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justice to the offender, and the offended majesty of the law; the judge and jury must understand the machinery of human nature, or they may open the vindictive valve, and inflict an injury, beyond their power to repair.
In the ordinary concerns of life many open the wrong valve. When I see children growing up in vice, drinking in corruption like water, I conclude they are under the direction of a bad engineer—the wrong valve is opened—they are in danger of ultimate ruin.
When I see young men in full chase after the phantom, PLEASURE, neglecting all that makes the man; fonder of a mint julep than of Bacon or Locke; who prefer the theatre to the lecture room; I fear they may neglect their safety valve, destroy their condenser, burst their boiler, and ruin the noble engine intrusted to them by the grand Architect of the universe, to whom they must render an account of the manner they have performed the important trust committed to their
When I see a married man reeling from the grog shop to his home, there to meet a wife who is all loveliness; children who are all affection; perhaps a mother who is all tenderness; a father who is all anxiety; sisters who are all forgiveness; I know he has opened the wrong valve, and, unless he quickly closes it, and opens the safety valve, he will run his ship on the rocks of disgrace and poverty; and will fall into the hands of those rigid wreckers, the constable, the sheriff, and the judges.
When I see a man neglect his business, and embark on the murky and deceptive stream of politics, pour fellow, say I, you have opened the wrong valve, and most likely will land on the lee shore of disappointment, The political boat carries a large number of deck pas
who have coarse fare and wood in the bargain; but has a very small cab-in-et.
When I see men run into wild and visionary speculations, working on the high pressure principle, make or break, they open the wrong valve, may break a shaft, and make themselves out of boat and home; and leave their passengers to manage the wreck in their own way.
When I see people forsaking the paths of wisdom, prudence and virtue; ruining fortune, health, and reputation; and endangering their immortal souls, by an indulgence in the follies, fashions, and vices of the day; it is plain they have opened the wrong valves, and live in constant danger of an explosion; fearful and destructive. To better insure safety, let all open the valve of self-examination, explore the labyrinthian mazes of their own immortal minds, become familiar with the safety valves there placed by a God of love, and learn from Him, and his book on this most important of all engineering; how, when, and where to use them, and NEVER OPEN THE WRONG VALVE.
This propensity pervades the whole human family, to a less or greater degree, as the atmosphere does the globe. It is the froth and effervescence of pride. The latter is unyielding haughtiness, the former, as soft, pliant, and light, as the down of a goose. It is selfishness modified and puffed up, like a bladder with wind. It is all action, but has no useful strength. It feeds voraciously and abundantly on the richest food that can be served up; and can live on less and meaner diet, than any thing of which we can have a conception. The rich, poor, learned, ignorant, beautiful, ugly, high, low, strong, and weak--all have a share of Vanity. The humblest Christian is not free from it, and, when he is most humble, the devil will flatter his Vanity, by telling him of it.
It is the weakest and most vulnerable point of human nature, and well does Satan know it, and most deeply should we deplore it. It was the wicket gate of Eden, through which the arch enemy entered, and took Mother Eve's citadel of Innocence. He tried the same plan with our Saviour, but was foiled in his base attempt to snatch the last ray of hope from our race.
Because the woman first yielded to temptation, some have credited females with a larger share of this propensity, than their lords; but the book of books says, “Surely, every man walketh in a vain show."
Vanity, like the peacock its ugly feet, is ever striving to hide itself, and will even deny its own name. "I speak without vanity”—HUSHyou deceitful puff. You make men and women, the only animals that can laugh, the very ones to be laughed at. Dr. Johnson once remarked, “When any one complains of the want of what he is known to possess in an eminent degree, he waits, with impatience, to be contradicted,” and thus Vanity converts him into a fool and a liar, only to render him ridiculous. Vanity engenders affectation, mock modesty, and a train of such like et ceteras; all subtracting from the real dignity of man.
On the other hand, it feeds, with equal voracity on vulgarity, coarseness, and fulsome eccentricity-every thing by which the person can attract attention. It often takes liberality by the hand, prompts advice, administers reproof, and sometimes perches, visibly and gaily, on the prayers and sermons in the pulpit. It is an every where and ever present principle of human nature—a wen on the heart of man; less painful, but quite as loathsome as a cancer. It is, of all others, the most baseless propensity.
We have nothing of which we should be vain, but much to induce humility. If we have any good qualities, they are the gift of God-in the best of men, there are bad ones enough, if they can see themselves, to strangle Vanity. Let every one guard against this allpervading principle, and teach their children, that it is the shadow of a shade.
Nature, through all her works, in great degree,
VARIETY has been called the spice of life, that gives it all its flavor-hence, many people use so much spice, that every thing becomes artificial, and nature no longer borrows blessings from Variety ; which must be governed by discretion, and made subservient to the wants of nature ; not those of a vitiated taste and pampered appetite. Variety is the opposite of monotony, and should be so used, as to produce an equilibrium between the two—as designed by a wise Creator. Then, and only then, will the mind reap the fruit of both. Alone, the fruit of the former produces satiety—that of the latter, i kogust. Frugality is the parent of health--if we eat of twenty dishes at the same meal, or of more than is necessary to support nature, we are not only liable to overload the digestive organs, but impose upon them a cumbrous load, always more burdensome to carry, than a consolidated one.
The man who is engaged in several kinds of business at the same time, must have great versatility of talent, united with great energy; or some of his irons will burn. Nature is generally best served, when we bend our energies to some particular occupation, which seems to indicate, that variety was created to please the fancy and exhilarate the mind, as a gentle wind does the body in a hot day.
The reason why mechanical work is better executed in England, and some other parts of Europe, than in our country, arises from the fact, that where articles are composed of different parts, each piece is made by a separate workman; whose whole energies are spent upon this single part-he works at nothing else.
Here, American genius grasps the entire thing in all its parts, in one and the same person, and of course, work is not so rapidly, cheaply, or perfectly executed, es by our more systematic neighbors, especially fine and delicate articles.
Variety is most beautifully exemplified in our intercourse with each other. In our business transactions, several small coins of different denominations, are necessary to make change. So in our hourly and daily intercourse, there are numerous courtesies and kindnesses, that should be as current, and more plenty, than half dimes and dimes. They give the finishing touch to our pleasures. Withhold them, a variety of ill feeling is the inevitable consequence. As in dealing, if you know a man expects the penny in change, or the half-penny, give it to him if in your power; so in the kind offices of intercourse, give every one the small