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LACONICS:

OR THE

BEST WORDS OF THE BEST AUTHORS.

"Abstracts, abridgments, summaries, &c., have the same use with
burning-glasses-to collect the diffused rays of wit and learning in
authors, and make them point with warmth and quickness upon the
reader's imagination."-SWIFT.

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LONDON :
H. G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.

MDCCCLVI.

the public ruin. He is of great antiquity, perhaps before the creation, at least a Præadamite ; for Lucifer was the first of his family, and from him he derives himself in an indirect line. He finds fault with the government, that he may get it the easier into his own hands, as men use to undervalue what they have a desire to purchase. He is a butcher of politics, and a state-tinker, that makes flaws in the government only to mend them again. He goes for a public-spirited man, and his pretences are for the public good; that is, for the good of his own public spirit He pretends to be a great lover of his country, as if it had given him love-powder ; but it is merely out of natural affection to himself. He has a great itch to be handling of authority, though he cut his fingers with it; and is resolved to raise himself, though it be but upon the gallows. He is all for peace and truth, but not without lying and fighting. He plays a game with the hangman for the clothes on his back; and when he throws out, he strips him to the skin. He dies in hempen sheets, and his body is hanged, like his ancestor Mahomet's, in the air He might have lived longer, if the destinies had not spun his thread of life too strong. He is sure never to come to an untimely end, for by the course of law his glass was out long before. He calls rebellion and treason laying out of himself for the public; but being found to be false unlawfu! coin, he was seized upon, and cut in pieces, and hanged for falsifying himself. His espousing of quarrels proves as fatal to his country, as the Parisian wedding did to France. He is like a bell, that was made on purpose to be hanged. He is a diseased part of the body. politic, o which all the bad humours gather.--Butler.

v.). However the mechanic and ornamental arts may sacrifice to fashion, she must be entirely excluded from the art of painting; the painter must never mistake this capricious changeling for the genuine offspring of nature ; he inust divest himself of all prejudices in favour of his age and country; he must disregard all local and temporary

ornaments, and look only on those general habits which are every where and always the same : he addresses his works to the people of every country; he calls upon posterity to be his spectators, and says, with Zeuxis, in eternitatem pingo.--Sir J. Reynolds.

VI. 6.
6 Pride was not made for men ;' a conscious sense
Of guilt, and folly, and their consequence,
Destroys the claim, and to beholders tells,
Here nothing but the shape of manhood dwells.

Waller.

VIJ. 7. As the index tells us the contents of stories, and directs to the particular chapter, even so does the outward habit and superficial order of garments (in man or woman) give us a taste of the spirit, and demonstratively point (as it were a manual note from the margin) all the internal quality of the soul; and there cannot be a more evident, palpable, gross manifestation, of poor, degenerate, dunghilly blood and breeding, than a rude, unpolished, disordered, and slovenly outside.—Massinger.

VIII. 8 Till a man is capable of conversing with ease among the natives of any country, he can never be able to form a just and adequate idea of their policy and manners. He who sits at a play, without understanding the dialect, may, indeed, discover which of the actors are best dressed, and how well the scenes are painted or disposed; but the characters and conduct of the drama must for ever remain a secret to him.-Fitzosborne's Letters.

IX. 9 The wheel of fortune turns incessantly round, and who can say within himself, I shall to day be uppermost.Confucius.

X. ! Wine does not make men vent any thing so impure and odious as anger doth ; and besides, what proceeds fion

wine, is usually entertained with jest and laughter ; but that from anger is mixed with gall and bitterness; and he that is silent in his cups, is counted a burthen and troublesome to the company; whereas in anger, there is not any thing more commended than peace and silence. - Plutarch.

XI. 11. You shall seldom find a dull fellow bf good education, but, if he happens to have any leisure upon his hands, will turn his head to one of those two amusements for all fools of eminence, politics or poetry. The former of these arts is the study of all dull people in general; but when dulness is lodged in a person of a quick animal life, it generally exerts itself in poetry.—Steele.

XII. 1 2.1
Navigation, that withstood
The mortal fury of the flood,
And prov'd the only means to save
All earthly creatures from the wave,
Has, for it, taught the sea and wind
To lay a tribute on mankind,
That by degrees has swallow'd more
Than all it drown'd at once before.

Butler. XIII. 13. Without chronology, history is but an heap of tales. If by the laws of the land, an artist is counted a naturall, who hath not wit enough to tell twenty, or to tell his age; he shall not passe with me for wise in learning, who cannot tell the age of the world, and count hundreds of years : I mean not so critically, as to solve all doubts arising thence; but that he may be able to give some tolerable account thereof. He is also acquainted with cosmography, treating of the world in whole joints ; with choro. graphy, shedding it into countries; and with topography mincing it into particular places.-Fuller

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