« PreviousContinue »
Nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri,
PRINTED BY TESSON AND LEE,
RAM B L ER,
No. CLX. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1751.
Inter se convenit ursis.
Beasts of each kind their fellows spare ;
“ THE world,” says Locke, “ has people of all sorts.” As in the general hurry produced by the superfluities of some and necesssities of other's, no man needs to stand still for want of employment; so in the innumerable gradations of ability and endless varieties of study and inclination, no employment can be vacant for want of a man qualified to discharge it..
Such is probably the natural state of the universe; but it is so much deformed by interest and passion, that the benefit of this adaptation of men to things is not always perceived. The folly or indigence of those who set their services to sale, inclines them to boast. of qualifications which ihey do not possess, and attempt business which they do not understand ; and they who have the power of assigning to others the task of life, are seldom honest or seldom happy in their nominations. Patrons are corrupted by avarice, cheated by credulity, or overpowered by resistless solicitation. They are sometimes too strongly influenced. by honest prejudices of friendship, or the prevalence, of virtuous compassion. For whatever cool reason may direct, it is not easy for a man of tender and. scrupulous goodness to overlook the immediate effect:
of his own actions, by turning his eyes upon remoter consequences, and to do that which must give present pain, for the sake of obviating evil yet unfelt, or securing advantage in time to come. What is distant is in itself obscure, and, when we have no wish to see it, easily escapes our notice, or takes such a form as desire or imagination bestows upon it.
Every man might for the same reason, in the multitudes that swarm about him, find some kindred mind 'with which he could unite in confidence and friendship ; yet we see many straggling single about the world, unhappy for want of an associate, and pining with the necessity of confining their sentiments to their own bosoms.
This inconvenience arises in like manner from struggles of the will against the understanding. It is not often difficult to find a suitable companion, if every man would be content with such as he is qualified to please. But if vanity tempts him to forsake. his rank; and posts himself among those with whom no common interest or mutual pleasure can ever unite him, he must alway live in a state of unsocial separation, without tenderness and without trust.
There are many natures which can never approach within a certain distance, and which, when any irregular motive impels tliem towards contact, seem to. start back from each other by some invincible repulsion. There are others which immediately cohere whenever they come into the reach of mutual attraction, and with very little formality of preparation mingle intimately as soon as they meet. Every man, whom either business or curiosity has thrown at large into the world, will recollect many instances of fondness and dislike, which have forced themselves upon him without the intervention of his judgment; of disa positions to court some and avoid others, when he could assign no reason for the preference, or none ade-