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a summary conclusion, by pronouncing what he calls the “ upshot of the business,” or, in other words, “the long and the short of the matter."
Jack once made a journey to London, a great many years since, which has furnished him with topics of conversation ever since. He saw, the old king on the Terrace at Windsor, who stopped and pointed him out to one of the princesses, being probably struck with Jack's truly yeomanlike appearance. This is a favourite anecdote with him, and has, no doubt, had a great effect in making him a most loyal subject ever since, in spite of taxes and poor's-rates. He was also at Bartholomew fair, where he had half the buttons cut off his coat, and a gang of pickpockets, attracted by his external show of gold and silver, made a regular attempt to hustle him as he was gazing at a show, but for once they found that they had caught a tartar; for Jack enacted as great wonders among the gang as Samson did among the Philistines. One of his neighbours, who had accompanied him to town, and was with him at the fair, brought back an account of his exploits, which raised the pride of the whole village, who considered their companion as having subdued all London, and eclipsed the achievements of Friar Tuck, or even the renowned Robin Hood himself.
Of late years the old fellow has begun to take the world easily: he works less, and indulges in greater leisure; his son having grown up and succeeded to him both in the labours of the farm, and the exploits of the green. Like all sons of distinguished men, however, his father's renown is a disadvantage to him, for he can never come up to public expectation, though
a fine active fellow of three and twenty, and quite the “ cock of the walk ;" yet the old people declare he is nothing like what Ready-Money Jack was at his time of life. The youngster himself acknowledges his inferiority, and has a wonderful opinion of the old man, who indeed taught him all his athletic accomplishments, and holds such a sway over him, that I am told, even to this day, he would have no hesitation to take him in his hands, if he rebelled against paternal government.
The squire holds Jack in very high esteem, and shows him to all his visitors as a specimen of old English “ heart of oak.” He frequently calls at his house, and tastes some of his home-brewed, wbich is excellent. He made Jack a present of old Tusser's “ Hundred points of good Husbandrie," which has furnished him with reading ever since, and is his text book and manual in all agricultural and domestic concerns. He has made dog's ears at the most favourite passages, and knows many of the poetical maxims by heart. : Tibbets, though not a man to be daunted or fluttered by high acquaintances, and though he cherishes a sturdy independence of mind and manner, yet is evidently gratified by the attentions of the squire, whom he has known from boyhood, and pronounces “ a true gentleman every inch of him.” He is also on excellent terms with Master Simon, who is a kind of privy counsellor to the family, but his great favourite is the Oxonian, whom he taught to wrestle and play at quarter-staff when a boy, and considers the most promising young gentleman in the whole county.
Indefinite Progress of Human Happiness and Perfec
tibility of the Understanding.
• It is the opinion of many that not only art and science will indefinitely advance and improve, but also that human happiness will indefinitely increase, —that though mankind cannot attain perfection, they will ever continue to approach it. But as happiness consists in agreeable thoughts and sensations, on thought and sensation it must still depend. Can they become more swift, more numerous, or more vivid ? The rapidity of thought is as great as its nature will admit. Ideas may become more accurate in propor= tion as science advances; but though the judgment may be improved by a nicer analysis and a closer comparison of its mental stores, the imagination will, in consequence, lose much of its illusion and its charms. An equilibrium will thus be preserved what is gained in one respect is lost in another. The influence on the sensations is the same; if they become more susceptible to pleasure they will also be more subject to pain.
Even should the happiness of the majority of mankind increase-should the means and circumstances on which it depends, become more favourable to its progress, and many of its obstructions removed, the happiness of the gifted few does not in its nature admit of any material increase. Much of that happiness depends on the superiority they possess over others. The riches, han it has b
less, and thos
struggles for this distinction, the means of exciting high admiration, the lofty sympathies which are aroused, can never be attended with greater distinction or advantage than has already prevailed. The contrast between misery and happiness, between poverty and riches, between genius and stupidity, will never be greater than it has been. The probability is, that the distinction will be far less, and that “the peasant's toe will come still nearer the courtier's heel.”-All, therefore, that was calculated to heighten happiness by its rarity, and to impart a dazzling value to acquisitions from the difficulty of their attainment, and the novelty of their possession, will undergo rather a diminution than an increase.
Though it be difficult to describe the precise limits of the capacities of human enjoyment, scarcely any one who does not mistake an idle for a solid judgment, can really come to the conclusion that those capacities are unlimited in their power of cultivation, and indefinite in their susceptibility of improvement, These notions have, evidently, arisen from a spirit of enthusiasm, and they possess no facts or experience to support them. It may be that those who entertain more moderate opinions are considered by the enthusiastic as deficient in force of intellect—that the highest order of the faculties is indicated by creating or espousing new systems and doubtful theories. It happens, however, that all theories cannot be true ; the majority of them are false. They generally consist in selecting a few plausible circumstancesin shutting the understanding against those which are unfavour, able, and, out of a few slender materials, construct.
ing a specious fabric, which is blown to its original nothingness by the first rough breeze that visits it. Some, indeed, are of a hardier growth; and, if they chance to survive the blast, the accidental escape is adduced as an argument to support their eternal immutability. It is certainly an evidence of great mind to form a system of order and regularity out of disjointed and scattered principles ; but the probability is, that such systems will be fallacious, unless constructed by judgment, instead of fancy. There are, in truth, no facts to support, and no experience to justify, the belief in the doctrine of perfectibility.
Outlines of Character.
English Poets. CLASSICAL literature was, for some years after he quitted Douay college, the delight of the Reminiscent (Mr. Butler); such it had been even before that time. He distinctly recollects his almost infant admiration of Tasso in Fairfax's translation, and of Homer in Pope's, and that, even then, he felt the splendid invocation with which Homer introduces his catalogue of the ships, and the noble speech of Sarpedon to Glaucus. At Douay he read, in the original, the two great epic poems of antiquity, and then preferred the Roman to the Grecian