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spring of it, and feel such a sinking of the spirits, and such extreme hesitation when a question is proposed to me, that I verily believe my advice will never be worth three shillings and sixpence, although I think I should make a tolerable fishmonger, for I am already a dab at opening an oyster. I therefore beseech you, Mr. INSPECTOR, to give my case your best consideration, and to favour me with your opinion upon the following query :

Whether it would be prudent in me to abandon my present calling, and to assume the more simple call of_Oysters alive! O?

I am Sir, yours, &c.



Fair Virtue! from her Father's throne supreme
Sent down to utter laws such as on earth
Most apt he knew, most pow'rful to promote
The weal of all his works, the gracious end
Of his dread empire.—AKENSIDE.

At a time when my countrymen have been manifesting their joy, and in the most solemn manner returning public thanks to the Divine

Being for our late naval victories, it would ill become a professed INSPECTOR to remain wholly silent. I cordially unite with my fellow-citizens in the common exultation; and while I commend that piety, which professes to receive these events as providential interferences, I must also express my, approbation of the honourable feelings so universally excited by the death of the gallant Lord Nelson. It is not my intention to write an eulogium on that lamented nobleman; but I may be permitted to observe, that among the number of those whose lives have been devoted to the service of their country, few have possessed stronger claims to the lasting esteem of a grateful nation.

Independent of that public thanksgiving to which I have above alluded, the modes resorted to on this occasion by my fellow-subjects, in order to testify their attachment to the cause of their country, have been as various as the characters of the individuals. Some have sought to manifest that attachment by eating, some by singing or swearing, and others by getting drunk. For my own part, I think I cannot better evince my. patriotic disposition, than by writing an INSPECTOR, wherein I shall endeavour to set forth the conduct incumbent upon every person who is desirous of sustaining the character of a real patriot.

The man who expresses no pleasure at the late naval victories, might justly be suspected of wanting patriotism; and the same suspicion may, with equal justice, attach to him who is careless of the influence of his own individual conduct on the prosperity of his country. A late essayist of distinguished reputation has laid it down as a maxim that “a bad man cannot be a patriot.” However objectionable this doctrine may be deemed by many pretenders to this virtue in the present day, it appears to be founded on the firm basis of truth. Such persons as have testified their belief in the doctrine of a superintending Providence, by joining in the late religious rites, must be aware, that in order to propitiate the favour of the Deity, it is requisite that we conform implicitly to his commands, whether expressly revealed to us, or discoverable by the efforts of reason. They who acknowledge the authority of scripture, will recollect many promises of national blessings annexed to the performance of certain duties; while on the other hand, national depravity is frequently threatened with the most exemplary judgments.

The instances upon record in which these promises and threatenings were carried into effect, are numerous, and will readily occur to the memories of most of my readers.

In what I am about to advance further on this


subject, I shall confine myself to the benefits arising, in a national point of view, from the cultivation of that virtue, which is equally enforced both by natural and revealed religion. To expatiate on the rewards which the latter holds out in a future state, would be inconsistent with my plan, and I shall therefore leave it to the divine, whose peculiar province it is, and who must be better qualified to treat the subject in a proper

Neither shall I here attempt to shew the advantages arising to individuals, from a strict adherence to the dictates of virtue, although it must follow, that if such conduct contribute to individual happiness, it cannot fail to promote the aggregate happiness of the community.

Under a constitution like the British, the professed patriot, if devoid of virtue, is a dangerous character. The inferior orders of society are naturally inclined to envy the situation of their superiors; and hence every assertion, that the former are made the dupes or prey of the latter, is swallowed with avidity, and believed on the slightest grounds. The passions of the multitude are generally headstrong, and when excited in favour of any person whom they are led to consider as their advocate, sober appeals to their judgment are ineffectual, in proportion to their want of real information. Depravity of heart


will often lead a designing man to assume the mask of patriotism, in order to obtain that consequence in the state, and those honours and emoluments, from which his evil passions, without this disguise, would have effectually excluded him. Ambition, envy, or avarice, will prompt him to revile the characters of those in power, from a hope of supplanting them; while to those who cannot penetrate into his motives, his conduct may appear to originate in a zeal for the public service. The want of sound principles will leave him at liberty to prosecute his object, without regarding the means by which it is attained; and like another Catiline, he will hazard the welfare of the community rather than suffer his vicious propensities to remain ungratified. But if the practice of virtue were more generally prevalent, we should not so frequently see the garb of patriotism assumed for the sake of procuring personal advantages. We should find fewer imitators of the example of a late popular character in this nation,* whose unqualified opposition to the measures of government is known to have originated in his being refused an appointment to a certain embassy. I do not mean to infer, from these remarks, that every professed patriot

* John Wilkes, Esq.

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