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Some people will never learn any thing, for this reason, because they understand every thing too soon.
There is nothing wanting to make all rational and disinterested people in the world of one religion, but that they hould talk together every day.
Men are grateful in the same degree that they are refentful.
Young men are subtle arguers: the cloke of Honour covers all their faults, as that of passion all their follies.
Economy is no disgrace; it is better living on a little, than out-living a great deal.
Next to the satisfaction I receive in the prosperity of an honest man, I am best pleased with the confusion of a rascal.
What is often termed:fhiness, is nothing more than refined sense, and an indifference to common obfervations.
The higher character a person fupports, the more he thould regard his minutest actions.
Every person insensibly fixes upon fome degree of refinement in his difcourse, fome measure of thought which he thinks worth exhibiting. It is wife to fix this pretty high, although it occasions one to talk the fefs.
To endeavour all one's days to fortify our minds with learning and philofophy, is to spend so much in armour, that one has nothing left to defend.
Deference often shrinks and withers as much upon the approach of intimacy, as the fenfative plant does upon the touch of one's finger.
Men are sometimes, accused of pride, merely because their accusers would be proud themselves if they were in their places.
People frequently use this expression, I am inclinedi to think so and fo; not considering that they are then fpeaking the mot literal of all truths
Modesty makes large amends for the pain it gives the persons who labour under it, by the prejudice it affords every worthy person in their favour.
The difference there is betwixt honour and honesty seems to be chiefly in the motive. The honest man does that from duty, which the man of honour does for the sake of character.
A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood.
Virtue should be considered as a part of taste; and we thould as much avoid deceit, or finifter meanings in difcourse, as we would puns, bad language, or false grammar.
CHAPTER VII. DEFERENCE is the most complicate, the most indirect, and the most elegant of all compliments,
He that lies in bed all a summer's morning, loses the chief pleasure of the day: he that gives up his youth to indolence, undergoes a loss of the same kind. Shining characters are not always the most agreeable
The mild radiance of an emerald, is by no means less pleasing thay the glare of a ruby.
To be at once a rake, and to glory in the character, discovers at the same time a bad difpofition, and a bad: taste.
How is it possible to expect that mankind will take advice, when they will not so much as take warning?
Although men are accused for not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps as few know their own strength. It is in men as in foils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold that the owner knows not of.
Fine sense and exalted sense are not half so valuable as common sense. There are forty men of wit for one man
of sense: and he that will carry nothing about him but gold, will be every day at a loss for want of ready change.
Learning is like mercury, one of the most powerful and excellent things in the world, in fkilful hands; in unskilful, most mischievous.
A man should never be ashamed to own 'he has been in the wrong; which is but saying in other words, that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday.
Whenever I find a great deal of gratitude in a poor man, I take it for granted there would be as much generosity if he were a rich man.
Flowers of rhetoric in fermons or serious discourses, are like the blue and red flowers in corn, pleasing to those who come only for amusement, but prejudicial to him who would reap the profit.
It often happens that those are the bell people, whose characters have been most injured by flanderers; as we usually find that to be the sweetest fruit, which the birds have been picking at.
The eye of the critic is often like a microscope, made fo very fine and nice, that it discovers the atoms, grains, and minutest particles, without ever comprehending the whole, comparing the parts, or seeing all at once the harmony.
Men's zeal for religion is much of the same kind as that which they shew for a foot-ball : whenever it is contested for, every one is ready to venture their lives and limbs in the dispute; but when that is once at an end, it is no more thought on, but sleeps in oblivion, buried in rub. bish which no one thinks it worth his pains to rake into, much less to remove.
Honour is but a fictitious kind of honesty ; a mean but a necessary substitute for it, in societies who have none : it is a sort of paper credit, with which men are obliged to trade, who are deficient in the sterling cath of true morality and religion.
Persons of great delicacy should know the certainty of the following truth: there are abundance of cafes which occasion fufpense, in which whatever they determine, they will repent of the determination; and this through a propensity of human nature to fancy happiness in those fchumnes which it does not pursue.
The chief advantage that antient writers can boast over modern ones, seems owing to fimplicity. Every noble truth and sentiment was expressed by the former in a natural manner, in a word and phrase fimple, perspicuous, and incapable of improvement. What then remained for later writers, but affectation, witticism, and conceit?
What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason ! how infinite in faculties ! in form and moving how exprefs and admirable! in action how like an angel ! in apprehension how like a god!
If to do, were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages princes' palaces. He is a good divine who follows his own instructions : I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than to be one of the twenty to follow my own teaching
Men's evil manners live in brals; their virtues we write in water.
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together; our virtues would be proud if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.
The sense of death is most in apprehenfion; And the poor beetle that we tread upon,
Io corporeal sufferance, feels a pang as great
How far the little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
-Love all, trust a few,
The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well, When our deep plots do fail; and that should teach us There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.
The poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; And as imagination bodies forth The form of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name.
Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves : for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike