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he belonged. So fares it always with avarice, whose machinations are odious, whose acquisitions are base, and whose triumphs are contemptible
Intellect and innocence are the wings of life; love is the breeze which impels them; joy is the atmosphere through which they pass, and happiness is the haven to which they fly. The quenchless happiness of the soul is the sweet society of perfect and beautiful forms in the radiant realms of light, on the crystal floors of Heaven.
Birds are the choristers of the skies, and are allowed to approach them to make music for the angels-for birds are innocent. But man, whose privilege it is to look above, must remain below, and aspire not beyond it. You may attribute to physical causes, if you please, the inability of man to fly; but much of it may be inferred from debasement and servility of soul and of spirit, They would not fly if they could.
To stand on the invisible air, is to have a light heart, and a buoyant spirit, and elastic feet. The experiment to fly, could not, perhaps, be made with fairer chances of success, than by a young, pure maid, with the plumes of innocence, on the unruffled pinions of hope and of joy, in the balmy morning of life--the zephyrs flowing through her ringlets, and sweetly kissing her cheeks; her glowing heart exulting in the sunbeams, and her sorrowless eye fixed on heaven,-warbling the notes of gladness, angels would gather her to the society of the blessed, but she would not return any more upon the earth,
VIII. LAWYERS AND MINISTERS.
CARE is very unequally distributed in this world. Some people skate over life with beautiful rapidity, and find no pause in pleasure. The path of others is irksome, rough, rugged, and precipitous. Now, although it is a part of our creed, that every man may be happy who chooses to be so, yet are there certainly greater facilities of happiness in some tracks, than in others—something more genial in the moral climate, to the growth of joy.
It is well, however, that this is not generally understood; otherwise we should behold a monopoly of pursuit, and all mankind, instead of being physicians, lawyers, &c. would inevitably be-clergymen.
The clergy have the easiest time of any people on this earth-perhaps it is because they deserve it. A clergyman enjoys a prescriptive respect and esteem, being ranked, by common consent, as high as a lady, and above a man. He has the charge of souls, which are not tangible, and have no rough edges, nor corners, nor acute angles, to annoy and afflict sensibility. The comforts of this world are accorded to him with cheerfulness. The merchant presents him a quarter-cask of Madeira-the planter a barrel of rice-the ladies send him sweetmeats, and all the baby-clothes of his children are made in advance, by the courteous labour of his youthful parishoners. A few hours toil produces his weekly discourse, which he delivers to hearers who believe all that he says, and never think of denying it if they do not. He is associated with happiness by those whom he marries, with wisdom by those whom he instructs, with hope by those whom he consoles, and with blessings by them all. Now can there be a more envied situation, a more smooth and unembarrassed journey, than this? Compared with the poor unfortunate lawyer, the clergyman travels on a railway, and the lawyer in a crazy waggon, struggling through mud and water, over a road abounding with ditches.
The lawyer incurs a prescriptive distrust. His gown is associated in the mind, not with the idea of purity and innocence, but of cunning and concealment. His client regrets that he has occasion to employ him, and struggles to get rid of him as early as possible. He is not like a clergyman, who, acting by himself, cannot well differ from himself--nor like physicians, who meet only to consult and to agree, but like a gladiator, or, rather, like a game-cock, trained for perpetual war, and brought out of obscurity, only for a public contest. Much as he may love music, he must be always in discord; much as he may covet peace, he must never cease disputing. It there be only one side, he must make two out of it;
and whether it be the right or the wrong, he must contend it is the right. He may be perfectly conscious of the superiority of another, but that won't do. He must oppose him in open court, and if he lose the victory, stands an excellent chance of losing his livelihood; People will take a clergyman, or a physician, on trust; but with regard to a lawyer, they are as fastidious as Othello, in requiring evidence.
So much for the general and pervading embarrassments of a lawyer's professional life. But if, unfortunately, he has a great deal of business, and several courts will sit at the same time, requiring him in all, then is there an additional distress, arising from the impossibility of being in more than one place at any one time. Then it is harrassing indeed, to hear him called in the city court, and in the admiralty, and in the equity, and in the common law, and peradventure at chambers. “Mungo here, Mungo there, and Mungo everywhere.”
