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No. 469. Thursday, August 28, 1712. Addison.
’Detrahere aliquid altieri, et hominem hominis incommodo suum augere commodum, magis est contra naturam, quam mors, quam paupertas, quam dolor, quam caetera quae possunt aut corpori accidere, aut rebus externis.’
I am perswaded there are few Men of generous Principles, who would seek after great Places, were it not rather to have an Opportunity in their Hands of obliging their particular Friends, or those whom they look upon as Men of Worth, than to procure Wealth and Honour for themselves. To an honest Mind the best Perquisites of a Place are the Advantages it gives a Man of doing Good.
Those who are under the great Officers of State, and are the Instruments by which they act, have more frequent Opportunities for the Exercise of Compassion, and Benevolence, than their Superiors themselves. These Men know every little Case that is to come before the Great Man, and if they are possessed with honest Minds, will consider Poverty as a Recommendation in the Person who applies himself to them, and make the Justice of his Cause the most powerful Solicitor in his Behalf. A Man of this Temper, when he is in a Post of Business, becomes a Blessing to the Publick: He patronizes the Orphan and the Widow, assists the Friendless, and guides the Ignorant: He does not reject the Person’s Pretensions, who does not know how to explain them, or refuse doing a good Office for a Man because he cannot pay the Fee of it. In short, tho’ he regulates himself in all his Proceedings by Justice and Equity, he finds a thousand [Occasions for all the Good-natured Offices of ] Generosity and Compassion.