Puslapio vaizdai

the supposed excellence; when thus instructed, knows all that can give a modern audience pleasure.-Goldsmith.


The task of our present writers requires, together with that learning which is to be gained from books, that experience which can never be attained by solitary diligence, but must arise from general converse and accurate observation of the living world. Their performance have, as Horace expresses it, plus oneris quantum veniæ minus, little indulgence, and therefore more difficulty. They are engaged in portraits of which every one knows the original, and can detect any deviation from exactness of resemblance. Other writings are safe, except from the malice of learning, but these are in danger from every common reader; as the slipper ill-executed was censured by a shoemaker who happened to stop in his way at the Venus of Apelles.-Johnson.


As none but kings have pow'r to raise
A levy, which the subject pays,
And tho' they call that tax a loan,
Yet when't is gather'd 't is their own;
So he that's able to impose
A wit-excise on verse or prose,
And still the abler authors are,
Can make them pay the greater share,
Is prince of poets of his time,
And they his vassals that supply him;
Can judge more justly of what he takes
Than any of the best he makes,
And more impartially conceive
What's fit to choose, and what to leave.
For men reflect more strictly upon
The sense of others than their own;
And wit, that's made of wit and slight,
Is richer than the plain downright;
As salt that's made of salt's more fine
Than when it first came from the brine

And spirits of a nobler nature

Drawn from the dull ingredient matter.



He only sees well who sees the whole in the parts, and the parts in the whole. I know but three classes of men-those who see the whole, those who see but a part, and those who see both together.-Lavater.


'Tis necessary a writing critic should understand how to write. And though every writer is not bound to show himself in the capacity of critic, every writing critic is bound to show himself capable of being a writer. For if he be apparently impotent in this latter kind, he is to be denied all title or character in the other.Shaftesbury.


A modest person seldom fails to gain the goodwill of those he converses with, because nobody envies a man who does not appear to be pleased with himself.-Steele.


The same word in the Greek (os) signifies rust and poyson; and some strong poyson made of the rust of metals, but none more venomous than the rust of money in the rich man's purse, unjustly detained from the labourer, which will poyson and infect his whole estate.-Fuller.


When I have found the weather set in to be very bad, I have taken a whole day's journey to see a picture gallery that is furnished by the hands of great masters. By this means, when the heavens are filled with clouds, when the earth swims in rain, and all nature wears a louring countenance, I withdraw myself from these uncomfortable scenes into the visionary worlds of art; where I meet with shining landscapes, gilded triumphs, beautiful faces, and all those other objects that fill the mind with gay ideas, and disperse that gloominess which

is apt to hang about us in those dark disconsolate seasons.-Addison.


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.-Pope.


Music so softens and disarms the mind,
That not an arrow does resistance find,
Thus the fair tyrant celebrates the prize,
And acts herself the triumph of her eyes.
So Nero once, with harp in hand, survey'd
His flaming Rome, and as it burn'd he play'd.
Waller.-To a Lady playing on the Lute.


Worldly ambition is founded on pride or envy, but emulation (or laudable ambition) is actually founded in humility, for it evidently implies that we have a low opinion of our present attainments, and think it necessary to be advanced: and especially in religious concerns it is so far from being pride for a man to wish himself spiritually better, that it is highly commendable, and what we are strongly exhorted to in many parts of the Bible.Bishop Hall.


Volatility of words is carelessness in actions; words are the wings of actions.-Lavater.


Would it not employ a beau prettily enough, if, instead of eternally playing with a snuff-box, he spent some part of his time in making one? Such a method as this would very much conduce to the public emolu ment, by making every man living good for something; for there would then be no one member of human society but would have some little pretension for some degree in it.-Steele.


The good yeoman wears russet clothes, but makes golden payment, having time in his buttons, but silver in his pocket. If he chance to appear in clothes above his rank, it is to grace some great man with his service, and then he blusheth at his own bravery. Otherwise, he is the sweet landmark, whence foreigners may take aim of the ancient English customs; the gentry more floating after foreign fashions.-Fuller.


It is well for gamesters that they are so numerous as to make a society of themselves, for it would be a strange abuse of terms to rank these among society at large, whose profession it is to prey upon all who compose it. Strictly speaking, it will bear a doubt, if a gamester has any other title to be called a man, except under the distinction of Hobbes, and upon claim to the charter of homo hominis lupus.-As a human wolf I grant he has a right to his wolfish prerogatives.—Cumberland.


Law does not put the least restraint
Upon our freedom, but maintain 't;
Or if it does, 't is for our good,

To give us freer latitude;

For wholesome laws preserve us free,

By stinting of our liberty.



In order to look into any person's temper, I generally make my first observations upon his laugh, whether he is easily moved, and what are the passages which throw him into that agreeable kind of convulsion. People are never so much unguarded as when they are pleased; and laughter being a visible symptom of some inward satisfaction, it is then, if ever, we may believe the face. There is, perhaps, no better index to point us to the particularities of the mind than this, which is itself one the chief distinctions of our rationality. For, as Milton says,




-Smiles from reason flow, to brutes, denied— And are of love the food.

It may be remarked in general under this head, that the laugh of men of wit is for the most part but a faint constrained kind of half laugh, as such persons are never without some diffidence about them: but that of fools is the most honest, natural, open laugh in the world.— Steele.


He who wants justice, and has wit, judgment, or valour, will, for the having wit, judgment, or valour, be the more abhorred, because the more wit, judgment, or valour he has, if he wants justice, the more he will certainly become a wicked man; and he who wants justice, and has power, will, for the having power, be the more abhorred, because the more power he has, if he wants justice, the more he will certainly become a wicked man. -Buckingham.


Trust him with little who, without proofs, trusts you with every thing; or, when he has proved you, with nothing.-Lavater.


A man in much business must either make himself a knave, or else the world will make him a fool; and if the injury went no farther than being laughed at, a wise man would content himself with the revenge of retaliation: but the case is much worse; for these civil cannibals too, as well as the wild ones, not only dance about such a taken stranger, but at last devour him. A sober man cannot get too soon out of drunken company, though they be never so kind and merry among themselves; it is not unpleasant only, but dangerous to him.—Cowley.


Secretaries of state, presidents of the council, and generals of an army, have crowds of visitants in a morning, all soliciting of past promises; which are but a civiller sort of duns, that lay claim to voluntary debts.—Congreve,



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