What an assemblage of dupes might be formed from the lovers of cards and dice! Impelled by a thirst as intense as that of the eastern traveller, the gamester pursues his imaginary but dazzling prize, as eagerly as the former seeks the waters which seem immediately before him; but, the one often perishes in the mirage; and the other, not unfrequently, dies a beggar-or a suicide.

Honour has its baits, and its victims also. Many chase it in the form of literary reputation, but few reach the goal. An effort is made at the expense of months of toil, anxiety, and restlessness, and the result, perhaps is only the critic's sneer, who, "breaks the butterfly on a wheel," and the world's neglect, for which the caresses of partial friends is a pitiful compensation. That many aspire to a distinction for which they are wholly unfitted is evident; but it is no less so that others have been crushed by violence, or paralyzed by caprice, who "deserved a better fate." An eminent individual, whose sphere of action is not a hundred miles from the Elgin marbles in Great Russel-street, Bloomsbury, asked at an inn, on his first continental tour, for "des crapauds," instead of "des grenouilles," and, by this accident, obtained the unlucky cognomen of "the toad eater." Not a few in past times were considered fairly entitled to this appellation, and the brood is not extinct. No language is too humble for them to adopt, no attitude is too degrading for them to assume, no sacrifice of personal dignity, or even of friendship and affection, is too great for them to make, provided that they can bask in the smiles of the great. When one of them

happens to cross our path, he is instinctively associated in our minds with him, who, as Gibbon says, "was the slave of the slave of the Commander of the Faithful." Others rise higher in the scale of intellectual beings, but attracted by the same objects, they endure similar inconveniences.

Cowper has described, with admirable ability, the ennui of


the noble drudge in state affairs, Escaped from office and its constant cares." The scenes, for whose retirement he pined, soon loose their charm:

"He feels, while grasping at his faded joys,
A secret thirst of his renounced employs;
He chides the tardiness of every post,
Pants to be told of battles won or lost;
Blames his own indolence, observes, though late,
'Tis criminal to leave a sinking state,
Flies to the levee, and received, with grace,
Kneels, kisses hands, and shines again in place."

Honour urges men to the utmost verge of folly when it makes them duellists. Indeed, it has been correctly denominated "the modern Moloch." Its infernal requirements can be met only by a state of feelings scarcely one grade below a paroxysm of insanity. In issuing them, it assumes a character perfectly fiendish-it laughs at the bursting asunder of the tenderest, dearest bonds-it gluts its remorseless appetite with tears, and throes, and blood; and with power more fatal than that of fabled sorcery it transforms its votaries into hideous demons. Abhorred then be its witcheries, broken be its spells, and scattered with the ashes of the foulest superstitions, be its altars!

The gayest phantom with which the human mind is familiar is that of Pleasure,

"The reeling goddess with a zoneless waist."

She is the tutelary genius of the theatre, the ball-room, the gaming-table, and the race course; and in her train are found the most degraded, vicious, and abandoned of both sexes. The service she demands and receives, on ten thousand promises of high delight, is the most humiliating and torturing thraldom. Her cup though sparkling, is, like Circe's, filled with poison. To sip at it is destruction of tranquillity. The fever of the passions which it produces is exhausting. Distressing lassitude invariably succeeds the tempest of the soul. On the authority of actual experience it is stated, that "pleasure, when it is a man's chief purpose, disappoints itself; and the constant application to it palls the faculty of enjoying it, though it leaves our sense of inability for that we wish, with a disrelish of every thing else. Thus the intermediate seasons of the man of pleasure, are more heavy than one would impose on the vilest criminal." "Facts are stubborn things." Facts supporting such testimonies are numerous, and consequently, to regard, for a moment, exaggerated descriptions of enjoyment in scenes of folly and dissipation, is as absurd, as to listen to the assurance that health is a convertible term for wretchedness; and that of all mortals the inmates of a Lazaretto are the most happy. There are times when the conviction that we have been the subjects of successful imposture flashes through the mind with the rapidity and brightness of lightning. With these the creditors of

a brilliant orator must have been well acquainted. An assurance of speedy settlement was an opiate to their suspicions, and these frequently slumbered long enough for him largely to increase his accumulated obligations. As soon as they awoke, amused by the golden dream which "the wand of the enchanter" had produced, they needed no aid in replying to the interrogation, "who's the dupe" And I have often called up the probable figure of a nobleman in circumstances which he has not forgotten. He had frequently wished to walk with a certain lady of fashion, and on "a lucky day" he had this privilege. They had not proceeded far before they were stopped by the splendour of a jeweller's window. The lady was delighted by the appearance of a personal ornament, and the gentleman hoped for the felicity of presenting it to her. On entering the shop, she was suddenly enamoured of a necklace, and he had no sooner placed it on her neck to increase her admiration of its beauty, than she wished him "good morning," and withdrew, leaving him, as soon as he could recover from the shock, to hand his draft to the jeweller for seven hundred guineas. If, however, there are some dupes from perverse adherance to erroneous principles, and others from occasional and universal somnolency, there are not a few who become so from an excess of kind and amiable feeling. Draw a bill on their good nature, and they do not think of the amount till they have given you their acceptance. Thoroughly indisposed to a solitary act of unkindness, it is long before they can be taught that any are not so benevolent as themselves, and even then a smiling face and hurri

ed words will easily efface the impression. Of this race of open-hearted, generous, but indiscreet spirits, the poet Goldsmith is a memorable example. In the midst of his studies, he engaged as security in a considerable sum of money for a fellow student, who, either for want of means or of principle, failed to pay the debt, and compelled him to seek escape from the horrors of imprisonment by a precipitate flight from Edinburgh; and at the close of life, his liberal and imprudent benefactions to poor authors and poor Irishmen, in fact needy adventurers from all countries, contributed greatly to the embarrassment of his affairs. To multiply instances of this kind would be easy; in every direction we may find sufferers from a disposition which, though it excites our deep regret, disarms censure of its bitterness and severity.

The mariner, as he pursues his course, has need of the beacon light, which streaming over the darkness of the abyss, warns him of the quicksands and rocks below, and is at once a guide and a guard. The voyage of human life, beset as it is by perils, renders similar aid to that enjoyed by the mariner not merely desirable, but necessary. The moralists of former times employed their powers for this purpose, and though ours are feebler, the results of their exercise may not be worthless. The evils exhibited in this essay have been common in every age, and my object will be answered if it lead in some cases to their avoidance. That appearances are delusive-that fashion is "an ideal influenza whose authority is, in general, derived from things known to be idle, insignificant, and absurd" that the prudence and persever

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