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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.
22. The continued multiplication of books not only distracts choice, but disappoints inquiry. To him that hath moderately stored his mind with images, few writers afford any novelty; or what little they have to add to the common stock of learning is so buried in the mass of general notions, that, like silver mingled with the ore of lead, it too little to pay for the labour of separation ; and he that has been often deceived by the promise of a title, at last grows weary of examining, and is tempted to consider all as equally fallacious.
23. Wit lies most in the assemblage of ideas, and putting those together with quickness and variety, wherein can be found any resemblance or congruity thereby to make up pleasant pictures and agreeable visions in the fancy; judgment, on the contrary, lies quite on the other side, in sepa, rating carefully one from another, ideas wherein can be found the least difference, thereby to avoid being misled by similitude, and by affinity to take one thing for another.
24. Frugality may be termed the daughter of prudence, the sister of temperance, and the parent of liberty. He that is extravagant will quickly become poor, and poverty will enforce dependence, and invite corruption. It will almost always produce a passive compliance with the wickedness of others, and there are few who do not learn by degrees to practise those crimes which they cease to censure.
25. The taxes are indeed very heavy; and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge thenı; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride,
and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement.
26. The common fluency of speech in many men, and most women, is owing to a scarcity of matter, and a scarcity of words, for whoever is a master of language and has a mind full of ideas, will be apt in speaking to hesitate upon the choice of both; whereas common speakers have only one set of ideas, and one set of words to clothe them in; and these are always ready at the mouth ; so people come faster out of a church when it is almost empty, than when a crowd is at the door.
27. The greatest vices derive their propensity from our most tender infancy, and our principal education depends on the nurse. Mothers are mightily pleased to see a child writhe the neck of a chicken, or please itself with hurting a cat or dog; and such wise fathers there are in the world, who consider it as a notable mark of a martial spirit, when they hear their sons miscall, or see them domineer over a peasant or lacquey, that dares not reply or turn again ; and a great sign of wit when they see them cheat and overreach their playfellows by some malicious trick of treachery and deceit: but for all that, these are the true seeds and roots of cruelty, tyranny, and vice.
28. There is no society or conversation to be kept up in the world without good nature, or something which must bear its appearance, and supply its place. For this reason mankind have been forced to invent a kind of artificial humanity, which is what we express by the word goodbreeding. For if we examine thoroughly the idea of what we call so, we shall find it to be nothing else but an imitation and mimicry of good nature, or in other terms, affability, complaisance, and easiness of temper reduced to an art.
29. If by the liberty of the press we understand merely the liberty of discussing the propriety of public measures and political opinions, let us have as much of it as you
please ; but, if it means the liberty of affronting, calumniating, and defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it whenever our legislators shall please to alter the law; and shall cheerfully consent to exchange my liberty of abusing others, for the privilege of not being abused myself.
30. Supposing the body of the earth were a great mass or ball of the finest sand, and that a single grain or particle of this sand should be annihilated every thousand years : supposing then that you had it in your choice to be happy all the while this prodigious mass of sand was consuming, by this slow method, until there was not a grain of it left, on condition you were to be miserable for ever after ; or supposing that you might be happy for ever after, on condition you would be miserable until the whole mass of sand were thus annihilated, at the rate of one sand in a thousand years: which of these two cases would you make
31. True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one's self; and in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions : it loves shade and solitude, and naturally haunts groves and fountains, fields and meadows; in short, it feels every thing it wants within itself, and receives no addition from multitudes of witnesses and spectators. On the contrary, false happiness loves to be in a crowd, and to draw the eyes of the world upon her. She does not receive any satisfaction from the applauses which she gives herself, but from the admiration which she raises in others. She flourishes in courts and palaces, theatres and assemblies, and has no existence, but when she is looked upon.
32. The dialect of conversation is now-a-days so swelled with vanity and compliment, and so surfeited (as I may say) with expressions of kindness and respect, that if a man who lived an age or two ago should return into the world again, he would really want a dictionary to help him to understand his own language, and to know the true intrinsic value of the phrase in fashion, and would hardly at first believe at what a low rate the highest strains and expressions of kindness imaginable do commonly pass in current payment: and when he should come to understand it, it would be a great while before he could bring himself with a good countenance and a good conscience to converse with men upon equal terms, and in their own way.
33. Whilst the sages are puffing off our distempers in one page of a newspaper, the auctioneers are puffing off our property in another. If this island of ours is to be credited for their description of it, it must pass for a terrestrial paradise; it makes an English ear tingle to hear of the boundless variety of lawns, groves, and parks; lakes, rivers, and rivu. lets ; decorated farms and fruitful gardens; superb and matchless collections of pictures, jewels, plates, furniture, and equipages; town-houses and country-houses ; hot-houses and ice-houses ; observatories and conservatories ; offices attached and detached; with all the numerous etceteras that glitter down the columns of our public prints. What is the harp of an Orpheus compared to the hammer of an auctioneer?
34. The study of truth is perpetually joined with the love of virtue ; for there is no virtue which derives not its original from truth ; as, on the contrary, there is no vice which has not its beginning from a lie. Truth is the foundation of all knowledge, and the cement of all societies.
35. We know, and what is better, we feel inwardly, that religion is the basis of civil society, and the source of all good and of all comfort. In England we are so convinced of this, that there is no rust of superstition with which the accumulated absurdity of the human mind might have crusted it over in the course of ages, that ninety-nine in a hundred of the people of England would not prefer to impiety.
36. It is not the painting, gilding, or carving, that makes a good ship; but if she be a nimble sailer, tight and strong to endure the seas, that is her excellency. It is the edge and temper of the blade that make a good sword, not the richness of the scabbard; and so it is not money or possessions that make a man considerable, but his virtue.
37. When I behold a fashionable table set out in all its magnificence, I fancy that I see gouts and dropsies, fevers and lethargies, with other innumerable distempers, lying in ambuscade among the dishes. Nature delights in the most plain and simple diet. Every animal, but man, keeps to one dish. Herbs are the food of this species, fish of that, and flesh of a third. Man falls upon every thing that comes in his way; not the smallest fruit or excrescence of the earth, scarce a berry or a mushroom, can escape him.
38. A transition from an author's book to his conversation, is too often like an entrance into a large city, after a distant prospect. Remotely we see nothing but spires of temples and turrets of palaces, and imagine it the residence of splendour, grandeur, and magnificence; but when we have passed the gates, we find it perplexed with narrow passages, disgraced with despicable cottages, embarrassed with obstructions, and clouded with smoke.
39. Mr. Locke has somewhere made a distinction between a madman and a fool: a fool is he that from right principles makes a wrong conclusion ; but a madman is one who draws à just inference from false principles. Thus the fool who cut off the fellow's head that lay asleep, and hid it, and then waited to see what he would say when he awaked and missed his head-piece, was in the right in the first thought, that a man would be surprised to find such an alteration in things since he fell asleep; but he was a little mistaken to imagine he could awake at all after his head was cut off.
40. The English manner of knowing whether a dog be mad or no, somewhat resembles the ancient European custom of trying witches. The old woman suspected was tied hand