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cause of his importunity, shall at length be relieved, an author, perhaps, who enforces his advice, shall, in the end, be listened to.

I must, therefore, again and again insist upon it, that there are two sides to every argument, and that it is the natural and unalienable right of man to be heard in support of his opinion, he having first lent a patient ear to the speaker, who maintains sentiments which oppose that opinion. I do humbly apprehend that an overbearing voice, and noisy volubility of tongue, are proofs of a very underbred fellow, and it is with regret I see society too frequently disturbed in its most delectable enjoyments, by this odious character. I do not see that any man hath a right, by obligation or otherwise, to lay me under a necessity of thinking exactly as he thinks. Though I admit, that "from the fulness of the heart the tongue speaketh," I do not admit any superior pretensions it hath to be Sir Oracle from the fulness of the pocket. In the name of freedom, what claim hath any man to be the tyrant of the table? As well he may avail himself of the greater force of his fists as of his lungs. Doth sense consist in sound, or is truth only to be measured by the noise it makes? Can it be a disgrace to be convinced, or doth any one lose by the exchange, who resigns his own opinion for a better? When I reflect upon the advantages of our public schools, where puerile tempers are corrected by collision; upon the mathematical studies and scholastic exercises of our universities, I am no less grieved than astonished to discover so few proficients in well-mannered controversy, so very few who seem to make truth the object of their investigation, or will spare a few patient moments, from the eternal repetition of their own deafening jargon,

to the temperate reply of men, probably better qualified to speak than themselves.

There is another grievance not unfrequent, though inferior to this above mentioned, which proceeds jointly from the mixed nature of society, and the ebullitions of freedom in this happy country, I mean that roar of mirth and uncontrolled flow of spirits, which hath more vulgarity in it than ease, more noise than gayety. The stream of elegant festivity will never overflow its banks; the delicacy of sex, the dignity of rank, and the decorum of certain professions, should never be so overlooked, as to alarm the feelings of any person present, interested for their preservation.

When the softer sex intrust themselves to our society, we should never forget the tender respect due to them even in our gayest hours. When the higher orders by descending, and the lower by ascending out of their sphere, meet upon the level of good fellowship, let not our superiors be revolted by a rusticity, however jovial, nor driven back into their fastnesses by overstepping the partition line, and making saucy inroads into their proper quarters. Who questions a minister about news or politics? Who talks ribaldry before a bishop; once in seven years is often enough for the levelling familiarity of electioneering manners.

There is another remark which I cannot excuse myself from making, if it were only for the sake of those luckless beings, who, being born with duller faculties, or stampt by the hand of nature with oddities, either of humour or of person, seem to be set up in society as butts for the arrows of raillery and ridicule. If the object, thus made the victim of the company, feels the shaft, who but must suffer with him? If he feels it not, we blush for human nature, whose dignity is sacrificed in his per

son; and as for the profest buffoon, I take him to have as little pretensions to true humour, as a punster has to true wit. There is scope enough for all the eccentricities of character without turning cruelty into sport; let satire take its share, but let vice only shrink before it; let it silence the tongue that wantonly violates truth, or defames reputation; let it batter the insulting towers of pride; but let the air-built castles of vanity, much more the humble roof of the indigent and infirm, never provoke its spleen.

It happened to me not long ago to fall into company with some very respectable persons, chiefly of the mercantile order, where a country gentleman, who was a stranger to most of the party, took upon him to entertain the company with a tedious string of stories, of no sort of importance to any soul present, and all tending to display his own consequence, fortune, and independence. Such conversation was ill calculated for the company present, the majority of whom, had, I dare say, been the founders of their own fortunes, and I should doubt if there was any quarter of the globe accessible to commerce, which had not been resorted to by some one or other then sitting at the table. This uninteresting egotist, therefore, was the more unpardonable, as he shut out every topic of curious and amusing information, which could nowhere meet a happier opportunity for discussion.

He was endured for a considerable time with that patience which is natural to men of good manners, and experience in the world. This encouragement only rendered him more insupportable; when at last an elderly gentleman seized the opportunity of a short pause in his discourse, to address the following reproof to this eternal talker: —

"We have listened to you, Sir, a long time with attention, and it does not appear that anybody present is disposed to question, either your independence, or the comforts that are annexed to it; we rejoice that you possess them in so full a degree, and we wish every landed gentleman in the kingdom was in the same happy predicament with yourself; but we are traders, Sir, and are beholden to our industry and fair dealing, for what you inherit from your ancestors, and yourself never toiled for. Might it not be altogether as amusing to you to be told of our adventures in foreign climes and countries; of our dangers, difficulties, and escapes; our remarks upon the manners and customs of other nations, as to inclose the whole conversation within the hedge of your own estate, and shut up intelligence, wide as the world itself, within the narrow limits of your parish pound? Believe me, Sir, we are glad to hear you, and we respect your order in the state, but we are willing to hear each other also in our turns; for, let me observe to you, in the style of the counting-house, that conversation, like trade, abhors a monopoly, and that a man can derive no benefit from society, unless he hears others talk as well as himself."

NUMBER LXXXV.

I WAS in company the other day with a young gentleman, who had newly succeeded to a considerable estate, and was a good deal struck with the con

versation of an elderly person present, who was very deliberately casting up the several demands that the community at large had upon his property."Are you aware," says he, " how small a portion of your revenue will properly remain to yourself, when you have satisfied all the claims which you must pay to society and your country, for living amongst us, and supporting the character of what is called a landed gentleman? Part of your income will be stopt for the maintenance of them who have none, under the denomination of poor-rates; this may be called a fine upon the partiality of fortune, levied by the law of society, which will not trust its poor members to the precarious charity of the rich; another part must go to the debts and necessities of the government, which protects you in war and peace, and is also a fine which you must be content to pay for the honour of being an Englishman, and the advantage of living in a land of liberty and security. The learned professions will also have their share; the church for taking care of your soul, the physician for looking after your body, and the lawyer must have part of your property for superintending the rest. The merchant, tradesman, and artisan will have their profit upon all the multiplied wants, comforts, and indulgences of civilized life; these are not to be enumerated, for they depend on the humours and habits of men; they have grown up with the refinements and elegances of the age, and they will further increase, as these shall advance. They are the conductors, which, like the bloodvessels in the human frame, circulate your wealth, and every other man's wealth, through every limb and even fibre of the national body. The hand of industry creates that wealth, and to the hand of industry it finally returns, as blood does to the heart."

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