Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. *

BURKE.
For freedom still maintain'd alive,
Freedom which in no other land can thrive;
Freedom, an English subject's sole prerogative,

Without whose charms, ey'n peace would be
But a dull, quiet slavery.

DRYDEN. Ode to Memory, Chap. II.
JOVE fix'd it certain that whatever day
Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away.

POPE. Iliad, Book XVII. THE effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations which may be soon turned into complaints.

BURKE. PEOPLE talk of liberty as if it meant the liberty of doing what a man likes.f The only liberty that a man worthy the name of a man ought to ask for, is to have all restrictions, inward and outward, removed, to prevent his doing what he ought. I call that man free who is master of his lower appetites, who is able to rule himself. I call him free, who has his flesh in subjection to his spirit; who fears doing wrong, but who fears neither man or devil besides. I think that man free who has learnt the most blessed of all truths, that liberty consists in obedience to the power, and to the will, and to the law, that his higher soul reverences and approves. He is not free because he does what he likes, for in his better moments his soul protests against the act, and rejects the authority of the passion which commanded him, as an usurping force, and tyranny. He feels that he is a slave to his own unhallowed passions. But he is free, when he does what he ought, because there is no protest in his soul against that submission. F. W. ROBERTSON. Lectures-An Address to the Working

* Law does not put the least restraint

Upon our freedom, but maintain't;
Or if it does, 'tis for our good,
To give us freer latitude;
For wholesome laws preserve us free
By stinting of our liberty.

BUTLER. Miscellaneous Thoughts.
Authority is a disease, and cure
Which men can neither want nor will endure.

Ibid. + But this is got by casting pearls to hogs; That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,

And still revolt when truth would set them free.

Licence they mean when they cry liberty; For who loves that, must first be wise and good,

MILTON. Sonnets.

Men's Institute, Brighton. THERE is nothing that can raise a man to that generous absoluteness of condition as neither to cringe, to fawn, or to depend meanly, but that which gives him that happiness within himself for which men depend upon others.

SOUTH.
BUT Hudibras, who scorn'd to stoop
To Fortune, or be said to droop,
Cheer'd up

himself with end of verse,
And sayings of philosophers.

Quoth he, Th' one half of man, his mind,
Is, sui juris, unconfined,
And cannot be laid by the heels,
Whate'er the other moiety feels.
'Tis not restraint or liberty
That makes men prisoners or free;
But perturbations that possess
The mind, or æquanimities.
The whole world was not half so wide
To Alexander, when he cry'd,
Because he had but one to subdue,
As was a paltry narrow tub to
Diogenes; who is not said
(For aught that ever I could read)
To whine, put finger i' th' eye, and sob,
Because h' had ne'er another tub.
The ancients make two sey'ral kinds
Of prowess in heroic minds;
The active, and the passive valiant;
Both which are pari libra gallant:
For both to give blows, and to carry,
In fights are equi-necessary:

[ocr errors]

a

а

But in defeats the passive stout
Are always found to stand it out
Most desp’rately, and to out-do
The active 'gainst the conqu’ring foe,
Tho' we with blacks and blues are suggell'a
Or, as the vulgar say, are cudgell’d;
He that is valiant, and dares fight,
Though drubb’d, can lose no honour by't.
Honour's a lease for lives to come,
And cannot be extended from
The legal tenant; 'tis a chattel
Not to be forfeited in battle.
If he that in the field is slain,
Be in the bed of Honour lain,
He that is beaten, may be said
To lie in Honour's truckle-bed.
For as we see th' eclipsed sun
By mortals is more gazed upon,
Than when, adorn'd with all his light,
He shines in serene sky most bright.
So valour, in a low estate,
Is most admired and wonder'd at.

Quoth Ralph, How great I do not know
We may by being beaten grow;
But none, that see how here we sit,
Will judge us overgrown with wit.

Hudibras, Part I., Canto 3.
HE's no small prince who ev'ry day
Thus to himself can say,
Now will I sleep, now eat, now sit, now walk,
Now meditate alone, now with acquaintance talk.

COWLEY. Ode on Liberty.

But,
THE greatest and most glorious thing on ground
May often need the help of weaker hand,
So feeble is man's state and life unsound,
That in assurance it may never stand,
Till it dissolved be from earthly band.

Faëry Queen, Book II., Canto 2. Ir a man makes me keep my distance, the comfort is, he keeps his at the same time.

[ocr errors]

HAPPY the man to whom Heaven has given a morsel of bread, without laying him under the obligation of thanking any one for it than Heaven itself.

Don Quixote.

IMPUDENCE.

а

A TRUE and genuine impudence is ever the effect of ignorance without the least sense of it.

STEELE.
THOUGH he that has but impudence;
To all things has a fair pretence;
And put among his wants but shame,
To all the world may lay his claim :
Though you have try'd that nothing's borne
With greater ease than public scorn,
That all affronts do still give place
To your impenetrable face.

Hudibras to Sidrophel.
For bold knaves thrive without a grain of sense,
But good men starve for want of impudence.

DRYDEN. Epilogue to Constantine the Greek.

TIME.

OUT upon Time! who for ever will leave
But enough of the past for the future to grieve
O’er that which hath been, and o'er that which must be;
What we have seen, our sons shall see,
Remnants of things that have pass'd away,
Fragments of stone rear’d by creatures of clay!

The Siege of Corinth. PRESENT time and future may be considered as rivals; and he who solicits the one, must expect to be discountenanced by the other.

SIR J. REYNOLDS. He who runs against Time has an antagonist not liable to casualties.

JOHNSON. Lives of the Poets.

O THOUGHTS of men accursed !
Past and to come seem best; things present, worst.

Henry IV., Part II.
THE seasons bring the flower again,

And bring the firstling to the flock;

And in the dusk of thee, the clock
Beats out the little lives of men.

TENNYSON. In Memoriam.

TIME, with all its celerity, moves slowly on to him whose whole employment is to watch its flight.

JOHNSOX.
On the Phrase, Killing Time.
THERE's scarce a point wherein mankind agree
So well as in their past of killing me.
I boast of nothing, but when I've a mind,
I think I can be even with mankind.

VOLTAIRE.
Thou think’st it folly to be wise too soon.
Youth is not rich in time, it may

be

poor.
Part with it as with money, sparing, pay
No moment but in purchase of its worth;
And what its worth—ask death-beds, they can tell.

YOUNG. Night II.
YEARS following years, steal something every day.
At last they steal us from ourselves away;
In one our frolics, one amusements, end,
In one a mistress drops, in one a friend.

POPE. Imitation, Second Epistle, Book II., Horace.

THE SENSES.

Our faculties of discovery suited to our state. THE Infinite Wise Contriver of us and all things about us hath fitted our senses and faculties and organs to the conveniences of life and the business we have to do here. We are able by our senses to know and distinguish things; and to examine them so far as to apply them to our uses and several ways, to accommodate the exigencies of this life. We have insight enough into the admirable contrivances and wonderful effects to admire and magnify the wisdom, power, and goodness of their author. Such a knowledge as this which is suited to our present condition we want not faculties to attain. But it appears not that God intends we should have a perfect, clear, and adequate knowledge of them : * that, perhaps, is not in the comprehension of

a

* Father Mallebranche, in bis inquiries after truth, lays down with great extent an excellent principle concerning the senses. It is that the senses were given us by God, not to enable us to know the nature of objects, but their relation to us, not what they are in themselves, but whether they are advantageous or hurtful to our bodies. As to objects in themselves, we know them by the ideas we have of them.

Quoted. Rollix.

« ForrigeFortsæt »