Obrázky stránek

But rather April wet by kind;

For love is full of showers.


CCCCXVI. Flowers of wit ought to spring, as those in a garden do, from their own root and stem, without foreign assistance. I would have a man's wit rather like a fountain, that feeds itself invisibly, than a river, that is supplied by several streams from abroad. --Swift. ,

The sense to value riches, with the art
T' enjoy them, and the virtue to impart,
Not meanly nor ambitously pursu’d,
Not smote by sloth, nor rais'd by servitude
To balance fortune by a just expense,
Join with economy, magnificence;
With splendour, charity; with plenty, health;
Oh! teach us, yet unspoild by wealth,
That secret rare, between th' extremes to move,
Of mad good-nature, and of mean self-love.

Pope. CCCCXVIII. It is safer to affront some people than to oblige them: for the better a man deserves, the worse they will speak of him: as if the possessing of open hatred to their benefactors, were an argument that they lie under no ob. ligation.-Seneca.

Walls of brass resist not
A noble undertaking—nor can vice
Raise any bulwark to make good a place
Where virtue seeks to enter.


. In common cases, the general method I take to bring any gentleman to a patient hearing, is to entertain him with his own commendations: if this simple medicine will not serve, I am forced to dash it with a few drops of stander, which is the best appeaser I know: for many


of my patients will listen to that, when nothing else can silence them. This recipe however is not palatable, nor ought it to be used but with caution and discretion; I keep it therefore in reserve like laudanum for special occasions. When a patient is far advanced towards his cure, I take him with me to the gallery of the House of Commons, where certain orators, whom I have in my eye, are upon their legs to harangue; and I have always found if a convalescent can hear that, he can hear any thing.--Cumberland.

CCCCXXI. A noble heart, like the sun, showeth its greatest coun! tenance in its lowest estate.-Sir P. Sidney.

CCCCXXII. Complaisance, though in itself it be scarce reckoned in the number of moral virtues, is that which gives a lustre to every talent a man can be possessed of. It was Pluto's advice to an unpolished writer, that he should sacrifice to the Graces. In the same manner I would advise every man of learning, who would not appear in the world a mere scholar, or philosopher, to make himself master of the social virtue which I have here mentioned.

Complaisance renders a superior amiable, an equal agreeable, and an inferior acceptable. It smooths distinction, sweetens conversation, and makes every one in the company pleased with himself. It produces good nature and mutual benevolence, encourages the timorous, sooths the turbulent, humanizes the fierce, and distinguishes a society of civilized persons from a confusion of savages. --Addison.

'The blushing cheek speaks modest mind,
The lips befitting words most kind,
The eye does tempt to love's desire,
And seems to say, “ 'tis cupid's fire;"
Yet all so fair but speak my moan,
Sith naught doth say the heart of stone.

Harrington, 1564


CCCCXXIV. Projectors in a state are generally rewarded above their deserts; projectors in the republic of letters, never: if wrong, every inferior dunce thinks himself entitled to laugh at their disappointment; if right, men of superior talents think their honour engaged to oppose, since every new discovery is a tacit diminution of their own pre-eminence.--Goldsmith.

CCCCXXV. A herald calls himself a king because he has authority to hang, draw, and quarter arms; for assuming a jurisdiction over the distributive justice of titles of honour, as far as words extend, he gives himself as great a latitude that way, as other magistrates used to do, where they have authority, and would enlarge it as far as they

It is true, he can make no lords nor knights of himself, but as many squires and gentlemen as he pleases, and adopt them into what family they have a mind. His dominions abound with all sorts of cattle, fish, and fowl, and all manne of manufacturers, besides whole fields of gold and silver, which he magnificently bestows upon his followers or sells as cheap as lands in Jamaica. The language they use is barbarous, as being but a dialect of pedlar's French, or the Egyptian, though of a loftier sound, and in the propriety affecting brevity, as the other does verbosity. His business is like that of all the schools, to make plain things hard with perplexed methods and insignificant terms, and then appear learned in making them plain again. He professes arms, not for use, but ornament only; and yet makes the basest things in the world weapons of worshipful bearings. He is wiser than the fellow that sold his ass, but kept the shadow for his own use; for he sells only the shadow, (that is the picture,) and keeps the ass himself. His chief province is at funerals, where he commands in chief, marshals the tristitiæ irritamenta; and like a gentleman-sewer to the worms, serves up the feast with all

punctual formality. He is a kind of a necromancer; and can raise the dead out of their graves, to make them

marry and beget those they never heard of in their lifetime. His coat is like the king of Spain's dominions, all skirts, and hangs as loose about him; and his neck is the waist, like the picture of nobody with his breeches fastened to his collar. He will sell the head or the single joint of a beast or fowl as dear as the whole body, like a pig's head in Bartholomew Fair, and after put off the rest to his customers at the same rate. His arms being utterly out of use in war, since guns came up, have been translated to dishes and cups, as the ancients used their precious stones, according to the poet-Gemmas ad pocula transfert a gladiis, &c.,--and since are like to decay every day more and more; for since he gave citizens coats of arms, gentlemen have made bold to take their letters of mark by way of reprisal. The hangman has a receipt to mar all his work in a moment; for by nailing the wrong end of a scutcheon upwards upon a gibbet, all the honour and gentility extinguishes of itself, like a candle that is held with the flame downwards. Other arms are made for the spilling of blood; but his only purify and cleanse it, like scurvy-grass; for a small dose taken by his prescription, will refine that which is as base and gross as bull's blood, (which the Athenians used to poison withal) to any degree of purity:-Butler.

Every spirit as it is most pure
And hath in it the more of heavenly light,
So it the fairer body doth procure

To habit in, and it more fairly dight

With cheerful grace, and amiable sight;
For of the soul the body form doth take,
For soul is form, and doth the body make.

Spenser. CCCCXXVII. It was said of the learned bishop Sanderson, that, when he was preparing his lectures, he hesitated so much, and rejected so often, that, at the time of reading, he was often forced to produce, not what was best, hut what happened to be at hand. This will be the state of every man, who, in the choice of his employment, balances all the arguments on every side; the complication is so intricate, the motives and objections so numerous, there is so much play for the imagination, and so much remains in the power of others, that reason is forced at last to rest in neutrality, the decision devolves into the hands of chance, and after a great part of life spent in inquiries which can never be resolved, the rest must often pass in repenting the unnecessary delay, and can be useful to few other purposes than to warn others against the same folly, and to show, that of two states of life equally consistent with religion and virtue, he who chooses earliest chooses best.-Johnson.

CCCCXXVIII. The greatest loss of time that I know is, to count the hours. What good comes of it? Nor can there be any greater dotage in the world, than for one to guide and direct his courses by the sound of a bell, and not by his own judgment and discretion.--Rabelais.

CCCCXXIX. If idleness be the root of all evil, then matrimony's good for something, for it sets many a poor woman to work.-Vanbrugh.

CCCCXXX. A man may smoke, or drink, or take snuff, till he is unable to pass away his time without it, not to mention how our delight in any particular study, art, or science, rises and improves in proportion to the application which we bestow upon it. Thus, what was at first an exercise, becomes at length an entertainment. --Addison.

CCCCXXXI. I consider your very testy and quarrelsome people in the same light as I do a loaded gun, which may by accident go off and kill one.-Shenstore.

CCCCXXXII. True virtue is like precious odours--sweeter the more incensed and crushed!Lord Bacon,

« PředchozíPokračovat »