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in the same way that a landscape may be generally beautiful, which yet presents in one point a decayed tree or a stagnant pool. These divisions of the greater virtue, innocence, I now proceed to consider ; requesting throughout this inquiry the indulgence of the parent as well as of the critic, if he should detect confusion in the terms, or apparent contradiction in the sense.
The first attribute of innocence, then, is Simplicity, in which a child, generally innocent, may however be found wanting
Simplicity is of two kinds, the noble and the plain; yet both exclude alike all affectation, wrong appear, ance, false pretence, and every species of hypocrisy. The noble simplicity is most conspicuous in grown up persons, of generous minds and extraordinary merit. The plain simplicity belongs to artless persons, in. fants, and children. It is a quality which nature gives, and which cannot be eradicated without de. stroying the principal charm of early years, warping the mind, and breaking the harmony which should subsist between thought and speech. It is termed plain, in contra-distinction to the other ; but the simplicity of childhood is far from plain, if by this word is understood a property rude or homely. The movements, the general air of an infant at ease, are natural and graceful. The hands, when it admires, are spread and waved in gentle degrees; when it handles a small object, there is nothing whatever unpleasing in the attempt to hold it ; and when a child lifts up the object to his mouth, to try of what it is composed,
the elbow is generally rounded, the smaller fingers are curved and free, allowing the two first fingers and the thumb the office of supporters, which position of the hand gives as much delicacy to the act, as that of the finest lady, who gracefully does the honours of her tea-table. The smile of an infant is engaging, because it is unconstrained and natural; and an infant asleep, from the roundness of its limbs, the calm and profound serenity of its features, and the gracefulness of the position it constantly falls into, is one of the most beautiful pictures of simplicity and innocence that the world can produce.
But as the infant expands into the child; as the passions rise and swell in him to vicious excesses ; as example leads him from single conclusions to complex; as he learns that the way of life is to patch up and gloss over defects, not to root them out; to affect to be something, not to be that something; as he finds that those about him are inconsistent in act, uncertain in word, careless of consequence, artificial in manner, and false in appearance; so by degrees does simplicity, a simplicity which was given him as an heir-loom by nature, at his birth, languish first, and at last disappear, to make room for artificial words, actions, and manners; for affectation in thought, word, and deed.
Is there, then, no possibility of preserving so charming a natural gift? Must we submit to have this young virtue, as a tender plant, blasted in the noxious breath of fashion, or nipped by the unsparing hand of example, just as it peeps above the surface and dis
covers itself? Must we indeed suffer artlessness and native simplicity to die away, and be supplanted by craft, cunning, hypocrisy, presumption, arrogance, and affectation ? Is there no help?
As well might we inquire whether, if one beam were not support enough for a roof, there was not a remedy. Humanity forbids an observer to stand passive when one man is struggling with several assailants. Parental affection should also condemn in a mother the quiet endurance of an attack and triumph of five vices over one virtue in her child. If one beam be not security for a roof, add another, and another, and mark and calculate the pressure and the - resistance. This is the business of the carpenter. But it is the mother's duty, if one virtue is not sufficiently strong to bear the resistance from causes, whatever be their source, to provide another, and another, and weigh well the results and consequences ; this is her business; and as long as she makes it such, virtue must be uppermost, and vicious inclinations in her child be held, like a ferocious beast, in chains and captivity.
" IN THE INTEGRITY OF MY HEART AND INNOCENCY OF MY HANDS HAVE I DONE THIS. “ SO SHALT THOU DO FOR HIM THAT IS SIMPLE. A GOOD HEART AND IN SIMPLICITY OF HEART.' “ SIMPLICITY TO YOUNG KNOWLEDGE."
« TO THE PURE, ALL THINGS ARE PURE ; BUT TO THEM THAT ARE DEFILED, NOTHING IS PURE.”
It is a lovely feature in the virtues, that every one separately is a support to her neighbour; that all are united to form excellence; and that where one is weak, that one is materially aided by the presence of any, whether related or not to her particular tribe or family. The virtues seem to be to goodness, their supreme, what the body guard, composed of individuals from perhaps all the provinces of an empire, is to its monarch. Few of these are from the same province, fewer from the same town; yet is each of service in his way, and all must be united to form a com
Simplicity, therefore, which droops and pines, may be very materially strengthened by any virtue ; but by none distinct from its own family more than truth. Indeed truth, as has been observed, is the advocate and guardian of early virtue and all goodness, and can never be called upon to dispense benefits and promote true happiness in vain.
Were I to draw a parallel, as of the glorious orb of the universe with a twinkling star, I should say, truth is ingenuous, simplicity artless ; the first boldy de, clares what she is, the second unaffectedly contemns all idea of appearing what she is not. The first seeks out subjects. The second dresses them after her peculiar manner. Truth is independent, and a sovereign. Simplicity is a retainer, and a handmaid of virtue. The first is a source, origin, foundation, cause; the second is a manner, consequence, effect. Truth is uprightness, and walks with perfect integrity. Simplicity is diffident, yet moves with beautiful propriety. The one is sublime; the other is lovely. The one is grand; the other is consistent. The first is all powerful; the second all prepossessing. Truth, in fine, commands our veneration, and simplicity engages our love.
Simplicity, then, will always be strengthened by the aid of the first of virtues, as she will be assisted by the influence of artless nature, which presides over infancy. Will not these three united triumph over the covert attacks of vulgar prejudice and ignorance? It is devoutly to be wished. Alas, alas! but these attacks are so often repeated, and in such various ways hold forth such enticing prospects; vanity smiles, and whispers so bewitchingly, and example, though in silence, draws so forcibly, that what young creature can resist altogether to go a little way upon the same road ? “ Now, my dear," say Ignorance and Folly to the little child,“ now you are going into company to shew your pretty face; you must smile and hold up your head, and make your curtsey,