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outward things, I will look to those that are beneath me; that, if I must build myself out of others, I may rather raise content, than murmur. But for accomplishments of the mind, I will ever fix on those above me; that I may, out of an honest emulation, mend myself, by continual striving to imitate their nobleness."

The same excellent, though quaint author, asserts, with truth, that "it is most happy to be increasing by a little at a time. There is, he says, no such prevalent workmen as sedulity and diligence. A man would wonder at the mighty things which have been done by degrees and gentle augmentations. And yet there are, that are over ready in the ways of pleasing and labour. When diligence reaches to humour and flattery, it grows poor and ignoble; and when to pride and curiosity, it then loses its praise. So the priest of Ammon would needs salute Álexander as a god; and Protogenes spent seven years in drawing Jalysus and his dog; and a king of Persia would needs, for a present, adulterate roses with an artful smell. When these two are avoided, diligence and moderation are the best steps whereby to climb to any excellency; nay, it is rare if there be any other way. The heavens send not down their rain in floods, but by drops and dewy distillations. A man is neither good, nor wise, nor rich, at once: yet softly creeping up these hills, he shall every day better his prospect, till at last he gains the top. Now he learns a virtue, and then he condemns a vice. An hour in a day may much profit a man in his study, when he makes it stint and custom. Every year something laid up, may in time make a stock great. Nay, if a man does but save, he shall increase; and though when the grains are scattered they be next to nothing, yet together they will swell the heap. A poor man once found the tag of a point, and put it into the lap of his skirt: one asked him, 'What could he do with it?' He answered, 'What I find all the year, though it be never so little, I lay it up at home, till the year ends; and, with all together, I every new-year's day add a dish to my cupboard.' He that has the patience to attend small profits, may

quickly grow to thrive and purchase: they be easier to accomplish, and come thicker. So, he that from every thing collects somewhat, shall in time get a treasury of wisdom. And when all is done, for man this is the best way. It is for God, and for omnipotency, to do mighty things in a moment: but degreeingly to grow to greatness, is the course that he hath left for man. And indeed, to gain any thing is a double work. For, first, it must remove the hinderances; next, it must assume the advantage. All good things, that concern man, are in such a declining estate, that, without perpetual vigilancy, they will recede and fall away. But then there is a recompense, which ever follows industry; it ever brings an income, that sweetens his toil. I have often found hurt of idleness; but never of a lawful business. Nay, that which is not profitable in itself, is yet made so by being em ployment; and when a man has once accustomed himself to business, he will think it pleasure, and be ashamed of ease. Solomon, ready to die, would needs be laid in his grave alive; and, seeing the sunshine, he calls his friends in haste to hide him; lest, he said, it should see him lying. Besides, when we gain this way, practice grows into habit; and, by doing so awhile, we grow to do so for ever. It also constitutes a longer lastingness. We may observe, those creatures that are longest in attaining their height, are longest in declining. Man is twenty years increasing, and his life is fourscore; but the sparrow, that is fledge in a month, is dead in a year. He that gets an estate will keep it better than he that finds it. I will never think to be perfect at once. If I find myself a gainer at the year's end, it shall something comfort me, that I am proceeding. I will every day labour to do something that may mend me; though it be not much, it will be the surer done. If I can keep vice under, and win upon that which is good, though it be but a little at once; I may come to be better in time."

It is observed by the fair authoress of "Hints on the Sources of Happiness," that health, peace, and competence, is a popular definition of happiness. Yet


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thousands, and tens of thousands, possess these great blessings, and are not happy, nay, will not allow that they have the means to be happy.

Madame de Staël, in her Delphine, defines happiness to consist in the absence of misery. How many human beings are without one single real evil, and yet complain of their fate! It seems, then, that various definitions of happiness are to be found, and certainly no human being exists, but has in his breast some picture of this desired good. But amid the various forms in which mankind expect to find felicity, there must be some requisites common to all. There must be some positive qualities, which at all times and in all places, to all tempers and to all minds, must have the power of bringing happiness.

