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duce maintain fewer mouths. If estates were more equally divided, would greater numbers be fed, or clothed, or employed? Either, therefore, large fortunes are not a public evil, or, if they be, in any degree, an evil, it is to be borne with for the sake of those fixed and on general rules concerning property, in the preservation and steadiness of which, all are interested. Fortunes, however, of any kind, from the nature of the thing, can only fall to the lot of a few. I say " from the nature of the thing.” The very utmost that can be done by lawgi and government, is to enable every man who has health to procure az healthy subsistence for himself and family. Where this is the case, things are at their perfection ; they have reached their limit. Weres the princes and the nobility, the legislators and counsellors of the land, all of them, the best and wisest men that ever lived, their’united virtue and wisdom could do no more than this. They, if any such there be, who would teach you to expect more, can give you no instance where more has ever been attained. But Providence, which foresaw, which appointed indeed, the necessity to which human affairs are subjected, and against which it were impious to complain, hath contrived that whilst fortunes are only for a few, the rest of mankind may be happy without them. And this leads us to consider the comparative advantages and comforts which belong to the condition of those who subsist, as the great mass of every people do and must subsist, by personal labour, and the solid reason they have for contentment in their star tions. I do not now use the terms poor and rich, because that man is to be accounted poor, of whatever rank he be, and suffers the pains of poverty, whose expenses exceed his resources : and no man is, properly speaking, poor, but he.
1373 A husbandman, manufacturer, or tradesman, never goes to bed at night, without having his business to rise up to in the morning. He would understand the value of this advantage, did he know that the want of it composes one of the greatest plagues of the human soul; a plague, by which the rich, especially those who inherit riches, are exceedingly oppressed. Indeed it is to get rid of it, that is to say, to have something to do, that they are driven upon those strange and unaccountable ways of passing their time, in which we sometimes see them, to our surprise, engaged.
A poor man's condition supplies him with that which no man can do. without, and which a rich man, with all his opportunities and all his contrivances, can hardly supply himself; regular employment, business to look forward to, something to be done for every day, some employment preparing for every morning. A few of better judgment can seek out for themselves constant and useful occupation. There is not one of you take the pains in his calling, which some of the most independent men in the nation have taken, and are taking to promote what they deem to be a point of great concern to the interest of hu. manity, by which, neither they nor theirs can ever gain a shilling; and which, should they succeed, those who are to be benefited by their service, will never know, nor thank them for. I only mention this to show, in conjunction with what has been observed above, that
of those who are at liberty to act as they please, the wise prove, and the foolish confess, by their conduct, that a life of employment is the only life worth leading ; and that the chief difference between their manner of passing their time and yours, is that they can choose the objects of their activity, and you cannot. This privilege may be an advantage to some, but for nine out of ten, it is fortunate that occupation is provided to their hands, that they have it not to seek, that it is imposed upon them by their necessities and occasions; for the consequence of liberty in this respect, would be, that lost in the perplexity of choosing, they would run into incurable indolence, inaction and unconcern ; into that vacancy and tiresomeness of time and thought, which are inseparable from such a situation. A man's thoughts must be going. Whilst he is awake, the working of his mind is as constant as the beating of his pulse : he can no more stop the one than he can the other. Hence if our thoughts have nothing. to act upon, they act upon ourselves; they acquire a corrosive quality; they become in the last degree irksome and tormenting. Wherefore that sort of equitable engagement which takes up the thoughts sufficiently, yet so as to leave them capable of turning to any thing more important, as occasions offer or require, is a most invaluable blessing, Again; some of the necessities which poverty (if the condition of the labouring class of society can be so called) imposes, are not hardships, but pleasures. Frugality itself is a pleasure ; it is an exercise of ata tention and contrivance, which, whenever it is successful, produces satisfaction. The very care and forecast that are necessary to keep ex, penses and earnings upon a level form, when not embarrassed by too great difficulties, is an agreeable engagement of the thoughts. This is lost amidst abundance. There is no pleasure in taking out of a large unmeasured fund. They who do that, and only that, are the mere conveyers of money from one hand to another. A yet more serious advantage which persons in inferior stations,
