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ON POLITICS. Perhaps men of the most different sects and parties very frequently think the same; only vary in their phrase and language. At least, if one examine their first principles, which very often coincide, it were a point of prudence, as well as candour, to consider the rest as nothing more.
A courtier's dependent is a beggar's dog.
If national reflections be unjust, because there are good men in all nations, are not national wars on much the same footing? A government is inexcusable for employing foolish ministers; because they may examine a man's head, tho' they cannot bis heart. I fancy, the proper means of encreasing the love we bear our native country, is to reside some time in a foreign one. The love of popularity seems little else than the love of being beloved; and is only blameable when a person aims at the affections of a people by means in appearance honest, but in their end pernicious and distructive.
There ought, no doubt, to be heroes in society as well as butchers; and who knows but the necessity of butchers (inflaming and stimulating the passions with animal food) might at first occasion the necessity of heroes. Butchers, I believe, were prior.
The whole mystery of a courtly behaviour seems included in the power of making general favours appear particu
A man of remarkable genius may afford to pass by a piece of wit, if it happen to border on abuse. A little genius is obliged to catch at every witticism indiscriminately. Indolence is a kind of centripetal force. It seems idle to
rail at ambition merely because it is a boundless passion; or rather is not this circumstance an argument in it's favour? If one would be employed or amused through life, should we not make choice of a passion that will keep one long in play? A sportsman of vivacity will make choice of that game which will prolong his diversion: a fox, that will support the chace till night, is better game than a rabbit, that will not afford him half an hour's entertainment.
The submission of Prince Hal to the civil magistrate that committed him, was more to his honour than all the conquests of Henry the fifth in France,
The most animated social pleasure, that I can conceive, may be, perhaps, felt by a general after a successful engagement, or in it: I mean, by such commanders as have souls equal to their occupation, This, however, seemis paradoxical, and requires some explanation.
Resistance to the reigning powers justifiable, on a conviction that their gove ernment is inconsistent with the good of the subject; that our interposition tends to establish better measures; and this without a probability of occasioning evils that may overbalance them. But these considerations must never be separated. People are, perhaps, more vicious in towns, because they have fewer natural objects there, to employ their attention-or admiration : likewise because one vicious character tends to encourage and keep another in countenance. However it be, excluding accidenta) circumstances, I believe the largest cities are the most vicious of all others.
Laws are generally found to be nets of such a texture, as the little creep through, the great break through, and the middle sized are alone entangled in.
Tho' I have no sort of inclination to vindicate the late rebellion, yet I am led by candour to make some distinction between the immoralityof it's abettors, and the illegality of their offence. My Lord Hardwick, in his condemnation-speech, remarks with great propriety, that the laws of all nations have adjudged rebellion to be the worst of crimes. And in regard to civil societies, I believe there are none but madmen will dispute it. But surely with regard to conscience, erroneous judgments and ill-grounded convictions may render it some people's duty. Sin does not consist in any deviation from received opinion; it does not depend on the understanding, but the will. Now, if it appear that a man's opinion has happened to misplace his duty; and this opinion has not been owing to any vicious desire of indulging his appetites.-In short, if his own reason, liable to err, have biassed his will; rather than his will any way contributed to bias and deprave his reason, he will, perhaps, ap. pear guilty before none, beside an earthly tribunal. A person's right to resist, depends on a conviction, that the government is ill-managed; that others have more claim to manage it, or will administer it better: that he, by his resistance, can introduce a change to it's advantage, and this without any consequential evils that will bear proportion to the said advantage.
Whether this were not in appearance the case of Bamerino, I will not presume to say: how conceived or from what delusion sprung. But as, I think, he was reputed an honest man, in other respects, one may guess his behaviour was rather owing to the misrepresentations of his reason, than to any depravity, perverseness, or disingenuity of his will. If a person ought heartily to stickle for any cause, it
should be that of moderation.
be his party.
1. I hate maritime expressions, similies and allusions; my dislike, I suppose, proceeds from the unnaturalness of shipping, and the great share which art ever claims in that practice. 2. I am thankful that my name'is obnoxous to no pun. 3. May I always have a heart superior, with economy suitable, to my fortune.
4. Inanimates, toys, utensils, seem to merit a kind of affection from us, when they have been our companions through various vicissitudes. I have often viewed my watch, standish, snuff-box, with this kind of tender regard; allotting them a degree of friendship, which there are some men who do not deserve:
Midst many faithless only faithful found.” 5. I loved Mr. Somervile, because he knew so perSectly what belonged to the flocci-nauci-nihili-pilification of money.
6. It is with me, in regard to the earth itself, as it is in regard to those who walk upon it's surface. I love to pass by crowds, and to catch distant views of the country as I walk along; but I insensibly chuse to sit where I cannot see two yards before me. 7. I begin too soon in life to slight the world, more than is consistent with making a figure in it. The “non est tanti” of Ovid grows upon me so fast that in a few years I shall have no passion.
8. I am obliged to the person that 'speaks me fair 'to my face. I am only more obliged to the man who speaks well of me in my absence also. Should I be asked whether I chose to have a person speak well of me when absent or present, I should answer the latter; for were all men to do so, the former would be insignificant. 9. I feel an avarice of social pleasure, which produces only mortification. I never see a town or city in a map, but I figure to myself many agreeable persons in it, wi whom I could wish to be acquainted. 10. It is a miserable thing to be sensible of the value of one's time, and yet restrained by circumstances from making a proper use of it. One feels one's self somewhat in the situation of Admiral Hosier. 11. It is a miserable thing to love where one hates; and yet it is not inconsistent. 12. The modera world considers it as a part of politeness, to drop the mention of kindred in all addresses to relations. There is no doubt, that it puts our approbation and esteem on a less partial footing. I think, where I value a friend, I would not suffer my relation to be obliterated even to the twentieth generation: it serves to connect us closer. Wherever I disesteemed, I would abdicate my first cousin, 13. Circumlocutory, philosophical obscenity appears to me the most nauseous of all stuff: shall I say it takes away the spirit from it, and leaves you nothing but a caput mortuum; or shall I say rather it is a Sir-e in an envelope of fine gilt paper, which only raises expectation ? Could any be allowed to talk obscenely with a grace, it were downright country fellows, who use an unaffected language: but even among these, as they grow old, it partakes again of affectation. 14. It is some loss of liberty to resolve on schemes beforehand.