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well as wretched, the youth we are depicting will be entirely free: he will feel no emulation but what is virtuous and noble; and he will take no offence, when denied that consideration which, though he endeavours to deserve it, he pretends not to challenge, nor wishes to court...
It may be remarked, that those who are always laying plots for importance and applause, have seldom any candour, being commonly disposed to suspect every one else of the same artifices; whereas the humble and the modest, not conscious of. such designs in themselves, are not apt to impute them to others. The former are least of all qualified to judge of characters in which truth and nobleness unite: the latter too are frequently mistaken in their ideas of men ; but always from a different cause, and almost always on the favourable fide.
But to advance : suppose the situation, rise, or employment, of our young friend obscure. Will he be ashamed of them ? Never, never, so long as they are honeft. If any of these subjects should occur where he is present, he will enter into them with the same readiness as into any topic that, would reflect lustre on him in vulgar eyes. If, on the contrary, he is eminent by his birth, his rank, or his profeffion, will he value himself on these merely, or exact the tribute of esteem for things which in themselves are entitled only to the forms of respect ? No: for, pray observe, it is his invariable system, not to think himself at all the more worthy for any exterior distinction, or the less so for the want of it, from a firm persuasion, that nothing, but what he chooses or refuses, can justly infer either praise or blame.
The same system will teach him to dread Aatterers of every kind, to dread most of all the arch-fatterer within. But,
mark his generosity! he rejoices in the reputation of all such as he believes to deserve it; and, instead of wishing to disparage their virtues, to aggravate their failings, or give the worst turn to their doubtful actions, he takes a real pleasure in commending them with warmth and liberality, in pleading their excuse when they are unjustly attacked, and placing their characters in the most favourable light when attempts are made to darken them. He cannot be of the opinion of those who think, that whatever honour they add to any, is just so much subtracted from themselves. He, for his share, often loses fight of his own good qualities, in the complacence with which he contemplates those of others, and is more ambia tious that a companion, or a friend, shall be praised than himself.
View him in conversation at large. There Humility will inspire him with the frueft breeding, an unforced attention to
the company, and a graceful forgetfulness of his own claims. From him you will have no cause to apprehend that pertinacious spirit, or petulant demeanour, na-, tural to Pride, which is so prone to betray itself in everlasting contradiction or dispute, in eagerness to decide, to dictate, to occupy or lead the discourse, to eclipse or outshine every person present. Need I.. say, that these are things utterly irrecone: cileable with good manners; that they can never be pleasing either to the self-love, . or the common sense of others; and that, unless where they are accompanied with superlative talents, or rather concealed in the splendor of extraordinary understanding, wit, and eloquence, they cannot but create much disgust? From those who have no other pre-eminence, but that of higher station, or larger fortune, they are always, offer.five to minds of any independence. From equals they are absolutely insufferable. Nor will the youth we describe affect them, in whatever situation. So far:
from putting himself forward, he will readily give place to thofe with whom he converses, and gladly afford them opportunities of being pleased with themselves, by listening to them on their favourite topics with complaisance, as often as he can with decency, and allowing what they fay its due weight according to his best apprehenfion. As he piques himself neither on his circumstances nor his pares, if they should happen to be diftinguifhed; he condescends, with ease, “ to men of « low estate," and of mean ability. Those acts of compassion and meekness, to the poor and the despised, which the proud consider as a humiliation not to be endured, unless when prompted by political motives, he esteems it his glory to perform, after the example of Him “ who came not to “ be ministered unto, but to minifter, and :66 made himself the fervant of all," that he might insinuate goodnefs and diffuse felicity with greater fuccess. · . . . . . . . T 3