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dangerous to deal with as a knave, and always more
THERE are prating coxcombs in the world, who would rather talk than listen, although Shakespeare himself were the orator, and human nature the theme!
THE greatest professor and proficient in any science, loves it not so sincerely as to be fully pleased with any finer effort in it than he can himself produce. The feeling excited on such an occasion, is a mixed sensation of envy, delight, and despair; but the bitters here are as two, the sweets but
GAMING is the child of avarice, but the parent of
NEVER join with your friend when he abuses his horse or his wife, unless the one is about to be sold, and the other to be buried.
HUSBANDS cannot be principals in their own cuckoldom, but they are parties to it much more often than they themselves imagine.
PROFESSORS in every branch of the sciences, prefer their own theories to truth; the reason is, that their theories are private property, but truth is common stock.
IT is dangerous to be much praised in private circles, before our reputation is fully established in the world.
MANY designing men, by asking small favours, and evincing great gratitude, have eventually obtained the most important ones. There is something in the human mind (perhaps the force of habit,) which strongly inclines us to continue to oblige those whom we have begun to oblige, and to injure those whom we have begun to injure; "eo injuriosior quia nocuerat.”
LAW and equity are two things which God hath joined, but which man hath put asunder.
IT is safer to be attacked by some men, than to be protected by them.
PERSECUTING bigots may be compared to those burning lenses which Leuhenhoeck and others composed from ice; by their chilling apathy they freeze the suppliant; by their fiery zeal they burn the sufferer.
AS the rays of the sun, notwithstanding their velocity, injure not the eye, by reason of their minuteness, so the attacks of envy, notwithstanding their number, ought not to wound our virtue, by reason of their insignificance.
THERE is a holy love, and a holy rage; and our best virtues never glow so brightly as when our passions are excited in the cause. Sloth, if it has prevented many crimes, has also smothered many virtues *, and the best of us are better when roused. Passion is to virtue, what wine was to Eschylus and to Ennius †, under its inspiration their powers were at their height.
FEAR debilitates and lowers, but hope animates and revives; therefore rulers and magistrates should attempt to operate on the minds of their respective subjects, if possible, by reward, rather than punishment. And this principle will be strengthened by another consideration; he that is punished or rewarded, while he falls or rises in the estimation of others, cannot fail to do so likewise in his own.
MEN pursue riches under the idea that their possession will set them at ease, and above the world. But the law of association often makes those who begin by loving gold as a servant, finish by becoming themselves its slave; and independence without wealth, is at least as common as wealth without independence.
IF St. Paul were again to appear on earth, since all the multifarious denominations of Christians would claim him, which would he chuse? The apostle himself shall answer: "Pure religion, and undefiled before God, and the Father, is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Nunquam, nisi potus, ad arma
GRANT graciously what you cannot refuse safely, and conciliate those you cannot conquer.
THERE are politic friendships which knaves find it necessary to keep up with those whom they mean the more effectually to ruin; for most men may be led to their destruction, few can be driven. Had Talleyrand's enmity to Napoleon manifested itself in opposition, it would have been fatal, not to his master, but to himself; he maintained, therefore, a friendship that not only aggrandized himself, but opened a door for the communication of that advice that enabled him eventually to ruin his master.
THE martyrs to vice far exceed the martyrs to virtue, both in endurance and in number. So blinded are we by our passions, that we suffer more to be damned than to be saved.
DEMAGOGUES, however fond they may affect to be of independence and liberty in their public speeches, are invariably tories in their private actions, and despots in their own families. The most violent of them have usually been formed like Wilkes, by the refusal of some unreasonable request; and their patriotism appears in a very questionable shape, when we see that they rejoice in just as much public calamity as introduces them into power, and supplants their rivals *.
The real difference, therefore, between a tory and a whig would seem to be this: the one has power, the other wants it. Samuel Johnson was not a little disconcerted by an unexpected retort, made upon him before a large party at Oxford, by Doctor Crowe. The principles of
RESTORATIONS disappoint the loyal; if princes at such times have much to give, they have also much to gain; and policy dictates the necessity of bestowing rather to conciliate enemies, than to reward friends t.
IN our attempt to deceive the world, those are the most likely to detect us, who are sailing on the same tack.
NONE knew how to draw long bills on futurity, that never will be honoured, better than Mahomet. He possessed himself of a large stock of real and present pleasure and power here, by promising a visionary quantum of those good things to his followers hereafter; and, like the maker of an almanack, made his fortune in this world, by telling absurd lies about another.
our lexicographer ran with too much violence in one way, not to foam a little when they met with a current running equally strong in another. The dispute happened to turn upon the origin of whiggism, for Johnson had triumphantly challenged Dr. Crowe to tell him who was the first whig; the latter finding himself a little puzzled, Dr. Johnson tauntingly rejoined, "I see, Sir, that you are even ignorant of the head of your own party, but I will tell you, Sir; the devil was the first whig; he was the first reformer; he wanted to set up a reform even in Heaven!" Dr. Crowe calmly replied, "I am much obliged to you for your information, and I certainly did not foresee that you would go so far back for your authority; yet I rather fear that your argument makes against yourself; for, if the devil was a whig, you have admitted that while he was a whig, he was in Heaven, but you have forgotten that the moment he got into Hell, he set up for a tory."
+ The amnesty act of Charles the Second was termed an act of oblivion to his friends, but of grateful remembrance to his foes. And on another occasion, the loyalty of the brave Crillon was not strengthened by any reward, only because it was considered too firm to be shaken by any neglect.