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does not know how much he escapes. The lustre of diamonds is invigorated by the interposition of darker bodies; the lights of a picture are created by the shades.
Ibid, vol. 3, p. 265 & 267. Notwithstanding the warnings of philosophers," and the daily examples of losses and misfortunes which life forces upon our observation, such is the absorption of our thoughts in the /business of the piesent day, such the resignation of our reason to empty hopes of future felicity, or such our unwillingness to foresee what we dread, that every calamity comes suddenly upon us, and not only presses us as a burden, but crushes as a blow.
Idler, vol. 1, p. 229.
The distance of a calamity from the present time seems to preclude the mind from contact, or sympathy. Events long past, are barely known; they are not considered.
Western Islands, p. 15.
Care will sometimes betray the appearance of negligence. He that is catching opportunities which seldom occur, will suffer those to pass by unregarded which he expects hourly to return; and he that is searching for remote things will neglect those that are obvious.
Preface to Dictionary, fol. p. 8.
The causes of good and evil are so various and uncertain, so often entangled with each other, so diversified by various relations, and so much subject to accidents which cannot be foreseen, that he who would fix his condition upon incontestible
reasons of preference, must live and die enquiring and deliberating.
Prince of Abyffinia, p. 109.
There is a kind of anxious cleanliness, which is always a characteristic of a slattern; it is the superfluous scrupulosity of guilt, dreading discovery and shunning suspicion. It is the violence of an effort against habit, which being impelled by external motives, cannot stop at the middle point.
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 58.
All change is of itself an evil, which ought not to be hazarded but for evident advantage. Plan of an English Dictionary, p. 37.
All change, not evidently for the better, alarms a mind taught by experience to distrust itself. Vifion of Theodore, p. 81.
Tranquillity and guilt, disjoin'd by Heav'n,
Irene, p. 43
The man whose miscarriage in a just cause hasput him in the power of his enemy, may, without any violation of his integrity, regain his liberty or preserve his life, by a promise of neutrality; for the stipulation gives the enemy nothing which he had not before. The neutrality of a captive may be always secured by his imprisonment or
death. He that is at the disposal of another, may not promise to aid him in any injurious act, because no power can compel active obedience. He may engage to do nothing, but not to do ill.
Life of Cowley.
A competency ought to secure a man from poverty; or, if he wastes it, make him ashamed of publishing his necessities.
Life of Dryden.
Contempt is a kind of gangrene, which, if it seizes one part of a character, corrupts all the rest by degrees.
Life of Blackmore.
The civilities of the great are never thrown
Memoirs of the King of Pruffia, p. 107.
The foundation of content must spring up in a man's own mind; and he who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing any thing but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove.
Rambler, vol. 1, p. 35.
The necessity of erecting ourselves to some degree of intellectual dignity, and of preserving resources of pleasure which may not be wholly at the mercy of accident, is never more apparent than when
when we turn our eyes upon those whom fortune has let loose to their own conduct; who, not being chained down by their condition to a regular and stated allotment of their hours, are obliged to find themselves business or diversion; and, having nothing within that can entertain or employ them, are compelled to try all the arts of destroying time.
The general remedy of those who are uneasy without knowing the cause, is CHANGE OF PLACE. They are willing to imagine that their pain is the consequence of some local inconvenience, and endeavour to fly from it as children from their shadows, always hoping for some more satisfactory delight from every new scene, and always returning home with disappointment and complaint. Such resemble the expedition of cowards, who, for want of venturing to look behind them, think the enemy perpetually at their heels. Rambler, vol. 1, p. 31, 32, & 34.
No one ought to remind another of misfortunes of which the sufferer does not complain, and which there are no means proposed of alleviating. We have no right to excite thoughts which necessarily give pain, whenever they return, and which perhaps might not have revived but by absurd and unseasonable compassion.
Rambler, vol. 2. p. 122.
Nothing is more offensive to a mind convinced that its distress is without a remedy, and prepar ing to submit quietly to irresistible calamity,
than those petty and conjectured comforts which unskilful officiousness thinks it virtue to administer.
Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 5, p. 197.
Curiosity, like all other desires, produces pain as well as pleasure.
Rambler, vol. 4, p. 8.
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect. Every advance into knowledge opens new prospects, and produces new incitements to further progress.
Rambler, vol. 2, p. 287.
Curiosity is the thirst of the soul; it inflames and torments us, and makes us taste every thing with joy, however otherwise insipid, by which it may be quenched. Ibid. p. 289.
There is no snare more dangerous to busy and excursive minds than the cobwebs of petty inquisiti ness, which entangle them in trivial employments and minute studies, and detain them in a middle state between the tediousness of total inactivity and the fatigue of laboricus efforts, enchant them at once with ease and novelty, and vitiate them with the luxury of learning. The necessity of doing something, and the fear of undertaking much, sinks the historian to a genealogist; the philosopher to a journalist of the weather; and the mathematician to a constructor of dials. Ibid. p. 290.
Favours of every kind are doubled when they are speedily conferred. This is particularly true