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him above the want of hourly afiftance, or to extinguish the desire of fond endearments, and tender officiousnefs; and therefore no one should think it unneceffary to learn those arts by which friendship may be gained. Kindness is preserved by a constant reciprocation of benefits or interchange of pleasures; but such benefits only can be be. ftowed, as others are capable of receiving, and such pleasares only imparted, as others are qualified to enjoy.
By this descent from the pinnacles of art no honour will be loft: for the condescensions of learning are always overpaid by gratitude. An elevated genius employed in little things, appears, to use the fimile of Longinus, like the sun in his evening declination; he remits his fplendour but retains his magnitude; and pleases more though he dazzles less.
ON THE ADVANTAGES OF UNITING
GENTLENESS OF MANNERS WITH FIRMNESS
OF MIND. I
MENTIONED to you some time ago, a fentence, which I would most earnestly wish you always to retain in your thoughts, and observe in your conduct; it is fuaviter in modo, fortiter in re. I do not know any one rule fo us. exceptionably useful and necessary in every part of life.
The fuavitèr in modo alone would degenerate and fink into a mean, timid complaisance, and pasiveness, if not supported and dignified by the fortitèr in re; which would also run into impetuofity and brutality, if not tempered and softened by the fuavitèr in modo : however, they are feldom united. The warm cholerie man, with strong animal fpirits, despises the fuavitèr in modo, and thinks to carry
all before him by the fortitèr in re. He may possibly, by great accident, now and then fucceed, when he has only weak
and timid people to deal with ; but his general fate will be, to shock, offend, be hated, and fail. On the other hand, the cunning crafty man thinks to gain all his ends by the fuavitèr in modo only; he becomes all things to all men ; he feems to have no opinion of his own, and servilely adopts the present opinion of the present person, he infinuates himself only into the esteem of fools, but is foon detected, and furely despised by every body else. The wise man (who differs as much from the cunning, as from the choleric man) alone joins the fuavitèr in modo with the fortitèr in re.
If you are in authority, and have a right to command, your commands delivered Juavitèr in modo will be willingly, cheerfully, and consequently well obeyed: whereas if given only fortitèr, that is brutally, they will rather, as Tacitus fays, be interpreted than executed. For my own part, if I bade my footman bring me a glass of wine, in a rough insulting manner, I should expect, that in obeying me, he would contrive to fpill some of it upon me: and I am sure I should deserve it. A cool steady resolution should show, that where you have a right to command, you will be obey. ed; but at the same time, a gentleness in the manner of enforcing that obedience should make it a cheerful one, and soften, as much as poffible, the mortifying consciouf. ness of inferiority. If you are to ask a favour, or even to folicit your due, you must do it suavitèr in modo, or you will give those, who have a mind to refuse you either, a pretence to do it, by refenting the manner; but, on the other hand, you must, by a steady perseverance and decent tenacioufness, show the fortitèr in re. In fhort, this precept is the only way I know in the world, of being loved without being despised, and feared without being hated. It constitutes the dignity of character, which every wise man must endeavour to establish.
If therefore you find that you have a haftinefs in your temper, which unguardedly breaks out into indiscreet fallies, or rough expressions, to either your superiors, your equals, or your inferiors, watch it narrowly, check it carefully, and call the suavitèr in modo to your affiftance : at the first im-"" pulse of passion be filent, till you ean be foft. Labour even to get the command of your countenance so well, that those emotions may not be read in it: a moft unspeakable advantage in business ! On the other hand, let no complaisance, no gentleness of temper, no weak defire of pleasing on your part, no wheedling, coaxing, nor flattery, on other people's, make you recede one jot from any point that reason and prudence have bid you pursue; but return to the charge, persist, persevere, and you will find most things attainable that are poffible. A yielding, timid meekness is always abused and insulted by the unjust and the unfeeling; but meekness, when fustained by the fortiter in re, is always respected, commonly successful. In your friendfhips and connections, as well as in your enmities, this rule is parti. cularly useful: let your firmness and vigour preserve and invite attachments to you; but, at the same time, let your manner hinder the enemies of your friends and dependents from becoming yours; let your enemies be difarmed by the gentleness of your manner, but let them feel, at the same time, the steadiness of your juft resentment; for there is a great difference between bearing malice, which is always ungenerous, and a refolute self-defence, which is always prudent and justifiable.
I CONCLUDE with this observation, That gentleness of manners, with firmness of mind, is a short, but full description of human perfection, on this fide of religious and mo. ral duties,
WERE I to explain what I understand by good sense, I should call it right reason; but right reason that arises not from formal and logical deduciions, but from a sort of in. tuitive faculty in the foul, which distinguishes by immediate perception: a kind of innate fagacity, that in many of its properties feems very much to resemble inttinet. It wouid be improper, therefore, to say, that Sir Isaac Newton showed his good sense, by those amazing discoveries which he made in natural philofophy; the operations of this gift of Heaven are rather instantaneous than the result of any tedious process. Like Diomed, after Minerva had indued him with the power of discerning gods from mortals, the man of good sense discovers at once the truth of those ob. jects he is most concerned to distinguish; and conducts himself with suitable caution and security.
It is for this reason, poffibly, that this quality of the mind is not so often found united with learning as one could wish ; for good sense being accustomed to receive her discoveries without labour or ftady, the cannot so easily wait for those truths, which being placed at a distance, and lying concealed under numberless cuvers, require much pains and application to unfold.
But though good sense is not in the number, nor al. ways, it must be owned, in the company of the sciences; yet is it (as the moft fenfible of poets has juftly observed)
fairly worth the seven. Rectitude of understanding is indeed the most useful, as well as the most noble of human endowments, as it is the fovereign guide and director in every branch of civil and focial intercourse. Upon whatever occasion this enlightening faculty is ex: erted, it is always sure to act with diftinguithed eminence; but its chief and peculiar province seems to lie in the commerce of the world. Accordingly we may observe, that those who have conversed more with men than with books; whose wisdom is derived rather from experience than contemplation; generally possess this happy talent with fuperior perfection. For good fenfe, though it cannot be acquired, may be improved ; and the world, I believe, will ever be found to afford the most kindly soil for its cultivation.
ON STUDY. Studies ferve for delight, for ornament, and for abikty. The chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring ; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and difpofition of business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars one by one z: but the general counsels, and the plots, and marfalling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament is affectation ; to make judgment wholly by their rules is the humour of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience; for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by duty; and Atudies themfelves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them: for they teach not their own use, but that is a wisdom with. out them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and confider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some