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It is undoubtedly true, though it may seem should consider that it is their envy which de paradoxical,- but, in general, those who are forms everything, and that the ugliness is not in habitually employed in finding and displaying the object, but in the eye. And as for nobler faults are unqualified for the work of reforma- minds, whose merits are either not discovered, tion; because their minds are not only unfur- or are misrepresented by the envious part of nished with patterns of the fair and good, but mankind, they should rather consider their de. by habit they come to take no delight in the famers with pity than indignation. A man cancontemplation of those things. By hating vices not have an idea of persection in another, which 100 much, they come to love men too little. It he was never sensible of in himself. is, therefore, not wonderful that they should be
Sir R. STEELE: Tatler, No. 227. indisposed and unable to serve them.
When one considers the turn which converBURKE:
sation takes in almost every set of acquaintance, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790.
club, or assembly in this town or kingdom, one Just as you are pleased at finding faults you cannot but observe that, in spite of what I am are displeased at finding perfections.
every day saying, and all the moral writers
LAVATER. since the beginning of the world have said, the A small mistake may leave upon the mind subject of discourse is generally upon one anthe lasting memory of having been taunted for other's faults. This, in a great measure, prosomething censurable.
LOCKE. ceeds from self-conceit, which were to be Such as are still observing upon others are
endured in one or other individual person; but like those who are always abroad at other men's
the folly has spread itself almost over all the houses, reforming everything there, while their
species; and one cannot only say Tom, Jack, own runs to ruin.
or Will, but, in general, “that man is a coxThoughts on Various Subjects.
comb." From this source it is, that any excel
lence is faintly received, any imperfection When the tongue is the weapon, a man may
unmercisully exposed. strike where he cannot reach, and a word shall
Sir R. STEELE: Tatler, No. 246. do execution both further and deeper than the mightiest blow.
SOUTH. I It is some commendation that we have avoided Nothing can justly be despised that cannot to characterize any person without long experijustly be blamed: where there is no choice ence.
SWIFT there can be no blame.
CERVANTES. as that of giving praise and closing it with an exception; which proceeds (where men do not Cervantes is the delight of all classes of do it to introduce malice and make calumny readers. Every school-boy thumbs to pieces the more effectual) from the common error of con most wretched translations of his romance, and sidering man as a perfect creature. But, if we knows the lantern jaws of the Knight Errant, rightly examine things, we shall find that there and the broad cheeks of the Squire, as well as is a sort of economy in Providence, that one the faces of his own playfellows. The most shall excel where another is defective, in order experienced and fastidious judges are amazed to make men more useful to each other, and at the perfection of that art which extracts inmix them in society. This man having this extinguishable laughter from the greatest of talent, and that man another, is as necessary in human calamities without once violating the conversation, as one professing one trade, and reverence due to it; at that discriminating delianother another, is beneficial in commerce. cacy of touch which makes a character exThe happiest climate does not produce all quisitely ridiculous without impairing its worth, things; and it was so ordered, that one part of its grace, or its dignity. In Don Quixote are the earth should want the product of another, several dissertations on the principles of poetic for uniting mankind in a general correspondence and dramatic writing. No passages in the whole and good understanding. It is, therefore, want work exhibit stronger marks of labour and of sense as well as good nature, to say, Simpli- attention; and no passages in any work with cius has a better judgment, but not so much wit which we are acquainted are more worthless as Latius; for that these have not each other's and puerile. In our time they would scarcely capacities is no more a diminution to either, obtain admittance into the literary department than if you should say, Simplicius is not Latius, of The Morning Post. lor Latius not Simplicius.
LORD MACAULAY : John Dryden. Sir R. STEELE: Tatler, No. 92. Shallow wits, superficial critics, and conceited
ko fops, are with me so many blind men in respect
CHANCE. of excellences. They can behold nothing but faults and blemishes, and indeed see nothing The adequate meaning of chance, as distinthat is worth seeing. Show them a poem, it is guished from fortune, is that the latter is under. stuff; a picture, it is daubing. They find no- stood to befall only rational agents, but chance thing in architecture that is not irregular, or in to be among inanimate bodies. music that is not out of tune. These men!
