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HUGH BLAIR
English clergyman, critic and professor of rhetoric and belles-lettres
(1718 - 1809)
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A cultivated taste increases sensibility to all the tender and humane passions by giving them frequent exercise, while it tends to weaken the more violent and fierce emotions.
      - [Taste]

Action, so to speak, is the genius of nature.
      - [Action]

Affectation is certain deformity; by forming themselves on fantastic models, the young begin with being ridiculous, and often end in being vicious.
      - [Affectation]

All the principles which religion teaches, and all the habits which it forms, are favorable to strength of mind. It will be found that whatever purifies fortifies also the heart.
      - [Religion]

Anxiety is the poison of humans life. It is the parent of many sins, and of more miseries. In a world where everything is doubtful, where you may be disappointed, and be blessed in dis-appointment, what means this restless stir and commotion of mind? Can your solicitude alter the cause or unravel the intricacy of human events?
      - [Anxiety]

Beauty! thou pretty plaything! dear deceit,
  That steals so softly o'er the stripling's heart
    And gives it a new pulse unknown before!
      - [Beauty]

Between levity and cheerfulness there is a wide distinction; and the mind which is most open to levity is frequently a stranger to cheerfulness.
      - [Cheerfulness]

But know that thou must render up the dead,
  And with high interest too! they are not thine
    But only in thy keeping for a season,
      Till the great promis'd day of restitution;
        When loud diffusive sound of brazen trump
          Of strong-lung'd cherub shall alarm thy captives,
            And rouse the long, long sleepers into life,
              Daylight and liberty.
      - [Death]

But see! the well-plumed hearse comes nodding on, stately and slow;
  But tell us, why this waste?
    Why this ado in earthing up a carcass
      That's fallen into disgrace, and in the nostrils smells horrible?
      - [Funerals]

By indulging this fretful temper, you alienate those on whose affection much of your comfort depends.
      - [Ill-nature]

Can your solicitude alter the cause or unravel the intricacy of human events?
      - [Anxiety]

Cheerless, unsocial plant! that loves to dwell
  'Midst skulls and coffins, epitaphs and worms:
    Where light-heel'd ghosts, and visionary shades,
      Beneath the wan cold moon (as fame reports)
        Embodied, thick, perform their mystic rounds.
          No other merriment, dull tree! is thine.
      - [Yew]

Compassion is an emotion of which we ought never to be ashamed. Graceful, particularly in youth, is the tear of sympathy, and the heart that melts at the tale of woe. We should not permit ease and indulgence to contract our affections, and wrap us up in a selfish enjoyment; but we should accustom ourselves to think of the distresses of human, life, of the solitary cottage; the dying parent, and the weeping orphan. Nor ought we ever to sport with pain and distress in any of our amusements, or treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty.
      - [Compassion]

Conscience is too great a power in the nature of man to be altogether subdued; it may be for a time repressed and kept dormant; but conjectures there are in human life which awaken it, and when once reawakened, it flashes on the sinner's mind with all the horrors of an invisible ruler and a future judgment.
      - [Conscience]

Dissimulation in youth is the forerunner of perfidy in old age; its first appearance is the fatal omen of growing depravity and future shame. It degrades parts and learning, obscures the luster of every accomplishment and sinks us into contempt. The path of falsehood is a perplexing maze. After the first departure from sincerity, it is not in our power to stop; one artifice unavoidably leads on to another, till, as the intricacy of the labyrinth increases, we are left entangled in our snare.
      - [Dissimulation]

Embellish truth only with a view to gain it the more full and free admission into your hearers' minds; and your ornaments will, in that case, be simple, masculine, natural.
      - [Preaching]

Exercise is the chief source of improvement in our faculties.
      - [Exercise]

Fretfulness of temper will generally characterize those who are negligent of order.
      - [Order]

Gentleness corrects whatever is offensive in our manners.
      - [Gentleness]

Gentleness, which belongs to virtue, is to be carefully distinguished from the mean spirit of cowards and the fawning assent of sycophants.
      - [Gentleness]

Graceful, particularly in youth, is the tear of sympathy, and the heart that melts at the tale of woe; we should not permit ease and indulgence to contract our affections, and wrap us up in selfish enjoyment. But we should accustom ourselves to think of the distresses of human life, of the solitary cottage, the dying parent, and the weeping orphan. Nor ought we ever to sport with pain and distress in any of our amusements, or treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty.
      - [Sympathy]

Here all the mighty troublers of the earth,
  Who swam to sov'reign rule through seas of blood;
    Th' oppressive, sturdy, man-destroying villains,
      Who ravag'd kingdoms; and laid empires waste,
        And in a cruel wantonness of power
          Thinn'd states of half their people, and gave up
            To want the rest; now, like a storm that's spent,
              Lie hush'd.
      - [Graves]

Here the o'erloaded slave flings down his burden
  From his gall'd shoulders; and, when the cruel tyrant,
    With all his guards and tools of power about him,
      Is meditating new, unheard-of hardships,
        Mocks his short arm, and, quick as thought, escapes
          Where tyrants vex not, and the weary rest.
      - [Graves]

How blunt are all the arrows of thy quiver in comparison with those of guilt!
      - [Affliction]

In the eye of that Supreme Being to whom our whole internal frame is uncovered, dispositions hold the place of actions.
      - [Motive]


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