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The proper study of mankind is man.
The pure and noble, the graceful and dignified, simplicity of language is nowhere in such perfection as in the Scriptures and Homer. The whole book of Job, with regard both to sublimity of thought and morality, exceeds, beyond all comparison, the most noble parts of Homer.
The ruling passion conquers reason still.
The sacred lust of twice ten hundred years.
The search of our future being is but a needless, anxious, and haste to be knowing, sooner than we can, what, without all this solicitude, we shall know a little later.
The skies yet blushing with departed light.
The time shall come, when, free as seas or wind,
Unbounded Thames shall flow for all mankind,
Whole nations enter with each swelling tide,
And seas but join the regions they divide;
Earth's distant ends our glory shall behold,
And the new world launch forth to seek the old.
- [Thames River]
The vanity of human life is like a river, constantly passing away, and yet constantly coming on.
The villain's censure is extorted praise.
The whispering breeze pants on the leaves, and dies upon the trees.
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
The world with calumny abounds,
The whitest virtue slander wounds;
There are whose joy is, night and day,
To talk a character away:
Eager from rout to rout they haste,
To blast the generous and the chaste,
And hunting reputations down,
Proclaim their triumphs through the town
What mind's in such a base employment
To feel the slightest self-enjoyment!
The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.
The zeal of fools offends at any time.
Then sculpture and her sister arts revived; stones leaped to form, and rocks began to live.
There is a majesty in simplicity which is far above the quantities of wit.
There is but one way I know of conversing safely with all men; that is, not by concealing what we say or do, but by saying or doing nothing that deserves to be concealed.
There is no study that is not capable of delighting us after a little application to it.
There is nothing wanting to make all rational and disinterested people in the world of one religion, but that they should talk together every day.
There never was any party, faction, sect, or cabal whatsoever, in which the most ignorant were not the most violent; for a bee is not a busier animal than a blockhead.
There should be, methinks, as little merit in loving a woman for her beauty as in loving a man for his prosperity; both being equally subject to change.
There, interspersed in lawns and opening glades, thin trees arise, that shun each other's shade.
Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled,
That all her vanities at once are dead;
Succeeding vanities she still regards,
And though she plays no more, o'erlooks the cards.
Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive,
And love of ombre, after death survive,
For when the fair in all their pride expire,
To their first elements their souls retire:
The sprites of fiery termagants in flame
Mount up, and take a salamander's name.
Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
And sip, with nymphs, their elemental tea.
The graver prude sinks downward to a gnome,
In search of mischief still on earth to roam.
The light coquettes in sylphs aloft repair,
And sport and flutter in the fields of air.
This is the Jew that Shakespeare drew.
- attributed to,
when Macklin was performing Shylock, Feb. 14, 1741
[Acting : Jews]
This nymph, to the destruction of mankind,
Nourish'd two locks, which graceful hung behind
In equal curls, and well conspir'd to deck,
With shining ringlets, the smooth ivory neck.
Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains,
And mighty hearts are held in slender chains,
With hairy springes we the birds betray,
Slight lines of hair surprise the finny prey.
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