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CCCCXXXIII. Short sighted people, I mean such who liave but narrow conceptions, never extended beyond their own lit. tle sphere, cannot comprehend that universality of talents which is sometimes observable in one person. They allow no solidity in whatever is agreeable; or when they see in any one the graces of the body, activity, suppleness, and dexterity, they conclude he wants the endowments of the mind, judgment, prudence, and perspicacity. Let history say what it will, they will not believe that Socrates ever danced.—Bruyere.
CCCCXXXV. Whatever absurdities men of letters have indulged, and how fantastical soever the modes of science have been, their anger is still more subject to ridicule.-Goldsmith
CCCCXXXVI. Musing on this worldly wealth of thought, Which comes and goes more faster than we see The flickering flame that with the fire is wrought,
My busy mind presented unto me
Such fall of peers as in this realm had be,
Induction to the Complaint of Henry Duke of Buckingham.---Sackville, 1563.
Lovers say, the heart hath treble wrong, When it is barr’d the aidance of the tongue.
Upon a thankless errand,
For truth must be thy warrant;
In treble points of niceness,
Herself in overwiseness;
CCCCXLI. Cheerfulness is always to be supported if a man is out of pain, but mirth to a prudent man should always be accidental. It should naturally arise out of the occasion, and the occasion seldom be laid for it; for those tempers who want mirth to be pleased, are like the constitutions which flag without the use of brandy. Therefore, I say, let your precept be, “be easy.” That mind is dissolute and ungoverned, which must be hurried out of itself by loud laughter or sensual pleasure, or else be wholly inactive.-Steele.
CCCCXLII. A court air consists in quitting a real for a borrowed greatness. The latter pleases the courtier more than the former. It inspires him with a certain disdainful mo. VOL. II.
desty, which shows itself externally, but whose pride insensibly diminishes in proportion to its distance from the source of his greatness.-Montesquieu.
CCCCXLIII. An eminent philosopher insists that no woman should come abroad more than three times in her whole life; first, to be baptized, then to be married; and lastly, to be entombed. Extravagant, however, as this idea is, and different as a prison is from privacy, it may fairly be supposed to intimate, that the highest honour of a virtuous female, is a rational seclusion and retreat.-Burton.
CCCCXLIV. We assemble parliaments and councils, to have the benefit of their collected wisdom; but we necessarily have, at the same time, the inconveniences of their collected passions, prejudices, and private interests. By the help of these, artful men overpower their wisdom, and dupe its possessors: and if we may judge by the acts, arrets, and edicts, all the world over, for regulating commerce, an assembly of great men is the greatest fool upon earth. Franklin.
CCCCXLV. The pleasantest part of a man's life is generally that which passes in courtship, provided his passion be sincere, and the party beloved kind with discretion. Love, desire, hope, all the pleasing motions of the soul, rise in the pursuit.--Addison.
Some in their wealth, some in their body's force;
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest;
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost, Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
And having thee, of all men's pride I boast. Wretched in this alone that thou may'st take All this away, and me most wretched make.
Shakspeare. CCCCXLVII. Do not think that your learning and genius, your wit or sprightliness, are welcome every where. I was once told that my company was disagreeable because I appeared so uncommonly happy; and many good housewifes declare they do not like your learned, bookish husbands.---Zimmerman.
CCCCXLVIII. A tawdry outside is regarded as a badge of poverty, and those who can sit at home, and gloat over their thousands in silent satisfaction, are generally found to do it in plain clothes. --Goldsmith.
CCCCXLIX. When men who are enabled to array themselves in clothes of gold, wander with melancholy and dejected humility, outwardly clothed in a sheep's russet, they may be fairly suspected of being inwardly swollen with arrogance and self-conceit.-Burton.
CCCCL. As a glass which magnifies objects by the approach of one end to the eye, lessens them by the application of the other; so vices are extenuated by the inversion of that fallacy, by which virtues are augmented. Those faults which we cannot conceal from our own notice, are considered, however frequent, not as habitual corptions or settled practices, but as casual
ires, and single lapses. A man who has, from year to year, set his country to sale, either for the gratification of his ambition or resentment, confesses that the heat of party now and then betrays the severest virtue to measures that cannot be seriously defended. He that spends his
days and nights in riot and debauchery, owns that his passions oftentimes overpower his resolution. But each comforts himself that his faults are not without precedent, for the best and the wisest men have given way to the violence of sudden temptations.—Johnson.
CCCCLI. Some men make a vanity of telling their faults; they are the strangest men in the world; they cannot dissemble; they own it is a folly; they have lost abundance of advantages by it; but if you would give them the world, they cannot help it; there is something in their nature which abhors insincerity and constraint; with many other insufferable topics of the same altitude.-Swift.
CCCCLII. If the commission of the peace finds out the true gentleman, he faithfully dischargeth it.
I say finds him out: for a public office is a guest, which receives the best usage from them who never invited it. And though he declined the place, the country knew to prize his worth, who would be ignorant of his own. He compounds many petty differences betwixt his neighbours, which are easier ended in his own porch, than in Westminster Hall; for many people think, if once they have fetched a warrant from a justice, they have given earnest to follow the suit, though otherwise the matter be so mean, that the next night's sleep would have bound both parties to the peace, and made them as good friends as ever before.-Fuller.