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some are led to indulge a particular vein of character, and that others are induced to delineate and express it in writing. Besides, where men are in a situation which makes it necessary for them to push their way in the world, more particularly if they are obliged to do so among strangers, though this may give them a firmness and a resoluteness in their conduct, it will naturally produce a modest caution and reserve in their deportment, which must chill every approach to humour. Hence, though the Scots are allowed to be brave and undaunted in dangerous situations, yet bashfulness, reserve, and even timidity of manner, unless when they are called forth to action, are justly considered as making part of their character. Men of this disposition are not apt to have humour; it is the open, the careless, the indifferent, and the forward, who indulge in it; it is the man who does not think of interest, and who sets himself above attending to the proprieties of conduct. But he who has objects of interest in view, who attends with circumspection to his conduct, and finds it necessary to do so, is generally grave and silent, and seldom makes any attempt at humour,

These circumstances may have had a considerable influence upon the genius and temper of the people in Scotland; and if they have given a particular formation to the genius of the people in general, they would naturally have a similar effect

upon

its authors; the genius of an author commonly takes its direction from that of his countrymen.

To these causes, arising from the present situation and government of our country, may be added another circumstance, that of there being no court or seat of the Monarch in Scotland. It is only where the court is, that the standard of manners can be fixed; and, of consequence, it is only in the neighbour

diminish it; I am vexed with the complaints of
poor tenants, and plagued with the litigiousness of
rich ones. 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 to whom I can
lean ; the interest which people have in deceiving
me deprives me of confidence in advice, or plea-
sure in approbation. In short, it is my singular
misfortune to possess wealth with all the embarrass-
ment of poverty, and power with all the dependence
of meanness.
V

“I am, &c.

OLIVIA."

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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.

FOR THE MIRROR.

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

upon it.

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 fatter 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.

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 fleet, 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 a very limited cause. I allude to that universal effusion of honest gratitude which the good people of England frequently bestow on successful commanders, 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, was, 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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