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WHOEVER pays a visit that is not desired, or talks longer than the listener is willing to attend, is guilty of an injury that he cannot repair, and takes away that which he cannot give. DR. JOHNSON. Idler, No. 14.

Lord Plaus. I WOULD not have my visits troublesome. Manly. The only way to be sure not to have 'em troublesome, is to make 'em when people are not at home; for your visits, like , other good turns, are most obliging when made or done to a man in his absence.

WYCHERLEY. The Plain Dealer, Act I.

SOCIETY is now one polish'd horde,

Form'd of two mighty tribes, the bores and bored.


BYRON. Don Juan.


HE that holds to his appointment, and does not keep you ing, shows that he has regard for your time as well as his own. SMILES. Self Help.


THERE is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice. We look upon the man who gives it as offering an affront to our understanding, and treating us like children or idiots. We consider the instruction as an implicit censure, and the zeal which any one shows for our good, on such an occasion as a piece of presumption or impertinence. The truth of it is, the person who pretends to advise, does, in that particular, exercise a superiority over us, and can have no other reason for it, but that, in comparing us with himself, he thinks us defective either in our conduct or our understanding. For these reasons, there is nothing so difficult as the art of making advice agreeable; * and

Marcus Antoninus in his Commentaries observes :-In the behaviour of Alexander, the grammarian, I remarked as worthy of imitation, how far he was from being censorious, and that he never laid hold in a reproachful manner of any impropriety in speech, or cavilled at any provincial or harsh expression, but would himself dexterously, and in a genteel manner give the very phrase that ought to have been used, either by way of answer, assent, or joint inquiry concerning the matter itself, without taking the least notice of the blundering expression, or in some other handsome manner would admonish of the mistake.

'Tis not enough your council shall be true,

Blunt truths more mischief than nice falsehoods do;

indeed all the writers, both ancient and modern, have distinguished themselves among one another, according to the perfection at which they arrived in this art. How many devices have been made use of, to render this bitter portion palateable! Some convey their instructions to us in the best chosen words, others in the most harmonious numbers, some in point of wit, and others in short proverbs.


No part of conduct asks for skill more nice,
Though none more common, than to give advice;
Misers themselves in this will not be saving,
Unless their knowledge makes it worth the having;
And where's the wonder when we will obtrude
A useless gift, it meets ingratitude.



His friends were summon'd on a point so nice;
То their judgment, and to give advice;
But fix'd before, and well resolved was he
As those that ask advice are wont to be.


POPE. January and May.

HE that complies against his will,
Is of his own opinion still;
Which he may adhere to, yet disown,
For reasons to himself best known.

Hudibras, Part III., Canto 3.

АH! gentle dames! it gars me greet
To think how many counsels sweet,
How many lengthen'd sage advices
The husband frae the wife despises !


BURNS. Tam O'Shanter.

A Father's advice to his Son going to travel.
GIVE thy thought no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar,
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,

Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
Without good breeding truth is disapproved,
That only makes superior sense beloved.

POPE. Essay on Criticism.

Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new hatch'd unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in,

Bear it that the oppressor may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,

But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy:

For the apparel oft proclaims the man ;

And they in France, of the best rank and station,
Are most select and generous, chief in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be:
For loan oft loses both itself and friend;
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all,-to thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,;
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Hamlet, Act I.

LOVE all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key; be check'd for silence,
But never tax'd for speech.

All's Well that Ends Well. Act I.

Advice to a Spendthrift.

Knowell. WHAT would I have you do? I'll tell you, kins


Learn to be wise, and practice how to thrive,
That would I have you do; and not to spend
Your coin on every bauble that you fancy,
Or every foolish brain that humours you.
I would not have you to invade each place,
Nor thrust yourself on all societies,
Till men's affections, or your own desert,
Should worthily invite you to your rank.
He that is so respectless in his courses,
Oft sells his reputation at cheap market.
Nor would I have you melt away yourself
In flashing bravery, lest while you affect
To make a blaze of gentry to the world,
A little puff of scorn extinguish it.

And you be left like an unsavory snuff,
Whose property is only to offend.

I'd have you sober, and contain yourself,
Not that your sail be bigger than your boat;
But moderate your expenses now, at first,
As you may keep the same proportion still:
Nor stand so much on your gentility,'

Which is an airy and mere borrow'd thing,
From dead men's dust and bones; and none of yours,
Except you make or hold it.

BEN JONSON. Every Man in His Humour, Act I., Scene 1.

Value of Consultation and Advice.

IF I might venture to appeal to what is so much out of fashion at Paris, I mean to experience, I should tell you that in my course I have known, and, according to my measure, have cooperated with great men; and I have never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who took the lead in the business.†

WOULD you both please, and be instructed too,
Watch well the rage of shining to subdue;
Hear every man upon his favourite theme,
And ever be more knowing than you seem.
The lowest genius will afford some light,
Or give a hint that had escaped your sight.



HERACLITUS saith well, "Dry light is ever the best ;" and certain it is, that the light that a man receiveth by counsel from another, is drier and purer than that which cometh from his own

* They who are apt to remind us of their ancestors, only put us upon making comparisons to their own disadvantage.

Spectator, No. 612.

+ This might instruct the proudest esteemer of his own parts how useful it is to consult with others, even such as come short of him, in capacity, quickness, and penetration; for since none see all, and we generally have different prospects of the same thing, according to our different, I may say, positions to it, it is not incongruous to think, nor beneath any man to try whether another may not have notions of things which have escaped him, and which his reason would make use of if they came into his mind. LOCKE. Conduct of the Understanding.


understanding and judgment; which is ever infused and drenched in his affection and customs. So as there is as much difference between the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer; for there is no such flatterer as a man's self, and there is no such remedy against flattery of a man's self as the liberty of a friend.

BACON. Essay on Friendship.

It has been well observed that few are better qualified to give others advice, than those who have taken the least of it themselves.


Ode written in the Year 1746.

How sleep the brave who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blest! *
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow'd mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung:
There honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay,
And freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there!



Iago. GOOD name, in man or woman, dear my lord,

Is the immediate jewel of their souls:

Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;

'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name,

Robs me of that which not enriches him,

And makes me poor


Othello, Act III.


Though the sound of fame

May for a moment soothe, it cannot slake

The fever of vain longing, and the name

So honour'd but assumes a stronger, bitterer claim.

BYRON. Childe Harold, Canto III.

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