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had looked upon it with tenderness and extenu- The wild havoc affectation makes in that part ation, and excused it for the sake of his other of the world which should be most polite, is virtues; or had considered him as too wise to visible wherever we turn our eyes; it pushes need advice, or too delicate to be shocked with men not only into impertinences in conversareproach; or, because we cannot feel without tion, but also in their premeditated speeches. pain these reflections roused, which we have | At the bar it torments the bench, whose business been endeavouring to lay asleep; and when it is to cut off all superfluities in what is spoken pain has produced anger, who would not will. before it by the practitioner; as well as several ingly believe that it ought to be discharged on little pieces of injustice which arise from the others, rather than himself?
law itself. I have seen it make a man run from Dr. S. JOHNSON : Rambler, No. 40. the purpose before a judge who was, when at People are sooner reclaimed by the side-wind
ma the bar himself, so close and logical a pleader,
| that, with all the pomp of eloquence in his of a surprise than by downright admonition.
| power, he never spoke a word too much.
Sir R. STEELE: Spectator, No. 38. A man takes contradiction and advice much more easily than people think, only he will not bear it when violently given, even though it be well founded. Hearts are flowers; they remain
AFFECTIONS. open to the softly-falling dew, but shut up in the violent down-pour of rain. RICHTER.
It is not the business of virtue to extirpate
| the affections, but to regulate them. Let no man presume to give advice to others
ADDISON. that has not first given good counsel to himself.
A resemblance of humour and opinion, a
| fancy for the same business or diversion, is a If you would convince a person of his mis.
| ground of affection. JEREMY COLLIER. takes, accost him not upon that subject when his spirit is ruffled.
DR. I. WATTS.
The successes of intellectual effort are never so great as when aided by the affections that animate social converse.
JOHN FOSTER : Journal. AFFECTATION.
All things being double-handed, and having Among the numerous stratagems by which the appearances both of truth and falsehood, pride endeavours to recommend folly to regard, where our affections have engaged us we attend There is scarcely one that meets with less success only to the former. GLANVILL: Scepsis. than affectation, or a perpetual disguise of the real
We read of a “joy unspeakable and full of character by fictitious appearances; whether it
glory,” of “a peace that passeth all understandbe, that every man hates falsehood, from the natural congruity of truth to his faculties of
ing," with innumerable other expressions of a
similar kind, which indicate strong and vereason, or that every man is jealous of the honour of his understanding, and thinks his dis
hement emotions of mind. That the great ob
jects of Christianity, called eternity, heaven, cernment consequentially called in question, whenever anything is exhibited under a bor
and hell, are of sufficient magnitude to justify
vivid emotions of joy, fear, and love, is indisrowed form.
putable, if it be allowed we have any relation Dr. S. JOHNSON: Rambler, No. 20.
to them; nor is it less certain that religion Affectation is an awkward and forced imita could never have any powerful influence if it tion of what should be genuine and easy, want. did not influence through the medium of the ing the beauty that accompanies what is natural. affections. All objects which have any perma
LOCKE. nent influence influence the conduct in this way. Affectation endeavours to correct natural de.
We may possibly be first set in motion by their
supposed connection with our interest; but fects, and has always the laudable aim of
unless they draw to themselves particular affecpleasing, though it always misses it.
ROBERT HALL: When our consciousness turns upon the main
Fragment on the Right of Worship. design of life, and our thoughts are employed
Affections (as joy, grief, fear, and anger, with upon the chief purpose either in business or
such like), being, as it were, the sundry fashions pleasure, we shall never betray an affectation,
and forms of appetite, can neither rise at the for we cannot be guilty of it; but when we
conceit of a thing indifferent, nor yet choose give the passion for praise an unbridled liberty,
but rise at the sight of some things. our pleasure in little perfections robs us of what
HOOKER: Eccles. Pol., Book I. is due to us for great virtues and worthy qualities. How many excellent speeches and honest Be it never so true which we teach the world actions are lost' for want of being indifferent to believe, yet if once their affections begin to where we ought!
be alienated a small thing persuadeth them 10 SIR R. STEELE: Spectator, No. 38. I change their opinions.
