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guard, and opens a pass to his soul for any temptation that assaults it. . . The merry part of the world are very amiable while they diffuse a cheerfulness through conversation at proper seasons and on proper occasions... On the other side, seriousness has its beauty whilst it is attended with cheerfulness and humanity, and does not come in unseasonably to pall the good humour of those with whom we converse.' '

1 Spectator, No. 598.



1. IN strictness of speech temper is not every thing. The motto answers to many other modes of expression in which we intend a greater by a less, or a less by a greater, as, 'money is every thing,'- Love is every thing,'-' Health is every thing,'- -There is nothing like leather,' &c. With this explanation I should say, that, as regards the moral conduct of man, the peace, good will, and good understanding between man and man,-temper is every thing. This forms the title of a halfpenny tract, which some of my readers may have seen, and which first suggested to me the writing of this larger treatise. But as many may not be acquainted with it, I will insert a few extracts, which will exhibit temper as we often find it, as well as intimate what it should be.

2. ‘Taking a walk in the fields the other day, I met with an old woman, who inquired very particularly about her brother, who lived at a distance, and whom I had lately seen. I told her that he was very well when I saw him, and that



providence had been very kind to him in providing him with a suitable wife. Well,' (said the old woman) 'I am happy to hear that, for he suffered a great deal by his first wife.' Why,' (said I, with a degree of surprize) 'I have always heard that she was a pious woman, and I never heard any thing objected against her, excepting her temper.' Temper!' (replied the old woman) well, temper is every thing!'

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3. I was so much struck at the expression, and the manner in which it was uttered, that I could not help reflecting upon it after I had parted from her. Returning home, I happened to call at the house of an acquaintance, and found the husband and wife engaged in a trifling dispute. It was the fault of those folks to have acquired such a habit of contradicting each other, that they seemed to take a pleasure in it; and the children had acquired so much of the spirit of their parents, that you seldom heard them open their mouths, but in an angry tone of voice. On this occasion the wife continued to maintain her ground, and the husband in a fit of ill-nature left the room. A few minutes afterwards a boy of about nine years of age quarrelled with his sister, who appeared to be about eleven, and gave her a violent blow. The mother began to bluster, and the boy put on a surly countenance, and assumed such an air of defiance, as plainly indicated that he had no apprehension his mother's threats would be carried into execution. By this time my mind was completely irritated, and I came away muttering to myself, Well, I see that temper is every thing.'

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4. A short time after this, I drank tea in a family where I expected to spend an agreeable

evening, but I was greatly disappointed, owing to the following circumstance: the wife had received an intimation, some way or other, that her husband had given away more money to a charitable institution than she thought he ought to have done; and there was no pleasing her. She continued scolding her husband, and telling him that he would give away all he had; that he would reduce her and her family to beggary; and a great many things of the same kind. The husband bore it with a great deal of patience, and I made my visit as short as possible. Coming away from this scene with my mind much disturbed, I could not help repeating to myself all that evening, 'Well, I see that temper is every thing.'

5. 'I was lately called in to assist in settling a difference that had taken place between some persons, and which might have been easily done, had either of the parties yielded to the other; but I could not prevail on any one of them to give way in the least, and I left them, more than ever convinced, that temper is every thing.

6. A friend of mine, who is connected with the town of A-, and who has a vote in the election of the borough, told me a few days ago, that one of the candidates for that office had formerly used him in a very ungentleman-like manner; but, finding that his election was doubtful, he came to him and apologized for his former conduct, and solicited his vote. After hearing bis apology and his request, my friend told me that he addressed him in the following manner: Sir, had you not called on me on this occasion, I was determined to support you in your election, to convince you that the religion which I profess


possesses a better spirit than your's.' said I, 'my friend, was proper, and I am glad to find you have learnt that important lesson, that temper is every thing.'

7. The writer remarks further: The greater part of our unhappiness and misery_appears to me to be referable to temper. When I see a man envious, angry, ambitious, revengeful, or stung with disappointment, uneasy himself, or the cause of uneasiness to others, I still say, temper is every thing. From the conduct of most persons, one would be tempted to entertain a different opinion, and to think that temper was scarcely any thing.

8. 'True Christianity always produces a gracious temper. The correction of the temper is of great importance to our own happiness, and the happiness of our families and connections. The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is of great price in the sight of God; and we can have no evidence that we are the children of God without it.

9. Let not temper, which is here enforced, be mistaken. It is composed of firmness and complacency, of peace and love; it manifests itself in acts of kindness and courtesy; a kindness not pretended, but genuine; an attention not deceitful but sincere. Such a person is unshaken in constancy-unwearied in benevolence-firm without roughness-and attentive without severity.'

10. I have now furnished you with the principal passages of the tract. It would be easy to carry on the exemplification by reference to facts in common life. The value of good temper appears in a strong light in the contrasted examples of two poor families well known to me. I would premise

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