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for writing, or whether any, is attributable to the mere continuance of my weekly efforts, I cannot at all determine ; but undoubtedly, if I had lived according to my own precepts, and had given up a portion of each day to composition, I should have felt myself in a much more favourable humour, than I now do. Delay, I find on inquiry, is the common failing of authors, and an independence of the habits of society is more difficult than those who are not situated as I am, can well conceive. A respite will, therefore, not only give me fresh vigour for writing, but you a fresh appetite for reading, for I cannot but fear that a constant supply from the same pen, might produce in the end a certain want of relish. Diet, however good, ought now and then to be changed. I have already given you a sufficient course of mine to produce some effect, if it ever will; and if you should feel inclined to return to it, it will have something of the charm of novelty. The same phraseology and turn of thinking will not be always haunting you. After a first acquaintance, a temporary separation is almost always productive of agreeable results, and so I trust it will be with
work many subjects of importance have suggested themselves to me for the first time, which I wish to have leisure to turn over in my mind, and I wish to read over carefully what I have already written, in order to supply any omissions I may find, and take up those subjects upon which I have only lightly touched. Many of the articles were written so completely off hand, that I haye entirely forgotten them, as I have never given them a second perusal. The reasons why I have fixed the first Wednesday in March for the resumption of my numbers, are, first, because three months will afford me ample time to recover my tone; secondly, because I shall have sufficient opportunity for attending to persons and matters, of late somewhat neglected ; and lastly, because during the short days my publication requires so much writing by candlelight, which I wish to avoid before I suffer
any inconvenience, which hitherto I have fortunately escaped. It will be my aim during the interval between this time and March to put myself into the best state for renewing my labours with effect. Diet, sleep, and exercise, are the chief points to be attended to, and difficult it is to attend to them in this metropolis. If one could but succeed in uniting the advantages of solitude with those of society, it would be glorious. One of my principal objects throughout my numbers has been to facilitate such an union, by rendering the mode of living more simple and rational, and I shall labour again in the same cause. In the mean time I wish you, by a short anticipation, the compliments of the season. I have only to add, that my publisher will suppose his orders to continue in force, except where notice is given to the contrary before the appearance of my next number; and subscribers in the country wishing to have the continuation, are requested to direct their booksellers accordingly.
It is from indolence frequently that people are givers, instead of spenders of their money, and they will seldom take very much trouble eit'er in giving or refusing. Large gifts have undoubtedly occasionally produced the happiest consequences both on individuals and on whole families; but the question is whether a system of bestowing surplus funds in large donations would be beneficial or not. I think the system would not be beneficial, because the difficulty and trouble of discrimination would be too great, and imposition and sycophancy would meet with more encouragement than merit; so that society would be a loser. I think occasional donations of large sums are to be recommended, but that no
rule can be laid down. The question then arises, what the rich, who are liberally disposed, are to do with their surplus
In the first place, I believe, that the man who spends his
money well, does more good in the long run than he who gives it, and that there is no way of diffusing so much happi
as by the liberal employment of industry or genius. Those who have more money than they want, cannot, in my opinion, do better than bestow it in the promotion of public improvements; for then they not only benefit individuals of different classes, by affording them scope for their talents and employment for their industry, but the public is benefited also. A local improvement will frequently do more to promote the convenience and good morals of a community than any thing that can be devised, and I sometimes wonder that the wealthy do not oftener turn their attention in that direction. Such a spirit, generally adopted by individuals and by combinations of individuals, would soon produce a change for the better both in town and.country, and it is a species of liberality, in which there is no mixture of evil. For my own part, I have a particular pleasure in watching the progress of local improvements, and in the reflection that the benefits derived from them are of general diffusion. I have said that spending money well does more good than giving it. I shall in a future number consider to what extent the injunctions in the New Testament with respect to alms-giving are applicable to the present state of things in this country.
The numbers, which were out of print, being now reprinted, complete sets of the “ Original” may be had of the publisher.
Published also monthly with the Periodicals, stitched in a wrapper.
IBOTSON AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET,