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you would the peftilence. To take pleasure in such things is a mark of as great corruption of mind, and ought to be accounted as dishonourable, as to keep company with pickpockets, gamblers, and atheists. Study the evidence of your religion, fo as to be able to give a reason to those who may have a right to question you concerning your faith; and steadily, though calmly, defend your principles, if you should have the misfortune to fall in to the company of those who controvert them: but do not rafhly engage in this fort of altercation; nor choose for your friend or companion the man who takes pleasure in the books of infidelity. Such a man you will hardly convert by reasoning, as his unbelief is founded not in reason but in prejudice; and you need not expect to receive from him much useful information in these matters, as you will find, (at least I have always found), that he has attended to one side only of the question.
390. Games of chance, where money is the object, are dangerous in the extreme.
They cherish evil passions without number; as avarice, anger, selfishness, discontent; and give rise to altercation and quarrelling, and sometimes, as I am well informed, to the most shocking impiety : they occasion, as long as they continue, a total loss of time and of all the rational pleasures of social life : they are generally detrimental to health, by keeping the body inactive, and encroaching on the hours of reft : they produce a feverish agitation of the spirits as hurtful to the mind, as habitual dram-drinking would be to the body: they level all distinctions of sense and folly, vice and virtue; and bring together, on the same footing, men and women of decent and of the most abandoned manners. Persons who take pleasure in play feldom fail to become immoderately attached to it; and neglect of business, and the ruin of fortune, family, and reputation, are too frequently the consequence. Savages are addicted to gaming ; and, in this respect, whatever difference there may be in the dress, or colour of the skin, the characters of the gentleman
gambler and gambling savage are not only similar, but the same. The savage at play will lose his wife and children and personal liberty ; the other will throw away in the same manner what should fupport his wife and children, and keep himself out of a jail; and it is well if he stop short of self-murder. Is it possible to keep at too great distance from such enormities? and can the man, who once engages in this dreadful business, say when he will stop, or how far he may go ? LET NO SUCH MAN BE TRUSTED. '
391. Our thoughts, as well as the real occurrences of life, may draw forth our passions ;, and one may work one's mind into a ferment of anger, or some other violent discomposure, without having been exposed to any temptation, and merely by ruminating on certain objects. When we find this to be the case, let us instantly give a new, and if possible an opposite, direction to the current of our thoughts. If any evil passion get hold of us, and will not yield to reason, if for example we be very angry with an injurious neighbour,
let us cease to think of him, and employ ourselves in some other interesting and more agreeable recollection ; let us call to mind some happy incident of our past life; let us think of our Creator, and of his goodness to mankind and to us in particular ; let us meditate on the importance' of our present conduct, and of that tremendous futurity which is before us : or, if we be not at this particular time well prepared for serious thought, let us apply to some book of harmless amusement, or join in fome entertaining conversation : and thus we shall get rid of the passion that haunts us, and forget both its object and its cause.
Of the Passions, as they display themselves in
the Look and Gesture.
392. PAssions being commotions of the
body as well as of the mind, it is no wonder that they should display them
felves in the looks and behaviour. If they did not, our intercourse with one another would be much more difficult and dangerous than it is ; because we could not so readily discover the characters of men, or what is passing in their minds. But the outward expression of the passions is a fort of universal language ; not very extensive indeed, but fufficiently fo to give us information of many things which it concerns us to know, and which otherwise we could not have known. When a man is even at pains to conceal his emotions, his eyes, features, complexion, and voice will discover them to a difcerning observer; and when he is at no pains to hide or difguife what he feels, the outward indications will be fo fignificant, that hardly any person can mistake their meaning : his anger, for example, though he should not utter a word, will contract his brows, flash in his eyes, make his lips quiver, and give irregular motions to his limbs. Salluft says of Catiline, that his eyes had a disagreeable glare, that his complexion was pale, his walk sometimes quick and fomeYg