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MAXIMS AND OPINIONS,
MORAL, POLITICAL, AND ECONOMICAL.
F we have deserved this kind of evil fame from
any thing we have done in a state of prosperity, I am sure, that it is not an abject conduct in adversity that can clear our reputation. Well is it known that ambition can creep as well as soar. The pride of no person in a flourishing condition is more justly to be dreaded, than that of him who is mean and cringing under a doubtful and unprosperous fortune.
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We know that over-labouring a point of this kind, has the direct contrary effect from what we wish. We know that there is a legal presumption against men quando se nimis purgitant; and if a charge of ambition is not refuted by an affected humility, certainly the character of fraud and perfidy is still less to be washed away by indications of meanness. Fraud and prevarication are servile vices. They sometimes grow out of the necessities, always out of the habits, of slavish and degenerate spirits : and on