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quently repeated; the most lofty fabricks of fcience are formed by the continued accumulation of fingle propofitions.

It often happens, whatever be the caufe, that impatience of labour, or dread of miscarriage, feizes those who are moft diftinguished for quickness of apprehenfion; and that they who might with greateft reason promise themfelves victory, are leaft willing to hazard the encounter. This diffidence, where the attention is not laid afleep by laziness, or diffipated by pleasures, can arife only from confused and general views, fuch as negligence fnatches in hafte, or from the disappointment of the first hopes formed by arrogance without reflection. To expect that the intricacies of fcience will be pierced by a careless glance, or the eminences of fame afcended without labour, is to expect a particular privilege, a power denied to the rest of mankind; but to fuppofe that the maze is infcrutable to diligence, or the heights inacceffible to perfeverance, is to fubmit tamely to the tyranny of fancy, and enchain the mind in voluntary fhackles.

It is the proper ambition of the heroes in literature to enlarge the boundaries of knowledge by discovering and conquering new regions of the intellectual world. To the fuccefs of fuch undertakings, perhaps, fome degree of fortuitous happiness is neceffary, which no man can promise or procure to himself; and therefore doubt and irrefolution may be forgiven in him that ventures into the unexplored abyffes of truth, and attempts to find his way through the fluctuations of uncertainty, and the conflicts of contradiction. But when nothing

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more is required, than to pursue a path already beaten, and to trample obftacles which others have demolished, why fhould any man fo much distrust his own intellect as to imagine himself unequal to the attempt ?

It were to be wifhed that they who devote their lives to ftudy would at once believe nothing too great for their attainment, and confider nothing as too little for their regard; that they would extend their notice alike to fcience and to life, and unite fome knowledge of the prefent world to their acquaintance with paft ages and remote events.

Nothing has fo much expofed men of learning to contempt and ridicule, as their ignorance of things which are known to all but themselves. Those who have been taught to confider the inftitutions of the schools, as giving the last perfection to human abilities, are surprised to see men wrinkled with study, yet wanting to be inftructed in the minute circumstances of propriety, or the neceffary forms of daily transaction; and quickly fhake off their reverence for modes of education, which they find to produce no ability above the reft of mankind.

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Books, fays Bacon, can never teach the use of books. The ftudent muft learn by commerce with mankind to reduce his fpeculations to practice, and accommodate his knowledge to the purpofes of life.

It is too common for thofe who have been bred to fcholaftick profeffions, and paffed much of their time in academies where nothing but learning confers honours, to difregard every other qualification,


and to imagine that they fhall find mankind ready to pay homage to their knowledge, and to crowd about them for inftruction. They therefore step out from their cells into the open world with all the confi, dence of authority and dignity of importance; they look round about them at once with ignorance and fcorn on a race of beings to whom they are equally unknown and equally contemptible, but whose man. ners they must imitate, and with whofe opinions they must comply, if they defire to pass their time happily among them.



To leffen that difdain with which scholars are inclined to look on the common business of the world, and the unwillingness with which they condefcend to learn what is not to be found in any fyftem of philofophy, it may be neceffary to con fider that, though admiration is excited by abftrusé researches and remote difcoveries, yet pleasure is not given, nor affection conciliated, but by fofter accomplishments, and qualities more eafily communicable to thofe about us. He that can only converse upon questions, about which only a fmall part of mankind has knowledge fufficient to make them curious, must lose his days in unfocial filence, and live in the crowd of life without a companion. He that can only be useful on great occafions, may die without exerting his abilities, and ftand a helpless spectator of a thousand vexations which fret away happiness, and which nothing is required to remove but a little dexterity of conduct and readiness of expedients.

No degree of knowledge attainable by man is able to fet him above the want of hourly affiftance, Ee 3


or to extinguish the defire of fond endearments, and tender officioufnefs; and therefore, no one fhould think it unneceffary to learn thofe arts by which friendship may be gained. Kindness is preserved by a conftant reciprocation of benefits or interchange of pleasures; but fuch benefits only can be bestowed, as others are capable to receive, and fuch pleasures only imparted, as others are qualified to enjoy.

By this descent from the pinnacles of art no honour will be loft; for the condefcenfions of learning are always overpaid by gratitude. An ele vated genius employed in little things, appears, ta use the fimile of Longinus, like the fun in his even ing declination, he remits his fplendour but retains his magnitude, and pleases more though he dazzles lefs.

NUMB. 138. SATURDAY, July 13, 1751.

O tantum libeat mecum tibi fordida rura
Atque humiles habitare cafas, et figere corvos.

With me retire, and leave the pomp of courts
For humble cottages and rural sports.




THOUGH the contempt with which you have treated the annual migrations of the gay and bufy part of mankind, is juftified by daily obfervation, fince most of those who leave the town, neither vary their entertainments nor enlarge their notions; yet I suppose you do not intend to represent the practice itself as ridiculous, or to declare that he whofe condition puts the diftribution of his time into his own power may not properly divide it between the town and country.

That the country, and only the country, dif plays the inexhaustible varieties of nature, and fupplies the philofophical mind with matter for admiration and enquiry, never was denied; but my curiosity is very little attracted by the colour of a flower, the anatomy of an infect, or the ftructure of a neft; I am generally employed upon human manners, and therefore fill up the months of rural leifure with remarks on thofe who live within the circle of my notice. If writers would more frequently vifit Ee 4 thofe

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