« FöregåendeFortsätt »
see state in the attendance of one servant: as one that hath learned a man's greatness or baseness is in himself; and in this he may even contest with the proud, that he thinks his own the best. Or if
takes them by the right handle, finds them good; he that takes them by the wrong indiscreetly, finds them evil. Take a knife by the haft it will serve you, take it by the edge it will cut you. There is no good thing but is mingled with evil: There is no evil but some good enters into the composition. The same truth holds, in all persons, actions, and events. Out of the worst a well composed mind endowed with the grace of God, may extract good, with no other chymistry than piety, wisdom, and serenity. It lieth in us, as we incline our minds, to be pleased or displeased with most things of the world. One that has fed his eyes with the rich prospect of delicate countries, as Lombardy, Anjou, where all the beauties and dainties of nature are assembled, will another time take no less delight in a wild and rugged prospect of high bare mountains, and fifty stories of steep rocks, as about the grand Chartreuse, and the bottom of Ardennes, where the very horror contributes to the delectation. If I have been delighted to see the trees of my orchard, in the spring blossomed, in summer shady, in autumn hung with fruit; I will delight again, after the fall of the leaf, to see through my trees new prospects which the bushy boughs hid before; and will be pleased with the sight of the snow candied about the branches, as the flowers of the season.
These symptoms of a rising reputation gave me encouragement, as I was ever more disposed to see the favourable than
he must be outwardly great, he can but turn the other end of the glass, and make his stately manor a low and straight cottage; and in all his costly furniture he can see not richness but use. He
the unfavourable side of things, a turn of mind which it is more happy to possess, than to be born to an estate of ten thousand a year.-HUME's Life of Himself.
We are not here, as those angels, celestial powers and bodies, sun and moon, to finish our course without all offence, with such constancy, to continue for so many ages; but subject to such infirmities, miseries, interrupted, tossed and tumbled up and down, carried about with every small blast, often molested and disquieted upon each slender occasion, uncertain, brittle; and so is all that we trust unto. And he that knows not this, and is not armed to endure it, is not fit to live in this world (as one condoles our time); he knows not the condition of it, where with a reciprocal tye, pleasure and pain are still united, and succeed one another in a ring.
Some look at the black clouds, others at the blue sky. Some look through the clouds. See number 126 of the World. Arachne collecting poison from the fairest flowers; and Melissa gathering honey from every weed.
THE FRENCH PEASANT.
A peasant of the true French breed
And filled with onions, sav'ry load.
Singing a Gascon roundelay:
The spiteful wind th' advantage took,
The wheels fly up, the onions swim.
At one rude blast all puffed away.
can see dross in the best metal, and earth through the best cloths; and in all his troop he can see himself his own servant. He lives quietly at home,* out of the noise of the world, † and loves
How would an English clown have sworn,
He stopped, and hardly stopped, his song,
At last he shrugging cried, "Parbleu
Pour faire du potage excellent."
See the character of Croker in Goldsmith's Good-natured Man. See Goldsmith's Essay, 230.
Be not over exquisite
To cast the fashion of uncertain evils;
For grant they be so, while they rest unknown,
* I knew a man that had health and riches and several houses, all beautiful and ready furnished, and would often trouble himself and family to be removing from one house to another and, being asked by a friend" Why he removed so often from one house to another?" replied, "It was to find content in some one of them." 66 Content," said his friend, ever dwells in a meek and quiet soul."-WALTON'S Angler.
+ The happiness of light minds is always in the next room; its eyes are in the ends of the earth.
The Philosopher carries with him into the world the temper of the cloister, and preserves the fear of doing evil, while he is impelled by the zeal of doing good. He is rich or poor, without pride in riches, or discontent in poverty; he partakes
to enjoy himself always, and sometimes his friend, and hath as full scope to his thoughts as to his eyes. He walks ever even in the midway betwixt hopes and fears, resolved to fear nothing but God, to hope for nothing but that which he must have. He hath a wise and virtuous mind in a serviceable body; which, that better part affects
the pleasures of sense with temperance, and enjoys the distinctions of honour with moderation. He passes undefiled through a polluted world, and, amidst all the vicissitudes of good and evil, has his heart fixed only where true joys are to be found.
Newton étoit doux, tranquille, modeste, simple, affable, toujours de niveau avec tout le monde, ne se démentit point pendant le cours de sa longue et brillante carrière. Il auroit mieux aimé être inconnu, que de voir le calme de sa vie troublé par ces orages littéraires, que l'esprit et la science attirent à ceux qui cherchent trop la gloire. Je me reprocherois, disoit-il, mon imprudence, de perdre une chose aussi réelle que le repos, pour courir après une ombre.
Si Descartes eut quelques foiblesses de l'humanité, il eut aussi les principales vertus du philosophe. Sobre, tempérant, ami de la liberté et de la retraite, reconnoissant, libéral, sensible à l'amitié, tendre, compatissant, il ne connoissoit que les passions douces et savoit résister aux violentes. Quand on me fait offense, disoit-il, je tuche d'élever mon âme si haut, que l'offense ne parvienne pas jusqu'à elle. L'ambition ne l'agita pas plus que la vengeance. Il disoit, comme Ovide; Vivre caché, c'est vivre heureux.
The Caliph of Bagdad, fatigued with hunting, separated himself from the company, to sleep on the green bank of a rivulet, which seemed by its gentle murmuring to invite him to repose. He awoke suddenly in the most acute pain. In a few days after his return to the palace, his complexion became pale and sickly, his eyes grew dim, his limbs swelled, and his appetite failed. The physicians employed all their art in vain; The Angel of Death stood ready to summon
as a present servant and a future companion, so cherishing his flesh, as one that would scorn to be all flesh. He hath no enemies; not for that all love him, but because he knows to make a gain of malice.* He is not so engaged to any earthly thing that they two cannot part on even terms; †
him. A stranger at that time in Bagdad, of great skill in medicine, was summoned to the palace. The moment he looked upon the eyes of the Caliph, he said, “It is the sting of a lizard:" and, taking a small phial from his pocket, gave the Caliph a few drops mixed with water. After the struggle of an hour his patient became composed; on the next day the delirium left him; and, before the moon had performed its revolution, his colour returned and the heat of youth glowed again in his veins. Henceforth, Alchaman," said the Caliph, "the palace of Bagdad is your home. My treasury is open to you. The honours of my kingdom are at your disposal."—" Generous Monarch," said Alchaman, " to your majesty's care in action the public welfare is entrusted, my utility consists in contemplation. Permit me to return to my home, where I endeavour to converse with truth and wisdom. Pardon me, Sire, for saying that freedom of mind is the only empire a philosopher can covet; not from sloth, but from a conviction that the life and faculties of man, at the best but short and limited, cannot be more usefully employed than in researches which may enlighten the world and benefit future ages: and, as a knowledge of the properties of a few drops of fluid has enabled me to restore a beloved monarch to his people, may I retire with this grateful recollection, confirmed in my opinion, that all truths partake of one common essence, and, like drops of rain, which fall separately into the river, mix themselves at once with the stream, and strengthen the general current."
• "Did a person," said the Abbe de Raunci, "but know the value of an enemy, he would purchase him with pure gold."
+ See ante, p. 8.