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he carried her down in a post-chaise, and coming ESSAY XXIII.
back she helped to carry his knapsack.
Miss Racket went down with her lover in their As I see you are fond of gallantry, and seem own phaeton ; but upon their return, being very willing to set young people together as soon as you fond of driving, she would be every now and then can, I can not help lending my assistance to your for holding the whip. This bred a dispute : and endeavours, as I am greatly concerned in the at- before they were a fortnight together, she felt that tempt. You must know, sir, that I am landlady he could exercise the whip on somebody else beof one of the most noted inns on the road to Scot- sides the horses. land, and have seldom less than eight or ten couples Miss Meekly, though all compliance to the will a-week, who go down rapturous lovers, and return of her lover, could never reconcile him to the change man and wife.
of his situation. It seems he married her supposIf there be in this world an agrceable situation, ing she had a large fortune; but being deceived in it must be that in which a young couple find them- their expectations, they parted; and they now selves, when just let loose from confinement, and keep separate garrets in Rosemary-lane. whirling off to the land of promise. When the The next couple of whom I have any account, post-chaise is driving off, and the blinds are drawn actually lived together in great harmony and unup, sure nothing can equal it. And yet, I do not cloying kindness for no less than a nionth ; but the know how, what with tho fears of being pursued, lady who was a little in years, having parted with or the wishes for greater happiness, not one of my her fortune to her dearest life, he left her to make customers but seems gloomy and out of temper. I love to that better part of her which he valued more. The gentlemen are all sullen, and the ladies dis- The next pair consisted of an Irish fortune-huntcontented.
er, and one of the prettiest modestest ladies that But if it be so going down, how is it with them ever my eyes beheld. As he was a well-looking coming back? Having been for a fortnight together, gentleman, all dressed in lace, and as she was very they are then mighty good company to be sure. It fond of him, I thought they were blessed for life. is then the young lady's indiscretion stares her in Yet I was quickly mistaken. The lady was no the face, and the gentleman himself finds that much better than a common woman of the town, and he is to be done before the money comes in. was no better than a sharper; so they agreed upon
For my own part, sir, I was married in the a mutual divorce: he now dresses at the York usual way; all my friends were at the wedding: 1 Ball, and she is in keeping by the member for our was conducted with great ceremony from the table borough to parliament. to the bed; and I do not find that it any ways di- In this manner we see that all those marriages minished my happiness with my husband, while, in which there is interest on the one side and disa poor man! he continued with me. For my part, bedience on the other, are not likely to promise a I am entirely for doing things in the old family large harvest of delights. If our fortune-hunting way; I hate your new-fashioned manners, and gentlemen would but speak out, the young lady, never loved an outlandish marriage in my life. instead of a lover, would often find a sneaking
As I have had numbers call at my house, you rogue, that only wanted the lady's purse, and not may be sure I was not idle in inquiring who they her heart. For my own part, I never saw any were, and how they did in the world after they left thing but design and falsehood in every one of
I can not say that I ever heard much good them; and my blood has boiled in my veins, when come of them; and of a history of twenty-five that I saw a young fellow of twenty, kneeling at the fect I noted down in my ledger, I do not know a single of a twenty thousand pounder, professing his pascouple that would not have been full as happy if sion, while he was taking aim at her money. I do they had gone the plain way to work, and asked not deny but there may be love in a Scotch marthe consent of their parents. To convince you of riage, but it is generally all on one side. it, I will mention the names of a few, and refer the Of all the sincere admirers I ever knew, a man rest to some fitter opportunity.
of my acquaintance, who, however, did not run Imprimis, Miss Jenny Hastings went down to away with his mistress to Scotland, was tho most Scotland with a tailor, who, to be sure, for a tailor, so.
An old exciseman of our town, who as you was a very agreeable sort of a man. But I do not may guess, was not very rich, had a daughter, who, know, he did not take proper measure of the young as you shall see, was not very handsome. It was ladly's disposition; they quarrelled at my house on the opinion of every body that this young woman their return; so she left him for a cornet of dra- would not soon be married, as she wanted two goons, and he went back to his shop-board. main articles, beauty and fortuno. But for all this,
Miss Rachel Runfort went off with a grenadier. a very well-looking man, that happened to be travThey spent all their money going down; so that selling those parts, came and asked the exciseman
for his daughter in marriage. The exciseman|done. He never measures the actions and powers willing to deal openly by him, asked him if he had of others by what himself is able to perform, nor seen the girl; "for,” says he, "she is hump- makes a proper estimate of the greatness of his backed.”—“Very well,” cried the stranger, " that fellows by bringing it to the standard of his own will do for me.”—“Ay," says the exciseman, "but incapacity. He is satisfied to be one of a country my daughter is as brown as a berry.”—"So much where mighty things have been ; and imagines the the better,” cried the stranger, "such skins wear fancied power of others reflects a lustre on himself. well."—"But she is bandy-legged,” says the ex-|Thus by degrees he loses the idea of his own inciseman._"No matter," cries the other; "her pet- significance in a confused notion of the extraorditicoats will hide that defect,”—“But then she is nary powers of humanity, and is willing to grant very poor, and wants an eye."-"Your description extraordinary gifts to every pretender, because undelights me,” cries the stranger : "I have been acquainted with their claims. looking out for one of her make; for I keep an ex- This is the reason why demi-gods and heroes hibition of wild beasts, and intend to show her off have ever been erected in times or countries of ig. for a Chimpanzee."