Chance is but a mere name, and really nothing ing out into a man's praise till his head is laid in itself; a conception of our minds, and only in the dust. Whilst he is capable of changing, a compendious way of speaking, whereby we we may be forced to retract our opinions. He would express that such effects as are commonly may forfeit the esteem we have conceived of attributed to chance were verily produced by him, and some time or other appear to us under their true and proper causes, but without their a different light from what he does at present, design to produce them.
BENTLEY. In short, as the life of any man cannot be called It is strictly and philosophically true in nature
happy or unhappy, so neither can it be pro
nounced vicious or virtuous, before the concluand reason, that there is no such thing as chance
| sion of it. or accident; it being evident that these words
It was upon this consideration that Epamido not signify anything really existing, anything
nondas, being asked whether Chabrias, Iphicthat is truly an agent or the cause of any event;
| rates, or he himself, deserved most to be but they signify merely men's ignorance of the
esteemed ? “You must first see us die," saith real and immediate cause.
he,“ before that question can be answered.”. Adam CLARKE.
As there is not a more melancholy consideraChance is but the pseudonyme of God fortion to a good man than his being obnoxious to those particular cases which He does not choose such a change, so there is nothing more glorious to subscribe openly with his own sign-manual. than to keep up a uniformity in his actions and
COLERIDGE. preserve the beauty of his character to the last. Time and chance happeneth to them all.
ADDISON: Spectator, No. 349. Eccl. ix. II. The meaning is, that the success A good character, when established, should of these outward things is not always carried not be rested in as an end, but only employed by desert, but by chance in regard to us, though | as a means of doing still farther good. by Providence in regard of God.
The characters of men placed in lower stations There must be chance in the midst of design; l of life are more useful, as being imitable by by which we mean, that events which are not
ATTERBURY. designed necessarily arise from the pursuit of events which are designed.
If you would work any man, you must either
know his nature or fashions, and so lead him ; The opposites of apparent chance are con- or his ends, and so persuade him; or his weakstancy and sensible interposition. Paley. ness and disadvantages, and so awe him; or Some utterly proscribe the name of chance,
those that have interest in him, and so govern as a word of impious and prosane signification;
him. In dealing with cunning persons we and indeed if taken by us in that sense in which
must ever consider their ends to interpret their it was used by the heathen, so as to make any.
speeches; and it is good to say little to them, thing casual in respect to God himself, their
and that which they least look for. In all neexception ought justly to be admitted.
gotiations of difficulty, a man may not look to South.
sow and reap at once; but must prepare busi
ness, and so ripen it by degrees. To say a thing is chance or casualty, as it
Lord BACON: relates to second causes, is not profaneness, but
Essay XLVIII., Of Negotiating. a great truth; as signifying no more than that there are some events beside the knowledge,
The best composition and temperature is to purpose. expectation, and power of second have openness in fame and opinion, secrecy in causes,
habit, dissimulation in seasonable use, and a power to feign, if there be no remedy.
LORD BACON. CHARACTER.
Multitude of jealousies, and lack of some pre
dominant desire that should marshal and put I am very much pleased with a consolatory Lin order all the rest, maketh any man's heart letter of Phalaris, to one who had lost a son
hard to find or sound.
LORD BACON. who was a young man of great merit. The thought with which he comforts the afflicted The heart is pinched up and contracted by father is, to the best of my memory, as follows: | the very studies which ought to have enlarged That he should consider death had set a kind it,-if we keep all our praise for the triumphant of seal upon his son's character, and placed him and glorified virtues, and all our uneasy suspiout of the reach of vice and infamy; that, while cions, and doubts, and criticisms, and exceptions, he lived, he was still within the possibility of for the companions of our warfare. A mind falling away from virtue, and losing the fame that is tempered as it ought, or aims to come to of which he was possessed. Death only closes the temper it ought to have, will measure out a man's reputation, and determines it as good its just proportion of confidence and esteem for or bad.
a man of invariable rectitude, of principle, This, among other motives, may be one rea- steadiness in friendship, moderation in temper, son why we are naturally averse to the launch. I and a perfect freedom from all ambition, duplicity, and revenge; though the owner of these vast majority that constitute the little. The inestimable qualities is seen in the tavern and on third class is made up of those whom every. the pavement, as well as in the senate, or appear-body talks of, but nobody talks to; these coning with much more decency than solemnity even stitute the knaves; and the fourth is composed there.
