Obrazy na stronie

estimate the value, but of which, though we are not able to tell the least amount, we know, with sufficient certainty, the greatest, and are convinced that the greatest is not much to be ide: gretted.


Rambler, vol. 1, p. io3. " What are our views of all wordly, things (and the same appearances they would always have, if the same thoughts were always predominant) when a sharp or tedious sickness has set death before, our eyes, and the last hour seems to be aproaching? The extensive influence of greatness, the glitter of wealth, the praises of admirers, and the at-tendance of supplicants, have all appeared vain. and empty things. We then find the absurdity of stretching out our arms incessantly to grasp that which we cannot keep, and wearing out our lives in endeavours-to-add new turrets to the fàbric of ambition, when the foundation itself is shaking, and the ground on which it stands is mouldering away.

Ibid. p. 102. Death, says Seneca, falls heavy upon him who's is too much known to others, and too little to: himself.

Ibid. p. 174. DEPENDENCE. There is no state more contrary to the dignity of wisdom, than, perpetual and unlimited dependence, in which the understanding lies useless, and every motion is received from external ima pulse. Reason is the great distinction of human nature, the faculty by which we approach to some degree of association with celestial intelligences; but as the excellence of every power ap


[ocr errors]

pears only in its operations, not to have reason, and to have it useless and unemployed, is nearly the saine,

Rambler, vol. 41. p. 122 Wherever there is wealth, there is dependence and expectation; and wherever there is dependence, there will be an emulation of servility.

. : Ibid. p. 158. If it be unhappy to have one patron, what is his misery who has many?

Ibid. vol. 1, p. 161.

The dependant who consults delicacy in himselt, very little consults his own tranquillity. . .

. ' ,Ibid. vol. 3, p. 262.


DIFFIDENCE. · The pain of miscarriage is naturally proportionate to the desire.of excellence; and therefore till men are hardened by long familiarity with rea proach, or have attained, by frequent struggles, the art of suppressing their emotions, Diffidence is found the insuperable associate of understand.


Ibid. vol. 4, p. 186.

Diffidence may check resolution ar d obstruct perforinance, but compensates its embarrassments by more important advantages: it conciliates the proud, and softens the severe; averts envy from excellence, and censure from miscarriage.

Ibid. vol. 3, p. 317.

A request made with diffidence and timidity is


easily denied, because the petitioner himself seems to doubt its fitness.

Ibid. vol. 4, B. 36. .

DELICACY.. He that too much refines his delicacy, will alWays endanger his quiet.

Ibid. p. 221. Many pains are incident to a man of delicacy, which the upfeeling world cannot be persuaded to pity; and which, when they are separated from their peculiar and personal circumstances, will never be considered as important enough to claim attention or deserve redress.

Lbid. p. 217. DISAPPOINTMENT. We do not so often disappoint others as oursclves, as we do not only think more highly than others of our own abilities, but allow ourselves to form hopes which we never communit cate, and please our thoughts with employments: which none ever will allot us, and with eleva.. tions to which we are never expected to rise.

Id'erg. vol. 2,-. 203.

DISEASE. It may be said that disease generally begins that equality which death completes. The dis. tinctions which set one man so much above another, are very little perceived in the gloom: of a sick chamber, where it will be vain to expect entertainment from the gay or instruction: from the wise, where all human glory is oblia terated: the wit is clouded, the reasoner: perplexed, and the hero subdued :. where the high


est and brightest of mortal beings finds nothing left him but the consciousness of innocence.

.:: Rambler, vol. 1, p; 290.

DISTRUST. It is impossible to see the long scrolls in which every contract is included, with all their appendages of seals and attestation, without wondering at the depravity of those beings who must be restrained from violation of promise by such formal and public evidences, and precluded from:equivocation and subterfuge by such punctilious minuteness. Among all the satires to which folly and wickedness have given occasion, none is equallysevere with a bend or a settlement.

Ibid, vol. 3, p. 1550

DELAY. Mke folly of allowing ourselves to delay what we know'cannot be finally escaped, is one of the general weaknesses which, in spite of the instruction of moralists, and the remonstrances of reason, prevail to a greater or less degree in every mipd: even they who most steadily withstand it, find it, if not the most violent, the most pertinacious of their passions, always renewing its attacks, and though often vanquished, never destroyed. ..

. . . . . . Ibid. vol. 3, p. 170. The pertainty that life cannot be long, and the probability that it will be much shorter thannature allows, ought, to awaken every man to the active prosecution of whatever he is desirous to perform., It is true that no diligence can ascertaip success; death may, intercept the swiftest


career ; but he who is cut off in the execution of an honest undertaking, has at least the honour of falling in his rank, and has fought the battle, though he missed the victory.

Ibid. p. 134.

Timorous thoughts, and cautious disquisitions, are the dull attendants of delay. , :

Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 6. p. 116.

DECEPTiove so..

Deceit and falsehood, whatever conveniences they may for a time promise or produce, are, in. the sum of life, obstacles to happiness. Those who profit by the cheat distrust the deceiver, and the act by which kindness was sought puts an end to confidence.

Ibid. vol. 10, p. 539. SELF-DECEPTION. There is an art of sophistry by which men have deluded their own consciences, by persuada ing themselves, that what would be criminal in others, is virtuous in them; as if the obligations which are laid upon us by a higher power, can be over-ruled by obligations which we lay upon ourselves.

Ibid. vol. 4, p. 487. *

DEVOTION. Some men's minds are so divided between heaven and earth, that they pray for the prós.; perity of-guilt, while they deprecate its punisha mentor funni . E ins

Ibid. vol. 51:p. 579 vs A Poetical "devotioh Cannot öften please, The doretrimes of religion may, indeed, be defended it; . :,.

a Didactic.

« PoprzedniaDalej »