Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

and nicely varies it between the points of love and how nour.--- Shaftesbury.

DLVII. Though hereditary wealth, and the rank which goes with it, are too much idolized by creeping sycophants, and the blind abject admirers of power, they are too rashly slighted in shallow speculations of the petulent, assuming, short-sighted coxcombs of philosophy. Some decent regulated pre-eminence, some preference (not exclusive appropriation) given to birth, is neither unnatural, nor unjust, nor impolitic.-Burke.

DLVIII. Time, which gnaws and diminishes all things else, augments and increaseth benefits; because a noble action of liberality, done to a man of reason, doth grow continually by his generously thinking of it and remembering it. -Rabelais.

DLIX. A man, truly zealous for his fraternity, is never so irresistibly flattered, as when some rival calling is mentioned with contempt. Upon this principle, a linendraper boasted that he had got a new customer, whom he could safely trust, for he could have no doubt of his honesty, since it was known from unquestionable authority that he was now filing a bill in chancery to delay payment for the clothes which he had worn the last seven years; and he himself had heard him declare, in a public coffee-house, that he looked upon the whole generation of woollen drapers to be such despicable wretches, that no gentleman ought to pay them.-Johnson.

DLX. One of the best rules in conversation is, never to say a thing which any of the company can reasonably wish we had rather left unsaid: nor can there any thing be well more contrary to the ends for which people meet together, than to part unsatisfied with each other or themselves.-Swift.

DLXI. The English manner of knowing whether a dog be mad or no, somewhat resembles the ancient European custom of trying witches. The old woman suspected was tied hand and foot, and thrown into the water. If she swam, then she was instantly carried off to be burnt for a witch: if she sunk, then indeed she was acquitted of the charge, but drowned in the experiment. In the same manner, a crowd gather round a dog suspected of madness, and they begin by teazing the devoted animal on every side; if he attempts to stand upon the defensive, and bite, then he is unanimously found guilty, for a mad dog always snaps at every thing; if, on the contrary, he strives to escape by running away, then he can expect no compassion, for mad-dogs always run straight forward before them.-Goldsmith.

DLXII.
May Tom, whom heav'n sent down to sack
The price of prologués, and of plays,
Be every birth-day more a winner,
Digest his thirty-thousandth dinner;
Walk to his grave without reproach,
And scorn a rascal and a coach.

Pope to T. Southern on his Birthday.

DLXIII. Like the invested heron, great persons should conduct themselves, and the higher they be, the less they should show.-Sir P. Sidney.

DLXIV. Would you comprehend all hell in one word, call it party, or a spirit of faction.-Lord Orrery.

DLXV.
Oh, Liberty, thou goddess, heavenly bright,
Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight!
Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign,
And smiling plenty loads thy wanton train;

Eas'd of her load subjection grows more light,
And poverty looks cheerful in thy sight;
Thou mak’st the gloomy face of nature gay,
Giv'st beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day.

Addison. DLXVI. Chess is so interesting in itself, as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it; and thence it is never played for money. Life is a kind of chess, in which we have points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a great variety of good and ill events, that are, in soine degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it. By playing at chess then, we learn,

1st. Foresight, which looks a little into futvurity, considers the consequences that may attend an action: for it is continually occurring to the player, “If I nove this piece, what will be the advantage of my new situation? What use can my adversary make of it to annoy me? What other moves can I make to support it, and to defend myself from his attacks?”

2dly. Circumspection, which surveys the whole chessboard, or scene of action, the relations of the several pieces and situations, the dangers they are respectively exposed to, the several possibilities of their aiding each other, the probabilities that the adversary may take this or that move, and attack this or the other piece, and what different means can be used to avoid the stroke or turn its consequences against him.

3dly. Caution, not to make our moves too hastily. This habit is best acquired by observing strictly the laws of the game, such as, “ If you touch a piece, you must move it somewhere; if you set it down you must let it stand;” and it is therefore best that these rules should be observed; as the game thereby becomes more the image of human life, and particularly of war; in wbich, if you have incautiously put yourself into a bad and dangerous position, you cannot obtain your enemy's leave to withdraw your troops, and place them more securely, but you must abide all the consequences of your rashness.

And, lastly, we learn by chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favourable change, and that of persevering in the search of resources.Franklin.

DLXVII. There is no church without a liturgy, nor indeed can there conveniently be, as there is no school without a grammar. One scholar may be taught otherwise upon the stock of his acumen, but not a whole school. One or two that are piously disposed may serve themselves in their own way, but hardly a whole nation.-Selden.

DLXVIII. All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance: it is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals. If a man was to compare the effect of a single stroke of the pickaxe, or of one impression of the spade, with the general design and last result, he would be overwhelmed by the sense of their disproportion; yet those petty operations, incessantly continued, in time surmount the greatest difficulties, and mountains are levelled, and oceans bounded, by the slender force of human beings.--Johnson.

DLXIX. Wealth in the gross is death, but life diffus'd; As poison heals in just proportion us'd; In heaps, like ambergris, a stink it lies, But well dispers’d, is incense to the skies. Pope.

DLXX. The education of monarchies requires a certain politeness of behaviour. Man, a social animal, is formed to please in society, and a person that would break through the rules of decency, so as to shock those he conversed with, would lose the public esteem, and become incapable of doing any good.--Montesquieu.

DLXXI. . You will sometimes meet with tolerable conversation among players: they are such a kind of men as may pass upon the same sort of capacities, for wits off the stage, as they do for fine gentlemen upon it. Besides that, I have known a factor deal in as good ware, and sell as cheap, as the merchant himself that employs him.Swift.

DLXXII. · Gluttons and drunkards flock in shoals to every tavern, as if they were, fruges consumere nati, like Offelius Bibulus, that famous Roman parasite, born to no other end than to eat and drink; or as if they were so many casks made only to hold wine: and yet these are brave men.-Burton.

DLXXIII. It is one thing to understand persons, and another thing to understand matters; for many are perfect in men's humours, that are not greatly capable of the real part of business, which is the constitution of one that hath studied men more than books. Such men are fitter for practice than for counsel, and they are good but in their own alley: turn them to new men, and they have lost their aim: so as the old rule, to know a fool from a wise man, Mitte ambos nudos ad ignotos, et videbis," doth scarce hold for them; and, because these cunning men are like haberdashers of small wares, it is not amiss to set forth their shop.-Lord Bacon.

DLXXIV. A polished nation makes every one its debtor; and besides, urbanity itself, like the fair sex, has so many charms, it goes against the heart to say, it can do ill; and yet, I believe, there is but a certain line of perfection, that man, take him altogether, is empowered to arrive at-if he gets beyond, he rather exchanges qualities, than gets them.-Sterne.

DLXXV. Conquest and good husbandry both enlarge the king's

« PředchozíPokračovat »