Affection is still a briber of the judgment; AMictions sent by Providence melt the conand it is hard for a man to admit a reason stancy of the noble-minded, but confirm the against the thing he loves, or to confess the obduracy of the vile. The same furnace that sorce of an argument against an interest. hardens clay liquefies gold; and in the strong
SOUTH. manifestations of divine power Pharaoh found
his punishment, but David his pardon. The only thing which can endear religion to
COLTON : Lacon. your practice will be to raise your affections above this world.
WAKE. How naturally does affliction make us Chris
tians! and how impossible is it when all human
help is vain, and the whole earth too poor and
trifling to furnish us with one moment's peace, AFFLICTION.
how impossible is it then to avoid looking at the gospel!
COWPER In afflictions men generally draw their con
Letter to Lady Hesketh, July 4, 1765. solations out of books of morality, which indeed are of great use to fortify and strengthen the
How every hostile feeling bocomes mitigated mind against the impressions of sorrow. Mon
| into something like kindness, when its object, sieur St. Evremont, who does not approve of
perhaps lately proud, assuming, unjust, is now this method, recommends authors who are apt
seen oppressed into dejection by calamity! to stir up mirth in the minds of the readers, and
The most cruel wild beast, or more cruel man, sancies Don Quixote can give more relief to a
if seen languishing in death and raising toheavy heart than Plutarch or Seneca, as it is
wards us a feeble and supplicating look, would much easier to divert grief than to conquer it.
certainly move our pity. This doubtless may have its effects on some
JOHN FOSTER: Journal. tempers. I should rather have recourse to There is a certain equanimity in those who authors of a quite contrary kind, that give us
are good and just which runs into their very instances of calamities and misfortunes and
sorrow and disappoints the force of it. Though show human nature in its greatest distresses.
they must pass through afflictions in common ADDISON: Spectator, No. 163.
with all who are in human nature, yet their Make the true use of those afflictions which
conscious integrity shall undermine their afflichis hand, mercifully severe, hath been pleased
tion; nay, that very affliction shall add sorce to to lay upon thee.
their integrity, from a reflection of the use of
virtue in the hour of affliction. Though it be not in our power to make
FRANCHAM: Spectator, No. 520. affliction no affliction, yet it is in our power to take off the edge of it, by a steady view of those
A consideration of the benefit of afflictions divine joys prepared for us in another state.
should teach us to bear them patiently when ATTERBURY.
they fall to our lot, and to be thankful to
Heaven for having planted such barriers around Our Saviour is represented everywhere in us, to restrain the exuberance of our follies and Scripture as the special patron of the poor and our crimes. afflicted.
ATTERBURY. Let these sacred fences be removed; exempt
the ambitious from disappointment and the Can any man trust a better support under
guilty from remorse; let luxury go unattended affliction than the friendship of Omnipotence,
with disease, and indiscretion lead into no emwho is both able and willing, and knows how,
barrassments or distresses; our vices would BENTLEY.
range without control, and the impetuosity of The furnace of affliction refines us from our passions have no bounds; every family earthly dro-siness, and softens us for the impres. would be filled with strise, every nation with sion of God's own stamp.
carnage, and a deluge of calamities would break
in upon us which would produce more misery But calamity is, unhappily, the usual season
in a year than is intlicted by the hand of Provi. of reflection; and the pride of men will not
dence in a lapse of ages. often suffer reason to have any scope until it
ROBERT HALL: Character of Cleander. can be no longer of service.
The time of sickness or affliction is like the Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol, cool of the day to Adam, a season of peculiar April 3, 1777.
propriety for the voice of God to be heard; and Great distress has never hitherto taught, and
may be improved into a very advantageous whilst the world lasts it never will teach, wise
opportunity of begetting or increasing spiritual lessons to any part of mankind. Men are as
HAMMOND. much blinded by the extremes of misery as by The minds of the afflicted do never think the extremes of prosperity.
they have fully conceived the weight or measure BURKE:
of their own woe: they use their affection as a Letter to a Member of the National whetstone both to wit and memory. Assembly, 1791.
