Page images

i. e.

« Tentanda via est, qua me quoque possum

tollere humo.”

“ Be promoted or be hanged.” 66. True honour is to honesty, what the court of Chancery is to common law. 67. Misers, as death approaches, are heaping up a chest of reasons to stand in more awe of him.

68. A man sooner finds out his own foibles in a stranger, tban any other foibles. 69. It is favourable enough on the side of learning, that if an historian mention a good author, it does not seem absurd to style him a great man: whereas the same phrase would not be allowed to a niere illiterate nobleman. 70. It is less wonderful to see a wretched inan commence a hero, than a happy one.

71. A high-spirit has often very different and even contrary effects. It sometimes operates no otherwise than like the “ vis inertiæ;" at others it induces men to bustle and make their part good among their superiors. As Mr. Pope says,

“ Some plunge in business, others shave their crowns.” t is by no means less forcible, when it withdraws a man from the company of those with whom he cannot converse on equal terms; it leads him into solitude, that, if he cannot appear their equal, he may, at least, conceal his inferiority. It is sullen, obstinate, disdainful, haughty, in no less a degree than the other; but is, perhaps, more genteel, and less citizen-like. Some times the other succeeds, and then it is esteemed preferable; but in case it fail, it not only exposes a person's meanness, but his impatience under it; both of which the reserved spirit is able to disguisebut then it stands no chance of removing, “Pudor malus ulcera celat.” 72. Every single instance of a

friend's insincerity encreases our dependence on the efficacy of money.

It makes one covet what produces an external respect, when one is disappointed of that which is internal and sincere. This, perhaps, with decaying passions, contributes to render age covetous. 73. When physicians write of diseases, the prognostics and the diagnostics, the symptoms and the paroxysms, they give one fatal apprehensions for every ache about us.

When they come to treat of medicines and applications, you seem to have no other difficulty but to decide by which means you would secover. In short, to give the preference between a linctus and an apozem. 74. One should no more trust to the skill of most apothecaries, than one would ask the opinion of their pestle and mortar; yet both are useful in their way. 75. I believe there was never so reserved a solitary, but felt some degree of pleasure at the first glimpse of a human figure. The soul, however, unconscious of it's social bias in a crowd, will, in solitude, feel some attraction towards the first person that we meet. 76. Iu courts, the motion of the body is easy, and those of the soul constrained: in the country, the gestures of the body are constrained, and those of the soul supine and careless. 77. One may easily enough guard against ambition till five and twenty. It is not ambition’s day.

78. It should seem that indolence itself would incline a person to be honest; as it requires infinitely greater pains and contrivance to be a knave. 79. Perhaps, rustics, boors, and esquires, make a principal figure in the country, as inanimates are always allowed to be the chief figures in a landscape.

80. Titles make a greater distinction than is almost tolerable to a British spirit. They almost vary the species; yet as they are oftentimes conferred, seem not so much the reward, as the substitutes of merit.

81. What nunbers live to the age of fifty or sixty years, yet, if estimated by their merit, are not worth the price of a chick the moment it is hatched. 82. A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood.

83. Fools are very often found united in the strictest intimacies, as the lighter kinds of woods are the most closely glued together. 84. Persons of great delicacy should know the certainty of the following truth. There are abundance of cases which occasion suspense, in which, whatever they determine, they will repent of their determination; and this through a propensity of human nature to fancy happiness in those schemes, which it does

85. High-spirit in a man, is like a sword; which, tho' worn to annoy his enemies, yet is often troublesome in a less degree to his friend. He can hardly wear it so inoffensively, but it is apt to incommode one or other of the company. It is more properly a loaded pistol, which accident alone may fire, and kill one. 86. A miser, if honest, can be only honest bare weight.

Avarice is the most opposite of all characters to that of God Al mighty; whose alone it is, to give and not receive. A miser grows rich by seeming poor; an extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich. hopper is, perhaps, the best device for coat-armour of those who would be thought aborigines ; agreeably to the Athenian use of them.

Immoderate assurance is perfect licentiousness.

When a person is so far engaged in a dispute as to wish to

not pursue:

A grass

get the victory, he ought ever to desist. The idea of conquest will so dazzle him, that it is hardly possible he should discern the truth.

I have sometimes thought the mind so calculated, that a small degree of force inay impel it to a certain pitch of pleasure or of pain; beyond which it will not pass, by any impetus whatsoever. I doubt whether it be pot true, that we hate those faults most in others which we are guilty of ourselves.

A man of thorough sense scarcely admires even any one; but he must be an idrot, that is the admirer of a fool. It may be prudent to give up the more trivial parts of character for the amusement of the invidious: as a man willingly relinquishes bis silver to save his gold from a highwayman. Better be ridiculed for an untoward peruke, than be attacked on the score of morals, as one would rather be pulled by the hair, than stabbed to the heart.

Virtue seems to be nothing more than a motion consonant to the systim of things. Were a planet to fly from it's orbit, it would represent a vicious man. It is difficult not to be angry at beings we know incapable of acting otherwise than they do. One ought no more, if one reflect, to be angry at the stupidity of a man than of a horse, except it be vincible and voluntary; and yet the practice is otherwise.

People say, Do not regard what he says, now he is in liquor.” Perhaps it is the only time he ought to be regarded : “ Aperit præcordia liber.” tience is the Panacea; but where does it grow, or who can swallow it? Wits uniformly exclain against fools, yet fools are their proper foil; and it is from them alone they can learn what figure them selves make. Their behaviour naturally falls in with


the generality, and furnishes a better mirror than that of artful people, who are sure enough to deceive you either on the favourable or the ill-natured side.

We say, he is a man of sense who acknowledges the same truths that we do; that he is a man of taste who allows the same beauties. We consider him as a person of better sense and finer taste, who discerns more truths and more beauties in conjunction with ourselves: but we allow neither appellation to the man who differs from us.

We deal out our genuine esteem to our equals; our affection for those beneath us; and a reluctant sort of respect to those that are above us.

Glory relaxes often and debilitates the mind; censure stimulates and contracts -both to an extreme. Simple fame is, perhaps, the proper medium.

Persons of new families do well to make magnificent funerals, sumptuous weddings, remarkable entertainments; to exhibit a number of servants in rich and ostentatious liveries; and to take every public occasion of imprinting on the mob an habitual notion of their superiority. For so is deference obtained from that quarter:

“ Stupet in titulis & imaginibus.” One scarcely sees how it is possible for a country girl or a country fellow to preserve their chastity. They have neither the philosophical pleasure of books, nor the luxurious pleasure of a table, nor the refined amusement of building, planting, drawing, or designing, to divert their imagination from an object to which they seem continually to stimulate it by provocative allusions. Add to this the health and vigour that are almost peculiar to them.

I am afraid there are many ladies who only exchange the pleasures of incontinence for the pleasure they de


« EelmineJätka »