possess, is the ease with which they provide for their children. All the provision which a poor man's child requires, is contained in two words, W innocence and industry.” With these qualities, though without a shilling to set him forward, he goes into the world, prepared to become a useful, virtuous, and happy man. Nor will he fail to with a maintenance adequate to the habits with which he has been brought up, and to the expectations which he has formed; a degree of success sufficient for a person, of any condition whatever. These qualities of industry and innocence, which I repeat again are all that are absolutely necessary, every parent can give his children without expense, because he can give them by his authority and example; and they are to be communicated, I believe, and preserved in no other way. I call this a serious advantage of humble stations, because in what
reckon superior ranks of life, there is a real difficulty in placing children in situations, which may in any degree support them in the class and in the habits in which they have been brought up with their parents : from which, and oftentimes, distressing perplexity, the poor are free. With health of body, innocence of mind, and habits
meet of industry, a poor man's child has nothing to be afraid of. The labour of the world is carried on by service, that is, by one man working under another man's direction. I take it for granted that this is the best way of conducting business, because all nations have adopted it; consequently service is the relation which, of all others, affects the greatest mumber of individuals, and in the most sensible manner. In whatever country this relation is well and equitably regulated, in that country the poor will be happy. Now how is the matter managed with us? Except apprenticeships, the necessity of which, every one, at least every father and mother will acknowledge, as the best, if not the only practicable way of gaining instruction and skill, and which have their foundation in nature, because they have their foundation in the natural ignorance and imbecility of youth; except these, service in England is, as it ought to be, voluntary and by contract; a fair exchange of work for wages; an equal bargain, in which each party has his redress; wherein every servant chooses his master. Can this be mended? I will add, that a continuance of this connection is frequently the foundation of so much mutual kindness and attachment, that very few friendships are more cordial or more sincere; that it leaves oftentimes, nothing more in servitude except the name ; nor any distinction, but what one party is as much pleased with, and sometimes also, as proud of as the other. What then (for this is the fair way of calculating) is there in high stations to place against these advantages ? What does the poor man see in the life or condition of the rich that should render him dissatisfied with his own?
THE ENGLISH MONTHS.JUNE.
To one intimate with the country, and therefore fond of rural enjoyment, June offers two very peculiar sources of pleasure. It is the season of hay-making and of sheep-shearing, both of which operations still retain much of the gaiety of festivals. We have several times enjoyed the hospitable cheer of an old-fashioned farm on the occasion of sheep-shearing; and the rustic merriment has not been the less welcome for having antiquity to recommend it. Shakspeare and Drayton have poetically described the recreations of our ancestors at this rural feast; and a writer of more recent date has made “ the Fleece" the subject of a beautiful and patriotic poem. The following extract from the Seasons" describes the ceremony of shearing :
"At last, of snowy white, the gather'd flocks
A simple scene! yet hence Britannia sees
The treasures of the sun without his rage.” The business of the hay-harvest is so well known, that it is only necessary to observe, that it is one of those occupations in which labour and pleasure seem to unite ;--in which toil and cheerfulness almost invariably preserve their proper association.
June is a month of fragrance. The sweet scent of the new-made hay is borne on the evening breeze with a refreshing odour ;the clover-fields give out the richest perfume from their profuse blossoms ;and the great pastoral poet, Thomson, has said that “ Arabia cannot boast a fuller gale of joy" than our bean-fields. Add to this, the dogrose is scattered about our hedges, with its most delicate tints and no less delicate fragrance ;—and the honeysuckle calls upon the passer-by to appreciate its beauty and its sweetness.
About the end of June the singing-birds cease their notes. The yellow-hammer and goldfinch may be heard now and then chirping; but the blackbird and thrush are silent for a while, and even the nightingale foregoes her evening minstrelsy.
“ The groves, the fields, the meadows now no more
In drowsy lethargy." The balmy evenings, about the middle of this month, offer a most interesting object to the naturalist : this is the angler's may-fly (ephemera vulgata), the most short-lived in its perfect state of any of the insect race; it emerges from the water, where it passes its aurelia state, about six in the evening, and dies about eleven at night. They usually begin to appear about the 4th of June, and continue in succession nearly a fortnight.
On the 21st of June happens the summer-solstice, or longest day: at this time, in the most northern parts of the island there is scarcely any night, the twilight continuing almost from the setting to the rising of the sun; that it is light enough at midnight to see to read.
THE THREE WARNINGS.
By Mrs. Thrale.
That love of life increased with years,
The greatest love of life appears.
This great affection to believe,
When sports went round, and all were gay,
you !" the hapless husband cried ;
His reasons could not well be stronger;
And left to live a little longer.
Neighbour,” he said, “ farewell !--no more
And grant a kind reprieve ;
Well pleased the world will leave.”
What next the hero of our tale befell,
The willing muse shall tell.
Nor thought of death as near :
He passed bis hours in peace.