of those whom everybody talks to, but whom Burke: To Lord John Cavendish. nobody talks of; and these constitute the fools. Far from taking away its value, everything
COLTON : Lacon. which makes virtue accessible, simple, familiar, Very advantageous exercise to incite atten. and companionable, makes its use more fre- tive observation and sharpen the discriminating quent, and its reality a great deal less doubtful. faculty, to compel one's self to sketch the charNeither, I apprehend, is the value of great acter of each person one knows. qualities taken away by the defects or errors
JOHN FOSTER : Journal. that are most nearly related to them. Sim
Distinguished merit will ever rise superior to plicity, and a want of ambition, do something detract from the splendour of great qualities;
| oppression, and will draw lustre from reproach.
| The vapours which gather round the rising sun and men of moderation will sometimes be de.
and follow it in its course seldom fail at the fective in vigour. Minds (and these are the
close of it to form a magnificent theatre for its best minds) which are more fearful of reproach
reception, and to invest with variegated tints, than desirous of glory, will want that extempo
xtempo- | and with a softened effulgence, the luminary raneous promptitude, and that decisive stroke,
which they cannot hide. which are often so absolutely necessary in great
ROBERT HALL: affairs.
Christianity Consistent with a Love of BURKE: To Lord John Cavendish.
Freedom. Instead of saying that man is the creature of
Our most secret doings, nay, what we imagine circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to
to be our inmost thoughts, are often the open say that man is the architect of circumstance.
talk and jeer of hundreds of people with whom Our strength is measured by our plastic power.
we have never interchanged a word. That more From the same materials one man builds pal.
people know Tom Fool than Tom Fool knows, is, aces, another hovels; one warehouses, another
though at once a truism and a vulgarism, a provillas: bricks and mortar are mortar and bricks,
found and philosophic axiom. Despise not the until the architect can make them something
waiter, for he may know you thoroughly. Be else. Thus it is that in the same family, in the
caresul what you do or say, for there are hunsame circumstances, one man rears a stately edi.
dreds of machicolated crevices in every dead fice, while his brother, vacillating and incom
wall, whence spy-glasses are pointed at you; petent, lives forever amid ruins : the block of
and the sky above is darkened with little birds, granite which was an obstacle in the pathway
eager to carry matters concerning you. Dio ti of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the
velle (God sees thee) they write on the walls in pathway of the strong.
Italy. A man's own heart should tell him this; He that has never suffered extreme adversity but his common sense should tell him likewise knows not the full extent of his own deprava- | that men are also always regarding him; that tion; and he that has never enjoyed the summit the streets are full of eyes, the walls of ears. of prosperity is equally ignorant how far the
Household Word's. iniquity of others can go. For our adversity will excite temptations in ourselves, or pros 1 it is always uncertain and variable, sometimes
Yet such is the state of all moral virtue, that perity in others.
COLTON : Lacon.
extending to the whole compass of duty, and He that acts towards men as if God saw him, sometimes shrinking into a narrower space, and and prays to God as if men heard him, although fortifying only a few avenues of the heart, while he may not obtain all that he asks, or succeed all the rest is left open to the incursions of ap. in all that he undertakes, will most probably petite, or given up to the dominion of wicked. deserve to do so. For with respect to his ac- | ness. Nothing therefore is more unjust than to tions to men, however he may fail with regard | judge of man by too short an acquaintance and to others, yet if pure and good, with regard to too slight inspection; for it often happens that himself and his highest interests they cannot in the loose, and thoughtless, and dissipated, fail; and with respect to his prayers to God, al- | there is a secret radical worth, which may shoot though they cannot make the Deity more will out by proper cultivation; that the spark of ing to give, yet they will and must make the Heaven, though dimmed and obstructed, is yet supplicant more worthy to receive.
not extinguished, but may by the breath of COLTON: Lacon.
counsel and exhortation be kindled into flame.
Dr. S. JOHNSON: Rambler, No. 70. There are four classes of men in the world : first, those whom every one would wish to talk It is a painful fact, but there is no denying it. to, and whom every one does talk of; these the mass are the tools of circumstance; thistle. are that small minority that constitute the great. down on the breeze, straw on the river, their Secondly, those whom no one wishes to talk to, course is shaped for them by the currents and and whom no one does talk of; these are that I eddies of the stream of life; but only in propor
tion as they are things, not men and women. in which one overgrown propensity makes all Man was meant to be not the slave, but the others utterly insignificant. master of circumstance; and in proportion as he It is evident that a portrait-painter who was recovers his humanity, in every sense of the able only to represent faces and figures such as great obsolete word,-in proportion as he gets those which we pay money to see at fairs would back the spirit of manliness, which is self-sacri- | not, however spirited his execution might be, take fice, affection, loyalty to an idea beyond himself, rank among the highest artists. He must always a God above himself, so far will he rise above be placed below those who have skill to seize circumstances and wield them at his will. peculiarities which do not amount to deformity.
