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A man who admires a fine woman, has yet no
more reason to wish himself her husband, than one
who admired the Hesperian fruit, would have had to wish himself the dragon that kept it.
He who marries a wife, because he cannot always live chastely, is much like a man, who, finding a few humours in his body, resolves to wear a perpetual blister.
Married people, for being so closely united, are but the apter to part ; as knots, the harder they are pulled, break the sooner.
A family is but too often a commonwealth of malignants: what we call the charities and ties of affinity, prove but so many separate and clashing interests: the son wishes the death of the father; the younger brother that of the elder; the elder repines at the sisters portions: when any of them marry, there are new divisions, and new animosities. It is but natural and reasonable to expect all this, and yet we fancy no comfort but in a family.
Authors in France seldom speak ill of each other, but when they have a personal pique; authors in England seldom speak well of each other, but when they have a personal friendship.
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.
Men are grateful in the same degree that they are resentful.
The longer we live, the more we shall be convinced, that it is reasonable to love God, and despise man, as far as we know either.
That character in conversation, which commonly passes for agreeable, is made up of civility and falsehood.
A short and certain way to obtain the character of a reasonable and wise man, is, whenever any one tells you his opinion, to comply with it.
What is generally accepted as virtue in women, is very different from what is thought so in men: a very good woman would make but a paltry man.
LXXI. Some people are commended for a giddy kind of good humour, which is as much a virtue as drunkthin CSS.
LXX 11. Those
LXXII. Those people only will constantly trouble you with doing little offices for them, who least deserve you should do them any.
We are sometimes apt to wonder to see those people proud, who have done the meanest things; whereas a consciousness of having done poor things, and a shame of hearing of them, often make the composition we call pride.
An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie: for an excuse is a lie guarded.
Praise is like ambergris; a little whiff of it, and by snatches, is very agreeable ; but when a man holds a whole lump of it to your nose, it is a stink, and strikes you down.
The general cry is against ingratitude, be sure the complaint is misplaced, it should be against vanity. None but direct villains are capable of wilful ingratitude , but almost every body is capable of thinking he has done more than another deserves, while the other thinks he has received less than he deServes.
I never knew any man in my life, who could not
bear another's misfortunes perfectly like a Christian. Wol. XVII. C c LXXVIII. Se
Several explanations of casuists, to multiply the catalogue of sins, may be called amendments to the ten commandments.
It is observable that the ladies frequent tragedies more than comedies: the reason may be, that in tragedy their sex is deified and adored, in comedy exposed and ridiculed.
The character of covetousness is what a mangenerally acquires more through some niggardliness, or ill grace, in little and inconsiderable things, than in expenses of any consequence. A very few pounds a year would ease that man of the scandal of avarice.
Some men's wit is like a dark lantern, which serves their own turn, and guides them their own way: but is never known (according to the Scripture phrase) either to shine forth before men, or to glorify their Father in Heaven.
It often happens that those are the best people, whose characters have been most injured by slanders; as we usually find that to be the sweetest fruit, which the birds have been pecking at.
LXXXIII. The people all running to the capital city, is like a confluence of all the animal spirits to the heart ; a symptom that the constitution is in danger. LXXXIV. The
The wonder we often express at our neighbours keeping dull company, would lessen, if we reflected, that most people seek companions less to be talked to than to talk.
Amusement is the happiness of those that cannot think.
Never stay dinner for a clergyman, who is to make a morning visit ere he comes, for he will think it his duty to dine with any greater man that asks him.
A contented man is like a good tennis-player, who never fatigues and confounds himself with running eternally after the ball, but stays till it comes to him.
Two things are equally unaccountable to reason, and not the object of reasoning; the wisdom of God, and the madness of man.
LXXXIX. Many men, prejudiced early in disfavour of mankind by bad maxims, never aim at making friendships; and, while they only think of avoiding the evil, miss of the good that would meet them. They begin the world knaves, for prevention, while others only end so after disappointment.