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۱۱ :

THOUGHTS

ON

VARIOUS SUBJECTS.

Party is the madness of many, for the gain of a few.

a

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.

To endeavour to work upon the vulgar with fine sense, is like attempting to hew blocks with a razor. Fine sense and exalted sense are not half so useful

There are forty men of wit for one man of sense; and he that will carry nothing about him but gold, will be every day at a loss for want of readier change.

Learning is like mercury, one of the most powerful and excellent things in the world in skilful hands; in unskilful, the most mischievous.

as common sense.

The nicest constitutions of government are often like the finest pieces of clock-work, which depending on so many motions, are therefore more subject to be out of order.

Every man has just as much vanity as he wants understanding

Modesty, if it were to be recommended for nothing else, this were enough, that the pretending to little leaves a man at ease; whereas boasting requires a perpetual labour to appear what he is not: if we have none, it best hides our want of it. For as blush

, ing will sometimes make a whore pass for a virtuous woman, so modesty may make a fool seem a man of sense.

It is not so much the being exempt from faults, as as the having overcome them, that is an advantage to ús; it being with the follies of the mind as with the weeds of a field, which, if destroyed and consumed upon the place of their birth, enrich and improve it more than if none had ever sprung there.

a

To pardon those absurdities in ourselves which we cannot suffer in others, is neither better nor worse than to be more willing to be fools ourselves than to have others so.

A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other -words, that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday. 1. The best

the clearness of our mind, is by shewing its faults; as when a stream disco

prove

way to

vers the dirt at the bottom, it convinces us of the transparency and purity of the water.

Our passions are like convulsion-fits, which, though they make us stronger for the time, leave us the weaker ever after.

To be ourselves.

angry is to

is to revenge

the fault of others upon

A brave man thinks no one his superior who does him an injury; for he has it then in his

power to make himself superior to the other by forgiving it.

To relieve the oppressed is the most glorious act a man is capable of; it is in some measure doing the business of God and Providence.

I as little fear that God will damn a man that has charity, as I hope that the priests can save one who has not.

Superstition is the spleen of the soul.

Atheists put on a false courage and alacrity in the midst of their darkness and apprehensions, like children who, when they fear to go in the dark, will sing for fear.

An atheist is but a mad ridiculous derider of piety; but a hypocrite makes a sober jest of God and religion; he finds it easier to be upon his knees than to rise to a good action : like an impudent debtor, who goes every day to talk familiarly to his creditor, without ever paying what he owes.

What Tully says of war may be applied to disputing, it should be always so managed, as to remember that the only end of it is peace; but generally true disputants are like true sportsmen, their whole delight is in the pursuit; and a disputant no more cares for the truth than the sportsman for the hare.

The Scripture in time of disputes is like an open town in time of war, which serves indifferently the occasions of both parties; each makes use of it for the present turn, and then resigns it to the next comer to do the same.

Such as are still observing upon others, are like those who are always abroad at other men's houses, reforming every thing there, while their own runs to ruin.

a

When men grow virtuous in their old age, they only make a sacrifice to God of the devil's leavings.

Some old men by continually praising the time of their youth, would almost persuade us that there were no fools in those days; but unluckily they are

; left themselves for examples.

When we are young, we are slavishly employed in procuring something whereby we may live comfortably when we grow old ; and when we are old, we perceive it is too late to live as we proposed.

The world is a thing we must of necessity either laugh at or be angry at ; if we laugh at it, they say we are proud ; if we are angry at it, they say we

; are ill-natured.

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