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wretch to the gallows was he who falfly fwore his life away; "and yet," continued I, " that perjurer had just fuch a nofe, fuch lips, fuch hands, and fuch eyes as Newton." I at laft came to the account of the wretch that was searched after robbing one of the thief-takers of half a crown. Those of the confederacy knew that he had got but that single half crown in the world; after a long search therefore, which they knew would be fruitless, and taking from him half a crown, which they knew was all he had, one of the gang compaffionately cried out, "Alas! poor creature, let him keep all the reft he has got, it will do him fervice in Newgate, where we are fending him." This was an inftance of fuch complicated guilt and hypocrify, that I threw down the book in an agony of rage, and began to think with malice of all the human kind. I fat filent for some minutes and foon perceiving, the ticking of my watch beginning to grow noisy and troublesome, I quickly placed it out of hearing, and ftrove to refume my ferenity. But the watchmen soon give me a fecond alarm. I had scarcely recovered from this, when my peace was affaulted by the wind at my window; and when that ceafed to blow, I liftened for death-watches in the wainscot. I now found my whole fyftem difcompofed. I ftrove to find a refource in philofophy and reason; but what could I oppófe or where direct my blow, when I could fee no I faw no mifery approaching, enemy to combat. nor knew any I had to fear, yet ftill I was miferable. Morning came, I fought for tranquillity in diffipation, fauntered from one place of public refort to another, but found myself difagreeable to my acquaintance, and ridiculous to others. I tried at different times dancing, fencing, and riding. I refolved geometrical problems,
fhaped tobacco ftoppers, wrote verses, and cut paper. At laft I placed my affections on mufic, and find, that earnest employment, if it cannot cure, at leaft will palliate every anxiety." Adieu.
FROM THE SAME.
It is no unpleafing contemplation, to confider the in
fluence which foil and climate have upon the difpofition of the inhabitants, the animals and vegetables of different countries. That among the brute creation is much more visible than in man, and that in vegetables more than either. In fome places, thofe plants which are entirely poifonous at home, lose their deleterious quality by being carried abroad; there are ferpents in Macedonia fo harmless as to be used as play-things for children, and we are told, that in fome parts of Fez, there are lions fo very timorous as to be scared away, though coming in herds, by the cries of women.
I know of no country where the influence of climate and foil is more vifible than in England; the fame hid. den caufe which gives courage to their dogs and cocks gives also fierceness to their men. But chiefly this ferocity appears among the vulgar. The polite of every country pretty nearly refemble each other. But as in fimpling, it is among the uncultivated productions of nature, we are to examine the characteristic differences of climate and foil, fo, in an eftimate of the genius of the people, we must look among the fons of the unpolished rufticity. The vulgar English, therefore, may
easily distinguished from all the reft of the world, by fuperior pride, impatience, and a peculiar hardness of foul.
Perhaps no qualities in the world are more fufceptible of a fine polish than these, artificial complaisance and eafy deference being fuperinduced over these, ge. nerally form a great character! fomething at once elegant and majestic, affable, yet fincere. Such in general are the better fort; but they who are left in primitive rudeness, are the leaft difpofed for fociety with others, or comfort internally, of any people under the fun.
The poor indeed of every country are but little prone to treat each other with tenderness; their own miferies are too apt to engross all their pity; and perhaps too they give but little commiferation, as they find but little from others. But, in England, the poor treat each other upon every occafion with more than favage animofity, and as if they were in a state of open war by nature. In China, if two porters fhould meet in a narrow street, they would lay down their burthens, make a thousand excufes to each other for the accidental interruption, and beg pardon on their knees; if two men of the fame occupation fhould meet here, they would first begin to fcold, and at last to beat each other. One would think they had miseries enough refulting from penury and labour, not to increase them by ill-nature among themselves, and subjection to new penalties, but such considerations never weigh with them.
But to recompence this strange absurdity, they are in the main generous, brave, and enterprifing. They feel the flighteft injuries with a degree of ungoverned impatience, but refift the greatest calamities with surprising fortitude. Thofe miferies under which any other peo
ple in the world would fink, they have often fhewed they were capable of enduring; if accidentally caft upon. fome defolate coaft, their perfeverance is beyond what any other nation is capable of fuftaining; if imprisoned for crimes, their efforts to escape are greater than among others. The peculiar ftrength of their prisons, when compared to thofe elsewhere, argues their hardiness; even the strongest prifons I have ever seen in other countries would be very infufficient to confine the untameable spirit of an Englishman. In fhort, what man dares do in circumftances of danger, an Englishman will. His virtues feem to fleep in the calm, and are called out only to combat the kindred ftorm.
But the greatest eulogy of this people is, the generofity of their mifcreants! the tenderness in general of their robbers and highwaymen. Perhaps no people can produce inftances of the fame kind where the desperate mix pity with injuftice; ftill fhewing that they underftand a diftinction in crimes, and even in acts of violence, have ftill fome tincture of remaining virtue. In every other country robbery and murder go almost always together; here it feldom happens, except upon illjudged refiftance or purfuit. The banditti of other countries are unmerciful to a fupreme degree; the highwayman and robber here are generous at least to the public, and pretends even to virtues in their intercourfe among each other. Taking, therefore, my opinion of the English from the virtues and vices practifed among the vulgar, they at once present to a ftranger all their faults, and keep their virtues up only for the enquiring eye of a philofopher.
Foreigners are generally fhocked at their infolence upon first coming among them; they find themfelves ridiculed and infulted in every ftreet; they meet with none of thofe trifling civilities fo frequent elfewhere, which are inftances of mutual good will without previous acquaintance; they travel through the country either too ignorant or too obftinate to cultivate a close acquaintance, meet every moment fomething to excite their disgust, and return home to characterize this as the region of spleen, infolence, and ill-nature. In short, England would be the laft place in the world I would travel to by way of amufement; but the first for inftruction. I would chufe to have others for my acquaintance, but Englishmen for my friends.
TO THE SAME.
HE mind is ever ingenious in making its own dif trefs. The wandering beggar, who has none to protect, to feed, or to fhelter him, fancies complete happiness in labour and a full meal; take him from rags and want, feed, clothe, and employ him, his wifhes now rife one step above his ftation; he could be happy were he pofsessed of raiment, food, and eafe. Suppofe his wishes gratified even in these, his prospects widen as he ascends; he finds himself in affluence and tranquillity indeed, but indolence foon breeds anxiety, and he defires not only to be freed from pain, but to be poffeffed of pleasure ; pleasure is granted him, and this but opens his foul from