Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

nation abounds in physicians, it grows thin of people. * This body of men in our own country may be described like the British army in Cæsar's time. Some of them slay in chariots, and some on foot. If the infantry do less execution than the charioteers, it is because they cannot be carried so soon into all quarters of the town, and despatch so much business in so short a time. Besides this body of regular troops, there are stragglers, who, without ing duly enlisted and enrolled, do infinite mischief to those wh are so unlucky as to fall into their hands.

Spectator. A DOCTOR is defined to be a man whom we hire for the purpose of telling stories in the chamber of a sick person, till nature effects a cure, or his medicine kills the patient.

SEWARD. Anecdotes.

THE prince
Of poets, Homer, sung long since,
A skilful leech is better far
Than half an hundred men of war.
So he appear'd; and by his skill,
No less than dint of sword, cou'd kill.

Hudibras, Part I., Canto 2. Physic, for the most part, is nothing else but the substitute of exercise or temperance.

ADDISON.

THE MOON.

ART thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,

Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,-

And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

SHELLEY.
YET few of these far majesties, ah, few !
Have bared their operations to this globe
Few, who with gorgeous pageantry enrobe
Our piece of heaven-whose benevolence

* A minister being deprived for nonconformity, said to some people, it should cost a hundred men their lives. Some who understood this as to his being a turbulent fellow, that would have moved sedition, complained of him, whereupon being examined, he said his meaning was that he would practise physic.

a

Shakes hand with our own Ceres ; every sense
Filling with spiritual sweets to plenitude
As bees gorge full their cells. And by the feud
'Twixt nothing and creation, I here swear,
Eterne Apollo ! that thy sister fair
Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest
When thy gold breath is misting in the west,
She unobserved steals unto her throne,
And there she sits most meek and most alone;
As if she had not pomp subservient;
As if thine eye, high poet! was not bent
Towards her with the Muses in thine heart;
As if the minist'ring stars kept not apart,
Waiting for silver-footed messages.
O Moon! the oldest shades ’mong oldest trees
Feel palpitations when thou lookest in ;
O Moon! old boughs lisp forth a holier din
The while they feel thine airy fellowship.
Thou dost bless everywhere, with silver lip,
Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine,
Couch'd in thy brightness, dream of fields divine:
Innumerable mountains rise and rise,
Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes;
And yet thy benediction passeth not
One obscure hiding-place, one little spot
Where pleasure may be sent. The nested wren
Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken,
And from beneath a sheltering ivy leaf
Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief
To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps
Within its pearly house ;—The mighty deeps,
The monstrous sea is thine—the myriad sea !
O Moon ! far-spooming ocean bows to thee,
And Tellus feels his forehead's cumbrous load.

KEATS. Endymion, Book III.

THE Queen of Night, whose large command
Rules all the sea, and half the land,
And over moist and crazy brains
In high-spring tides at midnight reigns,
Was now declining to the west
To
go to bed, and take her rest.

Hudibras, Part III., Canto 1.

TELL me but what's the natural cause,-
Why on a sign no painter draws
The full moon ever, but the half;
Resolve that with your Jacob's staff:
Or why wolves raise a hubbub at her,
And dogs howl when she shines in water;
And I will freely give my vote,
You may know something more remote.

Hudibras to Sidrophel.

PEDANTRY. A MAN who has been brought up among books, and is able to talk of nothing else, is a very indifferent companion, and what we call a pedant. But we should enlarge the title, and give it to every one that does not know how to think out of his profession and particular way of life.

Spectator. So much is to be found in men of all conditions of that which is called Pedantry in scholars; which is nothing else but an obstinate addiction to the forms of some private life, and not regarding general things enough.

