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"You talk of the world, Sir; the world is in its dotage; and yet the cosmogony- "We know what you were about to observe, Mr. Jenkinson; we do talk of the world, and however much it may have puzzled the philosophers of all ages, the said philosophers have puzzled it still more. Our greatest moralists have indited the greatest libels upon its character. Commentators upon mundane matters have ever been ready enough to tell us, and we have been as apt to believe, that if a man makes but one false step-errs egregiously only once-discovers ignorance or infirmity upon a single point-the world never fails to cry out, "Just like him; we always said so; we told him how it would be!" If this were the cry our fathers heard, it has changed. It is manifest that a more generous system of injustice has come into fashion, for the good-natured world appears now to see in its votary's grandest blunder only the signal for recognising his consummate capacity; and in his most palpable failing, the cue for acknowledging his exemplary cha


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We have just said-our self-complacency must be pardoned—we have just said something that smacks of originality. We have applied an epithet where it never was applied before, by writer in verse, or writer in prose, or writers who write in neither. The term good-natured" was never before connected with the "world," save in the sense intended by Sir Fretful in his association of the phrase with friendship. Yet have we, as we hope we have partly shown, applied it justly; and we once more appeal, for the rest of our proofs, to the press. It is thought by some that there is a disposition in high quarters to take the duty off newspapers; let us hope that the duty will never be taken off editors, for it is to them and theirs that we must attribute much of the influence which has already worked this improvement in the character of the world. Yes, even with the fear-and deep and most reverential it is—of the Member for Bath before our eyes, we scruple not to attribute the more charitable and generous feeling which has already diffused itself over society, to the working of that engine of corruption-that instrument of atrocity that weapon of the most cowardly wickedness-that dagger in the dark-that black thing without a white spot upon it, the press. Yes, though it hurl stones at us, still there are sermons in them. Let us own the truth. It is in the newspaper that we find the most kindly and beneficent views of the daily calamities it records; it is the newspaper that applies itself to bind up the wounds of society with the smallest amount of suffering and the largest degree of sympathy; it is the newspaper that, after relating a melancholy occurrence in terms more expressive of the harrowed feelings of a friend than of a mere looker-on and chronicler, takes the wider view of justice, and vindicates humanity, by intimating that "no blame is attributable to the coachman," and that "the conductor of the steam-carriage did all he could to prevent the mischief." According to the virtuous deplorers of the iniquity of the press, the newspaper should, in these cases, gratify its insatiable malice by imputing the utmost possible blame to all parties implicated, and by holding up each separate criminal to public reproba66 a monster in the human form."

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The newspaper is more generous than its assailants. If we admit the bitterness of its censure, we must also own the sweetness of its praise; for one drop of gall, it gives us fifty of honey. It is easy to say

that it traduces public men and stabs at private character; but you shall count up these its offences in an hour, and not find a year long enough to enumerate its voluntary laudations and spontaneous defences of mankind. Say what we will, it is in the main a peace-maker; it is the best adjudicator we can have, for rather than condemn rashly, it acquits both parties. Do we want evidence of the fact? every day furnishes it. We have a paragraph or two before us which we shall put into the witness-box. The other day, a steam-packet, while chasing another, was met by a third of larger size. They struck-the concussion was tremendous-the smaller vessel was partly destroyed, and a hundred persons, thankful for the preservation of their lives, were put on shore. Here there seemed to be something really wrong; no. "It is but right," says the account, "to state that both captains are very old conductors of steam-vessels, and are considered to be two of the most skilful men in the trade." Does not this help our argument? Had these captains never come into disastrous collision, should we have ever heard of their skill? What appeared to be their misconduct has procured them a character for ability. Two or three days after this, a similarly creditable freak occurred; a schooner coming in contact with a steamer, and certain shoulders were dislocated. What says the narrative? "No blame is attached to the captain of the schooner." Is any imputable to the other party? no; "The captain of the steamer is a very persevering and steady man.' We quote the very words of the account; and ask, would our captain ever have been, as he now is, celebrated for steadiness, had he not played off a prank that rendered his possession of that respectable quality particularly problematical ?

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It would be a little curious, under these circumstances, if the world were to fail of growing considerate and merciful—even overmuch, if that be possible. At any rate, let us leave off the old-fashioned habit of assertion, that society, receiving these impressions, is unindulgent and uncharitable, and that the papers it patronises are fond of construing harshly and dealing in libel. All that is to be feared is, that, as this good-nature is the product of the small tree of knowledge which is already planted among us, the considerateness for human error may byand-by reach to an inconvenient pitch; as a man may be tempted to transgress for the sake of acquiring a certificate of innocence blunder outrageously, by way of distinguishing himself for his infallibility. We are yet in our infancy of intelligence, and, like infants, must be fed through the medium of a quill for some time longer. But the day is fast approaching when we shall no longer buy other people's papers, but write them ourselves—when every family will produce its own journal, and every man will be his own editor. Then what a rivalry will there be in the race of generosity! Society will be one virtue, and the world will be an "entire and perfect chrysolite." So may we prophesy from the fact, that every one of us can already reckon up a dozen acquaintances whom we might suppose to be really vulgar people, if the world had not decreed them to be persons of high breeding; and as many more whom we should be apt enough to mistake for dull dogs, if the world were not in raptures with their brilliant gifts and incredible accomplishments.





