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tinctions, their deceit, and their wickedness, are no longer supportable.
Enough, enough, Alceste; you might in this point of view, and in this strain, slander mankind from the rising of the sun to its setting. But what inference do you draw from all this?' •What other, than that it is torture to an upright mind, to live among such abominations, and either, silent as a statue that is not shaded, look calmly upon their shameful actions, or be obliged, if one opens his lips, to point out at each turn, their stupid pride, their sophistical knowledge, and their revengeful malice. Can any one, possessed of understanding and honesty, remain indifferent? No! I am not willing that a fruitless anger shall devour me. I will go forth into a desert, into an impassable wilderness, where the free turf has never withered beneath the footsteps of this venomous creature. Lions and tigers may have
their dens around me; serpents and dragons may hiss in my ears ; but freed from the sight of man, I can imagine myself in a paradise.'
• And this then is your determination ? In this manner you are about to better
condition. By your own wisdom to correct the faults of that Providence which has placed you among men?
Without doubt you will far excel the miracles of Orpheus, and by the magical power of your philosophy, qualify wild beasts to become your companions ! 'Believe me, when you have no one to whom you can disclose your meditations, no one who will love or applaud, Time will fly with leaden wings. To converse with trees like lovers in romances, is agreeable for but a very short period. But allow me at least to inquire of you what may have been the cause of this bitterness toward all mankind ? Acknowledge candidly that you have been slandered by some villain, by some person to whom every one denies understanding and honesty, and who has notwithstanding found those who would place confidence in him. It is this that has touched you so closely! "It is indeed an evil action, but it is one that should not have been able to excite so violent a storm of passion in the breast of a wise man; for you will readily admit that it is very unjust to to vent that anger upon all, which has only been deserved by one.
Yes, you reply; if I did not know that the remainder are quite as wicked as this one ! What is there to object to the truth of the picture I have drawn? Perhaps very much. But now answer me this question : are there no virtuous men in this world ? Yes, you reply, but there are so few of them that they cannot be compared with the number of the vicious. You judge very hastily. A single virtuous man outweighs a hell of the wicked. But wherefore do you make the number of the virtuous so small ? Do you not know some yourself? And are those that you do not know, so much the fewer? How if their number should be much greater in the records of heaven ? And should not a single virtuous man give a well regulated mind so much pleasure, that the sight of a thousand vicious ones would not lessen it? Let me speak frankly, Alceste; you love candor toward you. Has not a fit of passion, which may have a less noble origin than you appear to think, clouded your mental vision? You surely know the nature of the passions. They exaggerate, they give circumstances that form which best suits their purposes ; they are the most ancient and most skilful sophists. Heated by a religious frenzy, the follower of Mahomet sees in the sanguinary conflict a heaven of black-eyed beauties; overcome by fear, the coward sees and hears naught but spectres around him; governed by passion, you see naught but mean folly and vice, naught but disorder reigning throughout the world. Has the world appeared to you at all times thus hateful ? You blush. But yesterday, as you returned from the beautiful Delia, every thing appeared agreeable to you ; every thing around you breathed of heaven; you dreamed of nothing but innocence and tenderness. The world is equally blameless, whether you view it in a better or worse light than it deserves. View it as it is, and accustom yourself to consider it with the eyes of a Christian, and it will again bloom before you with the beauty of an Eden.
This is more than mere worldly wisdom can compass : that may render us patient, but it is piety alone that can make us contented. Do you imagine that the Creator would suffer this world to exist for another moment, if he did not find therein an excellence agreeable to his sight, a goodness that overbalances its evil ? Do you believe that the Son of God descended in vain, to collect for himself an unreal congregation of the pious, and sacrificed his life, that thereby the ancient claim of Heaven to the earth might remain valid ? Shame upon your unreflecting 'indignation, which slanders the divinity, when it only thought to censure mankind ! And how does this bitterness toward your fellow creatures, agree with the benevolence which
should yourself manifest, since you condemn so severely the want of it in others? I do not ask you to be a friend to mankind, as long as you shall find them deserving of your hate. But as an inhabitant of the earth, you are not permitted to do even an insect injustice. If then you cannot prove your charges upon each and every individual, and it should be found that man is possessed of virtues that far outweigh his vices, then you will be, according to the judgment of your own heart, an exceedingly unrighteous being, and no one will less willingly than yourself, after such conviction, continue to thunder forth censures, thus unmercifully, upon the failings of your brethren, Allow me for a moment to represent your conscience, and to direct your attention to yourself. Examine your past life, and tell me then whether you can deny your relationship to mankind ? How much folly will this self-examination disclose in your own bosom! Perhaps you will find that mankind would really only deserve to be despised, in case each one, in the proportion to the capacity and qualifications which have been granted to him for his improvement, were to have as many faults as yourself. I see how ashamed this consideration
I will not press you farther with my arguments. But I hope you will reflect deeply upon the precept of the Divine founder of Christianity, when, with a profound insight into human nature, he strenuously exhorted his disciples to humility. Humility, or selfknowledge, is the best antidote against a misanthropy such as yours, which, it is true, arises from an inclination toward virtue, but is swollen by pride into a passion that slanders mankind, and is a species of rebellion against Providence.
