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It is harder to avoid censure, than to gain applause ; for this may be done by one great or wise victim in an age; but to escape censuse, a man must pass his whole life without saying or doing one ill or foolish thing.
When Darius offered Alexander ten thousand talents` to divide Asia equally with him, he answered, the earth cannot bear two suns, nor Asia two kings. Parmenio, a friend of Alexander's, hearing the great offers Darius had made, said, were I Alexander I would accept them. So would I, replied Alexander, were I Parmenio.
Nobility is to be considered only as an imaginary distinction, unless accompanied with the practice of those generous virtues by which it ought to be obtained.→→ Titles of honor conferred upon such as have no personal merit, are at best but the royal stamp set upon base metal.
Though an honourable title may be conveyed to posterity, yet the ennobling qualities which are the soul of greatness, are a sort of incommunicable perfections, and cannot be transferred. If a man could bequeath his virtues by will, and settle his sense and learning upon his heirs, as certainly as he can his lands, a noble descent would then indeed be a very valuable privilege.
Truth is always consistent with itself, and needs no» thing to help it out. It is always near at hand, and sits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware: whereas a lie is troublesome, and sets a man's invention upon the rack; and one trick needs a great many more to make it good.
The pleasure which affects the human mind with the most lively and transporting touches, is the sense that we act in the eye of infinite wisdom, power and goodness, that will crown our virtuous endeavours here with a happiness hereafter, large as our desires, and lasting as our immortal souls; without this the highest state of life is insipid, and with it the lowest is a paradise.
HONOURABLE age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that which is measured by number of years; but wisdom is the grey hair unto man, and unspotted life is old age.
Wickedness, condemned by her own witness, is very timorous, and being pressed with conscience, always forecasteth evil things: for fear is nothing else, but a betraying of the succours which reason offereth.
A wise man will fear in every thing. He that contemneth small things, shall fall by little and little.
A rich man beginning to fall is held up of his friends: but a poor man being down is thrust away by his friends: when a rich man is fallen he hath many helpers ;he speaketh things not to be spoken, and yet men justify him the poor man slipt and they rebuked him: he spoke wisely, and could have no place. When a rich man speaketh, every man holdeth his tongue, and look, what he saith they extol it to the clouds; but if a poor man speak, they say, what fellow is this?
Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not so many as have fallen by the tongue. Well is he that is defended from it, and hath not passed through the venom thereof; who hath not drawn the yoke thereof, nor been bound in her bonds; for the yoke thereof is a yoke of iron, and the bands thereof are bands of brass; the death thereof is an evil death,
My son blemish not thy good deeds, neither use uncomfortable words, when thou givest any thing. Shall not the dew assuage the heat; so is a word better than a gift. Lo, is not a word better than a gift? but both are with a gracious man.
Blame not before thou hast examined the truth; understand first, and then rebuke.
If thou wouldst get a friend, prove him first, and be not hasty to credit him; for some men are friends for their own occasions, and will not abide in the day of thy trouble.
Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not compara ble to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old thou shalt drink it with pleasure.
A friend cannot be known in prosperity; and an ene my cannot be hidden in adversity.
Admonish thy friend; it may be he hath not done it ; and if he have, that he do it no more. Admonish thy friend; it may be he hath not said it; or if he have, that he speak not again. Admonish a friend; for many times it is a slander; and believe not every tale. There is one that slippeth in his speech, but not from his heart; and who is he that hath not offended with his tongue ?
Whoso discovereth secrets loseth his credit, and shall never find a friend to his mind.
Honour thy father with thy whole heart, and forget not the sorrows mother; how canst thou recom
pense them the things they have done for thee?
There is nothing so much worth as a mind well instructed.
The lips of talkers will be telling such things as pertain not unto them; but the words of such as have understanding are weighed in the balance. The heart of fools is in their mouth, but the tongue of the wise is in their heart.
To labour, and be content with that a man hath, is a sweet life.
Be in peace with many; nevertheless, have but one counsellorsofta thousand.
Be not confident in a plain way.
Let reason go before every enterprize, and council before every action, .
THE latter part of a wise man's life is taken up in curing the follies, prejudices, and false opinions he had contracted in the former. »
Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being
Very few men, properly speaking, live at present, but are providing to live another time.
Party is the madness of many, for the gain of a few.
To endeavour to work upon the vulgar with fine sense, is like attempting to hew blocks of marble with a razor. Superstition is the spleen of the soul.
He who tells a lie, is not sensible how great a task he undertakes: for he must be obliged to invent twenty more to maintain that one.
Some people will never learn any thing, for this reason, because they understand every thing too soon.
There is nothing wanting to make all rational and disinterested people in the world of one religion, but that they should talk together every day.
Men are grateful in the same degree that they are ré
Young men are subtle arguers; the cloak of honour covers all their faults, as that of passion, all their fellies.
Economy is no disgrace; it is better living on a little, than out-living a great deal.
Next to the satisfaction I receive in the prosperity c an honest man, I am best pleased with rhe confusion a rascal.
What is often termed shyness, is nothing more tha refined sense,and an indifference to common observations The higher character a person supports, the more he should regard his minutest actions,
Every person insensibly fixes upon some degree of refinement in his discourse, some measure of thought which he thinks worth exhibiting. It is wise to fix this pretty high, although it occasions one to talk the less.
To endeavour all one's days to fortify our minds with learning and philosophy, is to spend so much in armour, that one has nothing left to defend.
Deference often shrinks and withers as much upon the approach of intimacy, as the sensitive plant does upon the touch of one's finger.
Men are sometimes accused of pride, merely because their accusers would be proud themselves if they were in their places.
People frequently use this expression, I am inclined to think so and so, no considering that they are then speaking the most literal of all truths.
Modesty makes large amends for the pain it gives the persons who labour under it, by the prejudice it affords every worthy person in their favour.
The difference there is betwixt honour and honesty seems to be chiefly in the motive. The honest man does that from duty, which the man of honour does for the sake of character.
A liar begins with making falshood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falshood. Virtue should be considered as a part of taste; and we