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man but for his happiness, and the voluptuary can never be happy, as he palls enjoyment by
Prodigality is only praised by those from whom praise is infamy; by syrens, which seek to shipwreck ; by locusts, which live only to devour. Pliny expresses the highest sense of the applause bestowed upon him by Martial, but he prefaces with an account of the apright character of the panegyrist, which is a proof that he allowed no praise to be of value but from those who were themselves worthy of it. But every man, whose talents or virtue can make his opinion of any weight, must look with scorn and pity on him, whom the panders of his lust or luxury have drawn into the vor tex of their dissipation, and rendered the prey of actresses, blacklegs, coggers of dice, packers of cards, and usurious Jews, who ridicule the victim of their avarice. They lead him to the altar of his destruction amidst the vociferation of carousal, which is far different from the cheerful tranquillity of enjoyment; they stu. pify his reason with wine, riots, and ribaldry, misnamed wit; and, even if he escapes a pres mature death, occasioned by the undermining
diseases of intemperance, he is left to pass the remainder of his life in impotent desire, and re
“ Remorse, the raven of a guilty mind,
For what end is this sacrifice made are these pains 'endured ? To be apparently the admiration, but in reality the butt of ridicule of those sons of infamy who, as Shakespeare says, “ are hackneyed in the ways of men;" those hoary, battered miscreants who are grown callous to all sentiments of honour and honesty; who ridicule virtue as romantic, and stigmatize as visionaries those men who dare to stand up against corruption. It has been justly observed that the talents, influence, or experience of men so hackneyed, make them very often useful in parties; but whatever wealth and dignities they may arrive at, they ought to consider that
every one stands as a blot in the annals of his country, who arrives at the Temple of Honour, by any other way than through that of Virtue,
The Squire's panders attempted to palliate his debaucheries by softening them down into youthful follies, very pardonable in a person of his rank and expectations in life. But what is this distinction of rank which, we are to be lieve, totally effaces vice ? Is it not imaginary? The Almighty punished Nebuchadnezzar, and he would never have done so, if he were incapable of committing vicious actions. When the Israelites were blinded by their folly, they made a molten calf, and worshipped the works of their own hands. Shall we be stupid idolaters at this day? If a young man, whose fortune has some limits, commit these youthful follies, and perseveres in them, he is abandoned by his friends as an incorrigible fool, and falls into the contempt of the world.
But then, perhaps, he has spent only his own; if so, he is less criminal than the man who expends the money belonging to others, for, as we have be fore observed, the man, who sports with bis
own property is a fool; but he, who risks that of others is a villain. Our Squire, however, made no distinction.
On his coming of age, Farmer Gildrig had allowed him out of his private purse, 50,000 livres a year. (The original manuscript mentions liores, whether it means the French coins so denominated, or English pounds, the reader must judge for himself.) He was, moreover, intitled, as heir-apparent, to an intailed estate in a distant part of the country, to the annual amount of 13,000 livres ; making together a yearly income of 63,000 livres, which would have maintained 126,000 genteel private families, allowing (what was, in those days, a sufficiency) 500 livres annually to each. The Lord soon after, by the advice of his Steward, applied to the tenantry to exonerate him from the 50,000 livres a year, and to take the payment on themselves, which was readily complied with. This income was fully sufficient to have enabled the Squire to have supported otiun cum dignitate ; but without any dignity at all, it fell very far short of paying for all his intrigues, losses at play, ridiculous and useless expences and debau
cheries. It was reported that he was deeply in debt, and he now gave the tenantry room to hope that he had sown all his wild oats, and had reaped a plentiful crop of wholesome experience. They expected that he was going to realize Shakespeare's memorable speech of England's Fifth Harry, wherein he apostrophizes his former lewd. companions :
" I know you all, and will awhile uphold
the debt I never promis'd ;