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material benefits. The necessity imposed on
The necessity imposed on a great part of mankind, to labour in some way or other for their subsistence, and the advantages which have ever resulted from this ordination of Providence, should lead us to regard, both as the happiest to ourselves, and the most useful to others, those stations in which exertion is necessary, and in which our labours have a tendency to improve the condition of human society, and add to the comforts of human life.
But we do not collect from advertisements the characters of the advertisers themselves merely; for we are also presented with those of the persons to whom such advertisements are more especially addressed. When tailors advertise their Cheap Clothes, of the most fashionable cut, and to be made, moreover, at a few hours' notice, we may be sure, that there is a class of persons in society, who desire, at a low rate, to emulate the style of those in higher circles.- that there are others so eager for gay assemblies, as to make it an object, on some occasions, to call in requisition the tailor's utmost expedition in fitting them, at a sudden call, with due habiliments for the festive occasion,--and that the general vanity of the human mind is ready to be caught with every promise, which can be made to afford it gratification. Those who depend on the public for support are, in general, very correct judges of the public taste and feeling: they study the wishes and dispositions of those whom it is their greatest interest to please; and, in the advertisements by which they address their patrons, they evince their sentiments of what is likely to obtain the patronage to which they aspire. It is quite clear, that if there were no persons to be met with who were desirous of adding to that beauty which nature has bestowed, or of niaking some amends for those defects which nature has failed to supply, we should not be so frequently presented with advertisements announcing, that, “ to produce a beautiful effect in arranging and dressing the hair, Rowland's Macassar Oil is the first article extant for brilliantly decorating and embellishing that inestimable ornament." These, and similar advertisements, are equally serviceable in shewing the art of those by whom they are published, as well as the characters of at least some portion of those for whom they are intended
By the Advertisements of Charitable Meetings and Institutions, we are reminded of many vicissitudes of human life, -blindness, dumbness, lameness, poverty, insanity,—destitute youth, and unsupported age,—the desolate state of the widow and the orphan,-the sudden change from wealth to indigence. These objects might overwhelm the mind with melancholy, did not the same advertisements which present them, assure us of the benevolence which a gracious Providence has implanted
in the human heart, to relieve the sufferings by which mankind are afflicted.
Book-Advertisements shew us the state of literature,-the progress of philosophy,--the march of mind. In them, we see the various productions of human genius, and many
of human folly. The contemptible and the mischievous publication obtrude themselves on our notice equally with the effusions of genius, and the lucubrations of wisdom. We observe the same zeal manifested to disseminate error as truth, what is immoral as what is virtuous. If the motive be asked, the answer is obvious; in each case the object of pursuit is money, and the means of obtaining it are not much regarded.—This is not the only part of human life to which the same remark applies : yet, where intellect and literature are concerned, surely pelf might be in some degree forgotten. But, even in the republic of letters, the spirit of covetousness is frequently to be observed; would it were otherwise : the only avarice allowable in genius, is to be covetous of fame.
Lottery-Advertisements form an important class, and excite feelings of various kinds. We pity the folly of those who suffer themselves to be deluded by the hope, which these alluring compositions hold forth, of the 20,0001.; and we cannot fail to be disgusted at the recklessness of consequences, which can stoop to such a method of raising money, as that of holding out the most seductive lures to vice and ruin. We see, in these advertisements, the force of the passion, which
springs eternal in the human breast; and, with reference to lotteries, (a few fortunate chances excepted,) we may certainly follow up the poet's words, and say
“ Man never is, but always to be, blest.” And, when we take into view the means which are too frequently employed to try the baneful chance which the lottery affords, the absurd expectations which it excites, the overwhelming disappointment which it occasions, and 'the direful consequences to which it often leads, we shall have before us much that occurs in human life, from the indulgence of similar passions to those on which lottery-contractors find it their interest to work.
But, to pursue the consideration of all the several kinds of advertisements which may be found in a Newspaper, would be equally tedious and unnecessary. The nature of the information, which, with a little reflection, they are calculated to convey, and the improvement which they are capable of
take place in the structure, without a change first in the vital principle; but, if the vital principle becomes changed in its condition, the structure also will become changed. The vital principle may become, in a degree, changed in its condition by several external causes; the chief of which are air, food, and climate. This change constitutes predisposition, either to disease or to health, or, lastly, to any modification of the structure. As the life of one seat may have a nearer relation with any of these causes than that of another, especially if the cause is powerful, the bodily form may become in a degree altered. A successive application of the same causes, through several generations, may produce an evident alteration in the organization of animals. This phenomena is sufficiently obvious in both animals and plants: they alter their form according to the nature of the air, food, climate, &c. with which, and in which they live. This will be accounted for upon the principle that life is differently modified in every
and that each modification, in unison with the law of affinity, has a different relation with the external causes. This relation may tend either to increase, or diminish, the activity of the life of particular seats; or it may merely alter its condition, without altering the degree of its activity.
