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these murmurings he never suffered to be heard; and that he might not offend'the prudence of those who had been concerned in the choice of his profession, he continued to labour in it several years till by the death of a relation, he succeded to an estate of a little better than 100 l. a year, with which , and the small patrimony lest him, he retired into the country, and made a love-match with a young lady of a temper similar to his own,
with whom the sagacious world pitied him for finding happiness. » But his elder brother, whom
you, to see at supper , if you will do us the favour of your company, was naturally impetuous, decisive, and overbearing. He entered into life with those ardent expectations by which young men are commonly deluded : in his friendships, warm to excess : and equally violent in his dislikes. He was on the brink of marriage with a young lady, when one of those friends, for whose honour he would have pawned his life, inade an elopement with that very goddess, and left him besides deeply engaged for sums which that good friend's extravagance had squandered.
» The dreams he had formerly enjoyed
were now changed for ideas of a very different nature. He abjured all confidence in any thing of human form; sold his lands, which still produced him a very large reversion , came to town, and immured himself with a
who had been his nurse, in little better than a garret, and has ever since applied his talents to the vilifying of his species. In one thing I must take the liberty to instruct you; however different your sentiments may be (and different they must be ) you will suffer him to go on without contradiction; otherwise he will be silent immediately, and we shall not get a word from him all the night after ». Harley promised to remember this injunction, and accepted the invitation of his friend.
When they arrived at the house, they were informed that the gentleman was come , and had been shown into the parlour. They found him sitting with a daughter of his friend's about three years old, on his knee, whom he was teaching the alphabet from a horn-book : at a little distance stood a sister of hers
older. « Get you away, Miss , said he to this last, you are a pert gossip, and I will have nothing
to do with you. Nay, answered she , Nancy is your favourile, you are quite in love with Nancy. Take away that girl, said he to her father, whom he now observed to have entered the
she has woman about her already. The cliildren wereaccordingly, dismissed.
Betwixt that and supper-time he did not ulter a syllable. When supper came, quarrelled with every dish at table , but eat of them all; only exempting from his censures a sallad, which you have not spoiled, said he , because you have not attempted to cook it.
When the wine was set upon the table ; he took from his pocket a particular smoking apparatus , and filled his pipe, without taking any more notice of Harley, or his friend , than if no such persons had been in the room.
Harley could not help stealing a look of surprise at him ; but his friend, who knew his humour, returned it, by annihilating his presence in the like manner; and, leaving him to his own meditations, addressed himself entirely to Harley.
In their discourse some mention happened to be made of an amiable character,
and the words honour and politeness were applied to it. Upon this the gentleman, laying down bis pipe, and changing the tone of his countenance,
from an ironical grin to something more intensively contemptuous : » Honour, said he , Honour and Politeness ! this is the coin of the world, and passes current with the fools of it. You have substituted the shadow Honour , instead of the substance Virtue, and have banished the reality of Friendship for the fictitious semblance, which you have termed Politeness : Politeness, which consists in a certain ceremonious jargon, more ridiculous to the ear of reason than the voice of a puppet. You have invented sounds worship, though they tyrannize over your peace ; and are surrounded with empty forms, which take from the honest emotions of joy, and add to the poignancy of misfortune.
« Truth, the most amiable, as well as the most natural of virtues , you are at pains to eradicate. Your very nurseries are seminaries of falsehood; and what is called Fashion in manhood, completes the system of avowed insincerity. Mankind, in the gross, is a gaping monster , that loves to be deceiv
ed , and has seldom been disappointed : nor is their vanity less fallacious to your philosophers , who adopt modes of truth to follow them through the paths of error, and defend paradoxes merely to be singular in defending them. These are they whom ye term Ingenious; 'tis a phrase of commendation I detest ; it implies an altempt to impose on my judgment, by flattering my imagination : yet these are they whose works are read by the old with delight, which the young are taught to look upon as the codes of knowledge and philosophy.
« Indeed, the education of your youth is every way preposterous : you waste at school years in improving talents, without having ever spent an hour in discovering them; one promiscuous line of instruction is followed , without regard to genius, capacity, or probable situation in the commonwealth. From this bear-garden of the pedagogue, a raw unprincipled boy is turned loose upon the world to travel ; without any ideas but those of improving his dress at Paris , or starting into taste by gazing on some paintings at Rome. Ask him of the manners of the people , and he will tell you, That the skirt is worn much shorter