« PreviousContinue »
Destroys the claim, and to beholders tells,
As the index tells us the contents of stories, and directs to the particular chapter, even so does the outward habit and superficial order of garments (in man or woman) give us a taste of the spirit, and demonstratively point (as it were a manual note from the margin) all the internal quality of the soul; and there cannot be a more evident, palpable, gross manifestation, of poor, degenerate, dunghilly blood and breeding, than a rude, unpolished, disordered, and slovenly outside.-Massinger.
Till a man is capable of conversing with ease among the natives of any country, he can never be able to form a just and adequate idea of their policy and manners. He who sits at a play, without understanding the dialect, may, indeed, discover which of the actors are best dressed, and how well the scenes are painted or disposed; but the characters and conduct of the drama must for ever remain a secret to him.-Fitzosborne's Letters.
The wheel of fortune turns incessantly round, and who can say within himself, I shall to-day be uppermostConfucius.
Wine does not make men vent any thing so impure and odious as anger doth; and besides, what proceeds from wine, is usually entertained with jest and laughter; but that from anger is mixed with gall and bitterness; and he that is silent in his cups, is counted a burthen and troublesome to the company; whereas in anger, there is not any thing more commended than peace and silence. -Plutarch.
You shall seldom find a dull fellow of good education, but, if he happens to have any leisure upon his hands, will turn his head to one of those two amusements for
all fools of eminence, politics or poetry. The former of these arts is the study of all dull people in general; but when dulness is lodged in a person of a quick animal life, it generally exerts itself in poetry.-Steele.
Navigation, that withstood
Without chronology, history is but a heap of tales. If by the laws of the land, an artist is counted a naturall, who hath not wit enough to tell twenty, or to tell his age; he shall not passe with me for wise in learning, who cannot tell the age of the world, and count hundreds of years: I mean not so critically, as to solve all doubts arising thence; but that he may be able to give some tolerable account thereof. He is also acquainted with cosmography, treating of the world in whole joints; with chorography, shedding it into countries; and with topography, mincing it into particular places.-Fuller.
Misery assails riches, as lightning does the highest towers; or as a tree that is heavy laden with fruit, breaks its own boughs, so do riches destroy the virtue of their possessor.-Burton.
Every one that has been long dead has a due proportion of praise allotted him, in which, whilst he lived, bis friends were too profuse, and his enemies too sparing.
I know no friends more faithful, more inseparable, than hard-heartedness and pride, humility and love, lies and impudence.-Lavater.
"Tis a mystery to me, that married people, however they behave themselves to one another in private, should not take care to preserve a fair outside, at least, before strangers. I knew a gentleman and his wife, who treated one another in public with all the respect and civility that can be imagined, so that you would swear they were the most affectionate couple that ever graced the state of matrimony, since the concatenation of Adam and Eve in Paradise. But when they were by themselves, the case was altered, and they showed themselves in their proper shapes.-The Militant Couple.-Buckingham.
The first degree of proficiency is, in painting, what grammar is in literature, a general preparation for whatever species of the art the student may afterwards choose for his more particular application. The power of drawing, modelling, and using colours, is very properly called the language of the art.-Sir J. Reynolds.
A healthy old fellow, that is not a fool, is the happiest creature living. It is at that time of life only, men enjoy their faculties with pleasure and satisfaction. It is then we have nothing to manage, as the phrase is; we speak the downright truth, and whether the rest of the world will give us the privilege or not, we have so little to ask of them, that we can take it.Steele.
A knave is like a tooth-drawer, that maintains his own teeth in constant eating by pulling out those of other men. He is an ill moral philosopher, of villanous principles, and as bad practice. His tenets are to hold what he can
get, right or wrong. His tongue and his heart are always at variance, and fall out like rogues in the street, to pick somebody's pocket. They never agree but, like Herod and Pilate, to do mischief. His conscience never stands in his light, when the devil holds a candle to him; for he has stretched it so thin that it is transparent. He is an engineer of treachery, fraud, and perfidiousness; and knows how to manage matters of great weight with very little force, by the advantage of his trepanning screws. He is very skilful in all the mechanics of cheat, the mathematical magic of imposture; and will outdo the expectations of the most credulous, to their own admiration and undoing. He is an excellent founder, and will melt down a leaden fool, and cast him into what form he pleases. He is like a pike in a pond, that lives by rapine, and will sometimes venture on one of his own kind, and devour a knave as big as himself; he will swallow a fool a great deal bigger than himself; and if he can but get his head within his jaws, will carry the rest of him hanging out at his mouth, until by degrees he has digested him all. He has a hundred tricks to slip his neck out of the pillory without leaving his ears behind. As for the gallows, he never ventures to show his tricks upon the highrope, for fear of breaking his neck. He seldom commits any villany, but in a legal way, and makes the law bear him out in that for which it hangs others. He always robs under the vizor of law, and picks pockets with tricks in equity. By his means the law makes more knaves than it hangs; and, like the inns of court, protects offenders against itself. He gets within the law and disarins it. His hardest labour is to wriggle himself into trust, which if he can but compass, his business is done; for fraud and treachery follow as easily as a thread does a needle. He grows rich by the ruin of his neighbours, like grass in the streets in a great sickness. He shelters himself under the covert of the law, like a thief in a hempplot, and makes that secure him which was intended for his destruction.-Butler.
Are great and gracious, while they are dispensed
With moderation; but, when their excess,
The name of virtues, and their natures changed,
Reformation is a work of time. A national taste, however wrong it may be, cannot be totally changed at once; we must yield a little to the prepossession which has taken hold on the mind, and we may then bring people to adopt what would offend them, if endeavoured to be introduced by violence.-Sir J. Reynolds.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall.-Confucius.
The estimate and valour of a man consist in the heart, and in the will; there his true honour lives; valour is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul; it does not lie in the valour of our horse nor of our arms, but in ourselves. He that falls obstinate in his courage, Si succiderit de genu pugnat; if his legs fail him, fights upon his knees.-Montaigne.
In a vain man, the smallest spark may kindle into the greatest flame; because the materials are always prepared for it.-Hume.
Be not mealy-mouthed in refusing him that you are satisfied has a pique against you; and let it be no inducement to trust him because he has confided in you. For if you invite, you must expect to be invited again, and some time or other your entertainment will be repaid you, if bashfulness has once softened or turned the edge of that diffidence which ought to be your guard.Plutarch,