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trolling power of heaven; religion preserved amidst the tumultuous fluctuations of politics; and the ark sailing in safety and security on the waters which threatened to overwhelm it.
When we read of the events taking place in our own country, the subjects become more interesting, and we are in danger of having our passious roused and fomented. Let us, therefore, be upon our guard, judging of nothing by first reports, but awaiting the calmer hour of reason preparing to decide on full information. For the prosperity of our country let us be thankful and grateful; in its adversity, sorrowful and penitential; ever careful to correct our own faults before we censure those of others. ·
With respect to individuals and their concerns, examples (and they are not wanting among us) of piety, charity, generosity, and other virtues, should effectually stir us up to copy, to emulate, to surpass them; to join, so far as ability and opportunity will permit, in designs set on foot for the promotion of what is good, the discouragement and suppression of what is otherwise. And here there is great choice : many such designs are on foot; and let those, who have talents for it, bring forward more. All are wanted.
The follies, vices, and consequent miseries of multitudes, displayed in a newspaper, are so many admonitions and warpings, so many beacons, continually burning, to turn others from the rocks on which they have been shipwrecked. What more powerful dissuasive from suspicion, jealousy, and anger, than the story of one friend inurdered by
another in a duel? What caution likely to be more effectual against ganıbling and profligacy, than the mournful relation of an execution, or the fate of a despairing suicide? What finer lecture ou the necessity of economy, than an auction of estates, houses, and furniture, at Skinner's or Christie's ? _" Talk they of morals ?" There is no need of Hutcheson, Smith, or Paley. Only take a newspaper, and consider it well; read it, and it will instruct thee, plenius et melius Chrysippo et Crantore.
A newspaper is, among other things, a register of mortality. Articles of this kind should excite in our minds reflections similar to those made by one of my predecessors, on a survey of the tombs in Westminster Abbey. They are so just, beautiful, and affecting, that my reader, I am sure, will esteem himself under an obligation to me, for bringing them again into his remembrance, by closing this paper with a citation of them :
“ When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tomb-stone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow: when I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of maukind.
When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.” *
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1787.
Mores hominum multorum videt et urbes.
The grown boy, too tall for school,
We are informed by Plutarch, that Lycurgus forbade the Spartans from visiting other countries, from an apprehension that they would adopt foreign manners, relax their rigid discipline, and grow fond of a form of government different from their own. This law was the result of the most judicious policy, as the comparison made by a Spartan in the course of his travels would neces. sarily have produced disaffection to his country and aversion to its establishments. It was, therefore,
• Spectator, Vol. I. No. 96.
the design of the rigid legislator to confirm the prejudices of his subjects, and to cherish that iutense flame of patriotism which afterwards blazed out in the most renowned exploits.
So propitious is the British government to the rights of the people, so free is its constitution, and so mild are its laws, that the more intimate our acquaintance with foreign states is, the more rea. son we find to confirm our predilection for the place of our birth. Our legislature has no necessity, like that of the Spartan republic, to secure the obedience of its subjects by making iguorance an engine of state. But although England may rise superior in the comparison with foreign countries, it is much to be wished, that its pre-eminence was more frequently ascertained by cool heads and nature understandings; and that some check was given to the custom of sending youths abroad at too early an age. Innumerable instances could be ad. duced to prove, that, so far from any solid advantages being derived from the practice, it is geverally pregnant with great and incurable evils. As soon as boys are emancipated from school, or have kept a few terms at the university, they are sent to ramble about the continent. The critical and highly improper age of nineteen or twenty is usually destined for this purpose. Their curiosity is eager and indiscriminate; their passions warm and impetuous; their judgment merely beginning to dawn, and of course inadequate to the just comparison be. tween what they have left at home and what they observe abroad. It is vainly expected by their parents, that the authority of their tutors will restrain the sallies of their sons, and confine their attention to proper objects of improvement. But granting every tutor to be a Mentor, every pupil is not a Telemachus. The gaiety, the follies, and the voluptuousness of the continent address themselves in such captivating forms to the inclinations of youth, that they soon become deaf to the calls of adınonition. No longer confined by the shackles of scholastic or parental restraint, they launch out at once into the wide ocean of fashionable indulgence. The only check which curbs the young gentleman with any force, is the father's threat to withhold the necessary remittances. The son, however, expostulates, with some plausibility, and represents that his style of living introduces him inte the brilliant circles of the gay and great, among whom alone can be obtained the graces of polished behaviour, and the elegant attainments of genteel life. How much he has improved by such refined intercourse is evident on his return home. He can boast of having employed the most fashionable tailor at Paris, of intriguing with some celebrated madame, and appearing before the lieutenant de police for a drunken fray. He may, perhaps, more than once have lost his money at the ambassador's card parties, supped in the stables at Chantilli, and been introduced to the grand monarque at Versailles. The acquisitions he has made are such as must establish his character, among those who have never travelled, as a virtuoso and a bon vivant. By great good fortune he may have brought over a Paris watch, a counterfeit Corregio, and a hogshead of genuine Champagne. But it is well if his mind be not furnished with things more useless than