Little minds are tamed and subdued by mis most unpardonable malefactor in the world fortune; but great minds rise above it.
going to his death and bearing it with comWASHINGTON IRVING. posure would win the pity of those who should As daily experience makes it evident that
behold him; and this not because his calamity
is deplorable, but because he seems himself not misfortunes are unavoidably incident to human
to deplore it. We suffer for him who is less life, that calamity will neither be repelled by
sensible of his own misery, and are inclined to fortitude, nor escaped by flight; neither awed
despise him who sinks under the weight of his by greatness, nor eluded by obscurity; philoso
distresses. phers have endeavoured to reconcile us to that
Sir R. STEELE: Spectator, No. 312. condition which they cannot teach us to merit, by persuading us that most of our evils are Before an affliction is digested, consolation made afflictive only by ignorance or perverse ever comes too soon; and after it is digested, it ness, and that nature has annexed to every | comes too late: but there is a mark betwee vicissitude of external circumstances some ad
these two, as fine almost as a hair, for a comvantage sufficient to over-balance all its incon. forter to take aim at.
DR. S. JOHNSON,
When a storm of sad mischance beats upon It is by affliction chiefly that the heart of man
our spirits, turn it into advantage, to serve reis purified, and that the thoughts are fixed on a
ligion or prudence. JEREMY TAYLOR. better state. Prosperity, alloyed and imperfect as it is, has power to intoxicate the imagination, Sad accidents, and a state of affliction, is a to fix the mind upon the present scene, to pro- school of virtue: it corrects levity, and interduce confidence and elation, and to make him rupts the confidence of sinning. who enjoys affluence and honours forget the
JEREMY TAYLOR. hand by which they were bestowed. It is seldom that we are otherwise than by affliction That which thou dost not understand when awakened to a sense of our imbecility, or taught thou readest, thou shalt understand in the day to know how little all our acquisitions can con- of thy visitation. For many secrets of religion duce to safety or to quiet, and how justly we are not perceived till they be felt, and are not may ascribe to the superintendence of a higher felt but in the day of a great calamity. power those blessings which in the wantonness
JEREMY TAYLOR. of success we considered as the attainments of
Religion directs us rather to secure inward our policy or courage. Dr. S. JOHNSON.
peace than outward ease, to be more careful to When any calamity has been suffered, the avoid everlasting torment than light afilictions. first thing to be remembered is, how much has
TILLOTSON. been escaped.
Dr. S. JOHNSON..
Others have sought to ease themselves of all Upon the upshot, afflictions are the methods the evil of affliction by disputing subtilely against of a merciful Providence to force us upon the it, and pertinaciously maintaining that afflictions only means of settling matters right.
are no real evils, but only in imagination, L'ESTRANGE.
TILLOTSON. The willow which bends to the tempest often
Though all afflictions are evils in themselves, escapes better than the oak which resists it ; |
W; yet they are good for us, because they discover and so in great calamities it sometimes happens
to us our disease and tend to our cure. that light and frivolous spirits recover their
TILLOTSON. elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character.
God will make these evils the occasion of Sir WALTER SCOTT. greater good, by turning them to advantage in The sinner's conscience is the best expositor
This world, or increase of our happiness in the of the mind of God, under any judgment or
SOUTH, None of us fall into those circumstances of It is a very melancholy reflection, that men
danger, want, or pain, that can have hopes of are usually so weak that it is absolutely neces
| relief but from God alone; none in all the sary for them to know sorrow and pain, to be in
world to flee to but him. TILLOTSON. their right senses. Prosperous people (for happy All men naturally fly to God in extremity, there are none) are hurried away with a fond and the most atheistical person in the world, sense of their present condition, and thought. when forsaken of all hopes of any other relief, less of the mutability of fortune. Fortune is a is forced to acknowledge him. TILLOTSON. term which we must use, in such discourses as
It is our great unhappiness, when any calami. these, for what is wrought by the unseen hand
ties fall upon us, that we are uneasy and dissatisof the Disposer of all things. But methinks
WAKE. the disposition of a mind which is truly great is that which makes misfortunes and sorrows Let us not mistake God's goodness, nor little when they befall ourselves, great and la imagine because he smites us, that we are formentable when they befall other men. The i saken of him.
If we repent seriously, submit contentedly, Throughout the whole vegetable, sensible, and and serve him faithfully, afflictions shall turn to rational world, whatever makes progress towards our advantage.
