Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

is apt to hang about us in those dark disconsolate seasons. --Addison.

XXXIX. He who tells a lie is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one.-Pope.

XL.
Music so softens and disarms the mind,
That not an arrow does resistance find,
Thus the fair tyrant celebrates the prize,
And acts herself the triumph of her eyes.
So Nero once, with harp in hand, survey'd
His flaming Rome, and as it burn'd he play'd.

Waller.To a Lady playing on the Lute.

XLI. Worldly ambition is founded on pride or envy, but emulation (or laudable ambition) is actually founded in humility, for it evidently implies that we have a low opinion of our present attainments, and think it necessary to be advanced: and especially in religious concerns it is so far from being pride for a man to wish himself spiritually better, that it is highly commendable, and what we are strongly exhorted to in many parts of the Bible.Bishop Hall.

XLII. Volatility of words is carelessness in actions; words are the wings of actions.--Lavater.

XLIII. Would it not employ a beau prettily enough, if, instead of eternally playing with a snuff-box, he spent some part of his time in making one? Such a method as this would very much conduce to the public emolument, by making every man living good for something; for there would then be no one member of human society but would have some little pretension for some degree in it.-Stcele.

XLIV. The good yeoman wears russet clothes, but makes golden payment, having time in his buttons, but silver in his pocket. If he chance to appear in clothes above his rank, it is to grace some great man with his service, and then he blusheth at his own bravery. Otherwise, he is the sweet landmark, whence foreigners may take aim of the ancient English customs; the gentry more floating after foreign fashions.-Fuller.

XLV. It is well for gamesters that they are so numerous as to make a society of themselves, for it would be a strange abuse of terms to rank these among society at large, whose profession it is to prey upon all who compose it. Strictly speaking, it will bear a doubt, if a gamester has any other title to be called a man, except under the distinction of Hobbes, and upon claim to the charter of homo hominis lupus.--As a human wolf I grant he has a right to his wolfish prerog

es.-Cumberland.

[ocr errors]

XLVI.
Law does not put the least restraint
Upon our freedom, but maintain 't;
Or if it does, 't is for our good,
To give us freer latitude;
For wholesome laws preserve us free,
By stinting of our liberty.

Butler,
XLVII.
In order to look into any person's temper, I generally
make my first observations upon his laugh, whether he
is easily moved, and what are the passages which throw
him into that agreeable kind of convulsion. People are
never so much unguarded as when they are pleased; and
laughter being a visible symptom of some inward satisfac-
tion, it is then, if ever, we may believe the face. There
is, perhaps, no better index to point us to the particula-
rities of the mind than this, which is itself one the chief
distinctions of our rationality. For, as Milton says,

-Smiles from reason flow, to brutes, deniedAnd are of love the food.It may be remarked in general under this head, that the laugh of men of wit is for the most part but a faint constrained kind of half laugh, as such persons are never without some diffidence about them: but that of fools is the most honest, natural, open laugh in the world. Steele.

XLVIII. He who wants justice, and has wit, judgment, or valour, will, for the having wit, judgment, or valour, be the more abhorred, because the more wit, judgment, or valour he has, if he wants justice, the more he will certainly become a wicked man; and he who wants justice, and has power, will, for the having power, be the more abhorred, because the more power he has, if he wants justice, the more he will certainly become a wicked man. -Buckingham

XLIX. Trust him with little who, without proofs, trusts you with every thing; or, when he has proved you, with nothing.–Lavater.

L. A man in much business must either make himself a knave, or else the world will make him a fool; and if the injury went no farther than being laughed at, a wise man would content himself with the revenge of retaliation: but the case is much worse; for these civil cannibals too, as well as the wild ones, not only dance about such a taken stranger, but at last deyour him. A sober man cannot get too soon out of drunken company, though they be never so kind and merry among themselves; it is not unpleasant only, but dangerous to him.-Cowley.

LI. Secretaries of state, presidents of the council, and generals of an army, have crowds of visitants in a morning, all soliciting of past promises; which are but a civiller sort of duns, that lay claim to voluntary debts. -Congreve.

VOL II.

B

LII. He makes a lady but a poor recompense, who marries her, because he has kept her company long after his affection is estranged. Does he not rather increase the injury?-Shenstone.

LIII. Those servants who found their obedience on some external thing, with engines, will go no longer than they are wound or weighed up.-Fuller.

LIV. Praise is not to be the entertainment of every moment. He that hopes for it, must be able to suspend the possession of it till proper periods of life, or death itself. If you would not rather be commended than be praiseworthy, contemn little merits; and allow no man to be so free with you, as to praise you to your face. Your vanity by this means will want its food. At the same time your passion for esteem will be more fully gratified; men will praise you in their actions: where you now receive one compliment, you will then receive twenty civilities.-Steele.

LV. Let women paint their eyes with tints of chastity, insert into their ears the word of God, tie the yoke of Christ around their necks, and adorn their whole persons with the silk of sanctity, and the damask of devotion; let them adopt that chaste and simple, that neat and elegant style of dress, which so advantageously displays the charms of real beauty, instead of those preposterous fashions, and fantastical draperies, of dress, which, while they conceal some few defects of person, expose so many defects of mind, and sacrifice to ostentatious finery, all those mild, amiable, and modest virtues, by which the female character is so pleasingly adorned.- Tertullian.

LVI.

Petitions not sweetened
With gold, are but unsavoury oft refused;
Or if received, are pocketed, not read.
A suitor's swelling tears by the glowing beams

Of choleric authority are dried up
Before they fall, or if seen, never pitied.

Massinger.

LVII. Friendship is the only thing in the world, concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.-Cicero.

LVIII. The historian may make himself wise, by living as many ages as have past since the beginning of the world. His books enable him to maintain discourse, who, besides the stock of his own experience, may spend on the common purse of his reading. This directs him in his life, so that he makes the shipwrecks of others seamarks to himself; yea, accidents which others start from their strangnesse, he welcomes as his wonted acquaintance, having found precedents for them formerly. Without history a man's soul is published, seeing onely the things which almost touch his eyes.--Fuller.

LIX. There is a manner of forgiving so divine, that you are ready to embrace the offender for having called it forth. Lavater.

LX. He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man had need to be forgiven.--Lord Herbert.

LXI. The good husband keeps his wife in the wholesome ignorance of unnecessary secrets. They will not be starved with the ignorance, who perchance may surfeit with the knowledge of weighty counsels, too heavy for the weaker sex to bear. He knows little who will tell his wife all he knows.—Tatler.

LXII.
For still the wickeder some authors write,
Others to write worse are encourag'd by ’t;
And tho' those fierce inquisitors of wit,
The critics, spare no flesh that ever writ,

« PředchozíPokračovat »