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XLVII. Pride, treachery, envy, hypocrisy, malice, cruelty, and self-love, may have been said, in one shape or other, to have occasioned all the frauds and mischiefs that ever happened in the world : but the chances against a coincidence of them all in one person are so many, that one would have supposed the character of a common slanderer as rare and difficult a production in nature, as that of a great genius, which seldom happens above once in an age.-Sterne,
XLVIII. Some reserve is a debt to prudence, as freedom and simplicity of conversation is a debt to good-nature.Shenstone.
XLIX. No man is the wiser, for his learning: it may administer matter to work in, or objects to work upon ; but wit and wisdom are born with a man.-Selden.
L. Learning once made popular is no longer learning ; it has the appearance of something which we have bestowed upon ourselves, as the dew appears to rise from the field which it refreshes.-Johnson.
LI. Mankind may be divided into the merry and the serious, who, both of them, make a very good figure in the species, so long as they keep their respective humours from degenerating into the neighbouring extreme; there being a natural tendency in the one to a melancholy moroseness, and in the other to a fantastic levity.-Addison.
LII. The best of men appear sometimes to be strange compounds of contradictory qualities : and, were the accidental oversights and folly of the wisest man,—the failings and imperfections of a religious man,--the hasty acts and passionate words of a meek man ;-were they to rise up in judgment against them,—and an ill-natured judge be suffered to mark, in this manner, what has been done amiss—what character so unexceptionable as to be able to stand before him ?-Sterne.
LIII. There is a time which precedes reason, when, like other animals, we live by instinct alone ; of which the memory retains do vestiges. There is a second term, when reason discovers itself, when it is formed, and might act, if it were not hoodwinked as it were, and manacled by vices of the constitution, and a chain of passions, which succeed one another, till the third and last age: reason then being in its full force, naturally should assert its dignity, and controul the appetites; but it is impaired, and benumbed by years, sickness, and pains, and shattered by the disorder of the declining machine : yet these years, with their several imperfections, constitute the life of man.-Bruyere.
LIV Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders generally discover every body's face but their own ;-which is the chief reason for that kind of reception it meets in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.-Swift.
LV. A man's genius is always, in the beginning of life, as much unknown to himself as to others; and it is only after frequent trials, attended with success, that he dares think himself equal to those undertakings in which those who have succeeded have fixed the admiration of mankind. Hume.
LVI. How many languages are there which you do not understand: with regard to all these you are as if you were deaf; yet you are indifferent about the matter. Is it then so great a misfortune to be deaf to one language more ? Cicero.
LVII. The fashion of imperial grandeur is imitated by all inferior and subordinate sorts of it, as if it were a point of honour. They must be cheated of a third part of their estates; two other thirds they must expend in vanity ; 80 that they remain debtors for all the necessary provisions of life, and have no way to satisfy those debts, but out of the succours and supplies of rapine.
“ As riches increase, says Solomon, "so do the mouths that devour thein.” The master mouth has no more than before. The owner, methinks, is like Ocnus the fable, who is perpetually winding a rope of hay, and an ass at the end perpetually eating it.-Cowley.
LVIII. Secrets are so seldom kept, that it may be with some reason doubted, whether the quality of retention be so generally bestowed, and whether a secret has not some subtile volatility by which it escapes, imperceptibly, at the smallest vent, or some power of fermentation, by which it expands itself, so as to burst the heart that will not give it way.-Johnson.
LIX. Fools are very often united in the strictest intimacies, as the lighter kinds of woods are the most closely glued together.-Shenstone.
LX. A prince wants only the pleasure of private life to complete his happiness; a loss that nothing can compensate but the fidelity of his select friends, and the applause of rejoicing subjects.—Bruyere.
LXI. If all the happiness that is dispersed through the whole ma nd this world were dra
together, and put into the possession of any single man, it would not make a very happy being. Though on the contrary, if the miseries of the whole species were fixed in a single person, they would make a very miserable one.-Addison.
LXII. Objects have absolutely no worth or value in themselves. They derive their worth merely from the passion. If that be strong, and steady, and successful, the person is happy. It cannot reasonably be doubted, but a little miss, dressed in a new gown for a dancing-school ball, receives as complete enjoyment as the greatest orator, who triumphs in the splendour of his eloquence, while he governs the passions and resolutions of a numerous assembly. -Hume.
LXIII. Aim at perfection in every thing, though in most things it is unattainable; however, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it, than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.-Chesterfield.
LXIV. Old sciences are upravelled like old stockings, by beginning at the foot.-Swift.
LXV. The figure which a man makes in life, the reception which he meets with in company, the esteem paid him by his acquaintance; all these advantages depend as much upon his good sense and judgment, as upon any of his character. Had a man the best intentions in the world, and were the farthest removed from all injustice and violence, he would never be able to make himself he much regarded, without a moderate share, at least, of parts and understanding.-Hume.
LXVI. Équity in law is the same tiat the spirit is in religion, what every one pleases to make it : sometimes they go according to conscience, sometimes according to law sometimes according to the rule of court --Selden.
LXVII. While some are willing to wed virtue for her persona) charms, others are engaged to take her for the sake of her
expected dowry: and since her followers and admirers have so little hopes from her in present, it were pity, methinks, to reason thein out of any imagined advantage in reversion.--Fitzosborne.
LXVIII. The continued multiplication of books not only distracts choice, but disappoints inquiry. To him that hath moderately stored his mind with images, few writers afford any novelty; or what little they have to add to the common stock of learning is so buried in the mass of general notions, that like silver mingled with the ore of lead, it is too little to pay for the labour of separation ; and he that has been often deceived by the promise of a title, at last grows weary of examining, and is tempted to consider all as equally fallacious.—Johnson.
LXIX. We see in needleworks and embroideries, it is more pleasing to have a lively work upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have a dark and melancholy work upon a lightsome ground : judge, therefore, of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant where they are incensed or crushed : for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.-Lord Bacon.
LXX. If parliament were to consider the sporting with repu. tation of as much importance as sporting on manors, and pass an act for the preservation of fame, there are many would thank them for the bill.--Sheridan.
LXXI. It is a great mortification to the vanity of man, that his utmost art and industry can never equal the meanest of nature's productions, either for beauty or value. Art is only the under-workman, and is employed to give a few strokes of embellishment to those pieces which come from