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Foes assail us in vain,
8. Should the tempest of war overshadow our land,
9. Let Fame to the world sound America's voice ;
LESSON XXXVIII. National Partiality and Prejudice. — BOLINGBROKE. 1. THERE is scarce any folly or vice more epidemical among the sons of men than that ridiculous and hurtful vanity by which the people of each country are apt to prefer themselves to those of every other, and to make their own customs, and manners, and opinions, the standards of right and wrong, of true and false. The Chinese mandarins were strangely surprised, and almost incredulous, when the Jesuits showed them how small a figure their empire made in the general - map of the world. * * *
2. Now, nothing can contribute more to prevent us from being tainted with this vanity than to accustom ourselves early to contemplate the different nations of the earth, in that vast map which history spreads before us, in their rise and their fall, in their barbarous and civilized states, in the
* Paine wrote with remarkable facility. It is related of him by his biographers, that he had finished this song, and exhibited it to some gentlemen at the house of a friend. His host pronounced it imperfect, as the name of Washington was omitted, and declared that he must write an additional stanza. The poet inused a moment, called for a pen, and wrote this stanza, which is, perhaps, the best in the song.
+ Born 1672, died 1751.
likeness and unlikeness of them all to one another, and of each to itself.
3. By frequently renewing this prospect to the mind, the Mexican, with his cap and coat of feathers, sacrificing a human victim to his god, will not appear more savage to our eyes than the Spaniard, with a hat on his head, and a gobilla* round his neck, sacrificing whole nations to his ambition, his avarice, and even the wantonness of his cruelty.
4. I might show, by a multitude of other examples, how history prepares us for experience, and guides us in it; and many of these would be both curious and important. I might likewise bring several other instances, wherein history serves to purge the mind of those national partialities and prejudices that we are apt to contract in our education, and that experience for the most part rather confirms than removes, because it is for the most part confined, like our education.
5. I shall conclude this head by observing, that though an early and proper application to the study of history will contribute extremely to keep our minds free from a ridiculous partiality in favor of our own country, and a vicious prejudice against others, yet the same study will create in us a preference of affection to our own country
6. There is a story told of Abgarus. He brought several beasts, taken in different places, to Rome, they say, and let them loose before Augustus; every beast ran immediately to that part of the circus where a parcel of earth taken from his native soil had been laid.
7. This tale might pass on Josephus; for in him, I believe, I read it; but surely the love of our country is a lesson of reason, not an institution of nature. Education and habit, obligation and interest, attach us to it, not instinct.
8. It is, however, so necessary to be cultivated, and the prosperity of all societies, as well as the grandeur of some, depends upon it so much, that orators by their eloquence, and poets by their enthusiasm, have endeavored to work up this precept of morality into a principle of passion. But the examples which we find in history, improved by the lively descriptions and the just applauses or censures of historians, will have a much better and more permanent effect than declamation, or song, or the dry ethics of mere philosoph.y.
* Gobilla, (pronounced go-beel-yar) a little starched band like a ruff sticking out under the chin.
Procrastination. — YOUNG.
2. T is not in folly not to scorn a fool,
3. At thirty man suspects himself a fool;
4. And why? because he thinks himself immortal.
LESSON XL. A Morning Dream.— T. MOORE. 1. I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining, A bark o'er the waters move gloriously on : I came when the sun o'er that beach was declining, -The bark was still there, but the waters were gone. Ah! such is the fate of our life's early promise, So passing the spring-tide of joy we have known: Each wave that we danced on at morning ebbs from us, And leaves us, at eve, on the black shore alone.
2. Ne'er tell me of glories serenely adorning The close of our day, the calm eve of our night; Give me back, give me back, the wild freshness of morning; Her clouds and her tears are worth evening's best light. 0, who would not welcome that moment's returning, When passion first waked a new life through his frame, And his soul, like the wood that grows precious in burning, Gave out all its sweets to Love's exquisite flame'
The Cathedral. * - CONGREVE.
Alm. It was thy fear, or else some transient wind
Alm. No; all is hushed and still as death. 'Tis dreadful ! How reverend is the face of this tall pile, Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads To bear aloft its arched and ponderous roof, By its own weight made steadfast and immovable, Looking tranquillity! It strikes an awe And terror on my aching sight; the tombs
* Dr. Johnson considered the description of the cathedral in this extract as forming the most poetical paragraph in the whole range of the drama - finer than any one in Shakspeare.
And monumental caves of death look cold,
Leon. Let us return; the horror of this place
Alm. It may my fears, but cannot add to that.
Temptation.*- Lillo.t (Young Wilmot, unknown, enters the house of his parents, and delivers them a casket, requesting to retire an hour for rest.)
[Agnes, the mother, alone, with the casket in her hand.)
With how much ease
* The story of Fatal Curiosity, the drama from which this powerful piece is extracted, is simply this: - Driven by destitution, an old man and his wife murder a rich stranger who takes shelter in their house, and they discover, but too late, that they have murdered their son, returned after a long absence. The harrowing details of this tragedy are powerfully depicted ; and the agonies of old Wilmot, the father, constitute one of the most appalling and affecting incidents in the drama.
+ Lillo was the author of the celebrated tragedy of George Barnwell. He was born 1693, and died 1739. ·