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How sin all of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
Still to ourselves in every place consigned,
Our own felicity we make or find.
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
I always get the better when I argue alone.
I am amazed how men can call her blind, when, by the company she keeps, she seems so very discriminating.
I chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, for qualities that would wear well.
I do not love a man who is zealous for nothing.
I fancy the character of a poet is in every country the same,--fond of enjoying the present, careless of the future; his conversation that of a man of sense, his actions those of a fool.
I have found by experience that they who have spent all their lives in cities contract not only an effeminacy of habit, but of thinking.
I learn several great truths; as that it is impossible to see into the ways of futurity, that punishment always attends the villain, that love is the fond soother of the human breast.
If a man wishes to become rich he must appear to be rich.
If the soul be happily disposed, every thing becomes capable of affording entertainment, and distress will almost want a name.
Is it that Nature, attentive to the preservation of mankind, increases our wishes to live, while she lessens our enjoyments, and as she robs the senses of every pleasure, equips imag-ination in the spoil?
It has been remarked that almost every character which has excited either attention or pity has owed part of its success to merit, and part to a happy concurrence of circumstances in its favor. Had Caesar or Cromwell exchanged countries, the one might have been a sergeant and the other an exciseman.
It has been well observed that few are better qualified to give others advice than those who have taken the least of it themselves.
It is impossible to combat enthusiasm with reason; for though it makes a show of resistance, it soon eludes the pressure, refers you to distinctions not to be understood, and feelings which it cannot explain. A man who would endeavor to fix an enthusiast by argument might as well attempt to spread quicksilver with his finger.
It world be well had we more misers than we have among us.
Learn the luxury of doing good.
Let observation with observant view,
Observe mankind from China to Peru.
- paraphrasing of Johnson [Traveling]
Life at the greatest and best is but a froward child, that must be humored and coaxed a little till it falls asleep, and then all the care is over.
Like the bee, we should make our industry our amusement.
Like the tiger, that seldom desists from pursuing man after having once preyed upon human flesh, the reader who has once gratified his appetite with calumny makes ever after the most agreeable feast upon murdered reputations!
Man little knows what calamities are beyond his patience to bear till he tries them; as in ascending the heights of ambition, which look bright from below, every step we rise shows us some new and gloomy prospect of hidden disappointment; so in our descent from the summits of pleasure, though the vale of misery below may appear, at first, dark and gloomy, yet the busy mind, still attentive to its own amusement, finds, as we descend, something to flatter and to please. Still as we approach, the darkest objects appear to brighten, and the mortal eye becomes adapted to its gloomy situation.
Modesty seldom resides in a breast that is not enriched with nobler virtues.
Mortifications are often more painful than real calamities.
Near yonder copse, where once the garden smil'd,
And still where many a garden flower grows wild,
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
The village preacher's modest mansion rose.
A man he was to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
Remote from town's he ran his godly race,
Nor e'er had chang'd nor wish'd to change his place;
Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power,
By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learn'd to prize.
More bent to raise the wretched than to rise.
Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high,
Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspired,
Where graybeard mirth and smiling toil retired,
Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound,
And news much older than their ale went round.
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