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lover's coat of armour, which the herself liad wrought, the could not contain lier grief.-She Med a flood of tears; flie tore her brair; and, in tlie transports of her forrow, uttered the most violent imprecations against her brother. Horatius, warm with his victory, and enraged at the grief which bis fifter expressed with such unSeasonable paffion in the midst of the public joy, in the heat of his anger drove a poniard to her lieart.* Begone to thy lover,' says he, and carry him that degenerate paffion, which makes thee prefer a dead e. nemy to the glory of thy country. Every body detested an action fo cruel and inhuman. The murderer was immediately seized, and dragged before the Duumviri, ihe proper judges of fuch crimes. Horatius was condemned to lose his life ; and the very day of his triumph had been that of his punisument, if he had not, by the advice of Tullus Hoftilius, appealed from that judgment to the assembly of the people. He appeared there with the same courage and resolution, that he had fhown in his coinbat with the Curiatii.--The people thought so great a service might justly excuse them, if for once they. moderated the rigour of the law; and, accordingly, he was acquitted, rather through admiration of his courage, than for the justice of his cause.
XIV. On the Power of Cuftom. THERE is not a common saying which has a better
turn of sense in it, than what we often hear in the mouths of the vulgar, that Custom is a second Nature. It is indeed able to form the man anew, and give him inclinations and capacities altogether different from those he was born with. A person who is addicted to play or gaming, 'though he took but little delight in it at firit, by degrees contracts so strong an inclination towards it, and gives himself up fo entirely to it, that it seems the only end of his being. The love of a retired or busy life will grow upon a man insensibly, as he is conversant in the one or the other, till he is utterly unqualified for relishing that to which he has been for some tiine difused. Nay, 4 man may smoke; or drink, or take fnuff, till be is unable to pass away his time without it; not to mention how our delight in any particular fındy, art, cr science, rises and improves in proportion to the application which we bestow upon it. Thus what was at first an exercise, becomes at length an entertainment. Our employments are changed into diversions. The mind grows fond of those actions it is accustomed to, and is drawn with reluctancy from those paths in which it has been used to walk.
If we consider attentively this property of human na. fure, it may instruct us in very five moralities. In the first place, I would have no man discouraged with that kind of life or series of action, in which the choice of others, or his own necessities may have engaged him. It may perhaps be very disagreeable to him at first, but ufe and application will certainly render it not only lets painful, but pleating and lati factory.
In the second place, I would recommend to every one the admirable preçept which Pythagoras is faid to have given to his disciples, and which that philofopher must have drawn from the observation I have enlarged upon: “ Pitch upon that course of life which is the moit excellent, and custom will render it the most delightful.” Men, whose circumstances will perinit them to choose their own way of life, are inexcusable if they do not pursue that wliich their judgment tells then is the moft Jaudable. The voice of reason is more to be regarded than the bent of any prefent inclination, fince, by the Iule above mentioned, inclination will at lengili come over to reason, though we can never force reason to comply with inclination.
In the third place, this observation may teach the most sensual and irreligious man to overlook those hardthips and difficulties, which are apt to discourage him from the prosecution of a virtuous life. “ The Gods,
said Hefiod, “ have placed labour before virtue ; tle - way to her is at firit rough and difficult, but grows more „Smooth and easy. the farther you advance in it." The man who proceeds in it with steadiness and resolution, will in a little time find that “ her ways are ways of pleasantness, and that all lier paths are peace."
To enforce this consideration, we may further observe, that the practice of religion will not only be attended with that pleasure which naturally accompanies thofe
actions to which we are habituated, but with those fua pernumerary joys of heart that rise from the conscious. ness of such a pleasure, from the satisfaction of acting up to the dictates of reason, and from the prospect of an happy immortality.
In the fourth place, we may learn from this obfervation which we have made on the mind of man, to take particular care, when we are once settled in a regular course of life, how we too frequently indulge ourselves in any the most innocent diversions and entertainments, since the mind may insensibly fall off from the relish of virtuous actions, and, by degrees, exchange that pleasure which it takes in the performance of its dury, for delights of a much more inferiour and unprofitable nature.
The last use which I shall inake of this remarkable property in buman nature, of being delighted with thole actions to which it is accustomed, is to how how abfolutely neceffary it is for us to gain habits of virtue in this life, if we would enjoy thë plealures of the next. The state of bliss, we call Heaven, will not be capable of affecting those minds which are not thus qualified for it; we must in this world gain a relish of truth and virtue, if we would be able to taste that knowledge and perfection which are to make us happy in the next. The seeds of those spiritual joys and raptures, which are to rise up and flourith in the foul to all eternity, must be planted in it during this its present state of probation. In Thort, heaven is not to be looked upon only as ilie reward, but as the natural effect of a religious life.
