Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

paid themselves their petty donatives by gratifications of insolence, and indulgence of contempt.

Ibid. vol. 3, p.259.

H.

HAPPINESS. WE are long before we are convinced that happiness is never to be found; and each believes it possessed by others, to keep alive the hope of obtàining it for himself. 111:

Prince of Abyssinia, p. 108. Whether perfect happiness can be procured by perfect goodness, this world will never afford an opportunity of deciding. But this, at least, may be maintained, that we do not always find visible happiness in proportion to visible virtue.

' Ibid. p. 163. All natural, and almost all political evils, are incident alike to the bad or good. They are confounded in the misery of a famine, and not much distinguished in the fury of a faction. They sink together in a tempest, and are driven together from their country by invaders. All that virtue can afford is quietness of conscience, a steady prospect of a happier state, which will enable us to endure every calamity with patience,

- Ibid., He that has no one to love or to confide in, has little to hope. He wants the radical principle of happiness.

- Ibid. p. 210.

It

It is perhaps a just observation, that with regard to outward circumstances, happiness and misery are equally diffused through all states of human life. In civilised countries, where regular policies have secured the necessaries of life, ambition, avarice, and luxury, find the mind at leisure for their reception, and soon engage it in new .pursuits; pursuits that are to be carried only by incessant labour, and whether vain or successful, produce anxiety and contention. Among savage nations imaginary wants find, indeed, no place; but their strength is exhausted by necessary toils, and their passions agitated, not by contests about superiority, affluence, ar precedence, but by perpetual care for the present day, and by fear of perishing for want of common food.

: Life of Drake, p. 211. Whatever be the cause of happiness, may be made likewise the cause of misery. The medicine which, rightly applied, has power to cure, has, when rashness or ignorance prescribes it, the same power to destroy: .

Dissertation on Authors, p. 25. The happiness of the generality of people is · nothing if it is not known, and very little if it. is not envied.

'Idler, vol. 2, p. 1558 ! It has been observed in all ages, that the advantages of nature, or of fortune, have contributed very little to the promotion of happiness; and that those whom the splendor of their rank, or the extent of their capacity, have placed upon the summits of human life, have riot often given any just occasion to envy in those who L 3

look

look up to them from a lower station. Whetlier it be, that apparent superiority incites great-desigps, and great designs are naturally liable to fatal miscarriages, or that the general lot of inankind is misery, and the misfortunes of those whose eminence drew upon them an universal attention, have been more faithfully recorded, because they were more generally observed, and have; in reality, been only more conspicuous than those of others, more frequent or more severe.

Life of Savage. . It seldom happens that all circumstances con cur to happiness or fame.

Rambler, vol. 3, p. 106. 3 Happiness is not found in self-contemplation; it is perceived only when it is reflected from another,

Idler, voli I, p. 232.

:DOMESTIC HAPPINESS. . : The great end of prudence is to give cheerfulness to those hours which splendour cannot gild, and acclamation cannot exhilirate; those soft intervals of unbended amusement, in which a man shrinks to his natural dimensions, and throw3 aside the ornaments or disguises which he feels, in privacy, to be useful incumbrances, and to lose all effect when they become familiar.. To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ämbition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution. It is indeed at home that every man must be known, by those who would make a just estimate either of his virtue or felicity; for smiles and embroidery are alike oc

Lasional,

casional, and the mind is often dressed for show in painted honour, and fictitious benevolence.

Rambler, vol. 2, p. 82. , · The highest panegyric that domestic virtue can receive, is the praise of servants; for however vanity or insolence may look down with contempt on the suffrage of men andignified by wealth, and unenlightened by education, it very seldom happens that they commend or blame without justice.

Ibid. p. 84.

HABITS, No man forgets his original trade; the rights of nations and of kings, sink into questions of .. grammar, if grammarians discuss them.

Life of Milton. The disproportions of absurdity grow less and Jess visible, as we are reconciled by degrees to the deformity of a mistress; and falsehood, by long use, is assimilated to 'the mind, as poison, to the body.

Rambler, vol. 2, p. 245. It is not easy, when we converse much with one whose general character excites our veneration, to escape all contagion of his peculiarities, even when we do not deliberately think them worthy of our notice, and when they would have excited laughter or disgust, had they not been protected by their alliance to nobler quaJities, and accidentally consorted with knowledge or with virtue,

Ibid. vol. 4, p. 26.

It is the peculiar artifice of habit, not to suffer her power to be felt at first. Those whom · she leads, she has the address of only appearing to attend.

Vision of Theodore, p. 85.

HOPE. Our powers owe much of their energy to our hopes; possunt quia posse videntur.

Life of Milton. The understanding of a man, naturally sanguine, may be easily vitiated by the luxurious indulgence of hope, however necessary to the production of every thing great or excellent, as some plants are destroyed by too open an exposure to that' sun which gives life and beauty to the vegetable world. :

Rambler, vol. 1, p. 10. Hope is necessary in every condition. The miseries of poverty, of sickness, of captivity, would, without this comfort, be insupportable; nor does it appear that the happiest lot of ter-" restrial existence, can set us above the want of this general blessing; or that life, when the gifts of nature and fortune are accumulated upon it, would not still be wretched, were it not elevated and deliglated by the expectation of some new possession, of some enjoyment yet behind, by which the wish shall be at last satisfied, and the heart filled up to its utmost extent. Yet hope is very fallacious, and promises what it seldorn gives; but its promises are more valuable than the gifts of fortune, and it seldom frustrates ús, without assuring us of recompensing the delay by a great bounty.

Ibid. vol. 2. p. 75.

Where

« PoprzedniaDalej »