There is another additional misery, which is too true to make a joke of. If, by any misfortune, people come to think that you are disinterested and humane, they imagine themselves entitled, on all occasions, to your gratuitous labour, and to the wear and tear of your mind and affections. Thus comfortable is the profession of the law.
IX. THE DEAF AND dumb.
[From the same.]
To enter this world without a welcome-to leave it without an adieu-to suffer and to be unable to communicate your suffering-to stand a sad and silent monument amid the joys of others, which you cannot understand nor conceive of-to be shut out of life--to carry within your bosom the buried seeds of happiness which is never to grow, of intellect which is never to burst forth, of usefulness which is never to germinate-to find even your presence afflictive, and not to know whether you excite compassion or horror-a whole existence without one cheering sound-without one welcome accent-without one exhilirating thought--without one
idea of the present-without one recollection of the past-without one hope of the future. Oh! what a cloud of wretchedness covers, surrounds, and overwhelms such a deplorable victim of sorrow!
Now to throw over such a benighted being the sweet rays of intelligence-to open the intellect, and let it gush forth in streams of light and joy-to rouse the affections that they may know and love God, the giver of all things, merciful in his chastisements--to enlighten the soul, that it may see its origin and its destiny--to cause the lips to smile, although they cannot speakthe eye to glisten with other emotions than those of sorrow--and the mind to understand, although it cannot hear,-Oh! what a beautiful supplement to the benevolence of Heaven!
CREDULITY is an affliction. It is the sign of ignorance; the source of alarm-the prelude of danger. Such is the contagion of speech; so easy of coin and of utterance are words; that the air is always full of counterfeit rumours, poisoning the wholesome condition of society. If men would tell only what they know; if women would not listen except to the truth; if bridles were put on the tongues of triflers, and seals on the ears of the easily alarmed, much more of happiness and tranquillity would prevail in populous cities.
As it is, however, the tongue, the sign of perspicuity, which elevates man, as he thinks, and will tell you boastingly, above the brute creation, is as often the source of mischief as it is of good. There is in human nature, a melancholy but an unreflecting propensity to communicate marvellous stories; to excite surprise, and wonder, and alarm. There is, also, in human nature, a melancholy but an unreflecting propensity to believe in what is strange, and sorrowful, and ominous, and destructive. So do we play upon each other-and so do we make ourselves unhappy. Let the rule be to listen to nothing but what is true, and to mention nothing but
what is known, and truth and knowledge will circulate instead of error.
What a pity that there is not a peculiar rule of moral gravitation, which would cause a lie to drop dead from the speaker, while the fleetness of the wind should be enjoyed in the dissemination of truth.
XI. LEARNING. [From the same.]
LEARNING bears the same relation to talents that charcoal does to fire. It is the elaborated product of mind, but without mind it is useless. You must warm it to make it sparkle, and dissolve it to feel its benefit.
Learning, is, therefore, separate from, and can no more be identified with, genius, than a basket of coal on the shoulders of a coal-heaver can be identified with or assimilated to the electric fires of heaven.
Thus, it is obvious, that learning may oppress. The mind has its apartments as well as the body, and both may be over-crowded. If the muscles are relaxed by pressure, and the erect form of man stoops when it is imposed upon, what is there to preserve the elasticity of an over-loaded intellect--what to preserve the regularity of a mind in confusion?
An auction store on the vendue range, with its universal medley of matter and things, is not an inapt emblem of a mind crowded to satiety with the ideas of others, without one original idea of its own. And as the most sagacious auctioneer must frequently be puzzled to find in such a promiscuous society, the article which he seeks, and places his hand on Canton crape when he is in quest of Brussels lace--so the most laborious reader finds that he has filled his mind, it is true, but he has forgotten on what shelf of his intellect he has placed a particuiar idea.
And as the auctioneer puzzled, must take down and expose many articles before he discovers the right one, which, peradventure, he shall not discover at all,-so with the learned man; he being at a loss for that learning which applies, shall make an useless and gaudy dis