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But the wickedness of a loose or profane author, in his writings, is more atrocious than that of the giddy libertine, or drunken ravisher; not only because it extends its effects wider (as à pestilence that taints the air is more destructive than poison infused in a draught) but because it. is committed with cool deliberation. By the instantaneous violence of desire, a good man may sometimes be surprised before reflection can come to his rescue : when the appetites have strengthened their influence by habit, they are not easily resisted or suppressed; but for the frigid villainy of studious, lewdness, for the calm malignity of laboured impiety, what apology can be invented ? what punishment can be adequate to the crime of him who retires to solitude for the refinement. of debauchery; who tortures his fancy, and ransacks his memory, only that he may leave the world less virtuous than he found it; that he may intercept the hopes of the rising generation, and spread snares for the soul with more dexterity?
Ibid. p: 134. He that commences a writer may be considered: as a kind of general challenger, whom every one has a right to attack, since he quits the common rank of life, steps forward beyond the lists, and. offers his merit to the public judgment. To: commence author, is to claim praise ;, and no. man can justly aspire to honour but at the hazard's of disgrace.
Ibid. p. 231.
Authors and lovers-always suffer some infatuation through the fondness for their separate objects, from which only absence can set them free; and every man ought to restore hiinself to the
full excrcise of his judgment, before he does that which he cannot do improperly without injuring his honour and his quiet."
Ibid. vol. 4. p. 54. ,
That of conniving at another man printing, his works, and ihen denying that he gave any authority, is a stratagem by which an author, panting for fame, and yet afraid of seeming to. challenge it, may (at once to gratify his vanity and preserve the appearance of modesty) enter the lists and secure a retreat ; and this candour might suffer to pass undetected as an innocent fraud, but that, indeed, no fraud is innocent; for the confidence which makes the happiness of society is, in some degree, diminished by every man whose practice is at variance with his words.
- Life of Sir T. Browne, p. 257..
He that teaches us any thing which we knew. not before, is undoubtedly to be reverenced as a master; he that conveys knowledge, by more pleasing ways, may very properly be loved as a benefactor; and he that supplies life with innocent amusement will be certainly caressed as a pleasing companion.
Idler, vol. 29. p. 184.. . That Shakspeare once designed to have brought Talstaff on the scene again, we know from him.. self; but whether he could contrive no train of adventures, suitable to his character or could match hiin with no companions likely to quicken biz humour, or could open no new. vein of pleasantry, and was afraid to continue the saine strain Jest it should not find the same reception; he has in the play of Henry V. for ever discarded him,
and made haste to dispatch him; perhaps, for the same reason for which Addison killed Sir Roger de Coverly, that no other hand might attempt to exhibit 'him.
Let meaner authors learn from this example, that it is dangerous to sell the bear which is not - yet hunted to promise to the public what they have not written.
Notes upon Shakespear, vol. 6, p. 55.
It is in vain for the most skilful author to cultivate barrenness, or to paint on vacuity. Even Shakspeare.could not write well without a proper subject,
Ibid. p. 161. Neither genius nor practice will always supply a hasty writer with the most proper diction.
í fibid. vol. 10, p. 338. It is the nature of personal invective to be soon unintelligible, and the author that gratifies private malice animam vulnere ponit, destroys the efficacy of his own writings, and sacrifices the esteem of succeeding times to the laughter of a day.
.. . Ibid, vol. 2, p. 434.
AFFECTION. As for affection, those that know how to operate, upon the passions of men, rule it by making it operate in obedience to the notes which please or disgust it.
1 1 Ibid. vol. 3, p. 215.
AFFECTATION. Affectation naturally counterfeits those excellencies which are placed at the greatest distance
from possibility of attainment, because, knowing our own defects, we eagerly endeavour to supply them with artificial excellence.
Rambler, vol. 4, p. 104.
Affectation is to be always distinguished from kypocrisy, as being the art of counterfeiting those qualities which we might, with innocence and safety, be known to want. Hypocrisy is the necessary burthen of villany~Affectation part of the chosen trappings of folly.
Ibid. vol. 1, p. 124 and 125.
Every man speaks and writes with an intent to be understood; and it can seldom happen, but he that understands himself might convey his notions to another, if, content to be understood, he did not seek to be admired, but when once he begins to contrive how his sentiments may be received, not with most ease to his reader, but with most ad:vantage to himself, he then transfers his consideration from words to sounds, from sentences to periods, and as he grows more elegant, becomes less intelligible.
Idler, vol. 1, p. 202.
Nothing can more fully prove the ingratitude of mankind (a crime often charged upon them, and often denied) than the little regard which the disposers of honorary rewards have paid to Agriculture; which is treated as a subject -so remote from common life by all those who do not immediately hold the plough, or give fodder to the ox, that there is room to question, whether a
great part of mankind has yet been informed that life is sustained by the fruits of the earth.
Universal Visitors p. 111.
Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches we can call our own, and of which we need not fear either deprivation or diminution.
Ibid. p. 112. Of nations, as of individuals, the first blessing is independence. Neither the man nor the people can be happy to whom any human power can deny the necessaries or conveniences of life. There is no way of living without foreign assiste ance but by the product of our own land improved by our own labour. Every other source of plenty is perishable or casual.
AGRICULTURE OF ENGLAND. · Our country is, perhaps, beyond all others; productive of things necessary to life. The pine.. apple thrives better between the tropics, and better furs are found in the Northern regions.. But let us not envy those unnecessary privileges; mrankind cannot subsist upon the indulgencies of nature, but must be supported by her common. gifts; they must feed upon bread and be clothed with wool, and the nation that can furnish these: universal commodities, may have her ships wel.. comed at a thousand ports, or sit at home, and receive the tribute of foreign countries, enjoy. their arts, or treasure up their gold,
Ibid. p. 114.