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cularly struck with the neatness, and
even elegance, that reigned in the
apartment ; the modest deportiueiit
ot the ladies, though their dresa seem-
ed to iudicite a very ditferent charac-
ter J the propriety with which every
thing was served up, and the good
behaviour of tlie servants. Above all
thi^igs, the fire-place excited his i*d-
miration, and the brighmess of the

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2lO Answers to t/te Historical and PhUosopkieal QueHio^f*

fire-utensils, notwithstanding the dirt he narrowly escaped beipg to«sri faf
of the mineral, which gave warmth to an over-driven ox, and his heels- werd
the room, convinced nim that there in an instant after tripped up by one
must be a superior degree of civilization of the drivers. Tlie faughs that wer^
tq what he Lad expected. ^ excited on seeing him roll in the

The darkness was scarcely in some kennel, did not impress him with
degree dispelled, when there poured the most favourable n<»tions of the
down torrents of rain ; and candles moral character of tiie English ; but
introduced again about three o'clock, a hackney-coach was at hand, and he
led Abdollah ro imagine that natural and his guide stepped intg it, and ror
light was a very, scarce com modi t)^, turned Back to thdir apartments.—
and tl)e day of short duration in this There Abdollah soon deaned hisor
country. He' had, however, si^Jficient self, and was preparing to go on his
objects to attract his attention around intended expediiion, but he found
him, and notwithstanding the bndness that he could scarcely walk, and a
of the climate, hd found it possible to suigeon, who bad been sent for, oq
spend a day very pleasantly, tlaoueh examining him, insisted on his stay-
he never went out ot the houf e. The ing for some time in tlie house, ae^
next day, which was nearly as dark submitting to be treated methodically,
aa the preceding, was emploved in — Abdollah submitted, and wa^ con-
get ting the goods cleared at tne cus- fined to the house for three' weeki.
tom-house, to which place Abdollah His fair companions solaced him toe
went with his instnictor ; and the his misfortunes, and he made fapici
hurry, and confiision, and noise, advances under tlieircare and instruc-'
which assailed him, both in getting tion in tlie English language,
to, and transacting his business at the The sun at the end of these threa
place, began to disturb a little his weeks appeared, and they would
natural tranquillity ; and the account have reccnnmended Abdollah to more
first given to him of the barbarous out only in a coach ; but the pbik>«
maimers of the country, returned sopi^er, who wished to see every thing,
very forcibly to his mind. He could could not be prevailed on to ndake ns6
not indeed help observing tahisin- of this mode of conve^'ance*. No ao-
Btructor, on their escape m Thames- cident occurred .this time in their way
street from being jammed between to the bridge, where the African and
some carts, and knocked down by his companion saw, as is usual, thc^
some brutal carmen, that much of people running h-om one side to the
that inconvenience might be reme- other to see the barges enter, and
died, by only widening the streets ; shoot out from the arai. This sirfit
tind, when he cartie to the custom- e<}ually -attracted tiie attention of uie
house, and saw the river before him, philosopher, and regardless of the
he wondered that there was not a structure of the bridge, he was oc-
v^lk on its banks, by which they ciipied solely in looking at the barges.
might have come to such a place of 1 he water was running down, and
busjness with less trouble. Ihe Eng- Abdollah was looking down the ri*-
lisbmfln could not give him any infor- ver, expecting a barge to shit>ot£rom
mation on these heiids, but ^^as con- the arcli under him, when a suddm
tent with shewing him the long- room, scream told tlie fetal story, and a boat
and pointing out to him tlie bridge, was seen to overset, withpersonscling#
which Was noted do\vn as an object ing to it, whilst others 'were combat-
for the next day's walk, and Abdol- ing with the waves for their lives,
lah reioiced in leaving a place of riot or sinking in the waters. ' In an in-
so little adapted to his leelings, and stant boats came from all quarters.-—
rehirning to the mansions of hos- Abdollah saw them taking up the
pitality. oljjects in distress, and among them

Ihe next day his guide wzs to carr>' appeared a lemale without symptoms
him, according to ihe pieccding de- of life, carried by a bpat to the South* *
teiminatioa, to London-bridge; but wark -side of the bridge. The crowd
uniorlunately making a little round, naturally went to that qua-ter. Ab-
exposed the Atrican philosopher to a dollah and his companion followed,
number of unpieasing incidents. On and by means of the latter, thev both
turuiiig rouna tjie corner of a street^ gained admissioii to the public-Bouse^



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Answers to the Wstoricutand Philosophical Questiofis. Sll



in" tAtcH tlie body was (teposited.
They saw it laid out apparently dead ;
when soon after came a surgeon with
his assistants, and gtSin^ very metho-
dically to work, and following well-
Vnown rules, they restored the sus-
pended animation, and the lady, in
the course of a few hours, was able
to walk to her carriage, to be con-
reyed to her own house.- AbdolJah
was a silent spectator of the whole of
this transaction, and he returned home
deep in thought, not knowing which
most to admire, the want of precau-
tion in exposing people to be drown-
ed, or the mgenuity manifested in re-
cowring them from the danger to
which mey had been exposed.

Qttest. VI. Was William Tell to
be praised or detested for carrying
two arrows into the field, when he
was ordered to shoot an apple off the
head of his son ?

TTifs question will be diflferentty
considered by persons according to
their different habits and situations in
life. A priest, in former times, would
])ut a kingdom tinder an interdict,
and £hink it a meritorious act to en-
oomrage subjects to fight a^inst their
prince.; but then the rients of the
church were at stake, and the sove-
reign had dared to act against the sup-
posed sacried community. Resistance
to a sovereign , upon any other ground,
was deprecated, because; resistance in
the mnltitude one way, might lead
them to resistance in another, and to
iBhake off the yok^ imposed upon them
by priestcraft. A lawyer, brought up
in the smoke and dirt of his office,
and jddging eveiy thing by rules and
precedents laid down in courts of
W, kH()ws of no resistance to the so-
vereign wiH, if it can be made con-
sistent with any of his musty parch-
ments ^ and he will go no small
lengths to find a consistency between
a rpi^ decree, howevier tyrannical,
arrf 'the dictates of justice. Many
noble instances to the contrary were,
however, seeain the conduct of the
IMrfiaments of France, bodies cora-
fosed entirely of lawyers -, for they
«tood really 'between the sovereign
and the people, and sufiered banish-
ment ftequently, rather than register,
^ thus give a sanction to his tyran-
nical edicts. The conduct of these
parliaments deserves to be studied in
tverycoontiyy ttrhere the spstrkd of



freedom* still remain. A knavish po-
litician, who has itaade his fortune by
peculation, and the plunder of tlie
public purse, who sees nothing in go-
vernment, but an artful contrivance
by which the few are enabled to wal-
low in luxury at the expence of tlje
impoverished many, deprecates every
sort of resistance, or even thought, in
the swinish multitude. What are thQv
made for but to obey the laws, and
what business have they to consider
about them ! Let their superiors do
Svhat tliejr please ; it is the privilege
of their birth, exalted rank, superior
merits; and in some countries tliis
episcopal doctrine is carried so far,
that tne ''prince*s palace is adorned
with tlie skulls of men, and the wretch '
is not esteemed unhappy, whose head
has been dexterously struck off by
.the sovereign, merely as a trial of
skill.

The last instance shews to how loW
a pitch humnn nature may be de-
graded, and the picture of William
Tell and his two arrows would scarcely
excite any emotion in some despotical
countries. Yet surely to strike ott
heads for amusement,by a legal princp,
is jnst As bad as the striking off of
heads on account of a real or a sup-
posed injury, by an outrageous raoD.
The action of William Tell lies some-
where between these two actions,
and there is a point beyond which the
caprice and tvranny of a sovereign a^e
hot to be borne. The memory of
William Tell was long held in reve-
rence in Switzerland, and. this small
territory produced heroes not to be
conquered. But that spirit is now
lost, and some centuries will probably
elapse before another. William Tell
arises, and rouses them to cnerjgy.

But wRether the action of this hero
is praise or blame worthy, whether
we. can blame him or not for his mag-
nanimous answer to tlie tyrant, that
one arrow would have piprced hia
heart, if the other had touched tlie
child 5 and whether he is to be praised
or blamed for piercing afterwards the
' heart of that tyrant with an arrow,
and calling his countrymen to free-
dom, the action is a memorable one,
and by it we mav try our own feel-
ings. Nature will speak It out in
some miqds, and woe be to that coun-
try where its feelings are entirely silb-
dued. Tyrants are, !io\i'ever, taught

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2t2 ; On Pullic Bai^in London. .

by k not to provoke their people to inhabitaot*. ,One thiog proper to .ha
madness, to give tlieir oppressions ! attended to (should such a plan take
the semblance oflaw, to guench more '^ place) would be the employingiasu-
efFectually public spirit by various perintendant, to discharge ail person*
pretexts, and ;o make the people 'froin. bathing whilst overheated} ia
themselves their own persecutor's. — this point youth are seldom sufficiently
Thus, in Spain the Inquisition was cautious -, and I have sometimes been
established under the idle pretext of induced to think, that as many lives
tlie good of souls : each man became are lost by this fatal inattention as by
t spy upon his neighbour : the exact accidental drowning ; fe\'ers, and not
quantHia of each man's spiritual goods unfrequently insamty^ is an almost
was to be ascertained : the holy ofiice ^neral consequence attending it. It
had its spies in everj' district to ascer- should likewise be necessary tor mas-
tain them : respectaole people became ters of sclyjols to take their boys fire-
familiars, or commissaries of tlie office: quently to these places, and teach
t>je supposed criminal was to lav be- tliem the art of swimming ; an ajt,
fore them thewholeofhis spiritual con- rarely acquired but in youth, and in
cerhs, and to be subject to every vex- this maritime country essentially n©-
atious question from the commission- cessary for the preservation of the
i^rsj andthe people even rejoiced when lives of many of our brave seamen,
they saw their fellow-creature brought who for want of knowledge in
out to be burnt. this art are fseouently lost. Our

Questions to be answered next neighbours the rrfencn,. have, for
month : — j some time past, had numerous icstl-

What odier occurrences^ besides those tutions of this kind, and I should be
already mentioned, deserve to be noticed, happy to see my countrymen copying
between the uking of Babylon and the bat- the minuter decencies and duties from
rie of Marathon ? that nation of political economists ia

To what reflections do they give rise ? this respect. I am Sir, Your obe«

Which are the principal epochs between dient, &c. J. D. .

the accession of the Brunswick family to the — i.^

throne, and the American revolution ? To the Editor of' the Umversal Mag«,

To what reflections do they give lise ? sir.

Docs London afford to a reflecting THK effect of habit upon the moral
mind, a greater number ©f proofs in favour character has not been sufficiently at-
of civilization, or the want of it ? tended to ; though the connection be-

Can the Volunteers be madie as capable tween custom and principle is confer
to defend the country, as our soldiers> in sedly great, and i^ frequently leads to
their present state ? results not expected, ana conse^

^ quently, not guarded against. Thp

To the Editor of the Universal Mag. early associations of the mind often
^K, 'London, Sept. 2, IQ05. ripen ipto settled notions; expand

IN my last I expressed a wish for with the growth of man, and accordi-
the erection of puolic baths in this ing to their rectitude or obliquity,
metropolis. The benefits likely to produce consequences either hapi^f
result from the establishment of the or calamitous. Hence we may inlcx
same, in ray opinion, wilF be very the important necessity of watching
great, as few parents would tlien over the actions of children with scru-
be averse to the permitting their pulous attention ; it may be said of
children to indulge themsdves in example, tliat one preceaent is almost
the salutary, but too often fatal, re- sure to create another -, and an action
creation ol bathing, who now pro- once tolerated, gains immense ground
hibit them, from the consideration in the mind of an infant > for we na-
of the hazard attending it. As bath- turally ascribe to age wisdom, and to
Ing, by this means, would become our parents or governors, a sort of
more generalr it would naturally lead sovereign supiemacy, and inMibility.
to the preventing many of those chro- Now, if tliose injallille guardians
nic disorders virakih. arise from a re- sanction by their neutrality, any line
laxed system, so general in most large of conduct whatsoever, the ductile
cities, and imputable to the sedentary mind of infhnts instantly deddes
employment ol the major pad of the that such conduct must be prope;.

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Tht Effect of/icUf'U on the Moral Ckaraatr.



Bebig Hsicdf uoaccastomed to, and in
fact, for (he niost part, incapable
of analysing actions, and estimating
their naturS and moral propriety or
improprietj', by any secular or feligi-
ous cnienon, it Is in eveiy respect
the passive recipient of the ideas of
those to whom we are entrusted in
our tender years ; and accordingly, as
they implant in us the sentiments of
virtue, justice, and equity, so do we
grow up. The mind of a child has
b^n considered by some as a mere
tahula rasa, as adopting unconscious-
Ij, the impresdions of good or ill ;
it is endued by nature, or at least
this is the opinion of some ingenious
philosophers, with. so little discrimi-
nation or energy of thinking and
judging, that it may even admit tlie
one for the other, and, however
strange it may. appear, be taught to
receive the dictates of impiety, miu«-
tice, and villainy, as the solemn Jan-
gua^ of truth and virtue. It is im-
p<»8ible to convince a child of ordinary
alnlities, of the truth of a self-evident
propoeition, except it be such obvious
ooes as that two and two are four, that
a whole is greater than its parts, &c.
bat let the most profound metaphysi-
cian try the experiment for once, and
lee wKether they can establish in the
mind of a child tlie following truism,
tiEtt *' it is impossible to be and not to
be," at the same time. He will quick-
ly find, that the child must learn the
meaning of the terms ; for this last is
an abstract proposition, relating to a
science at once complicated and ob-
scure. Yet, abstractedly considered,
h is as obviously self-evident, as that
two and two are four.

It would be a matter of not incuri-
ous speculation, to contemplate the
iigore, as we call it, which a man
would make in society, on whom the
experiment had been tried, of invari-
ably substituting wrong for right, and
thus giving him a kind of retrograde
education, as to moral principle and
fiondnct — whether such a catechu-
inen would not be, in many resnects,
inferior to a savage of Labradore ) for,
let it be observed, tliat by pursuing
^ch a metliod, the natural sentiments
fif the human heart would be obi ite-
rated,, as I conceive, inasmuch as our
recdued systems of education have for
their object to improve upon nature,
and to expend the germs of virtuous



21*



excellence •^Inch she has sown. lo
some instances, I am. apt to think>
that a man so brought up, would be
precisely an uncultivated savagfe ; he
would have many points of similitude,
in common with the '* untutored Iiv-*
dian,". because the refined arts of ci-
vilized society have engendered cer-
tain duties, which will ever naturally
arise from men being so associated }
but which duties are altogether un-
known to mankind in its pristine, or
unembellished state. The moral code
of nature is extremely simple, consist^-
ing of but few precepts, which aie
perfectly well known to men, and"
which suffiqiently bind them in their
unorganized condition.

Speaking temperately, a man might,
I should think, be taught in many in-
stances, to act in a manner diametri-
callv opposite to what custom has pre^
scribed, and yet act conformably to
the suggestions of nature and unso-
phisticated reason. The moral cha-
racter of men is replete with selfish-
ness, hypocrisy, and contradictjoi is. j
a selfish principle often leads a man
astray, instead of expanding his heart
with universal philanthropy, andimr
buing him with ideas that rest upon
the broad principles of general and ac-
tive utility. If he possess an instinc-
tive spirit of self-enquiry, an ardent
love of truth, and an abhorrence of
that passiveness, which is prone to be-
lieve every thing which it cannot com-
prehend ; he v^ill soon reveal the
flimsy covering which conceals from
mankind their true line of conduct, iu
the path of conscientious duty, sub-
stituting in its stead, a creed compos-
ed of tlogmas, which are founded in
error, supported by ophiion, and be-
lieved from weakness. Nor will he
desist from this scrutiny, influenced
by tlie consideration, that designing
and superhcial individuals, will stig-
nriatize his character. The self -think-
ing, self-acting intrepidity of his mind,
will not only give ardour in the pur-
suit, but uj-ge nira on to surmount all
the obsticles that may be tln'own in
his way. It requires indeed, no com-
mon vigour of genius, or rather of in-
tellectual perspicacity, to suspect ihe
existence of eiTor in that which all are
unanimous in upholding -, and it ap-
pears to me that many men, who
really possess tliis first gift rccjuisite
towaras tlie attainment of truth., ar«



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:2DI TAfe 'Efott Vfg[dMt 9n The Tlkfrnl ChatacMr.

IntimidcltDil frofh the pursuit, tlirou^ for the woes of « IHlow-cotftrfl^^-
a too delicate apprehension, if I taajr man of mortal ? No. TKe game tenw
«o call it, of what may foHow j and dcrsensibilrty of mind, the same •' itn-
an injurious veneration for the opinion ^penetrable stuff," which prompts \n
ofhisneighboors, andof theworldtit to pardc?pate in the feelings of tfe
-hrafe. meanest creature that lires, promp^.

. This is a subject on which I Oduld us also to sigh imd mourn over' nm
with plea,<u-e expatiate: but -as it Is Calamities ofbuV brethren. Najr,
in some measure foreign to the pyo- m«re ; uilfeelino;ne& is more venial
fessed object oMiispj|)er, I shall waTfe in the one case than m the ^othcr.
•att)' further amplification for the pre- -Man is often the purveyor of his owti
sent, and apok)gKing for the episodical misery ; animals, it should beob serv-
mterraptlon, proceed to my proper "ed, never are ; man often suflfere jiist-
obiect. ly, animals nerer can 5 th^ are al-

1 liave-alrtady declare my opinion -most aKvays the vi<*tims 6t liunnni
as to the intimate connexion which avaride, "or brutality. If there ^« de-
invariably subsists bet^veen h^bit, and degrees of cruelty, that surely is thfe
the moral principles j*4iich regohife greatest, whidiis shown towaitisthosfe
the human chariicterj whence I infer animals which seem to seek our lb»-
the necessity of paying strict attention teringand kind protection. The prowl-
to such early habits as children are Jng tyrants of the desart— that lojndl^
■etisceptible of, and are apt to acquire, savage the Hon, the Wood-stamcft
All this was laid down as mtroductory hyena, the deathful serpeW:, or the
to a consideration of the following voracious tiger— seem by tfieir nature
question, " What kind of influence to be placed m a k'md of hostilities witfc
cruelty to animals may produce upon man; though dven to these^ I"vt'Oald
the morals ?** «hew no enmity or needless cruelty.

It is well observed by our great But what feehngs roust he pos^aesa,
ethic poet, that, who can behtive with inhumalmty w-

"Justas (he twigisbent the tree's inclinM..* "^^^^ ^? noble, generous 8t^,wte

^ ^ » carries him safely to his destinattotr^

a maxim which strongly inculcates whetlierforpleasiire,forheakb, orii)«-

the invincible powers of habit. But terest ;— the faithful, the afifectiooaie,

of habits, as ot every thing else under -the humble dog, who guards bim

the sun, there are a^grees, some be- while he sleeps, who fellows ium to

ins of CTeater importance than others, the last gasp of departing 1?&, wh6

eitner from 'their itweteracy, or from repines not, nor deserts him, -thoagli

the evil which they are likelv to draw hunger, perhaps, be his constant lot);

after them. And I am bold to give whom no ill usage «m alienate, *tib

my opinion here, that among die most caresses can inveigle or corrupt ; "Wha

inveterate, as well as most productive raises the mute eye of imploring pityi

of evil and calamity, I must ever when the uplifted hand threatens him

reckon that habit which derides the with destruction ; and who even lick^

iuf^'erings of the animal creation. Ac- that hand which has chastised hkn.

cording to my judgment, there is not Between these, (anddthers that toigtil

a more repulsive sight than tliat of be enumerated) there seems to be a

young persons indulging the horrid kind of reciprocal affection established

luxury of beholding the agonies and by nature, as if to compel man, in

distortions which the inflictwn of despite of himself, to be just and rter*-

Kain upon dumb creatures produces, ciful. But yet how seldom do we*at^

ian is ordained by scripmral autho- tend to this plain monition !

rity , to be the natural lord over all that Children, from their earliest 10^07;

lives, and he ought, in course, to be should be thoroughly grounded in tM

their namral protector; he should ne- the principle of humanity to animals,

ver oppress- tliose who cannot resist. Never should th^ be allowed to rm

nor punish, where offence cannot in dulge in the most femote or miiKit^

the nature of things be giveti. And degree, any propetisity to inflict ntf-

can it be exnectecT, let me ask, that neeessary pam 3 -fath^ let them be

the wretch wno beholds, unconcern- carefully instructed to oomroiaerat^

ed, the corporeal sufferings of a nmte . the unhappy lot <^ such as happen '^

and helpless animal^ shottid e¥er ied M#er beyoad what it may If^niithitf

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T



The ^ect ofHaMt on Me Mdrtd Character.



to redreK; let them be taught
to turn away, witli sjTnptoma of hor-
jv, €pon^ th& siffht ol helpless wretch-
edness J • let their yet un))ractised
tongues Sisp forth accents of beni^ii
ompassion for the bondage wliieh the
AuDD creation is subjected to-, let
them shudder at the bare notion of
la^nliDg the helpless, (larmless cock-
Cttler, mutilating Hiesj. tormenting
dogs^ or ttven treading upon the ino^
^nsive worm that crawls beneath
Ibdr feet ; let them early learn to re>-
met life, and tlie feelings of all that
live. I would not even have them
consider the destruction of a spider, a
beetle, or any reptile, that we otten
' vuuugfully^ perhaps, deem nox4ous^
SI a noatter of indiiterence, but as a
paii%lul necessity, which should be
aioided ioi every possible, circurn^
ilBDoe. And above all, let infant fe-
aales be thus tutored : for in them
W always expect to find whatever is
^ soft, bcioigiiaat and humane ; and this
is tb& more indispensible, as it is but
toooftea theip lot through life, to ap-
pear in. those situations where the ex-
escise of the.milder qualities is perpe*
tBaily acceptable, and perpetually re*
qoiied.

• It cannot for a moment be reason^
abi^ doubted, that the ingraf^in^ of
this^ ba|>lt upon the juvenile mind^
isoiild hai^^ very sen&ible efi^ot upon
€&e moral character. The virtues that



Online LibraryUnited States. Supreme CourtThe Universal magazine, Volume 4 → online text (page 38 of 108)