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stances a sober confidence in my decisions; but that is all the difference. So to express it, I had then the same tools to work with as now; but the magazine of materials upon which I had to operate was scantily supplied. Like the apothecary in Romeo and Juliet, the faculty, such as it was, was within me; but my shelves contained but a small amount of furniture :
A beggarly account of empty boxes,
Which, thinly scattered, served to make a shew. In speaking thus of the intellectual powers of my youth, I am however conceding too much. It is true, “Practice maketh perfect.” But it is surprising, in apt and towardly youth, how much there is to commend in the first essays. The novice, who has his faculties lively and on the alert, will strike with his hammer almost exactly where the blow ought to be placed, and give nearly the precisely right force to the act. He will seize the thread it was fitting to seize; and, though he fail again and again, will shew an adroitness upon the whole that we scarcely know how to account for. The man whose career shall ultimately be crowned with success, will demonstrate in the beginning that he was destined to succeed.
There is therefore no radical difference between the child and the man. His Aesh becomes more firm and sinewy; his bones grow more solid and powerful; his joints are more completely strung. But he is still essentially the same being that he was. When a genuine philosopher holds a new-born child in his arms, and carefully examines it, he perceives in it various indications of temper and seeds of character. It was all there, though folded up
and confused, and not obtruding itself upon the remark of every careless spectator. It continues with the child through life, grows with his growth, and never leaves him till he is at last consigned to the tomb. How absurd then by artful rules and positive institutions to undertake to separate what can never be divided! The child is occasionally grave and reflecting, and deduces well-founded inferences; he draws on the past, and plunges into the wide ocean of the future. In proportion as the child advances into the youth, his intervals of gravity increase, and he builds up theories and judgments, some of which no future time shall suffice to overturn. It is idle to suppose that the first activity of our faculties, when every thing is new and produces an unbated impression, when the mind is uncumbered, and every interest and every feeling bid us be observing and awake, should pass for nothing. We lay up stores then, which shall never be exhausted. Our minds are the reverse of worn and obtuse. We bring faculties into the world with us fresh from the hands of the all-bounteous giver; they are not yet moulded to a senseless routine ; they are not yet corrupted by the ill lessons of effrontery, impudence and vice. Childhood is beautiful; youth is ingenuous; and it can be nothing but a principle which is hostile to all that most adorns this sublunary scene, that would with violence and despotic rule inar the fairest flower that creation has to boast.
It happens therefore almost unavoidably that, when the man mature looks back upon the little incidents of his youth, he sees them to a surprising degree in the same light, and forms the same conclusions respecting them, as he did when they were actually passing. “The forgeries of opinion,” says Cicero, “speedily pass away; but the rules and decisions of nature are strengthened.” Bitter reproaches and acts of violence are the offspring of perturbation engendered upon imbecility, and therefore can never be approved upon a sober and impartial revision. And, if they are to be impeached in the judgment of an equal and indifferent observer, we may be sure they will be emphatically condemned by the grave and enlightened censor who looks back upon the years of his own nonage, and recollects that he was himself the victim of the intemperance to be pronounced upon. The interest that he must necessarily take in the scenes in which he once had an engrossing concern, will supply peculiar luminousness to his views. He taxes himself to be just. The transaction is over now, and is passed to the events that preceded the universal deluge. He holds the balance with a steadiness, which sets at defiance all attempts to give it a false direction one way or the other. But the judgment he made on
the case at the time, and immediately after the humiliation he suffered, remains with him. It was the sentiment of his ripening youth; it was the opinion of his opening manhood; and it still attends him, when he is already fast yielding to the incroachments and irresistible assaults of declining years.
OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP.
Who is it that says, “There is no love but among equals ?” Be it who it may, it is a saying universally known, and that is in every one's mouth. The contrary is precisely the truth, and is the great secret of every thing that is admirable in our moral
By love it is my intention here to understand, not a calm, tranquil, and, as it were, half-pronounced feeling, but a passion of the inind. We
doubtless entertain an approbation of other men, without adverting to the question how they stand in relation to ourselves, as equals or otherwise. But the sentiment I anı here considering, is that where the person in whom it resides most strongly sympathises with the joys and sorrows of another, desires his gratification, hopes for his welfare, and shrinks from the anticipation of his being injured; in a word, is the sentiment which has most the spirit of sacrifice in it, and prepares the person in whom it dwells, to postpone his own advantage to the advantage of him who is the object of it.
Having placed love among the passions, which is no vehement assumption, I then say, there can be no passion, and by consequence no love, where