Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

MISERY. If misery be the effect of virtue, it ought to be reverenced; if of ill fortune, it ought to be pitied ; and if of vice, not to be insulted, because it is, perhaps, itself a punishment adequate to the crime by which it was produced ; and the humanity of that man can deserve no panegyric, who is capable of reproaching a criminal in the hands of the executioner,

Life of Savage.

The misery of man proceeds not from any single, crush of overwhelming evil, but from small vexations continually repeated.

Life of Pope.

Thạt misery does not make all virtuous, experience too certainly informs us; but it is no less certain, that of what virtue there is, misery produces far the greater part. Physical evil may be therefore endured with patience, since it is the cause of moral good; and patience itself is one virtue by which we are prepared for that state in which evil shall be no more.

Idler, vol. 2, p. 211.

MIRTH. » Merriment is always the effect of a sudden im. pression; the jest which is expected is already destroyed.

. . Idler, vol. 2, p. 32.

- Any passion, too strongly agitated, puts an end to that tranquillity which is necessary to mirth. Whatever we ardently wish to gain we must in

the

the same degree be afraid to lose; and fear and pleasure cannot dwell together.

1.1: : je Rambler, voło 4, p. 244. Real mirth must be always natural; and nature is uniform-Men have been wise in different modes, but they have always laughed the same way.

I'm ani in uris ..::

i Life of Cowley., The perverseness of mankind makes it often mischievous in men of eminence to give way to merrinent. The idle and the illiterate will often. shelter themselves under what they say in those moments. .: :

Life of Blackmore,

MONEY. * To mend the world by banishing money is an old contrivance of those who did not consider that the quarrels and mischiefs which arise from money, as the sign, or ticket, of riches, must, if money were to cease, arise immediately from riches themselves; and could never be at an end till eve'ry man was contented with his own share of the goods of life.

Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 6, p. 388.

MOTIVES. . Nothing is more vain than at a distant time to examine the motives of discrimination and partiality; for the enquirer, having considered interest and poliey, is obliged, at last, to omit more frequent and more active motives of human conduct; such as caprice, accident, and private affections. .. . in

Life of Roger Ascham, p. 2487

METHOD.

мЕтноп. As the end of method is perspicuity, that series is sufficiently regular that avoids obscurity; and where there is no obscurity, it will not be difficult to discover method.

Life of Pope.

MAXIMS.

There are maxims treasured up in the mind rather for show than use, and operate very little upon a man's conduct, however elegantly he might sometimes explain, or however forcibly he .. might inculcate them.

Life of Savage. OLD MAIDS. Old maids seldom give those that frequent their conversation any exalted notions of the blessings of libeity; for, whether it be that they are angry to see with what inconsiderate eagerness other heedless females rush into slavery, or with what absurd vanity the married ladies boasť', the change of their condition, and condemn the heroines who endeavour to assert the natural dignity of their sex; whether they are conscious that, like barren countries, they are free only because they were never thought to deserve the tronble of a conquest, or imagine that their sincerity is not always unsuspected, when they declare their contempt of men; it is certain, that they generally appear to have some great and incessant cause of uneasiness, and that many of them have been at last persuaded, by powerful rhetoricians, to try the life which they had so long condeioned, and put on the bridál ornauients at a time when they least became them.

'

'Rambler, vol. 1, p. 236. .

MODERATION.

MODERATION. - Moderation is commonly firm; and firmness is commonly successful.

Falkland INands, p. 32., It was one of the maxims of the Spartans, not to press upon a flying army; and therefore their enemies were always ready to quit the field, be

cause they knew the danger was only in oppo- sing. . . .

Letter to Douglas, p: 3.

[ocr errors]

il

: NATURE. .. į proj :T NOTHING can please many, and please long, but just representations of general nature.

Preface to Shakspeare, p. 8. The power of nature is only the power of using to any certain purpose the materials which diligence procures or opportunity supplies.

...

Ibid. p. 39. ENGLISI NABOBS, &c. Those who make an illegal use of power in foreign countries, to enrich themselves and depend. ents, live with hearts full of that malignity which fear of detection always generates in them who are to defend unjust acquisitions against lawful authority; and when they come home with riches thus acquired, they bring minds hardened in evil, too proud for reproof, and too stupid for reflec

• tion.

tion. They offend the high by their insolence, and corrupt the low by their example.

Falkland Islands, p. 11.

NEGLIGENCE. No man can safely do that by others, which might be done by. himself. He that indulges negligence, will quickly become ignorant of his own affairs; and he that trusts without reserve, will at last be deceived.

Rambler, vol. 4, p. 14.

Novelty. To oblige the most fertile genius to say only what is new, would be to contract his volumes to

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Every novelty appears more wonderful as it is more remote from any thing with which experience or testimony have hitherto acquainted usi; and if it passes farther beyond the notions that we have been accustomed to form, it becomes at last incredible.

Idler, vol. 2, p. 129,

[ocr errors][merged small]

' NUMBER'S.' To count is a modern practice; the ancient method was to guess; and when numbers are guessed, they are always magnified..

Weftern Illands, p. 227. ::: NARRATION. Nothing can be more disgusting than a narrative spangled with conceits; and conceits are all that some narratives supply.

Life of Cowley:

Every

« PoprzedniaDalej »