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It is certain that age itself makes many things pass well enough, which would have been at laughed from one much younger.
Nothing, however, is more infupportable to men of sense,. than an empty, formal man, who speaks in proverbs, and decides all controverfies with a fhort fentence. This piece of ftupidity is the more infufferable, as it puts on the air of wisdom.
Whenever you comm mmend, add your reafons for fo doing it is this which diftinguishes the approbation of a man of fenfe, from the flattery of fycophants, and admiration of fools.
Raillery is no longer agreeable than while the whole company is pleafed with it. I would, leaft of all, be understood to except the perfon rallied.— Guardian.
OBSERVE this rule in general: whenfoever it lies in your power to lead the converfation, let it be directed to fome profitable point of knowledge or practice, fo far as may be done with decency: and let not the difcourfe and the hours be fuffered to run loofe without aim or defign; and when a fubject is farted, pafs not haftily to another, before you have brought the prefent theme of difcourfe to fome tolerable iffue, or a joint confent to drop it.-Watts:
-YET no attribute
So well befits th' exalted feat fupreme,
WHEN moft my heart was lifted with delight,
HOW few, like thee, enquire the wretched out,
COMPASSION proper to mankind appears,
RESTRAIN your needlefs curiofity, and all folicitous enquiries into things which were better unknown. How many plentiful fprings of fear, forrow, anger, and hatred, have been found out and broken up, by this laborious digging? Have a care of an over-curious fearch into fuch things as might have fafely remained for ever secret, and the ignorance of them had prevented many foolish and hurtful paffions. A fond folicitude to know all that our friends or foes fay of us, is often recompenfed with vexing difquietude and anguifh of foul.-Watts.
CURIOSITY is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect. Every advance into knowledge opens new profpects, -and produces new incitements. to further progrefs.-Rambler.
CHILDREN fhould never be allowed to practice thofe diverfions that carry an idea of barbarity and cruelty in them, though it be but to brute creatures. They should not fet up cocks to be tormented with cudgels thrown at them about Shrovetide; nor delight in giving a tedious, lingering death to a young litter of dogs or cats, that may be appointed to be drowned, left they multiply too much in a houfe: nor fhould they take pleafure in pricking, cutting, or mangling young birds which they have caught, nor in ufing any favage and bloody practices towards any creatures whatsoever; left their hearts grow hard and unrelenting, and they learn in time to practice thefe cruelties on their own kind, and to murder and torture their fellow-mortals; or at leaft to be indifferent to their pain and diftrefs, fo as to occafion it without remorfe.-Watts.
IN vain affected raptures flufh the cheek, And forgs of pleafure warble from the tongue,
When fear and anguish labor in the breast,
THE good or evil we confer on others, very often, Ĭ believe, recoils on ourselves; for as men of a benign difpofition enjoy their own acts of beneficence equally with those to whom they are done; fo there are scarce any natures fo entirely diabolical, as to be capable of doing injuries without paying themselves fome pangs for the ruin which they bring on their fellow-creatures.-Fielding.
CONTENT is wealth, the riches of the mind;
THERE is fcarce any lot fo low, but there is something in it to fatisfy the man whom it has befallen; Providence having fo ordered things, that in every man's cup, how bitter foever, there are fome cordial drops-fome good circumstances, which, if wifely extracted, are fufficient for the purpose he wants them--that is, to make him contented, and, if not happy, at leaft refigned.-Sterne.
THERE are thoufands fo extravagant in their ideas of contentment, as to imagine that it must confist in having every thing in this world turn out the way they wifh-that they are to fit down in happiness, and feel themselves fo at ease at all points, as to defire nothing better and nothing more.
there are inftances of fome, who feem to pafs through the world as if all their paths had been strewed with rofe-buds of delight but a little experience will convince us, 'tis a fatal expectation to go upon.-We are born to trouble; and we may depend upon it whilft we live in this world we shall have it, though with intermiffions-that is, in whatever state we are, we shall find a mixture of good and evil; and therefore, the true way to contentment is to know how to receive thefe certain viciffitudes of life,-the returns of good and evil, so as neither to be exalted by the one, nor overthrown by the other, but to bear ourselves towards every thing which happens with fuch ease and indifference of mind, as to hazard as little as may be. This is the true temperate climate fitted for us by nature, and in which every wife man would wish to live.-Idem.
THE foundation of content must spring up in a man's own' mind and he who has fo little knowledge of human nature as to feek happiness by changing any thing but his own difpofition, will wafte his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove.-Rambler.
ENQUIRIES after happinefs, and rules for attaining it, are not fo neceffary and ufeful to mankind, as the arts of confolation, and of fupporting one's felf under affliction. The utmost we can hope for in this world, is contentment; if we aim at any thing higher, we fhall meet with nothing but grief and disappointment. A man fhould direct all his ftudies and endeavours at making himself eafy now, and happy hereafter. The truth of it is, if all the happiness that is difperfed through the whole race of mankind in this world, were drawn together, and put into the poffeffion of any fingle man, it would not make a very happy being: though, on the contrary, if the miseries of the whole fpecies were fixed in a fingle perfon, they would make a very miferable one.-Spectator.
A man fhould always confider how much he has more than he wants. I am wonderfully pleafed with the reply which Ariftippus made to one who condoled him upon the lofs of a farm Why, faid he, I have three farms fill, and you have but one; fo that I ought rather to be afflicted for you than you for me. On the contrary, foolish men are more apt to confider.. what they have loft than what they poffefs; and to fix their eyes upon those who are richer than themselves, rather than on those who are under greater difficulties. All the real treafures and conveniences of life lie in a narrow compafs;
Content-Continence of Scipio.
but it is the humour of mankind to be always looking forward, and ftraining after one who has got the ftart of them in wealth and honour.Idem.
I envy not the mighty great,
Are all his hope, and all his care.-Hildebrand Jacob,
CONTINENCE of SCIPIO.
-WHAT with admiration
Struck every heart, was this.-A noble virgin
Was mark'd the general's prize. She wept and blush'd,
To cloud his virtue in its very dawn.
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She, question'd of her birth, in trembling accents,