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and watch its degradation with malicious wonder, like him, who having followed with his eye an eagle into the clouds, should lament that she ever descended to a perch. ̧
Life of Pope.
Trifles always require exuberance of ornament. The building which has no strength, can be valued only for the grace of its decorations. The pebble must be polished with care, which hopes to be valued as a diamond, and words ought surely to be laboured, when they are intended to stand for things.
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 280.
To proportion the cagerness of contest to its importance, seems too hard a task for human wisdom. The pride of wit has kept ages busy in 'the discussion of useless questions; and the pride of power has destroyed armies to gain or to keep unprofitable possessions.
Falkland Islands, p. I.
**All travel has its advantages; if the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own; and if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.
Western Inlands, p. 322.
He that would travel for the entertainment of others, should remember, that the great object of remark is HUMAN LIFE. Every nation has some:thing in its manufactures, its works of genius, its medicines, its agriculture, its customs, and its 1 policy. He only is an useful traveller, who brings home something by which his country may be benefitted, who procures some supply of want, or
some mitigation of evil, which may enable his readers to compare their condition with that of others; to improve it wherever it is worse, and wherever it is better, to enjoy it.
Idler, vol. 2, p. 253.
It is by studying at home, that we must obtain the ability of travelling with intelligence and improvement.
Life of Gray.
Nothing dejects a trader like the interruption of his profits.
Taxation no Tyranny, p.3.
The theory of trade is yet but little understood, and therefore the practice is often witiront real advantage to the public; but it might be carried on with inore general success, if its principles were better considered."
Preface to the Preceptor, p 77
Truth is scarcely to be heard, but by those from whom it can serve no interest to conceal it. Rambler, vol. 3, p. 269.
Truth has no gradations; nothing which admits of increase can be so much what it is, as truth is truth. There may be a strange thing, and a thing more strange. But if a proposition be true, there can be none more true.
Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 2, p. 136.
Malice often bears down truth.
Ibid. vol. 4, p. 222.
Truth, like beauty, varies its fashions, and is best recommended by different dresses, to different minds.
Idler, vol. 2, p. 186.
There is no crime more infamous than the violation of truth: it is apparent, that men can be sociable beings no longer than they can believe each other. When speech is employed only as the vehicle of falsehood, every man must disunite himself from others, inhabit his own cave, and seek prey only for himself.
Ibid, vol. 1, p. 108.
Truth is the basis of all excellence.
Life of Cowley.
Truth is always truth, and reason is always reason; they have an intrinsic and unalterable value, and constitute that intellectual gold which defies destruction; but gold may be so concealed in baser matter, that only a chemist can recover it; sense may be so hidden in unrefined and plebeian words, that none but philosophers can distinguish it; and both may be so buried in impurities, as not to pay the cost of their extraction.
To doubt whether a man of eminence has told the truth about his own birth, is in appearance, to be very deficient in candour; yet nobody can live long without knowing, that falsehoods of convenience or vanity, falsehoods from which no evil immediately visible ensues, except the
general degradation of human testimony, are very lightly uttered, and, once uttered, are sullenly supported. Boileau, who desired to be thought a rigorous and steady moralist, having told a petty lie to Lewis XIV. continued it afterwards by falfe dates; thinking himself obliged, in honour (says his admirer) to maintain what, when he said it, was well received.
Life of Congreve.
It were doubtless to be wished, that truth and reason were universally prevalent; that every thing were esteemed according to its real value, and that men would secure themselves from being disappointed in their endeavours after happiness, by placing it only in virtue, which is always to be obtained. But, if adventitious and foreign pleasures must be pursued, it would be, perhaps, of some benefit, since that pursuit must frequently be fruitless, if it could be taught, that folly might be an antidote to folly, and one falJacy be obviated by another.
Life of Savage.
Where truth is sufficient to fill the mind, fiction is worse than useless; the counterfeit debases the genuine,
Life of Gray.
that if virtue could may be added, that must be obeyed. Rambler, vol. 2, p. 194
To the position of Tully, be seen, she must be loved," if truth could be heard, she
Truth finds an easy entrance into the mind, when she is introduced by desire, and attended by pleasure. But when she intrudes uncalled,
and brings only fear and sorrow in her train, the passes of the intellect are barred against her by prejudice and passion; if she sometimes forces her way by the batteries of argument, she seldom long keeps possession of her conquests, but is ejected by some favoured enemy, or at best obtains only a nominal sovereignty, without influence, and without authority.
Ibid. vol. 4, p. 29.
There are many truths which every human being acknowledges and forgets.
Idler, vol. 1, p. 6.
Truth, when it is reduced to practice, easily becomes subject to caprice and imagination, and mány particular acts will be wrong, though their general principle be right.
Ibid. p. 291.
The most useful truths are always universal, and unconnected with accidents and customs. Ibid. vol. 2, p. 76.
Between falsehood and useless truth there is little difference. As gold which he cannot spend, will make no man rich, so knowledge which he cannot apply, will make no man wise.
Ibid. p. 179.
He that contradicts acknowledged truth, will always have an audience; he that vilifies established authority, will always find abettors.
Falkland Islands, p. 54.
There are truths, which, as they are always necessary, do not grow stale by repetition.
Review of the Origin of Evil, p. 17.