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but not being a match for three, though superior to any of them singly, he had recourse to a stratagem for dividing them. He betook himself to flight; rightly supposing, that they would follow him at unequal distances, as their strength, after so much loss of blood, would permit. Having fled a considerable way from the spot where they fought, he looked back, and saw the Curiații pursuing at a considerable distance from one another, and one of them very near him. He turned with all his fury upon the foremost; and, while the Alban army were crying out to bis brothers to succor him, Horatius, having presently dispatched his first enemy, rushed forward to a secord victory. The Romans encourage their champion by such acclamations, as generally proceed from unexpected success. He, on the other hand, hastens to put an end to the second combat, and slew awoiher, before the third, who was not far off, could come up to his assistance. There now remained only one combatant on each side. The Roman, who had still received no hurt, fired with gaining a double victory, advances with great confidence to his third combat. His antagonist, on the other hand, being weakened by the loss of blood, and spent with running so far, could scarce drag his lege after him, and being already dispirited by the death of his brothers, presents his breast to the victor, for it could not be called a contest. "Two, (says the exulting Roman) two have I sacrificed to the manes of my brothers--the third I will offer up to my country, that henceforth Rome may give laws to Alba." Upon which he transfixed him with his sword, and stripped him of his armor. The Romans received Horatius, the victor, into their camp, with an exultation, great as their former fear. After this each army buried their respective dead, but with very different sentiments; the one reflecting on the sovereignty they had acquired, and the other on their subjection to slavery, to the power of the Romans.
This combat became still more remarkable : Horatius returning to Rome, with the arms and spoils of his enemy, met his sister, who was to have been drarried to one of the Curiatii. Seeing her brother dressed in her lover's coat of armor, which she herself had wrought, she could not contain her grief She shed a flood of tears, she tore her hair, and in the transport of her sorrow, uttered the most violent imprecations against her brother. Horatius, warm with his victory, and enraged at the grief which his sister
expressed, with such unseasonable passion, in the midst of the publie joy, in the heat of his anger, drove a poignard to her heart.-“ Begone to thy lover," says he, * and carry him that degenerate passion which makes thee prefer a dead enemy to the glory of thy country.” Every body detested an action so cruel and inhuman. The murderer was immediately seized and dragged before the Dunmviri, the proper judges of such crimes. Horatius was condemned to lose his life; and the very day of his triumph had been the day of his punishment, if he had not, by the advice of Tullus Hostilius, appealed from that judgment to the assembly of the people. He appeared there with the same courage
and resolution that he had shown in the combat with the Curiatii.The people thought so great a service might justly excuse them, if for once they moderated the rigor of the law; and accordingly, he was acquitted, rather through admiration of his courage, than for the justice of his cause.
XIV. On the Power of Custom. THERE is not a common saying which has a better turn of sense in it, than what we often hear in the mouths of the vulgar, that custom is second nature. It is, indeed, able to forni the man avew, and give him inclinations and capacities altogether different from those he was born with. A person who is addicted to play or gatning, though he took but little delight in it at first, by degrees contracts so strong an inclination towards it, and gives himself up so entirely to it, that it seems the only end of his being. The love of a retired or busy life will grow upon a man insensibly, as he is conversant in the one or the other, till he is utterly unqualified for relishing that to which he has been for some time disused. Nay, a man may smoke, or driok, or take snuff, till he is unable to pass away his time without it ; not to mention how onr delight in any particular study, art or science, rises and in proves, in proportion to the application which we bestow upon it. Thus, what was at first an exei. cise, becomes at length an entertainment. Our employments are changed into diversions. The nad grows
fond of thos actions it is accustomed to, and is drawn with reluctancy from those paths in which it has been used to walk. • If we consider, attentively, this property of human nature, it wust instruct us in yery fiue moralities. In the first place, I would have no man discouraged with that kind
- Pitch upon
of life, or series of action, in which the choice of others, or his own necessities may have engaged him. It may, perhaps be very disagreeable to him at first; but use and application will certainly render it not only less painful, but pleasing and satisfactory.
Ja the second place, I would recommend to every one the admirable precept which Pythagoras is said to have given io his disciples, and which that philosopher must have drawn from the observation I have eularged upon ; the course of life whieh is the most excellent, and custom will render it the most delightful.” Men, whose circumstances will permit them to choose their own way of life, are inexcusable if they do not pursue that which their judgment tells them is the most laudable. The voice of reason is more to be regarded than the bent of any present inclination, since, by the rule above mentioned, inclination will, at length, come over to reason, though we can never force reason to comply with inclination.
In the third place, this observation may teach the most sensual and irreligious man, to overlook those hardships and difficulties which are apt to discourage him from the prosecution of a virtuous life. “ The gods," says Hesiod, “ have placed labour before virtue; the way to her is at first rough and difficult, but grows more smooth and easy, the farther you advance in it."
