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racterized by a remarkable freedom from these licentious practices, and these inroads on domestic peace, and possessing a discrimination far better than the attainments of the most refined of modern libertines: " Nobody among them," he says, calls vice mirth, or the venial custom of the age." "Litterarum secreta viri pariter ac feminæ ignorant. Pau- . cissima tamen in tam numerosâ gente Adulteria. Nemo enim illic vitia ridet, nec corrumpere et corrumpi, sæculum vocatur." It seems as if the historian had brought these sentiments into contact to furnish a sarcasm on those, who, possessing advantages so far superior to their's, are yet distinguished by any thing but their purity, their self-government, and respect for the marriage bond.
One word, in allusion to the motto selected for the Essay, shall bring all to a conclusion. It was intended to convey, as a kind of summary of the treatise, these two particulars; an intimation of the deficiency of the laws of England, as they now stand, with respect to the visitation of this crime, and an observation of the peculiar power of the gospel, which effects that, in attempting which all other legislation fails. They strive against a current of corruption, which they may divert,
but cannot dry up: but the gospel, in enacting laws, supplies motives and strength equal to their observance.
The ode of the satirist, indeed, could only apply generally to the defectiveness of laws which left unvisited, or which visited only with partial rigour, obliquities such as these: but it describes with inimitable beauty the simplicity and happiness of a people to whom these crimes are strangers.
"Illic matre carentibus
Privignis mulier temperat innocens :
Conjux, nec nitido fidit adultero."
This, it declares, is the best safeguard of family peace, the true domestic wealth.
Dos est magna parentium
Virtus, et metuens alterius viri
Certo fœdere castitas:"
And then, the line which leads to the motto, points his strong invective against that lax legislation which treats with mildness so pestilent a crime:
"Et peccare nefas, aut pretium est mori.”
This is our remonstrance, then, against the
mitigated penalties of English law; and this our tribute to that better code, which gives the moral while it enjoins the obligation.
"Quid tristes querimoniæ,
Si non supplicio culpa reciditur?
The ancients had a fabulous account of a youth, who, having detected his mother in the act of Adultery, with his own hand slew her on the spot. This youth's name (Phasis) was afterwards transferred to the river of Colchis, on whose banks grew the plant λευκοφυλλος, stated to have been a remedy for adulterous propensities. But these were "old wives' fables." The real antidote to all crime, and all inclination for sinful pleasure, is only to be found in the word of God;that is the true Phasis. The river of Jordan and the brook Cedron are better than all the waters of Colchis: there, only, the leprous may wash and be clean;* there alone is nourished the tree of life,† whose leaves can heal the nations from the painful diseases and
2 Kings, v. 12.
+ Rev. xxii. 2.
wounds of sin; and among whatever people the influence of its motives is really felt, it may be said, in the language of the Roman historian; "Plusque ibi boni mores valent, quam alibi bonæ leges."
J. S. Hughes, Printer, 66, Paternoster-row, London.
The following Works have been lately published by F. C. and J. RIVINGTON, 62, St. Paul's Church Yard, and 3, Waterloo-Place, Pall Mall.
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