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On the other hand, it would be equally absurd to read a familiar letter in a tragical strain, or a production of gaiety and humour , with a canting accent, and a puritanical formality. The voice, in all cases, should be accommodated to the subject.
The sound must seem an echo to these sense. »
To be ever active in laudable pursuits , the distinguishing characteristic of a man of merit.
There is an heroic innocence, as well as an heroic courage.
There is a mean in all things. Even virtue itself hath its stated limits; which not being strictly observed, it ceases to be virtue.
It is wiser to prevent a quarrel beforehand, than to revenge it afterwards.
It is much better to reprove , than to be angry secretly.
No revenge is more heroic, than that which torments envy, by doing good. The discretion of a man deferreth his
anger; and it is his glory to pass over a Transgression.
Money, like manure, doh no good till it is spread. There is no real use of riches except in the distribution : the rest is all conceit.
A wise man will desire no more than what he may get justly, use soberly , distribute cheerfully, and live upon contentedly. A contented mind, and a good conscience,
will make a man happy in all conditions. He knows not how to fear, who dares to die.
There is but one way of fortifying the soul. against all gloomy presages and terrors of mind; and that is, by securing to ourselves the friendship and protection of that Being who disposes of events, and governs futurity.
Philosophy is then only valuable , when it serves for the law of life, and not for the ostentation of science.
C Η Α Ρ. Ι Ι. WITHOUT a friend, the world is but a wilderness.
A man may have a thousand intimate acquaintances, and not a friend among them all. If you have one friend, think yourself happy.
When once you profess yourself a friend endeavour to be always such. He can never have any true friends, who will be often changing them.
Prosperity gains friends , and adversity tries them.
Nothing more engages the affections of men, than a handsome address, and graceful conversation.
Complaisance renders a superior amiable, an equal agreeable, and an inferior acceptable.
Excess of ceremony shews want of breeding. That civility is best, which excludes all superfluous formality.
Ingratitude is a crime so shameful, that the man was never yet found, who would acknowledge himself guilty of it.
Truth is born with us : and we must do violence to nature, to shake off our veracity.
There cannot be a greater treachery, than first to raise a confidence, and then to deceive it.
By others faults wise men correct their own.
No man hath a thorough taste of prosperity, to whom adversity never happened.
When our vices leave us, we flatter our selves that we leave them.
It is as great a point of wisdom to hide ignorance, as to discover knowledge. Pitch upon
that course of life which is the most excellent; and habit will render it the most delightful.
CHA P. II I.
and the idol of fools.
As to be perfectly just, is an attribute of the Divine Nature ; to be so to the utmost of our abilities, is the glory of man.
No man was ever casť down with the intjuries of fortune, unless he had before suffered himself to be deceived by her favours.
Anger may glance into the breast of a wise man, but rests only in the bosom of fools.
None more impatiently suffer injuries , than those who are most forward in doing them.
By taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.
To err is human ; to forgive, divine.
A more glorious victory cannot be gained over another man ,
than this, that when the injury began on his part, the kindness should begin on ours.
The prodigal robs his heir ; the miser robs himself.
We should take a prudent care for the future, but so as to enjoy the present. It is no part of wisdom to be miserable to day, because we may happen to be so to-morrow.
To mourn without measure is folly ; not to mourn at all, insensibility.
Some would be thought to do great things, who are but tools and instruments ; like the fool who fancied he played upon the organ, when he only blew the bellows.
Though a man may become learned by another's learning ; he never can be wise but by his own wisdom.
He who wants good sense , is unhappy in having learning ; for he has thereby more ways of exposing himself.
It is ungenerous to give a man occasion to blush at his own ignorance in one thing, who perhaps may excel us in many.
No object is more pleasing to the eye, than the sight of a man whom you have obliged ; nor any music so agreeable to the ear, as the voice of one who owns you for his benefactor.
The coin that is the most current among mankind is flattery ; the only benefit of which is, thạt by hearing what we are not, we may be instructed what we ought to be.
The character of the person who commends you, is to be considered before you set a value on his esteem. The wise man applauds him whom he thinks most virtuous, the rest of the world, him who is most wealthy.
The temperate man's pleasures are durable, because they are regular; and his life is calm and serene , because it is innocent.
A good man will love himself too well to lose, and his neighbour too well to win, an