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that you will profit by it reconciles me to the separation; and you may be assured I am much more happy with such prospects in view, than I should be if you were with me, and without them.
But, my dear John, mental advantages are not all that are to be considered; you should also have regard to your health, for without health there can be no enjoyment. Do not neglect to pay proper attention to that, and spare nothing that will contribute to preserve it; and if any thing should at any time ail you, do not neglect to attend to it in time. It certainly would be my wish to have you with me, if your improvement would be promoted by it; but when that cannot be, I must and do endeavour to reconcile myself to the separation with cheerfulness, and I am the better enabled to do this, when I remember that you have, in addition to the other advantages of your situation, the (I may say) maternal care and kindness of the worthy Mrs Knox: indeed I feel great regard for her on account of her attention to you, and wish with you that her situation was more suited to her merits.
[King's College, 1843.]
132. In every nation indeed which is conscious of its strength, the minister who takes the highest tone, will invariably be the most popular; let him uphold, even haughtily, the character of his country, and the heart and voice of the people will be with him. But haughtiness implies always something that is hollow: the tone of a wise minister will be firm, but calm. He will neither truckle to his enemies in the vain hope of conciliating them by a specious candour, which they at the same time flatter and despise; nor will he stand aloof from his friends, lest he should be accused of regarding them with partiality; and thus while he secures the attachment of the one he will command the respect of the other. He will not, like the Lacedemonians, think any measures honourable which accord with his inclinations, and just if they promote his views; but in all cases he will do that which is lawful and right, holding this for a certain truth, that in politics the straight path is the sure one! Such a minister will hope for the best, and expect the best; by acting openly, steadily and bravely, he will act always for the best : and so acting, be the issue what it may, he will never dishonour himself or his country, nor fall under the sharp judgment, of which they that are in high places are in danger. [Trinity College Scholarships, 1843.]
133. The culprit was indeed not unworthy of that great presence. He had ruled an extensive and populous country, had made laws and treaties, had sent forth armies, had set up and pulled down princes. And in his high place he had so borne himself, that all had feared him, that most had loved him, and that hatred itself could deny him no title to glory, except virtue. He looked like a great man, and not like a bad man. A person small and emaciated, yet deriving dignity from a carriage which, while it indicated deference to the court, indicated also habitual self-possession and self-respect, a high and intellectual forehead, a brow pensive but not gloomy, a mouth of inflexible decision, a face pale and worn, but serene, on which was written, as legibly as under the picture in the council-chamber at Calcutta, Mens
æqua in arduis ; such was the aspect with which the great proconsul presented himself to his judges.
[Trinity College, 1843.]
134, RESENTMENT is, for obvious and wise reasons, one of the strongest passions in the human mind. The natural demand of this passion is, that the person who feels the injury should himself inflict the vengeance due on that account. The permitting this, however, would have been destructive to society; and punishment would have known no bounds, either in severity or in duration. For this reason, in the very infancy of the social state, the sword was taken out of private hands, and committed to the magistrate. But at first, while laws aimed at restraining, they really strengthened the principle of revenge. The earliest and most simple punishment for crimes was retaliation; the offender forfeited limb for limb, and life for life. The payment of a compensation to the person injured, succeeded to the rigour of the former institution. In both these, the gratification of private revenge was the object of law; and he who suffered the wrong was the only person who had a right to pursue, to exact, or to remit the punishment. While laws allowed such full scope to the revenge of one party, the interests of the other were not neglected. If the evidence of his guilt did not amount to a full proof, or if he reckoned himself to be unjustly accused, the person to whom a crime was imputed had a right to challenge his adversary to single combat, and, on obtaining the victory, vindicated his own honour. considerable cause, whether civil or criminal, arms were appealed to, in defence, either of the innocence, or the property, of the parties. Justice had seldom occasion to use her balance; the sword alone decided every contest.
[Trinity College Fellowships, 1843.]
In almost every
Which of us creatures, by all our thought and industry, can add one specific power to our beings, more than God has bestowed upon them? 'Tis true, indeed, we may either exert or clog our native faculties in different degrees; we may either invigorate them by exercise and habit, or damp and stifle them by sloth and neglect; so that the same person under one education and tour of life would extremely differ from himself had he fallen under another. But with all our endeavours we can exalt none of our faculties above their original pitch: we can never raise the aqueduct above the level of the fountain-head; we cannot advance our species, or change our human nature to a superior class of being ; we must all continue in our settled rank and degree, as God was pleased to place mankind in the great scale of creation : 'tis the will and decree of God that we are what we are; and as we are all his creatures, the work of his hands, his servants of such particular station, we do all live to him, and not to ourselves.
[St John's College Scholarships, 1843.]
136. WHOEVER borrows money is bound in conscience to repay it. This every man can see; but every man cannot see, or does not however reflect, that he is, in consequence, also bound to use the means necessary to enable himself to repay it. If he pay the money when he has it, or has it to spare, he does all that an honest man can do, and all, he imagines, that is required of him ; whilst the previous measures, which are necessary to furnish him with that money, he makes no part of his care, nor observes to be as much his duty as the other; such as selling a family-seat or a family estate, contracting his plan of expense, laying down his equipage, reducing the number of his servants, or any of those humiliating sacrifices, which justice requires of a man in debt, the moment he perceives that he has no reasonable prospect of paying his debts without them. An expectation which depends upon the continuance of his own life, will not satisfy an honest man, if a better provision be in his power; for it is a breach of faith to subject a creditor, when we can help it, to the risk of our life, be the event what it will; that not being the security to which credit was given. I know few subjects which have been more misunderstood, than the law which authorizes the imprisonment of insolvent debtors. It has been represented as a gratuitous cruelty, which contributed nothing to the reparation of the creditor's loss, or to the advantage of the community. This prejudice arises principally from considering the sending of a debtor to gaol, as an act of private satisfaction to the creditor, instead of a public punishment. As an act of satisfaction or revenge, it is always wrong in the motive, and often intemperate and undistinguishing in the exercise. Consider it is a public punishment; founded upon
. the same reason, and subject to the same rules, as other punishments; and the justice of it, together with the degree to which it should be extended, and the objects upon whom it may be inflicted, will be apparent.
[St John's College, 1843.]
137. Men of elegant and noble minds are shocked at seeing the characters of persons who deserve esteem for their virtue, knowledge, or services to their country, placed in wrong lights, and by misrepresentation made the subject of buffoonery. Such a nice abhorrence is not indeed to be found among the vulgar, but, methinks, it is wonderful that these who have nothing but the out