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cumstance. But this line he has selected as an instance of virulence and acrimony, and confutes it by a lofty and splendid panegyrick on himself. He asserts, that he finds many things right at home, and that he loves his country almost to enthusiasm.
I had not the least doubt that he found in his country many things to please him; nor did I suppose that he desired the same inversion of every part of life, as of the use of Tea. The proposal of drinking Tea sour shewed indeed such a disposition to practical paradoxes, that there was reason to fear lest some succeeding letter should recommend the dress of the Picts, or the cookery of the Eskimaux. However, I met with no other innovations, and therefore was willing to hope that he found something right at home.
But his love of his country seemed not to rise quite to enthusiasm, when, amidst his rage against Tea, he made a smooth apology for the East India Company, as men who might not think themselves obliged to be political arithmeticians. I hold, though no enthusiastick patriot, that every man who lives and trades under the protection of a community, is obliged to consider whether he hurts or benefits those who protect him; and that the most which can be indulged to private interest is a neu. tral traffick, if any such can be, by which our country is not injured, though it may not be benefited.
But he now renews his declamation against Tea, notwithstanding the greatness or power of those that have interest or inclination to support it. I know not of what power or greatness he may dream. The importers only have an interest in
defending it. I am sure they are not great, and I hope they are not powerful.' Those whose inclination leads them to continue this practice, are too numerous, but I believe their power is such, as the Journalist may defy without enthusiasm. The love of our country, when it rises to enthusiasm, is an ambiguous and uncertain virtue: when a man is enthusiastick, he ceases to be reasonable, and when he once departs from reason, what will he do but drink sour Tea? As the Journalist, though enthusiastically zealous for his country, has, with regard to smaller things, the placid happiness of philosophical indifference, I can give him no disturbance by advising him to restrain even the love of his country within due limits, lest it should sometimes swell too high, fill the whole capacity of his soul, and leave less room for the love of truth.
Nothing now remains but that I review my positions concerning the Foundling Hospital. What 1 declared last month, I declare now once more, that I found none of the children that appeared to have heard of the catechism. It is inquired how I wandered, and how I examined? There is doubtless subtility in the question ; I know not well how to answer it. Happily I did not wander alone; I attended some ladies with another gentleman, who all heard and assisted the inquiry with equal grief and indignation. I did not conceal my observations. Notice was given of this shameful defect soon after, at my request, to one of the highest names of the society. This I am now told is incredible ; but since it is true, and the past is out of human power, the most important corporation cannot make it false. But why is it
incredible ? Because in the rules of the hospital the children are ordered to learn the rudiments of religion. Orders are easily made, but they do not execute themselves. They say their catechism, at stated times, under an able master. But this able master was, I think, not elected before last February; and my visit happened, if I mistake not, in November. The children were shy when interrogated by a stranger. This may be true, but the same shyness I do not remember to have hindered them from answering other questions: and I wonder why children so much accustomed to new spectators should be eminently shy.
My opponent, in the first paragraph, calls the inference that I made from this negligence, a hasty conclusion: to the decency of this expression I had nothing to object: but as he grew hot in his career, his enthusiasm began to sparkle; and in the vehemence of his postscript, he charges my assertions, and my reasons for advancing them, with folly and malice. His argumentation being somewhat enthusiastical, I cannot fully comprehend, but it seems to stand thus : my insinuations are foolish or malicious, since I know not one of the Governors of the Hospital; for he that knows not the Governors of the Hospital, must be very foolish or malicious. He has, however, so much kindness for me,
that he advises me to consult my safety when I talk of corporations. I know not what the most important corporation can do, becoming manhood, by which my safety is endangered. My reputation is safe, for I can prove the fact ; my quiet is safe,
for I meant well; and for any other safety, I am not used to be very solicitous.
I am always sorry when I see any being labouring in vain; and in return for the Journalist's attention to my safety, I will confess some compassion for his tumultuous resentment; since all his invectives fume into the air, with so little effect upon me, that I still esteem him as one that has the merit of meaning well; and still believe him to be a man whose failings may be justly pardoned far his virtues.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE
APPOINTED TO MANAGE THE
Contributions begun at London, Dec. 18, 1758, for
Clothing French Prisoners of War.
THE Committee entrusted with the money contributed to the relief of the subjects of France, now prisoners in the British dominions, here lay before the publick an exact account of all the sums received and expended, that the donors may judge how properly their benefactions have been applied.
Charity would lose its name, were it influenced by so mean a motive as human praise: it is there; fore not intended to celebrate by any particular memorial, the liberality of single persons, or distinct societies; it is sufficient that their works praise them.
Yet he who is far from seeking honour, may very justly obviate censure. If a good example has been set, it may lose its influence by misrepresentation; and to free charity from reproach, is itself a charitable action.