his favourite picture, where, in truth, the sons of the Roman

stoic stood prominently in the fore-ground, with swaggering

attitudes and hardened defying faces, as if each was

uttering the undutifulhoast of the Kentuckian, tf

My father

can lick any body, and I can lick him.''

" But in a daughter," continued the "

magistrate, there

is such tenderness, such softness, she seems so fragile a

being, and withal so affectionate, that the hardest heart

must be touched to tears like the rock in Horeb. How-

ever, my trial is past ; I have given way ; and my official

functions are at an end. Conscience will not allow me to

continue in them after such a manifest proof of my infirmity.

How can he presume to judge others, who judged

so mistakenly of himself ? "

Well would it be for the world if every censor in it

would adopt his concluding sentiment. Men are too prone

to view their own errors and failings with indulgence,

whilst they visit those of others with unsparing reprehension.

Every one seems turning as it were God's evidence

against his neighbour, as if by impeaching his fellows he

was exonerating himself from the penalty. The worst

constructions are put upon dubious motives, malicious

meanings are extracted from careless expressions, the

scratch of a stray jest is taken as a deliberate wound ; in

short, if the multitude of our sins depend upon charity for

a covering, the fabric is so scarce that the poor peccadilloes

cannot have a suit a piece, unless such a one as belonged

to the decayed Spanish gentleman, which was all slashes.

On the other hand, should the tide turn, the kindly impres-

sion is communicated so reluctantly, and adopted so tardily,

that the charitable impulse comes commonly too late to be

of service to its object.

It is generally difficult, besides, to

make the amends proportionate to the injury ; indeed in

some cases it is impracticable, as was well illustrated by

the remonstrance of a foreigner to a gentleman who had

horsewhipped him by mistake.


Sare, you apologise at

me, you shake hands to me, you beg pardon from me, but

can you unstrike me ?"

An occurrence in the ensuing chapter will serve to develope

this moral.

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines