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fuch an earnestness and attention towards a better being, as will make the ordinary paffages of life pafs on with a becoming indifference.
THE PARTIAL JUDGE.
FARMER came to a neighbouring lawyer, expreffing great concern for an accident which he faid had just happened. One of your oxen, continued he, has been gored by an unlucky bull of mine; and I should be glad to know, how I am to make you reparation.
2. Thou art a very honeft fellow, replied the lawyer, and wilt not think it unreasonable, that I expect one of thy oxen in return. It is no more than juftice, faid the farmer, to be fure; but what did I say ?—I mistake. is your bull that has killed one of my oxen. Indeed! fays the lawyer, that alters the cafe; I muft enquire into the affair; and if-And if! faid the farmer-the business, I find, would have been concluded without an if, had you been as ready to do juftice to others, as to exact it from them.
IR William Lely, a famous painter in the reign of Charles I. agreed before hand for the price of a picture he was to draw for a rich London Alderman, who was not indebted to nature either for shape or face: the picture being finished, the Alderman endeavored to beat down the price, alleging, that if he did not purchase it, it would lie on the painter's hands.
2. "That's your mistake," fays Sir William "For I can fell it at double the price I demand." "How can that be," fays the Alderman, "for 'tis like nobody but my felf?""True," replied Sir William, "but I can draw a tail to it, and then it will be an excellent monkey." Mr. Alderman, to prevent being expofed, paid down the money demanded, and carried off the picture.
AFFECTION TO PARENTS.
N amiable youth was lamenting, in terms of the fincereft grief, the death of a most affectionate parent. His companion endeavoured to confole him by the reflec ion, that he had always behaved to the deceased with duy, tenderness, and refpect.
2. So, I thought, replied the youth, whilft my parent was living; but now I recollect, with pain and forrow, many nftances of difobedience and neglect, for which, alas! it Es too late to make atonement.
a certain Seven Wife
Greece were met together at Athens; and it was propofed that every one of them should mention what" he thought the greatest wonder in the creation. One of them, of higher conceptions than the reft, proposed the opinion of fome of the Aftronomers about the fixed stars, which they believed to be fo many funs, that had each their planets rolling about them, and were stored with plants and animals, like this earth.
2. Fixed with this thought, they agreed to fupplicate Jupiter, that he would at leaft permit them to take a journey to the moon, and stay there three days in order to fee the wonders of that place, and give an account of them at their return Jupiter confented, and ordered them to af femble on a high mountain, where there should be a cloud ready to convey them to the place they defired to fee. They picked out fome chofen companions, who might af fift them in defcribing, and painting the objects they should meet. At length they arrived at the moon, and found there a palace well fitted up for their reception.
3. The next day being much fatigued with their jour ney, they kept quiet at home till noon, and being ftill faint they refreshed themselves with a most delicious entertainment, which they relifhed fo well that it overcame their curiofity. This day they only faw through the
windows that delightful fpot, adorned with the most beautiful flowers, to which the beams of the fun gave an uncommon luftre, and heard the finging of melodious birds till evening came on. The following day they rofe very early in order to begin their obfervations. But fome very beautiful young ladies of the country coming to make them a vifit, advised them firft to recruit their strength be. fore they expofed themselves to the laborious task they were about to undertake.
4. The delicate meats, and the rich wines, prevailed over the refolution of the ftrangers. A fine concert of mufic is introduced, the young ones begin to dance, and all is turned to jollity; fo that this whole day was fpent in mirth and feftivity, till fome of the neighbouring inhab itants, growing envious at their enjoyments, rufhed in with drawn fwords. The elder part of the company tried to appease the younger, promifing that on the morrow they would bring the rioters to juftice This they per formed, and on the third day, the caufe was heard, and what with accufations, pleadings, exceptions, and the judg ment itself, the whole day was taken up, on which the term fet by Jupiter expired.
5. On their return to Greece, all the country flocked in upon them to hear the wonders of the moon described; but all they could tell was (for that was all they knew) that the ground was covered with green, intermixed with flowers, and that the birds fung amongst the branches of the trees; but of what kinds of flowers they faw, or what kinds of birds they heard, they were totally igno rant Upon which they were treated every where with contempt
6. If we apply this fable to men of the prefent age, we fhall perceive a very juft fimilitude. By thefe three days the fable denotes the three ages of man First, Youth, in which we are too feeble in every respect to look into the works of the Creator. All that feason is given up to idleness, luxury and pastime. Second, Man. hood, in which men are employed in fettling, marrying, educating children, providing fortunes for them, and bringing up a family Third, old age, in which, after having made their fortunes, they are overwhelmed with law fuits, and proceedings relating to their eftates. Thus
it frequently happens that men never confider to what end they were deftined, and why they were brought into the world.
THE LIBERTY OF THE PRESS.
HE Prefs is one of the most useful difcoveries for the general diffufion of knowledge in the world, that has ever been made. Periodical publications may be very useful to fociety, by enlightening the minds of the citizens, inftructing them in the affairs of common fife, the ftate of their country, and the common good. This country has long enjoyed the benefits refulting from fuch publications. Such, in general, has been the ufefulnefs of the freedom of the prefs, that we have had great occafion to exult in the privilege.
2. Well regulated Newspapers, and Magazines, are of inestimable value. In them we may find inftruction for the artizan, the machanic, and husbandman, the divine and the statesman. Here the fcholar and fentimentalift may find both improvement and entertainment. Here, too, every individual may trace men and manners; may read the characters of thofe in office, difcover by what methods they came there, and what are the ruling motives that govern their actions.
3. In this way the citizens may acquire fome knowledge of the nature and circumftances of the government under which they live, and learn the motives which effect the measures. A general political knowledge of this kind is not only amufing, but it may be very beneficial in a community; as it has a tendency, on the one hand, to check the encroachments of thofe in power, on the rights of individuals; fo, on the other hand, to fill the murmurs of individuals against the measures of their rulers; for men will often complain of the effect, if the caufe is unknown.
4. Thofe things will be called oppreffive and grievous, which are impofed on us through neceflity, for our own
benefit, if we are unacquainted with the occafion of the inapofition. Yet when we fee the fitnefs, or the neceffity of them, we fubmit with patience. But as the liberty of the prefs is to be fupported for the purpofe of preferving the freedom of the people, it fhould be remembered that licentioufnefs is equally prejudicial and dangerous to
5. The liberty of the prefs ought never to be fo unrefrained, as to be ufed for the promotion of licentiousness among the people. Have not many of the publications in fome of our modern newspapers been too unrestrained for the benefit of the citizens? Can it be beneficial to the community to have our gazettes crowded, as they fometimes have been, on the fubject of elections of public men? Is it well that characters fhould be handled with the cruel freedom too often exercised by anonymous writers?
6. Ought a man's private character to be called in question, treated with afperity, wounded by farcasms, and blackened by infamous afperfions in public papers, unless the writer affixes his name? Do not publications of this kind deftroy the happiness of fociety, by creating and fomenting divifions, difcords and animofities? Or can it be for the benefit of the community that public affemblies, legislatures and magiftrates, fhould be vilified in this way? Or even that the measures of government fhould be reprobated in difrespectful, opprobrious language? Can any good refult from it?
7. Ought not writings of this complexion to be precluded from the prefs, at least till the writer is willing to expofe his name? Is it well that a community should be alarmed, their fears awakened, their peace interrupted, by falfe and groundless affertions refpecting public men, or public meafures, and not be informed who it was that thus infulted them? Had the fignatures been affixed, full often, and many a time, the fearful apprehenfions of honeft men would not have been awakened. Thanks be to our countrymen, that prompt and an.ple justice has been given to injured characters, in feveral late decifions of an enlightened jury. May thefe righteous verdicts deter all from fuch unjust and cruel conduct.