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JGNORANCE. The man who feels himself ignorant, should at least be modest.
Preliminary Discourse to the London Chronicle, p. 156.
Ignorance cannot always be in ferred from inaccuracy; knowledge is not always present.
Notes upon Shakespeare, vol., 6, p. 101.
Gross ignorance every man has found equally dangerous with perverted knowledge. Men left wholly“to their appetites and their instincts, with little sense of moral or religious obligation, and with very faint distinctions of right and wrong, can never be safely employed, or confidently trusted. They can be honest only by obstinacy, and diligent only by compulsion or caprice. Some instruction, therefore, is necessary; and much, perhaps, may be dangerous.
Review of the Origin of Evil, p. 11. Ignorance is most easily kept in subjection ; by enlightening the mind, with truth, fraud and usurpation would be made less practicable and less secure.
Introduction to the World Displayed, p. 180.
(Compared with Knowledge). · The expectation of ignorance is indefinite, and that of knowledge often tyrannical. It is hard to satisfy those who know not what to demand, or those who demand, by design, what they think impossible to be done. . Preface to Shakspeare, p. 68.
IGNORANCE, (Compared with Confidence.) In things difficult there is danger from ignorance; in things easy, from confidence.
i Preface to Dictionary, fol. p. g.
IMPRUDENCE. Those who, in consequence of superior capacities and attainments, disregard the common maxims of life, ought to be reminded, that nothing will supply the want of prudence; and that negligence and irregularity, long continued, will make knowledge useless, wit ridiculous, and genius contemptible.
. Life of Savage. IMPRISONMENT, Few are mended by imprisonment; and he whose crimes have made confinement necessary seldom makes any other use of his enlargement, than to do with greater cunning, what he did before with less. .
False Aların, p.8. The end of all civil regulations is to secure, private happiness from private malignity, to keep individuals from the power of one another. But this end is apparently neglected by imprisonment • for debt, when a man, irritated with loss, is allowed to be a judge of his own cause, and to assign the punishment of his own pain; when the distinction between guilt and unhappiness, between casualty and design, is entrusted to eyes blind with interest, to understandings depraved . by resentment.
Idler, vol. 2, p. 122. ' • In a prison the awe of the pulic eye is lost, and the power of the law is spent. There are few
fears, there are no blushes. The lewd inflame the lewd; the audacious harden the audacious. Every one' fortifies himseif as he can against his own sensibility, and endeavours to practise on others, the arts which are practised on himself, and gains the kindness of his associates by similitude of manners. .
Ibid. p. 216. It is not so dreadful in a high spirit to be imprisoned, as it is desirable in a state of disgrace: · to be sheltered from the scorn of the gazers.
: Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 6. p. 343The confinement of any debtor in the sloth and darkness of a prison, is a loss to the nation, and no gain to the creditor; for, of the multitude who are pining in those cells of inisery, a very small part is suspected of any fradulent act by which they retain what belongs to others. The :rı st are iinprisoned by the wantonness of pride, the malignity of revenge, or the acrimony of disappointed expectation.
Idler, voľ. , p. 127. Since poverty is punished among us as a crime, 'it ought, at least, to be treated with the same lenity as other criines: the offender ought not to languish at the will of him whom he has 'offended, but to be allowed some appeal to the justice of his country. There can be no reason why any debtor should be imprisoned; but that he may be compelled to payment; and a term should therefore be fixed, in which the creditor should exhibit his accusation of concealed property. If such property can be discovered, let it be given to the creditor; if the charge is not offered, or cannot be proved, let the prisoner be dismissed.
Ibid. p. 123. . . . . Those • Those who made the laws of imprisonment for debt, have apparently supposed, that every deficiency of payment is the crime of the debtor. But the truth is, that the creditor always shares the act, and often more than shares tlre guilt, of improper trust. It seldom happens that any man. imprisons another but for debts which he suffer. . ed to be contracted in hope of advantage to . himself, and for bargains in which he propora : tioned his profit to his own opinion of the ba' zard; and there is no reason why one should punish the other for a contract in which both concurred.
Ibid. p. 124. We see nation trade with nation, where no payment can be compelled: mutual convenience produces mutual. confidence; and the merchants continue to satisfy the demands of each other, though they have nothing to dread but the loss of trade.
..Ibid. p. 125.
It is in vain, then, to continue an institution, which experience shows to be ineffectual. We. have now imprisoned one generation of debtors after another, but we do not finit that their numbers lessen.. We have now learned that rashness and imprudence will not be deterred froin taking credit; let us try whether fraud and avarice may be more easily restrained from give ing it.
* Ibid. He whose debtor has perished in prison, though he may acquit himself of deliberate murder, must, at least, have his mind clouded with discontent, when he consider's how much another has suffered from him ; when he thinks of the
wife bewailing her husband, or the children begging the bread which their father would have earned.
Ibid. p. 217. IMPOSITION. There are those who having .got" the cant of the day, with a superficial readiness of slight and cursory conversation, who very often impose themselves as men of understanding upon wise men.
Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 10. p. 401.
IMAGINATION. It is the great failing of a strong imagination to catch greedily at wonders.
. Memoirs of the King of Prussia, p. 118 .'"A man who once resolves upon ideal discoveries, seldom searches long in vain:
Life of Sir Thomas Browne, p. 266. It is a disposition to feel the force of words, and to combine the ideas annexed to them with quickness, that shows one man's imagination to be better than another's, and distinguishes a fine taste from dulness and stupidity.
Review of the Sublime and Beautiful, p. 57.. Imagination is useless without knowledge. Nature gives in vain the power of combination, unless study and observation supply materials to be combined.
i Life of Butler. It is ridiculous to oppose judgment to imagination; for it does not appear, that men have necessarily less of one, as they have more of the other.
i Life of Roscommon. in