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ly be deemed a virtue in them to be passive under injuries; while the sensibilities of others are so acute, that they take fire at every spark. A choleric habit too, disposes some men to be always of a froward humour, and to be perpetually complaining. Their
anger and resentment are ever ready to rise on the slightest occasion; they are out of humour they know not why, and angry with they know not what.
Pride prompts many to the indulgence of anger. Pride keeps men in continual vexation, while the meek and lowly possess their souls in patience. The proud man not finding that submission in his dependants, or respect from his equals, to which he thinks himself entitled; his life is made up of disquietude and destraction; angry, revengeful, malevolent passions, torment his soul, and rob him of his
repose. We should consider the possibility of mistaking the motives from which the conduct that offended us proceeded; how often our offences have been the effects of inadvertency, where they were mistaken for malice. The inducement that prompted our adversary to act as he did, and how powerfully the
same inducement has at one time or other operated upon ourselves ; that he is probably suffering under a contrition which he is ashamed, or wants opportunity to confess; and how ungenerous it is to triumph by coldness or insult over a spirit already humbled in secret; that the returns of kindness are sweet, and that there is neither honour, nor virtue, nor utility, in resisting them. Add to these, the indecency of extravagant anger ; how it renders us, while it lasts, the scorn, and sport of all about us, of which it leaves when it ceases, sensible and ashamed; the inconvenience into which our anger has sometimes betrayed us; the friendship it has lost us: the distresses and embarrassments into which we have been involved by it; and the painful repentance, which on one account or other, it always costs us.
I will not hesitate a moment to affirm, that Prudence is the
most useful of all virtues, and I am convinced that the majority of evils which exist in the world, owe their existence to the absence of this safe guide. Prudence views things remote and distant, examines their properties, provides against their consequences, if dangerous, and improves their nature and tendency if beneficial. Of two evils, which are absolute and necessary, she chooses the less; and of two bappy opportunities, she prefers the better. Caution, with slow, suspecting steps, and watchful eyes, prepares the way before her, and explores diligently the treacherous path. Resolution, whose heart is adamant, waits on her steps. If you observe the intemperate, the debauchee, the sansualist, the miser, the ambitious man, the giddy inconsiderate youth, the gamester, &c. you will find that each of them have been hurried through imprudence, into inextricable difficulties, critical situations, and painful, though unavailing reflections. View the intemperate man, stretched on a couch, with the gout, like a gnawing vulture, preying upon his limbs. See what exeruciating torments, and exquisite pains, he, in the bitterness of his anguish, curses his imprudence and folly. Visit the dwelling of the debauchee, and the sensualist: can any terrestrial misery be compared to theirs ? Behold them emaciated, oppressed with grievous disorders, full of inconceivable horrors, and terrifying apprehensions; torn with remorse, sharp, compunctions of conscience, and sometimes soul-burning despair-to their rejection of Prudence they owe their misery. Can any thing be more wretched than the miser, who through abstemiousness, care, and over vigilance, has at last brought himself to his death-bed? You behold him a ghastly spectre, surrounded with gold; forsaken by his relations, who at the most awful hour refuse him their comfort, but carry away his god, his only hope, trust and dependance. Unacquainted with his Maker, a total stranger to every
kind of virtue, entirely unprepared for another world, where there are no golden treasures to satisfy his avaricious desires. Despair flies away with his shrieking soul into the depths of Eternity. Oh, Prudence! hadst thou been these wretched men's friend, they might have been happy.
Mr. Editor-As I imagine you have no objection to hold up “ the Mirror" to every animal in nature that is capable of observing its own likeness, and noting its peculiarities, will you oblige me by inserting
This creature has long been known in England, and upon the continent, though hitherto regarded as a rarity in Scotland. Of late, however, they have become wonderfully common : and you will now meet with one or more of them in almost every street. Some of the superior kinds I have even seen in what may be called good Society; and these I have observed generally succeed astonishingly well in imitating the conduct and manners of men, in most things—especially where no exercise of mind is required: though, at the same time, it must be confessed, that there is always such an odd peculiarity in all they do or say, that their imitation is but a ludicrous one at the best. Indeed the minister of our parish (who by the by, is not lame at a conjecture) is said to be of opinion, that the din of war having roused them from their native wilds, they have been permitted to come forth among mankind in such numbers, as a living satire on the overacted politeness and delicacy of an offeninate and luxurious age.
