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duct. At the first onset, the clashing of their armor, and the terrific gleam of their swords, filled the spectators with such trepidation, fear and horror, that the faculty of speech and breath seemed totally suspended, even while the hope of success inclined to neither side. But when it came to a closer engagement, not only the motions of their bodies, and the furious agitation of their weapons, arrested the eyes of the speetators, but their opening wounds, and streaming blood. Two of the Romans fell, and expired at the feet of the Albans, who were all three wounded. Upon their fall the Alban army shouted for joy, while the Roman legions remained without hope, but not without concern, being eagerly anxious for the surviving Roman, then surrounded by his three adversaries. Happily he was not wounded ; but not being a mateh for the three, though superior to any of them single, he had recourse to a stratagem for dividing them. He betook himself to fight; rightly supposing, that they would follow hini at unequal distance, as their strength, after so much loss of blood, would permit. Having fled a con.. siderable way froin the spot where they fought, he look. ed back, and saw the Curiatii pursuing, at a considerable distance from one another, and one of them very near him. He turned with all his fury upon the foremost i and, while the Alban army were crying out to his brothers to succor him, Horatius, having presently dispatched his first enemy, rushed forward to a second victory. The Romans encourage their champion by such ac. clamations as generally proceed from unexpected
He, on the other hand, hastens to put an end to the second combat, and slew another, before the third, who was not far off, could come up to his assistance. There now remained only one combatant on each side. The Roman, who had still received no hurt, fired with gaining a double victory, advances with great con fidence to his third combat. His antagonist, on the other hand, being weakened by loss of blood, and spent with running so far, could scarce drag his legs after him, and being already dispirited by the death of his brothers, presented his breast to the victor, for it could
not be called a contest. “ Two (says the exulting Roman) two have 1 sacrificed to the manes of my brothers--the third I will offer up to my country, that henceforth Rome may give laws to Alba." Upon which he transfixed him with his sword, and stripped him of his armor. The Romans received Horatius, the victor, into their camp, with an exultation, gre 25 their for mer fear. After this each army buried their respective dead, but with very different sentiments ; the one re. flecting on the sovereignty they had acquired and the other on their subjection to slavery, to the power of the Romans.
This combat became still more remarkable: Horatius returning to Rome, with the arms and spoils of his ene. my, met his sister, who was to have been married to one of the Curiatii. Seeing her brother dressed in her dover's coat of armor, which she herself had wrought, she could not contain her grief. -She shed a flood of tears, she tore her hair, and in the transports of her sorrow uttered the most violent imprecations against her brother. Horatius, warm with his victory, and enraged at the grief which his sister expressed, with such unsea. sonable passion, in the midst of the public joy, in the heat of his anger, drove a poignard to her heart66 Begone to thy lover," says he, “and carry him that degenerate passion which makes thee prefer a dead eremy to the glory of thy country," Every body detested an action so cruel and inhuman. The murderer was im. mediately seized, and dragged before the Duumviri, the proper judges of such crimes. Horatius was condemned to loose his life ; and the very day of his triumph had been the day of his punishment, if he had not by the advice of Tullus Hostilius, appealed from that judgment to the assembly of the people. He appeared there with the same courage and resolution that he had shown in the combat with the Curiatii. -The people thought so great a service might justly excuse them, if for once they moderated the rigor 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 Custom.-SPECTATOR.
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 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 first, by degrees contracts so strong an inclination towards it, and gives himself up so 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 forsome time disused. Nay, a man may smoke, or drink, or take snuff, till he is unable to pass away his time without it ; not to mention how our delight in any particular study, art, or 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 nature, it must instruct us in very fine 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 disagreeable to him at first; but use and application will certainly render it not only less painful, but pleasing and satisfactory.
In the second place, I would recommend to every one the admirable precept which Pithagoras is said to have given to his disciples, and which that philosopher must have drawn from the observation I have enlarged upon ; « Pitch upon that course of life which is the most excellent, and custom will render it the most delightful." Men, whose circumstances will permit them to choose their own way of life, are inexcusable, if they do not
pursue that which their judgment tells them is the most laudable, The voice of reason is more to be regarded than the bent of any present inclination, since, by the rule above mentioned, inclination will, at length, cone over to reason, though we can never forcc reason to comply with inclination.
In the third place, this observation may teach the most sensual and irreligious man, to overlook those hardships and difficulties, which are apt to discourage him from the prosecution of a virtuous life. “The Gods," says Hesiod, “have placed labor before virtue ; the way to her is at first rough and difficul,but grows more smooth and easy the farther you advancc in it,” The man who proceeds in it with steadiness and resolution, will in a little ume find that “her ways are ways of pleasantness, and that all her paths arc peace."
To enforce this consideration, Fe may furtherobserve that the practice of religion will not only be attended with that pleasure, which naturally accompanies those actions to which we are habituated ; but with those supernumerary joys of heart, ihal rise from the consciousness of such a pleasure, froni 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 observation, 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 entertainnients ; since the mind may insensibly fall off from the relish of virtuous actions, and by degrees, exchange that pleasure which it takes in the perforinance of its duty, for delights of a much more inferior and unprofitable nature.
The last use which I sliall make of this remarkable property in human nature, of being delighted with those actiuns to which it is accustomed, is, to show how abso. lutely necessary it is for us to gain habits of virtue in this life, if we would enjoy the pleasures 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 ansit
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 10 rise up and flourish in the soul to all eternity,must be planted in it during this its present state of probation. In short, heaven is noi lo be looked upon only as the reward, but as the natural effect of a religious life.
XV.-On Pedantry-MIRROR. PEDANI'RY, in the common sense of the word, nieans an absurd ostentation of learning, and stiffness of phraseology, procecding from a misguided knowledge of books and a total ignorance of men.
But I have often thought, that we might extend its signification a good deal farther; and in general, apply it to that failing, which disposes a person to obtrude upon others, subjects of conversation relating to his own business, studies or amusements.
In this sense of the phrase, we should find pedants in cvery character and condition of life. Instead of a black coat and a plain shirt, we should often see pedantry appear in an embroidered suit and Brussels lace; instead of being bedaubed with snuff, we should find it breathe ing perfumes; and, in place of a book worm, crawling through the gloomy cloisters of an university, we should -mark it in the state of a gilded butterfiy, buzzing through the gay region of the drawing room.
Robert Daisy, 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 pattern of those worn by the Compte d'Artois ; that the loop of his hat was of his own contrivance, and has set the fashion to half a dozen of the finest fellows in town : When he descants on all tliese particulars, with that smile of sell complacency which sits forever on his cheek, he is as much a pedant as his quondam tutor, who recites verses from Pindar, tells stories out of Herodotus, and talks for an hour on the energy of the Greek particles.