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Advice is offensive, not because it lays us open to unexpected regret, or convicts us of any fault which has escaped our notice, but because it shows that we are known to others as well as ourselves; and the officious monitor is persecuted with hatred, not because his accusation is false, but because he assumes the superiority which we are not willing to grant him, and has dared to detect what we desire to conceal.
Ibid. vol. 3. p. 295.
Ambition is generally proportioned to men's capacities: Providence seldom sends any into the world with an inclination to attempt great things, who have not abilities likewise to perform them..
Life of Dr. Boerhaave, p. 213.
Ambition, scornful of restraint,
Ev'n from the birth, affects supreme command,
Irene, p. 32..
A Picture of Ambition, in the Fate of Cardinal Wolsey.
In full-blown dignity see Wolsey stand,
At length his sov'reign frowns-the train of state
Vanity of Human Wishes.
Candour and tenderness are in any relation, and on all occasions, eminently amiable; but when they are found in an adversary, and found so prevalent as to overpower that zeal which his cause excites, and that heat which naturally increases in the prosecution of argument, and which may be, in a great measure, justified by the love of truth, they certainly appear with particular advantages; and it is impossible not to envy those who possess the friendship of him whom it is even some degree of good fortune to have known
as an enemy.
Letter to Dr. Douglas, p. 3.
Admiration must be continued by that novelty which first produced it; and how much soever is given, there must always be reason to imagine. that more remains.
Rambler, vol. 4, p. 257.
A man once distinguished, soon gains admirers.
Life of Roger Ascham, p. 244.
The strictest moralists allow forms of address. to be used, without much regard to their literal acceptation, when either respect or tenderness requires them, because they are universally known to denote, not the degree, but the species of our sentiments.
Idler, vol. 1, p. 283.
He whose stupidity has armed him against the shafts of ridicule, will always act and speak with greater audacity than they whose sensibility represses their ardour, and who dare never let their confidence outgrow their abilities. Rambler, vol. 3, p. 252.
Promise-large promise-is the soul of an advertisement.
Idler, vol. 1, p. 225.
To set the mind above the appetites is the end of abstinence; which one of the fathers observes to be, not a virtue, but the ground-work of a virtue. By forbearing to do what may innocently be done, we may add hourly new vigour to resolution, and secure the power of resistance when pleasure or interest shall lend their charms to guilt.
Ibid. p. 294
He that has lived without knowing to what height desire may be raised by vanity, with
what rapture baubles are snatched out of the hands of rival collectors: how the eagerness of one raises eagerness in another, and one worthless purchase makes another necessary, may, by passing a few hours at an auction, learn more than can be shown by many volumes of maxims or essays.
Ibid. vol. 2, p. 21.
It has been long observed that an Atheist bas no just reason for endeavouring conversions, and yet none harrass those minds, which they can influence, with more importunity of solicitation to adopt their opinions. In proportion as they doubt the truth of their own doctrines, they are desirous to gain the attestation of another understanding, and industriously labour to win a proselyte; and eagerly catch at the slightest pretence to dignify their sect with a celebrated
Life of Sir T. Brown, p. 283.
It was well observed by Pythagoras, that abi lity and necessity dwell near each other.
Idler, vol. 2, p. 154.
In every performance, perhaps in every great character, part is the gift of nature, part the contribution of accident, and part, very often. not the greatest part, the effect of voluntary election and regular design.
Memoirs of the King of Pruffia, p. 100.
Whatever advantage we snatch beyond a cer tain portion allotted us by nature, is like money spent before it is due, which at the time of regular payment, will be missed and regretted., Idler, vol. 2, p. 35.
It frequently happens that applause abates diligence. Whoever finds himself to have per-formed more than was demanded, will be contented to spare the labour of unnecessary per formances, and sit down to enjoy at ease his superfluities of honour. But long intervals of pleasure dissipate attention and weaken constancy; nor is it easy for him that has sunk from diligence into sloth, to rouse out of his lethargy, to recollect his notions, re-kindle his curiosity, and engage with his former ardour in the toils of study..
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 34
The noblest beauties of art are those of which the effect is extended with rational nature, or at least, with the whole circle of polished life. what is less than this can only be, pretty, the plaything of fashion, and the amusement of a day.
Life of Weft,
APPEARANCES (often deceitful):
In the condition of men, it frequently hap pens that grief and anxiety lie hid under the golden robes of prosperity, and the gloom of calamity is cheered by secret radiations of hope G.6