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He makes a lady but a poor recompense, who marries her, because he has kept her company long after his affection is estranged. Does he not rather increase the injury? Shenstone.
Those servants who found their obedience on some external thing, with engines, will go no longer than they are wound or weighed up.-Fuller.
Praise is not to be the entertainment of every moment. He that hopes for it, must be able to suspend the possession of it till proper periods of life, or death itself. If you would not rather be commended than be praiseworthy, contemn little merits; and allow no man to be so free with you, as to praise you to your face. Your vanity by this means will want its food. At the same time your passion for esteem will be more fully gratified; men will praise you in their actions: where you now receive one compliment, you will then receive twenty civilities.-Steele.
Let women paint their eyes with tints of chastity, insert into their ears the word of God, tie the yoke of Christ around their necks, and adorn their whole persons with the silk of sanctity, and the damask of devotion; let them adopt that chaste and simple, that neat and elegant style of dress, which so advantageously displays the charms of real beauty, instead of those preposterous fashions, and fantastical draperies, of dress, which, while they conceal some few defects of person, expose so many defects of mind, and sacrifice to ostentatious finery, all those mild, amiable, and modest virtues, by which the female character is so pleasingly adorned.-Tertullian.
Petitions not sweetened
With gold, are but unsavoury oft refused;
A suitor's swelling tears by the glowing beams
Of choleric authority are dried up
Before they fall, or if seen, never pitied.
Friendship is the only thing in the world, concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.-Cicero.
The historian may make himself wise, by living as many ages as have past since the beginning of the world. His books enable him to maintain discourse, who, besides the stock of his own experience, may spend on the common purse of his reading. This directs him in his life, so that he makes the shipwrecks of others seamarks to himself; yea, accidents which others start from their strangnesse, he welcomes as his wonted acquaintance, having found precedents for them formerly. Without history a man's soul is published, seeing onely the things which almost touch his eyes.-Fuller.
There is a manner of forgiving so divine, that you are ready to embrace the offender for having called it forth. Lavater.
He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man had need to be forgiven.-Lord Herbert.
The good husband keeps his wife in the wholesome ignorance of unnecessary secrets. They will not be starved with the ignorance, who perchance may surfeit with the knowledge of weighty counsels, too heavy for the weaker sex to bear. He knows little who will tell his wife all he knows.-Tatler.
For still the wickeder some authors write,
But just as toothdraw'rs find, among the rout,
But here they're like to fail of all pretence;
There ought, no doubt, to be heroes in society as well as butchers; and who knows but the necessity of butchers (inflaming and stimulating the passions with animal food) might at first occasion the necessity of heroes. Butchers, I believe, were prior.-Shenstone.
A plain country fellow is one that manures his ground well, but lets himself lie fallow and untilled. He has reason enough to do his business, and not enough to be idle or melancholy. His hand guides the plough and the plough his thoughts, and his ditch and landmark is the very mound of his meditations. He expostulates with his oxen very understandingly, and speaks gee, and ree, better than English. His mind is not much distracted with objects, but if a good fat cow come in his way, he stands dumb and astonished, and though his haste be never so great, will fix here half an hour's contemplation. His habitation is some poor thatched roof, distinguished from his barn by the loop-holes that let out smoke, which the rain had long since washed through, but for the double ceiling of bacon on the inside, which has hung there from his grandsire's time, and is yet to make rashers for posterity. His dinner is his other work, for he sweats at it as much as at his labour; he is a terrible fastner on a piece of beef, and you may hope to stave the guard off sooner. His religion is a part of his copyhold which he takes from his landlord, and refers it wholly to
his discretion: yet if he give him leave he is a good Christian to his power, (that is,) comes to church in his best clothes, and sits there with his neighbours, where he is capable only of two prayers, for rain and fair weather. He apprehends God's blessings only in a good year, or a fat pasture, and never praises him but on good ground. Sunday he esteems a day to make merry in, and thinks a bagpipe as essential to it as evening-prayer, where he walks very solemnly after service with his hands coupled behind him, and censures the dancing of his parish. His compliment with his neighbour is a good thump on the back, and his salutation commonly some blunt curse. He thinks nothing to be vices, but pride and ill husbandry, from which he will gravely dissuade the youth, and has some thrifty hob-nail proverbs to clout his discourse. He is a niggard all the week, except only market day, where, if his corn sell well, he thinks he may be drunk with a good conscience. He is sensible of no calamity but the burning a stack of corn, or the overflowing of a meadow, and thinks Noah's flood the greatest plague that ever was, not because it drowned the world, but spoiled the grass. For death he is never troubled, and if he get in but his harvest before, let it come when it will, he cares not.-Bishop Earle.
He who in questions of right, virtue, or duty, sets himself above all ridicule, is truly great, and shall laugh in the end with truer mirth than ever he was laughed at.
A merchant who always tells truth, and a genius who never lies, are synonymous to a saint.-Lavater.
Surely men, contrary to iron, are worse to be wrought upon when they are hot; and are farre more tractable in cold blood. It is an observation of seamen, that if a single meteor or fire-ball falls on their mast, it portends ill luck; but if two come together, (which they count Castor and Pollux) they presage good success. sure in a family it bodeth most bad, when two fire-balls
(husband and wife's anger) come both together.-Fuller.
Deference often shrinks and withers as much upon the approach of intimacy, as the sensitive plant does upon the touch of one's finger.-Shenstone,
The soul, considered with its Creator, is like one of those mathematical lines that may draw nearer to another for all eternity without a possibility of touching it:* and can there be a thought so transporting, as to consider ourselves in these perpetual approaches to him, who is not only the standard of perfection but of happiness!Addison.
Our meats and our sports (much of them) have relation to church-works. The coffin of our Christmas pies, in shape long, is in imitation of the cratch; our choosing kings and queens on twelfth night, hath reference to the three kings. So likewise our eating of fritters, whipping of tops, roasting of herrings, jack of lents, &c., they were all in imitation of church-works, emblems of martyrdom. Our tansies at Easter have reference to the bitter herbs; though at the same time t'was always the fashion for a man to have a gammon of bacon, to show himself to be no Jew.-Selden.
In all the world there is no vice
Less prone t'excess than avarice;
It neither cares for food nor clothing:
Nature's content with little, that with nothing.
Dissipation is absolutely a labour when the round of Vanity Fair has been once made; but fashion makes us think light of the toil, and we describe the circle as mechanically as a horse in a mill.-Zimmerman.
*Those lines are what the geometricians call the asymptotes of the hyperbola.