« PreviousContinue »
fare of the public, evidently secured. When magistrates rule in the fear of God, looking upon themselves as sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well; making use of all the influence and authority they are invested with, to promote virtue, righteousness, and good manners, among men; when laws are made with one continued view to the good of the public, and executed with diligence, equity, and fidelity; when persons in all the relative stations of life, perform faithfully and conscientiously the duties of the respective stations wherein they are placed; when bargains are regularly contracted upon terms of equitable consideration, and executed with justice and punctual veracity; when in every exigence of common life, mutual trust and confidence, universal benevolence and good will, are both the spring or motive, and the rule or measure, of action; there is no one so absurd as not to see, that there hence arises, in necessary, in evident, in immediate consequence, an image of public happiness the most lovely that the mind of man can possibly be presented with. * * * * * So far as justice, and charity, and universal virtue, prevail and are practised in any nation or community, so far will that community find those good effects, which, were men's virtue perfect,
would be perfect felicity. On the contrary, so far as injustice, tyranny, fraud, luxury, and other vices are encouraged in any society of men, so far will that society feel certain degrees of those pernicious effects, which, where vice and corruption arise universally to their highest pitch, do unavoidably end in total destruction.”
How jostling crouds with prudence to decline,
The following letter relates to a subject which has often forced itself upon my notice, and I therefore readily give it a place :
TO THE INSPECTOR.
SIR,—To the most cursory observer who has traversed the streets of London, the utility of the mode of walking adopted there—by each person when his right hand is to the wall, keeping the wall; and when the contrary, walking outside-must appear obvious ; indeed, abso
lutely necessary, both for safety and convenience. It is a matter of regret, that such a practice is not commonly followed at Hull, and all other populous places. I have much reason to wish it, for I speak feelingly on the subject. This you will allow, when I inform you, that since my residence here, I have not only been jostled, but necessitated to make a thousand unmeaning apologies for coming in contact with others, though, in fact, I was not the
in truth, I have more than once been in the same predicament as Sterne with the Marquisina di F. at the concert at Milan ; that is—I have been obliged to stand still while the person I have met has passed me! This, Mr. INSPECTOR, is a serious grievance to one of my taciturn temper, having a spice of the Spectator in my composition; and if, through the insertion of this letter in
miscellany, the rule I recommend should be made more public, and become generally adopted, it would prove an accommodation to thousands, and more particularly to Your humble servant,
AMICUS. The inconveniences stated by Amicus, are such as ought to enforce the adoption of the regulation he has pointed out; but he has passed over in silence some others, that weigh still more strongly
with me, and which I hope will be thought equally deserving of regard by the readers of the INSPECTOR, when they consider the probable loss they may eventually sustain. If the opinion of a great living author may be credited, it is the peculiar mark of a man of talent, that whilst others are pacing the streets, observing the faces of their acquaintances, or glancing at the shops, admiring the fashion of a buckle or the metal of a tea urn, the man of talent is giving full scope to his imagination, and—unindebted to the suggestions of surrounding objects-is declaiming or reciting, making nice calculations or digesting sagacious reasonings; consulting, by the aid of memory, the books he has read; or else employed in prejecting others. Now setting aside the obstacles which men of no talent have daily to encounter, owing to the grievance noticed by my correspondent,—the difficulties which we, men of talent, (and such all authors are by profession) have to struggle with, must be still greater. For how can we give full scope to our mental faculties, in walking along the streets, when our attention is called away every minute to the preservation of our noddles; or how can we attempt nice calculations, or digest sagacious reasonings, for the benefit of mankind, in our perambulations, when all our skill and sagacity are ineffectual to guide
us through straits, almost as dangerous, and equally difficult to clear, as those betwixt Scylla and Charybdis ? More than once has a casual rencontre with an unwary passenger, destroyed a train of reasoning which promised fair to render the INSPECTOR far more famous than any former periodical paper; and
“ Like the baseless fabric of a vision, “ Left not a wrack behind."
The insertion of the following letter has, from accidental causes, been much longer delayed than I intended, or indeed than it ought to have been. It refers to a letter inserted in No. 4, of the INSPECTOR, signed PRISCILLA, commenting on the behaviour of a class of men whom
fair correspondent denominated Starers :
TO THE INSPECTOR.
SIR,—I profess myself to be an enthusiastic admirer of beauty, in all its forms and modifications. The most inanimate objects, nay the most minute, in the creation, from the expanded landscape in the luxuriance of autumnal
scenery, the brilliant spar, torn from its native rock, all have my admiration. The
grace of form, the life of motion, give warmth and strength to my perceptions. But “ the human face divine"-a