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the cause of a great deal of useless disquietude, and ever exposes one to wanton sport and ridicule.
Now, it being a great pity, that persons of the one sex or the other, who are estimable in some respects, and yet labour under this infirmity, should not reason themselves out of it; I crave leave to lay before them the following considerations.
1. Those even, whose characters are good in the main, must needs be sensible, if they have any competent measure of self-knowledge, that they are not quite perfect. And why then should they be angry that others, too, are sensible of it, and that their imperfections are sometimes spoken of ? It is by no means certain that there is in this thing any enmity or real il! will.
2. Persons possessed of this morbid or excessive sensibility with regard to their own reputations, cannot but remember that themselves, one time or another, and in free conversation, have remarked on the foibles and faults of those whom they highly esteemed upon the whole, and for whom they had at the same time a sincere friendship. And assuredly it is unreasonable for one to be angry for receiving the same measure which one metes out. If a person you thought your friend, hath spoken slightingly of you in one single respect or other; what then? Have you not yourself, sometimes, and in some particulars, spoken slightingly of those whom you were inclined to rank in the number of your friends ? If yourself have done it, surely you are not entitled to the right of waxing warm when the same is done to you.
3. In a fit of levity, or of ill humour, it is not uncommon for some folks to speak with partial disrespect of the self-same persons, whom, at other times, they mention with expressions of high esteem and affectionato regard. So that a great part of people’s ill sayings of one another, are attributable to peevishness or thoughtlessness, and not to malignity alone. Hence the author of the admirable book of Ecclesiasticus observes“ There is one that slippeth in his speech, but not from his heart."
4. Even the ill natured remarks of an enemy might be turned to a profitable use, by carefully correcting, in one's self, the fault or foible that occasioned them. It is told of the Prince of Conde, who was the most eminent hero of his day, that his domestics observing with what great attention he was reading a certain pamphlet, one of them said to him, “ This must be a very fine piece, since you take so much pleasure in reading it.” To which the Prince replied, “ It is very true that I read this with great pleasure, because it tells me my faults, which no man dares venture to do.”—The pamphlet was in the strain of severe invective
the .errors, faults, and foibles of the same Prince of Conde.
5. We seldom miss it more than in imagining that all about us take an interest in our ordinary concerns. If we think the world spends much attention about us one way or the other, we have a mistaken notion of our own consequence. For, with a few exceptions, the individuals of community are very little the subjects of each others' thoughts and conversation ; the generality being too busy in thinking of themselves, to employ many of their thoughts elsewhere. Had one, by the help of magic, or by whatever means, the power of rendering himself invisible, and should he, in using the privilege of invisibility, go about, from house to house, over his whole neighbourhood and town, he would probably find himself spoken of by his neighbours and acquaintances, more seldom than he had expected ; and, in all probability, too, he would hear the very same persons speak quite differently of him, at different times.
In few words ; universal and unqualified approbation it is folly to expect. And although we should by no means be regardless of what others think or say of us, yet the best way, or rather the only good way, is to be more solicitous to deserve esteem than to win it-more solicitous to do well than to obtain the credit of doing well ; and thus, to proceed on in the straight line, without fishing for praise, or being overmuch fearful of reproach. Whoso acteth in this manner, and upon pure · evangelical principles, enjoys a consciousness of feelings far more delightful, than any thing that can spring from the unmerited applause of ten thousand tongues.
Wisdom and folly meet, mix and unite,
INFERIOR animals of the same kind have, in general, a sameness of physiognomy, and so trifling are the shades of difference between them in any respect, that the portraiture of one individual describes the whole species. But as human animals are moral and accountable, and subject to law, a marvellous provision is made in the divine economy for the identification of every individual : in so far that each is distinguishable from each, by the look, by the voice, by the gait, by the hand-writing, and by several other modes of difference, hardly describable, though plainly perceivable. Were it otherwise, the Judge might be mistaken for
the thief: the innocent and the guilty would be blended together without the possibility of making any legal discrimination betwixt them.
The differences are no fewer, but perhaps more mul. tifarious, in the features of mind. So that if the minds of mankind were as visible as their bodies, the individuality of each person might perhaps be as clearly determined from the former, as from the latter.
Of the different features of mind, including qualities of heart as they appear in evert act, the following are samples ; in sketching which, I am constrained, for the sake of necessary brevity, to personify the 26 letters of the alphabet.
A-Is noble-spirited, but not charitable : in a public subscription his name figures well, but a Lazar, might starve at his gate.
B—Is quite candid enough in respect to practice ; but if you thwart merely his speculative opinions, he raves like a bear.
C-Is a woman, peevish and querulous about little things :-her heavy calamities she bears with pious resignation, and with more than masculine fortitude.
D-Enters with spirit into a laudable public undertaking, so the plan comes from himself, or he has the direction of it ; else he will have nothing at all to do with the business, not he.
E-Lives in the practice of vice; but would insult a man that should say any thing derogatory of the principles of virtue.
F_Takes pride in railing against pride : he hates the pride of fashion, and is proud of being out of the fashion.
G—And his rib, abroad or in company are all butter and honey :-their ill nature they save for domestic use.
H—Is easy of temper, but very far from compassionate : his easiness of temper is nothing but apathy.
I–Is good or ill tempered, by fits and starts : 'now he is so pleasant that nothing can anger him ; then again, he is so techy that nothing can please him.
J—Is rough and impetuous, but of a feeling heart : his mind, as respects anger, is like punk-wood, that in a moment catches fire, which as quickly goes out. "K-Is slow to anger, but much slower to be appeased ; once affront him, and he is coolly your enemy for
L-Is not hard to be reconciled in a matter in which the fault lies altogether on the other side ; but when he has been in fault himself, the consciousness of it stirs his pride and stiffens his temper.
M-Feels strongly whatever relates to himself: other people's misfortunes he bears with singular calmness of fortitude.
N-Though possessed of no extraordinary share of wisdom, is affronted if you decline to follow his advice, and is equally affronted if any body presumes to ad. vise him.
O's cringing sycophancy to superiors might be thought humility, were he not brutally imperious and overbear. ing to inferiors and dependants.
P-Loudly complains of the needy friends he abandons, to escape the reproach of abandoning them in their need.
Q-Frequently changes her friends for a slight cause, or for no cause, and always likes the last the best :with her, friendship is like a nosegay, which pleases only while it is fresh.
RWould appear well enough, but for his affectaion of appearing mighty well, which makes him ap