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THE SA M E.
THEY whose minds are not formed
1 by Nature for the finest of all coninexions, will be apt to consider what has been already offered on this subject as frivolous, unmeaning, and insipid : but better spirits will be happy to hear yet farther of an intercourse,
“ When heart meets heart, reciprocally soft,
“ Each other's pillow to repose divine." For the gratification and improvement of -such, the present Address will turn upon -a comparison between the solidity, beauty,
and sweetness of Friendship as subsisting, where indeed it only can subsist in its ge«nuine excellence, among persons of worth, and the poor wretched iphantom which
assumes its title among those of a different character. We mean to trace both through a variety of views and fituations; and from this induction of particulars we shall, I doubt not, fufficiently discover the infinite superiority of that holy, sublime, and immortal relation, to all the boasted ties which profligacy or vanity would fain dignify with so venerable a name.
If, beside affording pleasure and edification to the more affectionate part of our auditors, we could, by any thing we shall now say, awaken an emulation of their enjoyments in breasts less amiably dispoled, we should reflect on this attempt with double satisfaction. It surely requires no extraordinary good-nature, to find complacence in contributing to the felicity of others at so easy a rate.
We begin with observing, that Rectitude of heart has ever been juftly regarded
as the only firm foundation of the union we recommend ; and that the species of Friendship, which men destitute of principle profess for one another, amounts to little more than combinations in vice, or at best, partnerships of interest, ambition, or amusement, without any real or durable esteem and confidence. That such men have often done great things in the way of generosity and zeal for their companions, and sometimes even greater things than several who in strictness of morals surpassed them, we readily acknowledge, while we sincerely regret, that the latter Thould allow themselves to be outstripped in any commendable quality. But it is certain, that constitutional kindness fre- · quently operates, in a very powerful, . though irregular manner, on minds much corrupted in other respects. And is it not probable, that libertines may be desirous of making fome atonement to the world, and to themselves, for irregularities which neither can seriously justify; that, secretly
humiliated by their inferiority to the virtuous in those instances, they would gladly out-do them in such as are consistent with their favourite inclinations, and that they fatter themlelves with the hope of at last eclipfing, by the fame of their liberality, . persons whose reputation for strict honour and self-command appears to darken them? Or is it unlikely, that they expect to derive some confolation from thus strengthening their party against men of sober life, whom they never can forgive for daring filently to reproach them by a purer conduct?
But does it not, you will alk, seem as natural, on the other hand, that they should conceive a close attachment for one another, on account of their mutual resemblance, since it is universally agreed that fimilarity of character is among the strongest incentives to mutual affection? True : but a farther enquiry will arise, Whether the affection in this case can