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Robert now became a meinber of a little de. bating society in the village of Tarbolton, which he had formed with care and attention. Here his powers were exerted, and no doubt improved. A few of their questions shall be transcribed - Whether do we derive more happiness, from love or friends ship? Whether between friends who have no reason to doubt each other's friendship, there should be any reserve? Whether is the savage man or the peasant of a civilized country in the most happy situation? Whether is a young man of the lower ranks of life likeliest to be happy, who has got a good education, and his mind well informed, or he who has just the education and information of those around him?
It was during this period, that Burns wrote most of his poems—in his own cirele he was known for his poetical talents, and drew no small admiration. He therefore resolved to extend his fanie by the publication of his poems and they met with a favourable reception. At this juncture, however, and fearing the horrors of a jail, he' had determined to emigrate to Jamaica, and was on the point of embarkation, when a kind letter from Dr. Blacklock kept him in his native country. To Edinburgh he went towards the latter end of the year 1786_and was received there by some cele brated characters, with marks of great attention.
A new and enlarged edition of his poems were now published, and dedicated to the Caledonian Hunt, an association of the principal nobility and gentry of Scotland. In his prefatory address occurs the following animated paragraph :-" I con
enthusiasm with which they inspire me, for all that this world has to offer.” It is greatly to be regretted that our bard did not adhere to these sentiments.
gratulate my country that the blood of her ancient heroes runs uncontaminated, and that from your courage, knowledge, and public spirit, she may expect protection, wealth, and liberty. May corruption shrink at your kindling indignant glance, and may tyranny in the ruler, and licentiousness in the people, find in you an inexorable foe!” The patronage which the poet received from this society increased the profits of the sale, and thus he was enabled to gratify himself in making a tour through
( To be concluded in our next. )
For the Monthly Visitor,
MR. DE SALLO,
THE FIRST INVENTOR OF PERIODICAL PUBLICATIONS.
a long and severe famine, M. de Sallo, return, ing from a summer's evening walk, with only a little foot-boy, was accosted by a man, who presenta ed his pistol, and, in a manner far from the reso-, luteness of a hardened robber, asked him for his money. M. de Səllo observing that he came to the wrong man, and that he could get little from, him, added, “ I have only three pistoles about, me, which are not worth a scuffle; so, much good may you do with them; but let me tell you, you are in a bad way.' The man took them, and without asking him for more, walked off with an air of dejection and terror.
The fellow was no sooner gone, than M. de Sallo ordered the boy to follow hiin, to see where
he went, and to give him an account of every thing The lad obeyed; followed him through several obscure streets, and at length saw him enter a baker's shop, where he observed him change one of the pistoles, and buy a large brown loaf. With this purchase he went a few doors father, and, entering an alley, ascended a pair of stairs. The boy crept 'up after him to the fourth story, where he saw him go into a room, which had no light but what it received from the moon; and peeping through a crevice, he perceived himn throw it on the floor, and burst into tears, saying, “ There, eat your fill; that's the dearest loaf I ever bought; I have robbed a gentleman of three pistoles ; let us husband them well, and let me have no more teazings; for sooner or later these doings must bring me to the gallows; and all to satisfy your clamours." His lamentations were answered by those of the whole family; and his wife having at length calmed the agony of his mind, took up the loaf, and cutting it, gave four pieces to four starying children.
The boy having thus happily performed his commission, retumed home, and gave his master an account of every thing that he had seen and heard. M. de Sallo, who was much moved, ordered the boy to call him at five in the morning. This humane gentleman arose at the time appointed, and taking the boy with him to shew him the way, enquired, in the neighbourhood, about the character of a man who lived in such a garret, with a wife and four children ; when he was told, that he was a very industrious good kind of man; that he was a shoemaker, and a neat workman, but was overburthened with a family, and had a hard struggle to live in such bad times.
Satisfied with this account, M. de Sallo ascended the shoemaker's garret; and knocking at the door,
it was opened by the poor man himself, who, knowing him at first sight to be the man he had robbed the evening before, fell at his feet, and implored his mercy, pleading the extreme distress of his family, and begging that he would forgive his first crime. M. de Sallo desired him to make no noise, for he had no intention to hurt him. “ You have a good character among your neighbours," said he, “but must expect that your life will soon be cut short, if you are now so wicked as to continue the freedom you took with me. hand; here are thirty pistoles to buy leather; husband it well, and set your children a commendable example. To put you out of farther temptations to commit such ruinous and fatal actions, I will encourage your industry; I hear you are a neat workman, and you shall take measure of me, and of this boy, for two pair of shoes each, and he shall call upon you for them.” The whole family appeared struck with joy,amazement, and gratitude. M. de Sallo departed, greatly moved, and with a mind filled with satisfaction, at having saved a man, and perhaps a family, from the commission of guilt, from an ignominious death, and perhaps from eternal perdition. Never was a day better begun; the consciousness of having performed such an action, whenever it recurs to the mind of a reasonable being, must be attended with pleasure, and that self-complacency and secret approbation, which is more desirable than gold, and all the pleasures of the earth.
I see too plainly custom forms us all:
Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclin'd.
ET us imagine, as an elucidation of the above
assertions, a child born under every favourable event of temporal prosperity; the father rich, and the mother beautiful ; its cradle is soft and downy, its pap is made of the whitest bread; and every accommodation that the little stranger demands, is furnished with the most pompous parade, and in the highest perfection. It will not be long before these softnesses will have so great an influence on the body, that the infant must im. bibe from these blessings an idea of luxury. This idea will be constantly recurring, and every day's illustration of the points which first produced it, will expand on the imagination, which, like the passions and appetites, is no foe to delicacies. Voluptuous images, thus associated, are easily admitted into the young heart, and every thing that did not correspond with those images, would, in