The man who proceeds in it with steadiness and resolution, will in a little time find, thạt “ her ways are ways of pleasantuess, and that all her paths are peace.
To enforce this consideration, we may further observe, that the practice of religion will not only be attended with that pleasure which naturally accompanies those actions to which we are habituated; but with those supernumerarg joys of heart, that rise from the consciousness of such a plea811re, from the satisfaction of acting up to the dictates of reason, and from the prospect of a happy immortality.
In the fourth place, we may learn from this observation, which we have made on the mind of man, to take particular eare, hen we are once settled in a regular course of life, how we too frequently indulge ourselves in any of the most
jopocent diversions and entertainments ; since the mind ijthay insensibly fall off from the relish of virtuous actions, aod, by degrees, exchange that pleasure which it takes in the performance of its duty, for delights of a much more inferior and unprofitable nature.
The last use which I shall make of this remarkable property in human nature, of being delighted with those actions to which it is accustomed, is, to show how absolutely necessary it is for us to gain habits of virtue in this life, if we would enjoy the pleasures of the next. The state of bliss we call heaven, will not be capable of affecting those minds which are not thus qualified for it; we must in this world gain a relish of truth and virtue, if we would be able to taste that knowledge and perfection, which are to make us happy in the next. The seeds of those spiritual joys and raptures, which are to rise up and Atourish in the soul to all eternity, must be planted in it during this its present state of probation. In short, heaven is not to be looked upou only as the reward, but as the natural effect of a religious life.
XV.-On Pedantry. PEDANTRY, in the common sense of the word, means an absurd ostentation of learning, and stiffness of phrase?!ogy, proceeding from a misguided knowledge of books and a total ignorance of men.
But I have often thought, that we might extend its sig nification a good deal farther; and in general, apply it to that failing, which disposes a person to obtrude upon others, subjects of conversation relating to bis own business, studies, or amusements.
In this sense of the phrase, we should find pedants in eve ery character and condition of life. Tostead of a black coat and a plain shirt, we should often see pedantry appear in an embroidered suit and. Brussels lace; instead of being bedaubed with enuff, we should find it breathing perfumes ; and, in place of a book worm, crawling through the gloomy cloisters of an university, we should inark it in the state of a gilded butterfly, buzzing through the gay region of the diawing room.
Robert Daisy, Esq. is a pedant of this last kind. When he tells you that his ruffles cost twenty guineas a pair; that his buttons were the first of the kind, inade by one of the most eminent artists in Birmingham ; that his buckles were procured by means of a friead at Paris, and are the exact pattern of those worn by the Compte d'Artois ; that the loop of bis hat was of his own contrivance, and has set the fashion to half a dozen of the finest fellows in town: When he descants on all these particulars, with that smile of self complacency which sits forever on his cheek, he is as much
a pedant as his quondam tutor, who recites verses from Pindar, tells stories out of Herodotus, and talks for an hour on the energy of ihe Greek particles.
But Mr. Daisy is struck dumb by the approach of his brother, Sir Thomas, whose pedantry goes a pitch higher, and pours out all the intelligence of France and Italy, whence the young baronet is just returned, after a tour of fifteen months over all the kingdoms of the continent. Talk of music, he cuts you short with the history of the first singer at Naples ; of painting, he runs you down with a descfiption of the gallery at Florence ; of architecture, he overwhelms you with the dimensions of St. Peter's or the great church at Antwerp; or, if you leave the province of art altogether, and introduce the name of a river or hill, he jastantly deluges you with the Rhine, or makes you dizzy with the height of Ætna or Mount Blanc.
Miss will have no difficulty of owning her great aunt to be a pedant when she talks all the time of dinner, on the composition of the pudding, or the seasoning of the mincepies; or enters into a disquisition on the figure of the damask table-cloth, with a word or two on the thrift of making one's own lipen; but the young lady will be surprised when I inform her, that her own history of last Thursday's assembly, with the episode of Lady D.'s feather, and the digression to the qualities of Mr. Frizzle, the hairdresser, was also a piece of downright pedantry.
Mrs. Caudle is guilty of the same weakness, when she recounts the numberless witticisms of her daughter Emmy, describes the droll figure her little Bill made yesterday at trying on his first pair of breeches ; and informs us, that Bobby has got seven teeth, and is just cutting an eighth, though he will be but nine months old next Wednesday, at six o'clock in the erening. Nor is her pedantry less disa gusting, when she proceeds to enumerate the virtues and good qualities of her husband : though this last species is soʻuncommon, that it may, perhaps, be admitted into conversation for the sake of novelty.
There is a pedantry in every disquisition, however masterly it may be, that stops the general conversation of the company. When Silius delivers that sort of lecture he is apt to get into, though it is supported by the most extensive information and the clearest discernment, it is still pedantry; and, while I admire the talents of Silius, I cannot help being: uneasy at his exhibition of them. Last night, after