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JAMES BEATTIE
Scottish poet
(1735 - 1803)
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Ah! I who can tell how hard it is to climb
  The steep where Fame's proud temple shines afar.
      - [Fame]

Borne on the swift, tho' silent wings of time,
  Old age comes on apace, to ravage all the clime.
      - [Age]

But when shall spring visit the mouldering urn? O, when shall it dawn on the night of the grave?
      - [Spring]

Common sense is nature's gift, but reason is an art.
      - [Common Sense]

Contentment opes the source of every joy.
      - [Contentment]

Dreadful is their doom, whom doubt has driven
  To censure fate, and pious hope forego.
      - [Despair]

From labor health, from health contentment springs.
      - [Health]

In all instances where our experience of the past has been extensive and uniform, our judgment concerning the future amounts to moral certainty.
      - [Experience]

Is there a heart that music cannot melt?
  Alas! how is that rugged heart forlorn.
      - [Music]

Let us cherish sympathy. By attention and exercise it may be improved in every man. It prepares the mind for receiving the impressions of virtue; and without it there can be no true politeness. Nothing is more odious than that insensibility which wraps a man up in himself and his own concerns, and prevents his being moved with either the joys or the sorrows of another.
      - [Sympathy]

Perish the lore that deadens young desire!
      - [Desire]

Silent when glad; affectionate, though shy.
      - [Timidity]

The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think than what to think,--rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men.
      - [Education]

The love of God ought continually to predominate in the mind, and give to every act of duty grace and animation.
      - [God]

There is not a book on earth so favorable to all the kind and to all the sublime affections, or so unfriendly to hatred and persecution, to tyranny, injustice, and every sort of malevolence, as the Gospel.
      - [Bible]

They who, by speech or writing, present to the ear or eye of modesty any of the indecencies, are pests of society.
      - [Authorship]

Thy shades, thy silence, now be mine,
  Thy charms my only theme;
    My haunt the hollow cliff, whose pine
      Waves o'er the gloomy stream.
        Where the sacred owl, on pinions gray,
          Breaks from the rustling boughs,
            And down the lone vale sails away,
              To more profound repose.
      - [Retirement]

To think everything disputable is a proof of a weak mind and captious temper.
      - [Controversy]

True dignity is his whose tranquil mind
  Virtue has raised above the things below;
    Who, every hope and fear to heaven resign'd
      Shrinks not, though fortune aims her deadliest blow.
      - [Dignity]

What cannot art and industry perform,
  When science plans the progress of their toil!
      - [Science]

Rocks, torrents, gulfs, and shapes of giant size
  And glitt'ring cliff on cliffs, and fiery ramparts rise.
      - Ministrel (bk. I) [Clouds]

And from the prayer of Want, and plaint of Woe,
  O never, never turn away their ear!
    Forlorn, in this bleak wilderness below,
      Ah! what were man, should Heaven refuse to hear!
      - Minstrel (bk. I, st. 29) [Prayer]

At the close of the day, when the hamlet is still
  And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove,
    When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill
      And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove.
      - The Hermit [Evening : Nature]

'Twas thus by the glare of false science betray'd,
  That leads to bewilder, and dazzles to blind.
      - The Hermit [Science]

He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man.
      - The Hermit (l. 8) [Feeling]


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