XV. 01 Pedantry. PEDANTRY, in the common sense of the word, means
an absurd ostentation of learning, and stiffness of phraseology, proceeding from a milguided knowledge of books, and a total ignorance of men.
But I liave often thought, that we might extend its signification a good deal farther ; and, in general, ap? ply it to that failing which difpoles a person to obtrudé upon others subjects of conversation relating to his cwn business, ftudies, or amusements.
In this sense of the phraie, we should find pedants in every character and condition of life. Inftead of a black
coat and plain Mirt, we should often fee pedantry appear in an embroidered suit and Brussels lace : instead of being bedaubed with snuff, we fhould find it breathing perfumes; and, in place of a book.worm, crawling through the gloomy cloisters of an university, we hould mark it in the state of a gilded butterfly, buzzing through the gay region of the drawing-room.
Robert Daily Esq. is a pedant of this last kind. When he tells you that his ruffles cost twenty guineas a pair ; that his buttons were the first of the kind, made by one of the most eminent artists in Birmingham'; that his buckles were procured by means of a friend at Paris, and are the exact patiern of those worn by the Comte d'Artois; that the loop of his liat was of his own contrivance, and has set the fashion to half a dozen of tlie finest fellows in town: wlien he descants on all these particulars, with that smile of self-complace acy which fits for ever on his cheek, he is as much a pedant as bis quondam tutor, who recites verles from Pindar, tells stories out of Herodotus, and talks for an hour on the energy of the Greek particles. :
But Mr Daisy is struck dumb by the approach of his brother Sir Thomas, whose pedantry goes a pitchhigher, and pours out all the intelligence of France and Italy, whence the young Baronet is just returned, after a tour of fifteen months over all the kingdoms of the continent. Talk of music, he cuts you short with the biftory of the first finger at Naples; of painting, he runs you down with a description of the gallery at Florence; of architecture, he overwhelms you with the dimensions of St Peter's, or the great church at Antwerp; or, if you leave the province of art altogether, and introduce The name of a river or hill, he instantly deluges you with the Rhine, or makes you dizzy with the height of Ætna, or Mount Blanc.
Miss will have no difficulty of owning her great aunt to be a pedant, when he talks all the time of dinner on the composition of the pudding, or the seasoning of the
ince-pies; or enters into a visquisition on the figure of the damask table-cloth, with a word or two on the thrift of making one's own linen: but the young lady will be furprised when I inform her, that her own history of last
Thursday's Thursday's assembly, with the episode of Lady Di's. » feather, and the digression to the qualities of Mr Frizzle ; the hair-dreller, was alio a piece of downright pedantry.
Mrs Caudle is guilty of the same weakness, when she. recounts the numberless witticisms of her daughter Emmy, describes the droll figure her little Bill inade yesterday at trying on his first pair of breeches, and informs us, that Bobby bas got leven teeth, and is just cutting: an eighth, though he will be but nine months old next Wednesday at lix o'clock in the evening. Nor is her pedantry less disgusting, when the proceeds to enumerate the virtues and good qualities of her husband ; though this laft fpecies is so uncommon, that it may, perhaps, be admitted into conversation for the sake of irovelty.
There is pedantry in every disquisition, however ma-, sterly it may be, that stops the general conversation of: the company
When Silius delivers that fort of lec: ture he is apt to get into, though it is fupported by the most extensive information and the clearest discernmeni, it is still pedantry; and, while I admire the talents of Silius, I cannot help being unealy at his exhibition of them. Last night, after Supper, Silius began upon Protestantisın, proceeded to the Irish massacre, went througlı the Revolution, drew the character of King William, repeated anecdotes of Schomberg, and ended at a quar. ter past twelve, by delineating the course of the Boyne, in half a bumper of port, upon my bell table ; which river, happening to overflow its banks, did infinite damage to my cousin-Sophy's white satin petticoat.
In short, every thing, in this sense of the word, is pedantry, which tends to destroy that equality of coift versation which is necessary to the perfect eale and good humour of the company. Every one would be struck with the unpolitepess of that person's behaviour, who hould help linself to whole plate of peale or strawberries which foie friend had sent him for a rarity in the beginning of the season. Now, conversation is one of those good things of which our guests or companionsare equaily intitled to a share, as of any other coniti, Cuent part of the entertainment; and it is as <ifuatial *