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the management of their departments, he will find himself become the object of their contempt instead of their reverence. If he talks with his gardener about fruit walls, or with his housekeeper about setting put an entertainment, he will find they are the people of consequence, and that the wages he pays thein will not prevent their telling him with an air of authority, “Sir, you must do so and so.". So well is this understood, that workmen of all kinds are the acknowledged masters of those who employ them; and the man who directs the affairs of a kingdom, if he wants to repair his house, is obliged to subunit with the conscious littleness of ignorance to the impositions of his brick, layer, mason, and carpenter. Some kinds of authority may be usurped, but the authority which arises from technical skill never can.
Another circumstance which serves to lessen the superiority of the rich is, the number of restraints which they themselves, as rich people, lie under. A rich man has a kind of enchanted circle drawą about him, out of which he can no more move than the poor man out of his sphere. He is forbidden, by the custom of the community, from making use of his talents and activity, except in his own depart, inent. He is interdicted the use of fire and water, except by the mi, nistration of others. He is as really prohibited, and under as severe penalties (the penalties of disgrace and universal odium) from carry: ing a parcel, or cleaning his own shoes, or currying his own horse, as the poor man is forbidden any office for which he is incapacitated by his indigence. With regard to women, particularly, the restraints laid upon them in what is called civilized society by the despot Qu'en diral'on? (What will people say?) make their whole lives a series of constraint and sacrifices. "I should be glad to walk in the fields," says the poor sempstress, " but I canzot, for I have not finished my task;" "I should be glad to walk in the fields," says the young lady, " but I cannot possibly go, for the footman who should walk behind me is not at leisure. The poor woman, whose thin and scanty gar, ment is not sufficient to defend her from the blasts of winter, suffers, no doubt, from the cold; and so does the young lady of fashion, who is also obliged, by that fashion from whence she derives her importance, to shiver in a thin and scanty garment, and to expose
her health by encountering without sufficient covering the noxious damp of the midnight air. A man who is born rich, consequently in a certain rank of society, finds the greatest part of his income appropriated to expences which he is not the master to indulge or to restrain, and is forced, in spite of himself, to diffuse largely around him the bounties of Providence which, perhaps, if not thus constrained, he would be willing to confine to the narrow circle of his own enjoyments. He must not only support those who work for him, but all who approacta his person must share the affluence and luxury in which he lives; if he eats white bread, his servants will not eat brown; though, perhaps, his tenants may. His own pride, his own comfort, require that all who are within the circle of contact should have au air of neatness, decorous manners, and harmonize by their appearance with the principal object in the piece; as the approaches to a nobleman's mansion
must indicate from afar the grandeur of the place. Neither will the sensibilities of cultured life bear to have misery intrude too near the eye; the distress which might languish at a distance, will be amply relieved if it comes near enough to affect the nerves. There is a happy contagion in wealth, which spreads itself to the remotest circle of its influence. ." No one liveth to himself,” is exemplified by the rich man, whether he intend it or not.
