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ufed to hide away from me, though we were obliged to ftarve the whole week after it.
The first three years we used to quarrel about this every day, and I always got the better; but he had a hard spirit, and ftill continued to hide as ufual; so that I was at last tired of quarrelling and getting the better, and fhe fcraped and scraped at pleasure, till I was almost ftarved to death. Her conduct drove me at laft in defpair to the alehouse; here I used to fit with people who hated home like myself, drank while I had money left, and run in score when any body would trust me: till at laft the landlady, coming one day with a long bill whe I was from home, and putting it into my wife's hands. the length of it effectually broke her heart. I fearched the whole ftall after fhe was dead for money, but she had hidden it so effectually, that with all my pains, I could never find a farthing."
By this time my fhoe was mended, and fatisfying the poor artist for his trouble, and rewarding him befides for his information, I took my leave, and returned home, tọ lengthen out the amusement his converfation afforded, by communicating it to my friend. Adieu.
FROM LIEN CHI ALTANGI TO HINGPO, BY THE WAY OF MOSCOW.
ENEROSITY, properly applied, will supply every other external advantage in life, but the love of those we converse with; it will procure efteem, and a conduc
resembling real affection: but actual love is the fpontaneous production of the mind; no generofity can purchase, no rewards increase, nor any liberality continue it; the very perfon who is obliged, has it not in his power to force his lingering affections upon the object he should love, and voluntarily mix paffion with gratitude.
Imparted fortune, and well-placed liberality, may procure the benefactor good will, may load the perfon obliged with the sense of the duty he lies under to retaliate; this is gratitude: and simple gratitude, untinƐtured with love, is all the return an ingenuous mind can beftow for former benefits.
But gratitude and love are almoft oppofite affections; love is often an involuntary paffion, placed upon our companions without our confent, and frequently confer. red without our previous esteem. We love fome men, we know not why; our tenderness is naturally excited in all their concerns; we excufe their faults with the fame indulgence, and approve their virtues with the fame applause with which we confider our own. While we entertain the paffion, it pleases us; we cherish it with delight, and give it up with reluctance; and love for love is all the reward we expect or defire.
Gratitude, on the contrary, is never conferred but where there have been previous endeavours to excite it; we confider it as a debt, and our spirits wear a load till we have difcharged the obligation. Every acknowledgment of gratitude is a circumftance of humiliation! and fome are found to fubmit to frequent mortifications of this kind, proclaiming what obligations they owe, merely because they think it in fome measure cancels the debt.
Thus love is the most easy and agreeable, and gratitude the most humiliating, affection of the mind; we never reflect on the man we love, without exulting in our choice; while he who has bound us to him by benefits alone, rifes to our idea, as a perfon to whom we have, in fome measure, forfeited our freedom. Love and gratitude are seldom, therefore, found in the fame breast, without impairing each other: we may tender the one or the other fingly to those we converse with, but cannot command both together. By attempting to increase, we diminish them; the mind becomes bankrupt under too large obligations! all additional benefits leffen every hope of future return, and bar up every avenue that leads to tenderness.
In all our connections with fociety, therefore, it is not only generous, but prudent, to appear infenfible of the value of those favours we bestow, and endeavour to make the obligation feem as flight as poffible. Love must be taken by ftratagem, and not by open force: we should feem ignorant that we oblige, and leave the mind at full liberty to give or refuse its affections; for constraint may indeed leave the receiver ftill grateful, but it will certainly produce disgust.
If to procure gratitude be our only aim, there is no great art in making the acquifition; a benefit conferred demands a just acknowledgment, and we have a right to infift upon our due.
But it were much more prudent to forego our right on fuch an occafion, and exchange it, if we can, for love. We receive but little advantage from repeated proteftations of gratitude, but they coft them very much from whom we exact them in return; exacting a grateful acknowledg
ment, is demanding a debt by which the creditor is not advantaged, and the debtor pays with reluctance.
As Mencius the philofopher was travelling in the pursuit of wisdom, night overtook him at the foot of a gloomy mountain, remote from the habitation of men. Here, as he was ftraying, while rain and thunder confpired to make folitude ftill more hideous, he perceived a hermit's cell, and approaching, asked for fhelter. Enter, cries the hermit, in a fevere tone, men deserve not to be obliged, but it would be imitating their ingratitude, to treat them as they deferve. Come in: examples of vice may fometimes ftrenghten us in the ways of vir
After a frugal meal, which confifted of roots and tea, Mencius could not repress his curiofity to know why the hermit had retired from mankind, the actions of whom taught the trueft leffons of wisdom. Mention not the name of man, cries the hermit, with indignation; here let me live retired from a bafe, ungrateful world; here, among the beafts of the foreft, I fhall find no flatterers the lion is a generous enemy, and the dog a faithful friend; but man, base man, can poifon the bowl, and fmile while he prefents it. You have been used ill by mankind, interrupted the philofopher, fhrewdly.-Yes, returned the hermit, on mankind I have exhaufted my whole fortune, and this staff, and that cup, and those roots, are all that I have in return. "Did you beftow your fortune, or did you only lend it?" returned Mencius. I beftowed it, undoubtedly, replied the other, for where were the merit of being a money lender ? “Did they ever own that they received it?" ftill adds the philofopher. A thousand times, cries the hermit; they
Every day loaded me with profeffions of gratitude, for obligations received, and folicitations of future fa"If then," fays Mencius, fmiling, “you did lend your fortune, in order to have it returned, it is unjust to accufe them of ingratitude; they owned themfelves obliged, you expected no more, and they certain. ly earned each favour, by frequently acknowledging the obligation." The hermit was ftruck with the reply, and furveying his gueft with emotion, I have heard of the great Mencius, and you certainly are the man; I am now four-score years old, but ftill a child in wisdom; take me back to the school of man, and educate me as one of the most ignorant, and the youngest of your dif ciples.
Indeed, my fon, it is better to have friends in our paffage through life, than grateful dependents; and love is a more willing, so it is a more lafting, tribute, than extorted obligation. As we are uneafy, when greatly obliged, gratitude once refused can never after be recovered; the mind that is base enough to difallow the juft return, inftead of feeling any uneasiness upon recollection, triumphs in its new acquired freedom, and in fome measure is pleased with confcious bafeness.
Very different is the fituation of difagreeing friends, their feparation produces mutual uneasiness: like that divided being in fabulous creation, their fympathetic fouls once more defire their former union, the joys of both are imperfect, their gayeft moments tinctured with uneafinefs; each feeks for the fmalleft conceffions to clear the way to a wifhed-for explanation; the moft trifling acknowledgment, the flighteft accident, serves to effect a mutual reconciliation.