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attention, for reasons of more importance than is ordinarily supposed.
PREFERMENT TO PLACE. I have often wondered, both in reading history and in observing my own times, that there are so few examples of the worthy employment of patronage. It might be supposed the glory and the influence that would result from it to men in high place, would have made that the rule, which unfortunately for mankind is but the exception. “He that seeketh to be eminent amongst able men,” says Lord Bacon, “ hath a great task ; but that is ever good for the public. But he that plots to be the only figure amongst ciphers, is the decay of a whole age.” Of all the talents that could be possessed by men in power, surely that would be the noblest and most useful, which would enable them to avail themselves of the talents of others. It is marvellous that the feeling of responsibility, that the consciousness of the destiny of millions being in their hands, that the love of the approbation of the wise and good, do not outweigh in the minds of kings and ministers all lesser considerations. It is natural to think that the very circumstance of being placed on what Bacon calls “ the vantage ground to do good,” would of itself inspire lofty ideas and comprehensive views; as grandeur of position in the physical world creates a corresponding elevation of mind, and a total forgetfulness of self. The influence of one man, however high his station, can but be trifling except through the medium of those below him, and his influence will be great and beneficial in proportion to the worthiness of the channels through which it flows. Nothing would so effectually excite honourable ambition as the conviction that the road to preferment lay open to merit alone, and that every place would be bestowed, without other consideration, upon the person most fitted to fill it.
The adoption of such a system would be productive of the double advantage of a higher tone and more efficient service, and would put an end to that race of aspirants who use those arts to prevail which ought to ensure their defeat. Wise institutions and good laws are comparatively of little avail, without able and honourable men in the different degrees of office, and it is only by a regularly just disposal of preferment that the proper standard of purity and zeal will ever be established in the administration of the various branches of the public service. Individual instances of the preferment of the most worthy produce only partial and temporary benefit, and the tone of the class, in the long-run, ordinarily prevails. It is by a species of rivalry in well-doing
that zeal is kept alive, and standing alone becomes wearisome and discouraging. All patronage is a trust; and bestowing preferment unworthily is a violation of a trust, and the greater the unworthiness the greater the violation. It is not enough to prefer those who are fit; the choice should fall upon the most fit. It is not enough to choose from those who apply; the most meritorious should be sought out, and the preferment offered to them, not as matter of favour and obligation, but as something required to be accepted fron a sense of public duty. It is true, these are not the doctrines generally received; if they were, patronage would not so openly be made an instrument for creating undue influence, or upholding party ; nor would the public service be so often sacrificed for the sake of making provision for relations, friends, and dependents; a system which, strange to say, advocates amongst those who think rightly on other points, and who have no immediate interest in perverting the truth. opinion, there is nothing more deserving of reprobation in public men than abuse of patronage; because I think there is nothing more detrimental to the public welfare. It not only discourages existing merit, and prevents a further increase, but it encourages importunity, intrigue, servility, profligacy of principle, and many other base qualities, which spread their pestiferous influence over society. It enables men in power to maintain themselves by other supports than that of public opinion, and surrounds them with a phalanx of hangers-on, who effectually deter the meritorious from even thinking of making their approach. Political reforms have done something, and may do more, towards diminishing the abuse of patronage ; but what is chiefly wanted, is a higher moral tone, to scout every appointment that is not made upon the only sound principle of selecting the best fitted.
POVERTY AND PAUPERISM. I give the following extract from my pamphlet on Pauperism, on account of the distinction drawn between Poverty and Pauperism, and for the sake of correcting certain erroneous notions connected with the two :
" In order to exhibit pauperism in its strongest colours, suppose an extensive and fertile parish, with an unusual number of wealthy residents, with large woods, much game, a facility of smuggling, two or three commons, several almshouses, endowments for distributing bread and clothes, and much private charity; and suppose the rich to take no further concern in parochial affairs, than alternately to grumble at the amount of a rate, or the harshness of an overseer, as application is made to them for their
money, or for their protection. Under such circumstances the spirit of pauperism will be at its height; and yet people who should know. better will be found to hold such language as this: "I don't know how it is the rates in this parish are so high ; we are particularly well off for provision for the poor ; there are almshouses, and regular distributions of food and clothes; they have all common rights, at least they all take them; they pick
fuel for nothing I am sure they are never out of my woods ; they smuggle almost everything they want; and then private charity is really quite unbounded; and yet I can't say I see much gratitude in return; the damage done to property is immense, and the expense and vexation about game completely destroy all the pleasure of it. I often wish I had not a bird or a hare on my estate. Really it is in vain to do anything for the poor ; indeed, I think the more pains one takes, the worse they are. Lord
gave them an ox to roast last King's birth-day, and they absolutely pulled down his park paling to make the fire.' For poverty put pauperism, and for charity indiscretion, and all will be explained. Giving to pauperism is only spreading the compost on the weeds to make them ranker.'
