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materials so kindly and serene, that their spirits never flag from want of occupation and external excitement. They could lie for ever on a sunny bank, in a condition divided between thinking and no thinking, refreshed by the fanning breeze, viewing the undulations of the soil, and the rippling of the brook, admiring the azure heavens, and the vast, the bold, and the sublime figure of the clouds, yielding themselves occasionally to "thick-coming fancies," and day-dreams, and the endless romances of an undisciplined mind;

And find no end, in wandering mazes lost.

But all men, alike the busy of constitution and the idle, would desire to follow the impulses of their own minds, unbroken in upon by harsh necessity, or the imperious commands of their fellows.

We cannot however, by the resistless law of our existence, live, except the few who by the accident of their birth are privileged to draw their supplies from the labour of others, without exerting ourselves to procure by our efforts or ingenuity the necessaries of food, lodging and attire. He that would obtain them for himself in an uninhabited island, would find that this amounted to a severe tax upon that freedom of motion and thought which would otherwise be his inheritance. And he who has his lot cast in a populous community, exists in a condition somewhat analogous to that of a negro slave, except that he may to a limited extent select the occupation to which he shall addict himself, or may at least starve, in part or in whole, uncontroled, and at his choice. Such is, as it were, the universal lot.

'Tis destiny unshunnable like death :
Even then this dire necessity falls on us,

When we do quicken. I go forth in the streets, and observe the occupations of other men. I remark the shops that on every side beset my path. It is curious and striking, how vast are the ingenuity and contrivance of human beings, to wring from their fellow-creatures, “ from the hard hands of peasants" and artisans, a part of their earnings, that they also may live. We soon become feelingly convinced, that we also must enter into the vast procession of industry, upon pain that otherwise,

Like to an entered tide, they all rush by,
And leave you hindmost : there you lie,
For pavement to the abject rear, o'errun

And trampled on. It is through the effect of this necessity, that civilised communities become what they are. We all fall into our ranks. Each one is member of a certain company or squadron. We know our respective places, and are marshaled and disciplined with an exactness scarcely less than that of the individuals of a mighty army. We are therefore little disposed to interrupt the occupations of each other. We are intent upon the peculiar employment to

which we have become devoted. We “rise up early, and lie down late,” and have no leisure to trouble ourselves with the pursuits of others. Hence of necessity it happens in a civilised community, that a vast majority of the species are innocent, and have no inclination to molest or interrupt each other's avocations.

But, as this condition of human society preserves us in comparative innocence, and renders the social arrangement in the midst of which we exist, to a certain degree a soothing and agreeable spectacle, so on the other hand it is not less true that its immediate tendency is, to clip the wings of the thinking principle within us, and plunge the members of the community in which we live into a barren and ungratifying mediocrity. Hence it should be the aim of those persons, who from their situation have more or less the means of looking through the vast assemblage of their countrymen, of penetrating “ into the seeds” of character, and determining “which grain will grow, and which will not,” to apply themselves to the redeeming such as are worthy of their care from the oblivious gulph into which the mass of the species is of necessity plunged. It is therefore an ill saying, when applied in the most rigorous extent, “Let every man maintain himself, and be his own provider: why should we help him ?”

The help however that we should afford to our fellow

men requires of us great discernment in its nature, he fails, it is deeply to be regretted—it is a man to a certain degree lost---but surely, if his miscarriage be not caused by undue presumption, or the clouds and unhealthful atmosphere of selfconceit, he is entitled to the affectionate sympathy and sorrow of every generous mind.

ESSAY VII.

OF THE DURATION OF HUMAN LIFE.

The active and industrious portion of the human species in civilised countries, is composed of those who are occupied in the labour of the hand, and in the labour of the head.

The following remarks expressly apply only to the latter of these classes, principally to such as are occupied in productive literature. They may however have their use to all persons a considerable portion of whose time is employed in study and contemplation, as, if well founded, they will form no unimportant chapter in the science of the human mind.

In relation to all the members of the second class then, I should say, that human life is made up

of term and vacation, in other words, of hours that may be intellectually employed, and of hours that cannot be so employed.

Human life consists of years, months and days : each day contains twenty-four hours. Of these hours how many belong to the province of intellect?

“ There is," as Solomon says, “a time for all things." There must be a time for sleep, a time for recreation, a time for exercise, a time for supplying

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