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Abstracts, abridgements, summaries, &c. have the same use with burning glasses, to collect the diffused rays of wit and learning in authors, and make them point with warmth and quickness upon the reader's imagination.-Swift.
QUOTATION, sir, is a good thing; there is a community of mind in it: classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.-Johnson.
Two evils, ignorance and want of taste, have produced a third, I mean the continual corruption of our English tongue; which, without some timely remedy, will suffer more by the false refinements of twenty years past, than it has been improved in the foregoing hundred.-Swift.
The southern wits are like cucumbers, which are com monly all good in their kind; but at best are an insipid fruit while the northern geniuses are like melons, of which not one in fifty is good; but when it is so, it is an exquisite relish.-Berkeley.
To endeavour to work upon the vulgar with fine sense, is like attempting to hew blocks with a razor.-Pope.
Whatever stress some may lay upon it, a death-bed repentance is but a weak and slender plank to trust our all upon.-Sterne.
There is some help for all the defects of fortune; for if a man cannot attain to the length of his wishes, he may have his remedy by cutting of them shorter.-Cowley.
As true wit generally consists in the resemblance and congruity of ideas, false wit chiefly consists in the resemblance and congruity sometimes of single letters, as in anagrams, chronograms, lipograms, and acrostics: sometimes of words, as in puns and quibbles. and sometimes of whole sentences or poems, cast into the figures of eggs, axes, or altars. Nay, some carry the notion of wit so far, as to ascribe it even to external mimicry; and to look upon a man as an ingenious person, that can resemble the tone, posture, or face of another.-Addison.
There never was any party, faction, sect, or cabal, whatsoever, in which the most ignorant were not the most violent for a bee is not a busier animal than a blockhead. However, such instruments are necessary to politicians; and perhaps it may be with states as with clocks, which must have some dead weight hanging at them, to help and regulate the motion of the finer and more useful parts.-Pope.
Fear sometimes adds wings to the heels, and sometimes nails them to the ground, and fetters them from moving.Montaigne.