Zoologists, I understand, are chiefly divided between two opinions. Some will have it that the Dandies are most nearly allied to the Ape, and find this to be proved by the most prominent features in their character; alleging that the following de„scription of Apish manners, is, in every respect, applicable to them all. “ These animals, when tamed, are of a mild and tractable disposition. They mimic the smiles and frowns of their masters: and imitate all the forms of salutation used by them. In their general manners they are frolicsome and sagacious: but when taken in a state of wildness, they bite furiously in selfdefence."--Others, in opposition, contend that the single word sagacious is enough to prevent the appropriation of the whole description; and these have no doubt in their own minds, after a careful comparison of the most exact and best authenticated drawings, that the animal in question can be nothing else than
a well-trained Gibboon, which, as we all know, is a native of India, and forms the intermediate chain between the Monkey and the Ourang-Outang. For
my own part, however, I rather think (though I would by no means pronounce positively in a case so doubtful) that the Dandy, in all his varieties, from the Erquisite, down to the common Puppy, and from the beardless youth, up to the hoaryheaded Rake, is, after all, a being of our own species. Nor in this conjecture do I intend to help myself out by farther supposing, as some do, that the creature is a Hermaphrodite-neither man nor woman, but compounded of both: though to be sure this supposition is no way injured by the notorious fact, that he has neither the manly qualities of the one, nor the least pretence to the delicacy, and innocent purity, of the other: since these qualities, for ought we know, may have been altogether omitted, as not necessary, in his formation. But the ground of iny hypothesis is this.
When stript of his coat and corsets, (as I and other medical men, have had occasion to see him) the Dandy does not seem to differ more widely from an ordinary man, than many poor wretches do, whom profligacy and disease, have miserably deformed : and, if you inquire more minutely into his history, without puzzling your brains about zoological distinctions, I think the absurd peculiarities of his mental phenomena, may easily be accounted for. You must not forget that he has either been raised up suddenly by the vicissitudes of trade or war from the lowest ranks in society, and really has had no opportunity to know any thing beyond the narrow path he has been accustomed to move in : Or, if born to better advantage, he is naturally so devoid of sense and ability, as to be almost incapable of moral or intellectual improvement. His mind, in fact is, for long, a perfect blank ; and quite ready for the reception of all that is filthy, or trifling, or rediculous. Now in these circumstances, let him have but the usual share of self-conceit, and, like heated air in a bladder, it will fill the
Give him besides an idle companion, and a single guinea, and he will soon find his way to the lowest sink of licentiousness. And, to complete his ch acter, add but a simple desire of being distinguished among others of the “ kidney,” and, if you look in at the key-hole of his chamber, you will see hiin now frizzing his hair--girding his waistolling in his glass- and practising, with business-like concern, the
most absurd and childish fooleries; and in due time (perhaps in about two hours and a half,) there will issue forth frizzed, girded, and grinning, the very creature we have been talking of, viz. a complete and perfect Dandy!
Let the Youth, therefore, of respectable and manly character, beware how they swerve from the honourable paths of simplicity and virtue in imitation of a creature so silly, and so despicable. And, while the Dandies, alike insensible to mutual derision, and a world's contempt, are pleased to crawl about, like locusts, withering the green leaf of our national health, be it your constant endeavour to follow the example of the wise and the good, that you each in your own place, may grow up in moral strength and honesty, and be ready to succeed those useful members of the community, who are now, in reality, the firmest, and brightest pillars of British Independence.
FORCEPS, Edinburgh, 12th October, 1818.
" Foppish dressing tells the world that the outside is the best of the puppet.”
It is observable that the great men of all times have held the parade of dress in the greatest contempt, ever considering it as the mere gewgaw of mountebanks, and stage players. Real virtue, as well as real merit derive their lustre from themselves, and refuse to borrow the glitter of tinsel, esteemed only by women and fools, the little and great vulgar, who usually form a judgment of men by their external appearance.
The man of genius is seldom seen in any but a plain dress, being conscious of his own worth, and despising embroidered trappings, more suited to cover the body of a horse, or a mule, than to serve as a load to the human frame. Cleanliness, and neatness in dress, become a man of merit, and seem as an index to his mental faculties ; which despise the false glare of bombast, the ostentatious sound of words without sense, and at the same time, display his judgment with respect to a prudent economy, which rejects
all excessive expense in dress, the sure mark of an upstart and a fool. It is true, some men have made their