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There are miseries which wring the very heart; some want even food; they dread the winter; others eat forced fruits; artificial heats change the earth and seasons, to please their palates. I have known citizens, because grown rich, so execrably dainty, as to swallow at a morsel the nourishment of a hundred families: great are they who can behave well in these extremities: let me be nor happy nor unhappy; that is, neither rich nor poor: I take sanctuary in an honest mediocrity.—Bruyere.
Wit must grow like fingers; if it be taken from others, 'tis like plums stuck upon black thorns; they are for a while, but come to nothing.-Selden.
When I reflect, as I frequently do, upon the felicity I have enjoyed, I sometimes say to myself, that, were the offer made true, I would engage to run again, from beginning to end, the same career of life. All I would ask, should be the privilege of an author, to correct, in a second edition, certain errors of the first.-Franklin's Life.
We are for lengthening our span of life in general, but would fain contract the parts of which it is composed. The usurer would be very well satisfied to have all the time annihilated that lies between the present moment and next quarter-day. The politician would be contented to lose three years in his life, could he place things in the posture which he fancies they will stand in after such a revolution of time. The lover would be glad to strike out of his existence all the moments that are to pass away before the happy meeting. Thus, as fast as our time runs, we should be very glad in most parts of our lives, that it ran much faster than it does. Several hours of the day hang upon our hands, nay, we wish away whole years, and travel through time as through a country filled with
many wild and empty wastes, which we would fain hurry over, that we may arrive at those several little settlements or imaginary points of rest which are dispersed up and down in it.-Addison.
The age of chivalry is gone, and one of calculators and economists has succeeded.-Burke.
I do not call him a poet that writes for his own diversion, any more than that gentleman a fiddler who amuses himself with a violin.-Swift.
Pleasure of meat, drink, clothes, &c., are forbidden those that know not how to use them; just as nurses cry pah! when they see a knife in a child's hand; they will never say any thing to a man.-Selden.
The Pythagoreans make good to be certain and finite, and evil, infinite and uncertain; there are a thousand ways to miss the white, there is only one to hit it.Montaigne.
There is none made so great, but he may both need the help and service, and stand in fear of the power and unkindness, even of the meanest of mortals.-Seneca.
There be that can pack the cards, and yet cannot play well: so there are some that are good in canvasses and factions, that are otherwise weak men.-Lord Bacon.
A poet hurts himself by writing prose; as a race-horse hurts his motions by condescending to draw in a team.—
From the earliest dawnings of policy to this day, the invention of men has been sharpening and improving the mystery of murder, from the first rude essay of clubs and stones, to the present perfection of gunnery, cannoneering, bombarding, mining.-Burke.
Those ears that are offended by the sweetly wild notes of the thrush, the blackbird, and the nightingale, the distant cawing of the rook, the tender cooing of the turtle, the soft sighing of reeds and osiers, the magic murmur of lapsing streams, will be regaled and ravished by the extravagant and alarming notes of a squeaking fiddle, extracted by a musician who has no other genius than that which lies in his fingers: they will even be entertained with the rattling of coaches,, the rumbling of carts, and the delicate cry of cod and mackerel.-Smollet.
Next to clothes being fine, they should be well made, and worn easily: for a man is only the less genteel for a fine coat, if in wearing it he shows a regard for it, and is not as easy in it as if it were a plain one.-Chesterfield.
A little wit is equally capable of exposing a beauty and of aggravating a fault; and though such a treatment of an author naturally produces indignation in the mind of an understanding reader, it has, however, its effect among the generality of those whose hands it falls into, the rabble of mankind being very apt to think that every thing which is laughed at, with any mixture of wit, is ridiculous in itself.-Addison.
While we are reasoning concerning life, life is gone, and death, though perhaps they receive him differently vet treats alike the fool and the philosopher.-Hume.
Imaginary evils soon become real ones by indulging our reflections on them; as he who in a melancholy fancy sees something like a face on the wall or the wainscot, can, by two or three touches with a lead pencil, make it look visible, and agreeing with what he fancied.-Swift. XXVII.
Nothing sinks a young man into low company, both of women and men, so surely as timidity and diffidence of himself. If he thinks that he shall not, he may depend upon it he will not please. But with proper endeavours to please, and a degree of persuasion that he shall, it is almost certain that he will.-Chesterfield.
I cannot imagine why we should be at the expense to furnish wit for succeeding ages, when the former have made no sort of provision for ours.—Swift.
Old friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were easiest for his feet.-Selden.
The conceit that a cat has nine lives, has cost at least nine lives in ten of the whole race of them; scarce a boy in the streets, but has in this point outdone Hercules himself, who was famous for killing a monster that had but three lives. Whether the unaccountable animosity against this useful domestic, may be any cause of the general persecution of owls, (who are a sort of feathered cats,) or whether it be only an unseasonable pique the moderns have taken to a serious countenance, I shall not determine though I am inclined to believe the former; since I observe the sole reason alleged for the destruction of frogs, is because they are like toads.-Pope.
Vanity bids all her sons to be generous and braveand her daughters to be chaste and courteous.-But why
do we want her instructions?-Ask the comedian who is taught a part he feels not.-Sterne.
Real merit of any kind, ubi est non potest diu celari: it will be discovered, and nothing can depreciate it, but a man's exhibiting it himself. It may not always be rewarded as ought; but it will always be known.➡ Chesterfield.
Reserve is no more essentially connected with understanding, than a church organ with devotion, or wine with good nature.—Shenstone.
If a strong attachment to a particular subject, a total ignorance of every other; an eagerness to introduce that subject upon all occasions, and a confirmed habit of declaiming upon it without either wit or discretion, be the marks of a pedantic character, as they certainly are, it belongs to the illiterate as well as the learned; and St. James's itself may boast of producing as arrant pedants as were ever sent forth from a college.—B. Thornton.
Pride may be allowed to this or that degree, else a man cannot keep up his dignity. In gluttony there must be eating, in drunkenness there must be drinking; 'tis not the eating, nor 'tis not the drinking that must be blamed, but the excess. So in pride.-Selden.
Those beings only are fit for solitude, who like nobody, are like nobody, and are liked by nobody.-Zimmerman.
General, abstract truth is the most precious of all blessings; without it man is blind. it is the eye of reason. -Rousseau.