X. Y. Z.
SON NE T.
WRITTEN ON A BLANK LEAF OF 'PILGRIM'S PROGRESS.'
Sweetly they passed along the desert road,
(Faithful and Christian,) toward the blissful bourne,
And foes without, and foes, alas ! within,
For grace to baffle all the snares of sin :
with hopeful hearts elate,
Their Lord receives ther, each a happy guest,
Oh, that their pilgrim zeal might fire our road,
And wing the progress of our souls to God ! Newburyport, (Mass.)
Oh, I shall live for ever! I read it in the sky,
J. N. B.
"THERE is that scattereth and yet increaseth, and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty.'
THE PROVERBS OF SOLOMON.
It is more pleasing to depict the life of the good man, but light and shade make up the painter's canvass. I knew a miser, a churl; the hereditary bondsman of a master passion. Seventy years of solitary selfishness bad procured him the merited contempt of the world. It is easier to look upon the boldest villany, than upon an inconceivable littleness of soul. His
wealth was like a great pool, dammed up and stagnant, and never yielding one precious drop to fertilize the earth. He was a recluse, a stranger to the ties which bind one to friends and kindred, and thence, by a thousand sweet linkings, to the whole family of man. Possessing nothing in common, and living supremely to himself, he was a constant exemplification that. There is which withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty.'
As the epicure revels upon a rich feast, so he gloated upon his wealth. Ah! it was pleasant, when no eye was gazing, when bis doors were barred, and only the dim light stole in, which he regarded with jealousy, to bring it forth from its mysterious corners, dark holes,
hidden nooks; to count it, to recount it, to touch it. Its music was sweeter than that of the spheres. He thought of it all day – dreamed of it all night. It was the solitary idea which filled up his whole soul — his only darling — his life — his light — his poetry his star.
His existence was a stagnant pool, a dead sea; no breeze ever stirred its waters into commotion. The hopes, the fears, the joys, and the ambition of other men, were narrowed down into one hope, one fear, one joy, and one ambition. While the expansive energies or benevolence of some minds have found the world itself too contemptible a theatre, his was compressed into a very speck, a point, possessing 'ample room and verge enough' within the limits of his coffers. From that sordid prison-house it went forth on no errands of mercy. It was enough that the same bounds which held him there, a willing slave, forbade the entrance of another.
I have thought that a mother's affection surpassed every other passion of the human heart. But I considered not the miser's unremitting, soul-engrossing, self-denying love. I thought not of the piercing cry, ‘My ducats, my ducats, my golden ducats ! more agonizing than that of . My son, my son !' Like a fond parent, he could not let the light of his eyes go from him, lest the image that he loved to gaze on, should be tarnished; neither would be barter it for the world's comforts. He knew not the luxuries, nor even the commonest necessaries, of life. The premises on which he lived, had a povertystricken air. The house presented a strange contrast with the gay tenements of his neighbors. No cheerful paint adorned it. True, it had once received a coat, but that could not last alway, and the expenditure was too fearful to be renewed. Smoke was scarce seen to issue from the chimney, nor ever came it forth in a rich, dark volume, but in a lean, curling, silvery, vanishing streak. Within, all things were alike cheerless. The one inhabited apartment was like a prisoner's dreary cell. There was no sound, save the voice of the cricket from the hearth. A flock-bed, a few broken utensils, a table, and a chair, in the last stage of dissolution, made
all its furniture. His garden, which scarce had the appearance of such, contained a few scrubby vegetables, such as the gardens of Nova Zembla might produce. Yet they were quite enough for him who was guilty of a worse gluttony. Some fruit trees struggled with the thin soil, but the fruit scarcely had heart to ripen; it dropped withered, or worm-eaten, on the ground. The very dog looked as if he found few crumbs beneath his master's table. Lean, cadaverous, and morose, he lay snarling on the threshold ; he was too poor to bark aloud. And yet there was some mysterious sympathy, some misery of his own to brood over, which kept him at his post. Attached to the premises, was a cow.
She was a very picture, and chewed the perpetual cud of despair. Her bones were eloquent. The milk which a generous creature yields up without stint and willingly, appeared in her case a very robbery. And at last the horn-distemper seized on her, and she went down to death. He took what he could take - her skin; and that was depriving the rattling bones of all which they possessed. What a cow ! Had she fed in the Pontine marshes ? So any one might have thought. Yet she starved within sight of the neighboring plenty, and when every breeze wafted the smell of clover to her nostrils. From that time,