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THE IDLER.

4. Charities and Hospitals
8. Plan of Military Discipline

II. Discourses on the Weather

16. Drugget's Retirement

19. Whirler's Character

22. Imprisonment of Debtors

27. Power of Habits

30. Corruption of News-Writers

31. Disguises of Idleness-Sober's Character

38. Debtors in Prison

41. On the Death of a Friend

48. The Bustles of Idleness.

57. Character of Sophron the Prudent.

58. Expectations of Pleasure Frustrated

60. Minim the Critic

61. Minim the Critic

65. Fate of Posthumous Works

74. Memory Rarely Deficient
78. Steady, Snug, Startle, Solid, and Misty.
81. An Indian's Speech to his Countrymen
83. Scruple, Wormwood, Sturdy, and Gentle
84. Biography How Best Performed
102. Authors Inattentive to Themselves
103. Horror of the Last .

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Temple Bar-By F. Fellicoe & H, Railton Front.
Butcher Row, Strand-By H. Railton . face page 93
The Old Cheshire Cheese

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Me pater sævis oneret catenis
Quod viro clemens misero peperci,
Me vel extremis Vumidirum in agros

Classe releget.-HOR.1
Me let my father load with chains,
Or banish to Numidia's farthest plains !

My crime, that I, a loyal wife,
In kind compassion, sav'd my husband's life.-FRANCIS.

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OLITICIANS remark, that no oppres

sion is so heavy or lasting as that which is inflicted by the perversion

and exorbitance of legal authority. The robber may be seized, and the invader repelled, whenever they are found ; they who pretend no right but that of force, may by force be punished or suppressed. But when plunder bears the name of impost, and murder is perpetrated by a judicial sentence, fortitude is intimidated, and wisdom confounded : resistance

1 Horace, 3 Odes, xi. 45.

1

shrinks from an alliance with rebellion, and the
villain remains secure in the robes of the magis-
trate.

Equally dangerous and equally detestable are
the cruelties often exercised in private families,
under the venerable sanction of parental
authority; the power which we are taught to
honour from the first moments of reason ; which
is guarded from insult and violation by all that
can impress awe upon the mind of man; and
which therefore may wanton in cruelty without
controul, and trample the bounds of right with
innumerable transgressions, before duty and piety
will dare to seek redress, or think themselves at
liberty to recur to any other means of deliverance
than supplications by which insolence is elated,
and tears by which cruelty is gratified.

It was for a long time imagined by the Romans, that no son could be the murderer of his father ; and they had therefore no punishment appropriated to parricide. They seem likewise to have believed with equal confidence, that no father could be cruel to his child; and therefore they allowed every man the supreme judicature in his own house, and put the lives of his offspring into his

کر اور

1 “Robes and furr'd gowns hide all."

-King Lear, Act iv., sc. 6, 1. 169. 2 In The Rambler, No. 39, Johnson, considering the harsh control often exercised by parents over their daughters in marrying, says :-" It may be urged in extenuation of this crime which parents, not in any other respect to be numbered with robbers and assassins, frequently commit, that, in their estimation, riches and happiness are equivalent terms."

hands. But experience informed them by degrees, that they determined too hastily in favour of human nature; they found that instinct and habit were not able to contend with avarice or malice; that the nearest relation might be violated; and that power, to whomsoever intrusted, might be ill employed. They were therefore obliged to supply and to change their institutions; to deter the parricide by a new law, and to transfer capital punishments from the parent to the magistrate.

There are indeed many houses which it is impossible to enter familiarly, without discovering that parents are by no means exempt from the intoxications of dominion ; and that he who is in no danger of hearing remonstrances but from his own conscience, will seldom be long without the art of controuling his convictions, and modifying justice by his own will.

If in any situation the heart were inaccessible to malignity, it might be supposed to be sufficiently secured by parental relation. To have voluntarily become to any being the occasion of its existence, produces an obligation to make that existence happy. To see helpless infancy stretching out her hands, and pouring out her cries in testimony of dependence, without any powers to alarm jealousy, or any guilt to alienate affection must surely awaken tenderness in every human mind; and tenderness once excited will be hourly increased by the natural contagion of felicity, by the repercussion of communicated pleasure, by the consciousness of the dignity of benefaction. I believe no generous or benevolent man can see

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