Obrazy na stronie

apd very difficult to estimate. Much knowledge has been acquired, and much cruelty committed: the belief of religion has been very little propagated, and its laws have been outrageously and enormously violated. The Europeans have scarcely visited any coast, but to gratify avarice and extend corruption, to arrogate dominion withont right, and practise cruelty without ipcentive. Happy had it then been for the oppressed, if the designs of the original invader had slept in his bosom; and, surely, more happy for the oppressors! But there is reason to hope, that out of much evil, good may be sometimes produced, and that the light of the gospel will at last illuminate the sands of Africa, and the deserts of America; though its progress cannot but be slow, when it is so much obstructed by the lives of Christians.

Introduction to the World Displayed, p. 178.


[ocr errors]

DESIRE. SOME desire is necessary to keep life in moe tion; and he whose real wants are supplied, must admit those of fancy:

Prince of Abyssinia, p. 52.,. ? The desires of man increase with his acquisitions; every step which he advances brings something within his view, which he did not see before, and which, as soon as he sees it, he begins to want. Where necessity ends, curiosity begins; and no sooner are we supplied with every thing


that nature can demand, than we sit down to contrive artificial appetites..

Idler, vol. 1, p. 365.



Reflect that life and death, affecting sounds,
Are only varied modes of endless being;
Reflect that life, like every other blessing,

Derives its value from its use alone :
:.. Nor for itself,-but for a nobler end,

Th' Eternal gave it, and that end is virtue!
When inconsistent with a greater good,
Reason commands to cast the less away:
Thus life with loss of wealth is well preserv’d,
And virtue cheaply say'd with loss of life..

Irene, p. 415

The death of great men is not always propartioned to their lives. Hannibal, says Juvenal, did not perish by a javelin, or a sword; the slaughters of Cannæ were revenged by a ring.

Life of Popen

It was perhaps ordained by Providence, to hinder us from tyrannising over one another, that no individual should be of such importance, as to cause, by his retirement or death, any chasm in the world.

Rambler, vol. 19. p. 34.

The great disturbers of our happiness in this world, are our desires, our griefs, and our fears; and to all these the consideration of mortality is a. certain and adequate remedy.

i Think (says Epictetus) frequently on poverty, banishment, İs


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and death, and thou wilt nøyer indulge violent desires, or give up.athy heart to wean senti ments. Jov,

• Ibid. p.'ñor. It is remarkable that death increases our veneration for the good, and extenuates our hatred of the bad, : 1991

Bali) in Ibid. vol. 2: pot 5. To neglect at any time preparatigp for death, is to sleep on our post at a siege , but to oulit it in old age, is to sleep at an attacket bo) 1316

ELS 31 dibidp 1475

woichien To die is the fate of man; but to die with lin. gering anguisha, is generally his folly...

Ibid. p. 378. To rejoice in tortures is the privilege of a martyr; to meet death with intrepidity is the right only of innocence (if in any human being innocerice can be e found); but of him whose

life is shortened by his crimes, the last duties are humility and self-abasement.

Convict's Address, po 18.

[ocr errors]

Death is no more than every being must suffer, ahough the dread of it is peculiar to men.

Notes upon Shakespeare, vol. 2, p. 79.

[ocr errors]

If all the blessings of our condition are enjoyed with a constant sense of the uncertainty of life; if we remember that whatever we possess is to be in our hands but a very little time, and that the little - which our most lively hopes can promise us, may be made less by ten thousand accidents; we shall not much regine at a loss, of which we cannot estimate the value, but of which, though we are not able to tell the least amount, we know, with sufficient certainty, the greatest, and are convinced that the greatest is not much to be rea': grettede


i ?' Rambler, vol. I, p. 103. . What are our views of all wordly things (and the same appearances they would always have, if the same thoughts were always predominant) when a sharpor tedious sickness has set death before our eyes, and the last hour seems to be aproaching? The extensive influence of greatness, the glitter of wealth, the praises of admirers, and the attendance of supplicants, have all appeared vain. and empty things. We then find the absurdity of stretching out our arms incessantly to grasp that wbich we cannot keep, and wearing'out our lives in endeavours-to-add new turrets to the fåbric of ambition, when the foundation itself is shaking, and the ground on which it stands is mouidering away.

Ibid. p. 102.

Death, says Seneca, falls heavy upon himn who is too much known to others, and too little to : himself:

. Ibid. p. 174. DEPENDENCE. There is no state more contrary to the dignity of wisdom, than perpetual and unlimited dependence, in which the understanding lies useless, and every motion is received from external im pulse. Reason is the great distinction of human nature, the faculty by which we approach to some degree of association with celestial intelligences; but as the excellence of every power ap

I 4


pears only in its operations, not to have reason, and to have it useless and unemployed, is nearly the saine,

Rambler, vol. 42. p. 12.

Wherever there is wealth, there is dependence and expectation, and wherever there is dependence, there will be an emulation of servility

Ibid. p. 158. If it be unhappy to have one patron, what is his misery who has many?

Ibid. vol. I, p. 361. The dependant who consults delicacy in himself, very little consults his own tranquillity.

Ibid. vol. 3, p. 262.


The pain of miscarriage is naturally proportionate to the desire of excellence; and therefore till men are hardened by long familiarity with res proach, or have attained, by frequent struggles, the art of suppressing their emotions, Diffidence is found the insuperable associate of understanding:

Ibid. vol. 4, p. 186.

Diffidence may check resolution ar d obstruct performance, but compensates its embarrassments by more important advantages: it conciliates the proud, and softens the severe;

averts envy

from excellence, and censure from miscarriage.

Ibid. vol. 3, p. 317.

A request made with diffidence and timidity is

« PoprzedniaDalej »