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more than reinstates the injurer in our affection. Harriet died in the arms of her husband ; and, by a solemn adjuration left to Emilia the comfort of him, and the care of her children.

There is in the communion of sorrow one of the strongest of all connexions ; and the charge which Emilia had received from her dying friend of her daughters, necessarily produced the freest and most frequent intercourse with their father. Debts, which his former course of life had obliged him to contract, he was unable to pay ; and the demands of his creditors were the more peremptory, as, by the death of his wife, the hopes of any pecuniary assistance from her father were cut off. In the extremity of this distress, he communicated it to Emilia. Her generosity relieved him from the embarrassment, and gave him that farther tie which is formed by the gratitude of those we oblige. Mean while, from the exertions of that generosity, she suffered considerable inconvenience. The world was loud, and sometimes scurrilous, in its censure of her conduct. I tried once more, by a letter written with all the art I was master of, to recall her from the labyrinth in which this false sort of virtue had involved her. My endeavours were vain. I found that sentiment, like religion, had its superstition, and its martyrdom. Every hardship she suffered she accounted a trial, every censure she endured she considered as a testimony of her virtue. At last my poor deluded niece was so entangled in the toils which her own imagination, and the art of Marlow, had spread for her, that she gave to the dying charge of Harriet the romantic interpretation of becoming the wife of her widower, and the mother of her children. My heart bleeds, Mr. Mirror, while I foresee the consequences! She will be wretched, with feelings illaccommodated to her wretchedness. Her sensibility will aggravate that ruin to which it has led her, and the world will not even afford their pity to distresses, which the prudent may blame, and the selfish may deride.

Let me warn at least where I cannot remedy. Tell your readers this story, Sir. Tell them, there are bounds beyond which virtuous feelings cease to be virtue; that the decisions of sentiment are subject to the controul of prudence, and the ties of friendship subordinate to the obligations of duty.

I am, &c.

LEONITUS.

No. CII. SATURDAY, APRIL 29.

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TO THE AUTHOR OF THE MIRROR. SIR,

YOU have already observed how difficult it is to reduce the science of manners to general denominations, and have shewn how liable to misapplication are some of the terms which are used in it. To your instances of men of fashion and good company, you will give me leave to add another, of which I think, the perversion is neither less common nor less dangerous : I mean the term applied to a tain species of character, which we distinguish by the appellation of a man of spirit.

Lord Chesterfield says somewhere, that, to speak and act with spirit, is to speak rudely, and act foolishly : and his lordship's definition is frequently right. At the same time, spirit may be, and certainly is, often applied to that line of conduct and sentiment that deserves it: A person of virtue, digpity, and prudence, is, with much propriety, denominated a « man of spirit ;" but, by the abuse I

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complain of " man of spirit” is, for the most part, very differently applied.

In the various departments of business, the term spirit is frequently applied to unprofitable projects and visionary speculations. Let a man be bold enough to risk his own fortune, and the fortunes of other people, upon schemes brilliant but improbable; let him go on, sanguine amidst repeated losses, and dreaming of wealth till he wakes in bankruptcy ; and it is ten to one that, after he fails, the world will give a sort of fame to his folly, and hold him up to future trust and patronage, under the title of an unfortunate man of spirit.

But these are not the most glaring instances of the monstrous perversion of this character; the airy adventurer, or the magnificent but ruined projector, may both be men of spirit, though it is not spirit, but want of judgment, and visionary impetuosity, that have procured them the character. They may, however, possess that dignity and independence of mind in which alone true spirit consists, and may have been ruined by whim and want of foresight, not want of spirit. But there is one set of men on whom the appellation is bestowed, whose conduct, for the most part, is, in every article, the reverse of dignity or spirit, and perfectly inconsistent with it.

The men I mean are those, who, by a train of intemperance and profusion, run out their fortunes, and reduce themselves to misery.....Such men are common, and will be so, while vice, folly, and want of foresight, prevail among mankind..... They have been frequently ridiculed and exposed by the ablest pens : and it is not the character itself that falls under my observation ; it is the unaccountable absurdity of bestowing upon such characters the appellation of " men of spirit,” which they uniformly acquire, whether the fortune they have squandereel

is new, or has been handed down to them through a long line of ancestors.

The misapplication of the term is so completely ridiculous, as to be beneath contempt, were it not for the mischief that I am convinced has been occasioned by it. Youths entering on the stage of life are catched with the engaging appellation, “a man of spirit:" they become ambitious of acquiring that epithet ; and perceiving it to be most generally bestowed on such men as I have described, they look up to them as patterns of life and manners, and begin to ape them at an age which thinks only of enjoyment, and despises consequences ; nay, if they should look forward, and view the “ man of spirit” reduced, by his own profusion, to the most abject state of servile dependence, it does not mend the matter. In the voice of the world he is “a man of spirit still.”. It is said, that the easy engaging manners of Captain Macheath have induced many young men to go on the highway. I am convinced the character of a

man of spirit” tempts many a young man to enter on a course of intemperance and prodigality, that most frequently ends in desperate circumstances and a broken constitution,

This perversion is the more provoking, that of all human characters, the intemperate prodigal is, in every feature and every stage, the most diametrically opposite to a man of spirit..... True spirit is founded on a love and desire of independence, and the two are so blended together, that it is impossible, even in idea, to separate them. But the intemperate prodigal is the most dependant of all human beings..... He depends on others for amusement and company'; and, however fashionable he may be in the begins ning; his decline in the article of companions is certain and rapid. In the course of his profusion, be becomes dependent on others for the means of supporting it; and when his race of prodigality is

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run, he suffers a miserable dependence for the support even of that wretched life to which it has reduced him. After all, the world calls him a " of spirit,” when he is really in a state of servile indigence, with a broken constitution, without spirit, and without the power of exerting it; with the ad. ditional reflection of having himself been the cause of his distresses.

Nor is it only in the affirmative use of the term that I have to complain of its perversion ; the same injustice takes place when it is applied in the negative. Calling an intemperate and ruined prodigal a “man of spirit,"may proceed sometimes from pity; but, when you hear a man of moderation and virtue, especially if he happen also to be opulent, blamed as “ wanting spirit,” the accusation is generally the child of detraction and malignity. I do not apply my observation to the avaricious and niggardly, to men whose purses are shut against their friends, and whose doors are barred against every body ; such men certainly want spirit, and are for the most part, defective in every virtue ; but I am afraid that it often happens that a person, benevolent to his friends, hospitable to the deserving, kind to his servants, and indulgent to his children ; is blamed as “want6 ing spirit," for no reason but because he is proof against the absurdities of fashion and vanity, because he guards against the tricks of the designing, despises the opinions and disapprobation of the foolish, and persists in that train of moderate economy, which he knows is best suited to his fortune and rational views.

Instead of wanting “ spirit,” such a character is the true idea of “ a man of spirit.” In every part of his manners and conduct, he passes through life with an uniform steadiness and dignity. His moderation secures his independence, and his attention supplies the means of hospitality and benevolence.

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