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LESSON LXXXII. Change not Reform.- From a Speech in the Virginia Con
vention.-RANDOLPH. 1 Sir, I see no wisdom in making this provision for fu
iure changes. You inust give governments time to operate on the people, and give the people time to become gradually assimilated to their institutions. Almost any thing is better than this siate of perpetual uncertainty. A people may have the best form of government that the wit of man ever devised; and yet, from its uncertainty alone, may, in effect, live under the worst government in the world. Sir, how often must I repeat, that change is not reform. I am wil
ling that this new constitution shall stand as long as it is 2 possible for it to stand, and that, believe me, is a very short
time. Sir, it is in vain to deny it. They may say what they please about the old constitution—the defect is not there. It is not in the form of the old edifice, neither in the design nor the elevation : it is in the material—it is in the people of Virginia. To my knowledge that people are changed from what they have been. The 400 men who went out to David, were in debt. The partisans of Cæsar were in
debt. The fellow-laborers of Catiline were in debt :and 31 defy you to show me a desperately indebted people any
where, who can bear a regular, sober government. I throw the challenge to all who hear me. I
that the character of the good old Virginia planter—the man, who owned". from five to twenty slaves or less, who lived by hard work, and who paid his debts, is passed away. A new order of things is come. The period has arrived of living by one's wits--of living by contracting debts that one cannot pay
and above all, of living by office-hunting. 4 Sir, what do we see? Bankrupts--branded bankrupts
-giving great dinners-sending their children to the most expensive schools--giving grand parties—and just as well received as any body in society. I say, that in such a state of things the old constitution was too good for them; they could not bear it. No, sir—they could not bear a freehold suffrage, and a property representation.
I have always endeavored to do the people justice-but I will not flatter them--I will not pander to their appetite for change. I will do nothing to provide for change. I.
5 will not agree to any rule of future apportionment, or to any
provision for future changes called amendments to the constitution. They who love change—who delight in public confusion—who wish to feed the caldron, and make it bubble--may vote if they please for future changes. But by what spell-by what formula, are you going to bind the people to all future time? You may make what entries upon parchment you please. Give me a constitution that will last for half a century—that is all I wish for. No constitution that you can make, will last the one half of half a 6 century.
Sir, I will stake any thing short of my salvation, that those who are malcontent now, will be more malcontent three years hence than they are at this day. I have no favor for this constitution.—I shall vote against its adoption, and I shall advise all the people of my district to set their faces—ay—and their shoulders against it. But if we are to have it-let us not have it with its death-warrant in its very face, with the sardonic grin o death upon its countenance.
There is a man, whose moral character, deep learning, and superior parts, I acknowledge, admire, and respect ; but whom it is so impossible for me to love, that I am almost in a fever whenever I am in his company. His figure, without being deformed, seems made to disgrace or ridicule the common structure of the human body. His legs and arms are never in the position which, according to the situation of his body, they ought to be in, but constantly employed in committing acts of hostility upon the graces. He throws any where, but down his throat, whatever he means to drink ; and only mangles what he means to carve. Inattentive to all the regards of social life, he mistimes or misplaces every thing. He disputes with heat and indiscriminately, mindless of the rank, character, and situation of those with whom he disputes : absolutely ignorant of the several gradations of familiarity or respect, he is exactly the same to his superiors, his equals, and his inferiors; and, therefore, by a necessary consequence, absurd to two of the three. Is it possible to love such a man? No; the utmost I can do for him is to consider him as a respectable Hottentot.-Chesterfield.
On Good Breeding. 1 As learning, honor, and virtue, are absolutely necessary
to gain you the esteem and admiration of mankind, politeness and good breeding are equally necessary to make you agreeable in conversation and common life. Great talents are above the generality of the world, who neither possess them themselves, nor judge of them rightly in others; but all people are judges of the smaller talents, such as civility, affability, and an obliging, agreeable address and manner; because they feel the effects of them, as making society
easy and pleasing. 2 Good sense must, in many cases, determine good breed
ing; but there are some general rules of it, that always hold true.
For example, it is extremely rude not to give proper attention, and a civil answer, when people speak to you: or to go away, or be doing something else, while they are speaking to you ; for, that convinces them, that you despise them, and do not think it worth your while to hear, or answer what they say. It is also very rude to take the best place in a room, or to seize immediately upon
what like at table, without offering first to help others; as if you 3 considered nobody but yourself. On the contrary, you
should always endeavor to procure all the conveniences you can to the people you are with.
