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Institutes cautions Parliaments “to leave all causes to be measured by the golden aud straight role of the law, and not by the uncertain and crooked cord of discretion."


Absolute idleness is no more admissible in the moral world, than an absolute vacuum can be considered as philosophically true in the physical world. Tom who spends all his mornings in study, and his brother in whistling about the house, are both employed; and it would be as irksome to the young brother to be held from his employment, as it would be to Tom to have his book shut

up. With respect to society, no doubt idleness is properly condemned, as it is an employment producing no good to the public, or in the language of Adam Smith, 'tis unproductive labour.


Is generally attended with a propensity to inflict pain on persons and animals, which it thinks can be done with safety; and I have little doubt but tbat the man who should shew extreme caution and humanity in not treading on a worm, would be the first man to attack the formidable serpent, from whom the worm-slayer would fly precipitately,


* The fool bas said in his heart there is no God.” Solomon, the wise king of Israel, well knew that from the heart comes all evil; and that the heart must be first corrupted, ere such a foolish thought could have arisen. No man has said from his head so strange a thing, unless that head was weak in the extreme, and so incapable of understanding the evidence around of a GoD; or the head inust be deranged by disease, so as not to be efficient to the purposes of reasoning.

French Drama. Some Critics have objected to the too frequent introduction of love in the French dramas; yet, what passion can be so well calculated to please the frequenters of a theatre, because love is an universal passion, and of course universally interesting. It has been, indeed, with more justice objected to Addison, that in his “ Cato” he has introduced love as an episode : this surely is wrong. for that passion is of itself sufficient to fill the whole plan of a play, and must act the principal part always.

The Medea of Seneca. Though this Tragedian is generally too inflated and unnatural to interest, yet the following speech

of Medea, descriptive of her bold and self-confident character, is very striking and dramatic. Her confidante says,

Your country hates you, and the man you lov'd
Deserto you, then on whom can you rely?
Med. Whom? on myself,

that no

Compassion. It is a remark of Aristotle, that persons in the extremes of happiness or misery exhibit little sense of pity towards others. "Very fortunate persons," says that eminent philosopher, "are too selfish to consider about others; and the very wretched suppose

calamities can be greater than their own.”

England. At this distant period we cannot read without a smile the following passage in the life of Agricola, by Tacitus. A native, on the invasion of Agricola, exclaims, “ The extreme remoteness from any other nation of this, and its great obscurity and peculiar situation, bave hitherto aided us to preserve our liberiy. Around us nothing is to be seen but vessels and rocks."--And Horace not long before had said, toto divisos orbe Britannos.",

Men of Genius. When such persons put forth all the splendour of their talents in company, and are determined

to shine with all their might, they incommode us like the sun at mid-day in July; and we wish for the calm shade which companions less painfully brilliant might afford to our exhausted powers of attention and admiration. The latter long continued becomes irksome, the flashes of wit and the thunder of eloquence soon weary us.


It is astonishing how much we are influenced by this art.

The errors of Buffon, the sophisms of Gibbon and Rousseau, the impudence of Voltaire, are concealed from our view by the overbearing rays of their splendid eloquence. We are carried away by the rapid stream of Rousseau's oratory, or entangled by its whirlpools, or look with delight on the calm yet brilliant current, and forget the shoals that surround us, and shut our eyes against the rocks ihat threaten our existence. Yet Pousseau himself inveighed against rhetoric-he was well acquainted with the dangerous sharpness of that weapon

Beautiful Imagery. Dryden, whether employed in verse or prose, was always a poet. Describing the early exertions of Virgil's muse to prepare herself for more daring flights, he says, “ He could not forbear (Virgil)


to try liis wings, though his pinions were not bardened to maintain a long and laborious flight; yet sometimes they bore him to a pitch as lofty

ever he was able to reach afterwards. But when he was admonished by his subject to tlescend, he came down, gently circling in the air, and singing to the ground; like a lark, melodious in her mounting, and continuing her song till she alights, still preparing for a higher flight at her next sally, and tuning her voice to better music."- Dryden's Dedication to the Pastorals of Virgil.

Bon Mot of Christina, Queen of Sweden. A professor of geology made a long and learned barangue upon the age of the world, and upon the probable time of its duration. After the lecture, some of the audience applied to the Queen for ber opinion about the world's age, &c. “My opinion is,” said Christina, “ that the World, like other old ladies, is very shy of discovering her number of years."

N.B. This bon mot has been attributed since to M. Voltaire.

Disputes about Taste. It seems proverbially established in the arts, that whatever pleases must be considered as baring

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