English Actor and Dramatist
English Actor and Dramatist
O breath of public praise, short liv'd and vain! oft gain'd without desert, as often lost, unmerited; composed but of extremes: Thou first beginn'st with love enthusiastic, madness of affection; then (Bounding o'er moderation and o'er reason) Thou turn'st to hate, as causeless and as fierce.
O credulity, thou hast as many ears as fame has tongues, open to every sound of truth as of falsehood.
O cursed ambition, thou devouring bird, how dost thou from the field of honesty pick every grain of profit or delight, and mock the reaper's toil!
O Eloquence! thou violated fair, how thou art wooed and won to either bed of right or wrong!
Appearances deceive and this one maxim is a standing rule: men are not what they seem.
Servile inclinations, and gross love, the guilty bent of vicious appetite; at first a sin, a horror ev'n in bliss, deprave the senses and lay waste the man; passions irregular, and next a loathing, quickly succeed to dash the wild.
Be honest poverty thy boasted wealth; so shall thy friendships be sincere, tho' few so shall thy sleep be sound, thy waking cheerful.
Who shall tax successful villainy, or call the rising traitor to account?
Britain, the queen of isles, our fair possession secur'd by nature, laughs at foreign force; her ships her bulwark, and the sea her dike, sees plenty in her lap, and braves the world.
Comfort--'tis for ease and quiet; it sleeps upon the down of sweet content, in the sound bed of industry and health.
Consider how the desperate fight; despair strikes wild,--but often fatal too-- and in the mad encounter wins success.
Frank sincerity, though no invited guest, is free to all, and brings his welcome with him.
Hark! the death-denouncing trumpet sounds the fatal charge, and shouts proclaim the onset; destruction rushes dreadful to the field, and bathes itself in blood; havoc let loose now undistinguish'd rages all around, while ruin, seated on her dreary throne, sees the plain strewed with subjects truly hers, breathless and cold.
How the time loiters in expectation! Then the mind drags the dead burden of a hundred years in one short moment's space. The nimble heart beats with impatient throbs,--sick of delay, and pants to be at ease.
I have too deeply read mankind to be amused with friendship; it is a name invented merely to betray credulity; it is intercourse of interest, not of souls.
Let falsehood be a stranger to thy lips; shame on the policy that first began to tamper with the heart to hide its thoughts! And doubly shame on that inglorious tongue, that sold its honesty and told a lie.
Misfortune does not always wait on vice; nor is success the constant guest of virtue.
The guilty mind debases the great image that it wears and levels us with brutes.
He that acts unjustly is the worst rebel to himself; and though now ambition’s trumpet and drum of power may drown the sound, yet conscience with one day speak loudly to him.
The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.