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cannot always be found; for as nothing can be proved but by supposing something intuitively known, and evident without proof, so nothing can be defined but by the use of words too plain , to admit a definition.
Preface to Johnson's Dictionary, p.67.
TIMIDITY. Timidity is a disease of the mind, more obstinate and fatal than presumption; as every expetriment will teach presumption caution, and miscarriages will hourly show that attempts are not always rewarded with success. But the timid man persuades himself that every impediment is insuperable; and, in consequence of thinking 'so, has given it, in respect to himself, that strength and . weight which it had not before.
Rambler, vol. I, p. 152.
TRANSLATION. Of every other kind of writing, the ancients have left us models, which all succeeding ages have laboured to imitate; but translation may justly be claimed by the moderns, as their own.
Idier, vol. 2, p. 86. The Arabs were the first nation who felt the ardour of translation. When they had subdued the Eastern provinces of the Greek empire, they found their captives wiser than themselves, and inade haste to relieve their wants by imported knowledge.
Ibid. p. 89. The first book printed in English (about the year 1490) was a translation; Caxton was both
the translator and printer of it; it was the Dee struccion of Troye, a book which, in that infancy of learning, was considered as the best account of the fabulous ages; and which, though now driven out of notice by authors of no greater use or value, still continued to be read, in Caxton's English, to the beginning of the present century.
Ibid. p. gzi
- Literal translation, which soine earried to that exactness, “ that the lines should neither be more nor fewer than those of the original,” prevailed in this country, with very few examples to the contrary, till the age of Charles II. when the wits of that time no longer confined themselves to such servile closeness, but translated with freedom, sometimes with licentiousness. There is, undoubtedly, a mean to be observed, between a. rigid closeness and paraphrastic liberties. Dryden saw, very early, that closeness best preserved an author's sense, and that freedom best exhibited his spirit: he, therefore, will deserve the highest praise, who can give a representation at once faithful and pleasing, who can convey the same. thoughts with the same graces, and who, when he translates, changes nothing but the language.
Ibid. p. 94.&.99.
The greatest pest of speech, is frequency of Eranslation. No book was ever turned from one language into another, without imparting something of its native idiom. This is the most mis. chievous and comprehensive innovation: single words may enter by thousands, and the fabric of the tongue continue the same; but new phraseology changes much at once; it alters not the
single stones of the building, but the order of the columns.
i Preface to Johnson's Dictionary, p. 83.
TRAGEDY. The reflection that strikes the heart at a tragedy, is not that the evils before us are real evils, but that they are evils to which we ourselves may be exposed. If there be any fallacy, it is not that we fancy the players, but that we fancy ourselves, unhappy for a moment; but we rather lament the possibility than suppose the presence of misery; as a mother weeps over her babe, when she remembers that death may take it from her. In short, the delight of tragedy proceeds from our consci-. ousness of fiction ; if we thought murders and treasons real, they would please no more.
Preface to Shakspeare, p. 1144.
VANITY. THOSE whom their virtue restrains from dem ceiving others, are often disposed, by their vanity, to deceive themselves..
Life of Blackmore The vanity of men, in advanced life, is generally strongly excited by the amorous attention of young women.
Life of Swift.
When' any one complains of the want of what he is known to possess in an uncommon degree,
hé certainly waits with impatience to be contradicted. ,
Rambler, vol. 4, p. 180. Vanity is often no less mischievous than negligence or dishonesty.
dler, vol. 2, p. 72.
The greatest human virtue bears no proportion to human vanity. .
Rambler, vol. 2, p. 296.
Irene, p. 42. He who desires no virtue in his companion, has no virtue in himself. Hence, when the wealthy and the dissolute connect themselves with indigent companions, for their powers of entertainment, their friendship amounts to little more than payíng the reckoning for them. They only desire to drink and laugh; their fondness is without benen volence, and their familiarity without friendship.
Life of Orway. Many men mistake the love for the practice of virtue, and are not so much good men, as the friends of goodness. .
Life of Savage.
Virtue Virtue is undoubtedly 'most laudable in that state which makes it most difficult.
Ibid. Virtue is the surest foundation both of reputation and fortune, and the first step to greatness is to be honest.
Life of Drake, p. 160. - He that would govern his actions by the laws of virtue, must regulate his thoughts by the laws of reason; he must keep guilt from the recesses of his heart, and remember that the pleasures of fancy and the emotion of desire, are more dan- . gerous as they are more hidden, since they escape the awe of observation, and operate equally in every situation, without the concurrence of external opportunities.
Rambler, vol. 1, p. 48. : To dread no eye and to suspect no tongue, is the great prerogative of innocence; an exemption granted only to invariable virtue. But guilt har always its horrors and solicitudes; and to make it yet more shameful and detestable, it is doomed often to stand in awe of those to whom nothing could give influence or weight, but their power of betraying.
Thid. vol. 2, p. 85. Virtue may owe her panegyrics to morality, but must derive her authority from religion.
: Preface to the Preceptor, p. 76. Virtue is too often merely local. In some situations, the air diseases the body; and in others, poisons the mind.'
Ider, vol. 2, p. 2.