Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

It requires but little acquaintance with the heart, to know that woman's first wish is to be handsome; and that, consequently, the readiest method of obtaining her kindness is to praise her beauty.

Ibid. vol. 4, P. 159.

As we are more accustomed to beauty than deformity, we may conclude that to be the reason why we approve and admire it, as we ap prove and admire customs and fashions of dress, for no other reason than that we are used to them so that though habit and custom cannot be said to be the cause of beauty, it is certainly the cause of our liking it.

Idler, vol. 2, p. 167.

In the works of nature, if we compare one species with another, all are equally beautiful, and preference is given from custom, or some association of ideas; and in creatures of the same species, beauty is the medium, or centre, of all its various forms.

Ibid. p. 172.

Beauty without kindness dies unenjoyed, and undelighting. Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 1, p. 191.

Neither man nor woman will have much diffi culty to tell how beauty makes riches pleasant, except by declaring ignorance of what every one knows, and confessing insensibility of what every one feels.

Ibid. vol. 2, p. 76.

It is an observation countenanced by Shakspeare, and some of our best writers, that no wo◄

man

[ocr errors]

man can ever be offended with the mention of her beauty.

Ibid. vol. 7, p. 18.

THE DANGER OF BEAUTY.

The teeming mother, anxious for her race,
Begs for each birth the fortune of a face;
Yet Vane could tell what ills from Beauty spring,
And Sedley curs'd the form that pleas'd a king.
Ye nymphs of rosy lips and radiant eyes,
Whom pleasure keeps too busy to be wise;
Whom joys with soft varieties invite,
By day the frolic, and the dance by night;
Who frown with vanity, who smile with art,
And ask the latest fashion of the heart;

What care, what rules, your heedless charms shall

save,

Each nymph your rival, and each youth your slave?
Against your fame with fondness, hate combines,
The rival batters, and the lover pines.

With distant voice neglected Virtue calls,
Less heard and less, the faint remonstrance falls :
Tired with contempt she quits the slipp'ry reign,
And, Pride and Prudence take her seat in vain ;
In crowds at once, where none the pass defend,
The harmless freedom and the private friend.
The guardians yield by force superior ply'd,
By int❜rest, Prudence; and by flatt'ry, Pride:
Now Beauty falls betray'd, despis'd, distrest,
And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest.

Vanity of Human Wishes.

BIOGRAPHY.

There has, perhaps, rarely passed a life, of which a judicious and faithful narrative would not be useful. For not only every man has, in the mighty mass of the world, great numbers in

the

[ocr errors]

the same condition with himself, to whom his mistakes and miscarriages, escapes and expedients, would be of immediate and apparent use; but there is such an uniformity in the state of man, considered apart from adventitious and separable decorations and disguises, that there is scarce any possibility of good or ill but is common to human kind.

Rambler, vol. 1, p. 37.

The necessity of complying with times, and of sparing persons, is the great impediment of biography. History may be formed from permanent monuments and records, but lives can only be written from personal knowledge, which is growing every day less, and in a short time is lost for ever. What is known can seldom be immediately told, and when it might be told, is no longer known.

Life of Addifon.

The writer of his own life has at least the first qualification of an historian, the knowledge of the truth; and though it may plausibly be objected, that his temptations to disguise it, are equal to his opportunities of knowing it, yet it cannot but be thought, that impartiality may be expected with equal confidence from him that relates the passages of his own life, as from him that delivers the transactions of another. What is collected by conjecture (and by conjecture only can one man judge of another's motives or sentiments) is easily modified by fancy or desire; as objects imperfectly discerned take forms from the hope or fear of the beholder. But that which is fully known cannot be falsified but with reluctance of understand

[ocr errors]

ing, and alarm of conscience;-of understanding, the lover of truth;-of conscience, the sen¬ tinel of virtue.

Idler, vol. 2, p. 281.

BUSTLERS.

There is a kind of men who may be classed under the name of bustlers, whose business keeps them in perpetual motion, yet whose motion always eludes their business; who are always to do what they never do; who cannot stand still because they are wanted in another place, and who are wanted in many places because they can stay in none.

Ibid. vol. I, p. 104.

BENEVOLENCE.

That benevolence is always strongest which arises from participation of the same pleasures, since we are naturally most willing to revive in our minds the memory of persons with whom the idea of enjoyment is connected.

Rambler, vol. 2, p. 267.

[ocr errors]

Men have been known to rise to favour and to fortune only by being skillful in the sports with which their patron happened to be delighted, by concurring with his taste for some particular species of curiosities, by relishing the same wine, or applauding the same cookery.

Ibid. p. 268.

Even those whom wisdom and virtue have placed above regard to such petty recommendations, must nevertheless be gained by similitude of manners. The highest and noblest enjoyment of familiar life, the communication of knowledge

knowledge and reciprocation of sentiments, must always pre-suppose a disposition to the saine enquiry, and delight in the same disco

veries.

Ibid.

BUSINESS.

Whoever is engaged in a multiplicity of business, must transact much by substitution, and leave something to hazard; and he that attempts to do all, will waste his life in doing little.

Idler, vol. I, p. 107.

It very seldom happens to a man that his business is his pleasure. What is done from necessity, is so often to be done when against the present inclination, and so often fills the mind with anxiety, that an habitual dislike steals upon us, and we shrink involuntarily from the remembrance of our task. This is the reason why almost every one wishes to quit his employment: he does not like another state, but is disgusted with his own.

Ibid. vol. 2, p. 275.

NATURAL BOUNTIES.

If the extent of the human view could comprehend the whole frame of the universe, perhaps it would be found invariably true, that Providence has given that in greatest plenty, which the condition in life makes of greatest use; and that nothing is penuriously imparted, or placed from the reach of man, of which a more liberal distribution, or a more easy acquisition, would increase real and rational felicity.

Ibid. vol. 1, p. 206.

CONFIDENCE

« AnteriorContinuar »