My married daughter could you see,
I'm sure you would be struck ;-
My daughters all are charming girls,
Few mothers have such luck.
My married one-my eldest child—
All hearts by magic wins;

And my second so resembles her,
Most people think them twins!


My married daughter spoils her spouse,―
She's quite a pattern-wife;
And he adores her-well he may-
Few men lead such a life!

She ne'er had married mortal man

Till he had won her heart;

And my second darling's just the same,-
They're seldom known apart.


Her husband oft has press'd my hand,
While tears were in his eyes,

And said, "You brought my Susan up-
With you the credit lies."

To make her a domestic wife,

I own was all my aim;

And my second is domestic too,

My system was the same.


Now, do you know, I've often thought

The eldest of the two

(She's married, so I may speak out)

Would just have suited you!
You never saw her?-how shall I
My eldest girl portray?

Oh! my second is her counterpart,
And her you'll meet to-day.

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I HAD always a passion for the survey of external and universal nature. I have been a far traveller; my shadow has deepened among the gloomier shades of the forests of the New World, and I have seen it play at evening, lengthened by the moon, over the snows of an Apennine or an Alp; fire-flies have lighted me along my tropic path, and the mute stars have shone listening on the oars that rowed my gondola over Venetian waters; the sunny vineyards of Italy-the fair fields of France-the bright radiance of the sparkling sands in the Arabian desert-the brighter pomp of the Indian city-the faded glories of the Alhambra—and the embrowned richness of the Spanish grove-on all these have I feasted my sight and soul, gathering up the living beauties of one landscape and the everlasting wonders of another, as food and manna for the worship and adoration of the God who made them all! In the pursuit of nature in other lands, and in the fond contemplation of "wonders that lead to piety," I fancied, as a young man, that I was laying in a store of proper knowledge for the heart, losing myself rashly, but perhaps pardonably, in the loveliness of the natural world, and forgetting that from my very calling-MAN, in the image of his Maker, should have been my study-not as he is studied by the physician, for his bodily advantage-but in the pulses of his heart-in the promptings of his spirit-in the fiery impetus of his passions-the milder suggestions of his reason-and the busy workings of his brain! that I should watch all in short-not severely, but in all benevolence-for the sake of the salvation of a few!

It is a confession that may not perhaps tell much to my advantage, that this truth first flashed upon me within the walls of a prison-that it was when I had been merged as it were into the pressing difficulties of poverty, and learned how hard a thing it is to want'—when I had seen man fallen more in credit than humanity-a father wondering how his children should live-a mother dreading lest they should die :-yes, it was when I had seen different ages-different grades-different degrees of poverty, of sorrow, and of shame-that I began for the first time to feel that I should centre and concentrate all my energies in the study of the human mind

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In a prison! Yes, reader, in a dangerous and detestable prison, I, as a young man, fond of truth-fond of philosophy-fond of religiongained an insight into the human heart-saw it in its various shades and phases like a many-coloured glass, that being broken in a thousand pieces, was shaping forth its hues and fashions in the great kaleidoscope of the world!

All prisons are dreadful, but a debtor's prison is the most dreadful of all. There men who have committed no crime are criminals-for their

punishment is the punishment of the dishonest. The poor man sits down by the side of the swindler, and yet both pay to justice the same retribution. Oh, Goldsmith! you who first sent your pious vicar into the heart of a prison where the debtor and the thief mixed in the same circle-where the horse-stealer, prating of the "Cosmognomy of the World," spouted his spurious learning to the parson, who was rich in the revelation of the Gospel; you, Johnson, who proposed to hunt from society the harsh despoiler of a peaceful home, and to cover with obloquy the man who prevented another from earning the bread with which his children should be fed; why were not your humane doctrines as extensively practised as they were universally read, and your wisdom followed as much as it was loved?

Well-a-day! but it was in a gaol that my poor experience of what man is capable of enduring, both bodily and mentally, has been gained and garnered.



Towards the end of summer, or rather the beginning of autumn, in the last year, I was a prisoner in the King's Bench. My incarceration took its rise out of a bill which I had signed for a friend; the amount was considerable-he had not paid it-I could not-he gained time-I a prison! Upon me imprisonment would have pressed sadly and severely, but for my occupation; in the field before me the duties of the clergyman overcame the selfishness of the man. Labor omnia vincit-and what I had to perform conquered what I had to bear! Sometimes I had to cheer the honest-sometimes to endeavour to reform the unworthy-often to administer consolation to affliction-oftener to reprove the levity of youth-more than once too I waited and watched by the bed of sickness, and registered in my own heart the last prayer of men whose spirits, as I hoped, were fleeing above sorrow and

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This, reader, is the worst of all; and this was what I saw, and sorrowed over, in a debtors' gaol.

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I have said that I had a passion for the study of external nature. It. was a bright night, and towards the end of August, that I left my dreary and desolate chamber to imbibe the air of Heaven upon the racquetground within the walls of the King's Bench. I knew that the leaves had fallen from the trees, although I could not roam upon the paths where they were scattered. Neither woods nor waters, cities nor fields, were before me or around me, or on either side, but above-yes, above

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