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seem no more to have been considered as diversions, than agriculture, or any other manual labour.
Life of Sir Thomas Browne, p. 269.
It is observed by Milton, that he who neglects to visit the country in spring, and rejects the pleasures that are then in their first bloom and fragrance, is guilty of" sullenness against nature." If we allot different duties to different seasons, he may be charged with equal disobedience to the voice of nature, who looks on the bleak hills, and leafless woods, without seriousness and awe. Spring is the season of gaiety, and winter of terror. In spring, the heart of tranquillity dances to the melody of the groves, and the eye of benevolence sparkles at the sight of happiness and plenty; in the winter, compassion melts at universal calamity, and the tear of softness starts at the wailings of hunger and the cries of creation in distress.
Rambler, vol. 2, p. 149.
Sublimity is produced by aggregation, and littleness by dispersion.-Great thoughts are always general, and consist in positions not limited by exceptions, and in descriptions not descending to minuteness. Life of Cowley.
Divide and conquer, is a principle equally just in science as in policy.
Rambler, vol 3, p. 187.
Every science has its difficulties, which- yet call for solution, before we attempt new systems of
knowledge; as every country has its forests and marshes, which it would be wise to cultivate and drain, before distant colonies are projected as a necessary discharge of the exuberance of inhabitants.
Ibid. p. 292.
It is sometimes difficult to prove the principles of science, because notions cannot always be found more intelligible than those which are questioned.
Taxation no Tyranny, p, I.
I know not whether statesmen and patrons do not sometimes suffer more reproaches than they deserve from their dependants, and may not rather themselves complain that they are given up a prey to pretensions without merit, and to importunity without shame. The truth is, that the inconveniences of attendance are more lamented than felt. To the greater number solicitation is its own reward: to be seen in good company, to talk of familiarities with men of power, to be able to tell the freshest news, to gratify an inferior circle with predictions of increase or decline of favour, and to be regarded as a candidate for high offices, are compensations more than equivalent to the delay of favours, which, perhaps, he that begs them has hardly confidence to expect. Idler, vol. 1, p. 79.
There are few things, not purely evil, of which we can say, without some emotions of uneasiness; "This is the last." Those who never could agree together, shed tears when mutual discontent has determined them to final separation; of a place
which has been frequently visited, though without pleasure, the last look is taken with heaviness of heart.
Ibid. vol. 2, p. 281.
HE that runs against time, has an antagonist not subject to casualties.
Life of Pope.
The story of Melancthon affords a striking lecture on the value of time, which was, that whenever he made an appointment, he expected not only the hour, but the minute, to be fixed, that the day might not run out in the idleness of suspence.
Rambler, vol. 2, p. 39.
When we have deducted all that is absorbed in sleep, all that is inevitably appropriated to the demands of nature, or irresistibly engrossed by tyranny of custom; all that passes in regulating the superficial decorations of life, or is given up in the reciprocations of civility to the disposal of others; all that is torn from us by the violence of disease, or stolen imperceptibly away by lassitude and languor; we shall find that part of our duration very small, of which we can truly call ourselves masters, or which we can spend wholly at our own choice.
Ibid. vol. 3, P. 13.
Time, like money, may be lost by unreasonable avarice.
Time is the inflexible enemy of all false hypotheses.
Treatife on the Longitude, p. 1c.
An Italian philosopher expressed in his motto, "That time was his estate." An estate, indeed, which will produce nothing without cultivation, but will always abundantly repay the labours of industry, and satisfy the most extensive desires, if no part of it be suffered to lie waste by negligence, to be over-run with noxious plants, or laid out for show rather than for use.
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 18.
Time, amongst other injuries, diminishes the power of pleasing.
Ibid. P. 216.
Time ought, above all other kinds of property, to be free from invasion; and yet there is no man who does not claim the power of wasting that time which is the right of others.
Idler, vol. I, p. 78.
Life is continually ravaged by invaders; one steals away an hour, and another a day; one conceals the robbery by hurrying us into business, another by lulling us with amusement: the depredation is continued through a thousand vicissitudes of tumult and tranquillity, till, having lost all, we can lose no more.
To put every man in possession of his own time, and rescue the day from a succession of usurpers, is beyond hope: yet, perhaps, some stop might be put to this unmerciful persecution, if all would seriously reflect, that whoever pays a
visit that is not desired, or talks longer than the hearer is willing to attend, is guilty of an injury which he cannot repair, and takes away that which he cannot give.
Ibid. p. 81.
Time, with all its celerity, moves slowly to him whose whole employment is to watch its flight. Ibid. p. 180.
Time is, of all modes of existence, most obsequious to the imagination.
Preface to Shakspeare, p. 114.
Whether it be that life has more vexations than comforts, or, what is in event just the same, that evil makes deeper impressions than good, it is certain that few can review the time past without heaviness of heart. He remembers many calamities incurred by folly; many opportunities lost by negligence. The shades of the dead rise up before him, and he laments the companions of his youth, the partners of his amusements, the assistants of his labours, whom the hand of death has snatched away.
Idler, vol. 1, p. 249.
may be frequently remarked of the studious and speculative, that they are proud of trifies, and that their amusements seem frivolous and childish; whether it be that men, conscious of great reputation, think themselves above the reach of censure, and safe in the admission of negligent indulgences, or that mankind expect, from elevated genius, an uniformity of greatness,