Besides being civil, which is absolutely necessary, the perfection of good breeding is, to be civil with ease, and in a becoming manner :-Awkwardness can proceed but from two causes ; either from not having kept good company, or from not having attended to it. Attention is absolutely necessary for improving in behavior, as indeed it is for
every thing else. If an awkward person drinks tea or 4 coffee, he often scalds his mouth, and lets either the cup
or the saucer fall, and spills the tea or coffee on his clothes. At dinner his awkwardness distinguishes itself particularly, as he has more to do. There, he holds his knife, fork, and spoon, differently from other people ; eats with his knife, to the great danger of his lips ; picks his teeth with his fork; and puts his spoon, which has been in his mouth twenty times, into the dishes again. If he is to carve, he can never hit the joint; but in his vain efforts to cut through
5 the bone, scatters the sauce in every body's face. He
çenerally daubs himself with soup and grease, though his Hopkin is commonly stuck through a button-hole, and tickles his chin. When he drinks, he coughs in his glass, and besprinkles the coinpany. Besides all this, he has strange tricks and gestures ; such as snuffing up his nose, making faces, putting his fingers in his nose, or blowing it, and locking afterwards in his handkerchief, so as greatly to disgust the company. His hands are troublesome to him,
when he has not something in them; and he does not 6 know where to put them, but keeps them in perpetual
motion. All this, I own, is not in any degree criminal ; but it is highly disagreeable and ridiculous in company, and ought most carefully to be guarded against, by every one that desires to please.
There is, likewise, an awkwardness of expression and words, which ought to be avoided ; such as false English, bad pronunciation, old sayings, and vulgar proverbs; which are so many proofs of a poor education. For
example, if, instead of saying that tastes are different, and 7 that every man has his own peculiar one, you should let
off a vulgar proverb, and say, that “what is one man's meat is another man's poison ;” or else, “ Every one to his liking, as the good man said when he kissed his cow;" the company
would be persuaded that you had never associated with any but low persons.
To mistake or forget names ; to speak of “What-d'yecall-him,” or, “ Thingum,” or, “How-d'ye-call her,” is ex
cessively awkward and vulgar. To begin a story or nar8 ration, when you are not perfect in it, and cannot go through with it, but are forced, possibly, to say in the middle of it, “ I have forgotten the rest," is very unpleasant and bungling. One must be extremely exact, clear, and perspicuous in every thing one says; otherwise, instead of entertaining or informing others, one only tires and puzzles them
The voice and manner of speaking, too, are not to be neglected. Some people almost shut their mouths when
they speak; and mutter so, that they are not to be under9 stood : others speak so fast, and sputter, that they are
equally unintelligible. Some always speak as loud as if they were talking to deaf people ; and others so low, that one cannot hear them. All these, and many other habits, are awkward and disagreeable, and are to be avoided by attention. You cannot imagine how necessary it is to mind all these little things. I have seen many people, with great talents, ill received, for want of having these talents too; and others well received, only from their little talents, and who had no great ones.
Remarkable Instances of Adaptation and Contrivance in Na
ture.-BROUGHAM. 1 If any quantity of matter, as a pound of wood or iron, is
fashioned into a rod of a certain length, say one foot, the rod will be strong in proportion to its thickness; and, if the figure is the same, that thickness can only be increased by making it hollow. Therefore, hollow rods or tubes, of the same length and quantity of matter, have more strength than solid ones. This is a principle so well understood now, that engineers make their axles and other parts of machinery hollow, and, therefore, stronger with the same weight, than they would be if thinner and solid. Now the 2 bones of animals are all more or less hollow; and are therefore, stronger with the same weight and quantity of matter than they otherwise could be. But birds have the largest bones in proportion to their weight: their bones are more hollow than those of animals which do not fly; and therefore, they have strength without having to carry more wcight than is absolutely necessary. Their quills derive strength from the same construction. They have another peculiarity to help their flight. No other animals have any
communication between the air-vessels of their lungs and 3 the hollow parts of their bodies : but birds have ; and by this
means, they can blow out their bodies as we do a bladder, and thus make themselves lighter, when they would either make their flight towards the ground slower, or rise more swiftly, or float more easily in the air.
Fishes possess a power of the same kind, though not by the same means. They have air-bladders in their bodies, and can puff them out, or press them closer, at pleasure :when they want to