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tice the imagination that way, or produce irritation and opposition. It is more correct to say nothing, and then he will judge as the matter really is; that is, as it is then, and according as the other circumstances over which we have no control, may bias him; if even our very silence has not its effect according to the aspect of the whole, and the interpretation which the man's present humor may put upon it, or according to the conjecture he may form from the expression of my countenance, and the tone of my voice; so easy is it to bias the judgment from its natural and unfettered conclusion, or rather so few men are there of resolute and independent mind.

43. Montaigne is right. Custom should be followed because it is custom, and because it is found established, without inquiring whether it is reasonable or not; understanding of course those matters which are not contrary to natural or divine right. It is true that people follow custom for this only reason, that they believe it to be just; without which, they would follow it no longer, for no one would be subjected to any thing but reason and justice. Custom without this would be accounted tyranny; but the dominion of reason and justice is no more tyrannous than that of pleasure.

44. The knowledge of external things will not console us in the days of affliction, for the ignorance of moral science : but attainments in moral science, will console us under the ignorance of external things.

45. Time deadens our afflictions and our strifes, because we change and become almost as it were other persons. Neither the offending nor the offended party remains the same. Like a people that have been irritated, and then revisited two generations after. They are yet the French nation, but not what they


46. What is the condition of man? Instability, dissatisfaction, distress. He who would thoroughly know the vanity of man, has only to consider the causes and the effects of love. The cause is a je ne sais quoi,* an indefinable trifle; the effects are monstrous. Yet this indescribable something set the whole earthprinces, armies, multitudes, in motion. If the nose of Cleopatra had been a little shorter, it would have changed the history of the world.

47. Caesar appears to me too old to have amused himself with the conquest of the world.

Such sport might do for Alexander, an ardent youth, whom it was difficult to curb ; but Caesar's day had gone by.

48. Fickleness has its rise in the experience of the fallaciousness of present pleasures, and in the ignorance of the vanity of absent pleasures.

49. Princes and kings must play themselves sometimes. They cannot be always upon their thrones. They become weary. Greatness to be realized, must be occasionally abandoned.

50. My humor depends but little on the weather. I have my cloud and my sunshine with me. perity or failure in my .affairs affects me little. I sometimes rise spontaneously superior to misfortune; and from the mere joy of superiority, I get the better of it nobly. Whilst at other times, in the very tide of good fortune, I am heartless and fretful.

51. Sometimes in the very writing down my thought, it escapes me. But this teaches me my weakness, which I am ever forgetting. And this instructs me therefore as much as my forgotten thoughts would have done ; for what I ought always to be learning, is my own nothingness.

52. It is a curious fact, that there are men in the world who, having renounced all the laws of God and man, have made laws for themselves, which they strictly obey; as robbers, &c.

Even pros

* This is a very common expression in France. I believe it owes its classical currency, if not its origin, to Corneille, the celebrated dramatist. Some of the readers of this work, may be willing to learn that it signifiesI know not what. A. E.

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53. “ This is my dog," say the children ; 6 that sunny seat is mine." There is the beginning and exemplification of the usurpation of the whole earth.

54. You have a bad manner: excuse me if you please. Without the apology I should not have known that there was any harm done. Begging your pardon, the excuse me,” is all the mischief.

55. We scarcely ever think of Plato and Aristotle, but as grave and serious looking men, dressed in long robes.

They were good honest fellows, who laughed with their friends as others do; and when they made their laws and the treatises on politics, it was to play and divert themselves. It was probably the least philosophical and serious part of their lives. The most philosophical was the living simply and tranquilly.

56. Man delights in malice; but it is not against the unfortunate, it is against the prosperous proud ; and we deceive ourselves if we think otherwise. Martial's epigram on the blind, is utterly worthless, for it does not comfort them; it only adds another spark to the glory of the author; all that makes only for the author is worthless. Ambitiosa recidet ornamenta. He should write to please men of a tender and humane spirit, and not your barbarous inbuman souls. 57. These compliments do not please me:

66 I have given you much trouble.”

66 I fear to weary you."“I fear that this is too long.” Things either hurry me away, or irritate me.

'59. A true friend is such a blessing, even to great men, in order that he may speak well of them, and defend them in their absence, that they should leave no stone unturned to get one. But they should choose warily ; for if they lavish all their efforts on a fool, whatever good he says of them will go for nothing; and in fact he will not speak well of them, if he feels his comparative weakness ; for he has not any authority, and consequently he will slander for company's sake.

59. Do you wish men to speak well of you? Then never speak well of yourself.

60. Do not laugh at the men who seek respect through their duties and official stations ; for we regard no man but for bis acquired qualities. All men hate one another naturally. I hold it a fact, that if men knew exactly what one says of the other, there would not be four friends in the world. This appears from the quarrels to wbich occasional indiscreet reports give rise.

61. Death is more easy to endure without thinking about it, than the thoughts of death without the risk of it.

62. It is wonderful indeed, that a thing so visible as the utter vanity of this world, should be so little known, and that it should be so uncommon and surprising to hear any one condemn as folly, the search after its honors.

He who does not see the vanity of this world, is vain indeed. For în fact, who does not see it, but those young persons who are hurried along in the bustle and din of its amusements, without a thought of the future? But take away those diversions, and you will see them wither with ennui. They are then feel. ing their emptiness, without really knowing it: for surely it is a very wretched state, to sink into unbearable sadness, as soon as we cease to be diverted, and are left free to think.

63. Almost every thing is partly true and partly false : not so with essential truth. It is perfectly pure and true. This admixture in the world, dishonors and annihilates truth. There is nothing true, if we mean pure essential truth.

We may say that homicide is bad, because that which is evil and false is well understood by us. But what can we say is good ? Celibacy? I say no! for the world would terminate. Marriage ? No; for continency is better. Not to kill ? No; for disorders would increase, and the wicked would murder the good. To kill? No; for tbat destroys nature. We have nothing true or good, but what is only partially so, and mixed with evil and untruth.

64. Evil is easily discovered; there is an infinite va

riety. Good is almost unique. But some kinds of evil are almost as difficult to discover, as that which ve call good; and often particular evil of this class passes for good. Nay, it needs even a certain greatness of soul to attain to this, as it does to attain to that which is good.

65. The ties which link the mutual respects of one to another, in general, are the bonds of necessity. And there must be different degrees of them, since all men seek to have dominion ; and all cannot, though some can attain to it. But the bonds which secure our respect to this or that individual in particular, are the bonds of the imagination.

66. We are so unhappy, that we cannot take pleasure in any pursuit, but under the condition of experiencing distress, if it does not succeed, which may happen with a thousand things, and does happen every hour. He who shall find the secret of enjoying the good, without verging to the opposite evil, has hit the mark for happiness.



The more enlarged is our own mind, the greater number we discover of men of originality. Your common-place people see no difference between one man and another.

2. A man may be possessed of sound sense, yet not be able to apply it equally to all subjects; for there are evidently men who are highly judicious in certain lines of thought, but who fail in others. The one class of men are adapted to draw conclusions from a few principles; the other, to draw conclusions in cases which involve a great variety of principles. For instance, the one understands well the phenomena of war; with reference to which, the principles are

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