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Iteer, it is no harm to set out all our fail : If the forms and tempefts of adversity should rise upon us, and not suffer us to make the haven where we would be, it will however prove no small consolation to us in these cir. cumstances, that we have neither mistaken our course, nor fallen into calamities of our own procuring.
On the Knowledge of the World.
TOTHING has so much exposed men of learning
to contempt and ridicule, as their ignorance of things which are known to all but themselves. Those who have been taught to conGider the institutions of the schools as giving the last perfection to human abilities, are surprised to see men wrinkled with study, yet wanting to be instructed in the minute circumftances of propriety, or the necessary forms of daily transaction; and quickly shake off their reverence for modes. of education, which they find to produce no ability above the rest of mankind.
Books, says Bacon, can never teach the use of books. The student must learn, by commerce with mankind, to reduce his. speculations to practice, and accommodate his knowledge to the purposes of life.
It is too common for those who have been bred to fcholastic professions, and passed much of their time in academies, where nothing but learning confers honours, to disregard every other qualification, and to imagine that they shall find mankind ready to pay homage to their knowledge, and to crowd about them for instruction. They therefore step out from their cells into the open world, with all the confidence of authority and dignity of importance; they look round about them at once with ignorance and scorn on a race of beings to whom they are equally unknown and equally contemptible, but whose manners they must imitate, and with whose opinions they must comply, if they desire to pass their time happily among them.
To lefsen that disdain with which fcholars are inclined to look on the common business of the world, and the unwillingness with which they condescend to learn what is not to be found in any system of philosophy, it may be necessary to consider, that though admiration is excited by abstruse researches and remote discoveries,
yet pleasure is not given, nor affection conciliated, but by softer accomplishments, and qualities more easily communicable to those about us. He that can only converse upon questions, about which only a small part of mankind has knowledge fufficient to make them curious, must lose his days in unsocial filence, and live in the crowd of life without a companion. He that can only be useful on great occasions, may die without exerting his abilities, and stand a helpless spectator of a thousand vexations which fret away happiness, and which nothing is required to remove but a little dexterity of conduct and readiness of expedient.
No degree of knowledge attainable by man is able to fet him above the want of hourly aslistance, or to extinguish the desire of fond endearments and tender officiousness; and, therefore, no one should think it unneceffary to learn those arts by which friendfhip may be gained. Kindness is preserved by a constant reciprocation of benefits or interchange of pleasures: But such benefits only can be bestowed as others are capable of receiving, and such pleasures only imparted as others are qualified to enjoy.
By this defcent from the pinnacle of art, no honour will be loft; for the condefcenfions of learning are always overpaid by gratitude. An elevated genius employed in little things, appears, to use the simile of Longinus, like the fun in his evening declination : He remits his fplendour, but retains his magnitude; and pleases more, though he dazzles less.
T was some time in the summer of that year in which
Dendermond was taken by the allies, which was about seven
father came into the coure try,--and about as many, after the time, that my uncle Toby and Trim had privately decamped from my father's house in town, in order to lay some of the finest fieges to fome of the finest fortified cities, in Europe-when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim fitting behind him at a small fideboard ;-—the landlord of a little inn in the village came into the parlour with an empty phial in his hand to beg a glass or two of fack: 'Tis for a poor gentleman, -I think of the army, said the landlord, who was taken ill at my house four days ago, and has never held up
his head fince, or had a desire to taste any thing, till just now, that he has a fancy for a glass of sack and a thin toast, I think, says he, taking his hand from his forehead, it would comfort me.
If I could neither beg, borrow, nor buy such a thing,-added the landlord, I could almoft' steal it for the poor gentleman, he is so ill. I hope in God he will still mend, continued he-we are all of us concerned for him.
Thou art a good-natured soul, I will answer for thee, cried my uncle Toby; and thou shalt drink the poor gentleman's health in a glass of fack thyself,—and take a couple of bottles with my service, and tell him he is heartily welcome to them, and to a dozen more, if they will do him good.
Though I am persuaded, said my uncle Toby, as, the landlord shut the door, he is a very compassionate fellow -Trim,-yet I cannot help entertaining a high opinion of his guest too;. there must be something more than common in him, that in so short a time should win so much upon
the affe&lions of his host ;- And of his whole family, added the corporal, for they are all concerned for him. --Step after him, said my uncle Toby, -do Trim,-and ask if he knows his name.
I have quite forgot it, truly, said the landlord, coming back into the parlour, with the corporal,—but I can ask his son again :-Has he a son with him then ? said my uncle Toby.--A boy, replied the landlord, of about eleven or twelve years of age ;---but the poor creature has afted almost as little as his father; he does nothing but mourn and lament for him night and day:
-He has not stirred from the bed-side these two days.
My uncle Toby laid down his knife and fork, and thruft his plate down before him, as the landlord gave him the account; and Trim, without being ordered, took away without saying one word, and in a few minutes after brought him his pipe and tobacco.
-Stay in the room a little, said my uncle Toby.
-Trim! said my uncle Toby, after he had lighted his pipe and smoaked about a dozen whiffs Trim came in front of his master and made his bow; -my uncle Toby smoaked on, and said no more.