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every prudent man will, from that circumstance alone, make a difference in the trust which he reposes in each. We have reason to expect greater wit and gaiety in a Frenchman than in a Spaniard, though Cervantes was horn in Spain. An Englishman will naturally be thought to have more wit than a Dane, though Tycho Brahe was a native of Denmark.

to us.

Different reasons are assigned for these national characters, while some account for them from moral, and others from physical causes. By moral causes, I mean all circumstances which are fitted to work on the mind, as motives or reasons, and which render a peculiar set of manners habitual Of this kind are the nature of the government, the revolutions of public affairs, the plenty or penury in which the people live, the situation of the nation with regard to its neighbours, and such like circumstances. By physical causes, I mean those qualities of the air and climate, which are supposed to work insensibly on the temper, by altering the tone and habit of the body, and giving a particular complexion; which though reflection and reason may sometimes overcome, yet will it prevail among the generality of mankind, and have an influence on their manners.

That the character of a nation will very much depend on moral causes, must be evident to the most superficial observer; since a nation is nothing but a collection of individuals, and the manners of individuals are frequently determined by these causes. As poverty aud hard labour debase the minds of the common people, and render them unfit for any science or ingenious profession, se

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where any government becomes very oppressive to all its subjects, it must have a proportional effect on their temper and genius, and must banish all the liberal arts from amongst them.

The same principle of moral causes fixes the characters of different professions, and alters even the disposition which the particular members receive from the hand of nature. A soldier and a priest are different characters in all nations and all ages, and this difference is founded on circumstances, whose operation is external and unalterable.

The uncertainty of their life makes soldiers lavish and generous, as well as brave; their idleness, as well as the large societies which they form in camps or garrisons, inclines them to pleasure and gallantry; by their frequent change of company they acquire good-breeding and an openness of behaviour; being employed only against a public and open enemy, they become candid, honest, and undesigning and as they use more the labour of the body than the mind, they are commonly thoughtless and ignorant.

It is a trite but not altogether a false maxim, that priests of all religions are the same; and though the character of the profession will not in every instance prevail over the personal character, yet is it sure always to predominate with the greater number. For as chymists observe, that spirits when raised to a certain height are all the same, from whatever materials they be extracted; so these men being elevated above humanity, acquire an uniform character, which is entirely their own, and which is in my opinion, generally speak

ing, not the most amiable that is to be met with in human society: it is in most points opposite to that of a soldier, as is the way of life from which it is derived. Hume.

CHARACTER OF EPAMINONDAS.

EPAMINONDAS was born and educated in that honest poverty which those less corrupted ages accounted the glorious mark of integrity and virtue. The instructions of a Pythagorean philosopher, to whom he was entrusted in his earliest years, formed him to all the temperance and severity peculiar to that sect, and were received with a docility and pleasure which bespoke an ingenuous mind. Music, dancing, and all those arts which were accounted honourable distinctions at Thebes, he received from the greatest masters. In the athletic exercises he became conspicuous, but soon learned to apply particularly to those which might prepare him for the labours and occasions of a military life. His modesty and gravity rendered him ready to hear and receive instruction; and his genius enabled him to learn and improve. A love of truth, a love of virtue, tenderness, and humanity, and an exalted patriotism, he had learned, and soon displayed. To those glorious qualities he added penetration and sagacity, a happiness in improving every incident, a consummate skill in war, an unconquerable patience of toil and distress, a boldness in enterprise, vigour, and magnanimity. Thus did he become great and terrible in war; nor was he less distinguished by

the gentler virtues of peace and retirement. He had a soul capable of the most exalted and disinterested friendship: the warmth of his benevolence supplied the deficiencies of his fortune; his credit and good offices frequently were employed to gain that relief for the necessities of others, which his own circumstances could not grant them; within the narrow sphere of these were his desires regularly confined; no temptations could corrupt him; no prospects of advantage could shake his integrity; to the public he appeared unalterably and solely devoted; nor could neglect or injuries abate his zeal for Thebes. All these illustrious qualities he adorned with that eloquence which was then in such repute, and appeared in council equally eminent, equally useful to his country as in action. By him Thebes first rose to sovereign power, and with him she lost her greatness. Leland.

CHARACTER OF EPICURUS.

I BELIEVE you will find, that Aristotle is still to be preferred to Epicurus. The former made some useful experiments and discoveries, and was engaged in a real pursuit of knowledge, although his manner is much perplexed. The latter was full of vanity and ambition. He was an impostor, and only aimed at deceiving. He seemed not to believe the principles which he has asserted. He committed the government of all things to chance. His natural philosophy is absurd. His moral phi-. losophy wants its proper basis, the fear of God.

rance.

Monsieur Bayle, one of his warmest advocates, is of the last opinion, where he says, On ne sauroit pas dire assez de bien de l'honnêtetè de ces mœurs, ni assez de mal de ses opinion sur la religion. His general maxim, That happiness consisted in pleasure, was too much unguarded, and must lay a foundation of a most destructive practice: although, from his temper and constitution, he made his life sufficiently pleasurable to himself and agreeable to the rules of true philosophy. His fortune exempted him from care and solicitude; his valetudinarian habit of body from intempeHe passed the greatest part of his time in his garden, where he enjoyed all the elegant amusements of life. There he studied. There he taught his philosophy. This particularly happy situation greatly contributed to that tranquillity of mind and indolence of body, which he made his chief ends. He had not, however, resolution sufficient to meet the gradual approaches of death, and ́ wanted that constancy which sir William Temple ascribes to him: for in his last moments, when he found that his condition was desperate, he took such large draughts of wine, that he was absolutely intoxicated and deprived of his senses; so that he died more like a bacchanal than a philosopher. Lord Orrery.

CONTINENCE OF SCIPIO AFRICANUS.

THE soldiers, after the taking of New Carthage, brought before Scipio a young lady of such distinguished beauty, that she attracted the eyes of all

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