« AnteriorContinuar »
HONOR and fhame from no condition rife :-
Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow;
AMONG the Symerons, or fugitive negroes in the South Seas, being in a state that does not fet them above continual cares for the immediate neceffaries of life, he that can temper iron beft, is among them most esteemed: and, perhaps, it would be happy for every nation, if honors and applauses were as juftly diftributed, and he were moft diftinguished whofe abilities were moft ufeful to fociety. How many chimerical titles to precedence, how many falfe pretences to refpect, would this rule bring to the ground!-Johnson.
The Handsome and Deformed LEG.
THERE are two forts of people in the world, who with equal degrees of health and wealth, and the other comforts of life, become the one happy, and the other miferable. This arifes s very much from the different views in which they confider things, perfons, and events; and the effect of thofe different views upon their own minds.
IN whatever firuation men can be placed, they may find conveniencies and inconveniencies: in whatever company, they may find perfons and converfation more or lefs pleafing: at whatever table, they may meet with meats and drinks of better and worfe talte, dishes better and worfe dreffed; in whatever climate, they will find good and bad weather: under whatever government, they may find good and bad laws, and good and bad adminiftration of thofe laws: in whatever poem, or work of genius, they may fee faults and beauties: in almost every face, and every perfon, they may difcover fine features and defects, good and bad qualities.
Under thele circumftances, the two forts of people abovementioned, fix their attention--those who are disposed to be happy, on the conveniencies of things, the pleafant parts of
The Handfome and Deformed Leg.
converfation, the well dreffed difhes, the goodness of the wines, the fine weather, &c. and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those who are to be unhappy, think and fpeak only of the contraries. Hence they are continually difcontented. themfelves, and, by their remarks, four the pleafures of fociety; offend perfonally many people, and make themfelves every where difagreeable. If this turn of mind was founded in nature, fuch unhappy perfons would be the more to be pitied. But as the difpofition to criticife, and to be difgufted, is perhaps taken up originally by imitation, and is, unawares, grown into a habit, which, though at prefent ftrong, may nevertheless be cured, when thofe who have it are convinced of its bad effects on their felicity; I hope this little admonition may be of fervice to them, and put them on changing a habit, which, though in the exercife it is chiefly an act of imagination, yet has ferious confequences in life, as it brings on real griefs and misfortunes. For as many are offended by, and nobody loves this fort of people; no one fhews them more than the most common civility and respect, and fcarcely that; and this frequently puts them out of humour, and draws them into difputes and contentions. If they aim at obtaining fome advantage in rank or fortune, nobody wishes them fuccefs, or will stir a step, or speak a word to favor their pretenfions. If they incur public cenfure or difgrace, no one will defend or excufe, and many join to aggravate their mifconduct, and render them completely odious. If thefe people will not change this bad habit, and condescend to be pleased with what is pleafing, without fretting themfelves and others about the contraries, it is good for others to avoid an acquaintance with them; which is always difagreeable, and fometimes very inconvenient, efpecially when one finds one's felf entangled in their quarrels.
An old philofophical friend of mine was grown from experience, very cautious in this particular, and carefully avoided any intimacy with fuch people. He had, like other philofophers, a thermometer to fhew him the heat of the weather; and a barometer, to mark when it was likely to prove good or bad; but there being no inftrument invented to difcover, at first fight, this unpleafing difpofition in a perfon, he, for that purpose, made ufe of his legs; one of which was remarkably handfome, the other, by fome accident, crooked and deformed. If a tranger, at the first interview, regarded his ugly leg more than his hand fome one, he doubted him. M
If he fpoke of it, and took no notice of the handsome leg, that was fufficient to determine my philofopher to have no further acquaintance with him. Every body has not this two legged inftrument: but every one, with a little attention, may obferve figns of that carping, fault-finding difpofition, and take the fame refolution of avoiding the acquaintance of thofe infected with it. I therefore advife thofe critical, queru lous, difcontented, unhappy people, that if they wish to be refpected and beloved by others, and happy in themselves, they should leave off looking at the ugly leg.—Franklin.
NO happiness can be where is no rest,
With whips and ftings. The blefs'd know none of this,
And find the height of all their heav'n is goodness.-Rowe:
THERE is nothing more difficult than to lay down any fixed and certain rules for happiness, or indeed to judge with
any precifion of the happiness of others from the knowledge of external circumstances. There is fometimes a little Spock of black in the brightest and gayeft colours of fortune, which contaminates and deadens the whole. On the contrary, when all without looks dark and difimal, there is often a fieret ray of light within the mind, which turns every thing to real joy and gladnefs.-Fielding.
ALL natural and almost all political evils are incident alike to the bad or good. They are confounded in the mifery of a famine, and not much diftinguished in the fury of a faction. They fink together in a tempeft, and are driven together from their country by invaders. All that virtue can afford is quieinefs of confeince, a fleady profpe&t of a happier flate, which will enable us to endure every calamity with patience.-Johnson.
THE happiness of the generality of people is nothing if it is not known, and very little if it is not envied.-- Ialler.
IT is impoffible to form a philofophic fyftem of happines which is adapted to every condition in life; fince every perfoa who travels in this great purfuit, takes a feparate road. The different colours which fuit different complexions, are not more various than the different pleafures appropriated to particular minds. The various fects who have pretended to give leffons to inftruct men in happiness, have defcribed their own particular fenfations without confidering ours, have only loaded their difciples with conftraint, without adding to their real felicity. Goldsmith.
THE Gillieft fellows are in general the worst of husbands : and it may be afferted as a fact, that a man of fenfe rarely behaves very ill to a wife who deferves very well.-Fielding.
WHAT a poor value do men fet on heav'n!
HOPE, with a goodly profpect feeds the eye,
CALL up your better reafon to your aid,
The captive, bending with the weight of bonds,
And every pang, that rends the heart,
Hope, like the glimmering taper's light,
WOULD I had trod the humble path, and made
THERE are fome that ufe