expostulate or complain. They leave a sting which secretly rankles in our memories and festers in our imaginations—and inwardly we feel sore, while we are ashamed to fret outwardly: the cause of our provocation being an undefinable nameless something upon which we never can ask for an explanation, and consequently never can obtain any satisfaction. .
True enough, all this is often illgrounded, or the offspring of mere jealousy. But this makes the case the more remediless ; for illgrounded enmities are the most obstinate—because, as their causes exist altogether or chiefly in the imagination, the imagination is ever busy in colouring arid magnifying them—whereas when the offence, though real, is of a definite form and shape, it may be got over. I have seen two friends dispute and quarrel violently about an affair of moment and then settle it, and presently become as kind and loving together as .ever; and I have seen other two friends, who never quarreled together at all become first cold, and at last utterly estranged, by reason of a neglect or slight on the one side or the other, which, of itself, was too trivial to be so much as mentioned to the offending parry.
There are those who are willing to oblige; but are unwilling to receive obligations, though ever so small, in any way or in any thing—and they boast of it as a noble quality in them. But whatever they may think of themselves, they, in this frespect violate the general law of social commerce, which require some degree of reciprocity, or a mutuaL.exchange of commodities. One who is in the way of often receiving from another, little kindnesses which he is permitted in no wise to requit, sinks into a dependent—and his nominal friend is not indeed a friend properly speaking, but a patron. The shew of utter averseness to. being Obliged in any case whatsoever is commonly understood aright—it is taken for pride, or contempt, or coldness, and naturally gives displeasure: 'whereas to except of little obligations with frankness, and to be alike willing to oblige and to be obliged, is the proper line of social intercourse.
I will only remark further, that the little daily attentions upon which social feeling and happiness so much depend, ought to be natural or spontaneous, and not loaded and stiffened with ceremony—and that the only way to make them quite natural or spontaneous, is to have written upon the heart that first of social laws,
THOO SHALT LOVE THV NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.
Genuine and perfect friendship is a sentiment which can exist only united with principles of honour, ^philosophical author describes it as "a tacit covenant between two virtuous and sensible minds..' "I say sensible,'''' adds he, " because a monk or a recluse may not