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equal with him, titles himself conqueror of the world, and his grandees are denominated rulers of the thunder-storm, and steersmen of the whirlwind; even the pride of Xerxes, who fettered the sea, and wrote his commands to Mount Athos, or of Caligula, who boasted of an intrigue with the moon, are both surpassed by the petty sovereign of an insignificant tribe in North America, who every morning stalks out of his hovel, bids the sun good morrow, and points out to him with his finger, the course he is to take for the day; and to complete this climax of pride and ignorance, it is well known that the Khan of Tartary, who does not possess a single house under the canopy of heaven, has no sooner finished his repast of mare's milk and horse flesh, than he causes a herald proclaim from his seat, that all the princes and potentates of the earth have his permission to go to dinner. "The Arab," says Zimmerman, in the conviction that his caliph is infallible, laughs at the stupid credulity of the Tartar, who holds his lama to be immortal." Those who inhabit Mount Bata, believe that whoever eats 2 roasted cuckoo before his death, is a saint, and firmly persuaded of the infallibility of this mode of sanctification, deride the Indians, who drag a cow to the bed of a dying person, and pinching her tail, are sure, if by that method they can make the creature void her urine in the face of the patient, he is immediately translated into the third Heaven. They scoff at the superstition of the Tartarian princes, who think that their beatification is secure, provided they can eat of the holy excrements of the lama; and the Tartars, in their turn, ridicule the Brahmins, who, for the better purification of their country, require them to eat cow dung for the space of six months, while these would, one and all, if they were told of the cuckoo method of salvation, as heartily despise and laugh at it. I have cited these ridiculous extravagancies to show that there are two things in which all sects agree. the hatred with which they pursue the errors of others, and the love with which they cling to their
WE must suit the flattery to the mind and taste of the recipient. We do not put essences into hogsheads, nor porter into phials. Delicate minds may be disgusted by compliments that would please a grosser intellect, as some fine ladies who would be shocked at the idea of a dram, will not refuse a liqueur. Some indeed there are who profess to despise all flattery, but even these are nevertheless to be flattered, by being told that they do despise it.
EXPENCE of thought is the rarest prodigality, and to dare to live alone the rarest courage; since there are many who had rather meet their bitterest enemy in the field, than their own hearts in their closet. He that has no resources of mind, is more to be pitied than he who is in want of necessaries for the body, and to be obliged to beg our daily happiness from others, bespeaks a more lamentable poverty than that of him who begs his daily bread.
SOME men of a secluded and studious life, have sent forth from their closet or their cloyster, rays of intellectual light that have agitated courts, and revolutionized kingdoms; like the moon which, though far removed from the ocean, and shining upon it with a serene and sober light, is the chief cause of all those ebbings and flowings which incessantly disturb that restless world of waters.
HAPPINESS is much more equally divided than some of us imagine. One man shall possess most of the materials, but little of the thing; another may possess much of the thing, but very few of the materials. In this parti
cular view of it, happiness has been beautifully compared to the manna in the desert, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; therefore, to diminish envy, let us consider not what others possess, but what they enjoy; mere riches may be the gift of lucky accident or blind chance, but happiness must be the result of prudent preference and rational design; the highest happiness then can have no other foundation than the deepest wisdom; and the happiest fool is only as happy as he knows how to be.
AS there are some faults that have been termed faults on the right side, so there are some errors that might be denominated errors on the safe side. Thus, we seldom regret having been too mild, too cautious, or too humble; but we often repent having been too violent, too precipitate, or too proud.
ACCUSTOM yourself to submit on all and every occasion, and on the most minute, no less than on the most important circumstances of life, to a small present evil, to obtain a greater distant good. This will give decision, tone, and energy to the mind, which, thus disciplined, will often reap victory from defeat, and honour from repulse. Having acquired this invaluable habit of rational preference, and just appreciation, start for that prize that endureth for ever; you will have little left to learn. The advantages you will possess over common minds, will be those of the Lanista over the Tyro, and of the veteran over the recruit.
TRUTH and reason, in this mixed state of good and evil, are not invariably triumphant over falsehood and error; but even when labouring under a temporary defeat,
the two former bear within them one stamp of superiority which plainly indicates that omnipotence is on their side; for their unworthy conquerors, from such a victory, universally retire abashed, enlightened, self-reproved, and exclaiming with Pyrrhus, a few more such victories and we are undone.
WERE a plain unlettered man, but endowed with common sense, and a certain quantum of observation and of reflection, to read over attentively the four gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles, without any note or comment, I hugely doubt whether it would enter into his ears to hear, his eyes to see, or his heart to conceive, the purport of many ideas. signified by many words ending in ism, which nevertheless have cost Christendom rivers of ink, and oceans of blood.
THE most cruel and revengeful measures, when once carried, have often been pushed to their utmost extremity, by those very men who, before their enactment, pretended to oppose them, in order to throw the odium on others. But this opposition has proceeded from the lip, not from the heart, and would not have been made, if the objector did not foresee that his opposition would be fruitless. Augustus, with his usual hypocrisy, pretended to be shocked with the idea of a proscription, and perceiving that Anthony and Lepidus were two to one against him, he knew that his single vote against the measure could not succeed; and that, by giving it, he should preserve his popularity, and not be prevented from glutting his revenge; but Suetonius informs us, that when the horrid work commenced, he carried it on with a severity more unrelenting than either of his col leagues; "utroque acerbius exercuit," and that whenever Lepidus or Anthony were inclined to mercy, either from interest, intreaty, or bribes, he alone stoutly and lustily stood
out for blood; "Solus magnopere contendit ne cu parceretur."
IT is an easy and a vulgar thing to please the mob, and not a very arduous task to astonish them; but essentially to benefit and to improve them, is a work fraught with difficulty, and teeming with danger.
THE seeds of repentance are sown in youth by pleasure, but the harvest is reaped in age by pain.
RICHES may enable us to confer favours; but to confer them with propriety, and with grace, requires a something that riches cannot give; even trifles may be so bestowed as to cease to be trifles. The citizens of Megara offered the freedom of their city to Alexander; such an offer excited a smile in the countenance of him who had conquered the world; but he received this tribute of their respect with complacency, on being informed that they had never offered it to any but to Hercules and himself.
THE worst thing that can be said of the most powerful is, that they can take your life; but the same thing can
be said of the most weak.
HE that is good will infallibly become better, and he that is bad will as certainly become worse; for vice, virtue, and time, are three things that never stand still.