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The folly of pride. 1. If there be any thing which makes human nature appear ridiculous to beings of superior faculties, it must be pride. They know so well the vanity of those imaginary perfections that swell the heart of man, and of those little supernumerary advantages of birth, fortune, or title, which one man enjoys above another, that it must certainly very much astonish, if it does not very much divert them, when they see a mortal puffed up, and valuing himself above his neighbours, on any of these accounts at the same time that he is liable to all the common calamities of the species. . 2. To set this thought in its true light, we shall fancy, if you please, that yonder molehill is inhabited by reasonable creatures, and that every pismire (his shape and way of life only excepted).is endowed with human passions. How should we smile to hear one give an account of the pedigrees, distinctions, and titles, that reign among them!
3. Observe how the whole swarm divide, and make way for the pismire that passes along! You must understand he is an emmet of quality, and has better blood in his veins than any pismire in the molehill. Do not you see how sensible he is of it, how slowly he marches forward, how the whole rabble of ants keep their distance ?
4. Here you may observe one placed upon a little eminence, and looking down on a long row of labourers. He is the richest insect this side of the hillock: he has a walk, of half a yardip length, and a quarter of an inch in breadtlr; he keeps a hundred menial servants, and has at least fifteen barley-corns in his granary. He is now chiding and enslaving the emmet that stands before him; one who, for all that we can discover, is as good an emmet as himself.
5. But here comes an insect of rank! Do not you perceive the little white straw that he carries in his mouth? That straw, you must understand, he would not part with for the longest tract about the molehill: you cannot conceive what he has undergone to purchase it ! see how the ants of all qualities and conditions swarm about him ! Should this straw drop out of his mouth, you would see all this numerous circle of attendants follow the next that took
it up; and leave the discarded insect, or run over his back to come to his successor.
6. If now you have a mind to see the ladies of the mole. hill, observe first the pismire that listens to the cmmct on her left-hand, at the same time that she seems to turn away her head from him. He tell this poor insect that she is a superior being; that her eyes are brighter than the sun; that life and death are at her disposal." She believes him, and gives herself a thousand little airs upon it. .
7. Mark the vanity of the pismire on her right-hand. She can scarcely crawl with age; but you must know she values herself upon her birth; and, if you mind, spurns at every one that comes within her reach. The little nimble coquette that is running by the side of her, is a wit. She has broken many a pismire's heart. Do but observe what a drove of admirers are running after her. .
8. We shall here finish this imaginary scene." But first of all, to draw the parallel closer, we shall suppose, if you please, that death comes down upon the molehill, in the shape of a cock sparrow; and picks up, without distinction the pismire of quality and his flatterers, the pismire of substance and his day-labourers, the white straw officer and his sycophants, with all the ladies of rank, the wits, and the beauties of the molehill.
9. May we not imagine, that beings of superior natures and perfections, regard all the instances of pride and vanity among our own species, in the same kind of view, when they take a survey of those who inhabit this earth; or, (in the language of an ingenious French poet,) of those pismires that people this heap of dirt, which human vanity has divided into climates and regions ?
ADDISON, SECTION VII.
The whistle. 1. When I was a child about seven years of age, my friends, on a holyday, filled my pocket with halfpence. I went directly towards a shop where toys were sold for children ; and being charmed with the sound of a whistue that I met by the way, in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered him all my money for it. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given tour times as much for it as it was worth, This put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the mo. ney; and they laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation.
3. My reflections on the subject gave me more chagrin, than the whistle gave me pleasure. This little event, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continu- « ing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Do not give too much for the whistle, and so I saved my money.
4. As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.
5. When I saw any one too ambitious of court-favour, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends to attain it, I said to myself, This man gives too much for his whistle.
6. When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect; He pays indeed, . said I, too much for his whistle.
7. If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow-citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth; Poor man, said I, you indeed pay too much for your whistle.
8. When I met a man of pleasure, sacrificing every. laudable improvement of mind, or of fortune, to mere sen. sual gratifications; Mistaken man! said I, you are providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure ; you give too much for your whistle.
9. If I saw one fond of fine clothes, -fine furniture, fine equipage, all above his fortune, for which he contracted debts, and ended his career in prison ; Alas! said I, he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.
10. In short, I conceived that great part of the miseries of mankind, are brought upon them by the false estimate they make of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.
When will the landscape tire the view :
Each gives each a double charm. DYER. Alexis was repeating these lines to Euphronius, who was reclining upon a seat in one of his fields, enjoying the real beauties of nature which the poet describes.
2. The evening was serene, and the landscape appeared in all the gay attire of light and shade. “A man of lively imagination,” said Euphronias, " has a property in every thing which he sees and you may now conceive yourself to be the proprietor of the vast expanse around us; and exult in the happiness of myriads of living creatures, that inhabit the woods, the lawns, and the mountains, which present themselves to our view." The house, garden, and pleasure grounds of Eugenio, formed a part of the prospect: and Alexis expressed a jocular wish, that he had more than an imaginary property in those possessions..
2. “ Banish the ungenerous desire,” said Euphronius, “ for if you indulge such emotions as these, your heart will soon become a prey to envy and discontent. Enjoy, with gratitude, the blessings which you have received from the liberal hand of Providence; increase them if you can, with honour and credit, by a diligent attention to the bu. siness for which you are designed ; and though your own *cup may not be filled, rejcice that your neighbour's overflows with plenty. Honour the abilities, and emulate the virtues, of Eugenio: but repine not that he is wiser, richer, or more powerful, than yourself.
4. His fortune is expended in acts of humanity, genero. sity, and hospitality. His superior talents are applied to tho
instruction of his children; to the assistance of his friends; to the encouragement of agriculture, and of every useful art; and to support the cause of liberty and the rights of inankind. And his power is exerted to punish the guilty, to protect the innocent, to reward the good, and to distribute justice, with an equal hand to all, I feel the affection of a brother for Eugenio : and esteem myself singularly happy in his friendship.
... PERCIVAL. ....SECTION IX.
Insolent deportment towards inferiors reproved. . * 1. SACCHARISSA was about fifteen years of age. Nature
had given her a high spirit, and education had fostered it into pride and haughtiness. This temper was displayed in every little competition, which she had with her companions. She could not brook the least opposition from those whom she regarded as her inferiors; and if they did not instantly submit to her inclination, she assumed all her airs of dignity, and treated them with the most supercilious contempt. She domineered over her father's servants ; always commanding their good offices with the voice of authority, and disdaining the gentle language of request.
2. Euphronius was one day walking with her, when the gardener brought her a nosegay, which she had ordered him to collect. « Blockhead!" she cried, as he delivered it to her;" what strange flowers you have chosen ; and how awkwardly you have put them together!"" Blame not the man with so much harshness,” said Euphronius,“ because his taste is different from yours! he meant to please you, and his good intention merits your thanks, and not your censure.” “ Thanks!" replied Saccharissa, scornfully, “He is paid for his services, and it is his duty to perform them." :3 66 And if he does perform them, he acquits himself of his duty," returned Euphronius. “The obligation is fulfilled on his side; and you have no more right to upbraid him for executing your orders according to his best ability, than he has to claim, from your father, more wages than were covenanted to be given him.” “ But he is a poor dependent,” said Saccharissa," and earns a livelihood by his daily labour."
4." That livelihood," answered Euphronius, " is the just