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oppo'nents. Other people are satisfied too, and think no more of the error they were once disposed to censure. “0, he acted according to his conscience; there is no more to be said.”
5. Now, this would be all very well if conscience were one uniform prompter of good, and preventive of bad, in the breasts of all men. But conscience is a quality which every man possesses only in a certain extent, in proportion as he may have been originally gifted with it, and as he may have cultivated it through life. An individual may have a conscience so very small, or so very dull, that it forms no obstacle to the worst indulgences : he may be so very stupid, in regard to all speculative questions, that the conscience he thinks he acts upon is only a blind supposition of the truth.
6. In these cases conscience is no excuse. The most flagitious criminal might make it a plea for arrest of judgment; the most unenlightened of human beings might sit down upon it in selfsatisfied ignorance; the bigot might adopt it as a sanction for a war against his species. Nine-tenths of all the worst mischief, negative and positive, that ever afflicted the world, is traceable to conscience. The duty of man is to improve those faculties which enable him to think and act correctly. He must make his conscience a good conscience, and then, but then only, will he be entitled to honor in acting upon it. .
.7. Akin to this error is one which makes meaning well an excuse for everything. Nay, some not only excuse all kinds of follies and mischiefs by telling themselves and others that they mean well, but they make it a regular boast as a primary rule of conduct, and take not the least care for anything else. They will deliberately go on from day to day in a course injurious to both themselves and others, and, reposing indolently upon their good intentions, neglect all fair opportunities of advantage, all feasible natural means of accomplishing their ends, and finally, perhaps, allow the broad wheel of ruin to come over them, without making an effort to get out of the way.
8. There is also a great sect of philanthropists, who, taking no pains to ascertain the true means of promoting human happiness, and possibly prepossessed in favor of many things which are adverse to it, form, in reality, through the very respect that is paid to their well-meaning impenetrability, the greatest existing obstacles to the object they profess to have in view. Men can never be sufficiently vigilant in guarding against this easy palliation of error and prejudice; their duty is to see that they both mean well, and take the proper means for forming a sound judgment and constructing a correct rule of action CHAMBERS.
CXLVI. — SELECT PASSAGES IN VERSE.
1. TRUE GLORY. — Milton.
2. CONSOLATION FOR A FRIEND'S DEATH. — Milton
3. I'RUTH. - Cowper. The only amaranthineti flower on earth Is virtue; the only lasting treasure, truth.
But what is truth? 'Twas Pilate’ser question put
4. HARMONY OF EXPRESSION. -- Pope. But most by numbers judge a poet's song ; And smooth or rough, with them is right or wrong : In the bright MuseEi though thousand charms conspire, Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire ; Who haunt Parnassuget but to please their ear, Not mend their minds ; as some to church repair, Not for the doctrine, but the music there. These156 equal syllables alone require, Though oft the ear the open vowels tire ; While ex'pletivesEl their feeble aid do join, And ten low words oft creep in one dull line ; While they ring round the same unvaried chimes, With sure returns of still expected rhymes ; . Where'er you find “ the cooling western breeze,” In the next line it " whispers through the trees; ". If crystal streains “ with pleasing murmurs creep,” The reader 's threatened (not in vain) with “ sleep;' Then, at the last and only couplet, fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, A needless AlexandrineEi ends the song, That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along. Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know What’s roundly smooth, or languishingly slow; And praise the easy vigor of a line, Where Denham's strength and Waller's sweetness join. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance; As those move easiest who have learned to dance. "T is not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seems an echo to the sense : Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar. When AjaxEl strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labors, and the words move slow; Not so when swift Camilla El scours the plain, Flies o’er the unbending corn, and skims along the main
5. THE HOPE OF AN HEREAFTER. — Campbell.
Eternal Hope! when yonder spheres sublime
CXCI. — THE MEETING OF THE WATERS.
THERE is not in the wide world a valley so sweet
Yet it was not that Nature had shed o'er the scene
'Twas that friends, the beloved of my bosom, were near,
Sweet vale of Avoca ! how calm could I rest
• The rivers Avon and Avoca, in the county of Wicklow, Ireland.
The sacred organ's praise !
Notes inspiring holy love,
To mend the choirg'8 above.
Sequaciouse of the lyre ;
When to her organ vocal breath was given,
CXCVI. — PIZARRO IN PERU.
1.- SUFFERINGS IN THE FORESTS. On the departure of his vessels, Pizarro marched into the interior, in the hope of finding the pleasant champaign country which had been promised him by the natives. But at every step the forests seemed to grow denser and darker, and the trees towered to a height such as he had never seen, even in these fruitful regions, where nature works on so gigantic a scale. Hill continued to rise above hill, as he advanced, rolling onward, as it were, by successive waves, to join that colossal barrier of the Andes, whose frosty sides, far away above the clouds, spread out like a curtain of burnished silver, that seemed to connect the heavens with the earth.
On crossing these woody eminences, the forlorn adventurers would plunge into ravines' of frightful depth, where the exhalations of a humid soil steamed up amidst the incense of sweetscented flowers, which shone through the deep glooms in every conceivable variety of color. Birds, especially of the parrot tribe, mocked this fantastic variety of nature with tints as brilliant as those of the vegetable world. Monkeys chattered in crowds above their heads, and made grima'ces like the fiendish spirits of these solitudes; while hideous reptiles, engendered in the slimy depths of the pools, gathered round the footsteps of the wanderers.
Here was seen the gigantic boä, coiling his unwieldy folds about the trees, so as hardly to be distinguished from their trunks, till he was ready to dart upon his prey; and alligators lay basking on the borders of the streams, or, gliding under the waters, seized their incautious victim before he was aware of their approach. Many of the Spaniards perished miserably in