It is true, this tendency is very much strengthened by another principle, the secret combination of the poor against the rich. There is in man an obscure sense of natural equality, which, without much reasoning, impresses on the mind a tacit conviction that some can spare a great deal, and that others want a great deal. Every body, therefore, who is not a párty concerned, is rather glad than otherwise when the stores of the rich are lessened by overcharges, extravagant bills, and a number of little impositions, which he is continually exposed to. * He can well afford it, the expence is nothing to him," is the coinmon language on such occasions. The inferior classes are quick in seizing this advantage, and it is well understood that a rich or a titled, man pays more than another for whatever he has. The best thing he can do is to submit with a good grace, for if he is strict in insisting upon his right, he loses his character as a gentleman. Laws are continually made against combinations, but the secret combination of the low against the high can never be prevented, because it is founded on the interest of the many, and the moral sense of all. . These various causes are thus continually at work, draining off, as it were, the superfluous moisture, and dewing with it'the parched and barren field; still, much more 'misery would be suffered 'than is suf-' fered, if it were not for another corrective which Providence has caused to exist, in the vices of mankind. That private vices are public benefts, may be thought a dangerous doctrine; but as vice exists, the fact surely tends to vindicate the divine government in permitting it; and I think it must be clear to a reflecting mind, that cæteris manentibus, so strong a sense of principle as would entirely prevent the lower orders from preying upon the property of the higher, would be a curse and not a blessing. When, with these sentiments, I read such a book as Colquhoun's history of the police, and see the various tribes of mud-larks, lumpers, &c: exercising their depredations, instead of indulging the melancholy with which such scenes of depravity inspire us at first view, I rather wish to consider them as usefully employed in lessening the enormous inequality between the miserable beings who engage in them, and the great commercial speculators, in their way equally rapacious, against whom their frauds are exercised. It is the intent of Nature that all her children should live, yet she has not made specific provision for them all. The larger cattle graze the meadows, and strong animals subdue their prey, but she has likewise formed a 'countless number of smaller tribes who bave no pasture but the field of other's labours. These watch their time, and pick up the superfluous crumbs of our plenty; they annoy us, we are in a constant state of warfare with them; and when their audacity arrives at a cer. i Vol. II,
tain height, we provide effectual checks; in the mean time they live upon our abundance, they admonish us not to let things waste and mould in our barns and storehouses; they are for ever nibbling at our property, living upon the scraps and parings of our festival dainties, hovering about and sipping in our cup, some with insidious stealth, others with bolder warfare; some pake us sensible of their sting the defence of others is their minuteness and insignificance; many tribes of them are got rid of by order and cleanliness; others we keep within certain bounds, but we cannot destroy, without giving up the things which allure them. So it is in human polity. We send the cat after the ral, and the bailiffs after the rogue, but nature intended all should live. When a rich West India fleet has sailed into the docks, and wealth is flowing in full tides into the crammed coffers of the merchant, can we greatly lament that a small portion of his-immense property is by these means diverted from its course, and finds its way to the habitations of penury? Instead, therefore, of feeling strong indignation at these mal-practices, I ain apt te-say with Burns Bo the little Mouse,
I doubt nay, whiles, but thou mayest thieve;
The sanctity of oaths and promises is another very essential branch of morality; yet if it were invariably observed by those on whose necks the foot of power is płanted, and there were no proportional amelioration in the dispositions of those who possess power, a more complete and hopeless tyranny would be exercised, than it is now possible for any despot to maintain. Arbitrary power could never be resisted; for it would begin with imposing sanetions which could not be broken without crime. As taxes and prohibitions could never be evaded, an unprincipled government would feel no limit to its exactions; and that party in society which once happened to be undermost, would be in the situation of a man who has an oath imposed upon him with a pistol at his breast, which he thinks himself bound to observe, however ruinous to his fortune.
At the same time that we acknowledge the wisdom of Providence in this system of checks, which by evil preserves the race from greater evil, this ought not to shake our principles or alter our ideas of individual morality. Fraud and robbery are not right because other things
A reflecting mind, contemplating the picture from a distance, may feel satisfaction that, by the various channels of imposition and peculation, that property is drawn off and dispersed, which would otherwise stagnate; but if any one among the classes by which such practices are exercised, has by any means formed higher notions of virtue, and a more delicate moral sense, to him they are forbidden; he must starve rather than steal, and trust for his recompence to the conscious puri of his own mind, and to an order of things not found inp the present state. An individual cannot do better than by giving a high example of virtue ; and if he conceives it, if he is capable of it, it is his duty at whatever personal risk. At the same time the rich may be told, that it is in their own power to get rid of many of these. grievances whenever they please. It is not sufficiently considered how many virtues depend upon comfort, and cleanliness, and decent apparel, Destroy dirt and misery, and you will destroy at once a great many vices. Provide those accommodations which favour decorum and self respect, and you have done much to promote female chastity. Let every ban know what it is to have property, and
will soon awaken in him a sense of honesty. Make him a citizen, and he will. bove the constitution to which he belongs, and obey the laws he has helped to make. Educate the poor, inform their minds, and they will have a sense of religion; but if we will not, or cannot do this; if our commerce, or the defence of our territories, or the distinction of ranks require that large classes shall be sacrificed in these respects; if we must have fleets and armies and crowded work-rooms, the steaming bot-beds of infaat depravity; then Nature has said that their vices shall in part repair to them the privations we impose, and soften their state of degradation by rendering them insensible to shame or honour. It is good that in the hovels.of the poor there does not exist a nice taste of food, a nice regard to delicacy; it is also, and for the same reason, good, that his moral sense should be in some degree adapted to his circumstances. These considerations may perhaps suggest an additional motive for charitable exertions. I am apt to suspect that the greatest good done by the numerous -societies for the reformation of manuers is, by bringing the poor in contact with the rich, by which, as a necessary consequence, many are drawn out of the state of destitute misery in which they were plunged, and placed in inore respectable situations. The rich cannot seek the poor without beneficial effects to both parties. The best levelling principle is that philanthropy which is continually at work to sinooth and soften the too great inequalities of lise, and to present the eye, instead of proud summits and abrupt precipices, with the gentler undulations of hill and vale, with emis nences of gradual ascent, and humble but happy vallies.