Rev. C. KINGSLEY. The slighter those peculiarities, the greater is
the merit of the limner who can catch them and Actions, looks, words, steps, form the alpha- transfer them to his canvas. To paint Daniel het by which you may spell characters.
Lambert or the living skeleton, the pig-faced LAVATER. | lady or the Siamese twins, so that nobody can
mistake them, is an exploit within the reach of The heart of man looks fair, but when we
a sign-painter. A third-rate artist might give come to lay any weight upon't the ground is
us the squint of Wilkes, and the depressed nose false under us.
and protuberant cheeks of Gibbon. It would Characters drawn on dust, that the first breath
require a much higher degree of skill to paint of wind effaces, are altogether as useful as the two such men as Mr. Canning and Sir Thomas thoughts of a soul that perish in thinking.
Lawrence, so that nobody who had ever seen LOCKE.
them could for a moment hesitate to assign each
picture to its original. Here the mere caricaWe must not hope wholly to change their iurist would be quite at fault. He would find original tempers; nor make the gay pensive and in neither face anything on which he could lay grave, nor the melancholy sportive, without hold for the purpose of making a distinction. spoiling them.
LOCKE. Two ample bald foreheads, two regular profiles,
two full faces of the same oval form, would He that is found reasonable in one thing is
baffle his art; and he would be reduced to the concluded to be so in all; and to think or say miserable shift of writing their names at the foot otherwise is thought so unjust an affront, and so
of his picture. Yet there was a great difference; senseless a censure, that nobody ventures to do and a person who had seen them once would
no more have mistaken one of them for the The flexibleness of the former part of a man's other than he would have mistaken Mr. Pitt for age, not yet grown up to be headstrong, makes Mr. Fox. But the difference lay in delicate it more governable and safe ; and in the after lineaments and shades, reserved for pencils of a part reason and foresight begin a little to take rare order. place, and mind a man of his safety and im
This distinction runs through all the imitative provement.
arts. Foote's mimicry was exquisitely ludicrous,
but it was all caricature. He could take off only There is, in one respect, a remarkable analogy
Sy some strange peculiarity, a stammer or a lisp, a between the faces and the minds of men. No Northumbrian burr or an Irish brogue, a stoop two faces are alike; and yet very few faces de
or a shuffle. “If a man,” said Johnson, " hops viate very widely from the common standard.
on one leg, Foote can hop on one leg." GarAmong the eighteen hundred thousand human
rick, on the other hand, could seize those differbeings who inhabit London there is not one who
ences of manner and pronunciation which, could be taken by his acquaintance for another;
though highly characteristic, are yet too slight yet we may walk from Paddington to Mile End
to be described. Foote, we have no doubt, without seeing one person in whom any feature
could have made the Haymarket theatre shake is so overcharged that we turn round to stare at
with laughter by imitating a conversation beit. An infinite number of varieties lies between
tween a Scotchman and a Somersetshireman. limits which are not very far asunder. The
But Garrick could have imitated a conversation specimens which pass those limits on either side
between two fashionable men, both models of form a very small minority.
the best breeding, Lord Chesterfield, for exIt is the same with the characters of men.
ample, and Lord Albemarle, so that no person Here, too, the variety passes all enumeration.
could doubt which was which, although no But the cases in which the deviation from the
person could say that, in any point, either Lord common standard is striking and grotesque, are Chesterfield or Lord Albemarle spoke or moved very few. In one mind avarice predominates; otherwise than in conformity with the best usages in another, pride; in a third, love of pleasure ; l of the best society. just as in one countenance the nose is the most
LORD MACAULAY: marked feature, while in others the chief ex
Madame D'Arblay, Jan. 184.3. pression lies in the brow, or in the lines of the mouth. But there are very few countenances Insensibility, in return for acts of seeming, in which nose, brow, and mouth do not con- even of real, unkindness, is not required of us. tribute, though in unequal degrees, to the gen. But, whilst we feel for such acts, let our feelings. eral effect; and so there are very few characters | be tempered with sorbearance and kindness.
