The following lecture on Blackguards, from the New York Gazette, we recommend to the special attention of such men as Old Ned, Ralph Scruggs, 'c, 'c, 'c.
The condition of a blackguard, is peculiar. 'The Ethopian may change his skin, or the leopard his spots', but for the blackguard there is no redemption. All efforts at reclaiming him are vain. You may think perhaps for a moment that your exertions are likely to be crowned with success, but the hope soon proves delusive-'the dog hath returned to his vomit, and the sow, that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.' Arrogance, insolence, and falsehood, cling like 'beeswax' to his skirts. Elevate him, and you only afford an exemplification of the truth of the proverb='set a beggar on horseback, and he will ride to the devil.' The wealth of Croesus or the honors of Caesar, would be showered on him in vain. Fate has decreed it. You cannot transmute a blackguard into a gentleman--to use a homely adage,'You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.'
In society Character is the first, second, and the ultimate quality. A man is never ruined who has not lost his character; while he who has lost his character, whatever be his position, is ruined to all moral and useful purposes. Envy and calumny will follow a man's success like his shadow; but they will be powerless if he is true to himself, and relies on his native energies to beat or live them down. Virtues may be misrepresented, but they are virtues still; and in vain will an industrious man be called an idler, a sensible man a fool, a prudent man a spendthrift, a persevering man a changeling, or an honest man a knave. The qualities are inherent, and cannot be removed by words, except by a man's own consent; at the same time, all calumniators thrice detected ought to be banished as criminals, unworthy of the benefits of the society of which, however powerless, they endeavored to be the pest and bane.