« ПретходнаНастави »
as blasphemous, treasonable and absurd.—London University Magazine.
VIIT. Fear.-Such as are in immediate fear of losing their estates, of banishment, or of slavery, live in perpetual an. guish, and lose all appetite and repose; whereas, such as are actually poor slaves and exiles, oftentimes live as merrily as men in a better condition; and so many peo. ple, who, impatient of the perpetual alarms of fear, have hanged and drowned themselves, give us sufficiently to understand, that it is more importunate and insupportable than death itself.—Montaigne,
Gentleness of Address successful in convincing our Opponents. It is a very great and fatal mistake in persons. who attempt to convince or reconcile others to their party, when they make the difference appear as wide as possible; this is shocking to any person who is to be convinced-he will choose rather to keep and maintain his own opinions, if he cannot come into yours without renouncing and abandoning every thing that he believed before, Human nature must be flattered a little as well as reasoned with, that so the argument may be able to come at his under: standing, which otherwise will be thrust off at a distance. If you charge a man with nonsense and absurditjes, with beresy and self-contradiction, you take a very wrong step towards convincing him.- Watts' Posthumous Works.
Solitude. Those beings only are fit for solitude, who like nobody, are like nobody, and are liked by nobody. Zimmerman.
XI. Morality of Actions. The morality of an action depends upon the motive from which we act. If I fling half-a-crown to a beggar with intention to break his head, and he picks it up and buys victuals with it, the physical effect is good; but with respect to me the action is very wrong.-Johnson.
Of Dominion.—The lust of dominion innovates so im. perceptibly, that we become complete despots before our wanton abuse of power is perceived; the tyranny first exercised in the nursery is exhibited in various shapes and degrees in every stage of our existence,-Zimmerman.
XIII. Reason perverted. How difficult a thing it is to per. suade a man to reason against his own interest, though he is convinced that equity is against him.-Trusler.
Prejudice.-Prejudice may be considered as a continual false medium of viewing things, for prejudiced per. sons not only never speak well, but also never think well, of those whom they dislike, and the whole character and conduct is considered with an eye to that particular thing which offends them.-Butler.
The Religion of Christ.—The religion of Christ is peace and good will the religion of Christendom is war and ill will.- Landor's Conversations.
XVI. The object of Education.—The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think than what to thinkrather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men.-Beattie.
Troubles of Life.-Were there a common bank made of all men's troubles, most men would choose rather to take those they brought than venture on a new dividend, and think it best to sit down with their own.-Socrates.
XVIII. Reading.-No entertainment is so cheap as reading nor any pleasure so lasting.Lady M. W. Montague.
Prejudices and Habits.—The confirmed prejudices of a thoughtful life are as hard to change as the confirmed habits of an indolent life; and as some must trifle away age because they trified away youth, others must labour on in a maze of error because they have wandered there too long to find their way out.-Bolingbroke.
Effect of Climate on our Dispositions.-- There is a sort of variety amongst us which arises from our climate, and the dispositions it naturally produces. We are not only more unlike one another than any nation I know, but we are more unlike ourselves too, at several times, and owe to our very air some ill qualities as well as good.—Sir W. Temple.
Reason. He that follows its advice, has a mind that is elevated above the reach of injury; that sits above the clouds in a calm and quiet ether, and, with a brave indifference, hears the rolling thunders grumble and burst under his feet.-Scott'Christian Life.
Hereditary Government.--Burke says that government is a contrivance of human wisdom. Admitting that government is a contrivance of human wisdom, it must necessarily follow that hereditary succession, and hereditary rights, as they are called, can make no part of it, because it is impossible to make wisdom hereditary.
Opinions concerning Beauty.-What different ideas are formed in different nations, concerning the beauty of the human shape and countenance! A fair complexion is a shocking deformity on the coast of Guinea; thick lips and a flat nose are a beauty. In some nations, long ears, that hang down upon the shoulders, are the objects of universal admiration. In China, if a lady's foot is so large as to be fit to walk upon; she is regarded as a monster of ugliness. Some of the savage nations in North America tie four boards round the heads of their children, and thus squeeze them, while the bones are tender and gristly, into a form that is almost perfectly square. Europeans are astonished at the absurd barbarity of this practice, to which some missionaries have imputed the singular stupi. dity of those nations among whom it prevails. But when they condemn those savages, they do not reflect that the
ladies in England had, till within these very few years, been endeavouring, for near a century past, to squeeze the beautiful roundness of their natural shape into a square form of the same kind.-Smith.
XXIV. Self-Love. Those who have affirmed self-love to be the basis of all our sentiments and all our actions, are much in the right. There is no occasion to demonstrate that men have a face; as little need is there of proving to them that they are actuated by self-love. — Voltaire,
Government.—Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence.” To the true understanding of the po. litical science it is, in the first place, necessary to perceive, that all government, abstractedly considered, is an evil. Like medicine, it is often a necessary evil—the lesser of two evils; but yet, under all circumstances, an evil still. The less medicine we require, the better is our moral condition. Drugs and laws are rendered necessary, in forty-nine cases out of fifty, not by nature but by education: by false or neglected education; by a neglect to train the body and the mind, as, under favourable circum. stances, they may most easily and most pleasantly be trained.—Carpenter's Political Text Book.
XXVI. Excellencies of Knowledge. There are in knowledge these two excellencies; first, that it offers to every man, the most selfish and the most exalted, his peculiar inducement to good. It says to the former, “Serve mankind, and you serve yourself;" to the latter, “ In choosing the