Let not the sense of our own sufferings render wrong ought to be exactly the same whether us peevish and morose. Let not our sense of the wrong was done to you or to any one else. neglect on the part of others induce us to judge A man who has cheated or slandered you is of them with harshness and severity. Let us neither more nor less a cheat and a slanderer be indulgent and compassionate towards them. than if it had been some other person, a stranger Let us seek for apologies for their conduct. Let to you. This is evident; yet there is great need us be forward in endeavouring to excuse them to remind people of it; for, as the very lowest And if, in the end, we must condemn them, let minds of all regard with far the most disapprous look for the cause of their delinquency, less bation any wrong from which they themselves in a defect of kind intention than in the weak. suffer, so, those a few steps, and only a few, ness and errors of human nature. He who above them, in their dread of such manifest inknoweth of what we are made, and hath learned, justice, think they cannot bend the twig too far by what he himself suffered, the weakness and the contrary way, and are for regarding (in thefrailty of our nature, hath thus taught us to make ory, at least, if not in practice) wrongs to oneself compassionate allowances for our brethren, in as no wrongs at all. Such a person will reckon consideration of its manifold infirmities.
it a point of heroic generosity to let loose on BISHOP MANT. society a rogue who has cheated him, and to
leave uncensured and unexposed a liar by whom Health and sickness, enjoyment and suffering, | he has been belied; and the like in other cases. riches and poverty, knowledge and ignorance, | And if you refuse favour and countenance to power and subjection, liberty and bondage, civ- I those unworthy of it, whose misconduct has at ilization and barbarity, have all their offices and all affected you, he will at once attribute this to duties : all serve for the formation of character. I personal vindictive feelings; as if there could be
PALEY. | no such thing as esteem and disesteem. I have lived a sinful life, in all sinful callings;
WHATELY: for I have been a soldier, a captain, a sea-cap
Annot. on Bacon's Essay, Of Revenge. tain, and a courtier, which are all places of
These two things, contradictory as they may wickedness and vice. Sir W. RALEIGH. I
LEIGH. seem, must go together,-manly dependence and There is no man at once either excellently manly independence, manly reliance and manly good or extremely evil, but grows either as he self-reliance.
WORDSWORTH. holds himself up in virtue or lets himself slide to viciousness.
Sir P. SIDNEY. As a man thinks or desires in his heart, such,
CHARITY. indeed, he is; for then most truly, because most | It instils into their minds the utmost virulence. incontrollably, he acts himself. SOUTH. instead of that charity which is the perfection Everything in Asia-public safety, national and ornament of religion.
ADDISON. honour, personal reputation--rests upon the What we employ in charitable uses during our force of individual character. ... The officer lives is given away from ourselves : what we who forgets that he is a gentleman does more bequeath at our death is given from others only, harm to the moral influence of this country than
as our nearest relations. ATTERBURY. ten men of blameless life can do good. LORD STANLEY:
Let us remember those that want necessaries, To the Students at Addiscombe | as we ourselves should have desired to be re
membered had it been our sad lot to subsist on It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there other men's charity.
ATTERBURY. is a vein of gold which the owner knows not of.
Even the wisdom of God hath not suggested SWIFT.
more pressing motives, more powerful incentives If things were once in this train,-if virtue to charity, than these, that we shall be judged were established as necessary to reputation, and by it at the last dreadful day. vice not only loaded with infamy, but made the
ATTERBURY. infallible ruin of all men's pretensions, our
The smallest act of charity shall stand us in duty would take root in our nature.
How shall we then wish that it might be alHe whose life seems fair, yet if all his errors
lowed us to live over our lives again, in order to and follies were articled against him the man
fill every minute of them with charitable offices ! would seem vicious and miserable. JEREMY TAYLOR,
ATTERBURY. In common discourse we denominate persons
Charity is more extensive than either of the
two other graces, which centre ultimately in our. and things according to the major part of their
selves : for we believe and we hope for our own character: he is to be called a wise man who
sakes; but love, which is a more disinterested has but few follies.
DR. I. Watts.
principle, carries us out of ourselves into desires It is worth mentioning, that your judgment and endeavours of promoting the interests of of any one's character who has done anything I other beings.