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a proper temper again, till they have been overcooled. My scepticism might be necessary, to abate the fever and frenzy of false religion.

Locke. A wise prescription, indeed, to bring on a paralytical state of the mind, (for such a scepticism as yours is a palsy, which deprives the mind of all vigour, and deadens its natural and vital powers,) in order to take off a fever, which temperance, and the milk of the evangelical doctrines, would probably cure?

Bayle. I acknowledge that those medicines have a great power. But few doctors apply them untainted with the mixture of some harsher drugs, or some unsafe and ridiculous nostrums of their own.

Locke. What you now say is too true.-God has given us a most excellent physic for the soul, in all its diseases; but bad and interested physicians, or ignorant and conceited quacks, administer it so ill to the rest of mankind, that much of the benefit of it is unhappily lost. Lord Lyttelton.

THE FAILINGS OF MEN SHOULD EXCITE COM-
PASSION RATHER THAN RIDICULE.

DEMOCRITUS AND HERACLITUS.

Dem. I FIND it impossible to reconcile myself to a melancholy philosophy.

Her. And I am equally unable to approve of that vain philosophy, which teaches men to depise and ridicule one another. To a wise and feeling mind, the world appears in a wretched and painful light.

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Dem. Thou art too much affected with the state of things; and this is a source of misery to thee.

Her. And I think thou art too little moved by it. Thy mirth and ridicule bespeak the buffoon, rather than the pbilosopher. Does it not excite thy compassion, to see mankind so frail, so blind, so far departed from the rules of virtue?

Dem. I am excited to laughter, when I see so much impertinence and folly.

Her. And yet, after all, they, who are the objects of thy ridicule, include, not only mankind in general, but the persons with whom thou livest, thy friends, thy family, nay even thyself.

Dem. I care very little for all the silly persons I meet with; and think I am justifiable in diverting myself with their folly.

Her. If they are weak and foolish, it marks neither wisdom nor humanity, to insult rather than pity them. But is it certain, that thou art not as extravagant as they are?

Dem. I presume that I am not; since, in every point, my sentiments are the very reverse of theirs.

Her. There are follies of different kinds. By constantly amusing thyself with the errours and misconduct of others, thou mayst render thyself equally ridiculous and culpable.

Dem. Thou art at liberty to indulge such sentiments; and to weep over me too, if thou hast any tears to spare. For my part, I cannot refrain from pleasing myself with the levities and ill conduct of the world about me. Are not all men foolish, or irregular in their lives?

Her. Alas! there is but too much reason to be lieve, they are so: and on this ground, I pity and deplore their condition. We agree in this point, that men do not conduct themselves according to reasonable and just principles: but I, who do not suffer myself to act as they do, must yet regard the dictates of my understanding and feelings, which compel me to love them; and that love fills me with compassion for their mistakes and irregularities. Canst thou condemn me for pitying my own species, my brethren, persons born in the same condition of life, and destined to the same hopes and privileges? If thou shouldst enter an hospital, where sick and wounded persons reside, would their wounds and distresses excite thy mirth? And yet, the evils of the body bear no comparison with those of the mind. Thou wouldst certainly blush at thy barbarity, if thou hadst been so unfeeling as to laugh at or despise a poor miserable being, who had lost one of his legs: and yet thou art so destitute of humanity, as to ridicule those, who appear to be deprived of the noble powers of the understanding, by the little regard which they pay to its dictates.

Dem. He who has lost a leg is to be pitied, because the loss is not to be imputed to himself: but he who rejects the dictates of reason and conscience, voluntarily deprives himself of their aid. The loss originates in his own folly.

Her. Ah! so much the more is he to be pitied! A furious maniac, who should pluck out his own eyes, would deserve more compassion than an ordinary blind man.

Dem. Come, let us accommodate the business. There is something to be said on each side of the question. There is every where reason for laughing, and reason for weeping. The world is ridiculous, and I laugh at it: it is deplorable, and thou lamentest over it. Every person views it in his own way, and according to his own temper. One point is unquestionable, that mankind are preposterous to think right, and to act well, we must think and act differently from them. To submit to the authority, and follow the example of the greater part of men, would render us foolish and miserable.

Her. All this is, indeed, true; but then, thou hast no real love or feeling for thy species. The calamities of mankind excite thy mirth: and this proves that thou hast no regard for men, nor any true repect for the virtues which they have unhappily abandoned. Fenelon.

VIRTUE COMMANDS RESPECT, EVEN FROM THE

WICKED.

DIONYSIUS, PYTHIAS, AND DAMON.

Dion. AMAZING! What do I see? It is Pythias just arrived.—It is indeed Pythias. I did not think it possible. He is come to die, and to redeem his friend!

Pyth. Yes, it is Pythias. I left the place of my confinement, with no other views, than to pay to Heaven the vows I had made; to settle my family concerns according to the rules of justice; and to

bid adieu to my children, that I might die tranquil and satisfied.

Dion. But why dost thou return? Hast thou no fear of death? Is it not the character of a madman, to seek it thus voluntarily?

Pyth. I return to suffer, though I have not deserved death. Every principle of honour and goodness forbids me to allow my friend to die for me.

Dion. Dost thou, then, love him better than thyself?

Pyth. No; I love him as myself. But I am persuaded that I ought to suffer death, rather than my friend; since it was Pythias whom thou hadst decreed to die. It were not just that Damon should suffer, to deliver me from the death which was designed, not for him, but for me only.

Dion. But thou supposest, that it is as unjust to inflict death upon thee, as upon thy friend.

Pyth. Very true; we are both perfectly innocent; and it is equally unjust to make either of us suffer.

Dion. Why dost thou then assert, that it were injustice to put him to death, instead of thee?

Pyth. It is unjust, in the same degree, to inflict death either on Damon or on myself; but Pythias were highly culpable to let Damon suffer that death, which the tyrant had prepared for Pythias only.

Dion. Dost thou then return hither, on the day appointed, with no other view, than to save the life of a friend, by losing thy own?

Pyth. I return, in regard to thee, to suffer an act of injustice which it is common for tyrants to in

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