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CHA P. XII.
IN PRAISE OF VIRTU E.
VIRTUE is of intrinfic value and good defert, and
of indifpenfible obligation; not the creature of will, but neceffary and immutable: not local or temporary, but of equal extent and antiquity with the DIVINE MIND; not a mode of fenfation, but everlasting TRUTH; not dependent on power, but the guide of all power. VIRTUE is the foundation of honour and efteem, and the fource of all beauty, order, and happiness in nature. It is what confers value on all the other endowments and qualities of a reasonable being, to which they ought to be abfolutely fubfervient, and without which the more eminent they are, the more hideous deformities and the greater curfes they become. The ufe of it is not confined to any one stage of our existence, or to any particular fituation we can be in, but reaches through all the periods and circumstances of our beings.-Many of the endowments and talents we now poffefs, and of which we are too apt to be proud, will cease entirely with the prefent ftate; but this will be our ornament and dignity in every future ftate to which we may be removed. Beauty and wit will die, learning will vanish away, and all the arts of life be foon forgot; but virtue will remain for ever. This unites us to the whole rational creation, and fits us for converfing with any order of fuperior natures, and for a place in any part of God's works. It procures us the approbation and love of all wife and good beings, and renders them our allies and friends. But what is of unfpeakably greater confequence is, that it makes God our friend, affimilates and unites our minds to his, and engages his almighty power in
our defence.-Superior beings of all ranks are bound by it no less than ourselves. It has the fame authority in all worlds that it has in this. The further any being is advanced in excellence and perfection, the greater is his attachment to it, and the more is he under its influence.To fay no more; 'Tis the LAW of the whole universe ; it stands first in the estimation of the Deity; its original is his nature; and it is the very object that makes him lovely.
SUCH is the importance of Virtue.-Ofwhat confequence, therefore, is it that we practise it ?-There is no argument or motive which is at all fitted to influence a reasonable mind, which does not call us to this. One virtuous difposition of foul is preferable to the greatest natural accomplishments and abilities, and of more value than all the treasures of the world. If you are wife, then, study virtue, and contemn every thing that can come in competition with it. Remember, that nothing else deserves one anxious thought or wish. Remember, that this alone is honour, glory, wealth, and happiness. Secure this, and you fecure every thing. Lofe this, and all is loft.
С НА Р. хил.
THE SPEECH OF BRUTUS ON THE DEATH OF CESAR.
OMANS, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my caufe ; and be filent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe. Cenfure me in your wisdom, and awake your fenfes, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this affembly, any dear friend of Cæfar's, to him I fay, that 0 3 Brutus's
Brutus's love to Cæfar was no less than his. If then that
HERE comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony; who, though he had no hand in his death, fhall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; as which of you thall not? With this I depart, that as I flew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the fame dagger for myfelf, when it shall please my country to need my death. SHAKESPEAR.
CHA P. XIV.
GLOCESTER's SPEECH TO THE NOBLES.
RAVE Peers of England, pillars of the state,
Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
In winter's cold, and fummer's parching heat,
Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe?
Crowned in Paris, in despight of foes?
And fhall these labours and these honours die?
T was at a time, when a certain friend, whom I highly value, was my gueft. We had been fitting together, entertaining ourselves with Shakespear. Among many of his characters, we had looked into that of Wolfey. How foon, says my friend, does the Cardinal in disgrace abjure that happiness which he was lately fo fond of? Scarcely out of office, but he begins to exclaim,
Vain pomp and glory of the world! I hate ye.
So true is it, that our fentiments ever vary with the season ; and that in adverfity we are of one mind, in profperity of another. As for his mean opinion, faid I, of human happiness, it is a truth, which small reflection might have taught him long before. There feems little need of diftrefs to inform us of this. I rather commend the feeming wisdom of that eastern monarch, who in the affluence of profperity, when he was proving every pleafure, was yet fo fenfible of their emptinefs,