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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

Jbid, 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



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.

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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,


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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 prudence and 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.

Uniformity 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

life. The other life is future, and the Supreme Being is invisible. None would have recourse to an invisible power, but that all other subjects had eluded their hopes. None would fix their attention upon the future, but that they are discontented with the present. If the senses were feasted with perpetual pleasure, they would always keep the mind in subjection. Reason has no authority over us, but by its power to warn us against evil.


Idler, vol. 2, p. 209..


To p pursue perfection in any science, where perfection is unattainable, is like the first inhabitants of Arcadia, to chace the sun, which, when they had reached the hill where he seemed to rest, was still beheld at the same distance from them.

'Life of Waller,

It seldom happens that all the necessary causes *concur to any great effect. Will is wanting to power, or power to will, or both are impeded by external obstructions.

Life of Dryden.

An imperial crown cannot be one continued diamond; the gems must be held together by some less valuable matter.




Combinations of wickedness would overwhelm the world, by the advantage which licentious principles afford, did not those who have long practised perfidy, grow faithless to each other.

Life of Waller,



The man who feels himself ignorant, should at least be modest.

Preliminary Difcourse to the London Chronicle, p. 156.

Ignorance cannot always be inferred from inaccuracy; knowledge is not always present. Notes upon Shakespeare, vol. 6, p. 101.

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Gross ignorance every man has found equally dangerous with perverted knowledge. Men left wholly to their appetites and their instincts, with little sense of moral or religious obligation, and with very faint distinctions of right and wrong, can, never be safely employed, or confidently trusted. They can be honest only by obstinacy, and diligent only by compulsion or caprice. Some instruction, therefore, is necessary; and much, perhaps, may be dangerous.

Review of the Origin of Evil, p. II.

Ignorance is most easily kept in subjection : by enlightening the mind with truth, fraud and usurpation would be made less practicable and less secure.

Introduction to the World Difplayed, p. 180.


(Compared with Knowledge)

The expectation of ignorance is indefinite, and that of knowledge often tyrannical. It is hard to satisfy those who know not what to demand, or those who demand, by design, what they think impossible to be done.

Preface to Shakspeare, p. 68.


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