Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors]

very little regard, and fix our eyes upon the state of
particular persons, whom the eminence of their qualities
marks out from the multitude; as, in reading an ac-
count of a battle, we seldom reflect on the vulgar heaps
of slaughter; but follow the hero with our whole at-
tention, through all the varieties of his fortune, without
a thought of the thousands that are falling round him.-
Johnson.

MVII.
As Sussex men, that dwell upon the shore,
Look out when storms arise, and billows roar,
Devoutly praying, with uplifted hands,
That some well-laden ship may strike the sands;
To whose rich cargo they may make pretence,
And fatten on the spoils of Providence:
So Critics throng to see a new Play split,
And thrive and prosper on the wrecks of wit.

Congreve.
MVIII,

Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor

unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel: but, being in,
Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice.
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment,
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, and gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
And they in France, of the best rank and station,
Are most select and generous, chief in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be:
For loan oft loses both itself and friend;
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all,To thine ownself be true;
Vol. II.

Y

And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Shakspeare.

MIX. The case is alter'd since we liv'd in the country; We do not now invite the poor i'the parish To dinner, keep a table for the tenants; Our kitchen does not smell of beef, the cellar Defies the price of malt and hops; the footmen And coach-drivers may be drunk like gentlemen With wine; nor will three fiddlers upon holidays, With aid of bagpipes, that call'd i'the country. To dance and plough the hall with their hob-nails, Now make my lady merry; we do feed Like princes, and feed nothing but princes.

J. Shirley

MX.
Were there on earth another voice like thine,
Another hand so blest with skill divine!
The late afflicted world some hopes might have,
And harmony retrieve thee from the grave.

On Mrs. A. Hunt-Congreve.

MXI. His preaching much, but more his practice wrought; (A living sermon of the truths he taught;) Por this by rules severe his life he squared, That all might see the doctrine which they heard. For priests, he said, are patterns for the rest; (The gold of heaven, who bear the God impressed;) But when the precious coin is kept unclean, The sovereign's image is no longer seen. If they be foul on whom the people trust, Well may the baser coins contract a rust. Character of a good Parsonfrom Chaucer-Dryden.

MXII. Some young men of distinction are found to travel through Europe, with no other intent, than that of understanding and collecting pictures, studying seals, and

describing statues; on they travel from this cabinet of curiosities to that gallery of pictures; waste the prime of life in wonder; skilful in pictures; ignorant in men; yet impossible to be reclaimed, because their follies takes shelter under the names of delicacy and taste.-Goldsmith.

MXIII.

Temper your heat,
And lose not, by too sudden rashness, that
Which, be but patient, will be offer'd to you,
of an enemy three-parts vanquish'd, with desire
And greediness of spoil

, have often wrested
A certain victory from the conqueror's gripe.
Discretion is the victor of the war,
Valour the pupil; and, when we command
With lenity, our directions follow'd
With cheerfulness, a prosperous end must crown
Our works well undertaken.

Massinger.

MXIV. Now that good heart bursts, and he is at rest—with that breath expired a soul who never indulged a passion unfit for the place he has gone to. Where are now thy plans of justice, of truth, of honour? Of what use the volumes thou hast collated, the arguments thou hast invented, the examples thou hast followed? Poor were the expectations of the studious, the modest, and the good, if the reward of their labours were only to be expected from man. No, my friend, thy intended plead. ings, thy intended good offices to thy friends, thy intended services to thy country, are already performed (as to thy concern in them) in his sight, before whom, the past, present, and future appear at one view. While others with thy talents were tormented with amþition, with vain-glory, with envy, with emulation, how well didst thou turn thy mind to its own improvement in things out of the power of fortune: in probity, in integrity, in the practice and study of justice! How silent thy passage, how private thy journey, how glorious thy end! Many have I known more famous,

6

some more knowing, not one so innocent.'--Soliloquy on the Death of a Friend.Steele.

MXV. “ The great and tedious debates," says a sensible French writer of the old political school, “about the best form of society, are only proper for the exercise of wit; and have their being only in agitation and controversy.. A new form of government might be of some value in a new world: but ours is a world ready made to our hands, and in which each distinct form is blended by custom. We do not, like Pyrrho and Cadmus, make the world; and by whatever authority it is we assert the privilege of setting it to rights, and giving it a new form of government, it is impossible to twist it from its wonted bent, without breaking all its parts. In truth and reality, the best and most excellent government for every nation, is that under which it is maintained; and its form and essential convenience depends upon custom. We are apt to be displeased at the present condition; but I do nevertheless maintain, that, to desire any other form of government than that which is already established, is both Vice and Folly. When any thing is out of its proper place, it may be propped; and the alterations and corruptions natural to all things, obviated so as to prevent their being carried too far from their origin and principles; but to undertake to cast anew so great a mass, and to change the foundation of so vast a building as every government is, is re. forming particular defects by a universal confusion, and like curing a disorder by death,”-Notes to Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.

MXVI. Your worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all creatures else, "to fat us; and we fat ourselves for maggots: your fat king, and your lean beggar, is but variable service; two dishes, but to one table, that's the end. A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king; and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

Shakspeare.

MXVII. There are many more shining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none so useful as discretion; it is this indeed which gives a value to all the rest, which sets them at work in their proper times and places, and turns them to the advantage of the person who is possessed of them. Without it, learning is pedantry, and wit impertinence; virtue itself looks like weakness; the best parts only qualify a man to be more sprightly in errors, and active to his own prejudice. --Addison.

MXVIII. He is a parricide to his mother's name, And with an impious hand murthers her fame, That wrongs the praise of women; that dares write Libels on saints, or with foul ink requite The milk they lent us.

Randolph.

MXIX. Dishonour to the gentlemen and bankruptcy to the trader, are the portion of either, whose chief purpose of life is delight.-Steele.

MXX. Expect to hear of the whisperer without business, the laugher without wit; the complainer without receiving injuries, and a very large crowd, which I shall not forestall, who are common (though not commonly observed) impertinents, whose tongues are too voluble for their brains, and are the general despisers of us women, though we have their superiors, the men of sense, for our servants.- Tatler.

MXXI. To choose is to save time; and an unseasonable motion is but beating the air. There be three parts of business: the preparation; the debate, or examination; and the perfection; whereof, if you look for despatch, let the middle only be the work of many, and the first and last the work of fev.-Lord Baean.

« PreviousContinue »