Nature is a circular chain of causes and effects. Causes join and produce effects ; these effects again become causes for other effects; and this chain of causation is universal and constant. The atmosphere is universal, as it regards terrestrial beings; and it is a common support to them all. The life of one being, in a state of nature, does not depend upon another. The elements of the vital principle are common to all; they pervade the universe, and extend their influence over all animated Nature. Fire consumes the tangible parts of bodies, and converts their natural structure into another form ; so does the vital principle consume the atmosphere, and become united with its vital elements : it converts the food to the nourishment of the body, and preserves itself from decay by its affinity for the elements of life, diffused throughout the universe.
There are two supporters of life; these are air and food. This may be proved both by analysis and synthesis. Causes have a relation with their effects, and the effects cannot exist independent of their causes. A mere succession is no proof of a causation; for a succession of events may take place without any relation between these events. Before we can prove causation, we must prove succession, and also the existence of the cause in the effect, or a direct connection between the cause and effect. This must be done both by synthesis and analysis ; for instance, I may walk into a room, and a person already in the room may fall down in a fit of apoplexy: it is
not probable that my going into the room was the cause of the person having a fit of apoplexy, although one succeeded the other ; but, at the same time, my going into the room might be the cause of apoplexy, for I might give the person a blow on the head; or the idea of my presence might have such a relation with his brain, as to excite that organ into a fit of apoplexy. There would be here an affinity between cause and effect; and the first effect might act as a cause for a second effect, so suddenly, that my going out of the room would not restore the person to his senses. This is only a proof by synthesis, and it is not identical with truth; for I cannot be sure that my going into the room was the cause of the fit, because my going out of it did not relieve him. This is merely a proof by synthesis, which is only a probability. If I mix together a certain quantity of an acid, and of an alkali, and find that they form neutral salts, it is a proof, by synthesis, that the acid and alkali are the cause of the salts; and, if I can again reduce the salts to their primitive causes, I prove both by synthesis and analysis, that the acid and the alkali were the causes of the salts. If I find this to occur after repeated trials, I conclude that I am not deceived. This experiment may be reversed, by first proving by analysis, and then by synthesis. This rule will always stand good.
Our living in atmospheric air is only a possibility that air is the supporter of life; for it is not impossible that heat, or light, may be that supporter ; but, when we consider that the atmospheric air is universal, and that heat and light are not constant, it comes to a probability that it is the supporter of life, because every living being exists in it: but, if we find that the absence of atmospheric air invariably destroys life, we have an absolute proof that atmospheric air is the supporter of life. If any one denies this, he must disbelieve ihe evidence of his senses.
Without going any further to prove this point, I presume that every one will admit that air is a supporter of life. It is not my intention to enter into minutæ, by showing what portion of the atmosphere may constitute this property. It is sufficient to prove that this property exists in the constitution of the atmosphere.
The vital principle is preserved from exhaustion by its affinity with the vital elements of the atmosphere. It requires a continual supply of fresh elements. This supply can be rendered only by air and food. It is chiefly derived from air, for food is intended more particularly for the renovation of the structure. The atmosphere contains a substance capable of being converted into life; which substance unites with the blood in the lungs, during its circulation. This effect is pro
imparting, may perhaps be sufficiently obvious from the hints: already thrown out. The advertisements in a newspaper present us with a view of human life similar to that which we obtain of the labours and pursuits of the industrious bee, by surveying them through a glass hive. When we look over a large collection of advertisements, we are in much the same situation as if, by the possession of some supernatural power, we were enabled, at a glance, to see every thing going forward in society; or if our fellow-creatures were placed in a transparent sphere, and we had the power of turning it about in the same manner as a common globe, and seeing what were their different occupations and employments. Indeed, from the advertisements of a Newspaper, we may even collect more than we could from ocular observation; because, in them, many things are disclosed relative to the mental ability, the moral feeling, the designs and inclinations of individuals, which the mere knowledge of their external conduct never could impart.
Those passages of a Newspaper which are taken from that interesting, but ominous, publication, called “ The London Gazette," demand our next attention. Whatever other peculiarities may belong to human life, this part of a paper is amply sufficient to shew its changes and its uncertainty. The extracts from the Gazette seldom relate to any thing but public appointments, changes in the army and navy, dissolutions of partnerships, and bankruptcies. Dry and uninteresting these official catalogues certainly appear; but weigh them in the balance of reflection, and they will not be found wanting in utility: both the heart and the understanding may be improved by a due consideration of those mutations which are here recorded.
Some promotions take place in consequence of death. Is it unreasonable to suppose, that of those whom the King of Terrors has removed from their station in life, there are some who, if spared, might have been honours to their country, but whose early loss has overwhelmed with affliction those near connections, who, in the eagerness of hope, looked forward to their advancement, but the blossom of whose expectations is blighted almost as soon as formed? Should it be our misfor. tune to sustain a similar loss, let us be comforted by the reflection, that we suffer not alone; should we have escaped all such calamity, let us rejoice, that our lot is happier; and if, in the intercourse of life, we should be acquainted with those, on whose heads the hand of adversity has been laid, let us sympathize with their sorrows, and pour the balm of consolation into those wounds, which, but for the unmerited bounty of Providence, we might have had to mourn upon our own