Imágenes de páginas


(Its proper Objects.)

Petitions yet remain,

Which Heav'n
may hear- -nor deem Religion vain ;
Still raise for good the supplicating voice,
But leave to Heav'n the measure and the choice;
Safe in his pow'r whose eyes discern afar
The secret ambush of a specious prayer;
Implore his aid, in his decision rest,
Secure, whate'er he gives, he gives the best.

Yet when the sense of sacred presence fires,
And strong devotion to the skies aspires,
Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind,
Obedient passions, and a will resign'd;
For Love, which scarce collective man can fill;
For Patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill;
For Faith, that panting for a happier seat,
Counts Death kind Nature's signal for retreat.
These goods for man the laws of Heav'n ordain,
These goods he grants, who grants the pow'r to gain;
With these, celestial wisdom calms the mind,
And makes the happiness she does not find.

Vanity of Human Wishes.


Prosperity, as is truly asserted by Seneca, very much obstructs the knowledge of ourselves. No man can form a just estimate of his own powers, by inactive speculation. That fortitude which has encountered no dangers, that prudence which has surmounted no difficulties, that integrity which has been attacked by no temptations, can, at best, be considered but as gold not yet brought to the test, of which, therefore, the true value cannot be assigned. Equally necessary is some variety of for



tune to a nearer inspection of the manner
ciples, and affections of mankind. bain that

Rambler, vol. S

[ocr errors]

Moderation in prosperity is a virtue veny cult to, all mortals.

Memoirs of the King of Prussia, p



[ocr errors]

Peevishness, though sometimes it arises from old age, or the consequence of some misery, it is. frequently one of the attendants on the prosperous, and is employed by insolence, in exacting homage; or by tyranny, in harrassing subjection. It is the offspring of idleness or pride; of idleness, anxious for trifles, or pride, unwilling to endure the least obstruction of her wishes. Such is the consequence of peevishness, it can be borne only when it is despised.


Rambler, vol. 2, p. 14.

It is not easy to imagine a more unhappy condition than that of dependence on a peevish man. In every other state of inferiority, the certainty of pleasing is perpetually increased by a fullor knowledge of our duty, and kindness and confidence are strengthened by every new act of trust and proof of fidelity. But peevishness sacrifices to a momentary offence, the obsequiousness, or usefulness of half a life, and, as more is performed, increases her exactions,

Ibid. vol. 3, P. 39.

Peevishness is generally the vice of narrow winds, and, except when it is the effect of angnish




disease, by which the resolution is broken, and the mind made too feeble to bear the lightest addition to its miseries, proceeds from an unreasonable persuasion of the importance of trifles. The proper remedy against it is, to consider the dignity of human nature, and the folly of sufferperturbation and uneasiness, from causes worthy of our notice.

Ibid. p. 41.

He that resigns his peace to little casualties, and suffers the course of his life to be interrupted by fortuitous inadvertencies or offences, delivers up himself to the direction of the wind, and loses all that constancy and equanimity, which constitute the chief praise of a wise man.

Ibid. vol. 3, p. 41.


No people can be great who have ceased to be virtuous.

Political State of Great Britain, p. 56,

The prosperity of a people is proportionate to the number of hands and minds usefully employed. To the community, sedition is a fever, 'corruption is a gangrene, and idleness an atrophy. Whatever body and whatever society wastes more than it requires, must gradually decay; and every being that continues to be fed, and ceases to labour, takes away something from the publick stock..

Idler, vol. 1, p. 121.


Great regard should be paid to the voice of the people in cases where knowledge has been forced


upon them by experience, without long deduc tions, or deep researches.

Rambler, vol. 1, p. 150.


It is as possible to become pedantic by fear of pedantry, as to be troublesome by ill-timed civility.

Ibid. vol. 4, p. 76.


Punctuality is a quality which the interest of mankind requires to be diffused through all the ranks of life, but which many seem to consider as a vulgar and ignoble virtue, below the ambition of greatness, or attention of wit, scarcely requisite amongst men of gaiety and spirit, and sold at its highest rate, when it is sacrificed to a frolic or a jest.

Ibid. p. 223

[ocr errors]


Prudence is of more frequent use than any other intellectual quality; it is exerted on slight occasions, and called into act by the cursory business of common life.

Idler, vol. 2, p. 25.

Prudence operates on life in the same manner as rules on composition; it produces vigilance rather than elevation, rather prevents loss than procures advantage, and often escapes miscarriages, but seldom reaches either power or honour.


[blocks in formation]


Aristotle is praised for naming fortitude first of the cardinal virtues, as that without, which no. other virtue can steadily be practised; but he might with equal propriety, have placed prudenceand justice before it; since without prudence fortitude is mad, without justice it is mischievous.

Life of Pope.


To be prejudiced is always to be weak, yet there are prejudices so near to being laudable, that they have often been praised, and are always pardoned.

Taxation no Tyranmy, p. 3.


Peace is easily made, when it is necessary to bath parties.

Memoirs of the King of Pruffia, p. 121.


In every art, practice is much; in arts manual, practice is almost the whole; precept can at most but warn against error, it can never-bestow excellence.

Life of Roger Ascham, p. 240.

Wniformity of practice seldom continues long without good reason.

Western Islands, p. 361.


Piety is elevation of mind towards the Supreme Being, and extension of the thought to another

« AnteriorContinuar »