« AnteriorContinuar »
PRUDENCE AND JUSTICE.
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.
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
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 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,
No terrestrial greatness is more than aggregate of little things, and to inculcate, after the Arabian proverb, "Drops added to drops, constitute the ocean,"
Plan of an English Dictionary, p. 49.
All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance. It is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals; it is therefore of the utmost importance that those who have any intention of deviating from the beaten roads of life, and acquiring a reputation superior to names hourly swept away by time among the re-fuse of fame, should add to their reason and their spirit, the power of persisting in their purposes, acquire the art of sapping what they cannot batter, and the habit of vanquishing obstinate resistance by obstinate attacks.
Rambler, vol. 1, p. 261 & 262.
He seldom lives frugally who lives by chance. Hope is always liberal, and they that trust her promises, make little scruple of revelling to-day on the profits of to-morrow.
Life of Dryden.
If what we suffer has been brought on us by ourselves, it is observed by an ancient poet, that patience is eminently our duty, since no one ought to be angry at feeling that which he has deserved.
If we are conscious that we have not contributed to our own sufferings, if punishment falls upon innocence, or disappointment happens to industry and prudence, patience, whether more necessary or not, is much easier, since our pain is then without aggravation, and we have not the bitterness of remorse to add to the asperity of misfortune,
Rambler, vol. 1, p. 195.
In those evils which are allotted us by Providence, such as deformity, privation of any of the senses, or old age, it is always to be remembered, that impatience can have no present effect, but to deprive us of the consolations which our condition admits, by driving away from us those, by whose conversation, or advice, we might be amused or helped; and that with regard to futurity, it is yet less to be justified, since, without lessening the pain, it cuts off the hope of that reward which he, by whom it is inflicted, will confer upon them that bear it well.
In all evils which admit a remedy, impatience is to be avoided, because it wastes that time and attention in complaints, that, if properly applied, might remove the cause.
In calamities which operate chiefly on our passions, such as diminution of fortune, loss of friends, or declension of character, the chief danger of impatience is upon the first attack, and many expedients have been contrived by which the blow might be broken. Of these, the most general precept is, not to take pleasure in any thing of which it is not in our power to secure
the possession to ourselves. This counsel, when We consider the enjoyment of any terrestrial advantage, as opposite to a constant and habitual solicitude for future felicity, is undoubtedly just, and delivered by that authority which cannot be disputed; but, in any other sense, is it not like advice not to walk, lest we should stumble, or not to see, lest our eyes should light on deformity?
It seems reasonable to enjoy blessings with confidence, as well as to resign them with submission, and to hope for the continuance of good which we possess, without 'insolence or voluptu ousness, as for the restitution of that which we lose without despondency or murmurs.
Rambler, vol. 1, p. 197.
The chief security against the fruitless anguish of impatience, must arise from frequent reflection on the wisdom and goodness of the God of Nature, in whose hands are riches and poverty, honour and disgrace, pleasure and pain, and life and death. A settled conviction of the tendency of every thing to our good, and of the possibility of turning miseries into happiness, by receiving them rightly, will incline us to bless the name of the Lord, whether he gives or takes away. Ibid. p. 198.
The uncivilised, in all countries, have patience proportionate to their unskilfulness, and are content to attain their end by very tedious methods. Weitern Islands, p. 161.
Pity is to many of the unhappy, a source of comfort in hopeless distresses, as it contributes