norance and barbarity: they addressed a people who had high opinions of human nature, because they
were ignorant how far it could extend ; they adESSAY XXIV.
dressed a people who were willing to allow that
men should be gods, because they were yet imper. MANKIND have ever been prone to expatiate in fectly acquainted with God and with man. These the praise of human nature. The dignity of man impostors knew, that all men are naturally fund is a subject that has always been the favourite theme of seeing something very great made from the little of humanity: they have declaimed with that osten- materials of humanity; that ignorant nations are tation which usually accompanies such as are sure not more proud of building a tower to reach heaven, of having a partial audience; they have obtained or a pyramid to last for ages, than of raising up a victories because there were none to oppose. Yet demi-god of their own country and creation. The from all I have ever read or seen, men appear more same pride that erects a colossus or a pyramid, inapt to err by having too high, than by having too stals a god or a hero: but though the adoring sav. despicable an opinion of their nature; and by at- age can raise his colossus to the clouds, he can extempting to exalt their original place in the creation, alt the hero not one inch above the standard of hudepress their real value in society.
manity: incapable, therefore, of exalting the idol, The most ignorant nations have always been he debases himself, and falls prostrate before him. found to think most highly of themselves. The When man has thus acquired an erroneous idea Deity has ever been thought peculiarly concerned of the dignity of his species, he and the gods bein their glory and preservation; to have fought come perfectly intimate; men are but angels, angels their battles, and inspired their teachers: their are but men; nay, but servants that stand in waitwizards are said to be familiar with heaven, and ing, to execute human commands. The Persians every hero has a guard of angels as well as men to for instance, thus address the prophet Hali: "I saattend him. When the Portuguese first came lute thee, glorious Creator, of whom the sun is but among the wretched inhabitants of the coast of Afri- the shadow. Masterpiece of the Lord of human ca, these savage nations readily allowed the strangers creatures, Great Star of Justice and Religion. The more skill in navigation and war; yet still consid- sea is not rich and liberal, but by the gifts of thy ered them at best but as useful servants, brought to munificent hands. The angel treasurer of Heaven their coast, by their guardian serpent, to supply reaps his harvest in the fertile gardens of the purity them with luxuries they could have lived without. of thy nature. The primum mobile would never Though they could grant the Portuguese more dart the ball of the sun through the trunk of Heariches, they could never allow them to have such a ven, were it not to serve the morning out of the king as their Tottimondelem, who wore a bracelet extreme love she has for thee. The angel Gabriel, of shells round his neck, and whose legs were messenger of truth, every day kisses the groundsel covered with ivory.
of thy gate. Were there a place more exalted than In this manner examine a savage in the history the most high throne of God, I would affirm it to of his country and predecessors, you ever find his be thy place, O master of the faithful! Gabriel warriors able to conquer armies, and his sages ac- with all his art and knowledge, is but a mere scholar quainted with more than possible knowledge; hu- to thee." Thus, my friend, men think proper to man nature is to him an unknown country; he treat angels; but if indeed there be such an order thinks it capable of great things because he is ig- of beings, with what a degree of satirical contempt norant of its boundaries; whatever can be on- must they listen to the songs of little mortals thus ceived to be done, he allows to be possible, and flattering each other! thus to see creatures, wiser whatever is possible he conjectures must have been indeed than the monkey, and more active than the
oyster, claiming tothemselves a mastery of Heaven! | weakness being forgotten, while nothing but their minims, the tenants of an atom, thus arrogating a power and their miracles were remembered. The partnership in the creation of universal nature ! Chinese, for instance, never had a god of their own surely Heaven is kind that launches no thunder at country; the idols which the vulgar worship at this those guilty heads; but it is kind, and regards their day, were brought from the barbarous nations follies with pity, nor will destroy creatures that it around them. The Roman emperors who preloved into being
tended to divinity, were generally taught by a But whatever success this practice of making poniard that they were mortal; and Alexander, demi-gods might have been attended with in bar- though he passed among barbarous countries for a barous nations, I do not know that any man became real god, could never persuade his polite countrya god in a country where the inhabitants were re- men into a similitude of thinking. The Lacedefined. Such countries generally have too close an monians shrewdly complied with his commands by inspection into human weakness to think it invest- the following sarcastic edict: ed with celestial power. They sometimes, indeed, admit the gods of strangers or of their ancestors, 'Ε Αλεξανδρος βουλεται ειναι Θεος, Θεος εστω. who had their existence in times of obscurity; their
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