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without the knowledge of many mountains and many rivers; so, in the productions of genius, nothing can be styled excellent till it has been compared with other works of the same kind.
Preface to Shakspeare, p. 126. , Many works of genius and learning have been performed in states of life, that appear very little favourable to thought or to enquiry; so many, that he who considers them, is inclined to think that he sees enterprise and perseverance predominating over all external agency, and bidding help and hindrance vanish before them.
Ibid, p. 1250 .. GOVERNMENT.. Governments formed by chance, and gradually improved by such expedients as the successive discovery of their defects happened to suggest, are never to be tried by a regular theory. They are fabrics' of dissimilar materials, 'raised by different architects upon different plans. We must be content with them as they are ; should we attempt to mend their disproportions, we might easily demolish, and with difficulty rebuild them.
. False Alarm, p. 24. In all political regulations, good cannot be complete; it can only be predominant.
Western Islands, p. 208. .
No scheme of policy has, in any country, yet brought the rich on equal terms into courts of judicature. Perhaps experience, improving on experience, may in time effect it.
Ibid. p. 215.
To hinder insurrection by driving away the people, and to govern peaceably by having no subjects, is an expedient that argues no great profundity of politics. To soften the obdurate, to convince the mistaken, to mollify the resentful, are worthy of a statesman; but it affords a legislator little self-applause to consider, that where there was formerly an insurreetion, there is now a wilderness..
Ibid. p. 224.
.: The general history of mankind will evince
that lawful and settled authority is very seldom resisted when it is well employed. Gross corruption or evident imbecility, is necessary to the suppression of that reverence with which the majority of mankind look upon their governors, or those whom they see surrounded by splendour, and fortified by power. ,
Rambler, vol. I, p. 301. - No government could subsist for a day, if single errors could justify defection.
Taxation no Tyranny, p. 62.
Government is necessary to man; and when obedience is not compelled, there is no government.
Ibid. p. 77. To prevent evil is the great end of government, the end for which vigilance and severity are properly employed.
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 12. Forms of government are seldom the result of much deliberation; they are framed by chance in
popular assemblies, or in conquered countries by despotic authority.
Idler, vol. I, p. 60. In sovereignty there are no gradations. There may be limited royalty; there may be limited consulship; but there can be no limited gorernment. There must in every society be some power or other from whence there is no appeal, which admits no restrictions, which pervades the whole mass of the community, regulates and adjusts all subordination, enacts laws or repeals them, erects or annuls judicatures, extends or contracts privileges, exempts itself from question or control, and bounded only by physical necessity.
Taxation no Tyranmy, p. 24. Few errors and few faults of government can justify an appeal to the rabble, who ought not 10 judge of what they cannot understand, and whose opinions are not propagated by reason, but caught by contagion.
Patriot, p. 7.
As government advances towards perfection, provincial judicature is, perhaps, in every empire, gradually abolished.
Western Illands, p. 100. In all changes of government, there will be many that suffer real or imaginary grievances; and therefore many will be dissatisfied.
Political State of Great Britain in 1756, p. 44.
GUILT.' Guilt is generally afraid of light; it considers darkness as a natural shelter, and makes night
the confidante of those actions, which cannot be trusted to the tell-tale day
Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 6, p. 377.' It may be observed, perhaps, without exception, that none are so industrious to detect wickedness, or so ready to impute it, as they whose crimes are apparent and confessed. They envy an unblemished reputation, and what they, envy they are busy to destroy; they are unwilling to suppose themselves meaner and more corrupt than others, and therefore willingly pull down from their elevations those with whom they cannot rise to an equality.
Rambler, vol. 2, p. 126. Men are willing to try all methods of reconciling guilt and quiet, and when their under, standings are stabborn and uncomplying, raise their passions against them, and hope to overpower their own knowledge. ,
SELF-GOVERNMENT. No man, whose appetites are his masters, can perform the duties of his nature with strictness and regularity. He that would be superior to external influencés, must first become superior to his own passions.
Idler, vol. 1, p. 293.
UNIVERSAL GOOD. · All skill ought to be exerted for universal good. Every man has owed much to others, and ought to pay the kindness he has received.
Prince of Abyssinia, p. 41.
GREATNESS. He that becomes acquainted and is invested with authority and influence, will in a short time be convinced, that in proportion as the power of doing well is enlarged, the temptations to do ill are multiplied and enforced.
Rambler, vol. 2, p. 58. That awe which great actions or abilities impress, will be inevitably diminished by acquaintance, though nothing either mean or criminal should be found; because we do not easily consider him as great whom our own eyes shew us. to be little ; nor labour to keep present to our thoughts the latent excellencies of him who shares with us all our weaknesses and many of our follies; who, like us, is delighted with slight ainusements, busied with trifling employments, and disturbed by little vexations.
Idler, vol. 1, p285 and 287.
GRATITUDE. There are minds so impatient of inferiority, that their gratitude is a species of revenge; and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain.
Rambler, vol. 2. p. 192. The charge against ingratitude is very general. Almost every man can tell what favours he has conferred upon insensibility, and how much happiness he has bestowed without return; but, perhaps, if these patrons and protectors were confronted with any whom they boast of having befriended, it would often appear that they consulted only their own pleasure or vanity, and re
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