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from the direction of superior wisdom, and take all consequences upon ourselves.


Prince of Abyffina, p. 203.

Much of the prosperity of a trading nation depends upon duties properly apportioned; so that what is necessary may continue cheap, and what is of use only to luxury, may in some measure atone to the public for the mischief done to individuals. Duties may often be so regulated, as to become useful, even to those that pay them; and they may be likewise so unequally imposed, as to discourage honesty, depress industry, and give temptation to fraud and unlawful practices.

Preface to Dictionary of Commerce, p. 289.


Diligence in employments of less consequence is the most successful introduction to greater enterprizes.

Life of Drake, p. 160.

Diligence is never wholly lost.


Life of Collins.

It is generally the fate of a double dealer, to lose his power and keep his enemies.

Life of Swift,


Disguise can gratify no longer than it deceives,

Life of Somerville.


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Dulness and deformity are not culpable in themselves, but may be very justly reproached when they pretend to the honour of wit or the influence of beauty. Life of Pope.


If delusion be once admitted, it has no certain limitation.

Preface to Shakspeare, p. 113.


Nothing is difficult, when gain and honour unite their influence.

Falkland Islands, p. 4.



HE that knows himself despised, will always be envious; and still more envious and malevolent if he is condemned to live in the presence of those who despise him.

Prince of Abyssinia, p. 86.

To see the highest minds levelled with the meanest, may produce some solace to the consciousness of weakness, and some mortification. to the pride of wisdom; but let it be remembered, that minds are not levelled in their powers, but when they are first levelled in their desires. Life of Dryden.

It is not only to many more pleasing to recollect those faults which place others below them. than those virtues by which they are themselves comparatively depressed, but it is likewise more easy to neglect than to recompense; and though there are few who will practise à laborious virtue, there never will be wanting multitudes that will indulge an easy vice.

Life of Savage.

The great law of mutual benevolence, is, perhaps, oftener violated by envy than by interest. Interest can diffuse itself but to a narrow compass. Interest requires some qualites not universally bestowed. Interest is seldom pursued but at some hazard; but to spread suspicion, to invent calumnies, to propagate scandal, requires neither talents, nor labour, nor courage.

Rambler, vol. 4, p. 125 & 126..


Every man, in whatever station, has, or endea vours to have, his followers, admirers, and imitators; and has therefore the influence of his example to watch with care; he ought to avoid not. only crimes, but the appearance of crimes, and not only to practise virtue, but to applaud, countenance, and support it; for it is possible, for want of attention, we may teach others faults from which ourselves are free, or, by a cowardly desertion of a cause, which we ourselves approve, may pervert those who fix their eyes upon us, and having no rule of their own to guide their course, are easily misled by the aberrations of that example which they choose for their di


Ibid, vol. 2, p. 95%

Every art is best taught by example. Nothing contributes more to the cultivation of propriety, than remarks on the works of those who have most excelled.

Dissertation upon the Epitaphs of Pope, p. 302.


Where there is emulation, there will be vanity; and where there is vanity, there will be folly.

Life of Shenstone.

Every man ought to endeavour at eminence, not by pulling others down, but by raising himself, and enjoy the pleasure of his own superiority, whether imaginary or real, without interrupting others in the same felicity. The philosopher may very justly be delighted with the extent of his views, and the artificer with the readiness of his hands; but let the one remember that without mechanical performances, refined speculation is an empty dream; and the other, that without theoretical reasoning, dexterity is little more than a brute instinct.

Rambler, vol. 1, p. 52.

Whatever is done skilfully, appears to be done with ease; and art, when it is once matured to habit, vanishes from observation. We are therefore more powerfully excited to emulation by those who have attained the highest degree of excellence, and whom we can therefore with least reason hope to equal.


Ibid. vol. 3, p. 101.

The knowledge of external nature, and of the sciences which that knowledge requires or includes,

cludes, is not the great or the frequent business of the human mind. Whether we provide for action or conversation, whether we wish to be useful or pleasing, the first requisite is the religious and moral knowledge of right and wrong. The next is an acquaintance with the history of mankind, and with those examples which may be said to embody truth, and prove by events the reasonableness of opinions. Prudence and justice are virtues and excellencies of all times and all places. We are perpetually moralists, but we are geometricians by chance. Our intercourse with intellectual nature is necessary; our speculations upon matter are voluntary, and at leisure.

Life of Milton.

Physical knowledge is of such rare emergence that one man may know another half his life - without being able to estimate his skill in hydrostatics or astronomy; but his moral and prudential character immediately appears. Those authors therefore, are to be read at school, that supply most axioms of prudence, most principles of moral truth, and most materials for conversation; and these purposes are best served by poets, orators, and historians.


It ought always to be steadily inculcated, that virtue is the highest proof of understanding, and the only solid basis of greatness; and that vice is the natural consequence of narrow thoughts; that it begins in mistake, and ends in ignominy.. Rambler, vol. I, p. 24.

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The general rule of consulting the genius for particular offices in life is of little use, unless we


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