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Many men are made the poorer by opulence.
POVERTY AND IDLENESS.
To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches, and therefore every man endeavours, with his utmost care, to hide his poverty from others, and his idleness from himself.
Idler, vol. 1, p. 93.
Political truth is equally in danger from the praises of courtiers, and the exclamation of patriots.
Life of Waller.
It is convenient, in the conflict of factions, to have that disaffection known which cannot safely be punished.
He that changes his party by his humour, is not more virtuous, than he that changes it by his interest. He loves himself rather than truth.
Life of Milton.
Faction seldom leaves a man honest, however it might find him.
A wise minister should conclude, that the slight of every honest man is a loss to the community. That those who are unhappy without guilt, ought to be relieved; and the life which is overburthened by accidental calamities, set at ease by the care of the public; and that those who by their misconduct have forfeited
their claim to favour, ought rather to be made useful to the society which they have injured, than be driven from it.
Life of Savage.
There is reason to expect, that as the world is more enlightened, policy and morality will at last be reconciled, and that nations will learn not to do, what they would not suffer.
Falkland Islands, p. 10.
The power of a political treatise depends much on the disposition of the people. When a nation is combustible, a spark will set it on fire.
Life of Swift.
When a political design has ended in miscarri age or success; when every eye and every ear is witness to general discontent, or general satisfaction, it is then a proper time to disentangle confusion, and illustrate obscurity; to show by what causes every event was produced, and in what effects it is likely to terminate; to lay down with distinct particularity what rumour always huddles in general exclamations, or perplexes by undigested narratives: to show whence happiness or calamity is derived, and whence it may be expected; and honestly to lay before the people, what enquiry can gather of the past, and conjecture can estimate of the future.
Obfervations on the State of Affairs, 1756, p. 17.
It is not to be expected that physical and political truth should meet with equal acceptance, or gain ground upon the world with equal facility. The notions of the naturalist find mankind in a state of neutrality, or, at worst, have nothing to. encounter but prejudice and vanity; prejudice
without malignity, and vanity without interest. But the politician's improvements are opposed by every passion that can exclude conviction, or suppress it; by ambition, by avarice, by hope, and by terror, by public faction and private animosity. Falfe Alarm, p. 4.
Praise is so pleasing to the mind of man, that it is the original motive of almost all our actions. Rambler, vol. 4, p. 178.
They who are seldom gorged to the full with praise, may be safely fed with gross compliments; for the appetite must be satisfied before it is disgusted.
Ibid. p. 180.
That praise is worth nothing of which the price is known.
Life of Waller.
Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity: it becomes cheap as it becomes vulgar, and will no longer raise expectation, or animate enterprize. It is, therefore, not only necessary that wickedness, even when it is not safe to censure it, be denied applause, but that goodness be commended only in proportionto its degree; and, that the garlands due to the great benefactors of mankind, be not suffered to fade upon the brow of him who can boast only petty services and easy virtues.
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 181.
The real satisfaction which praise can afford, is when what is repeated aloud agrees with the
whispers of conscience, by showing us that we have not endeavoured to deserve well in vain. Ibid. p. 183.
Every man willingly gives value to the praise which he receives, and considers the sentence. passed in his favour, as the sentence of discernment. We admire in a friend that understanding which selected us for confidence. We admire more in a patron that judgment, which instead of scattering bounty indiscriminately, directed it to us; and those performances which gratitude forbids us to blame, affection will easily dispose us to exalt.
Life of Halifax.
To be at once in any great degree loved and praised, is truly rare.
Notes upon Shakspeare, vol, 9, p. 176.
Men are seldom satisfied with praise, intro❤ duced or followed by any mention of defect.
Life of Pope.
Some are lavish of praise, because they hope to be repaid. Rambler, vol. 2, p. 230.
To scatter praise or blame without regard to justice, is to destroy the distinction of good and evil. Many have no other test of actions than general opinion; and all are so influenced by a sense of reputation, that they are often restrained by fear of reproach, and excited by hope of honour, when other principles have lost their power.
Ibid. vol. 3, p. 181.
Small things make mean men proud.
Preface to Shakspeare, p. 280.
Pride is a vice, which pride itself inclines every man to find in others, and to overlook in himself. Life of Sir T. Browne, p. 280.
PRIDE AND ENVY.
Pride is seldom delicate, it will please itself with very mean advantages; and envy feels not its own happiness, but when it may be compared with the misery of others.
Prince of Abyssinia, p. 60.
COMPARISON BETWEEN A DRAMATIC POET AND A STATESMAN.
Distrest alike the statesman with the wit,
Must hear all taunts, and hear without reply:
Prologue to the Good-natured Man.