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All foreigners remark, that the knowledge of the common people of England is greater than that of any other vulgar.
Ibid. vol. I, p. 35.
Pontanus, a man celebrated among the early restorers of literature, thought the study of our own hearts of so much importance, that he has recommended it from his tomb:
Sum JOANNES JOVIANUS PONTANUS, quem amaverunt bonæ musæ, suspexerunt virę probi, honestaverant reges domini. Jam scis qui sim, vel qui potius fuerim: ego vero te, hospes, noscere in tenebris nequeo, sed teipsum ut noscas rogo.
"I am PONTANUS, beloved by the powers of literature, admired by men of worth, and digni~ fied by the monarchs of the world. Thou know4 est, now, who I am, or, more properly, who E was for thee, stränger, I, who am in darkness, cannot know thee; but I entreat thee to KNOW THYSELF,"
Rambler, vol. 1, p. 174.
Much is due to those who first broke the way to knowledge, and left only to their successors the task of smoothing it
Weitern Islands, p. 3L
The studies of princes seldom produce great effects; for princes draw, with meaner mortals," the lot of understanding; and since of many students not more than one can be hoped to advance to perfection, it is scarce to be expected to find that one a prince.
Memoirs of the K. of Prussia, p, 99.
Kings, without sometimes passing their time without pomp, and without acquaintance with the various forms of life, and with the genuine passions, interests, desires, and distresses of mankind, see the world in a mist, and bound their views to a narrow compass. It was, perhaps, to the private condition in which Cromwell first entered the world, that he owed the superiority of understanding he had over most of our kings. In that state, he learned the art of secret transaction, and the knowledge by which he was able to oppose zeal to zeal, and make one enthusiast destroy another.
Ibid. p. 100.
It is a position long reecived amongst politicians, that the loss of a king's power is soon followed by the loss of life.
Notes úpon Shakspeare, vol. 6, p. 440.
The riches of a king ought not to be seen in his own coffers, but in the opulence of his subjects.
Memoirs of the King of Prussia, p. 97.
To enlarge dominions, has been the boast of many princes; to diffuse happiness and security through wide regions has been granted to few.
Ibid. p. 111
Monarchs are always surrounded with refined. spirits, so penetrating, that they frequently discover in their masters great qualities, invisible to vulgar eyes, and which, did not they publish them to mankind, would be unobserved for ever.. Marmor Norfelcienfe, p. 17.
LIFE is not to be counted by the ignorance of infancy or the imbecility of age. We are long. before we are able to think, and we soon cease. from the power of acting.
Prince of Abyssinia, p. 26.
Human life is every where a state in which much is to be endured and little to be enjoyed. Ibid. p. 78.
Life may be lengthened by care, though death. cannot ultimately be defeated.
Preface to Dictionary, fol. p. 10.
The great art of life is to play for much and stake little.
Differtation on Authors, p. 29.
It has always been lamented that of the little time allotted to man, much must be spent upon superfluities. Every prospect has its obstructions, which we must break to enlarge our view. Every step of our progress finds impediments, which, however eager to go forward, we must stop to remove.
Preliminary Discourse to the London Chronicle, p. 153.
An even and unvaried tenor of life always hides from our apprehension the approach of its end. Succession is not perceived but by variation. He that lives to-day as he lived yesterday, and expects that as the present day, such will be
to-morrow, easily conceives time as running in a circle, and returning to itself. The uncertainty of our situation is impressed commonly by dissimilitude of condition, and it is only by finding life changeable, that we are reminded of its shortness.
Idler, vol. 2, p. 282.
He that embarks in the voyage of life, will always wish to advance rather by the impulse of the wind, than the strokes of the oar; and many founder in their passage while they lie waiting for the gale,
Ibid, vol. 1, p. 7.
A minute analysis of life at once destroys that splendour which dazzles the imagination. Whatsoever grandeur can display, or luxury enjoy, is procured by offices of which the mind shrinks from the contemplation. All the delicacies of the table may be traced back to the shambles and the dunghill; all magnificence of building was hewn from the quarry; and all the pomp of ornament dug from among the damps and darkness of the mine.
Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 2, p. 73.
In the different degrees of life, there will be often found much meanness among the great, and much greatness among the mean.
Ibid. vol. 3, p. 181.
Every man has seen the mean too often proud of the humility of the great, and perhaps the great may sometimes be humbled in the praises of the mean; particularly of those who commend them without conviction or discernment.
Ibid. vol. 4, p. 21.
When we see by so many examples, how few are the necessaries of life, we should learn what madness there is in so much superfluity.
Ibid. vol. 8, p. 345.
The main of life is composed of small incidents and petty occurrences, of wishes for objects not remote, and grief for disappointments of no fatal consequence; of insect vexations, which sting us and fly away; and impertinences which buzz a while about us, and are heard no more. Thus a few pains and a few pleasures are all the materials of human life; and of these the proportions are partly allotted by Providence and partly left to the arrangement of reason and choice.
Rambler, vol. 2, p. 82.
Such is the state of every age, every sex, and every condition in life, that all have their cares either from nature or from folly; whoever, therefore, that finds himself inclined to envy another, should remember that he knows not the real condition which he desires to obtain, but is certain, that by indulging a vicious passion, he must lessen that happiness which he thinks already too sparingly bestowed.
Ibid. vol. 3, p. 149.
No man past the middle point of life, can sit down to feast upon the pleasures of youth, without finding the banquet embittered by the cup of sorrow.
A few years make such havoc in human generations, that we soon see ourselves deprived of those with whom we entered the world, and whom the participation of pleasures or fatigues had endeared to our remembrance, The man of en