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“ Let no man anticipate uncertain profits.”
“Let no man squander against his inclination.”
Ditto, ditto, ditto. '
F A VOU R. Favours of every kind are doubled when they are speedily conferred.
Rambler, v. 4, p. 188.
F A N C Y. The fanciful sports of great minds, are never without some advantage to knowledge,
Life of Sir T. Browne, p. 267.
G. , G E N I U S. True genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction.
Life of Cowley. Genius is powerful when invested with the glitter of amuence. Men willingly pay to
fortune that regard which they owe to merit, and are pleased when they have an opportunity at once of gratifying their vanity, and practising their duty.
Life of Savage. Whoever is apt to hope good from others, is diligent to please them ; but he that believes his powers strong enough to force their own way, coinmonly tries only to please himself.
. Life of Gay. Men have sometimes appeared of such transcendant abilities, that their sightest and most cursory performances, excell all that labour and study can enable meaner intellects to compose. As there are regions of which the spontaneous products cannot be equalled in other foils, by care and culture. But it is no less dangerous for any man to place hiinself in this rank of understanding, and fancy that he is born to be illustrous without labour, than to omit the care of husbandry, and expect from his ground, the blossoms of Arabia.
Rambler, vol. 4, p. 50. Misapplied genius most commonly proves ridiculous.
Idler, v. 2, p. 231.
There are men who seem to think nothing so much characteristic of genius, as to do common things in an uncommon way; like Hudibras, to tell the clock by Algrebra, or like the lady in Dr. Young's Satires, “ to drink tea by stratagem.”
Ditto, v. I, p. 202. Great powers cannot be exerted but when great exigencies make them necessary. Great exigencies can happen but seldom, and therefore those qualities which have a clain to the veneration of mankind, lie hid, for the most part, like subterranean treasures, over which the foot passes as on common ground, till neceflity breaks open the golden cavern.
Ditto, ditto, P. 8. It seems to have been in all ages, the pride of wit to fhew how it could exalt the low, and amplify the little. To speak not inadequately of things really, and naturally great, is a task not only difficult but disagreeable, because the writer is degraded in his own eyes by standing in comparison with his subject, to which he can hope to add nothing from his imagination. But it is a perpetual triumph of fancy to expand a scanty theme, to raise glittering ideas from obscure properties,
and to produce to the world an object of wonder, to which nature had contributed little. To this ambition, perhaps we owe the Frogs of Homer, the Gnat and the Bees of Virgil, the Butterfy of Spencer, the Shadow of Woverus, and the Quincunx of Browne. .
Life of Sir Thomas Browne, p. 266.
GOVERNMENT. Governments formed by chance, and gradually improved by such expedients as the successive discovery of their defects happened to suggest, are never to be tried by a regular theory. They are fabricks of diflimnilar materials, raised by different architects upon different plans. We must be content with them as they are ; fhould we attempt to mend their disproportions, we might easily demolish, and with difficulty rebuild them.
False Alarm, p. 24. In all political regulations, good cannot be complete, it can only be predominant.
Western Islands, p. 208. No scheme of policy has, in any country yet brought the rich on equal terms into
courts of judicature. Perhaps experience, improving on experience, may in time effect it.
Ditto, p. 215. To hinder insurrection by driving away the people, and to govern peaceably, by having no subjects, is an expedient that argues no great profundity of politics. To soften the obdurate, to convince the mistaken, to mollify the resentful, are worthy of a statesman; but it affords a legislator little selfapplause to consider, that where there was formerly an insurrection, there is now a wilderness.
Ditto, p. 224. The general story of mankind will evince, that lawful and settled authority is very seldom resisted when it is well employed. Gross corruption, or evident imbecility, is necefsary to the suppression of that reverence, with which the majority of mankind look upon their governors, or those whom they see surrounded by splendour, and fortified by power.
Rambler, v. 1, p. 301. No government could sublift for a day, if single errors could justify defection.
Taxation no Tyranny, p. 62. Government is necessary to man; and