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fol in this country; for the inhabitants, at first, thinking it unjust to use either fraud or force in de. stroying them, they have insensibly increased, and now frequently ravage their harınless frontiers.'• Bat they should have been destroyed,' cried Asem;
you see the consequence of such neglect.'--'Where is then that tenderness you so lately expressed for subordinate animals ? replied the genius, smiling:
you seem to have forgot that branch of justice.' 'I must acknowledge my mistake,' returned Asem, 'I am now convinced that we must be guilty of tyranny and injustice to the brute creation, if we would enjoy the world ourselves. But let us no longer observe the duty of man to these irrational creatures, but survey their connections with one another.'
As they walked farther up the country, the more he was surprised to see no vestiges of handsome houses, no cities, nor any mark of elegant design, His conductor, perceiving his surprise, observed, that the inhabitants of this new world were perfectly content with their ancient simplicity; each had a house, which, though homely, was sufficient to lodge his little family; they were too good to build houses which could only increase their own pride, and the envy of the spectator ; what they built was for convenience, and not for show. 'At last, then,' said Asem,“ they have neither architects, painters, nor statuaries, in their society ; but these are idle arts, and may be spareil. However, before I spend much more time here, you should have my thanks for' introducing me into the society of some of their wisest men: there is scarce any pleasure to me equal to a refined conversation ; there is nothing of whic I am so much enamoured as wisdom.'-' Wis. dom!' replied his instructor: 'how ridiculous! We
have no wisdom here, for we have no occasion for it; true wisdom is only a knowledge of our own duty, and the duty of others to us; but of what use is such wisdom here? Each intuitively performs what is right in himself, and expects the same from others. If by wisdom you should mean vain curiosity, and empty speculation, as such pleasures have their origin in vanity, luxury, or avarice, we are too good to pursue them.'- All this may be right,' says Asem; but methinks I observe a solitary disposition prevail among the people; each family keeps separately within their own precincts, without society, or without intercourse.'-' That, indeed, is true,' replied the other; here is no established society, nor should there be any: all societies are made either through fear or friendship; the people we are among are too good to fear each other; and there are no motives to private friendship, where all are equally meritorious.'-' Well, then,' said the sceptic, ' as I am to spend my time here, if I am to have neither the polite arts, nor wisdom, nor friendship, in such a world, I should be glad, at least, of an easy companion, who may tell me his thoughts, and to whom I may communicate mine.'-' And to what purpose should either do this?' says the genius: flattery or curiosity are vicious motives, and never allowed of here; and wisdom is out of the question.'
'Still, however, said Asem, 'the inhabitants must be happy; each is contented with his own possessions, nor avariciously endeavours to heap up more than is necessary for his own subsistence; each has therefore leisure to pity those that stand in need of his compassion. Ile had scarce spoken when his ears were assaulted with the lamentations of a wretch who sat by the way side, and, in the most deplorable distress, seemed gently to murmur
at his own misery. Asem immediately ran to his relief, and found him in the last stage of a consumption. Strange,' cried the son of Adam, 'that men who are free from vice should thus suffer so much misery without relief!'- Be not surprised,' said the wretch, who was dying; would it not be the utmost injustice for beings, who have only just, sufficient to support themselves, and are content with a bare subsistence, to take it from their own mouths to put it into mine? They never are possessed of a single meal more than is necessary; and what is barely necessary cannot be dispensed with. They should have been supplied with more than is necessary,' cried Asem; and yet I contradict my own opinion but a moment before: all is doubt, perplexity, and confusion. Even the want of ingratitude is no virtue here, since they never received a favour. They have, however, another excellence yet behind; the love of their country is still, I hope, one of their darling virtues.'- Peace, Asem,' replied the guardian, with a countenance not less severe than beautiful, nor forfeit all thy pretensions to wisdom; the same selfish motives. by which we prefer our own interest to that of others, induce us to regard our country preferable to that of another. Nothing less than universal benevolence is free from vice, and that you see is practised here.'- Strange!' cries the disappointed pilgrim, in an agony of distress; what sort of a world am I now introduced to? There is scarce a single virtue, but that of temperance, which they practise; and in that they are no way superior to the very brute creation. There is scarce an amusement which they enjoy: fortitude, liberality, friendship; wisdom, conversation, and love of country, all are virtues entirely unknown here; thus it seems, that
to be unacquainted with vice is not to know virtue. Take me, O my genius, back to that very world which I have despised: a world which has Alla for its contriver, is much more wisely formed than that which has been projected by Mahomet. Ingratitude, contempt, and hatred, I can now suffer, for perhaps I have deserved them. When I arraigned the wis. dom of Providence, I only showed my own igno. rance ; henceforth let me keep from vice myself, and pity it in others.'
He had scarce ended, when the genius, assoming an air of terrible complacency, called all his thun. ders around him, and vanished in a whirlwind. Asem, astonished at the terror of the scene, looked for his imaginary world; when, casting his eyes around, he perceived himself in the very situation, and in the very place, where he first began to repine and despair; his right foot had been just advanced to take the fatal plùnge, nor had it been yet withdrawn; so instantly did Providence strike the series of truths just imprinted on bis soul. Tie now departed from the water-side in tranquillity, and, leaving his horrid mansion, travelled to Segestan, bis native city; where he diligently applied himself to commerce, and put in practice that wisdom he had learned in solitude. The frugality of a few years soon produced opulence; the number of his domestics increased; his friends came to him from every part of the city, nor did he receive them with disdain; and a youth of misery was concluded with an old age of elegance, affluence, and ease.
ON THE ENGLISH CLERGY, AND POPULAR PREACHERS.
IT is allowed on all hands, that our English divines
receive a more liberal education, and improve that education, by frequent study, more, than any others of this reverend profession in Europe. In general, also, it may be observed, that a greater de. gree of gentility is affixed to the character of a student in England than elsewhere; by which means our clergy have an opportunity of seeing better company while young, and of sooner wearing off those prejudices which they are apt to imbibe even in the best-regulated universities, and which may be justly termed the vulgar errors of the wise.
Yet, with all these advantages, it is very obvious, that the clergy are no where so little thought of, by the populace, as here; and, though our divines are foremost with respect to abilities, yet they are found last in the effects of their ministry; the vulgar, in general, appearing no way impressed with a sense of religious duty. I am not for whining at the depravity of the times, or for endeavouring to paint a prospect more gloomy than in nature; but certain it is, no person who has travelled will contradict me, when I aver, that the lower orders of mankind, in other countries, testify, on every occa sion, the profoundest awe of religion: while in England they are scarcely awakened into a sense of its duties, even in circumstances of the greatest distress.
This dissolute and fearless conduct foreigners are apt to attribute to climate and constitution: may not the vulgar being pretty much neglected in our