Avarice, is that restless and insatiable desire of accummulating riches, which is the surest indication of a contracted and, generaih , depraved mind.
As the governing passions of the brute creation are lust and hungei, the predominant desires of the human species appear to be power and money : it has accordingly been asserted, that the origin from which all the misfortunes and calamities of mankind have arisen are audition and avarice.
When a person doats upon ney, merely for the sake of pos: sessing it, without any regard to the good purposes of life, which it might serve; or to the new enjoyments that may be procured by it; without any regard to the benefit of his neighbour, or to any advantage accruing from it to himself—such a being may justly be called a wiser of the first class. His greatest happiness, apparently consists in the contemplation of money; an idol whom he even condescends to woriship, while removes him in triumph from one part of his dwelling to* another.
The next, and second class of misers, comprehends those singular persons who are eager to amass large sums of money, enjoy but a temporary pleasure in its posses-sion, and at the same time have some particular object in view, the the:execution of which constitutes the of their wishes. If this object happen to be centered in a trifling and despicable pursuit, it must be ascribed to a narrow and Borbid education ; by which the foundation was laid for an inconsistent and irrational turn of temper, for a servile attention to the lowest mercenary employments. Sometimes, however, 1o the honour of mankind, such persons, while practising an almost criminal frugality, speculate on the means of benefiting their fellow-creatures. Of this description was Godinot, a French clergyman at Rheims, who refused to relieve ap, by the skilful management of his vine-yard, had the good fortune to acquire large sums of money. His fellow-citiins, detested him and the populace every where received him with contempt. Neverthe-. he continued his usual sim-plicity of life, and steadily adhered to the most rigid system of economy. Mean-whiie, this good man had long felt the wants of the industrious poor in that city, parucu-larly in having no water but what they were obliged to purchase at a considerable price. At length, he laid out his princely fortune in the building of an aquduct, by which he rendered the poor more useful and lasting service thanif he had distributed his whole income in charity at his door : and thus he proved himself the true benefactor of society, whose name deserves to be transmitted to posterity.
The third, and perhaps most culpable class of avaricious persons literary misers, who incessantly apply themselves to. study, and eagerly seize upon every useful fact or discovery, without ever, intending to impart it to others. If. the acquisition and propagation of knowledge were dependent on these persons, who in many other respects able the monks of the dark , a speedy return of barbarism would be the necessary consequence. A similar idea, perhaps, . struck the didaftic Pope, when he thus concisely expressed himself in the following lines :
"Be niggards of advice on no pretence ; "For the worst avarice is that of sense."
Lastly, it deserves to be remarks ed that avarice, in general, has a tendency to stifle every spark of sympathy and generosity in the human breast; fed affect also the diferent functions of the body, in a manner not unlike that we have described under the head Anxiety; and that even nations, instance, the Canadians, bestow the greatest care on the susceptible minds of their children, to prevent the growth of that vile and corrosive i