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Page XV. On the dangerous tendency of modern novels,
and the love of sentiment in the present
age . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 XVI. On the caution requisite for an author in the
delineation of charaeter .. .. . .. 108 XVII. On the increase of newspapers ..... 114 XVIII. On drunkenness . . . . . . . . . . 121 XIX. Letters on various subjects . . . . . . . 127
XX. On a ridiculous love of superiority . . . . 133 XXI. Essay on satire . . . . . . . . . . 139 XXII. On the topics of conversation common to Eng
lishmen . . . . . . . . . . 145
END OF VOL. I.
Printed by T. Davison, Whitefriars.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 1787.
Quadrupedante putrem soditu quatit ungula campum.
Among the sources of those innumerable calamities which, from age to age, have overwhelmed man. kind, may be reckoned, as one of the principal, the abuse of words. Dr. South has two admirable discourses on the subject; and it is inuch to be wished, that a continuation could be carried on, by some proper hand, enumerating the words, which, since his time, have successively come into vogue, and been, in like manner, abused to evil purposes, by crafty and designing men.
It is well known what strange work there has been in the world, under the name and pretence of reformation; how often it has turned out to be, in reality, deformation ; or, åt best, a tinkering sort of business, where, while one hole has been mended, two have been made.
I have my eye, at present, on an event of this kind, which took place in very early times, and is
supposed to have been productive of many and great advantages to the species; I mean the alteration brought about in the “ economy of human walking;" when man, who, according to the best and ablest philosophers, went originally on four legs, first began to go upon two. I hope it will be excused, if I venture humbly to offer some reasons why I am led to doubt whether the alteration may have been attended by all the advantages so fondly imagined.
There is something suspicious in the history giren of this reformation. It is said to have had the same origin with that ascribed by Dr. Mandeville to the moral virtues. It was the “ offspring of flattery, begot upon pride." The philosophers discovered that man was proud : they attacked him in a cowardly manner, on his weak side, and by arguments, the sophism of which it might be easy enough, perhaps, if there were occasion, to unravel and expose, prevailed upon him to quit his primæval position; and, whether fairly or not, they coaxed him upon two. How far any good is to be expected from a reformation founded on such principles, the reader must judge for himself. · By the account with which the authors of it have furnished us, thus much is certain, that nothing can be more unnatural : and yet, say these philosophers, at other times, “ Whatever you do, follow nature;” a precept, which, in general, they seem very well disposed to practise, to the best of their abilities. A child naturally goes on all four; and we know how difficult a matter it is to set him an end, or to keep him so. He has not even the stability of a ninepin, which will stand till it