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THE RAZOR SELLER.
A fellow in a market town,
Most musical, cried razors up and down,

And offer'd twelve for eighteen-pence;
Which certainly seem'd wondrous cheap,
And for the money quite a heap,

As every man would buy, with cash and sense.
A country bumpkin the great offer heard :
Poor Hodge, who suffer'd by a broad black beard,

That seem'd a shoe-brush stuck beneath his nose:
With cheerfulness the eighteen-pence he paid,
And proudly to himself, in whispers, said,
“This rascal stole the razors, I suppose.
“No matter if the fellow be a knave,
Provided that the razors shave;

It certainly will be a monstrous prize.”
So home the clown, with his good fortune, went,
Smiling in heart and soul, content,

And quickly soap'd himself to ears and eyes.
Being well lather'd from a dish or tub,
Hodge now began with grinning pain to grub,

Just like a hedger cutting furze:
'Twas a vile razor!-then the rest he tried-
All were impostors-—“Ah!” Hodge sigh’d,

“I wish my eighteen-pence within my purse." Hodge sought the fellow_found him and begun: “P’rhaps, Master Razor-rogue, to you 'tis fun,

That people flay themselves out of their lives :
You rascall for an hour have I been grubbing,
Giving my crying whiskers here a scrubbing,

With razors just like oyster knives.
Sirrah! I tell you, you're a knave,
To cry up razors that can't shave."
“ Friend,” quoth the razor-man, “ I'm not a knave:

As for the razors you have bought,
Upon my soul I never thought
That they would shave."
“Not think they'd shave!” quoth Hodge, with wondering eyes,

And voice not much unlike an Indian yell; “What were they made for then, you dog?” he cries :

“Made !" quoth the fellow, with a smile,—" TO SELL.

THE PILGRIMS AND THE PEAS. A brace of sinners, for no good,

Were order'd to the Virgin Mary's shrine,
Who at Loretto dwelt in wax, stone, wood,

And in a curl'd white wig look'd wondrous fine.
Fifty long miles had these sad rogues to travel,
With something in their shoes much worse than gravel :
In short, their toes so gentle to amuse,
The priest had order'd peas into their shoes :

A nostrum famous in old popish times
For purifying souls deep sunk in crimes :

A sort of apostolic salt,

That popish parsons for its powers exalt,
For keeping souls of sinners sweet,
Just as our kitchen salt keeps meat.
The knaves set off on the same day,
Peas in their shoes, to go and pray;

But very different was their speed, I wot:
One of the sinners gallop'd on,
Light as a bullet from a gun;

The other limp'd as if he had been shot.
One saw the Virgin, soon-peccavi cried-

Had his soul whitewash'd all so clever;
When home again he nimbly hied,

Made fit with saints above to live for ever.
In coming back, however, let me say,
He met his brother rogue about halfway-
Hobbling with outstretch'd hands and bending knees,
Cursing the souls and bodies of the peas :
His eyes in tears, his cheeks and brows in sweat,
Deep sympathizing with his groaning feet.
“ How now!" the light-toed whitewash'd pilgrim broke,

“You lazy lubber!”
“You see it!” cried the other, “'tis no joke;
My feet, once hard as any rock,

Are now as soft as blubber.
“ But, brother sinner, do explain
How 'tis that you are not in pain-

What power hath work'd a wonder for your toes
Whilst I, just like a snail, am crawling,
Now groaning, now on saints devoutly bawling,

Whilst not a rascal comes to ease my woes?
“ How is't that you can like a greyhound go,

Merry as if nought had happen’d, burn ye?”
“Why,” cried the other, grinning, “you must know,
That just before I ventured on my journey,

To walk a little more at ease,
I took the liberty to BOIL MY PEAS !"

THOMAS BROWN, 1778–1820.

Thomas Brown, the distinguished metaphysician, was born at Kirkmabreek, in Scotland, and was the youngest son of the Rev. Samuel Brown, minister of the parish. His father having died when he was an infant, he was placed by his maternal uncle, from his seventh to his fourteenth year, at different schools near

• In the county of Kirkcudbright, in the south west part of Scotland, about eighty miles south-west of Edinburgh, near Solway Frith,

London, in all of which he made great progress in classical literature. Upon the death of his uncle in 1792, he returned to his mother's house in Edinburgh, and entered as a student in the university. His attention was at once directed to metaphysical studies by Dugald Stewart's “Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind" being put into his hands, and the next winter he attended Mr. Stewart's class. Here he immediately distinguished himself by his acute and profound observations upon this subject, and a friendship commenced between the illustrious teacher and his no less illustrious pupil, which continued through life.

In 1798, he published “Observations on the Zoonomia of Dr. Darwin," which was considered a remarkable production for one so young. In 1803, having attended the usual medical course, he took his degree of Doctor of Medicine. In the same year he brought out the first edition of his poems, in two volumes, which exhibit marks of an original inind and a refined taste. His next publication was an examination of the principles of Mr. Hume respecting causation, which Sir James Mackintosh pronounced the finest model in mental philosophy since Berkeley and Hume. A second edition was published in 1806, and a third in 1818 so enlarged as to be almost a new work, under the title of “An Inquiry into the Relation of Cause and Effect."

