Obrazy na stronie

·tors and commissioners, whose equipages shine

like meteors, and whose palaces rise like exhalations?

• Ibid. p. 43.

Princes have yet this remnant of humanity, that · they think themselves obliged not to make war without reason; though their reasons are not always very satisfactory.

Memoirs of the King of Prussia, p. 127.. He must certainly ineet with obstinate opposition, who makes it equally dangerous to yield as to resist, and who leaves his enemies no hopes, but from victory.

Life of Drake, p. 195. Among the calamities of war, may be justly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates, and credulity encourages. I

Idler, vol. I, p. 169. The lawfulness and justice of the holy wars have been much disputed; but perhaps there is a principle on which the question may be easily determined. If it be part of the religion of the Mahometans to extirpate by the sword all other religions, it is by the laws of self-defence, lawful for men of every other religion, and for Christians among others, to make war upon Mahometans, simply as Mahometans, as men obliged by their own principles to make war upon Christians, and only lying in wait til opportunity shall promise them success.

Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 5, p. 254. That conduct which betrays designs of future hostility, if it does not excite violence, will always generate malignity; it must for ever exclude con


Falkland I

fidence and friendship, and continue a cold and sluggish rivalry, by a sly reciprocation of indirect injuries, without the bravery of war, or the security of peace.

Falkland Ilands, p. 9. War has means of destruction more formidable than the canrron and the sword. Of the thousands, and ten thousands that perished in our late contests with France and Spain, a very small part ever felt the stroke of an enemy; the rest languished in tents and ships, amidst damps and putrefactions, pale, torpid, spiritless, and helpless.; gasping and groaning, unpitied, among men inade obdurate by long continuance of hopeless misery; or whelmed in pits, or heaved into the ocean, without notice, and without remembrance, By incommodious encampments, and unwholesome stations, where courage is useless, and enterprise impracticable, Aeets are silently dispeopled, and armies sluggishly melted away. ?

bid. p. 43. The revolutions of war are such as will not suffer human presumption to remain long unchecked.

Memoirs of the King of Prussia, p. 138. There are 'no 'two nations confining on each other, between whom a war may not always be kindled with plausible pretences on either part; as there is always passing between them a reciprocation of injuries, and fluctuation of encroachments.

Observations on the State of Affairs, 1756, p. 23.

WIT. "Wit is that which is at once natural and new, and which, though not obvious, is, upon its first production, acknowledged to be just.

Lise of Cowley.


Wit will never make a man rich, but there are places where riches will always make a wit. .

Idler, vol. 1, p. 268.

· Wit, like every other power, has its bounda'ries: Its success depends on the aptitude of others to receive impressions; and that as some bodies, indissoluble by heat, can set the furnace and cru-'. cible at defiance, there are minds upon which the rays of fancy may be pointed without effect, and which no fire of sentiment can agitate or exalt.

Rambler, vol. 4, p. 78. It is a calamity incident to grey-headed wit, that his merriment is unfashionable. His allusions are forgotten facts, his illustrations are drawn from notions obscured by time, his wit therefore may be called single, such as none has any part in but himself.

Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 5, p. 462. Wit, like all other things subject by their nature to the choice of man, has its changes and fashions, and at different times takes different forms.

Life of Cowley. The pride of wit and knowledge is often mortified, by finding that they confer no security against the common errors which mislead the weakest and meanest of mankind.

“Rambler, vol. I, p. 32. . It is common to find men break out into a rage at any insinuations to the disadvantage of their wit, who have borne with great patience reflections on their morals.

Ibid. p. 245.


Wit being an unexpected copulation of ideas, the discovery of some occult relation between images in appearance remote from each other; an effusion of wit, therefore, pre-supposęs an accumulation of knowledge; a memory stored with notions, which the imagination may cull out to

compose new assemblages. Whatever may be the ' native vigour of the mind, she can never form many combinations from few ideas; as many changes can never be rung upon a few bells.

Ibid. vol. 4, p. 187. Nothing was ever said with uncommon felicity, but by the co-operation of chance; and therefore wit, as well as valour, must be content to share its honours with fortune.

Idler, votr 2, p. 32.

WISDOM. The first years of man must make provision for the last. He that never thinks, can never be wise.

Prince of Abyssinia, p. 113.

To be of grave mien, and slow of utterance; to look with solicitude, and speak with hesitation, is attainable at will; but the show of wisdom is ridiculous, when there is nothing to cause doubt, as that of valour, where there is nothing to be feared.

Idler, vol. 1, p 288.

The two powers which, in the opinion of Epictetus, constitute a wise man, are those of bearing and forbearing.

Life of Savage.


Wisdom comprehends at once the end and the , means, estimates easiness or difficulty, and is cautious or confident in due proportion.

Ider, vol. 2, p. 223.

WORLD. The world is generally willing to support those who solicit favour, against those who command reverence.' He is easily praised, whom no man can envy.

Preface to Shakspeare, p. 51. Of things that terminate in human life, the world is the proper judge. To despise its sentence, if it were possible, is not just; and if it were just, is not possible.

. Life of Pope.

To know the world, is necessary, since we were born for the help of one another; and to know it early, is convenient, if it be only that we may learn early to despise it.

Idler, vol. 2, p. 159

WOMEN. Women are always most observed, when they scem themselves least to observe, or to lay out for observation.

Rambler, vol. 2, p. 254.

It is observed, that the unvaried complaisance which women have a right of exacting, keeps them generally unskilled in huinan nature,

Ibid. vol. 3, p. 266.

Our best poet seems to have given this charac. ter to women: '“ That they think ill of nothing



« PoprzedniaDalej »