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time obliged to enter on an argument, give your reafons with the utmost coolness and modefty; two things, which scarce ever fail of making an impreffion on the hearers. Befides, if you are neither dogmatical, nor fhew, either by your actions or words, that you are full of yourself, all will the more heartily rejoice at your victory. Nay, fhould you be pinched in your argument, you may make your retreat with a very good grace: you were never pofitive, and are now glad to be better informed. This has made, fome approve the Socratical way of reafoning, where, while you fcarce affirm any thing, you can hardly be caught in an abfurdity; and, though poffibly you are endeavouring to bring over another to your opinion, which is firmly fixed, you seem only to defire information from him.
In order to keep that temper, which is fo difficult, and yet so neceffary to preferve, you may please to confider, that nothing can be more unjust or ridiculous, than to be angry with another, because he is not of your opinion. The interefts, education, and means, by which men attain their knowledge, are fo very different, that it is impoffible they fhould all think alike; and he has at least as much reason to be angry with you, as you with him. Sometimes, in order to keep cool, it may be of service to ask yourself, fairly, What might have been your opinion, had you had all the biaffes of education and interest your adverfary may poffibly have? But, if you contend for the honour of victory alone, you may lay down this as an infallible maxim, That you cannot make a more false step, or give your antagonist a greater advantage over you, than by falling into a paffion. When an argument is over, how many weighty reafons does a man recollect, which his heat and violence made him utterly forget!
It is yet more abfurd, to be angry with a man, because he does not apprehend the force of your reafons, or gives weak ones of his own. If you argue for reputation, this makes your victory the eafier: he is certainly, in all refpects, an object of your pity, rather than anger; and, if he cannot comprehend what you do, you ought to thank nature for her favours, who has given you fo much the clearer understanding. You may please to add this confideration, That, among your equals, no one values your anger, which only preys upon its mafter; and, perhaps, you may find it not very confiftent, either with prudence or your eafe, to punish yourself, whenever you meet with a fool or a knave.
LASTLY; if you propofe to yourself the true end of argument, which is information, it may be a feasonable check to your paffion; for, if you fearch purely after truth, 'twill be almoft indifferent to you where you find it. I cannot, in this place, omit an obfervation which I have often made, namely, That nothing procures à man, more efteem, and lefs envy, from the whole company, than if he chufes the part of moderator, without engaging directly on either fide in a dispute. This gives him the character of impartial, furnishes him with an opportunity of fifting things to the bottom, fhewing his judgment, and of fometimes making handfome compliments to each of the contending parties.
I fhall close this fubject with giving you one caution. When you have gained a victory, do not push it too far: 'tis fufficient to let the company, and your adversary, fee 'tis in your power; but. that you are too generous to make use of it.
EXTREMES IN BEHAVIOUR RIDICULOUS.
AM an humble coufin to two fifters, who, though
and (all things confidered) behave to me tolerably well, yet their manners and difpofitions are fo extremely oppofite, that the task of pleafing them is rendered very difficult and troublesome.
THE elder of my coufins is a very jolly, freehearted girl; and fo great an enemy to all kinds of form, that you feldom fee her with fo much as a pin in her gown: while the younger, who thinks in her heart that her fifter is no better than a flattern, runs into the contrary extreme; and is, in every thing she does, an abfolute fidfad. She takes up almost as much time to put on her gown, as her fifter does to dirty one. The elder, is too thoughtless to remember what she is to do; and the younger, is fo tedious in doing it, that the time is always elapfed in which it was neceffary for it to be done. If you lend any thing to the elder, you are fure to have it loft; or, if you would borrow any thing of the younger, it is odds but the refufes it, from an opinion that you will be lefs careful of it than herself. Whatever work is done by one fifter, is too flight to hang together for an hour's wear; and whatever is undertaken by the other, is generally too nice and curious to be finished.
As they are conftantly bed-fellows, the firft fleep of the elder is fure to be broken by the younger, whose usual time of undreffing, and folding up her
cloaths, is at least an hour and a half, allowing a third part of that time for hindrances, occafioned by her elder fifter's things, which lie fcattered every where in her way.
If they had lovers, I know exactly how it would be: the elder would lofe hers, by faying Yes too foon; and the younger, by faying No too often. they were wives, the one would be too hafty, to do any thing right; and the other, too tedious, to do any thing pleafing: or, were they mothers, the daughters of the elder, would be playing at taw with the boys; and the fons of the younger, dreffing dolls with the miffes.
I wish, Sir, you would be fo kind to these coufins of mine, as to favour them with your advice. I have faid already, that they are both good-humoured; and, if you can prevail upon the elder, to borrow from the younger, a little thought and neatnefs; and upon the younger, to add to her exactnefs, a little of the careless freedom of the elder; you would make them very amiable women, and me the happieft of all humble coufins.
N the happy period of the golden age, when all the celeftial inhabitants defcended to the earth, and converfed familiarly with mortals, among the most cherished of the heavenly powers, the offspring of Jupiter, LOVE and Joy. B 4
were twins, Wherever they
they appeared, the flowers fprung up beneath their feet, the fun fhone with a brighter radiance, and all nature seemed embellished by their prefence.
THEY were infeparable companions, and their growing attachment was favoured by Jupiter; who had decreed, that a lafting union fhould be folemnized between them, as soon as they were arrived at maturer years. But, in the mean time, the fons of men deviated from their native innocence; vice and ruin over-ran the earth with giant ftrides; and Aftrea, with her train of celeftial vifitants, forfook their polluted abodes. Love alone remained; having been ftolen away by Hope, who was his nurse, and conveyed by her to the forests of Arcadia, where he was brought up among the fhepherds. But Jupiter affigned him a different partner, and commanded him to efpoufe SORROW, the daughter of Atè. He complied with reluctance; for her features were harsh and difagreeable, her eyes funk, her forehead contracted into perpetual wrinkles, and her temples were covered with a wreath of cyprefs and wormwood.
FROM this union fprung a virgin, in whom might be traced, a ftrong refemblance to both her parents; but the fullen and unamiable features of her mother, were fo mixed and blended with the fweetnefs of her father, that her countenance, though mournful, was highly pleafing. The maids and fhepherds of the neighbouring plains, gathered round, and called her PITY. A red-breaft was obferved to build in the cabin where fhe was born; and, while fhe was yet an infant, a dove, purfued by a hawk, flew into her bofom. This nymph had a dejected appearance; but fo foft and gentle a mien, that fhe was beloved to a degree of enthufiafm. Her voice was low and plaintive, but inexpreffibly fweet; and the loved to