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remembering, that fame is not conferred but as the recompense of labour; and that labour, vigorously continued, has not often railed of its reward.
An idle and thoughtless resignation to chance, without any struggle against calamity, or endeavour after advantage, is below the dignity of a reasonable being.
He who would pass the better part of life with honour and decency, must, when he is young, consider that he shall one day be old; and remember, when he is old, that he has once been young. In youth, he must lay up knowledge for his support when the power of acting shall forsake him; and in age, forbear to animadvert with rigour on faults which experience alone can correct.
Death increases our veneration for the good, and extenuates our hatred of the bad.
Frugality is the daughter of Prudence, the sister of Temperance, and the parent of Liberty.
The traveller, that resolutely follows a rough and winding path, will sooner reach the end of his journey, than he who is always changing his direction, and wastes the hours of day-light in looking for smoother ground and shorter passages.
Benefits which cannot be repaid, and obligations which cannot be discharged, are commonly found to increase affection; they excite gratitude.indeed, and heighten veneration; but commonly take away that easy freedom and familiarity of intercourse, without which, though there may be fidelity, and zeal, and admiration, there cannot be friendship.
To dread no eye, and to suspect no tongue, is granted only to invariable virtue.
The wisest and best men may deviate from known and acknowledged duties, by inadvertency or surprise.
Nothing is more unjust than to judge of man on too short an acquaintance, or too slight inspection. The duties of life are commensurate to its duration; and every day brings its task, which, if neglected, is doubled on the morrow.
Suspicion is not less an enemy to virtue, than to happiness..
Differences are never so effectually lulled to sleep, as by some general calamity; an enemy unites all those to whom he threatens danger.
He who suffers not his faculties to lie torpid, has a chance, whatever be his employment, of doing good to his fellow-creatures.
Dead counsellors are most instructive; because they are at once patiently and reverently attended to.
'If Virtue could be seen,' said Tully, 'she must be loved;' and we may add, that if Truth could be heard, she must be obeyed.
The gratification of curiosity rather frees us from uneasiness, than confers pleasure; we are more pained by ignorance, than delighted by instruction.
The necessity of doing something, and the fear of undertaking much, sinks men into triflers.
The greatest human virtue bears no proportion to human vanity.
None can be pleased without praise, and few can be praised without falsehood: few can be assiduous without servility, and none can be servile without corruption.
He who once indulges idle fears will never be at rest.
He who never extends his view beyond the praises or rewards of men, will be dejected by neglect and envy, or infatuated by honours and applauses.
It is the duty of every man to endeavour that something may be added by industry to the here, ditary aggregate of knowledge and happiness.
Nothing has so much exposed men of learning to contempt and ridicule, as their ignorance of things which are known to all but themselves.
The dependant who cultivates delicacy in himself, very little consults his own tranquillity.
The antidotes with which philosophy has medicated the cup of life, though they cannot give it salubrity and sweetness, have at least allayed its bitterness, and tempered its malignity.
He who never was acquainted with adversity has seen the world but on one side, and is ignorant of half the scenes of nature.
Truth is scarcely ever to be heard, but from those who can have no interest in concealing it.
Letters are intended as resemblances of conversation; and the chief excellences of conversation are good humour and good breeding.
The man who would become eminent in knowledge, must first search books, and next contemplate nature.
Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.
Advice is offensive, not because it lays us open to unexpected regret, but because it shows us that we are known to others as well as to ourselves; and the officious monitor is persecuted with hatred, not because his accusation is false, but because he assumes that superiority which we are not willing to grant him, and has dared to detect what we desired to conceal.
The ascents of honour, however steep, never appear inaccessible.
We rate ourselves by our fortunes, rather than our virtues; and exorbitant claims are quickly produced by imaginary merit.
Let it be constantly remembered, that whoever envies another, confesses his superiority; and let those be reformed by their pride, who have lost their virtue. From the Wit's Magazine.
THOUGHTS ON vARIOUS SUBJECTS*
Laws, penned with the utmost care and exactness, and in the vulgar language, are often perverted to wrong meanings; then why should we wonder that the Bible is so r
Although men are accused for not knowing their weakness, yet perhaps as few know their own strength.
A man, seeing a wasp creeping into a vial filled with honey, that was hung on a fruit-tree, said thus: 'Why, thou sottish animal, art thou mad to go into the vial, where you see many hundred of your kind dying before you f—' The reproach is just,' answered the wasp, 'but not from you men, who are so far from taking example by other people's follies, that you will not take warning by your own. If after falling several times into this vial, and escaping by chance, I should fall in again, I should then but resemble you.'
vOL. vI. B B
An old miser kept a tame jackdaw, that used to steal pieces of money, and hide them in a hole, which the cat observing, asked, ' Why he would hoard up those round shining things that he could make no use of?'—' Why,' said the jackdaw, 'my master has a whole chest full, and makes no more use of them than I.'
Men are contented to be laughed at for their wit, but not for their folly.
If the men of wit and genius would resolve never to complain in their works of critics and detractors, the next age would not know that they ever had any.
After all the maxims and systems of trade and commerce, a stander-by would think the affairs of the world were most ridiculously contrived.
There are few countries, which, if well cultivated, would not support double the number of their inhabitants; and yet fewer, where one-third part of the people are not extremely stinted even in the necessaries of life. I send out twenty barrels of corn, which would maintain a family in bread for a year; and I bring back in return a vessel of wine, which half a dozen good fellows would drink in less than a month, at the expense of their health and reason.
A man would have but few spectators, if he offered to show for threepence, how he could thrust a red-hot iron into a barrel of guupowder, and it should not take fire.