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vine honours, but then they will be far more certain of obtaining and preserving just renown. We may exist as a nation, we may be happy and respectable as individuals, without taste; but without virtue and honesty the man is despicable, and the country must fall.
It is not my wish to depreciate the advantages of refined taste, and an enlarged understanding; or to liberate the great and opulent from the positive duty of affording disinterested encouragement to' true merit. I see with much concern on the one hand, the many efforts of rigid (though perhaps well meaning) zeal to limit the sphere of elegant enjoyment, and to substitute the gloom of fanaticism for the exhilerating sunshine of learning and wit, directed to useful or even innocent sources of pleasure; and on the other, the advocates of the muses and
the arts elevating genius into undue consequence, and giving that praise to mere talent which we should only ascribe to ability honourably exercised. I could speak of my attachment to the imitative arts, and the delight which I take in the harmless sports of the imagination, with the same rapturous enthusiasm as Goldsmith does of poetry. Though, through the influence of bad habits, exquisite genius may eventually become the minister of vice, I am persuaded it originally results from strong pure moral feelings, energetically acting upon a cultivated and enlarged understanding. By admiration of what is noble, sublime, beautiful, or salutary, in animate or inanimate nature, in the recorded events of past times or the present age, or in the ample regions of fiction, themes are presented to the artist and the bard. Wickedness, when uncombined with the expectation of local advantage, is as repulsive to true taste as deformity, and every attempt to give it celebrity, except as an object of terror, disgust, or avoidance, must fail. But the critic, the artist, the poet, the orator, or whatever form genius may assume, who appeals to the best feelings of the heart, may, if his powers are equal to his subject, expect a renown, limited perhaps, but not transitory, independent of fashion, and often slowly triumphing over neglect. And as the leisure and self-possession of temperance afford the best advantages to study, so they who are most familiar with the motives, enjoyments, and exertions of virtue and goodness, will always have a model to refer to when they want to impart language to correct feeling, or expression to a sublime countenance. The natural philosopher will avoid the cold cant of deism, and even in scientific pursuits the influence of moral principle will be felt producing humane inventions, useful discoveries and mechanical contrivances, in which the sordid views of interest will be made subservient to the nobler purposes of benevolence. Among other happy effects, we shall discover that when selfishness does not act as a first principle, the individual is most likely to procure real advantage, and that when vanity is subdued, the ends which yani'ty aimed at, will probably be obtained. Thus when talent ceases to lay claim to divine honours, it may eventually obobtain distinctions and rewards, which are incontestibly divine.
Fie wrangling Queen!
WE form our resolutions in the closet, when the still voice of reason has convinced our judgment; and forgetting that we shall be required to keep thein when the busy passions have raised an army of opponents, we never suspect their instability till the event shews us the weakness of selfdefending fortitude or virtue. Lady Avondel continued fixed in her inten