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SOME people carry their hearts in their heads,* very many carry their heads in their hearts. The difficulty is to keep them apart, yet both actively working together.
HARE. Guesses at Truth.
IT is the noblest act of human reason
To all it was imbued with first submit;
For custom, though but usher of the school,
O'er man, the heir of reason, than brute beast;
Born to the one, and to the other bred;
And trains him up with rudiments more false,
As all strangers never leave the tones
And sets the help of education back †
Worse than, without it, men could ever lack;
* The head truly enlightened will presently have a wonderful influence in purifying the heart; and the heart really affected with goodness will much conduce to the directing of the head.
Lady Blessington says a woman's head is always influenced by her heart: but a man's heart is always influenced by his head.
+ The being void of errors is the first great step to the greatest knowledge; and that understanding, in which, though little is written, yet nothing is blotted; that which is not disfigured by ill impressions, is a subject most capable of the best. There nothing is required but plain teaching; whereas, the mind that is either perverted by false knowledge, or made crooked by deceitful prejudices, must not only be taught, but first untaught that ill it had learned and to unteach is a more difficult work than to teach.
SPRAT. History of the Royal Society.
Who therefore finds the artificial'st fools
Have not been changed i̇' th' cradle, but the schools,
Run them behind-hand with their education.
BUTLER. Upon the Abuse of Human Learning.
In this enlightened age, I am bold enough to confess, that we are generally men of untaught feelings; that instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages.
THE difference is as great between
The optics seeing, as the objects seen.
Contracts, invests, and gives ten thousand dyes.
BUT here the herald of the self-same mouth
But such as wafts its cloud o'er grog or ale,
Borne from a short frail pipe, which yet had blown
Its gentle odours over either zone,
And, puff'd where'er winds rise or waters roll,
Through every change of all the varying skies.
Cheers the tar's labour or the Turkman's rest;
Which on the Moslem's ottoman divides
His hours, and rivals opium and his brides;
Though not less loved, in Wapping or the Strand;
When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;
Thy naked beauties-Give me a cigar!
BYRON. The Island.
IMPORTANCE OF LITTLE THINGS.
He who cannot contract the sight of his mind as well as dilate it wants a great talent in life.
THE calm or agitation of our temper does not depend so much on the important events of life, as on an agreeable or disagreeable adjustment of little things which happen every day. ROCHEFOUCAULD.
It has been well observed, that the misery of man proceeds not from any single crush of overwhelming evil, but from small vexations* continually repeated.
JOHNSON. Lives of the Poets-Pope. THINGS are to be estimated, not by the importance of their effects, but the frequency of their use.
Rambler, No. 131.
It is observed by Gibbon that the Pathetic almost always consists in the detail of little circumstances.
Decline and Fall, Note, Chap. 50.
WHERE an equal poise of hope and fear
Our least of sorrows are such as we weep;
NOTHING makes a man so suspicious as to know little; whence the best remedy against suspicion is inquiry;* for darkness and smother feed the distemper. What would men have? Do they suppose the persons they employ or converse with are saints or angels? Can we be ignorant that they pursue their own ends, and will always have the first regard to themselves? There is therefore no better method of moderating suspicions, than to provide against them as if they were true; yet bridle them as if they were false. For so far Suspicion may be of use as to put men upon their guard, that though the things suspected were true it should not hurt them. BACON. Essays.
THE moon is up, and yet it is not night;
With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still
Which streams upon her stream, and glassed within it glows.
Fill'd with the face of heaven, which, from afar,
Comes down upon the waters; all its hues,
From the rich sunset to the rising star,
Their magical variety diffuse;
And now they change; a paler shadow strews
Since doubting things go ill, often hurts more
Than to be sure they do for certainties
Either are past remedies: or, timely knowing,
Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day.
The last still lovliest,-till-'tis gone,—and all is gray.
THE curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
EVENING SONG OF PAN'S PRIEST.
BEAUMONT and FLETCHER.
OR where the silver water's sooth'd to rest,
The tall tree's shadow sleeps upon his breast.
Eve saddens into Night.