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gifts, but misfortune's baits to lead them on to their common catastrophe, beggary and ruin.-Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.
CCLXIX. It is very wonderful to see persons of the best sense passing away a dozen hours together in shuffling and dividing a pack of cards, with no other conversation but what is made up of a few game phrases, and no other ideas but those of black or red spots ranged together in different figures. Would not a man laugh to hear any one of his species complaining that life is short?-Spectator.
express a vivacity or mettle above the way he is in by a little jerk in his
motion, short trip in his steps, wellfancied lining of his coat, or any other indications which may be given in a vigorous dress. Now, what possible insinuation can there be, that it is a cause of quarrel for a man to say, he allows a gentleman really to be what his tailor, his hosier, and his milliner, have conspired to inake him! I confess, if any person who appealed to me had said, he was smart fellow,” there had been cause for resentment; but if he stands to it that he is one, he leaves no manner of ground for misunderstanding. Indeed it is a most lamentable thing, that there should be a dispute raised upon a man's saying another, is what he plainly takes pains to be thought.Steele.
CCLXXIII. An epigrammatist is a poet of small wares, whose muse is short-winded, and quickly out of breath. She fies like a goose, that is no sooner upon the wing, but down again.
He was originally one of those authors that used to write upon white walls, from whence his works being collected and put together, pass in the world, like single money among those who deal in small matters. His wit is like fire in a flint, that is nothing while it is in, and nothing again as soon as it is out.
He is a kind of vagabond writer, that is never out of his way; for nothing is beside the purpose with him, that proposes none at all. His works are like a running banquet, that have much variety but little of a sort; for he deals in nothing but scraps and parcels, like a tailor's broker. -Butler.
CCLXXIV. There are no persons more solicitous about the preservation of rank, than those who have no rank at all. Observe the humours of a country christening, and you will find no court in Christendom so ceremonious as the quality of Brentford. - Shenstone.
CCLXXV. Wine is frequently the sole cause of melancholy, especially if it be immoderately used; and Guianerius relates a story of two Dutchmen, whom he entertained in his own house, who drank so much wine, that in the short space of a month, they both became so melancholy, that the one could do nothing but sing, and the other sigh.
A cup of generous wine, however, to those whose minds are still or motionless, is, in my opinion, excellent physic.-Burton.
CCLXXVI. In this enlightened age, I am bold enough to confess, that we are generally men of untaught feelings; that instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted, and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages.Burke.
CCLXXVII. A man who publishes his works in a volume, has an infinite advantage over one who communicates his writings to the world in loose tracts and single pieces. We do not expect to meet with any thing in a bulky volume, till after some heavy preamble, and several words of course, to prepare the reader for what follows. Nay, authors have established it as a kind of rule, that a man ought to be dull sometimes; as the most severe reader makes allowances for many rests and nodding-places in a voluminous writer. This gave occasion to the famous Greek proverb, that “a great book is a great evil.”Addison.
CCLXXVIII. It is a common shift to charge that upon the ingratitude of the receiver, which, in truth, is most commonly the levity and indiscretion of the giver; for all circumstances must be duly weighed to consummate the action. Seneca.
CCLXXIX. It is the glory and merit of some men to write well, and of others not to write at all. --Bruyere.
CCLXXX. Words are but lackeys to sense, and will dance at tendance without wages or compulsion: Verba non invita sequentur.-Swift.
Butler. CCLXXXII. Rural esquires are to the last degree excessive in their food: an esquire of Norfolk eats two pounds of dumpling every meal, as if obliged to do it by order: an esquire of Hampshire is as ravenous in devouring hogs' flesh: one of Essex has as little mercy on calves. But I must take the liberty to protest against them, and acquaint those persons, that it is not the quantity they eat, but the manner of eating, that shows an esquire.-Steele.
Let princes gather
Their hour of state-that's all they have—for when That's out, Time never turns the glass again.
CCLXXXIV. A system-monger, who without knowing any thing of the world by experience, has formed a system of his own in his dusty cell, lays it down for example, that (from the general nature of mankind) flattery is pleasing. He will therefore flatter. But how? Why, indiscriminately. And instead of preparing and heightening the piece judiciously, with soft colours, and a delicate pencil, with a coarse brush, and a great deal of white-wash, he daubs and besmears the piece he means to adorn.Chesterfield.
I may or think of this or that;
Whereby I think and fear not.
I would I thought it were not.
For if I thought it were not so,
Though it were so, it griev'd me not;
though I hear not.
Nor from my thought so let it go:
CCLXXXVI. When I behold a fashionable table set out in all its magnificence, I fancy that I see gouts and dropsies, fevers and lethargies, with other innumerable distempers, lying in ambuscade among the dishes. Nature delights