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curacy in detecting tracks in the desert: and Milton, excepting for his zeal in asserting the privileges of the community, might have been but the best maker of dirges.
Now, all the diversities in human conduct, occasioned by external causes; all the varieties in the mode of indulging the same propensity, or of exerting the same ability; and all the force that particular desires or faculties may derive from situation; together with all the desires and faculties, that seem to be indebted, for their active existence, to situation, fall under the denomination of
In general therefore, it is by their manners, fully as much as by any thing else, that men differ from one another; and that we have all the amusing varieties of professional, or of national characters. It is thus that an Indian can have little fellowship with an European: or a demure monk with a sprightly soldier: yet they may have been similar in their original constitution; and the monk, notwithstanding the severity of his appearance, may, in the principles of his vature, have been as little inclined as the soldier, to the rigours of austere retire
ment. Thus the meaning of the term manners seems abundantly manifest. Manners differ from passions, and faculties, and other inherent constitutional powers of intellect and sensibility, because these are not indebted for their existence, though they may be indebted, for considerable degrees of vigour, to external condition. The term denotes something more particular than habit and character, because these may be the result of every active principle, whether influenced, or uninfluenced by outward circumstance. Tenor of conduct and deportment, in like manner, being the display of character, and flowing from every principle of action whatsoever, convey a meaning in the words denoting them, more extensive than that of manners. Customs again, are more particular, and may be included in the word manners, as a general term: for a custom signifies the particular mode of acting, in consequence of situation, so frequently repeated, as that it comes to be regularly expected, and that its failure may occasion surprize, disapprobation, or sometimes blame. Cicero, in a work not profes
sedly critical, but in one of his orations against Rullus, gives the following excellent description of manners; to which the foregoing observations, which happened to have been written, before the passage was remarked, may serve as an illustration.
6 Non ingenerantur hominibus mores, tam a “ stirpe generis ac seminis, quam ex iis
rebus, quæ ab ipsa natura loci, et a vita
consuetudine suppeditantur: quibus ali“ mur et vivimus."
II. Having stated and illustrated the meaning of the term Manners in its critical acceptation, I proceed to remark more particularly, that the fit delineation of manners has contributed a great deal in all periods of literary improvement, to the suc
writers eminently distinguished for poetical or inventive ability. The manners resulting from the effects of time, on the human constitution, in the shifting periods of human life; or from the effects of those professional occupations and conditions that diversify the conduct of mankind in various states of society, or under different forms of government; the manners, for example, of youth and of old age, of freemen and of slaves, of soldiers and of sạilors, have, when happily represented, rendered the serious delineations of human nature very interesting, and those of the comic writer, whether poet or novelist, very humourous and entertaining.–At present, however, I would chiefly consider the imitation of National Manners; and remark, that representations of these, of Jews, for example, of Negroes, and of Frenchmen; of Scotsmen, and of Irishmen; have, with great success, employed the exertions of cotemporary, or of modern ingenuity.
Such imitation is so much the more remarkable, that when well executed, it seems to be attended with no inconsiderable difficulty. Even the direct statement and description of national character by historians, and the writers of voyages and travels, require much caution and accuracy of distinction. The picture is not to be charged with the colours and features which may be common to all mankind, or to a number of communities,
Or, if these are to be presented, it is only as the ground on which the appropriate and distinguishing properties are superinduced. Nor is it possible, nor would it be expedient, to give a description of every individual. Those qualities only which characterize and diversify the subordinate species from the general class and order, are to be exhibited in the fullest light: and those peculiar circumstances and attributes, those forms and tints that distinguish individuals, are to be no less carefully omitted. The writers, for example, who have given the best account of the external appearance exhibited by the Goths and Romans, considered as different nations and races of men, have not thought it necessary to say, that the shape of both was human, nor to describe every particular Alaric or Marcus: but have told us, that the Goths were tall, ruddy, with fair hair, with blue, or grey eyes; and that the Romans, forming as it were a contrast, were not tall, exhibited black hair, and dark complexions ; " nigris oculis nigroque capillo." A similar procedure ought also to take place in describing their minds, or internal struc