“It is of the utmost importance accurately to distinguish between poverty and pauperism ; for by confounding them, poverty is dishonoured and pauperism countenanced. Supply poverty with means and it vanishes, but pauperism is the more confirmed. Poverty is a sound vessel empty, but pauperism is not only empty but cracked. Poverty is a natural appetite, merely wanting food-pauperism a ravenous atrophy, which no food can satisfy. Poverty strives to cure itself-pauperism to contaminate others. Poverty often stimulates to exertionpauperism always paralyzes. Poverty is sincere-pauperism is an arch-hypocrite. Poverty has naturally a proud spiritpauperism a base one, now servile, now insolent. Poverty is silent and retiring-pauperism clamorous and imposing; the one grateful, the other the reverse. There is much that is alluring in poverty, but pauperism is altogether hateful. It is delightful to succour the one, and irksome to be taxed for the other. Poverty has the blessing of Heaven as well as those who relieve it-pauperism, on the contrary, has nothing in common with the Christian virtues. St. Paul has described the spirit of pauperism, and given his decided opinion upon it.
Neither did we eat any man's bread for naught ; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you, to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded—that if any would not
* This actually happened a few years since.
work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busy bodies. Now those that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work and eat their own bread. Indeed the injunctions of Christianity are wholly in opposition to the spirit of pauperism; and the merit of those institutions which serve to encourage, and of those individuals who thoughtlessly succour it, may be estimated accordingly.
“ In such a parish as that above described, the ample fund capable of being raised, and, from its supposed management, necessarily abused, would alone induce an over-population, and the charitable endowments and private largesses would powerfully contribute to the same end : besides which are to be taken into the account the pauperized habits produced by poaching, smug, gling, and gathering fuel, and by the barbarizing privileges of common-rights. Increase the supposed advantages of such a place, and pauperism will increase in the same or in a greater proportion. How vain from such a population to expect gratitude for favours, or respect for property! Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles ? Idle and lawless habits and abandoned principles can be the only fruits. They alone are in their hearts grateful for assistance, who are really striving for themselves—the traveller fainting on his journey, and not the beggar by the wayside."
TEMPER. Of all personal and mental attractions the two most permanent are undoubtedly smoothness of skin and temper—a sort of velvetness of body and mind. As they both especially depend upon the digestion, that is one of the strongest arguments for attending to its state. For once that the actions of human beings are guided by reason, ninety and nine times they are more or less influenced by temper. It is an even temper only that allows reason her full dominion, and enables us to arrive at any intended end by the nearest way, or at all. On the other hand, there is no obstacle to advancement or happiness so great as an undisciplined temper-a temper subject to pique or uncertainty. Pique is at once the bitterest and most absurd enemy a man can have. It will make him run counter to his dearest interests, and at the same time render him completely regardless of the interests of all around him. It will make him blindly violate every principle of truth, honesty, and humanity, and defeat the most important business, or break up the happiest party, without remorse, or a seeming consciousness of doing what is wrong. It is pity that those who allow themselves to be subject to it are not treated with a great deal more severity than they usually are; for, in truth, they are greater pests to society than all the criminals who infest it, and, in my opinion, are often much more blameworthy. I have remarked, that persons much given to pique are frequently particularly strict in the outward observances of religion. They must have strange notions, or rather no notions at all, of the spirit of Christianity, and the doctrines they hear must fall upon the most stony of places. Nay, I have met with persons so insensible to propriety, as to avow, without scruple, that they have left off attending a place of worship from some supposed affront they have received there. The concluding sentence of Fenelon's 'Telemachus is so much in unison with my sentiments, and is so well expressed, that I will conclude with it.
“ Above all things be on your guard against your temper. It is an enemy that will accompany you everywhere, to the last hour of your life. If you listen to it, it will frustrate all your designs. It will make you lose the most important opportunities, and will inspire you with the inclinations and aversions of a child, to the prejudice of your gravest interests. Temper causes the greatest affairs to be decided by the most paltry reasons ; it obscures every talent, paralyzes every energy, and renders its victims unequal, weak, vile, and insupportable."
LETTERS FROM THE CONTINENT-(concluded.)
Florence, June 12, 1822. I have been reading for the second time Madame de Staël's Corinne, and generally in the places described. With a considerable quantity of nonsense, I think it excessively clever. The descriptions are often very just, and made me perceive beauties I should otherwise have missed ; but they are occasionally too poetical. I perfectly agree with her that the scenery in a warm Climate in the middle of the day conveys an idea of tranquillity, quite inconceivable to those who have not witnessed it. I never mentioned, that when at Naples, we went to see some royal races, about fifteen miles in the country. They were in imitation of English races, but they reminded me much more of Astley's than of Newmarket. The whole court was present, and the king acted as steward—not in a very dignified manner. He started the horses, and abused the jockeys abundantly. The most interesting sight was the peasantry, assembled for thirty miles round, regaling themselves in groups in a forest in their various very picturesque costumes. They seemed to enjoy themselves