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quent pauses. He will impress upon his mind what he has seen and remarked during his jour. ney; he will make inquiries, and enrich himself with such observations and collections as he has opportunities of amassing. In like manner, in the journey of life, we ought to pause at certain distances, take a retrospective survey of the space which we have travelled, to ask ourselves whence we come and what we have done ; where we are, and how we can judge of our present situation; whether the contemplation of ourselves seems to excite in the soul feelings of discontent or satisfaction, grief or joy; lastly, whither we are going, to what goal we are proceeding, according to our condition, duty, or interest, and which is the surest and most agreeable road to it.
But the fickleness and indolence natural to the human mind must necessarily oppose the execution of our plan. They would not permit us to hope that this plan of laying all our days under contribution, and extracting, as it were, from them their most substantial part, could be pursued with invariable perseverance, even though supported by firm resolution. We should, moreover, be careless in drawing up the proposed summary of the employment of our time, if it were destined merely for our own eye ; and it is far
ther to be remarked that no person can form so impartial an estimate of himself as a friend would do: man is naturally lynx-eyed, in regard to the faults of others, but blind to his own.
Chuse then an upright, enlightened, sincere friend, to be another self, near enough to your own age to be no stranger to your tastes, your propensities, and your passions, yet sufficiently advanced in life to have some experience of men and things; possessing a reason so mature, a mind so cultivated, a heart so noble and generous, as to inspire you with that unreserved confidence, founded on mutual esteem, which is the necessary basis of friendship. Into the bosom of such a friend you may freely pour forth your soul : you will not be afraid to expose it to him without disguise, to reveal to him its inmost recesses, and every weakness that lurks within them.
Let us add a few other traits by which you may distinguish him whom you ought to select for your model, counsellor, and guide, unless indeed an affectionate, virtuous, and enlightened mother, renders your search unnecessary, and supplies his place: for there is no adequate substitute for the heart of a mother. You will seek and love in him the man, who, with an excellent disposition, combines all the moral qualities of a
strong mind, a sound and delicate judgment, solid and instructive conversation, new and luminous ideas, and true dignity of soul. In his society you are sure to be a gainer; you will feel that he contributes to enlighten your mind, and to purify your heart. You never leave him without being better pleased with yourself, more disposed to the love of mankind and of virtue, and more clear respecting your real destination and the duties which you are called to perform in society.
In this person you will also appreciate the rare merit and talent of knowing how to doubt; of employing, if requisite, several successive years in the thorough examination of an important truth, in the solution of a difficult question, in the search after causes-a creative and fertile principle in all the sciences. You will distinguish in him an urgent desire to seek and find for himself men of strong and enlightened minds, capable of assisting him with their talents. You will imitate that obliging complaisance which cheerfully descends to the level of the capacities of the ignorant and inexperienced, especially of young persons eager after information, and that constant and indefatigable patience which frequently devotes a whole life to the composition of a good work, that is, a work beneficial to mankind, and
calculated to advance a science which the author has profoundly studied.
To a person whose character corresponds with this description, or to him, who, by a more or less complete combination of the qualities here specified, seems to prefer the strongest claim to your esteem, submit then, every three or six months, or only once a-year, a faithful summary of your personal state, with reference to the three grand points.
Every three or six months you will read over the observations you have made ; you will examine and try your actions, and ascertain your progress of every kind and your present state, as como pared with that exhibited in the preceding report three or six months before. You will lay before your
friend these summaries of the employment of your life; they will furnish him with the text to the salutary advice, in offering which he fulfils a duty towards you enjoined by confidence and friendship. You have discovered in him a certain superiority of understanding and moral qualities; and you make him the confidant, witness, and judge, of your thoughts and actions, that you may receive in exchange his counsel and instruction.
XXIII. GENERAL OBSERVATION ON THE MODE OF DIGESTING
THE DAILY JOURNAL, THE PARTICULAR ACCOUNTS, AND THB ANALYTICAL STATEMENTS OF A PERSON'S INDIVIDUAL SITUATION, TO BE DRAWN UP EVERY SIX MONTHS, OR EVERY YEAR.
In order to possess the greater freedom in keeping the daily journal, the three general accounts, and the analytical statements of his physical, moral, and intellectual situation, let the writer always speak of himself in the third person and under a fictitious name, which may easily be changed at pleasure. He is thus not cramped by any consideration of self-love, human respect, false modesty, vanity, or pride. He pens a faithful history of his life, without fear of indiscreet confidants or malicious critics. He speaks of others also, whether in terms of praise or censure, under feigned names; and in this manner forms, without restraint or scruple, a collection of actions, portraits, observations, and characteristic and instructive anecdotes, which cannot hurt any one's feelings; for he does not make it his business to delineate this or that individual, merely for the purpose of gratifying a frivolous malignity. His object is the same that Theophrastus, La Bruyére, and many other philosophic moralists, had in view in their works, namely, the knowledge