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MCCLXXVII. When men that can learn the hardest trade in a few years, have not learned a catechism, nor how to understand the creed, under twenty or thirty years' preaching, nor cannot abide to be questioned about such things, doth not this show that they have slighted them in their hearts?--Baxter.
MCCLXXVIII. It is a strange thing, that, in sea voyages, where there is nothing to be seen but sky and sea, men should make diaries; but in land-travel, wherein so much is to be observed, for the most part they omit it, as if chance were fitter to be registered than observation: let diaries, therefore, be brought in use.--Lord Bacon.
MCCLXXIX. Ben. Lawyer, I believe there's many a cranny and leak unstopped in your conscience. If so be that one had a pump to your bosom, I believe we should discover a foul hold. They say a witeh will sail in a sieve; but I believe the devil would not venture aboard your conscience.-Love for Love-Congreve.
What wise man, That, with judicious eyes, looks on a soldier, But must confess that fortune's swing is more O’er that profession than all kinds else Of life pursued by man? They, in a state, Are but as surgeons to wounded men, E'en desperate in their hopes. Massinger.
MCCLXXXI. Whosoever shall look heedfully upon those who are eminent for their riches, will not think their condition such as that he should hazard his quiet, and much less his virtue, to obtain it: for all that great wealth generally gives above a moderate fortune, is more room for the freaks of caprice, and more privilege for ignorance and vice, a quicker succession of flatteries, and a Farger circle of voluptuousness.-.-Johnson.
MCCLXXXII. We who life bestow, ourselves must live; Kings cannot reign unless their subjects give; And they, who pay the taxes, bear the rule: Thus thou, sometimes, art forced to draw a fool: But so his follies in thy posture sink, The senseless idiot seems at last to think. Good heaven! that sots and knaves should be so vain To wish their vile resemblance may remain, And stand recorded, at their own request, To future days, a libel or a jest.
Dryden—to Sir Godfrey Kneller.
MCCLXXXIII. Were I in England now (as once I was,) and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver: there would this monster make a man: any strange beast there makes a man: when they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian. - Tempest-Shakspeare.
MCCLXXXIV. A mind too vigorous and active serves only to consume the body to which it is joined, as the richest jewels are soonest found to wear their settings.--Goldsmith.
MCCLXXXV. The coldness of a losing gamester lessens the pleasure of the winner. I'd no more play with a man that slighted his ill fortune than I'd make love to a woman who undervalued the loss of her reputation.---Congreve.
MCCLXXXVI. There are some tempers—how shall I describe them? formed either of such impenetrable matter, or wrought up by habitual selfishness to such an utter insensibility of what becomes of the fortunes of their fellow-creatures, as if they were not partakers of the same nature, or had no lot or connexion at all with the species.-Sterne.
With silence, and ne'er on bad fortune complains,
But carelessly plays with his keys on the grate,
And makes a sweet concert with them and his chains. He drowns care with sack, while his thoughts are
opprest, And makes his heart float like a cork in his breast. Then since we ’re all slaves who islanders be, And the world's a large prison enclos’d with the sea, We'll drink up the ocean, and set ourselves free, For man is the world's epitome. 'Tis sack makes our faces like comets to shine.
And gives beauty beyond a complexion mask; Diogenes fell so in love with his wine
That when 'twas all out he still liv'd in the cask; And he so lov’d the scent of his wainscoted room,
That, dying, he desired a tub for his tomb. Then since we're all slaves, &c.
Song in a Tragi-comedy, 1660.
MCCLXXXVIII. Foppery is never cured; it is the bad stamina of the mind, which, like those of the body, are never rectified; once a coxcomb, and always a coxcomb.-Johnson.
Who nothing has to lose, the war bewails;
Congreve-to Sir R. Temple.
MCCXC. 0, no doubt, my good friends, but the gods themselves have provided that I shall have much help from you: How had you been my friends else? Why have you that charitable title from thousands, did you not chiefly belong to my heart? I have told more of you to myself, than you can with modesty speak in your own behalf; and thus far I confirm you. O, you gods, think I, what need we have any friends, if we should never have need of them they were the most needless creatures living, should we ne'er have use for them: and would not resemble sweet instruments hung up in cases, that keep their sounds to themselves. Why, I have often wish'd myself poorer, that I might come nearer to you. We are born to do benefits:
and what better or properer can we call our own, than the riches of our friends? O, what a precious comfort 'tis, to have so many like brothers, commanding one another's fortunes! O joy, e'en made away ere it can be born! Mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks: to forget their faults, I drink to you.—Timon of Athens-Shakspeare.
. I had rather see some women praised extraordinarily, than to see any of them suffer detraction.-Dryden.
MCCXCII. Though a pleader or preacher is hoarse or awkward, the weight of their matter commands respect and attention; but in theatrical speaking, if the performer is not exactly proper and graceful, he is utterly ridiculous. In cases where there is little expected but the pleasure of the ears and eyes, the least diminution of that pleasure is the highest offence. In acting, barely to perform the part is not commendable, but to be the least out is contemptible. --Steele.
Shakspeare. MCCXCIV. Idleness is a constant sin, and labour is a duty: idleness is but the devil's home for temptation, and for unprofitable, distracting musings; labour profiteth others, and ourselves.
MCCXCV. Of all men living, I pity players (who must be men of good understanding, to be capable of being such,) that they are obliged to repeat and assume proper gestures for representing things, of which their reason must be ashamed, and which they must disdain their audience for approving. The amendment of these low gratifications is only to be made by people of condition, by encouraging
the representation of the noble characters drawn by Shakspeare and others; from whence it is impossible to return without strong impressions of honour and humanity. On these occasions, distress is laid before us with all its causes and consequences, and our resentment placed according to the merit of the persons afflicted. Were dramas of this nature more acceptable to the taste of the town, men who have genius would bend their studies to excel in them.--Steele.
MCCXCVI. There is too much reason to apprehend, that the custom of pleading for any client, without discrimination of right or wrong, must lessen the regard due to those important distinctions, and deaden the moral sensibili. ty of the heart.--Percival.
MCCXCVII. Heaven be their resource who have no other but the <harity of the world, the stock of which, I fear, is no