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grasp, till the summit of its wishes is attained. Captivated with the delusive charms of novelty, the restless fancy waits with impatient desire, for fresh discoveries, and longs, with anxious solicitude, for higher gratifications.
To an elevated mind, the hope of becoming distinguished, is usually among the first motives, to call forth strenuous, and persevering exertion. But this desire is far from being confined to men of aspiring genius. It is a principle of almost universal application, and may be noticed in every period of existence, from the noisy prattler in the parent's arms, to the hoary veteran, just yielding to the universal conqueror; from the schoolboy commanding his associates, to the statesman haranguing the Senate.
So essential is it considered to the existence of soci. ety, that it is not unfrequently inculcated by every inducement, which the policy of schoolmen, and the wisdom of philosophers can devise. Multitudes, accounting this to be in the moral world, what the principle of motion is in the natural;” infuse it with every art, into the glowing bosome of youth, watch its rising growth, with careful anxiety; nor cease their exertions, till it pervades every action. Thus nurtured, we wonder not to see a principle congenial with our nature, increasing with unparalleled rapidity; winding itself up in bosoms of every circle, and finding easy access, among the members of every society. But I forbear to refer to examples, which the occurrences of every day have rendered familiar.
The love of fame is not peculiar, merely for the celerity of its operations ; its impression is strong and lasting. Having obtained its wished-for object, like the ivy to the elm, it clings, with so much tenacity, that nothing short of death will cause it to relinquish its hold.
Not only as an inducement to action, but as a preventive of evil, this desire exerts a powerful influence. Restrained by this passion, many an adept in vice has abandoned his projects, and many an idle spendthrift, ceased to be prodigal.
Although much has been advanced upon the utility of this passion, in arousing and calling into action the latent energies of genius ; still there are those, and the number is not small, who utterly reject the principle, as an improper excitement to action. It is unquestionably true, that many of the glorious exploits, which adorn the page of history and give resplendent brightness to the human character, were prompted by no better motives, than the love of fame. But the splendour which it exhibits, is external—the glory which it proffers, is transient; “ like the ignis fatuus," it guides to bewilder, and dazzles to blind. By germinating in the hearts of princes, the seeds of ambition and jealousy, it has desolated empires, and interrupted the choicest harmony of social life.
Among nations unenlightened by Christianity, this passion has ever been held in high estimation. To them, it presented motives, which their own times could justify; but they were motives, with which the Christian religion has no connexion.
Ever inconstant and variable in its operations, we view without surprise the numerous revolutions, which this principle occasions, in the political and religious world. We behold it tolerate in one age, what it forbids in another; and prescribe and applaud in one country, what in another, it condemns and stigmatizes. By the devotee of fame, every good must be relinquished, which comes in competition with his favorite object. The moment he takes the oath of allegiance to this sovereign, he resolves to abandon piety, and regard virtue, only in form. When thus presented, we hesitate not to condemn the principle ; yet this is the extreme to which the love of fame would lead its votary.
Intimately connected with this, is that sordid selfishness, which induces men, while pursuing their own designs, not only to look down with cold indifference, on the interests of others, but even to obstruct their prog
Possessing generous feelings, we discard such meanness, and pronounce the sentiment not only injurious, but ruinous to the social compact.
Behold the man, whose only aim is his own aggran
dizement; whose greatest endeavour is to obtain popular favour. Rising from dreams of greatness, he engages with renovated eagerness, in his favorite pursuit. This is the summit of his wishes; the highest glory of his nature. To such a breast the generous spirit of philanthropy is a stranger; within such a bosom, the pure feelings of benevolence find no receptacle.
But there is a desire to be distinguished, for the purpose of being more extensively useful, which is widely different, from an exclusive regard to the opinions of others. To be prompted by such motives, constitutes the highest dignity of human nature. To be influenced by such desires, affords the choicest luxury, of which earth can boast. Let man be guided by such principles, injustice and fraud would cease to be practised; the little arts of speculation and flattery would be banished from the abodes of princes, and the habitations of civil. ized life. Philanthropy would not be confined to the narrow limits of personal convenience, nor circumscribed by national boundaries; but would embrace within its desires, the interests of a world. Actuated by this enlarged, vigorous, operative benevolence, he may look down with generous neglect on the censures and applauses of the multitude, and launch upon the shoreless ocean of eternity, where this germ of heavenly origin will forever thrive without culture, and expand without restriction.
