Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

His turns too closely on the reader press;
He more had pleas'd us had he pleased us less:
One glittering thought no sooner strikes our eyes
With silent wonder, but new wonders rise;
As in the milky-way a shining white
O’erflows the heav'ns with one continued light,
That not a single star can show his rays
Whilst jointly all promote the common blaze.
Pardon, great poet! that I dare to name
Th’unnumber'd beauties of thy verse with blame;
Thy fault is only wit in its excess;
But wit like thine in any shape will please.

Addison-on the Poets.

DI. There is this difference betwixt a thankful and an unthankful man: the one is always pleased in the good he has done, and the other only once in what he has received.-Seneca.

DII. As the fertilest ground must be manured; so must the highest flying wit have a Dædalus to guide him.-Sir P. Sidney.

- DIII. Parody is a favourite flower both of ancient and modern literature. It is a species of ludicrous composition, which derives its wit from association: and never fails to produce admiration and delight, when it unites taste in selection with felicity of application. Even licentious specimens of it move to laughter; for we are always inclined to be diverted with mimicry, or ridiculous imitation, whether the original be an object of respect, of indifference, or of contempt. A polished Athenian audience heard, with bursts of mirthful applause, the discourses of the venerable Socrates burlesqued upon the stage; and no Englishman can read the Rehearsal without smiling at the medley of borrowed absurdities which it exhibits. -Percival.

DIV. There is scarce a village in Europe, and not one university, that is not thus furnished with its little great men.

The head of a petty corporation, who opposes the designs of a prince who would tyranically force his subjects to save their best clothes for Sundays; the puny pedant who finds one undiscovered property in the poType, or describes an unheeded process in the skeleton of a mole, and whose mind, like his microscope, perceives nature only in detail; the rhymer, who makes smooth verses, and paints to our imagination, when he should only speak to our hearts; all equally fancy themselves walking forward to immortality, and desire the crowd behind them to look on. The crowd takes them at their word. Patriot, philosopher, and poet, are shouted in their train. “Where was there ever so much merit seen? No times so important as our own; ages, yet unborn, shall gaze with wonder and applause!' To such music, the important pigmy moves forward, bustling and swelling, and aptly compared to a puddle in a storm. Goldsmith.

DV. The most positive men are the most credulous; since they most believe themselves, and advise most with their fellow flatterer and worst enemy, their own false love. --Pope.

DVI.
Say, dear, will you not have me?
Then take the kiss you gave me;
You elsewhere would, perhaps, bestow it,
And I would be as loth to owe it;
Or if you will not take the thing once given,
Let me kiss you, and then we shall be even.

From Weelker's Madrigals.-1604.

DVIT. The state of the possessor of humble virtues, to the affecter of great excellencies, is that of a small cottage of stone, to the palace raised with ice by the empress of Russia; it was for a time splendid and luminous, but the first sunshine melted it to nothing.Johnson:

DVIII. If there be a nation, that exports its beef and linen, to pay for the importation of claret and porter, while à great part of its people live upon potatoes and wear no shirts; wherein does it differ from the sot, who lets his family starve, and sells his clothes to buy drink?Franklin.

DIX. One principal point of good-breeding is to suit our behaviour to the three several degrees of men; our superiors, our equals, and those below us.-Swift.

DX. The French seldom dine under seven hot dishes, it is true, ir deed, with all this magnificence, they seldom spre ac cloth before the guests; but in that I cannot be ang ty h them, since those that have got no linen upon tr backs, may very well be excused for wanting it upon their tables.--Goldsmith.

DXI. If thou well observe The rule of not too much, by temperance taught In what thou eatst and drink'st, seeking from thence Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight, 'Till many years over thy head return: So mayst thou live, till, like ripe fruit, thou drop, Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease Gather'd, not harshly pluck’d; in death mature.

Milton. DXII. The humour of turning every misfortune into a judgment, proceeds from wrong notions of religion, which, in its own nature, produces goodwill toward men, and puts the mildest construction upon every accident that befalls them. In this case, therefore, it is not religion that sours a man's temper, but it is his temper that sours his religion. People of gloomy, uncheerful imaginations, or of envious, malignant tempers, whatever kind of life they are engaged in, will discover their natural tincture

of mind in all their thoughts, words, and actions. As the finest wines have often the taste of the soil, so even the most religious thoughts often draw something that is particular from the constitution of the mind in which they arise. When folly or superstition strikes in with this natural depravity of temper, it is not in the power, even of religion itself, to preserve the character of the person who is possessed with it, from appearing highly absurd and ridiculous. --Addison.,

DXIII. The scholar, without good-breeding, is a pedant; the philosopher, a cynic; the soldier a brute; and every man disagreeable.-Chesterfield.

DXIV. The good parishioner is timely at the begi dingg of common prayer. Yet as 'Tullie charged some atrasolute people for being such sluggards, that they never saw the sunne rising or setting, as being always up after the one, and abed before the other; so some negligent people never hear prayers begun, or sermon ended; the confession being passed before they come, and the blessing not come before they are passed away.--Fuller.

DXV. There are not more cripples come out of the wars than there are from great services; some through discontent lose their speech, some their memories, others their senses, or their lives; and I seldom see a man thoroughly discontented, but I conclude he has had the favour of some great man. I have known of such as have been for twenty years together within a month of a good employment, but never arrived at the happiness of being possessed of any thing: -Steele.

DXVI. Rich people who are covetous, are like the cypress tree, they may appear well, but are fruitless; so rich persons have the means to be generous, yet some are

not so, but they should consider they are only trustees for what they possess, and should show their wealth to be more in doing good, than merely in having it. They should not reserve their benevolence for purposes after they are dead, for those who give not till they die, show that they would not then if they could keep it any longer.—Bishop Hall.

DXVII.
A Paradise on earth is found,

Though far from vulgar sight,
Which with those pleasures doth abound,

That is Elysium bright.
The winter here a summer is,

No waste is made by time;
Nor doth the autumn ever miss

The blossoms of the prime.
Those cliffs whose craggy sides are clad

With trees of sundry suits,
Which make continual summer glad,

Ev'n bending with their fruits
Some ripening, ready some to fall,

Some blossom’d, some to bloom,
Like gorgeous hangings on the wall

Of some rich princely room.

*

*

There in perpetual summer shade,

Apollo's prophets sit,
Among the flowers that never fade,

But Aourish like their wit;
To whom the nymphs upon their lyres,

Tune many a curious lay,
And with their most melodious quires,
Make short the longest day.

The Poets Elysium-Drayton.

DXVIII. The way to wealth, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality;

« PředchozíPokračovat »