A, L. BA
To the Editor of the Athenæum, ON SOME POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS, MORE PARTICULARLY
ON THAT RELATING TO VAMPYRES OR BLOOD-SUCKERS, In answer to an Enquiry made in the last Number of the Alhenæum
concerning it, Şir,
I MUST ask pardon of your Correspondent, Scrutator, for having unintentionally misled him by referring to some volumes of the Gentleman's Magazine for an account of Vampyres, which, I find, does not come within the limits under which I had conceived it fell,
When I submitted my Legend of " The Dead Men of Pest” to your notice, I wrote concerning the sources from which I had drawn it, from the vague recollection of what I. happened to read about four or five years ago, and had not the books within my reach to make my reference more perfect. On examining with attention all the early Magazines, the only passage I can find distinctly relating to this singular superstition is in p. 681 of the second volume for the year 1732, under the head of “ Foreign Advices for the month of March.” It appears from that extract (which I shall take the liberty of inserting entire for the satisfaction of your Correspondent) that the particular instance there alluded to, was only one of many, and that the belief of vampyres had been long established in those parts of the world. The · very term "vampyre” is mentioned as familiar to the people, and some curious points of old doctrine concerning those imaginary beings are hinted at.. We may therefore safely imagine, that the similar instances recorded by Dr. Henry More, as having taken place at Breslaw, in Silesia (and, I believe, in other parts also) all originate in the same belief which has prevailed among the common people in different parts of the Sclavopian countries from his tine (aud how much earlier we know not) down to the middle of last century. I have not been able to meet with More's philosophical works since I perceived the enquiry of Scrutator; but, in the course of the summer I expect to fall in his company, and will then furnish you, Sir, with some more particulars of the strange stories related by him.
Exlrack from the Gentleman's Magazine, " From Medreyga, in Hungary, we learn, that certain dead bodies, called Vampyres, had killed several persons by sucking out all their blood. The commander in chief and magistrates of the place were severally examined, and unanimously declared, that about five years ago a certain heyduke, named Arnold Paul, in his life-time was heard to say he had been tormented by a vampyre, and that for a remedy hç had eaten some of the earth of the vampyre's graves, and rubbed himself with their blood. That, twenty or thirty days after the death of the said Arnold Paul, several persons had complained that they were tormented, and that he had taken away the lives of four persons. To put a stop to such a calamity, the inhabitants having consulted, their hadnagi took up his body forty days after it had been dead, and found it fresh and free from corruption; that he bled at the nose, mouth, and cars, pure and forid blood, that his shroud and winding-sheet were all over bloody, and that his finger and toe-nails were fallen off, and new oues grown in their room." By these circumstances they were persuaded that it was a vampyre, and, according to custom, drove a stake through his heart, at which he gave a horrid groan. They burned his body to ashes, and threw them into his grave. 'Twas added, that those who have been tormented by vampyres, become vampyres when they are dead; upon which account they served several other bodies in the same manner.'