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1. THE ungrateful are sparing of thanks, for fear that thankfulness may be an introduction to reward.
2. Ungratefulness is the very poison of manhood.
3. The Base, measure all men's marches by their own pace.
4. Whatsoever the base man finds evil in his own soul, he can with ease lay upon another.
It is this inward consent to the commission of vices, that makes the tales of the slanderer be received with such ready belief. The pure in heart are slow to credit calumnies; because they hardly comprehend what motives can be inducements to the alleged crimes.
5. There is nothing sooner overthrows a weak head, than opinion of authority ; like too strong a liquor for a frail glass.
6. Some hearts grow the harder, the more they find their advantage.
7. Cheerfulness in others, is ever a source of envy to the ill-natured.
8. Base natures-joy to see hard hap happen to them they deem happy.
The envious, with regard to their co-temporaries, are like boys ona see-saw;
proportion as the one is elevated in the air, the other thinks himself sinking to the ground. When we see this vile passion in the breasts of people in whom there appears few good qualities, to preponderate the value of those which they covet and affect to contemn, we are not surprised, nor much moved to anger. We rather compassionate the poor creature, who sees his own defects so glaringly, as to make him shut his eyes against the perfections of another. But when we look to the more favoured of the human species, how greatly are we shocked to perceive that a man may possess eminent talents, and yet have a base na
ture. When his opinion of himself transcends his merits, it is almost impossible that he should not meet with mortifications to offend his pride, and animate his resentment. If he be not generally applauded, he lays the blame on any thing rather than his own want of attraction : the caprice of the world; the influence of party; the hatred of rivals; all conspire to keep him in the back-ground! When he sees a rich man, who is respected, he says to himself—“ Had I been wealthy, how I could have bought esteem !” When he hears the virtuous renowned, he declares, that “ had he been planted at the same post, he would have achieved greater honours.” On whatever height he fixes his ambitious eye, there he sees the station for his actions; and there she believes he would have signalized himself with unexampled glory. But what right has he (to whom an estate has been bestowed in the talents of the mind), to repine that the gifts of fortune were not added to his other endowments? Upon what grounds does he rest the presumption, that had he been a richer, or a more powerful, he would have been a better man? The Almighty divides his benefits : on some he pours his spirit, and on others he descends in showers of gold. It lies with man to appreciate the gifts: but how he despises the best ! How murmuring and arrogant are his conclusions! Let him not disdain the truth that he who thinks himself excusable in falling from duty in any one situation, would always find some reason for making the same apology in every other. Magnanimity is above circumstance; and any virtue which depends on that, is more of constitution than of principle.