(For the Monitor.)
THE THOUGHTLESS YOUTH.
The following narrative of my young friend may be interesting, and, perhaps, profitable to some of your readers. If you think proper, you will give it a place on the pages of your Monitor.
No sensation is more painful than that, which we experience, when we see a youth, whom nature has furnished with talents, which promise for him distinction
in life, devoting himself to the pursuits of pleasure. We weep, as we see him stumbling along his slippery path, heedless of the dangers which surround him, and blind to the precipice, over whose brink he must inevitably fall.
Such a youth was William. He was born to a plentiful fortune, and could boast of a highly respectable parentage. From childhood he was formed to gain attention. Lively and quick in his imagination, and warm in his feelings, he soon engaged the affections of his parents, whose breasts often swelled with joy, in anticipation of his future character. Having passed the days of childhood, his mind brightened with his years; and a refined education developed those faculties, which entitled him to flattering prospects in life. But as he came forward into society; he became captivated with the scenes of youthful amusement. He was welcomed into the gay and fashionable circles of the world, where he was treated with that marked attention, which inspired in him the idea of his superior merit. His new companions caressed him, and were extravagant in their expressions of attachment to him. He was presented with the cup of flattery, and, not foreseeing the consequences, greedily drank off the poison. But that draught tarnished the beauty of all his future life and character. He now discovered, as he thought, for the first time, the extent of his influence, and the discovery excited his vanity. He viewed himself destined to give laws to the fashionable world. Soon he began to claim that as a right, which was originally given him only in compliment. And, if he were not made the centre of every circle, and the standard of every fashion, he felt himself slighted.
Years came, and passed, and left him nearly in the same state. All his ambition was, to gain admiration in the gay circle, at the card-table, and in the ball-room. And he thought himself happy; though it is true, indeed, that he found some imperfection in every pleasure-some alloy, which corrupted it, and thus blighted his expectations ; but this only excited new efforts to separate the alloy, and, in no degree, 'abated the fervor
of his pursuit after happiness, a phantom which always sported before him.
In this way he spent his vernal season of life ; worthless flowers constituted all the objects of his search; and no preparation was made to secure a summer crop, which might cheer him in the winter of his days.
But his pleasures were not destined always to operate thus mildly upon him. His friends soon discovered in him consumptive symptoms of the most alarming kind. He, however, was incredulous, and, consequently, thought little of that gloomy subject, which he was so poorly prepared to investigate.
Alas! how secretly death approaches the young! Floating along on the tide of youthful pleasures, they do not suspect his approach, till they feel his chilling grasp. So it was with William. The first whispers of warning were distinct to his friends, but he could not hear,—they were repeated, and louder,-still he could not hear. We told him of his danger-but he could think only of his sports and gaieties, till death levelled at him. The disease preyed upon his vitals, and palsied the energies of his system. Then, in spite of all his efforts to appear cheerful, a thousand little circumstances, while they betrayed his deadly, malady, bespoke the poignant anguish of his soul. Soon, prostrate upon his bed, he forgot all the pleasures of the world, and could think of nothing but the gloomy hearse and tomb.
Now behold the poor deluded votary of pleasure. See him writhe under the stings of an enfuriated conscience, and shudder at the approach of death. Gladly, indeed, would he tenant the grave, if it could afford him a quiet hiding-place; but, ah! he sees beyond it an eternity—and, in the light of that eternity, he sees the guilt and deformity of his past life. He sees the signs and wonders of the judgment day, and feels the heat of eternal burnings. In extreme agitation, he looks around for some escape from death ; but, alas ! his cold and withering limbs-his fluttering pulse, and stifled gasp show there is none ! 66 Must I die? Oh! must I dię ?5 are his accents. 66 Life !-soul !-hell !-Oh!I die !"
My young friends, though you were strangers to