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MXXII. As notions stand now in the world with respect to morals, honesty is like to gain little by philosophy, or deep speculations of any kind. In the main, 'tis best to stick to common sense, and go no farther. Men's first thoughts, in this matter, are generally better than their second: their natural notions better than those refined by study, or consultation with casuists. According to common speech, as well as common sense, honesty is the best policy. But according to refined sense, the only well-advised persons, as to this world, are arrant knaves; and they alone are thought to serve themselves, who serve their passions, and indulge their loosest ap petites and desires. Such, it seems, are the wise, and such the wisdom of this world! An ordinary man talking of a vile action, in a way of common sense, says naturally and heartily, “He would not be guilty of such a thing for the whole world.” But speculative men find great modifications in the case: many ways of evasion: many remedies; many alleviations. A good gift, rightly applied; a right method of suing out a pardon; good almshouses, and charitable foundations erected for right worshippers; and a good zeal shown for the right be. lief, may sufficiently atone for one wrong practice; especially when it is such as raises a man to a considerable power (as they say) of doing good, and serving the true cause. --Shaftesbury.
MXXIII. Every one has his peculiar humours and fancies; and if we will honestly speak the truth, every one has his faults more or less, which, in the matrimonial state especially, we ought to connive at and not to hate.Erasmus.
MXXIV. It is the wisdom of government to permit plays, as it is the prudence of a carter to put bells upon his horses, to make them carry their burthens cheerfully. Sir W. D'Avenant.
MXXV. Trust not the world, for it never payeth that it pro. miseth.-Augustin.
MXXVI.. Philosophy hath given us several plausible rules for attaining peace and tranquillity of mind, but they fall very much short of bringing men to it.- Tillotson,
MXXVII. A man may play the fool with every thing else, but not with poetry:
Neither men, nor gods, nor pillars meant Poets should ever be indifferent. I would to heaven this sentence was writ over the door of all our printers, to forbid the entrance of so many rhymers.--Montaigne.
MXXVIII. On a serious consideration of the matter, it will be found that the art of painting has a wonderful affinity with that of poetry, and that there is betwixt them a certain common imagination. For, as the poets introduce the gods and heroes, and all those things which are either majestical, honest, or delightful, in like manner the painters, by the virtue of their outlines, colours, - lights, and shadows, represent the same things and persons in their pictures.
MXXIX. The head truly enlightened will presently have a wonderfail influence in purifying the heart; and the heart really affected with goodness, will much conduce to the directing of the head.-Sprut.
MXXXII. Pleasure and pain, beauty and deformity, good and ill, seemed to me every where interwoven; and one with another made, I thought a pretty mixture, agreeable enough in the main. 'Twas the same, I fancied, as in some of those rich stuffs, where the flowers and ground were oddly put together with such irregular work and contrary colours as looked ill in the pattern, but mighty natural and well in the piece.-Shaftesbury.
Epitaph on Mrs. Paston.-Dryden.
MXXXIV. It is a common phrenzy of the ignorant multitude, to be always engaging heaven on their side: and indeed it is a successful stratagem of any general to gain authority among his soldiers, if he can persuade them he is the ' man by fateľappointed forsuch or such an action, though most impracticable.-Casaubon.
MXXXV. What are riches, empire, pow'r, But larger means to gratify the will? The steps on which we tread, to rise and reach Our wish; and that obtain’d, down with the scaffolding Of sceptres, crowns, and thrones; they have served
their end, And are, like lumber, to be left and scorn'd.
MXXXVI. Every mind seems capable of entertaining a certain quantity of happiness, which no institutions can increase, no circumstances alter, and entirely independent on fortune. Let any man compare his present fortune with the past, and he will probably find himself, upon the whole, neither better nor worse than formerly.--Goldsmith.
for what can we bequeath,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
MXXXVIII. There is no one thing more to be lamented in our nation, than their general affectation of every thing that is foreign; nay, we carry it so far, that we anxious for our own countrymen when they have crossed the seas, than when we see them in the same dangerous condition before our eyes at home. --Tatler.
Cowley. MXL. There is a creature who has all the organs of speech, a tolerable good capacity for conceiving what is said to it, together with a pretty proper behaviour in all the occurrences of common life: but naturally very vacant of thought in itself, and therefore forced to apply itself to foreign assistances. Of this make is that man who is very inquisitive.-Steele.
Like Ixion, I look on Juno, feel my heart turn to cinders With an invisible fire; and yet, should she Deign to appear cloth'd in a various cloud, The majesty of the substance is so sacred, I durst not clasp the shadow. I behold her With adoration, feast my eye, while all My other senses starve; and, oft frequenting The place which she makes happy with her presence, I never yet had power, with tongue or peng