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public journals. The sour, the surly, and the malignant reviewer will almost invariably be found exhibiting the same unamiable qualities in the relations of private life; while the kindly and generous-minded critic, in newspapers and periodicals, will, with remarkably few exceptions, be found to be amiable and generous in the bosom of his family, and in all his intercourse with society."

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CHAPTER XVI.

Joseph is taken seriously ill—Neglect of his acquaintances

Ingratitude-Conversation with Mr. Lovegood on the arguments in favour of and against Christianity.

THREE months after the date of the conversation between him and Mr. Lovegood, recorded in the last chapter, Joseph was taken seriously ill; 80 seriously, indeed, that, for five weeks of the period during which he was confined to his bed, his life was deemed, by the medical gentleman who attended him, to be in imminent danger. He was, in some respects, a man of very sensitive feelings; and the malady with which he had been seized was considerably aggravated by the circumstance of none-no, not one of his boon companions, or hotel acquaintances, calling to inquire for him, after the first fortnight of his illness. When first confined to his bed, some of them did make a formal call to inquire how he was; but ten or twelve days sufficed to test the quality and strength of their friendship. After the lapse of that brief period, they not only ceased to call on, but even to think of, him. He was scarcely any more remembered by them, than if such a person as Joseph Jenkins had never existed.

And so it will generally be found. Those friendships—if so they ought to be called—which are formed of no better materials than those which are supplied by a similarity of convivial tastes, and of loose practices in the ordinary walks of life, are, indeed, but rarely to be depended on. They lack cordiality or strength while they last, and are always liable to be snapt asunder by the slightest breath of adversity.

Most poignantly did the mind of Joseph feel the desertion of those with whom he had spent so many hours of his life since his settlement in London; with whom, indeed, was spent almost every fragment of his time not required in the discharge of his professional duties. What aggravated the bitterness of his disappointment was the fact, that he had been of considerable service to some of their number, not merely by forwarding their views, but by repeatedly assisting them with small loans of money. He consequently felt, that he had claims not only on their friendship, but on their gratitude ; and to neglect him entirely—to suffer him to languish on his bed, or spend his tedious hours alone in his apartment, without once calling to stay an hour with him, or even to inquire for him, was the return which they made.

The philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome regarded ingratitude as one of the worst crimes which could be committed; and, in accordance with this conviction, they laid down the position, that those who were guilty of it deserved a double punishment. A more unamiable state of mind than that evinced by the ungrateful man, it would be impossible to conceive. And yet it is to be feared, that this state of feeling, so abhorrent to every wellregulated mind, prevails to a fearful extent at the present time. Do we not witness it every day of our lives? Do we not, indeed, experience it every hour of our existence ? Nor does the unsightly evil end even here. Who that has experienced aught of human life-who that has sought, from the purest, and holiest, and most disinterested motives, to avert a threatened calamity, or to remove an evil which had already overtaken and threatened to crush some acquaintance—has not, when success had crowned his generous exertions, found that, instead of being rewarded with the love and gratitude of him he had served, perhaps saved, been treated with a coldness and neglect he had never witnessed before ? Nor is this all. To perform to some men acts of the purest friendship which one human being ever performed to another, is often, indeed, to incur the posi

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