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XXL. From the earliest dawnings of policy to this day, the invention of men has been sharpening and improving the mystery of murder, from the first rude essay of clubs and stones, to the present perfection of gunnery, cannoneering, bombarding, mining.–Burke.
XXII. Those ears that are offended by the sweetly wild notes of the thrush, the blackbird, and the nightingale, the distant cawing of the rook, the tender cooing of the turtle, the soft sighing of reeds and osiers, the magic murmur of lapsing streams, will be regaled and ravished by the extravagant and alarming notes of a squeaking fiddle, extracted by a musician who has no other genius than that which lies in his fingers : they will even be en. tertained with the rattling of coaches, the rumbling of carts, and the delicate cry of cod and mackerel.–Smollot.
XXIII. Next to clothes being fine, they should be well made, and worn easily : for a man is only the less genteel for a fne coat, if in wearing it he shows a regard for it, and is not as easy in it as if it were a plain one.-Chesterfield.
XXIV. A little wit is equally capable of exposing a beauty and of aggravating a fault; and though such a treatment of an author naturally produces indignation in the mind of an understanding reader, it has, however, its effect among the generality of those whose hands it falls into, the rabble of mankind being very apt to think that every thing which is laughed at, with any mixture of wit, is ridiculous in itself. --Addison.
XXV. While we are reasoning concerning life, life is gone; and death, though perhaps they receive him differently vet treats alike the fool and the philosopher.-Hume.
XXVI. Imaginary evils soon become real ones by indulging our reflections on them; as he who in a melancholy fancy sees something like a face on the wall or the wainscot, can, by two or three touches with a lead pencil, make it look visible, and agreeing with what he fancied.-Swift.
XXVII. Nothing sinks a young man into low company, both of women and men, so surely as timidity and diffidence of himself. If he thinks that he shall not, he may dépend upon it he will not please. But with proper endeavours to please, and a degree of persuasion that he shall, it is almost certain that he will. - Chesterfield.
XXVIII. I cannot imagine why we should be at the expense to furnish wit for succeeding ages, when the foriner have made no sort of provision for ours.-Swift.
XXIX. Old friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were easiest for his feet.-Selden.
XXX. The conceit that a cat has nine lives, has cost at least nine lives in ten of the whole race of them ; scarce a boy in the streets, but has in this point outdone Hercules himself, who was famous for killing a monster that had but three lives. Whether the unaccountable animosity against this useful domestic, may be any cause of the general persecution of owls, (who are a sort of feathered cats,) or whether it be only an unseasonable pique the moderns have taken to a serious countenance, I shall not determine : though I am inclined to believe the former ; since I observe the sole reason alleged for the destruction of frogs, is because they are like toads.—Pope.
XXXI. Vanity bids all her sons to be generous and bravem and her daughters to be chaste and courteous.—But why
do we want her instructions ?-Ask the comedian who is taught a part he feels not.-Sterne.
XXXII. Real merit of any kind, ubi est non potest diu celare ; it will be discovered, and nothing can depreciate it, but a man's exhibiting it himself. It may not always be rewarded as it ought; but it will always be known.Chesterfield.
XXXIII. Reserve is no more essentially connected with understanding, than a church organ with devotion, or wine with good nature.-Shenstone.
XXXIV. If a strong attachment to a particular subject, a total ignorance of every other; an eagerness to introduce that subject upon all occasions, and a confirmed habit of declaiming upon it without either wit or discretion, be the marks of a pedantic character, as they certainly are, it belongs to the illiterate as well as the learned ; and St. James's itself may boast of producing as arrant pedants as were ever sent forth from a college.-B. Thornton.
XXXV. Pride may be allowed to this or that degree, else a man cannot keep up his dignity. In gluttony there must be eating, in drunkenness there must be drinking ; 'tis not the eating, nor 'tis not the drinking that must be blamed, but the excess. So in pride.-Selden.
XXXVI. Those beings only are fit for solitude, who like nobody, are like nobody, and are liked by nobody.--Zimmerman.
XXXVII. General, abstract truth is the most precious of all blessings ; without it man is blind. it is the eye of reason. -Rousseau.
XXXVIII. You cannot spend money in luxury without doing good to the poor. Nay, you do more good to them by spending It in luxury-you make them exert industry, whereas, by giving it, you keep them idle.—Johnson.
XXXIX. In proportion that credulity is a more peaceful possession of the mind than curiosity. so far preferable is that wisdom which converses about the surface, to that pretended philosophy which enters into the depth of things, and then comes back gravely with informations and discoveries, that in the inside they are good for nothing.– Swift.
XL. How often at our theatre, has the tear of sympathy and burst of laughter been repressed by a malignant species of pride, refusing approbation to the author and actor, and renouncing society with the audience.--Smollet.
XLI. In tragedy, the poet who flourished in the scene, is damned in the ruelle ; nay more, is not esteemed a good poet, by those who see and hear his extravagances with delight. They are a sort of stately fustian and lofty childishness. Nothing but nature can give a sincere pleasure: where that is not imitated, 'tis grotesque paint ing; the fine woman ends in a fish's tail.-Dryden.
XLII. When a philosopher has once laid hold of a favourite principle, which, perhaps, accounts for many natural effects, he extends the same principle over the whole creation, and reduces it to every phenomenon, though by the most violent and absurd reasoning. Our own mind being narrow and contracted, we cannot extend our conception to the variety and extent of nature ; but imagine that she is as much bounded in her operations as we are in our speculation.-Hume.
XLIII. A contenteu mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world; and if in the present life his happiness arises from the subduing of his desires, it will arise in the dext from the gratification of them.-Addison.
XLIV. To be a beggar, it will cost the richest candidate every groat he is worth; so, before one commence a true critic, it will cost a man all the good qualities of his mind, which, perhaps, for a less purchase, would be thought but an indifferent bargain.-Swift.
XLV. Nothing is more evident than that divers persons, no other way remarkable, have each a strong disposition to the formation of some particular trope or figure. Aristotle saith that the hyperbole is an ornament fit for young men of quality ; accordingly, we find in those gentlemen a wonderful propensity towards it, which is marvellously improved by travelling . soldiers also and seamen are happy in the same figure. The periphrasis or circumlocution is the peculiar talent of country farmers; the prologue and apologue, of oid men at clubs; the illipsis, or speech by half words, of ministers and politicians; the aposiopesis, of courtiers ; the liotes and diminution of ladies, whisperers, and backbiters; and the andiplosis, of common criers and hawkers, who, by redoubling the same words, persuade people to buy their oysters, green hastings, or new ballads. Epithets may be found in great plenty at Billingsgate ; sarcasm and irony learned upon the water; and the epiphonema or exclamation frequently from the bear-garden, and as frequently from the hear bim,” of the house of commons.-Pope.