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PARTY is the madness of many, for the gain of a few. **
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. However, such instruments are necessary to politicians; and perhaps it may be with states as with clocks, which must have some dead weight hanging at them to help and regulate the motion of the finer and more useful parts.
To endeavour to work upon the vulgar with fine sense, is like attempting to hew blocks with a razor.
Fine sense and exalted sense are not half so useful as common sense: there are forty men of wit to one man of sense; and he that will carry nothing about him but gold, will be every day at a loss for want of
readier change, - B B 3 W. Learn
Learning is like mercury, one of the most powerful and excellent things in the world in skilful hands: in unskilful, the most mischievous.
The nicest constitutions of government are often like the finest pieces of clockwork; which depending
on so many motions, are therefore more subject to be out of order.
Every man has just as much vanity as he wants understanding.
Modesty, if it were to be recommended for nothing else, this were enough, that the pretending to little, leaves a man at ease; whereas boasting requires a perpetual labour to appear what he is not. If we have sense, modesty best proves it to others; if we have none, it best hides our want of it. For, as blushing will sometimes make a whore pass for a virtuous woman, so modesty may make a fool seem a man of sense.
It is not so much the being exempt from faults, as the having overcome them, that is an advantage to us: it being with the follies of the mind, as with the weed, of a field, which, if destroyed and consumed upon the place of their birth, enrich and improve it more, than if none had ever sprung there.
To pardon those absurdites in ourselves, which we cannot suffer in others, is neither better nor worse than to be more willing to be fools ourselves, than to have others so.
A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser to day than he was yesterday.
Our passions are like convulsion fits, which, though they make us stronger for the time, leave us weaker ever after.
XIII. To be angry, is to revenge the fault of others upon ourselves. XIV.
A brave man thinks no one his superiour, who does him an injury; for he has it then in his power to make himself superiour to the other, by for
giving it. XV.
To relieve the oppressed, is the most glorious act a man is capable of; it is in some measure doing the business of God and Providence.
Superstition is the spleen of the soul.
Atheists put on a false courage and alacrity in the midst of their darkness and apprehensions: like children, who, when they go in the dark, will sing for fear.
An atheist is but a mad, ridiculous derider of piety: but a hypocrite makes a sober jest of God and religion. He finds it easier to be upon his knees, than to rise to do a good action; like an impudent debtor, who goes every day and talks familiarly to his creditor, without ever paying what he OWCS.
What Tully says of war, may be applied to disputing; it should be always so managed as to remember, that the only end of it is peace: but generally true disputants are like true sportsmen, their whole delight is in the pursuit: and a disputant no more cares for the truth, than the sportsman for the hare.
The Scripture, in time of disputes, is like an open town in time of war, which serves indifferently the occasions of both parties: each makes use of it for the present turn, and then resigns it to the next comer to do the same.
Such as are still observing upon others, are like those who are always abroad at other men's houses, reforming every thing there, while their own run to ruin.
When men grow virtuous in their old age, they only make a sacrifice to God of the devil's leavings.
When we are young, we are slavishly employed in procuring something whereby we may live comfortably when we grow old ; and when we are old, we perceive it is too late to live as we proposed.
People are scandalized, if one laughs at what they call a serious thing. Suppose I were to have my head cut off to morrow, and all the world were talking of it to day, yet why might not I laugh to think, what a bustle is here about my head :
The greatest advantage I know of being thought a wit by the world, is, that it gives one the greater freedom of playing the fool.
We ought in humanity, no more to despise a man for the misfortunes of the mind, than for those of the body, when they are such as he cannot help. Were this thoroughly considered, we should no more laugh at one for having his brains cracked, than for having his head broke.
A man of wit is not incapable of business, but above it. A sprightly generous horse is able to carry a packsaddle as well as an ass, but he is too good to
be put to the drudgery. XXVIII. Wherever