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some time or other aspires; power, which all-wish to obtain within their circle of action; and fame, which no man, however high or mean, however wise or ignorant, was yet able to despise. Now prudence and foresight exert their influence. No hour is devoted wholly to any present enjoyment, no act or purpose terminates in itself, but every motion is referred to some distant end; the accomplishment of one design begins 'anoiber, and the ultimate wish is always pushed off to its former distance.
At length fame is observed to be uncertain, and power to be dangerous. The man whose vigou and alacrity begin to forsake him, by degrees contracts his designs, remits his former multiplicity of pursuits, and extends no longer his rea gard to any other honour than the reputation of wealth, or any other influence than his power. Avarice is generally the last passion of those lives, of which the first part has been squandered in pleasure, and the second in ambition. He that sinks under the fatigue of getting wealth, lulls his age with the milder business of saying it.
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 273 & 274.
Pain is less subject than pleasure to caprices of expression.
Idler, vol. 1, p. 282.
Our sense is so much stronger of what we suffer, than of what we enjoy, that the ideas of pain predominate in almost every mind. What is recollection, but a revival of vexation? or history, but a record of wars, treasons, and calamities? Death, which is considered as the greatest 04
evil, happens to all; the greatest good, be it what it will, is the lot but of a part.
Western Islands, p. 250..
PATRONAGE. . - A man conspicuous in a high station, who multiplies hopes that he may multiply dependents, may be considered as a beast of prey.
Idler, vol. , p. 79.
To solicit patronage is, at least in the event, to set virtue to sale. None can be pleased without praise, and few can be praised without falsehood; few can be assiduous without servility, and none can be servile without corruption.'
Rambler, vol. 2, p. 298..
PLEASURE. Whatever professes to benefit by pleasing, must please at once. What is perceived by slow degrees, may gratify us with the consciousness of improvement, but will never strike us with the sense of pleasure.
Life of Cowley.
· Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought; our brightest blazes of gladnéšs are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks. The flowers which scatter their odours from time to time in the paths of life, grow up, without culture, from seeds scattered by chance.
Idler, vol. 2, p. 316
The great source of pleasure is variety. Unia formity must tire at last, though it be uniformity of excellence. We love to expect, and when ex
pectation is disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.
Life of Butler,
The merit of pleasing must be estimated by the
Favour is not always gained by good actions or laudable qualities. Caresses and preferments are often bestowed on the auxiliaries of vice, the procurers of, pleasure, or the fatterers of vanity.
Life of Dryden. Men may be convinced, but they cannot be pleased against their will. But though taste is. obstinate, it is very variable, and time often prevails when arguments have failed.
Life of Congreve.
Pleasure is only received, when we believe that. we give it in return..
Rambler, vol. 2, p. 90. Pleasure is seldom such as it appears to others, nor often such as we represent it to ourselves.
Idler, vol. I, P. 99. It is an unhappy state, in which danger is hid under pleasure.
Preface to Shakspeare, p. 1468
· Pleasure, in itself harmless, may become mischievous, by endearing us to a state which we; know to be transient and probatory. Self-denial, is no virtue in itself; nor is it of any other use, than as it disengages us from the allurements of sense. In the state of future perfection, to which, we all aspire, there will be pleasure without danger, and security without restraint.
Prince of Abyssinia. 05
PLEASURES OF LOCAL EMOTION. To abstract the mind from all local emotion would be impossible, if it were endeavoured; and would be foolish if it were possible. Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses, whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future, predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me, and far from my friends, be such frigid philosophy, as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue. That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plains of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona.
Western Islands, p. 346.
POETS AND POETRY. In almost all countries, the most ancient poets are considered as the best. Whether it be that every other kind of knowledge is an acquisition gradually attained, and poetry is a gift conferred at once, or that the first poetry of every nation surprised them as a novelty, and retained the credit by consent, which it received by accident at first; or whether, as the province of poetry is to describe nature and passion, which are always the same, the first writers took possession of the striking objects for description, and the most probable occurrences for fiction, and left nothing to those that followed them but transcriptions of the same events, and new combinations of the same images : whatever be the reason, it is com-. monly observed, that the early writers are in possession of nature, and their followers of art..
Prince of Abyssinia, p. 64. & 65.
Compositions, merely pretty, have the fate of other pretty things, and are quitted in time for something useful. They are flowers fragrant and fair, but of short duration; or they are blossoms only to be valued as they foretel fruits,
Life of Waller.
It is a general rule in poetry, that all appropriated terms of art should be sunk in general expressions; because poetry is to speak an universal language. This rule is still stronger with regard to arts not liberal, or confined to few, and there, fore far removed from common knowledge.
Life of Dryden. Á mythological fable seldom pleases. The story we are accustomed to reject as false, and the manners are so distant from our own, that we know them not by sympathy, but by study.
Life of Smith.
No poem should be long, of which the purpose is only to strike the fancy, without enlightening the understanding by precept, ratiocination, or narrative. --A blaze first pleases, and then tires the sight.
Life of Fenton,
After all the refinements of subtility, and the dogmatism of learning, all claim to poetical honours must be finally decided by the common sense of readera, uncorrupted with literary prea judices.
Life of Gray
Though poets profess fittion, the legitimate end of fiction is the conveyance of truth, and he that has flattery ready for all whom the vicissi