Up to the year 1808, Dr. Brown continued a practising physician in Edinburgh, though it was not the calling suited to his taste and studies. This year a circumstance occurred that placed him in a situation that entirely harmonized with his inclinations. The health of Professor Stewart had been declining for some time, and he applied to Dr. Brown to supply his place for a short time, with lectures of his own composition. He did so, and gave universal satisfaction; and in 1810 he was, agreeably to Mr. Stewart's wishes, appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy, in conjunction with him. He entered upon his duties with great ardor and untiring industry, and prepared for his students that series of lectures on which his fame rests. In the summer of 1814, he published anonymously his poem entitled “The Paradise of Coquettes," which met with a very favorable reception; and in the next year two others, “The Wanderer of Norway," and “ The Bower of Spring.” In the autumn of 1818, he commenced his text-book for the benefit of his students. He was then in good health, but in December he became indisposed, and during the summer recess of the next year his health seemed evidently to be failing. When he again met his class in the fall, his lecture unfortunately happened to be one which he was never able to deliver without being much mored, and from the manner in which he recited the very affecting lines from Beattie's “Hermit," it was conceived by many that the emoThe most prominent features of Dr. Brown's character were great gentleness, kindness, and delicacy of mind, united with great independence of spirit, a strong love of liberty, and a most ardent desire for the diffusion of knowledge, and virtue, and happiness among mankind. The predominating quality of his intellectual character was, unquestionably, his power of analysis, in which he had few equals. In his prose he bas shown great powers of eloquence. His poetry has never been popular, though it contains very many choice passages. His character as a philosopher will chiefly rest upon his “Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind," which were published in two volumes, after his death. A inore instructive and interesting book can hardly be found in the compass of English literature. It is full of passages of exquisite beauty and lofty eloquence.

THE POWER OF HABIT.

That the frequent repetition of any action increases the tendency to it, all of you must have experienced in yourselves, in innumerable cases, of little importance, perhaps, but sufficiently indicative of the influence; and there are few of you, probably, who have not had an opportunity of remarking in others the fatal power of habits of a very different kind. In the corruption of a great city it is scarcely possible to look around, without perceiving some warning example of that blasting and deadening influence, before which every thing that was generous and benevolent in the heart has withered, while every thing which was noxious has fourished with more rapid maturity ; like those plants, which can extend their roots, indeed, even in a pure soil, and fing out a few leaves amid balmy airs and odors, but which burst out in all their luxuriance only from a soil that is fed with constant putrescency, and in an atmosphere which it is poison to inhale. It is not vice-not cold and insensible and contented vice, that has never known any better feelingswhich we view with melancholy regret. It is virtue—at least what once was virtue—that has yielded progressively and silently to an influence scarcely perceived, till it has become the very thing which it abhorred. Nothing can be more just than the picture of this sad progress, described in the well-known lines of Pope :

“Vice is a monster of such frightful mien,
That, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet, seen too oft, familiar with her face,

We first endure, then pity, then embrace." In the slow progress of some insidious disease, which is scarcely regarded by its cheerful and unconscious vietim, it is mournful to mark the smile of gayety as it plays over that very bloom, which is not the freshness of health, but the flushing of approaching mortality, amid studies perhaps just opening into intellectual excellence,

"Essay on Man, Ep. II. v. 217-220.

and hopes, and plans of generous ambition, that are never to be fulfilled. But how much more painful is it to behold that equally insidious, and far more desolating progress, with which guilty passion steals upon the heart—when there is still sufficient virtue to feel remorse, and to sigh at the remembrance of purer years, but not sufficient to throw off the guilt, which is felt to be oppressive, and to return to that purity in which it would again, in its bitter moments, gladly take shelter, if only it had energy to vanquish the almost irresistible habits that would tear it back !

“Crimes lead to crimes, and link so straight,
What first was accident, at last is fate;
The unbappy servant sinks into a slave,

And virtue's last sad strugglings cannot save."-MALLET. We must not conceive, however, that habit is powerful only in strengthening what is EVIL; though it is this sort of operation which, of course, forces itself more upon our observation and memory-like the noontide darkness of the tempest, that is remembered when the calm, and the sunshine, and the gentle shower are forgotten. There can be no question that the same principle, which confirms and aggravates what is evil, strengthens and cherishes also what is good. The virtuous, indeed, do not require the influence of habitual benevolence or devotion to force them, as it were, to new acts of kindness to man, or to new sentiments of gratitude to God. But the temptations, to which even virtue might sometimes be in danger of yielding in the commencement of its delightful progress, become powerless and free from peril when that progress is more advanced. There are spirits which, even on earth, are elevated above that little scene of mortal ambition with which their benevolent wishes, for the sufferers there, are the single tie that connects them still. All with them is serenity; the darkness and the storm are beneath them. They have only to look down, with generous sympathy, on those who have not yet risen so high; and to look up, with gratitude, to that Heaven which is above their head, and which is almost opening to receive them.

Lecture xliii.

BENEVOLENCE.

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