SPRAT. History of Royal Society.
THE pedants are a mongrel breed, that sojourn
Among the ancient writers and the modern;
And, while their studies are between the one
And th' other spent, have nothing of their own;
Like sponges, are both plants and animals,
And equally, to both their natures false;
For whether 'tis their want of conversation
Inclines them to all sorts of affectation,
Their sedentary life and melancholy,
The everlasting nursery of folly;
Their poring upon black and white too subtly
Has turned the inside of their brains to motley;
Or squandering of their wits and time upon
Too many things has made them fit for none;
Their constant overstraining of the mind
Distorts the brain, as horses break their wind;
Or rude confusions of the things they read
Get up, like noxious vapours, in the head,
Until they have their constant wanes and fulls,
And changes in the inside of their skulls :
Or venturing beyond the reach of wit,
Has rendered them for all things else unfit;

But never bring the world and books together, *
And, therefore, never rightly judge of either ;
Whence multitudes of reverend men and critics
Have got a kind of intellectual rickets,
And by th' immoderate excess of study
Have found the sickly head t outgrow the body.

For pedantry is but a com, or wart,
Bred in the skin of judgment, sense, and art:
A stupified excrescence, like a wen,
Fed by the peccant humours of learn'd men,
That never grows from natural defects
Of downright and untutored intellects,
But from the over-curious and vain
Distempers of an artificial brain.

BUTLER. Upon the Abuse of Human Learning.

COMPANIONS IN TROUBLE.

Edgar. WHEN We our betters see bearing our woes,

We scarcely think our miseries our foes.
Who alone suffers, suffers most i’ the mind;
Leaving free things, and happy shows, behind:
But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip,
When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.
How light and portable my pain seems now,
When that, which makes me bend, makes the king bow.

King Lear.
MIGHT stand or fall at least together;
No mean or trivial solaces

* Burke taking notice of Louis XVI. endeavouring to supply the deficiencies of his education by reading, observes, “ that the world of which he read and the world in which he lived were no longer the same.”

A mere contemplative man is obnoxious to this error: he converses chiefly in his closet with the heads and notions of things, and so discerns not their bottoms near and distinctly enough ; and thence he is subject to overlook the little circumstances on which all human actions depend. He is still reducing all things to standing doctrines; and therefore must needs be liable to neglect the opportunities, to set upon business too soon or too late ; to put those things together in his mind which have no argument in nature. But this above all is his greatest danger, that thinking it still becomes him to go out of the ordinary way, and to refine and heighten the conceptions of the vulgar, he will be ready to disdain all the natural and easy ways of practice, and to believe that nothing ought to be done, though never so common, but by some device of art or trick of unusual wisdom.

SPRAT. History of Royal Society.

To partners in extreme distress ;
Who used to lessen their despairs,
By parting them int' equal shares ;
As if the more they were to bear,
They felt the weight the easier;
And every one the gentler hung,
The more he took his turn among.

Hudibras, Part III., Canto 2.
Not custom, nor example, nor vast numbers
Of such as do offend, make less the sin. ,
For each particular crime, a strict account will be exacted;
And that comfort which
The damned pretend, fellows in misery,
Takes nothing from their torments.

MASSINGER.

KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING-THE DISTINCTION. I MAKE a distinction between knowledge and learning; taking knowledge to be properly meant of things that we generally agree to be true, by consent of those that first found them out, or have since been instructed in them: but learning is the knowledge of the different and contested opinions of men in former ages, and about which they have perhaps never agreed

* and this makes so much of one and so little of the other in the world.

SIR W. TEMPLE.

in any;

RHETORIC.

THE reason of things lies in a narrow compass, if the mind could at any time be so happy as to light upon it. Most of the writings and discourses in the world are but illustration and rhetoric, which signifies as much as nothing to a mind in pursuit after the philosophical truth of things.

South. FIGURATIVE SPEECH AN ABUSE OF LANGUAGE. SINCE wit and fancy find easier entertainment in the world than dry truth and real knowledge, figurative speeches and

* Learning is nothing worth, if wit
And understanding be not joined with it.

MONTAIGNE. Essays. Though we may be learned by the help of another's knowledge, we can never be wise but by our own wisdom.

« ForrigeFortsæt »