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ANOTHER error is an impatience of doubt, and haste to assertion without due and mature suspension of judgment.* For the two ways of contemplation are not unlike the two ways of action commonly spoken of by the ancients; the one plain and smooth in the beginning, and in the end impassable; the other rough and troublesome in the entrance, but after a while fair and even so it is in contemplation; if a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
BACON. IN every question of conduct, where one side is doubtful, and the other side safe, we are bound to take the safe side. PALEY. Moral Philosophy.
Jaques. WHY, who cries out on pride,
That can therein tax any private party?
That says, his bravery is not on my cost,
(Thinking that I mean him,) but therein suits
His folly to the metal of my speech?
There then; How, what then? Let me see wherein
As You Like It, Act II.
THEN we may be assured we have this disease, when we value any person chiefly because his advantages are of the same nature with those we enjoy, neglecting those who have an equal right to regard, only because their privileges are of a
* When there is not evidence enough to justify a conclusion, it is wisdom to draw no conclusion.
Essays and Reviews.
different nature from our own.
For instance, when men who derive their considerableness from the sword, the gown, or their ancestors, think none worthy their esteem, but such as claim under their own pretences; in this case it's evident, it can be nothing but partiality, and conceitedness, which makes them give the pre-eminence.
COLLIER. Essay on Pride.
If they who affect show and pomp knew how many of their spectators derided their trivial taste, they would be very much less elated, and have an inclination to examine the merits of all they have to do with. They would soon find that there are many who make a figure below what their fortune or merit entitles them to, out of mere choice, and an elegant desire of ease and disencumbrance.
Spectator, No. 264.
DIOGENES being at Olympia, saw at that celebrated festival some young men of Rhodes arrayed most magnificently. Smiling, he exclaimed, "This is Pride." Afterwards meeting some Lacedemonians in a mean and sordid dress, he said, "And this also is Pride."
SOME intermixture of vain-glorious tempers puts life into business, and makes a fit composition in grand enterprises, and hazardous undertakings. For men of solid and sober natures have more of the ballast than the sail.
THE truest characters of ignorance,
Are vanity, and pride, and arrogance;
FOR men are grown above all knowledge now,
In spiritual and carnal ignorance;
Ibid. On the Licentiousness of the Age.
THIS Life, which seems so fair,
Is like a bubble blown up in the air
Who chase it everywhere,
And strive who can most motion it bequeath.
But in that pomp it doth not long appear;
TO-MORROW, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
LIFE! we've been long together,
Macbeth, Act V.
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
'Tis hard to part when friends are dear;
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;
Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time;
Say not Good Night, but in some brighter clime
A. L. BARBAULD.
Hamlet. To be, or not to be, that is the question
That flesh is heir to,-'tis a consummation
To sleep! perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
Claudio. DEATH is a fearful thing.
Hamlet, Act III.
And shaméd life & hateful.
Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
Sad cure! for who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Paradise Lost, Book II.
Distrust and darkness of a future state
DRYDEN. Aurenge-Zebe, Act IV.
To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot;
The weariest and most loathed worldly life
To what we fear of death.
Measure for Measure, Act III.
Aurenge-Zebe. WHEN I consider life, 'tis all a cheat,
Strange couzenage! none would live past years again,
And, from the dregs of life think to receive,
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darken'd ways
KEATS. Endymion, Book I.