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SOME people carry their hearts in their heads,* very many carry their heads in their hearts. The difficulty is to keep them apart, yet both actively working together.
HARE. Guesses at Truth,
It is the noblest act of human reason
To free itself from slavish prepossession;
Assume the legal right to disengage
From all it had contracted under age,
And not its ingenuity and wit
To all it was imbued with first submit;
Make true, or false, for better, or for worse,
To have, or ť hold, indifferently of course.
For custom, though but usher of the school,
Where nature breeds the body and the soul,
Usurps a greater power and interest
O’er man, the heir of reason, than brute beast;
That by two different instincts is led,
Born to the one, and to the other bred;
And trains him up with rudiments more false,
Than Nature does her stupid animals.
As all strangers never leave the tones
They have been used of children to pronounce,
So most men's reason never can outgrow
The discipline it first received to know,
But renders words they first began to con
The end of all that's after to be known,
And sets the help of education back †
Worse than, without it, men could ever lack;
* The head truly enlightened will presently have a wonderful influence in purifying the heart; and the heart really affected with goodness will much conduce to the directing of the head.
SPRAT. Lady Blessington says a woman's head is always influenced by her heart: but a man's heart is always influenced by his head.
+ The being void of errors is the first great step to the greatest knowledge; and that understanding, in which, though little is written, yet nothing is blotted ; that which is not disfigured by ill impressions, is a subject most capable of the best. There nothing is required but plain teaching; whereas, the mind that is either perverted by false knowledge, or made crooked by deceitful prejudices, must not only be taught, but first untaught that ill it had learned : and to unteach is a more difficult work than to teach.
SPRAT. History of the Royal Society.
Who therefore finds the artificial'st fools
Have not been changed i' th' cradle, but the schools,
Where error, pedantry, and affectation
Run them behind-hand with their education.
BUTLER. Upon the Abuse of Human Learning. In this enlightened age, I am bold enough to confess, that we are generally men of untaught feelings; that instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages.
THE difference is as great between
The optics seeing, as the objects seen.
All manners take a tincture from our own,
Or come discolour'd thro' our passions shown ;
Or fancy's beam enlarges, multiplies,
Contracts, invests, and gives ten thousand dyes.
But here the herald of the self-same mouth
Came breathing o'er the aromatic south,
Not like a "bed of violets” on the gale,
But such as wafts its cloud o'er grog or ale,
Borne from a short frail pipe, which yet had blown
Its gentle odours over either zone,
And, puff'd where'er winds rise or waters roll,
Had wafted smoke from Portsmouth to the Pole,
Opposed its vapour as the lightning flash'd,
And reek’d, midst mountain-billows, unabash’d,
To Æolus a constant sacrifice,
Through every change of all the varying skies.
And what was he who bore it ?-I may err,
But deem him sailor or philosopher.
Sublime tobacco ! which from east to west
Cheers the tar's labour or the Turkman's rest;
Which on the Moslem's ottoman divides
His hours, and rivals opium and his brides;
Magnificent in Stamboul, but less grand,
Though not less loved, in Wapping or the Strand ;
Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe,
When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;
Like other charmers, wooing the caress,
More dazzlingly when daring in full dress,
Yet thy true lovers more admire by far
Thy naked beauties-Give me a cigar!
BYRON. The Island.
IMPORTANCE OF LITTLE THINGS. He who cannot contract the sight of his mind as well as dilate it wants a great talent in life.
BACON. THE calm or agitation of our temper does not depend so much on the important events of life, as on an agreeable or disagreeable adjustment of little things which happen every day.
ROCHEFOUCAULD. It has been well observed, that the misery of man proceeds not from any single crush of overwhelming evil, but from small vexations * continually repeated.
JOHNSON. Lives of the Poets-Pope. THINGS are to be estimated, not by the importance of their effects, but the frequency of their use.
Rambler, No. 131. It is observed by Gibbon that the Pathetic almost always consists in the detail of little circumstances.
Decline and Fall, Note, Chap. 50.
WHERE an equal poise of hope and fear
Does arbitrate the event, my nature is
That I incline to hope rather than fear,
And gladly banish squint suspicion.
Our least of sorrows are such as we weep;
'Tis the vile daily drop on drop which wears
The soul out (like the stone) with petty cares.
NOTHING makes a man so suspicious as to know little; whence the best remedy against suspicion is inquiry;* for darkness and smother feed the distemper. What would men have? Do they suppose the persons they employ or converse with are saints or angels ? Can we be ignorant that they pursue their own ends, and will always have the first regard to themselves ? There is therefore no better method of moderating suspicions, than to provide against them as if they were true; yet bridle them as if they were false. For so far Suspicion may be of use as to put men upon their guard, that though the things suspected were true it should not hurt them.
THE moon is up, and yet it is not night;
Sunset divides the sky with her; a sea
Of glory streams along the Alpine height
Of blue Friuli's mountains: Heaven is free
From clouds, but of all colours seems to be,-
Melted to one vast Iris of the West, —
Where the Day joins the past Eternity,
While, on the other hand, meek Dian's crest,
Floats through the azure air-an island of the blest !
A single star is at her side, and reigns
With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still
Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains
Roll’d o'er the peak of the far Rhætian hill
As Day and Night contending were, until
Nature reclaim'd her order ;-gently flows
The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil
The odorous purple of a new-
Which streams upon her stream, and glassed within it glows.
Filld with the face of heaven, which, from afar,
Comes down upon the waters; all its hues,
From the rich sunset to the rising star,
Their magical variety diffuse;
And now they change; a paler shadow strews
Since doubting things go ill, often hurts more
Than to be sure they do : for certainties
Either are past remedies : or, timely knowing,
The remedy then born.
Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day.
Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues
With a new colour as it gasps away,
The last still lovliest,—till—'tis gone,-and all is gray.
Childe Harold, Canto IV.
THE curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds :
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
EVENING SONG OF PAN'S PRIEST.
SHEPHERDS all, and maidens fair,
for the air
Gins to thicken, and the sun
Already his great course hath run.
See the dew-drops how they kiss
Every little flower that is
Hanging on their velvet heads,
Like a rope of chrystal beads;
See the heavy clouds low falling,
And bright Hesperus down calling
The dead Night from under ground;
At whose rising mists unsound,
Damps and vapours fly apace,
Hovering o'er the wanton face
Of these pastures, where they come
Striking dead both bud and bloom.
BEAUMONT and FLETCHER.
OR where the silver water 's sooth'd to rest,
The tall tree's shadow sleeps upon his breast.
Hence thou lingerer Light!
Eve saddens into Night.