WAKE. maturity, as soon as it has passed that point, It is quite possible either to improve or fail to begins to verge towards decay. BLAIR. improve either kind of affliction,
A joyless and dreary season will old age prove, WHATELY.
if we arrive at it with an unimproved or corrupted mind. For this period, as for everything,
certain preparation is necessary; and that prepAGE.
aration consists in the acquisition of knowledge, The instances of longevity are chiefly among
friends, and virtue. Then is the time when a the abstemious. Abstinence in extremity will
man would especially wish to find himself surprove a mortal disease; but the experiments of
rounded by those who love and respect him,it are very rare. ARBUTHNOT: On Aliments.
who will bear with his infirmities, relieve him
of his labours, and cheer him with their society. A recovery in my case and at my age is im
? | Let him, therefore, now in the summer of his possible : the kindest wish of my friends is
days, while yet active and flourishing, by acts of euthanasia.
seasonable kindness and benevolence insure One's age should be tranquil, as one's child-that love, and by upright and honourable conhood should be playful; hard work at either duct lay the foundation for that respect which extremity of human existence seems to me out in old age he would wish to enjoy. In the last of place: the morning and the evening should place, let him consider a good conscience, peace be alike cool and peaceful ; at mid-day the sun
with God, and the hope of heaven, as the most may burn, and men may labour under it.
effectual consolations he can possess when the
Dr. T. ARNOLD. | evil days shall come. BLAIR : Lectures. Age makes us most fondly hug and retain the We are both in the decline of life, my dear good things of this life, when we have the least dean, and have been some years going down the prospect of enjoying them. ATTERBURY. hill: let us make the passage as smooth as we Men of age object too much, consult too long,
can. Let us fence against physical evil by care,
and the use of those means which experience adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but con
must have pointed out to us; let us fence against tent themselves with a mediocrity of success.
moral evil by philosophy. We may, nay (if we Certainly it is good to compound employments
will follow nature and do not work up imaginaof both; for that will be good for the present,
tion against her plainest dictates) we shall, of because the virtues of either age may correct
course, grow every year more indifferent to life, the defects of both; and good for succession,
and to the affairs and interests of a system out that young men may be learners, while men in
of which we are soon to go. This is much better age are actors; and, lastly, good for external accidents, because authority followeth old men,
ens philosophy; for passion may decay and stuand savour and popularity youth: but for the
pidity not succeed. Passions (says Pope, our moral part, perhaps, youth will have the pre
divine, as you will see one time or other) are eminence, as age hath for the politic.
the gales of life; let us not complain that they LORD BACON:
do not blow a storm. What hurt does age do Essay XLIII.: Of Youth and Age.
us in subduing what we toil to subdue all our
lives? It is now six in the morning; I recall Cicero was at dinner, when an ancient lady the time (and am glad it is over) when about said she was but forty: one that sat by rounded this hour I used to be going to bed, surfeited him in the ear, She is far more, out of the with pleasure or jaded with business; my head question. Cicero answered, I must believe her, often full of schemes, and my heart as often full for I have heard her say so any time these ten of anxiety. Is it a misfortune, think you, that years,
LORD BACON. I rise at this hour refreshed, serene, and calm ; Old men who have loved young company,
that the past and even the present affairs of life and been conversant continually with them,
stand like objects at a distance from me, where have been of long life. Lord BACON.
I can keep off the disagreeable, so as not to be
strongly affected by them, and from whence I The ancient sophists and rhetoricians, who can draw the others nearer to me? Passions, in had young auditors, lived till they were an hun. their force, would bring all these, nay, even dred years old, and so likewise did many of the future contingencies, about my ears at once, and grammarians and schoolmasters, as Orbilius. reason would ill defend me in the scuffle. Lord Bacon.
LORD BOLINGBROKE: We are so far from repining at God that he
Letter to Dean Swift. hath not extended the period of our lives to the The failure of the mind in old age is often longevity of the antediluvians, that we give him less the result of natural decay than of disease. thanks for contracting the days of our trial, and Ambition has ceased to operate; contentment receiving us more maturely into those everlasting brings indolence; indolence, decay of mental habitations above.
BENTLEY. power, ennui, and sometimes death. Men have
been known to die, literally speaking, of disease Sobriety in our riper years is the effect of a induced by intellectual vacuity.
well-concocted warmth ; but where the princiSir BENJAMIN BRODIE. ples are only phlegm, what can be expected but The choleric fall short of the longevity of the an insipid manhood and old infancy?
