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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. 1, 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 claiin 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. 287. It seems to have been in all ages, the pride of wit to thew 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 ftanding 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 • 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 Butterfly 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 diffimilar materials, raised by different architects upon different plans. We must be content with them as they are ; should we attempt to mend their disproportions, we might easily demolish, and with difficulty rebuild them.
False Alarm, p. 240 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, inproving onexperience, may intimeeffect 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. Grofs corruption, or evident imbecility, is necessary to the suppression of that reverence, with which the majority of mankind look upon their governors, or those whom they see furrounded by splendour, and fortified by power.
Rambler, v. I, p. 301. No government could fubfist for a day, if single errors could justify defection.
Taxation no Tyranny, p. 62. rnment is necessary to man; and
when obedience is not compelled, there is no government.
Ditto, p. 77.
SELF-GOVERNMENT. No man, whose appetites are his masters, can perform the duties of his nature with strictness and regularity. He that would be fuperior to external influences, must first become superior to his own passions.
Idler, v. 1, p. 293.
UNIVERSAL GOOD. Allskill ought to be exerted for universal good. Every man has owed much to others, and ought to pay the kindness that he has received.
P. of Abyssinia, p. 410
H. HAPPINES S. We are long before we are convinced that happiness is never to be found ; and each believes it possessed by others, to keep alive the hope of obtaining it for himself.
Ditto, p. 108. Whether perfect happiness can be procured by perfect goodness, this world will never afford an opportunity of deciding. But th:
at least, may be maintained, that we do not always find visible happiness in proportion to visible virtue.
Ditto, p.163. All natural, and almost all political evils, are incident alike to the bad, or good. They are confounded in the misery of a famine, and not much distinguished in the fury of a faction. They fink together in a tempeft, and are driven together from their country by invaders. All that virtue can afford is quietness of conscience, a steady prospect of a happier state, which will enable us to endure every calamity with patience,
Ditto, ditto. He that has no one to love, or to confide in, has little to hope. He wants the radical principle of happiness.
Ditto, p.210. It is, perhaps, a just observation, that with regard to outward circumstances, happiness and misery are equally diffused through all ftates of human life. In civilized countries, where regular policies have secured the neceffaries of life, ambition, avarice, and luxury find the mind at leisure for their reception, and foon engage it in new pursuits ; pursuits that are to be carried only by incefnt labour, and whether vain, or successful,