Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

PERSEVERANCE. No terrestrial greatness is more than aggregate oflittle things, and to inculcate, after the Arabian proverb,“ Drops added to drops, constitute the

[ocr errors]

- Plan of an English Dictionary, p. 49. · All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance. It is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals; it is therefore of the utmost importance that those who have any intention of deviating from the beaten roads of life, and acquiring a réputation superior to names hourly'swept away by time among the re-fuse of fame, should add to their reason and their spirit, the power of persisting in their purposes, acquire the art of sapping what they cannot batter, and the habit of vanquishing obstinate resistance by obstinate attacks.

. Rambler, vol. 1, p. 261 & 262.,

PRODIGALITY. . He seldom lives frugally who lives by chance. Hope is always liberal, and they that trust her promises, make little scruple of revelling to-day on the profits of to-morrow.

Life of Dryden.

PATIENCE, "If what we suffer has been brought on us by ourselves, it is observed by an ancient poet, that patience is eminently our duty, since ne one ought to be angry at feeling that which he has deserved,

If we are conscious that we have not contributed to our own sufferings, if punishment falls upon insocence, or disa pointment happens to industry and prudence, patience, whether more necessary or not, is much easier, since our pain is then without aggravation, and we have not the bitterness of remorse to add to the asperity of misfortune.

Rambler, vol. , p. 195.

[ocr errors]

• In those evils which are allotted us by Providence, such as deformity, privation of any of the senses, or old age, it is always to be remeinbered, that impatience can have no present effect, but to deprive us of the consolations which our condition admits, by driving away from us those, by whose conversation, or advice, we might be amused or helped; and that with regard to futurity, it is yet less to be justified, since, without lessening the pain, it cuts off the hope of that reward which he, by whom it is inflicted, will confer upon them tlrat bear it well.

Ibid. . In all evils which admit a remedy, impatience is to be avoided, because it wastes that time and attention in complaints, that, if properly applied, might remove the cause.

Ibid.

In calamities which operate chiefly on our passions, such as diminution of fortune, loss of friends, or declension of character, the chief danger of impatience is upon the first attack, and many expedients have been contrived by which the blow might be broken. Of these, the most general precept is, not to take pleasure in any thing of which it is not in our power to secure

P 4

the

the possession to ourselves. This counsel, when we consider the enjoyment of any terrestrial advantage, as opposite to a constant and habitual solicitude for future felicity, is undoubtedly just, and delivered by that' authority which cannot be disputed; but, in any other sense, is it not like advice not to walk, lest we should stumble, or not to see, lest our eyes should light on deformity?

It seems reasonable to enjoy blessings with confidence, as well as to resign them with submission, and to hope for the continuance of good which we possess, without insolence or voluptuousness, as for the restitution of that which we lose without despondency or murmurs.

Rambler, .vol. 1, p. 197.

The chief security against the fruitless anguish of impatience, must arise from frequent reflection on the wisdom and goodness of the God of Nature, in whose hands are riches and poverty, honour and disgrace, pleasure and pain, and life and death. A settled conviction of the tendency of every thing to our good, and of the possibility of turning miseries into happiness, by receiving them rightly, will incline us to bless the name of the Lord, whether he gives or takes away,

Ibid. p. 198.

The uncivilised, in all countries, have patience proportionate to their unskilfulness, and are concent to attain their end by very tedious methods,

Weitern Islands, p. 1611

PITY. Pity is to many of the unhappy, a source of comfort in hopeless distresses, as it contributes

to recommend them to themselves, by proving that they have not lost the regard of others; and heaven seeins to indicate the duty even of barren compassion, by inclining us to weep for evils which we cannot remedy.

Ranbler, vol. 2, p. 35.

PHILOSOPHY.

One of the chief advantages derived by the present generation from the improvement and diffusion of philosophy, is deliverance from unnecessary terrors, and exemption from false alarms. The unusual appearances, whether re-. gular or accidental, which once spread consternation over ages of ignorance, are now the recreations of inquisitive security. The sun is no more lamented when it is eclipsed than when it sets, and meteors play their corruscations without prognostic or prediction.

False Aların, p. 1.

1.

"The antidotes with which philosophy has medicated the cup of life, though they cannot give it salubrity and sweetness, bave at least allayed its bitterness, and contempered its malignity; the balm which she drops upon the wounds of the mind, abates their pain, though it cannot heal them,

Ibid. p. 265.

PHYSICIAN. A physician in a great city, seems to be the mere plaything of fortune; his degree of reputà.

that employ him know not his excellence; they that reject him, know not his deficience. By ait

P 5

- accurate

observer, who had looked on the transactions of the medical world for half a century, a very curious book miglit be written on the fortune of physicians.

Life of Akenside.

PERIODICAL PUBLICATIONS. Nothing is so proper as the frequent publications of short papers (like the Tatlers, Spectators, &c.) which we read, not as a study, but amusement. If the subject be slight, the treatise is likewise short. The busy may find time, and the idle may find patience.

Life of Addison.

He that condemns himself to compose on a stated day, will often bring to his task an attention dissipated, a memory embarrassed, an imagination overwhelined, å mind distracted with anxieties, a body languishing with disease. He will labour'on a barren topic, till it is too late to change it, or in the ardour of invention, diffuse his thoughts into wild exuberance, which the pressing hour of publication cannot suffer judge ment to examine or reduce...

Rambler, vol. 4, p. 262.

LITERARY PUBLICATIONS. If nothing may be published but what civil authority shall have previously approved, power must always be the standard of truth ; if every dreamer of innovations may propagate his projects, there can be no settlement; if every murmurer at government may diffuse discontent,

there can be no peace; and if every sceptic in - theology may teach his follies, there can be no religion. The remedy against these evils is to

- punisha

« PoprzedniaDalej »