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“ It must not be omitted, that he gave the preference to female company; indeed, he is a general favourite of the ladies, who find in Jack all the careless good nature, and suavity of manners, that is requisite to a good companion; he enters into conversation with a gaiety which surprises those who know what he has suffered, and chats on every subject as far as he understands it, without affectation; for lie has skimmed the circle of general knowledge, and is seldom at a loss in conversation. His friendships are always warm and generally lasting; his purse is the property of his friend, and the unfortunate; and he not unfrequently suffers pecuniary inconvenience to relieve his friend from it. This conduct, as he is wanting in precaution, and seldom discriminates between real friends, and those who appear only to be so, has plunged him into difficulties and embarrassments of the most distressing nature. In a word, if the voice of want assails his ear, he is unable to fly from it, considering that while he is coolly ascertaining the measure of their distress they might perish. Yet, with all this humanity, there is not a soul breathing that possesses more pride than Jack Giddy, and so many other peculiarites, that, take him all together, he is one of the strangest compounds that can wear the face of humanity, as will be perceived when we finish this outline sketch of an odd fellow's cha. racter.
If it were not that we are flattered through life with continual fresh prospects and lively hopes, dull and heavy indeed would be the road; happily we are no sooner vexed or disappointed at any thing, but in the common course of incidents we have, by the turn of a few hours, some new hope or expectation to refresh and enliven us, keeping us in temper with the uphill journey of life. Satisfaction does not even close the scene upon us ; satisfaction is the end of hope; yet not the end, since from her maturities fresh prospects rise yet more pleasant to look to; she gives us all we ask and promises us more; nor has the man any reason to be depressed, who has met with a train of disappointments; he who awaits vicissitude with good humour plays but at hazard, at which, however for a time the run of luck may be against him, he is sure one day or other to get a game. Equally, useless and unnecessary is it to give way to too great a share of reflection upon the past; after thoughts are of little value, and regret a tormenting fiend, who will never let us be enough at ease to put things to rights. Reflection is only necessary to bring before us past experiences, and then it is of noble service to the mind, which, to act properly in life, should be free from the disorders of despair and dejection, which enslave the best intentions and endeavours, and render us unfit even for good fortune. Happy are those characters who grow from experience better in mind and judgment, without melancholy retrospects and unavailing chagrin. I shall give my readers a description of one of the last characters, as a good lesson for the road so
many are destined to travel; it is in the following lines:
When I set out in life with gee ho! gee ho!
Now, firm in my saddle, I gallop'd all day,
I recover'd my seat, and to prove I was game,
At last we put up at an inn in our way,
The hostess assur'd me, the comforts of life
Such is the traveller, who laugh and joke, and frolic along the road, who can stand the rough of all weathers, because he is not afraid of spoiling a fine coat, or catching cold with the showers and hail storms which will at times assail him; he canters on, and is sure, if he chuses, to find the inn if he only looks for the sign.
Perhaps the more sensible and delicate minds, who delight in the luxuries of the imagination, and who appear actually to disdain contentment, may
joyment in the contemplations of coming good, until the hours of time shall have run'out, like the man who never ceas’d to believe, during sixty years, that he should, one day or other, ride in a coach and six. The following stanzas may not be unacceptable to such.
Gentle goddess! spare an hour,
Assist me with thy sov'reign aid;
The wounds by adverse fortune made.
Sit here with me, with me retreat,
On thy soft bosom let ine rest;
Tell me still, I shall be blest.
Then smiling in the face of care,
Promise pleasure, paint success;
With thy gay charms my fancy dress.
Paint my chariot rolling by
The friends by adverse fortune tried;
To level them and raise my pride.
Thus, gentle Hope can charm awhile !
What if we wake in Fortune's pow'r,
And, smiling, cheat her of an hour.
I PREPARE to record the first instance of one of the most eminent of the pleaders answering a case without a fee, and I think of it with all that astonishment of respect which never fails to confound the vulgar in their apprehension of things. Previously however to a consideration of the opinion of Mr. Erskine on the Volunteer establishment, I shall first endeavour to appreciate justly the moral, religious, and political character of a volunteer. A volunteer is a man who steps forth in the hour of necessity to defend his country, his king, his possessions, and to watch the safety and repose of his domestic family; such a man has the most lively affectionate impressions, aided by the strongest reasoning, to engage him in so honourable a service; his cause is so just against an invader, that he is rendered almost invincible by the pureness of motive which brings him into the field. Prowess is the
. effect of unsullied honour working in the mind, which never fails to produce acts of valour. I believe that, originally, many became volunteers that they might