Sir THOMAS BROWNE. Old men do most exceed in this point of folly,
Age oppresses us by the same degrees that it commending the days of their youth they scarce
instructs us, and permits not that our mortal
members, which are frozen with our years, remembered, at least well understood not.
should retain the vigour of our youth. Sir THOMAS BROWNE: Vulgar Errors.
DRYDEN. We are generally so much pleased with any
From fifty to threescore he loses not much in little accomplishments, either of body or mind, which have once made us remarkable in the
": fancy; and judgment, the effect of observation,
still increases. world, that we endeavour to persuade ourselves
DRYDEN. it is not in the power of time to rob us of them. Age, that lessens the enjoyment of life, inWe are eternally pursuing the same methods creases our desire of living. Those dangers which first procured us the applauses of man- which, in the vigour of youth, we had learned kind. It is from this notion that an author to despise, assume new terrors as we grow old. writes on, though he is come to dotage; with. Our caution increasing as our years increase, out ever considering that his memory is im- fear becomes at last the prevailing passion of paired, and that he hath lost that life, and those the mind, and the small remainder of life is spirits, which formerly raised his fancy and fired | taken up in useless efforts to keep off our end, his imagination. The same folly hinder» a man or provide for a continued existence. . . . from submitting his behaviour to his age, and Whence, then, is this increased love of life, makes Clodius, who was a celebrated dancer at which grows upon us with our years ? whence five-and-twenty, still love to hobble in a minuet, comes it that we thus make greater efforts to though he is past threescore. It is this, in a preserve our existence at a period when it be. word, which fills the town with elderly fops and comes scarce worth the keeping? Is it that superannuated coquettes.
nature, attentive to the preservation of manBUDGELL: Spectator, No. 301. kind, increases our wishes to live, while she No man lives too long who lives to do with lessens our enjoyments; and, as she robs the spirit and suffer with resignation what Provi- senses of every pleasure, equips imagination in dence pleases to command or inflict; but, in
the spoil? Life would be insupportable to an deed, they are sharp commodities which beset
old man who, loaded with infirmities, feared old age.
death no more than when in the vigour of manLetter to a Noble Lord on the Attacks
hood: the numberless calamities of decaying upon his Pension, 1796.
nature, and the consciousness of surviving every
pleasure, would at once induce him with his A man of great sagacity in business, and he
own hand to terminate the scene of misery : but preserved so great a vigour of mind even to his
happily the contempt of death forsakes him at a death, when near eighty, that some who had time when it could only be prejudicial, and life known him in his younger years did believe
acquires an imaginary value in proportion as its him to have much quicker parts in his age than real value is no more. GOLDSMITH: before. EARL OF CLARENDON.
Essays, No. XIV.; also in Citizen of the Providence gives us notice by sensible de
World, Letter LXXIII. clensions, that we may disengage from the | What can be a more pitiable object than de. world by degrees.
JEREMY COLLIER. I crepitude sinking under the accumulated load of It would be well if old age diminished our years and of penury? Arrived at that period perceptibilities to pain in the same proportion when the most fortunate confess they have no that it does our sensibilities to pleasure; and if pleasure, how forlorn is his situation who, deslife has been termed a feast, those favoured few titute of the meaus of subsistence, has survived are the most fortunate guests who are not com- | his last child or his last friend! Solitary and pelled to sit at the table when they can no neglected, without comfort and without hope, longer partake of the banquet. But the mis- depending for everything on a kindness he has fortune is, that body and mind, like man and no means of conciliating, he finds himself lest wife, do not always agree to die together. It is alone in a world to which he has ceased to bad when the mind survives the body; and belong, and is only felt in society as a burden it worse still when the body survives the mind; is impatient to shake off. but when both these survive our spirits, our
ROBERT HALL: Reflections on War. hopes, and our health, this is worst of all. I
Wisdom and youth are seldom joined in one; COLTON: Lacon.
| and the ordinary course of the world is more The continual agitations of the spirits must according to Job's observation, who giveth men needs be a weakening of any constitution, es. advice to seek wisdom among the ancients, and pecially in age : and many causes are required in the length of days understanding. for refreshment betwixt the heats. DRYDEN.