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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,
Swells in the breast, and with resistless force
O'erbears each gentler motion of the mind;
As when a deluge overspreads the plains,
The wand'ring rivulets and silver lakes
Mix undistinguish'd in the gen'ral roar.


Irene, p. 32.

A Picture of Ambition, in the Fate of Cardinal

In full-blown dignity see Wolsey stand,
Law in his voice, and Fortune in his hand;
To him the church, the realm, their powers consign,
Through him the rays of regal bounty shine.
Still to new heights his restless wishes tow'r,
Claim leads to claim, and pow'r advances pow'r;
Till conquests unresisted cease to please,
And rights submitted, left him none to seize.

At length his sov'reign frowns--the train of state
Mark the keen glance, and watch the sign to hate;
Where'er he turns he meets a stranger's eye,
His suppliants scorn him, and his followers fly;
At once is lost the pride of awful state,
The golden canopy, the glit'ring plate,
The regal palace, the luxurious board,
The liv'ried army, and the menial lord ;
With age, with care, with maladies oppress'd,
He seeks the refuge of monastic rest.
Grief adds disease, remember'd folly stings,
And his last sighs reproach the fate of kings.

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 spe-.. cies 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 ad



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 G 5


what rapture baubles are snatched out of the
hands of rival collectors: how the eagerness of
one raises eagerness in another, and one worth-
less 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.

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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 Prussia, p. 100.



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Whatever advantage we snatch beyond a certain 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 performances, and sit down to enjoy at ease his superfluities of honour. But long intervals of pleasure dissipate attention and weaken con-stancy; nor is it easy for him that has sunk from diligence into sloth, to rouse out of his le- thargy, to recollect his notions, re-kindle hiscuriosity, 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).

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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



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