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ings towards us. The energies of the mind are wasted in these intemperate effusions. Those materials of projectile force, which now carelessly scattered explode with an offensive and useless noise, directed by wisdom and union might heave rocks from their base,—or perhaps (apart from the metaphor) might produce the desired effect without the convulsion.
For this subdued sobriety of temper a practical faith in the doctrine of philosophical necessity seems the only preparative. That vice is the effect of error and the offspring of surrounding circumstances, the object therefore of condolence not of anger, is a proposition easily understood, and as easily demonstrated. But to make it spread from the understanding to the affections, to call it into action, not only in the great exertions of patriotism, but in the daily and hourly occurrences of social life, requires the most watchful attentions of the most energetic mind. It is not enough that we have once swallowed these truths :-we must feed on them, as insects on a leaf, till the whole heart be colored by their qualities, and show its food in every the minutest fibre.* Finally, in the spirit of the Apostle,
Watch ye! Stand fast in the principles of which ye have been convinced! Quit yourselves like, men! Be strong! Yet let all things be done in the spirit of love.
* I hope that this last paragraph, in all the fulness of its contrast with my present convictions, will start up before me whenever I speak, think, or feel intolerantly of persons on account of their doctrines and opinions.
30th Oct. 1818
THE SECOND LANDING PLACE:
OR ESSAYS INTERPOSED FOR AMUSEMENT, RETROSPECT, AND PREPARATION.
MISCELLANY THE SECOND.
Etiam a musis si quando animum paulisper abducamus, apud Musas ninilominus feriamur; at reclines quidem, at otiosas, at de his et illis inter se libere colloquentes.
THE SECOND LANDING PLACE.
It were a wantonness, and would demand
By reason, barren of all future good.
But we have known that there is often found
In mournful thoughts and always might be found
I KNOW not how I can better commence my second LandingPlace, as joining on to the section of Politics, than by the following proof of the severe miseries which misgovernment may occasion in a country nominally free. In the homely ballad of the Three Graves* I have attempted to exemplify the effect, which one painful idea, vividly impressed on the mind under unusual circumstances, might have in producing an alienation of the understanding; and in the parts hitherto published, I have endeavored to trace the progress to madness, step by step. But though the main incidents are facts, the detail of the circumstances is of my own invention; that is, not what I knew, but what I conceived likely to have been the case, or at least equivalent to it. In the tale that follows, I present an instance of the same causes acting upon the mind to the production of conduct as wild as that of madness, but without any positive or permanent loss of the reason or the understanding; and this in a real occurrence, real in all its parts and particulars. But in truth this tale overflows with a human interest, and needs no philosophical deduction to make it impressive. The account was
* Poet, Works, VII. p. 167.—Ed.