Page images


Be in peace with many; nevertheless, have but one coursellor of a thousand.

Be not confident in a plain way.
Let reason go before every enterprize, and counsel before

every action.

[blocks in formation]




HE latter part of a wise man's life is taken up in curing

the follies, prejudices, and false opinions he had contracted in the former.

Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being ominent;

Very few men, properly speaking, live at present, but are providing to live another time.

Party is the madness of many, for the gain of a few.

To endeavour to work upon the vulgar with fine fenfez, is like attempting to hew blocks of marble with a razor..

SUPERSTITION is the spleen of the soul.

He who tells a lie is not sensible how great a task he undertakes : for he must be forced to invent twenty more to: maintain that one.

Some people will never learn any thing, for this reason, because they understand every thing too foon.

There is nothing wanting to make all rational and disinterested people in the world of one religion, but that they should talk together every day.

Men are grateful in the fame degree that they are refentful.

Young men are subtle arguers; the cloak of honour covers all their faults, as that of passion, all their follies.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

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 shyness, is nothing more than refined sense, and an indifference to common observations.

The higher character a person supports, the more he should regard his minuteft actions.

Every person infenfibly fixes upon some degree of refinement in his discourse, fome measure of thought which he thinks worth exhibiting. It is wise to fix this pretty high, although it occafions one to talk the lefs.

To endeavour all one's days to fortify our minds with learning and philosophy, is to spend so much in armour, that one has nothing left to defend.

Deference ofren shrinks and withers as much upon the approach of intimacy, as the sensitive 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 inclined to think so and fo, not considering that they are then speaking the moít 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.

[merged small][ocr errors]


A liar begins with making. falfhood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like fallhood.

Virtue should be considered as a part of taste; and we should as much avoid deceit, or sinister meanings in discourse, as we would puns, bad language, or false grammar,

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

EFERENCE is the moft complicate, the most in

direct, and the most elegant of all compliments.
He that lies in bed all a fummer's morning, lofes the chief
pleasure of the day: he that gives up his youth to indolence,
undergoes a loss of the fame kind.

SHINING characters are not always the most agreeable
ones. The mild radiance of an emerald, is by no means less
pleasing than the glare of the ruby.

To be at once a rake, and to glory in the character, difo. covers 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. which the author knows not of.

FINE, fenfe and exalted sense are not half so valuable as.
common sense. There are forty men of wit for one man of
fense; and he that will carry nothing about him but gold,,
will be every day at a lofs for want of ready change.

LEARNING is like mercury, one of the most powerful and
excellent things in the world in skilful hands; in unskilful,
moft mischievous.
A MAN fhould never be ashamed to own he has been in :


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the wrong; which is but saying in other words, that he is wifer to-day than he was yesterday.

Wherever 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

lue and red flower 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 best people, whose characters have been most injured by slanderers: as we usually find that to be the sweetest fruit, which the birds have been: pecking 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 articles, 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 fhew 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. rubbish, which no one thinks it worth his pains to rake into, much less to

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


Honour is but a fictitious kind of honesty ;.a mean, but a necessary substitute for it, in societies, who have none : it is a fort of paper-credit, with which men are obliged to trade, who are deficient in the sterling cash of true morality and religion.

Persons of great delicacy should know the certainty of the following truth : there are abundance of cases which occasion suspense, in which whatever they determine they will repent of the determination, and this through a pro


[ocr errors]


pensity of human nature to fancy happiness in those schemes which it does not pursue.

The chief advantage that ancient writers can boast over modern ones seems owing to fimplicity. Every noble truth and sentiment was expressed by the former in a natural man. ner, in word and phrafe fimple, perspicuous, and incapable of improvement. What then remained for later writers, but . affectation, witticism, and conceit?

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


*HAT a piece of work is man ! how noble in rez

fun! how infinite in faculties ! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel ! in apprehension how like a God!

[merged small][ocr errors]

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 teachi 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 brass ;. 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 moft in apprehenfion;
And the poor beetle that we tread upon,

« PreviousContinue »