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us therefore stop, while to stop is in our power. Let us live as men, who are some time to be old, and to whom it will be the most dreadful of all evils, to count their former luxuriance of health, only by the maladies which riot has produced.
Prince of Abyssinia, p. 113.
That the highest degree of reverence should be paid to youth, and that nothing indecent should be suffered to approach their eyes or ears, are precepts extorted by sense and virtue from an ancient writer, by no means eminent for chastity of thought. The same kind, though not the same degree of caution, is required in every thing which is laid before them, to secure them from unjust prejudices, perverse opinions, and incongruous combinations of images*
Rambler, vol. 1, p. 20.
Youth is the time of enterprise and hope : liav-t ing yet no occasion for comparing our force with any opposing power, we naturally form' presumptions in Our own favour, and imagine thai obistruction and impediment will give way before us.
Ibid. vol. 3, p. 31.'
Youth is the time in which the qualities of modesty and enterprise ought chiefly to be found. Modesty suits well with inexperience, and enterprise with health and vigour, and- an extensive prospect of life.
Ibid. vol. 1, p. 75. THE PROGRESS OF YOUTH.
The youth has not yet discovered how many evils are continually hovering about us, and when he is set free from the shackles of discipline, looks abroad into the world with rapture; he sees an Elysian region open before him, so variegated ted with beauty, and so stored with pleasure, that his care is rather to accumulate good than to shun evil; he stands distracted by different forms of delight; and has no other doubt than which path to follow of- those which all lead equally to the bowers of happiness.
He who has seen only the superficies of life, believes every thing to be what it appears, and rarely suspects that external splendour conceals any latent -sorrow or vexation. He never imagines that there may be greatness without safety, affluence without content, jollity without friendship, and solitude without peace. He fancies himself permitted to cull the blessings of every condition, and to leave its inconveniences to the idle and to the ignorant. He is inclined to believe no man miserable but by his own fault; and seldom looks with much pity upon failings or miscarriages, because he thinks them willingly admitted, or negligently incurred.
It is impossible without pity and contempt to hear a youth of generous sentiments and warm imagination, declaring, in the moment of openness and confidence, his designs and expectations; because long life is possible, he considers it as certain, and therefore promises himself all the changes of happiness, and provides gratification for every desire*.
He is for a time to give himself wholly to frolic and diversion, to range the world in search of pleasure, to delight every eye, and to gain every heart, and to be celebrated equally for his pleasing levities and solid attainments, his deep reflections and sporting repartees.
He then elevates his views to nobler enjoyments, andvfinds all the scattered excellencies of the female world-united in a woman, who prefers his addresses to wealthy and titles. He is afterwards
wards io engage in business; to dissipate difficulty and overpower opposition; to climb, by tbe mere force of merit, to fame and greatness, and reward all those w°° countenanced his rise, or paid due regard to his early excellence. At last he will retire in peace and honour, contract his views to domestic pleasures, form the manners of his children like himself, observe how every year expands the beauty of his daughters, and how his sons catch ardour from their father's history; he will give laws to the neighbourhood, dictate axioms to posterity, and leave the world an example of wisdom and of happiness.
With hopes like these, he sallies jocund into life: to little purpose is he told that the condition of humanity admits no pure and unmingled happiness; that the exuberant gaiety of youth ends in poverty or disease; that uncommon qualifications, and contrarieties of excellence, produce envy equally with applause; that whatever admiration and fondness may promise him, he must marry a wife, like the wives of others, with some virtues and some faults, and be as often disgust^ ed with her vices, as delighted with her elegance; that if he adventures into the circle of action, he must expect to encounter men as artful, as daring, as resolute as himself; that of his children, some maybe deformed, and others vicious ;. some may disgrace him by their follies, some: offend him by their insolence, and some exhaust him by their profusion. He hears all this with obstinate incredulity, and wonders by what malignity old age is influenced, that it cannot forbear to rill his ears with predictions of misery.
Among other pleasing errors of young minds is the opinion of their own importance. He that has not yet remarked how little attention his contemporaries can spare from their own affairs,
conceives all eyes turned upon himself, and imagines every one that approaches him to be an enemy or a follower, an admirer or-a spy. He therefore considers his fame as involved1 in the event of every action. Many of the virtues and vices of youth proceed from this quick sense of reputation. This it is that gives firmness and constancy, fidelity and disinterestedness, and it is this that kindles resentment for slight injuries, and dictates all the principles of sanguinary honour.
But, as time brings him forward in the world, he soon discovers that he only shares fame- or reproach with innumerable partners; that he is left unmarked in the obscurity of the crowd; and - that what he does, whether good or bad, soon gives way to new objects of regard.
He thfen easily sets himself free from the anxieties of reputation, and considers praise or censure as a transient breath, which, while he hears it, is passing away, without any lasting mischief or advantage.
Rambler, vol. 4, p, 195,196,197, and 198.
When we are young we busy ourselves in .forming schemes for succeeding time, and miss the gratifications that are before us; when we are old we amuse the languor of age with the recollection of youthful pleasures or performances; so that our life, of which no part is filled with the business of the present time, resembles our dreams after dinner, when the events of the morning are mingled with the designs of the evening.
Notes upon Shakypeare, vol. 2, p. 74.