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fostered and kept alive by observances, obligations, compliances, fubmissions, that are the effects of design, of study, of a syftem referring immediately to interests and gratifications of the selfith kind; while the latter is maintained by the vigour of its own native movements, and nourished by a spontaneous flow of affectionate feelings, kind offices, and confidential communications. In fo many respects, Gentlemen, does that Friendship, which, as. I said before, is common and imperfect, differ from that which is peculiar and tranfcendent; a difference long ago remarked by the best writers of antiquity, and which ferves to prove this melancholy truth, that. the sublimest relation in human life must necessarily be rare, as is the case with every thing excellent, since it can only exist among minds« superlatively liberal and great, whose number, we have too much cause to suspect, never was, and never will be, considerable.
· If this be true, what are we to think of those, whose undistinguishing vanity, or artificial plan, promiscuously. includes, under the denomination of their Friends, every worthless and every vulgar creature, with whom they happen to have any connexion, no less than the most elegant and virtuous characters ? For my own parte I am apt to conclude, that all who thus degrade the name of Friendship, are strangers to its nature, and that such language is the contrivance of knaves, or the effufion of fools. I mean not, you may believe, to comprehend, in this charge, the professional mode commonly observed by a well-known religious sect, of calling each individual they address, Friend,-in imitation of an ancient idiom, which many of them have too much understanding, and integrity, to confound with the dice tate of the heart, when it would express a particular and appropriating regard.
In looking round for the blessing we celebrate, some of you, who are struck
with its superior dignity, may probably hope to enjoy it among those whose elevated rank should inspire them with elevated sentiments. That such are sometimes sufceptible of genuine Friendship for their equals, and for others nearly so, I have no doubt; but must take the liberty of faying, that I do not wish you to be too ambitious of cultivating close attachments among persons who are much above you in station. Converse with them, if you will, as often as you have a fair opportunity, that is, as often as you can see them without being intrusive, or making yourfelves dependent, or refigning any better object for their acquaintance. By this intercourse you may acquire a more extensive knowledge of the world, on many accounts useful, with a gentility of address and manner, by no means to be nego lected. But, as for that commerce of hearts which unites real Friends, which supposes the utmost ease and freedom, which disdains every claim to superiority,
and every air of stateliness, you have but little reason to expect it where your situa tion is very unequal.
There is no absurdity too grofs to be fwallowed by felf-love, when long pampered. It is usual for people of birth to meet with such indulgence and submission in their earliest years, and as they grow up to find such respect and adulation paid them on all hands, that we are not to wonder if they commonly entertain much too exalted an opinion of their own importance. In reality, one would be tempted to think, they considered themselves as a species different from the rest of mankind, and imagined that all others are obliged by nature, as well as custom, to study, admire, applaud, and serve them on every occasion, and to deem it a sufficient recompence, if they are graciously pleased to accept the humble tribute. Yet, would you believe it?- this absurd arrogance is often associated with the utmost mean.
ness. There is no condescension, no humiliation, however low or mortifying, which those great ones of the earth have not, many of them, practised towards their inferiors, when they had a point to carry. But mark, I beseech you, with what facility they can lay aside, as well as put on, the mask! When they come to have no farther use for you, they shall be capable of throwing you off, with a tranquillity the most undisturbed, and forgetting you, to all appearance, as completely as if you had never been known to them, or as if it were the privilege of Quality, not to blush at those things which would cover a plain man with confusion.
To adopt the words of a pious and eloquent preacher, formerly at the Court of France, who, animated with a zeal as bold as it was enlightened, scrupled not to deliver the most unpalatable truths in the very centre of Aattery, “ It is but