Billeder på siden

when the temptation to transgress it is upon him, is almost sure to reason himself into an error. If we are in so great a degree passive under our Habits, where, it is asked, is the exercise of virtue, the guilt of vice, or any use of moral or religious knowledge? I answer in the forming and contracting of these Habits.*

PALEY. Moral Philosophy, Book I., Chap. 7.

We must choose betimes such virtuous objects as are proportioned to the means we have of pursuing them, and belong particularly to the stations we are in, and the duties of those stations. We must determine and fix our minds in such manner upon them, that the pursuit of them may become the business and the attainment of them the end of our whole lives. Thus we shall imitate the great operations of Nature, not the feeble, slow, and imperfect operations of Art. We must not proceed in forming the moral character, as a statuary proceeds in forming a statue, who works sometimes on the face, sometimes on one part, and sometimes on another; but we must proceed as Nature does in forming a flower, or any other of her productions; she throws out altogether and at once the whole system of every being and the rudiments of all the parts.



THE Scythian philosopher was asked by the Athenian, How he could go naked in frost and snow? How," said the Scythian, can you endure your face exposed to the sharp wintry air ?" My face is used to it," said the Athenian. me all face," replied the Scythian.



WE are so wonderfully formed, that, whilst we are creatures vehemently desirous of novelty, we are as strongly attached to habit and custom. But it is the nature of things which hold us by custom, to affect us very little whilst we are in possession of them, but strongly when they are absent.


THERE is great value in the removal of many indifferent matters out of the region of discussion into that of precedent. Essays and Reviews.

* Since the generality of persons act from impulse rather than from principle, men are neither so good nor so bad as we are apt to think them. HARE. Guesses at Truth.

IT is a custom

More honour'd in the breach than the observance.

THAT monster, Custom, who all sense doth eat

Of habit's devil, is angel yet in this;
That to the use of actions fair and good
He likewise gives a frock or livery,
That aptly is put on: Refrain to-night,
And that shall lend a hand of easiness

To the next abstinence; the next more easy;
For use almost can change the stamp of nature,
And either curb the devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency.




O STAY, Sweet warbling woodlark, stay,
Nor quit for me the trembling spray,

A hapless lover courts thy lay,

Thy soothing fond complaining.

Again, again, that tender part,
That I may catch thy melting art,
For surely that wad touch her heart
Wha kills me wi' disdaining.

Say, was thy little mate unkind,
And heard thee as the careless wind,
Oh! nocht but love and sorrow join'd
Sic notes o' wae could wauken!

Thou tells o' never-ending care,
O speechless grief, and dark despair ;
For pity's sake sweet bird nae mair,
Or my poor heart is broken !



HAIL, noble Albion! where no golden mines,
No soft perfumes, nor oils, nor myrtle groves,
The vigorous frame and lofty heart of man
Enervate; round whose stern cerulean brows
White-winged snow, and cloud, and pearly rain,
Frequent attend with solemn majesty :

Rich queen of mists and vapours! these thy sons With their cool arms compress, and brace their nerves For deeds of excellence and high renown.

JOHN DYER. The Fleece.

I LOVE thee, O my native Isle !
Dear as my mother's earliest smile,
Sweet as my father's voice to me
Is all I hear and all I see.

When glancing o'er thy beauteous land
In view thy public virtues stand,
The guardian angels of thy coast,
Who watch the dear domestic host
The heart's affections, pleased to roam
Around the quiet heaven of home.

O ALBION! O my mother Isle !
Thy valleys, fair as Eden's bowers,
Glitter green with sunny showers;
Thy grassy uplands' gentle swells
Echo to the beat of flocks;


(Those grassy hills, those glittering dells
Proudly ramparted with rocks),

And Ocean, 'mid his uproar wild
Speaks safely to his island child.

COLERIDGE. Ode to the Departing Year.
THIS royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of Majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise ;
This fortress, built by nature for herself,
Against infection from the hand of war;
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;

This blessed spot, this earth, this realm, this England.

Richard II., Act II.

TOGETHER with that pale, that white-faced shore,
Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides,
And coops from other lands her islanders,—
Even till that England, hedged in with the main,—
And confident from foreign purposes,—

Even till that utmost corner of the west
Salute thee for her king.

HAPPY is England! I could be content

King John, Act II.

To see no other verdure than its own;
To feel no other breezes than are blown
Through its tall woods with high romances blent;
Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment

For skies Italian, and an inward groan
To sit upon an Alp as on a throne,

And half forget what world or worlding meant.

KEATS. Sonnets.

I TRAVELL'D among unknown men

In lands beyond the sea;

Nor, England! did I know till then

What love I bore to thee.



THEIR groves o' sweet myrtle let foreign lands reckon,
Where bright-beaming summers exalt their perfume;
Far dearer to me yon lone glen o' green breckan,
Wi' the burn stealing under the lang yellow broom.
Far dearer to me are yon humble broom bowers,
Where the blue bells and gowan lurk lowly unseen,
For there, lightly tripping amang the wild flowers,
A-listening the linnet, aft wanders my Jean.

SHE thought the isle that gave her birth,
The sweetest, wildest land on earth.


HOGG. Queen's Wake.



THE breath of popular applause.

ALAS! what boots it with incessant care

To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade,
And strictly meditate the thankless Muse?

Were it not better done, as others use,

To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,

Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair?

Fame is the spire that the clear spirit doth raise (That last infirmity of noble minds)

To scorn delights, and live laborious days:
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,

Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears,
And slits the thin-spun life. "But not the praise,"
Phoebus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears:
"Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glittering foil

Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies:
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes,
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,

Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed."
MILTON. Lycidas.

I COURTED fame, but as a spur to brave
And honest deeds, and who despises fame,
Will soon renounce the virtues that deserve it.



Tickler. I HARDLY understand the nature of the desire of posthumous fame.*

Shepherd. Nor me neither. But the truth is I understand naething. That I love to gaze on a rose or a rainbow, on a wall-flow'r, on a castle and a wreath of snaw, and a laverock in the lift, and a dewy starnie, and a bit bonnie wee pink shell, and an insect dancin' like a diamond, and a glimmer o' the moon on water, be it a great wide Highland loch, or only a sma' fountain or well in the wilderness-and on a restless wave, and on a steadfast cloud, and on the face of a lisping child that means amaist naething, and on the face o' a mute maiden that means amaist everything—that I love to gaze on a' these, and a thousan' things beside in heaven and on earth that are dreamt of in my philosophy, my beatin' heart tells me every day, but the why and the wherefore are generally hidden frae me, and

Whether it is that Fame, being a fruit grafted on the body, can hardly grow and much less ripen till the stock is in the earth; or whether she be a bird of prey, and is lured among the rest to pursue after the scent of a carcass; or whether she conceives her trumpet sounds best and farthest when she stands on a tomb by the advantage of a rising ground and the echo of a hollow vault.

SWIFT. Tale of a Tub.


« ForrigeFortsæt »