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till ladies, gentlemen, wife, husband, and all are mixed together in one inundation of arrack punch.

"Strike me dumb, deaf, and blind, cried my companion, but its very pretty; there's some sense in your Chinese ladies' condefcenfions; but among us, you shall scarce find one of the whole fex that shall hold her good humour for three days together. No later than yesterday I happened to fay fome civil things to a citizen's wife of my acquaintance, not because I loved her, but because I had charity; and what do you think was the tender creature's reply? Only that she detefted my pig-tail wig, high-heeled shoes, and fallow complex.

ion.

That is all, nothing more! Yes, by the heavens, though fhe was more ugly than an unpainted actress, I found her more infolent than a thorough bred woman of quality."

He was proceeding in this wild manner, when his invective was interrupted by the man in black, who entered the apartment, introducing his niece, a young lady of exquifite beauty. Her very appearance was fufficient to filence the feverest fatyrift of the fex; eafy without pride, and free without impudence, she seemed capable of fupplying every fense with pleasure; her looks, her conversation were natural and unconftrained; fhe had neither been taught to languish nor ogle, to laugh with out a jeft, or figh without forrow. I found that she had juft returned from abroad, and had been converfant in the manners of the world. Curiofity prompted me to ask several queftions, but she declined them all. I own I never found myself fo ftrongly prejudiced in favour of ap

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parent merit before; and could willingly have prolonged our conversation, but the company after fome time withdrew. Juft, however, before the little beau took his leave, he called me afide, and requested I would change him a twenty pound bill, which as I was incapable of doing, he was contented with borrowing half-a-crown. Adieu.

LETTER C.

FROM LIEN CHI ALTANGI TO HINGPO, BY THE
WAY OF MOSCOW.

FEW virtues have been more praised by moralifts

than generosity; every practical treatife of ethics tends to increase our fenfibility of the distresses of others, and to relax the grasp of frugality. Philofophers that are poor praise it because they are gainers by its effects; and the opulent Seneca himself has written a treatise on benefits, though he was known to give nothing away.

But among many who have enforced the duty of giv ing, I am surprised there are none to inculcate the igno. miny of receiving, to fhew that by every favour we accept, we in fome measure forfeit our native freedom, and that a state of continual dependance on the generofity of others is a life of gradual debasement.

Were men taught to despise the receiving obligations with the fame force of reasoning and declamation that they are instructed to confer them, we might then fee every person in fociety filling up the requifite duties of

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his fituation with cheerful induftry, neither relaxed by hope, nor fullen from difappointment.

Every favour a man receives, in fome measure, finks him below his dignity, and in proportion to the value of the benefit, or the frequency of its acceptance, he gives up fo much of his natural independance. He, therefore, who thrives upon the unmerited bounty of another, if he has any fenfibility, fuffers the worst of fervitude; the fhackled flave may murmur without reproach, but the humble dependant is taxed with ingratitude upon every fymptom of discontent; the one may rave round the walls of his cell, but the other lingers in all the filence of mental confinement. To increafe his diftrefs, every new obligation but adds to the former load which kept the vigorous mind from rifing; till at last, elastic no longer, it fhapes itself to conflraint, and puts on habitual fervility.

It is thus with the feeling mind, but there are fome who, born without any share of fenfibility, receive favour after favour, and ftill cringe for more, who accept the the offer of generosity with as little reluctance as the wages of merit, and even make thanks for past benefits an indirect petition for new; fuch, I grant, can suffer no debasement from dependance, fince they were originally as vile as was poffible to be; dependance degrades only the ingenious, but leaves the fordid mind in pristine meannefs. In this manner, therefore, long continued generofity is mifplaced, or it is injurious; it either finds a man worthlefs, or it makes him fo; and true it is, that the perfon who is contented to be often obliged, ought not to have been obliged at all.

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Yet while I defcribe the meannefs of a life of continued dependance, I would not be thought to include those natural or political fubordinations which fubfift in every fociety; for in fuch, though dependance is exacted from the inferior, yet the obligation on either fide is mutual. The fon muft rely upon his parent for fupport, but the parent lies under the fame obligations to give that the other has to expect; the subordinate officer must receive the commands of his fuperior, but for this obedience, the former has a right to demand an intercourfe of favour; fuch is not the dependance I would depreciate, but that where every expected favour must be the result of mere benevolence in the giver, where the benefit can be kept without remorfe or transferred without injuftice. The character of a legacy-hunter, for instance, is detestable in fome countries, and defpicable in all; this univerfal contempt of a man who infringes upon none of the laws of fociety, fome moralifts have arraigned as a popular and unjust prejudice; never confidering the neceffary degradations a wretch muft undergo, who previously expects to grow rich by benefits, without having either natural or focial claims to enforce his petitions.

But this intercourse of benefaction and acknowledgment is often injurious even to the giver as well as the receiver; a man can gain but little knowledge of himfelf, or of the world, amidst a circle of those whom hope or gratitude has gathered round him; their unceasing humiliations muft neceffarily increase his comparative magnitude, for all men measure their own abilities by those of their company; thus being taught to over-rate his merit, he in reality leffens it; increafing in confi

dance, but not in power, his profeffions end in empty boast, his undertakings in shameful disappointment.

It is, perhaps, one of the fevereft misfortunes of the great, that they are, in general obliged to live among men whose real value is leffened by dependance, and whose minds are enslaved by obligation. The humble companion may have at firft accepted patronage with generous views, but foon he feels the mortifying influence of conscious inferiority, by degrees finks into a flatterer, and from flattery at last degenerates into ftupid veneration. To remedy this, the great often dismiss their old dependants, and take new. Such changes are falfely imputed to levity, falfehood, or caprice in the patron, fince they may be more juftly ascribed to the client's gradual deterioration.

No, my fon, a life of independance is generally a life of virtue. It is that which fits the foul for every generous flight of humanity, freedom, and friendship. To give should be our pleasure, but to receive our fhame; ferenity, health, and affluence attend the defire of rifing by labour; mifery, repentance, and disrespect, that of fucceeding by extorted benevolence; the man who can thank himself alone for the happiness he enjoys is truly bleft; and lovely, far more lovely the gloom of laborious indigence than the fawning fimper of thriving adulation. Adieu.

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