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Every one has so often deteęted the fallaciousness of hope, and the inconvenience of teaching himself to expect what a thousand accidents may preclude, that when time has abated the contidence with which youth rushes out to take pos-. session of the world, we endeavour, or wish, to find entertainment in the review of life, and to repose on real facts and certain experience. This is, perhaps, one reason, among many, why age delights in narratives.
Rambler, vol. 4, p. 232.
NOTES. Notes to, a literary work are often necessary; but they are necessary evils. Parts are not to be examined, till the whole has been surveyed: there is a kind of intellectual remoteness necessary for the comprehension of any great work in its full design, and its true proportions; a close approach shows the smallest niceties, but the beauty of the whole is discerned no longer.
s in Preface to Shakspeare, p. 148.
NATIONS. '.' ." . Nations have changed their characters: slavery is now no where more patiently endured than in countries once inhabited by the zealots of liberty.
Idler, vol. I, p. 160.
Such is the diligence with whicli, in nations completely civilized, one part of mankind labours for another, that wants are supplied faster than they can be formed, and the idle and luxurious find life stagnate, for want of some desire to keep 'it in motion. This species of distress furnişlies. a new set of nccupations; and muliitudes are
busied, from day to day, in finding the rich and the fortunate something to do.
... Ibid. p. 166. It is, perhaps, the character of the English nation to despise trifles.
Ibid. vol. 2, p. 216. All nations whose power has been exerted on the ocean, have fixed colonies in remote parts of the world; and while those colonies subsisted, navigation, if it did not increase, was always preserved from total decay.
Political State of Great Britain in 1956, p. 48." It is ridiculous to imagine that the friendship of nations, whether civil or barbarous, can be gained or kept bút by kind treatment; and, surely, they who intrude uncalled upon the country of a distant people, ought to consider the natives as worthy of common kindness.
Ibid. p. 55.
It is observable, that most nations, amongst whom the use of clothes is unknown, paint their bodies. Such was the practice of the first inhabis. tants of our own country; and from this custom. did our earliest enemies, the Picts, owe their denomination. This practice contributes in some degree to defend them from the injuries of winter, and in those climates where little evaporates by the pores, may be used with no great inconvenience; but in hot countries, where perspiration is in a great degree necessary, the natives only use unction to preserve them from the other extreme of weather. So well do either reason or experience supply the place of science in savage couetries.
Lise of Drake, p. 202.
It is observed, that among the natives of Eng. land is to be found a greater variety of humour than in any other country.
Origin and Importance of Fugitive Fieces, p. 36
OPINION. THE opinion prevalent in one age, as truthg above the reach of controversy, are confuted and rejected in another, and rise again to reception in remoter times. Thus, the human mind is kept in motion without progress. Thus, sometimes, truth and error, and sometimes contrarieties of error, take each other's place by reciprocal invasion.
Preface to Skakspeare, p. 54. Much of the pain and pleasure of mankind arises from the conjectures which every one makes of the thoughts of others. We all enjoy praise which we do not hear, and resent contempt which we do not see.
Idler, vol. 2, p. 280.
To think differently, at different times, of poetical merit, may be easily allowed. Such opinions are often admitted and dismissed without nice examination. Who is there tbat has not found reason for changing his mind about questions of greater importance ?
Lise of Savage.
· When an opinion, to which there is no temptation of interest, spreads wide and continues
long, long, it may be reasonably presumed to have been infused by nature or dictated by reason.
Idler, vol. 1, p. 290.
OPPORTUNITY. To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life. Many wants are suffered which might have once been supplied, and much time is lost in regretting the time which had been lost before.
Patriot, p. 1.
He that waits for an opportunity to do much at once, may breathe out his life in idle wishes; and regret, in the last hour, his useless intentions and barren zeal.
Idler, vol. I, p. 22.
OATHS. Rash oaths, whether kept or broken, frequent. ly produce guilt.
Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 2, p. 402.
OBLIGATION : To be obliged, is to be in some respect inferior to another, and few willingly indulge the memo- '. ry of an action which raises one whom they have always been accustomed to think below them, but satisfy themselves with faint praise and penurious payment, and then drive it from their own minds, and endeavour to conceal it from , the knowledge of others.
Rambler, vol. 4, p. 37.
. OBSERVATION. -An observer, deeply impressed by any remarkable spectacle, does not suppose that the traces will soon vanish from his mind, and having commonly no great convenience for writing, defers the description to a time of more leisure and better accommodation. But he who has made the experiment, or who is not accustomed to require rigorous, accuracy from himself, will scarcely believe how much a few hours take from certainty of knowledge and distinctness of imagery; how the succession of objects will be broken, how separate parts will be confused, and how many particular features and discriminations will be compressed into one gross and general idea.
Western Ilands, p. 343.
· PARENTS. IN general, those parents have most reverence, who most deserve it; for he that lives well cannot be despised.
Prince of Abyffinia, p. 1550
PATRIOT. A patriot is he, whose public conduct is regulated by one single motive, viz. the love of his country; who, as an agent, in parliament, has for himself neither hope nor fear; neither kind
ness nor resentment; but refers every thing to I the common interest.
Patriot, p. 3.