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the last act of cruelty, no new danger is incurred, and greater security may be obtained, upon what principle shall we bid them forbear?
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 51.
If those whom the wisdom of our laws has condemned to die, had been detected in their rudiments of robbery, they might by proper discipline and useful labour, have been disentangled from their habits; they might have escaped all the temptations to subsequent crimes, and passed their days in reparation and penitence.
Ibid. p. 53.
A zeal, which is often thought and called liberty, sometimes disguises from the world, and not rarely from the mind which it possesses, an envious desire of plundering wealth or degrading greatness; and of which the immediate tendeney is innovation and anarchy, or imperious eagerness to subvert and confound, with very little care what shall be established.
Life of Akenfide.
It has been observed that they who most loudly clamour for liberty, do not most liberally grant it.
Life of Milton.
As a man inebriated only by vapours, soon recovers in the open air, a nation discontented to madness, without any adequate cause, will return to its wits and allegiance, when a little pause has cooled it to reflection.
Falle Alarm, p. 53
Letters on public business should be written with a mind more intent on things than words, and above the affectation of unseasonable ele
gance. The business of a statesman can be little forwarded by flowers of rhetoric.
Life of Cowley.
As letters are written on all subjects, in all states of mind, they cannot be properly reduced to settled rules, or described by any single characteristic; and we may safely disentangle our minds from critical embarrassments, by determining that a letter has no peculiarity but its form; and that nothing is to be refused admission, which would be proper in any other method of treating the same subject.
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 278.
London is a place too wide for the operation of petty competition, and private malignity; where merit might soon become conspicuous, and find friends, as soon as it becomes reputable, to be-friend it.
Life of Thomson.
MARRIAGE has many pains, but celibacy no pleasures.
Prince of Abyssinia, p. 158.
The infelicities of marriage are not to be urged against its institution, as the miseries of life prove equally, that life cannot be the gift of heaven. Ibid. p. 169.
Marriage is not commonly unhappy, but as life is unhappy, and most of those who complain of connubial miseries, have as much satisfaction as their natures would have admitted, or their conduct procured, in any other condition. Rambler, vol. 2, p. 272.
When we see the avaricious and crafty taking companions to their tables and their beds, without any inquiry but after farms and money; or the giddy and thoughtless uniting themselves for life to those whom they have only seen by the light of tapers; when parents make articles for - children without enquiring after their consent; when some marry for heirs to disappoint their brothers; and others throw themselves into the arms of those whom they do not love, because they have found themselves rejected where they were more solicitous to please; when some marry because their servants cheat them; some because they squander their own money; some because their houses are pestered with company; some because they will live like other people; and some because they are sick of themselves; we
are not so much inclined to wonder that marriage is sometimes unhappy, as that it appears so little loaded with calamity; and cannot but conclude, that society has something in itself eminently agreeable to human nature, when we find its pleasures so great, that even the ill choice of a companion can hardly over-balance them. Those, therefore, of the above description, who rail against matrimony, should be informed, that they are neither to wonder nor repine, that a contract begun on such principles has ended in disappointment.
Ibid. p. 274 & 276.
Men generally pass the first weeks of matrimony like those who consider themselves as taking the last draught of pleasure, and resolve not to quit the bowl without a surfeit.
Ibid. vul. 4, p. 41.
Marriage should be considered as the most solemn league of perpetual friendship; a state from which artifice and concealment are to be banished for ever; and in which every act of dissimulation is a breach of faith.
Ibid. p. 43.
A poet may praise many whom he would he afraid to marry, and, perhaps, marry one whom he would have been ashamed to praise. Many qualities contribute to domestic happiness, upon which poetry has no colours to bestow; and many airs and sallies may delight imagination, which he who flatters them never can approve. There are charms made only for distant admiration-no spectacle is nobler than a blaze.
Life of Waller.
It is not likely that the married state is eminently miserable; since we see such numbers, whom the death of their partners has set free from it, enter it again.
Rambler, vol. 1, p. 273.
The happiness of some marriages are celebrated by their neighbours, because the married couple happen to grow rich by parsimony, to keep quiet by insensibility, and agree to eat and sleep together.
Ibid. vol. 4, P. 42.
A certain dissimilitude of habitudes and sentiments, as leaves each some peculiar advantages, and affords that concordia discors, that suitable disagreement, is always necessary to happy marriages. Such reasonings, though often formed upon different views, terminate generally in the same conclusion. Such thoughts, like rivulets issuing from distant springs, are each impregnated in its course with various mixtures, and tinged by infusions unknown to the other, yet, at last, easily unite into one stream, and purify themselves by the gentle effervescence of contrary qualities. Ibid. p. 43.
To die with husbands, or to live without them, are the two extremes which the prudence and moderation of European ladies have in all ages equally declined.
Ibid. vol. 2, p. 198.
Most people marry upon mingled motives, between convenience and inclination.
Life of Sir T. Browne, p. 262.