« AnteriorContinuar »
we can hardly do otherwise; nay, we do it many times when we do not think of it.
5. This decency, this grace, this propriety of manners to character, is so essential to princes in particular, that, whenever it is neglected, their virtues lose a great degree of lustre, and their defects acquire much aggravation. Nay more; by neglecting this decency and this grace, and for want of a sufficient regard to appearances, even their virtues may betray them into failings, their failings into vices, and their vices into habits unworthy of princes, and unworthy of men.
6. As trees and plants necessarily arise from seeds, so are you, Antony, the seed of this most calamitous war. You mourn, O Romans, that three of your armies have been slaughtered—they were slaughtered by Antony: you lament the loss of your most illustrious citizens—they were torn from you by Antony: the authority of this order is deeply wounded—it is wounded by Antony: in short, all the calamities we have ever since beheld (and what calamities have we not beheld ?) have been entirely owing to Antony. As Helen was of Troy, so the bane, the misery, the destruction of this state is—Antony.
7. Give me the cup,
8. That's truly great. What think you 'twas set up
Nay more, for justice some devote themselves,
9. 'Tis listening fear and dumb amazement all :
opens wider; shuts and opens, still
10. Had it pleased Heaven
1. The first ingredient in conversation is truth, the next good sense, the third good humour, and the fourth wit.
2. He who sedulously attends, pointedly asks, calmly speaks, coolly answers, and ceases when he has no more to say, is in possession of some of the best requisites of man.
3. Trust him little who praises all, him less who censures all, and him least who is indifferent about all.
4. He that does not know those things which are of use and necessity for him to know, is but an ignorant man, whatever he may know besides.
5. A man has no more right to say an uncivil thing, than to act one; no more right to say a rude thing to another, than to knock him down.
6. Books, like friends, should be few and well chosen. Like friends, too, we should return to them again and again -for, like true friends, they will never fail us, never cease to instruct, never cloy.
7. The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think; rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men.
8. Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man; and, therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little he had need have much cunning, and seem to know that he doth not.
9. There appears to exist a greater desire to live long than than to live well: measure by man's desires, he cannot live long enough; measure by his good deeds, and he has not lived long enough; measure by his evil deeds, and he has lived too long
10. We all of us complain of the shortness of time, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives are spent either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do; we are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them.
11. To know by rote, is no knowledge, and signifies no more than to retain what one has intrusted to his memory. That which a man rightly knows and understands, he is the free disposer of at his own full liberty, without any regard to the author from whence he had it, or fumbling over the leaves of his book. Mere bookish learning is both troublesome and ungrateful.
12. The world produces for every pint of honey, a gallon of gall; for every drachm of pleasure, a pound of pain; for every inch of mirth, an ell of moan; and as the ivy twines around the oak, so do misery and misfortune encompass the happiness of man. Felicity, pure and unalloyed felicity, is not a plant of earthly growth; her gardens are the skies.
13. Those things that are not practicable, are not desirable. There is nothing in the world really beneficial that does not lie within the reach of an informed understanding and a well-directed pursuit. There is nothing that God has judged good for us, that he has not given us the means to accomplish, both in the natural and moral world. If we cry, like children, for the moon, like children we must cry on.
14. Admonish thy friend; it may be that 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 it not again. Admonish thy 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 offendeth not with his tongue ?
15. How happy are those who have obtained the victory of conquering their passions, after which man is no longer the slave of fear, nor the fool of hope; is no more emaciated by envy, inflamed by anger, emasculated by tenderness, or depressed by grief; but walks on calmly through the tumalts or the privacies of life, as the sun pursues alike his course through the calm or the stormy sky.
16. A cheerful temper, joined with innocence, will make beauty attractive, knowledge delightful, and wit good-natured. It will lighten sickness, poverty, and affliction; convert ignorance into an amiable simplicity, and render deformity itself agreeable.
17. I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is emulation ; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor the courtier's, which is proud; nor the soldier's, which is ambitious; nor the lawyer's, which is politic; nor the lady's, which is nice; nor the lover's, which is all these.
18. We only toil and labour to stuff the memory, and in the meantime leave the conscience and the understanding unfurnished and void. And as old birds which fly abroad to forage for grain, bring it home in their beak, without tasting it themselves, to feed their young; so our pedants go picking knowledge here and there out of several authors, and hold it at their tongues' end, only to distribute it among their pupils.
19. Contentment produces, in some measure, all those effects which the alchymist usually ascribes to what he calls the philosopher's stone; and if it does not bring riches, it does the same thing by banishing the desire of them. If it cannot remove the disquietudes arising from a man's mind, body, or fortune, it makes him easy under them.
20. To pursue trifles is the lot of humanity; and whether we bustle in a pantomime, or strut at a coronation ; whether we shout at a bonfire, or harangue in a senate-house ; whatever object we follow, it will at last surely conduct us to futility and disappointment. The wise bustle and laugh as they walk in the pageant, but fools bustle and are important; and this, probably, is all the difference between them.
21. If a strong attachment to a particular subject, a total ignorance of every other, an eagerness to introduce that