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ciation studied, slow and deliberate. These things are all unnatural, and bespeak a degree of mental discipline into which he that has no purposes of craft or design to answer, can not submit to drill himself. The most successful knaves are usually of this description, as smooth as razors dipped in oil, and as sharp. They affect the innocence of the dove, which they have not, in order to hide the cunning of the serpent, which they have.
LABOURED letters, written like those of Pope, yet apparently in all the ease of private confidence, but which the writer meant one day to publish, may be compared to that dishabille in which a beauty would wish you to believe you have surprised her, after spending three hours at her toilette.
THAT country where the clergy have the most influence, and use it with the most moderation, is England.
THE most ridiculous of all animals is a proud priest; he cannot use his own tools without cutting his own fingers.
HE that will have no books but those that are scarce, evinces about as correct a taste in literature, as he would do in friendship, who would have no friends but those whom all the rest of the world have sent to coventry.
To excel others is a proof of talent; but to know when to conceal that superiority, is a greater proof of pru
dence. The celebrated orator Domitius Afer, when attacked in a set speech by Caligula, made no reply, affecting to be entirely overcome by the resistless eloquence of the tyrant. Had he replied, he would certainly have conquered, and as ́ certainly have died; but he wisely preferred a defeat that saved his life to a victory that would have cost it.
IT proceeds rather from revenge than malice, when we hear a man affirm, that all the world are knaves. For, before a man draws this conclusion of the world, the world has usually anticipated him, and concluded all this of him who makes the observation. Such men may be compared to Brothers the prophet, who, on being asked by a friend how he came to be clapped up into Bedlam, replied, I and the world happened to have a slight difference of opinion; the world said I was mad, and I said the world was mad; I was out voted, and here I am.
VILLAINS are usually the worst casuists, and rush into greater crimes to avoid less. Henry the eighth committed murder, to avoid the imputation of adultery; and in our times, those who commit the latter crime attempt to wash off the stain of seducing the wife, by signifying their readiness to shoot the husband!
VERY great personages are not likely to form very just estimates either of others or of themselves; their knowledge of themselves is obscured by the flattery of others; their knowledge of others is equally clouded by circumstances peculiar to themselves. For in the presence of the great, the modest are sure to suffer from too much diffidence, and the confident from too much display. Sir Robert
Walpole has affirmed, that the greatest difficulty he experienced in finding out others, was the necessity which his high situation imposed upon him, of concealing himself. Great men, however, are, in one respect, to be blamed, and, in another, to be pitied. They are to be blamed for bestowing their rewards on the servile, while they give the independent only their praise. They are to be pitied, in as much as they can only view things through the moral obfuscation of flattery, which, like the telescope, can diminish at one end and magnify at the other. And hence, it happens, that this vice, though it may be rewarded for a time, usually meets with its punishment in the end. For the sycophant begins by treating his patron as something more than a man, and the patron very naturally finishes, by treating the sycophant as something less.
I THINK it is Warburton who draws a very just distinction between a man of true greatness, and a me. diocrist. "If," says he, "you want to recommend yourself to the former, take care that he quits your society with a good opinion of you; if your object is to please the latter, take care that he leaves you with a good opinion of himself."
THE most notorious swindler has not assumed so many names as self-love, nor is so much ashamed of his own. She calls herself patriotism, when at the same time she is rejoicing at just as much calamity to her native country, as will introduce herself into power, and expel her rivals. Dodington, who may be termed one of her darling sons, confesses, in his Diary, that the source of all opposition is resentment, or interest, a resolution to pull down those who have offended us, without considering consequences; a steady and unvarying attention to propose every thing that is specious, but impracticable; to depreciate every thing that
is blameless; to exaggerate every thing that is blameable, until the people desire, and the crown consents to dismiss those that are in office, and to admit those that are out. There are some patriots of the present day, who would find it as difficult to imitate Sheridan in his principles, as they would in his wit; and his noble conduct during the mutiny at the Nore, will cover a multitude of sins. There are moments when all minor considerations ought to yield to the public safety," Cavendum est ne quid damni capiat Respublica." And the opposition of this, or any country, might take an useful hint from what was observed in the Roman senate. While a question was under debate, every one was at freedom to advance his objections, but the question being once determined on, it became the acknowledged duty of every member to support the majority; "Quod pluribus placuisset cunctis tuendum."
PLEASURE is to women what the sun is to the flower; if moderately enjoyed, it beautifies, it refreshes, and it improves; if immoderately, it withers, etiolates, and destroys. But the duties of domestic life, exercised as they must be in retirement, and calling forth all the sensibilities of the female, are perhaps as necessary to the full developement of her charms, as the shade and the shower are to the rose, confirming its beauty, and increasing its fragrance.
IF dissimulation is ever to be pardoned, it is that which men have recourse to, in order to obtain situations, which may enlarge their sphere of general usefulness, and afford the power of benefiting their country, to those who must have been otherwise contented only with the will.Liberty was more effectually befriended by the dissimulation of one Brutus, than by the dagger of the other. But such precedents are to be adopted but rarely, and more rarely to be advised. For a Cromwell is a much more com
gross as that of Pope SixThis pope, when cardinal, infirmities of age, so well His name was Montalto; apostolic chair, he was under the idea that he The moment he was
mon character than a Brutus; and many men who have gained power by an hypocrisy as tus, have not used it half so well. counterfeited sickness and all the as to dupe the whole conclave. and on a division for the vacant elected as a stop-gap by both parties, could not possibly live out the year. chosen, he threw away his crutches, and began to sing Te Deum with a much stronger voice than his electors had bargained for; and instead of walking with a tottering step, and a gait almost bending to the earth, he began to walk, not only firm, but perfectly upright. On some one remarking to him on this sudden change, he observed, while I was looking for the keys of St. Peter, it was necessary to stoop, but, having found them, the case is altered. It is but justice to add, that he made a most excellent use of his authority and power; and although some may have attained the papal chair by less objectionable means, none have filled it with more credit to themselves, and satisfaction to others.
IT has been said, that to excel them in wit, is a thing the men find is the most difficult to pardon in the women. This feeling, if it produce only emulation, is right, if envy, it is wrong. For a high degree of intellectual refinement in the female, is the surest pledge society can have for the improvement of the male. But wit in women is a jewel, which, unlike all others, borrows lustre from its setting, rather than bestows it; since nothing is so easy as to fancy a very beautiful woman extremely witty. Even Madame de Stael admits that she discovered, that as she grew old, the men could not find out that wit in her at fifty, which she possessed at twenty-five; and yet the external attractions of this lady were by no means equal to those of her mind.