What are these qualities? We certainly make great mistakes when we attempt to define them. We talk of wealth, fame, and power, as undeniable sources of enjoyment, and limited fortune, obscurity, and insignificance, as incompatible with felicity. It is thus that there is a remarkable distinction between acquisitions and conditions, theoretically considered, and practically proved. However brilliant wealth, fame, and power may be in speculation, they are found in possession insufficient to confer felicity. However limited fortunes, obscurity, and insignificance may be decried in prospect, they are by experience proved most friendly to human happiness.

All mankind are sedulous in seeking the former distinctions, the latter state is imposed by necessity. In the one, man carves his own destiny; in the other, Heaven assigns it to him; yet we see the first state most frequently leads him from happiness, while the last as frequently conducts him to it. Hence it appears that Heaven is kinder to him than he is to himself. Thus we seem to quit the right path at our very outset, what wonder, then, that we never reach the desired end!

But that we may bring this curious opposition of speculation and reality to the clearest elucidation, let us appeal to experience, that most accurate and

unexceptionable decider in every case on which it can be consulted.

Let us ask ourselves, what are the circumstances under which we feel the purest and truest content. Is it when we are immersed in the pursuit of gaiety and amusement? Is it when we are prosperous in our schemes of aggrandisement, when we successfully foil an enemy, or supplant a rival? when we indulge any turbulent or malignant passion? Is it under such circumstances that we experience the highest satisfaction? Every candid respondent will answer in the negative, will honestly confess, that though an evanescent emotion of exultation may sometimes attend such occasions, it is a feeling very distinct from happiness.

Whom call we gay? That honour has been long
The boast of mere pretenders to the name.
The innocent are gay-the lark is gay,
That dries his feathers, saturate with dew,
Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams
Of dayspring overshoot his humble nest.
The peasant, too, a witness of his song,
Himself a songster, is as gay as he.
But save me from the gaiety of those,
Whose headaches nail them to a noon-day bed;
And save me, too, from theirs, whose haggard eyes
Flash desperation, and betray their pangs
For property stripp'd off by cruel chance;
From gaiety that fills the bones with pain,
The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with woe!


Let us next inquire, what are our sensations under quite opposite circumstances? Do we mourn or rejoice when we are busy, even to fatigue, in the duties of our station? when occupied, even to self-negligence, in schemes of benevolence and charity? when advocating an enemy, or assisting a rival? when we exert any gentle or amiable affection? when we control any impetuous or vicious propensity? Upon such occasions, are we gratified or pained? The answer given by every ingenuous, every reflecting mind, must prove an unequivocal acknowledgment that these alone are the circumstances in which the purest, the

fullest content is experienced. The answer to these questions, the propriety of which few will contest, goes far to establish two very important points: first, proving that a high degree of happiness can be enjoyed; secondly, pointing out Virtue as the only medium through which it can be obtained.

Those who deny the propriety of these conclusions must choose one of three positions: they must prove that there is no such thing as virtue; or they must prove that virtue does not produce agreeable emotions; or they must confess that not having tried the effect of exerted virtue, they are ignorant of its results, and therefore incredulous. If our reasoning has been fair and conclusive, besides asserting the existence of felicity, we have, in defining the medium of attaining it, discovered another valuable fact; that as that medium, virtue, is attainable to all ranks and degrees of intellect and fortune, so also is happiness within the reach of all. A conclusion perfectly compatible with every thing that reason and religion inculcate,' and beautifully in unison with the known justice of a superintending Providence. How otherwise, indeed, can we reconcile our ideas of superintending mercy with the events that we see occurring around us, except in the conviction that the tranquillity of the soul is independent, in a great measure, of external circumstances. We see that the senses and appetites, even the affections and intellects, are capable in their coarsest degree of conferring gratification. We behold the poor man relish his simple meal with quite as high a gust as the rich man does his luxurious feast; the obscure, tasting all the joys of social and kindred ties with as warm and as pure delight as the most powerful; the humbly gifted mind, the unrefined taste, receiving almost as much satisfaction from the imperfect works of art, as the philosopher and the refined amateur from its more exquisite specimens.

High stations tumult, but not bliss, create;
None think the great unhappy, but the great:
Fools gaze and envy; envy darts a sting,
Which makes a swain as wretched as a king. YOUNG.

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