Page images
PDF
EPUB

XLII. Delusion and weakness produce not one mischief the less, because they are universal.-Burke.

XLIII. Doing good is the only certainly happy action of a man's life.-Sidney.

XLIV.
Others may use the ocean as their road,
Only the English make it their abode;
Whose ready sails, with every wind can fly,
And make a cov'nant with th' inconstant sky:
Our oaks secure as if they there took root,
We tread on billows with a steady foot.

Waller.

XLV. Refined policy ever has been the parent of confusion; and ever will be so, as long as the world endures. Plain good intention, which is as easily discovered at the first view, as fraud is surely detected at last, is of no mean force in the government of mankind. Genuine simplicity of heart is a healing and cementing prin. ciple.-- Burke.

XLVI.
Let dainty wits cry on the sisters nine,
That, bravely mask'd, their fancies may be told;

Or, Pindar's apes, flaunt they in phrases fine,
Enamelling with py'd flowers their thoughts of gold.

Or else, let them in statelier glory shine
Ennobling new-found hopes with problems old:

Or with strange similies enrich each line.
Of herbs, or beasts, which Ind or Africk hold.
For me, in sooth, no muse but one I know,
Phrases and problems from my reach do grow,
And strange things cost too dear for my poor spirits.
How then ? even thus, in Stella's face I read,
What love and beauty be, then all my deed
But copying is, what in her nature writes.

Astrophel and Stella. Sir P. Sidney.

XLVII. Go where you will, you may expect to find the world composed of two sorts of persons; the men of business, and the men of pleasure.- St. Evremond.

XLVIII. A poor neighbour's house set on fire, is to be better guarded, or watched, than a great city afar off.Sir W. Raleigh.

XLIX. Avarice is a most stupid and senseless passion, and the surest symptom of a sordid and sickly mind. Charron.

Noble hearted seamen are

Those that do no labour spare,
Nor no danger shun or fear,

To do their country pleasure.
In loyalty they do abound,
Nothing base in them is found;
But they calmly stand their ground

In calm and stormy weather.

Anon.

LI. How excellently composed is that mind, which shows a piercing wit, quite void of ostentation, high erected thoughts, seated in a heart of courtesy, and eloquence, as sweet in the uttering, as slow to come to the uttering; and a behaviour so noble, as gives beauty to pomp, and majesty to adversity.- Sir P. Sidney.

LII. It were better for a man to be subject to any vice, than to drunkenness: for all other vanities and sins are recovered, but a drunkard will never shake off the delight of beastliness; for the longer it possesseth a man, the more he will delight in it, and the elder he groweth the more he shall be subject to it; for it dulleth the spirits, and destroyeth the body as ivy doth the old tree; or as the worm that ingendereth in the kernel of the nut.--Sir W. Raleigh.

LIII. Great spirits bear misfortunes hardly: Good offices claim gratitude; and pride, Where power is wanting, will usurp a little, And make us (rather than be thought behind hand) Pay over-price.

Otway.

LIV. When man has looked about him as far as he can, he concludes there is no more to be seen; when he is at the end of his line, he is at the bottom of the ocean; when he has shot his best, he is sure none ever did nor ever can shoot better or beyond it ; his own reason is the certain measure of truth; his own knowledge, of what is possible, in nature ; though his mind and his thoughts change every seven years, as well as his strength and his features ; nay, though his opinions change every week or every day, yet he is sure, or at least confident, that his present thoughts and conclusions are just and true, and cannot be deceived.--Sir W. Temple.

LV. In equality of conjectures, we are not to take hold of the worse; but rather to be glad we find any hope, that mankind is not grown monstrous: it being, undoubtedly, less evil a guilty man should escape, than a guiltless perish.- Sir Ď. Sidney.

LVI.
Ladies, though to your conquering eyes
Love owes its chiefest victories,
And borrows those bright arms from you
With which he does the world subdue;
Yet you yourselves are not above
The empire nor the griefs of love.
Then wrack not lovers with disdain,

Lest love on you revenge their pain;
You are not free, because you're fair,
The boy did not his mother spare:
Though beauty be a killing dart,
It is no armour for the heart.

Etheridge.

LVII. It'ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative, to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication, with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him ; their opinion high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs and, above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But, his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure: no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion. --Burke-to the Electors of Bristol.

LVIII. To enbarrass justice by a multiplicity of laws, or to hazard it by a confidence in our judges, are, I grant, the opposite rocks on which legislative 'wisdom has ever split; in one case, the client resembles that emperor who is said to have been suffocated with the bed clothes, which were only designed to keep him warm; in the other, that town which let the enemy take possession of its walls, in order to show the world how little they depended upon aught but courage for safety. -Goldsmith

LIX.

Where keeps peace of conscience, That I may buy her?- no where; not in life.

[blocks in formation]

'Tis feign'd that Jupiter two vessels placed,
The one with honey fill'd, the other gall,
At the entry of Olympus; Destiny,
There brewing these together, suffers not
One man to pass, before he drinks this mixture.
Hence it is we have not an hour of life
In which our pleasures relish not some pain,
Our sours some sweetness. Love does taste of both;
Revenge, that thirsty dropsy of our souls,
Which makes us covet that which hurts us most,
Is not alone sweet, but partakes of tartness.
Pleasure's the hook of evil; ease of care,
And so the general object of the court;
Yet some delights are lawful. Honour is
Virtue's allow'd ascent; honour that clasps
All perfect justice in her arms, that craves
No more respect than what she gives, that does
Nothing but what she'll suffer.

Massinger.

LX.

Virtue will catch as well as vice by contact; and the public stock of honest manly principle will daily ac. cumulate. We are not too nicely to scrutinize motives as long as action is irreproachable. It is enough (and for a worthy man perhaps too much) to deal out its infamy to convicted guilt and declared apostacy.- Burke.

LXI.
Thou blind man's mark; thou fool's self-chosen snare,

Fond fancy's scum, and dregs of scatter'd thought;
Band of all evils; cradle of causeless care;

Thou web of ill, whose end is never wrought; Desire! Desire! I have too dearly bought,

With price of mangled mind thy worthless ware; Too long, too long, asleep thou hast me brought, Who shouldst my mind to higher things prepare.

Sir P. Sidney.

LXII. Let the grievousness of our sore be the measure of our sorrow; let a deep wound have a deep and diligent cure;

« PreviousContinue »