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Men are wrong for want of sense, but they are wrong by halves for want of spirit.
Taxation no Tyranny, p. 42.
Men easily forgive wrongs which are not committed against themselves.
Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 4, p. 158.
The power of doing wrong with impunity, seldom waits long for the will.
Obfervation on the State of Affairs, 1756, p. 22.
The importance of writing letters with propriety, justly claims to be considered with care, since, next to the power of pleasing with his presence, every man should wish to be able to give delight at a distance.
Preface to the Preceptor p. 68.
The mechanical art of writing began to be cultivated amongst us in the reign of Queen' Elizabeth, and was at that time so highly valued, that it contributed much to the fame and. fortune of him who wrote his pages with neatness, and embellished them with elegant draughts and illuminations; it was partly, perhaps, to this encouragement, that we now surpass all other. nations in this art.
Life of Roger Ascham, p. 238.
In Sir Henry Wotton's jocular definition," an ambassador is said to be a man of virtue, sent abroad to tell lies for the advantage of his
country." A news-writer is a man without virtue, who writes lies at home for his own profit. Idler, vol. 3, p. 31.
There have been men splendidly wicked, whose endowments threw a brightness on their crimes, and whom scarce any villainy made perfectly detestable, because they never could be wholly divested of their excellencies: but such have been, in all ages, the great corrupters of the world; and their resemblance ought no more to be preserved than the art of murdering without pain.
Rambler, vol. 1, p. 22.
All wonder is the effect of novelty upon igno
Life of Yalden.
Wonder is a pause of reason, a sudden cessation of the mental progress, which lasts only while the understanding is fixed upon some single idea, and it is at an end when it recovers force enough to divide the object into its parts, or mark the intermediate gradations from the first agent to the last consequence.
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 186
YOUTH is of long duration; and in maturer age, when the enchantments of fancy shall cease, and phantoms of delight dance no more about us, we shall have no comforts' but the esteem of wise mer, and the mean of doing good.
us therefore stop, while to stop is in our power Let us live as men, who are some time to be old, and to whom it will be the most dreadful of all evils, to count their former luxuriance of health, only by the maladies which riot has produced. Prince of Abyssinia, p. 113.
That the highest degree of reverence should be paid to youth, and that nothing indecent should be suffered to approach their eyes or cars, are precepts extorted by sense and virtue from an ancient writer, by no means eminent for chastity of thought. The same kind, though not the same degree of caution, is required in every thing which is laid before them, to secure them from unjust prejudices, perverse opinions, and incongruous combinations of images.
Rambler, vol. 1, p. 20.
Youth is the time of enterprise and hope: hav ing yet no occasion for comparing our force with any opposing power, we naturally form presumptions in our own favour, and imagine that obstruction and impediment will give way before us.
Ibid. vol. 3, p. 31.
Youth is the time in which the qualities of modesty and enterprise ought chiefly to be found. Modesty suits well with inexperience, and enterprise with health and vigour, and an extensive prospect of life.
. Ibid. vol. I, P. 75.
THE PROGRESS OF YOUTH.
The youth has not yet discovered how many evils are continually hovering about us, and when he is set free from the shackles of discipline, looks abroad into the world with rapture; he sees an Elysian region open before him, so variega
ted with beauty, and so stored with pleasure, that his care is rather to accumulate good than to shun evil; he stands distracted by different forms of delight; and has no other doubt than which path to follow of those which all lead' equally to the bowers of happiness.
He who has seen only the superficies of life, believes every thing to be what it appears, and rarely suspects that external splendour conceals any latent sorrow or vexation. He never imagines that there may be greatness without safety, affluence without content, jollity without friendship, and solitude without peace. He fancies himself permitted to cull the blessings of every condition, and to leave its inconveniences to the idle and to the ignorant. He is inclined to believe no man miserable but by his own fault; and seldom looks with much pity upon failings or miscarriages, because he thinks them willingly admitted, or negligently incurred.
It is impossible without pity and contempt to hear a youth of generous sentiments and warm imagination, declaring, in the moment of openness and confidence, his designs and expectations; because long life is possible, he considers it as certain, and therefore promises himself all the changes of happiness, and provides gratification for every desire.
He is for a time to give himself wholly to frolic and diversion, to range the world in search of pleasure, to delight every eye, and to gain every heart, and to be celebrated equally for his pleasing levities and solid attainments, his deep reflections and, sporting repartees.
He then elevates his views to nobler enjoyments, and finds all the scattered excellencies of the female world united in a woman, who prefers his addresses to wealth and titles. He is afterwards
wards to engage in business; to dissipate difficulty and overpower opposition; to climb, by the mere force of merit, to fame and greatness, and reward all those who countenanced his rise, or paid due regard to his early excellence. At last he will retire in peace and honour, contract his views to domestic pleasures, form the manners of his children like himself, observe how every year expands the beauty of his daughters, and how his sons catch ardour from their father's history; he will give laws to the neighbourhood, dictate axioms to posterity, and leave the world an example of wisdom and of happiness.
With hopes like these, he sallies jocund into life: to little purpose is he told that the condition of humanity admits no pure and unmingled happiness; that the exuberant gaiety of youth ends in poverty or disease; that uncommon qualifications, and contrarieties of excellence, produce envy equally with applause; that whatever admiration and fondness may promise him, he must. marry a wife, like the wives of others, with some virtues and some faults, and be as often disgusted with her vices, as delighted with her elegance; that if he adventures into the circle of action, he must expect to encounter men as artful, as daring, as resolute as himself; that of his children, some may be deformed, and others vicious some may disgrace him by their follies, some offend him by their insolence, and some exhaust him by their profusion. He hears all this with obstinate incredulity, and wonders by what malignity old age is influenced, that it cannot forbear to fill his ears with predictions of misery.
Among other pleasing errors of young minds is the opinion of their own importance. He that has not yet remarked how little attention his contemporaries can spare from their own affairs, conceives