pened to put his hand on mine in showing me how to manage my crayons. The only poor man with whom I was allowed to associate was the clergyman of our parish, a very old gentleman of the most irreproachable character. To this indulgence, however, I was more indebted than my mother was aware, or I had any reason to hope. Possessed of excellent sense and great learning, the good man was at paiņs to teach me the use of the first, and the value of the latter. By his assistance, my mind, which before had always been either uncultivated or misled, was informed with knowledge, more useful than the extent of my fortune, or the privileges of my birth. He showed me the folly of pride, and the meanness of insolence; he taught me the respect due to merit, the tenderness to poverty, the reverence to misfortune; from him I first learned the dignity of condescension, the pleasures of civility, the luxury of beneficence. He died, alas ! before I could receive the full benefit of his instructions, before he was able to eradicate the effects of early perversion and habitual indul. gence; and left me rather in a condition to feel the weakness of my mind, than to recover its strength.

"My mother did not long survive him. I had been forced to see the errors of her judgement, though I could never doubt the warmth of her affection. I was unfortunate enough to lose her assistance, when her assistance would have been more useful and her indulgence less prejudicial. In the management of my fortune, which has now devolved on me, I am perplexed with business which I do not understand, and harassed by applications which I know not how to answer. I am sometimes puzzled with schemes for improving my estate, sometimes frightened with dangers that threaten to

rich ones.

diminish it; I am vexed with the complaints of poor tenants, and plagued with the litigiousness of

I never

open a letter from my steward in the

country without uneasiness; and a visit from my agent in town is to me like that of a bailiff. Amidst all these difficulties, I have no relation whom I can trust, and no friend whom I can lean; the interest which people have in deceiving me deprives me of confidence in advice, or pleasure in approbation. In short, it is my singular misfortune to possess wealth with all the embarrassment of poverty, and power with all the dependence of meanness. V



“I am,

No. 82. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1780.

The paper of to-day was received from an unknown hand several weeks ago. The publication of it may perhaps, appear rather unseasonable after the last Gazette. There is still, however, much truth in my correspondent's observations, who, I dare say, will not regret that Sir George Rodney's success has somewhat lessened their force.


Romulus, et Liber pater, et cum Castore Pollur,
Post ingentia facta, deorum in templa recepti.

HOR, EPIST. ii. 1. 5. Men who either possess a natural softness of temper, or who have been unfortunate in the world from accident or imprudence, or perhaps think they have been so, from over-rating their own deserts, are apt to ascribe to human nature a variety of vices and imperfections. They consider these as the chief ingredients of the composition of mankind, and that their virtues and good qualities are only exceptions from the general rule, like accidental strokes of genius or colouring in the works of a painter, whose performances, on the whole, are coarse and irregular.

Nothing can be more groundless and unjust than this accusation. I am convinced that, upon a thorough examination, though we might discover many vicious and profligate individuals, we should find, in general, that human nature is virtuous and well-disposed, and little merits the abuse that peevish or unfortunate men are inclined to bestow

One charge, much insisted upon against mankind, is public ingratitude. With what justice or truth this is urged, we may judge by examining the behaviour of men from the earliest period to the present times ; and, in doing so, I flatter myself we shall be able to discover that the reverse is true, and that a strong spirit of gratitude has appeared on all occasions where it was due, though in different

ages and countries it has been expressed in a different manner.

upon it.

In Egyyt and ancient Greece, the tribute paid by the public voice to the benefactors of mankind, was to consider them as objects of divine worship, and for that purpose to enroll them among

the gods. Such was Ceres, for the invention of corn ; Bacchus, for the discovery of wine ; and a variety of others, with whom every school-boy is acquainted. If a man of superior strength and valour happened to repel an invader, destroy a monster, or perform any notable deed of public service, he was revered while living, and, after his death, his memory was respected, and a species of inferior worship was paid to him, as a hero, or a demi-god.

In later times, in the Grecian states, the general who fought a successful battle, or destroyed an enemy's feet, had statues erected to him by the public voice, and at the expense of the public. The Romans did not think of honouring their active or fortunate commanders with statues, but they had their triumphs and ovations bestowed by the public, and supported by the voluntary applause and attendance of a grateful populace.

I should be extremely sorry if the moderns yielded in the article of public gratitude either to ihe Greeks or Romans. I shall not enter upon the practice or manners of other European nations; but I can venture to assert, with some degree of confidence, that the people of Great Britain possess a degree of public gratitude unexampled in any other age or country.

In making this assertion, I do not allude to public monuments, hereditary pensions, or thanks of parliament, which, though of a public, and seemingly of a general nature, may nevertheless proceed from

limited cause. I allude to that universal effusion of honest gratitude which the good people of England frequently bestow on successful com

a very

manders, by putting up their pictures as signs for their taverns and alehouses, and frequenting these more than any other, till the reputation of the original begins to be obscured by the rising glory of some new favourite.

I must, at the same time, observe, that great statesmen have seldom experienced this mark of public applause. The late Mr. Pitt, wąs, indeed, an exception from the remark; but he was, in fact, a minister of war only, and never meddled with finance. A first Lord of the Treasury, let him be as wise as Ximenes, and as moderate as Fleury, cannot expect to be revered on the sign-post of an alehouse; every article of consumption there has felt the weight of his hand ; and whether the company get drunk in wine or punch, or enjoy the cool collations of tea and coffee, still the reckoning recalls ideas that lead to execrations on the whole system of finance and taxation, from the department of the first minister, to the walk of the lowest exciseman ; and, by an easy transition, the dislike of the system and the offices passes, in some degree, to the persons of those who fill them.

But as the same cause of unmerited obloquy does not exist with respect to our admirals and generals, they have been often and much the objects of this species of public gratitude. It is needless to go far back. In the year 1739, Admiral Vernon took Porto-bello, with six ships only. The public gratitude to him was boundless. He was sung in ballads. At the ensuing general election in 1741, he was returned from three different corporations; but, above all, his portrait filled every sign-post; and he may be figuratively said to have sold the ale, beer, porter, and purl, of England for six years.

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