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presume, that the manners of men may occasionally, I say only occasionally, be as fit a subject of philosophic and literary discussion, as gasses, botany, minerals, cottonmills, jennies, and mules.
You will observe, therefore, that I contemplate profligates as well as hypocrites, and hypocrites as well as profligates, in various departments of life; in the cabinet, in the operations of
war, in trade, in social intercourse, in friendship, in love, and preeminently in that walk of life, which above all others ought to be exempt from both' reproaches--in religion. My design is, therefore, wherever or in whatever profession the hypocrite and the profligate are found, to compare their characters, and submit to
your judgment the conclusion I shall draw of the comparative demerit of each, which has the most infamy attached to it, and is most injurious to society.
I. It is observed, as a feature of the human mind, that objects, which are grand, though horrid, attract attention, and often
admiration, so as in some degree to lessen the horrour of the spectacle. A storm, a conflagration, the eruption of a volcano, are grand, and they are also highly terrific spectacles ; but not all the desolation and ruin, which they spread, repel the spectator; he cannot avert his eye, a kind of magic power fixes his steady gaze, and the magnificence so interests him, as even to render him inattentive to his own safety, of which the elder Pliny was a memorable example. But if horrour be associated with meanness and sordidness, the union offends, we fly with disgust from the sight. The stench, the loathsome squalor of a dungeon, the Tags, the dirt of the wretched prisoners, the contrast exhibited in their bloodless cheek and sunken eye to the human face divine, repel, though there is enough to interest the compassionate heart; and it requires the abstract benevolence of a Howard, to repeat the visit to such scenes. Even a hero with an unwashed face, in a dirty shirt and tattered garment, would lose something of his
dignity. This accounts for the greater interest which we take in the similar sufferings of the higher than the lower ranks, and also for the interest in history, though it is in a great measure the narrative only of villany and misery ; but there is a magnitude, a splendour in the transactions, which wonderfully fascinate. It is the same in our contemplation of human character. Vil lany united with grandeur of mind and great actions excites our indignation, but not unmixed with admiration; while villany united with meanness and with no splendid display of talent, excites indeed our indignation, but debased by contempt ; and observe that indignation is itself a grand sentiment in comparison of contempt. Now whatever constitutes grandeur, independent of morals, may be found in the profligate, but never I hesitate, No! it is not too much, I say, never found in the hypocrite. Where there is any feeling of internal grandeur, the mind cannot descend to hypocrisy; but it is the low creeping mind, that feels no
swelling sentiment, which takes refuge in an exterior as abject as the soul within.
Julius and Augustus Cæsar, so far as regards the unsated lust of power, and the triumph over all individual liberty, were similar characters; but the open and the covert constitute an immense difference in the estimate of each. Julius was always the heró; i Augustus never rose above the politician. Julius met his enemy, whether Gaul, or German, or Briton, or Roman, with magnanimity in the open field; Agustus shrunk from the face of war. The triumph of Ju-, lius was derived from himself; that of Augustus from his generals and ministers. Julius forgave; Augustus never, he could smile on the friend, the mandate for whose death he had issued. There were who could love Julius; Augustus was only feared. The former was a great bad man; the latter was much worse, but his public crimes rem ceived a darker hue from his artful policy, fraud, and hypocrisy. Tacitus insinuates, that he left the empire to Tiberius, as a
more depraved and subtle hypocrite than himself, hoping that in contrast with the greater infamy of his successor something like a lustre would be reflected on his own memory, and that Augustus, though hated while living, might be regretted when dead. The idea was not unworthy of Augustus; hypocrites love fame in proportion as they deserve it not, and will fileh it by any means.
In further illustration of this maxiin, that hypocrisy either depresses genius where it may be supposed to have originally existed, or itself exists only where genius" is not found, it is remarkable, that in the whole series of Roman pontiffs, not one example of true magnanimity and grandeur of soul is to be found. : The Romishchurch was founded in hypocrisy, and by deep hypocrisy it subsisted while in vigour. From the very genius of its hypocrisy therefore very moderate talents were sufficient to carry on the plan. One of the Gregories, I forget which, and Sixtus V, Leo X, and Julius