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If the show of anything be good for anything, I am sure sincerity is better; for why does any man dissemble, or seem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it good to have such a quality as he pretends to ? For to counterfeit and dissemble is to put on the appearance of some real excellency. Now the best way in the world to seem to be anything, is really to be what we would seem to be. Besides that it is


times as troublesome to make good the pretence of a good quality as to have it, and if a man have it not it is ten to one but he is discovered to want it, and then all his pains and labour to seem to have it is lost.

TILLOTSox. SINCERITY is to speak as we think, to do as we pretend and profess, to perform and make good what we promise, and really to be what we would seem and appear to be.

Ibid. An inward sincerity will of course influence the outward deportment, but where the one is wanting, there is great reason to suspect the absence of the other.

STERNE. Serinons.


In days of old, when Arthur fill’d the throne,
Whose acts and fame to foreign lands were blown,
The king of elves, and little fairy queen,
Gambollid on heaths, and danced on every green:
And where the jolly troop had led the round,
The grass únbidden rose, and mark'd the ground:
Nor darkling did they dance, the silver light
Of Phoebe served to guide their steps aright,
And with their tripping pleased, prolong'd the night.
Her beams they follow'd, where at first she play'd,
Not longer than she shed her horns they stay'd ;
From thence with airy flight to distant parts convey'd.

* By every rill in every glen
Merry elves their morrice tracing,

To aërial minstrelsy;
Emerald rings in brown heath tracing,
Trip it deft and merrily.
Scort. Lly of the Last Minstrel.


Above the rest our Britain held they dear,
More solemnly they kept their sabbaths here,
And made more spacious rings, and revell’d half the year.
I speak of ancient times, for now the swain
Returning late, may pass the woods in vain,
And never hope to see the nightly train.
In vain the dairy now with mint is drest,
The dairymaid expects no fairy guest,
To skim the bowls, and after pay the feast.
She sighs, for ah ! she shakes her shoes in vain;
No silver penny to reward her pain.

OR faery elves,
Whose midnight revels, by a forest-side
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,
Or dreams he sees, while over head the moon
Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth
Wheels her pale course ; they, on their mirth and dance
Intent, with jocund music charm his ear;
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.

Paradise Lost, Book I.

How is the world deceived by noise and show!
Alas ! how different, to pretend and know !
Like a poor highway brook, pretence runs loud ;
Bustling but shallow, dirty, weak, and proud.
While like some nobler stream true knowledge glides
Silently strong, and its deep bottom hides.

ALL smatterers are more brisk and pert
Than those that understand an art;
As little sparkles shine more bright
Than glowing coals that give them light.

BUTLER. Miscellaneous Thoughts.


I HAVE had playmates, I have had companions
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

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Friend of my

Ghostlike I paced round the haunts of my childhood,
Earth seem'd a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.

om, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces.
How some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some are taken from me; all are departed;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.



He is resolved to understand no man's reason but his own, because he finds no man can understand his but himself. His wits are like a sack, which the French proverb says is tied faster before it is full than when it is; and his opinions are like plants that grow upon rocks, that stick fast though they have no rooting. His understanding is hardened like Pharaoh's heart, and is proof against all sorts of judgments whatsoever,

And obstinacy's ne'er so stiff
As when 'tis in a wrong belief.

Hudibras, Part III., Canto 2.

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OBSTINACY, sir, is certainly a great vice; and in the changeful state of political affairs it is frequently the cause of great mischief. It happens, however, very unfortunately, that almost the whole line of the great and masculine virtues, constancy, gravity, magnanimity, fortitude, fidelity, and firmness, are closely allied to this disagreeable quality, of which you have so just an abhorrence; and in their excess, all these virtues very easily fall into it.

BURKE. 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 today than he was yesterday.


An, Chloris! that I could sit

As unconcern'd, as when

Your infant beauty could beget

No happiness or pain!
When I the dawn used to admire,

And praised the coming day,
I little thought the rising fire

Would take my rest away.
Your charms in harmless childhood lay

Like metals in a mine:
Age from no face takes more away,

Than youth conceald in thine.
But as your charms insensibly

To their perfection prest,
So love as unperceived did fly

And center'd in my breast.
My passion with your beauty grew,

While Cupid at my heart,
Still as his mother favour'd you,

Threw a new flaming dart:
Each gloried in their wanton part;

To make a lover, he
Employ'd the utmost of his art;
To make a beauty, she.



No sooner are the organs of the brain
Quick to receive, and steadfast to retain
Best knowledges, but all’s laid out upon
Retrieving of the curse of Babylon,
To make confounded languages restore
A greater drudgery, than it barred before :
And therefore those imported from the East,
Where first they were incurred, are held the best,
Although conveyed in worse Arabian pothooks,
Than gifted tradesmen scratch in sermon note-books;
Are really but pains and labour lost,
And not worth half the drudgery they cost,
Unless, like rarities, as they've been brought
From foreign climates, and as dearly bought;
When those, who had no other but their own,
Have all succeeding eloquence outdone;

As men that wink with one eye, see more true,
And take their aim much better, than with two.
For the more languages a man can speak,
His talent has but sprung the greater leak;
And, for the industry he has spent upon't,
Must full as much some other way discount.
The Hebrew, Chaldee, and the Syriac,
Do, like their letters, set men's reason back;
And turn their wits, that strive to understand it,
Like those that write the characters left-handed;
Yet he, that is but able to express
No sense at all in several languages,

pass for learneder, than he that's known
To speak the strongest reason in his own.

BUTLER. Upon the Abuse of Human Learning.

TADORN their English with French scraps,

And while they idly think ť enrich,
Adulterate their native speech;
For though to smatter ends of Greek
Or Latin be the rhetoric
Of pedants counted, and vain-glorious,
To smatter French is meritorious;
And to forget their mother-tongue,
Or purposely to speak it wrong,
A hopeful sign of parts and wit,
And that th' improve and benefit;
As those, that have been taught amiss
In liberal arts and sciences,
Must all they'd learned before in vain
Forget quite, and begin again.

BUTLER. On our ridiculous Imitation of the French.


Is not a patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground encumbers him with help?

Johnson. Letter to Lord Chesterfield.

THE learned are not wanted to princes, but princes to the learned.


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