English Essayist, Poet, Playwright and Politician
English Essayist, Poet, Playwright and Politician
When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.
When time itself shall be no more and all things in confusion hurl'd music shall then exert it's power and sound survive the ruins of the world . Then saints and angels shall agree in one eternal jubilee all Heaven shall echo with their hymns divine and God himself with pleasure see the whole creation in a chorus join.
Who rant by note, and through the gamut rage; in songs and airs express their martial fire; combat in trills, and in a fugue expire.
Yet then from all my grief, O Lord, Thy mercy set me free, whilst in the confidence of pray'r my soul took hold on thee.
Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
Tis the divinity that stirs within us; 'tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter, and intimates eternity to man.
To stick at nothing for the public interest is represented as the refined part of the Venetian wisdom.
Unbounded courage and compassion join'd, Tempering each other in the victor's mind, Alternately proclaim him good and great, And make the hero and the man complete.
We cannot believe our posterity will think so disrespectfully of their great-grandmothers as that they made themselves monstrous to appear amiable.
Were a man's sorrows and disquietudes summed up at the end of his life, it would generally be found that he had suffered more from the apprehension of such evils as never happened to him than from those evils which had really befallen him.
What means this heaviness that hangs upon me? This lethargy that creeps through all my senses? Nature, oppress'd and harrass'd out with care, sinks down to rest.
When arguments press equally in matters indifferent, the safest method is to give up ourselves to neither.
When I reflect upon the various Fate of those Multitudes of Ancient Writers who flourished in Greece and Italy, I consider Time as an Immense Ocean, in which many noble Authors are entirely swallowed up, many very much shattered and damaged, Some quite disjointed and broken into pieces, while some have wholly escaped the Common Wreck; but the Number of the last is very small. (Spectator 223)
When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, The post of honor is a private station.
Who would not believe that our Saviour healed the sick and raised the dead when it was published by those who themselves often did the same miracles?
You will never, with all your medallic eloquence, persuade Eugenius that it is better to have a pocketful of Othos than of Jacobuses.
Readers who are in the flower of their youth should labor at those accomplishments which may set off their persons when their bloom is gone, and to lay in timely provisions for manhood and old age.
Self-discipline is that which, next to virtue, truly and essentially raises one man above another.
So inconsiderable is the satisfaction that fame brings along with it, and so great the disquietudes to which it makes us liable. The desire of it stirs up very uneasy motions in the mind, and is rather inflamed than satisfied by the presence of the thing desired. The enjoyment of it brings but very little pleasure, though the loss or want of it be very sensible and afflicting; and even this little happiness is so very precarious that it wholly depends upon the will of others. We are not only tortured by the reproaches which are offered us, but are disappointed by the silence of men when it is unexpected, and humbled even by their praises.
Suspicion is not less an enemy to virtue than to happiness; he that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly be corrupt.
That vain and foolish hope which is misemployed on temporal objects produces many sorrows.
The consciousness of being loved softens the keenest pang even at the moment of parting; yea, even the eternal farewell is robbed of half of its bitterness when uttered in accents that breathe love to the last sigh.
The first is the exercise of virtue, in the most general acceptation of the word. The particular scheme which comprehends the social virtues may give employment to the most industrious temper, and find a man in business more than the most active station of life. To advise the ignorant, relieve the needy, comfort the afflicted, are duties that fall in our way almost every day of our lives. A man has frequent opportunities of mitigating the fierceness of a party; of doing justice to the character of a deserving man; of softening the envious, quieting the angry, and rectifying the prejudiced; which are all of them employments suited to a reasonable nature, and bring great satisfaction to the person who can busy himself in them with discretion.
The great received articles of the Christian religion have been so clearly proved, from the authority of that divine revelation, in which they are delivered, that it is impossible for those who have ears to hear, and eyes to see, not to be convinced of them. But were it possible for anything in the Christian faith to be erroneous, I can find no ill consequences in adhering to it. The great points of the incarnation and sufferings of our Savior produce naturally such habits of virtue in the mind of man, that, I say, supposing it were possible for us to be mistaken in them, the infidel himself must at least allow that no other system of religion could so effectually contribute to the heightening morality. They give us great ideas of the dignity of human nature, and of the love which the Supreme Being bears to his creatures, and consequently engage us in the highest acts of duty towards our Creator, our neighbor, and ourselves.
The intelligence of affection is carried on by the eye only; good-breeding has made the tongue falsify the heart, and act a part of continued restraint, while nature has preserved the eyes to herself, that she may not be disguised or misrepresented.