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nion of wise and discerning persons. Men of singular wit, like women of great beauty, should never be unguarder, for if not endowed with a decent reserve, a modest air, and a discreet behaviour, they sink in their value; and by appearing in all places, and becoming common and familiar, lose in a great measure, their honour, and their merit.

It is a meretricious prostitution of wit, when the possessors of it can deny no addresses, and refuse no invitations and appointments, but suffer themselves to be shewu at every entertainment. Besides, the gratifyįng of their vanity, by a constant pursuit of approbation and praise, which is the spring whence this prodigality of parts, and waste of facetious humour,chiefly arise; it is evident, they spend a great deal of time, of which a wise man can give no proper account, while wit, which should in its proper place, renew and revive the spirits for useful employment, becomes a continued diversion, and makes everlasting idleness the business of life.

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ESSAY 42.

ON THE EXCELLENCY OF THE

ENGLISH CONSTITUTION.

(Bishop Allerbury.)

IT is natural for men to think that government the best, under which they drew their first breath, and to propose it as a model and a standard for all others. But if any people upon earth have a just title, thus to boast, it is we of this island, who enjoy a constitution, wisely moulded out of all the different forms and kinds of civil government, into such an excellent and happy frame, as contains in it all the advantages of those several forms, without sharing deeply in any of their great inconveniences.

A constitution nicely poised between the extremes of too much liberty, and too much power, whose several parts have a proper check upon each other, when any of them happen to tread awry; which, yet, is sure in dangerous

conjunctures, to give way to the common good of the whole.

A constitution, where the prince is cloathed with a prerogative that enables him to do all the good to which he is inclined, and wants no power but what a good prince would not, and an ill one ought not to have; where he governs though not absolutely, yet gloriously, because he governs men, and not slaves, and is obeyed by them chearfully, because they know, that in obeying him, they obey those laws only, which they themselves had a share in contriving.

A constitution, where the external government of the church is so closely interwoven with that of the state, and so exactly adapted to it in all ils parts, as that it can flourish only when that flourishes, and must, as it always has hitherto done, incline, die, and revive with it. In a word, where the interests of prince and subject, priest and people, are perpetually the same; and the only fatal mistake that ever happens in our politics, is when they are thought to be divided.

It is objected, indeed, to this admirable model, that it is liable to frequent struggles, and concussions within, from the several interfering parts; but this, which is reckoned the disease of our constitution, may rather be thought a mark of its soundness, and the chief security of its continuance. For, it is with governments exactly contrived, as with bodies of a nice frame and texture, where the humours being evenly mixed, every little change of the proportion introduces a disorder, and raises that ferment, which is necessary to bring all right again ; and which thus preserves the bealth of the whole, by giving early notice of whatever is noxious to any of the parts. Whereas in governments, as well as bodies of a coarser inake, the disease will not often begin to shew itself till it has infected the whole mass, and is past a cure; and so though they are disordered later, yet they are destroyed much sooner.

ESSAY 43.

BEAUTIFUL OBJECTS SMALL.

(Burke.)

THE most obvious point that presents itself to us in examining any object, is its extent or quantity. And what degree of extent prevails in bodies that are held beautiful, may be gathered from the usual manner of expression concerning it. I am told, that in most languages, the objects of love are spoken of under diminutive epithets. It is so in all the languages of which I have any knowledge. In Greek, the ww, and other diminutive terms, are almost always the terms of affection and tenderness. These diminutives were commonly added by the Greeks, to the names of persons with whom they conversed on the terms of friendship and familiarity. Though the Romans were a people of less quick and delicate feelings, yet they naturally slid into the lessening terminations upon the same occasions. Antiently, in the English language, the diminish

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