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No. 469. THURSDAY, AUGUST 28.
Detrahere aliquid alteri, ot hominem hominis incommodo suum augere commodum,
magis est contra naturam, quam mors, quam paupertas, quam dolor, quam cætera quæ possu nt aut corpori acciderc, aut rebus externis.
TULL To detract from other men, and turn their disadvantages to our own profit, is more con
trary to nature than death, poverty, or grief, or any thing which can affect our bodies or external circumstances.
I am persuaded there are few men, of generous principles, who would seek after great places, were it not rather to bave an op. portunity in their hands of obliging their particular friends, or those whom they look upon as men of worth, than to procure wealth and honour for themselves. To an honest mind the best
. Nor real voice nor sound. The author seems to have mistaken the Benge of his original; but that which he gives to it, is poetical, and finely expressed.-H.
T2000, Win 2:2.1.2: de a cers ji 2. ad verit iremena by wricacez utcate netent roer for the uses of com[213:50 201 Becerne, shaa ker se van themselves. These mea kost every nie ezze nat 33 enne bathte the great man, and if itey are possessed wr Icoest sitele, will consider poterty as a reerm meddai.. ia the çers who applies himself to them, and make the jastiee of his as the most powerful solicitor in his behalf. A man of tèis tecçer. what he is in a pret of business, becomes a blessing to the pas lie: he pratropines the orphan and the widos, assists the friendJenn, and guides the ignorant: he does not reject the person's pretensions, who does not know how to explain them. or refuse doing a good office for a man because he cannot pay the fee of it In short, though he regulates himself in all his proceedings by justice and equity, he finds a thousand occasions for all the goodmatured offices of generosity and compassion.
A man im unfit for such a place of trust, who is of a sour untractable nature, or has any other passion that makes him uneasy to those who approach him. Roughness of temper is apt to discountenance the timorous or modest. The proud man discourages those from approaching him, who are of a mean condition, and who most want bis assistance. The impatient man will not give limuself time to be informed of the matter that lies before him. An officer with ono or more of these unbecoming qualities, is Homotimos looked upon as a proper person to keep off imperti. nonoo and polioitation from his superior; but this is a kind of merit, that can nover atone for the injustice which may very often arise from it.
There are two other vicious qualities which render a man very unit for such a place of trust. The first of these is a dilatory
temper, which commits innumerable cruelties without design. The maxim which several have laid down for a man's conduct in ordinary life, should be inviolable with a man in office, never te think of doing that to-morrow which may be done to-day. A man who defers doing what ought to be done, is guilty of injustice so long as he defers it. The dispatch of a good office is very often as beneficial to the solicitor as the good office itself. In short, if a man compared the inconveniencies which another suffers by his delays, with the trifling motives and advantages which he himself may reap by such a delay, he would never be guilty of a fault which very often does an irreparable prejudice to the person who depends upon him, and which might be remedied with little trouble to himself.
But in the last place, there is no man so improper to be employed in business, as he who is in any degree capable of corruption; and such an one is the man, who, upon any pretence whatsoever, receives more than what is the stated and unquestioned fee of his office. Gratifications, tokens of thankfulness, dispatch money, and the like specious terms, are the pretences under which corruption very frequently shelters itself. An honest man will, however, look on all these methods as unjustifiable, and will enjoy himself better in a moderate fortune that is gained with honour and reputation, than in an over-grown estate that is cankered with the acquisitions of rapine and exaction. Were all our offices discharged with such an inflexible integrity, we should not see men in all ages, who grow up to exorbitant wealth with the abilities which are to be met with in an ordinary mechanic. I cannot but think that such a corruption proceeds chiefly from men's employ. ing the first that offer themselves, or those who have the character of shrewd worldly men, instead of searching out such as have had
* Addison, as is well known, would neither overcharge an official act por remit a fee.-G.
a liberal education, and have been traited up in the studies of kic 21.1 viride.
It Las been observel, cat es of earnisz who take to busiLes discharge is gelera..y w greater bonesty than men of the will lee chief reason für it I take to be as follows. A man that has spent his yoath in readicg, has been used to find virtue extolled, and vice stigmatized A man that has past his time in the world, has often seen vice triumphant, and virtue discounteDanced. Extortion, rapine, and injustice, which are branded with infamy in books, often give a man a figure in the world, while several qualities which are celebrated in authors, as generosity, ingenuity, and good-nature, imporеrish and ruin him. This cannot but have a proportionable effect on men, whose tempers and principles are equally good and vicious.
There would be at least this advantage in employing men of learning and parts in business, that their prosperity would sit more gracefully on them, and that we should not see many worth less persons shoot up into the greatest figures of life. 0.
I have been very often disappointed of late years, when upon examining the new edition of a classic author, I have found ubovo half the volume taken up with various readings. When I have expected to meet with a learned note upon a doubtful pas.
But in the original Fol. and 8vo. of 1712, C.
sage in a Latin poet, I have been only informed, that such or such ancient manuscripts for an et write an ac, or of some other notable discovery of the like importance. Indeed, when a different reading gives us a different sense, or a new elegance in an author, the editor does very well in taking notice of it; but when he only entertains us with the several ways of spelling the same word, and gathers together the various blunders and mistakes of twenty or thirty different transcribers, they only take up the time of the learned reader, and puzzle the minds of the ignorant. I have often fancied with myself how enraged an old Latin author would be, should he see the several absurdities in sense and grammar, which are imputed to him, by some or other of these various readings. In one he speaks nonsense; in another makes use of a word that was never heard of: and indeed there is scarce a solecism in writing which the best author is not guilty of, if we may be at liberty to read him in the words of some manuscript, which the laborious editor has thought fit to examine in the prosecution of his work.
I question not but the ladies and pretty fellows will be very curious to understand what it is that I have been hitherto talking of. I shall therefore give them a notion of this practice by endeavouring to write after the manner of several persons who make an eminent figure in the republic of letters. To this end we will suppose, that the following song is an old ode which I present to the public in a new edition, with the several various readings which I find of it in former editions, and in ancient manuscripts. Those who cannot relish the various readings, will perhaps find their account in the song, which never before appeared in print.
My love was fickle once and changing,
Nor e'er would settle in my heart;
In ev'ry face I found a dart.