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Those people only will constantly trouble you with doing little offices for them, who least deserve you should do them any.


We are sometimes apt to wonder to see those people proud, who have done the meanest things; whereas a consciousness of having done poor things, and a shame of hearing of them, often make the composition we call pride.


An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie: for an excuse is a lie guarded.


Praise is like ambergris; a little whiff of it, and by snatches, is very agreeable; but when a man holds a whole lump of it to your nose, it is a stink, and strikes you down.


The general cry is against ingratitude, be sure the complaint is misplaced, it should be against vanity. None but direct villains are capable of wilful ingratitude; but almost every body is capable of thinking he has done more than another deserves, while the other thinks he has received less than he de



I never knew any man in my life, who could not bear another's misfortunes perfectly like a Christian.




Several explanations of casuists, to multiply the catalogue of sins, may be called amendments to the ten commandments.


It is observable that the ladies frequent tragedies more than comedies: the reason may be, that in tragedy their sex is deified and adored, in comedy exposed and ridiculed.


The character of covetousness is what a man generally acquires more through some niggardliness, or ill grace, in little and inconsiderable things, than expenses of any consequence. A very few pounds a year would ease that man of the scandal of avarice.



Some men's wit is like a dark lantern, which serves their own turn, and guides them their own way but is never known (according to the Scripture phrase) either to shine forth before men, or to glorify

their Father in Heaven.


It often happens that those are the best people, whose characters have been most injured by slanders; as we usually find that to be the sweetest fruit, which the birds have been pecking at.


The people all running to the capital city, is like a confluence of all the animal spirits to the heart; a symptom that the constitution is in danger.



The wonder we often express at our neighbours keeping dull company, would lessen, if we reflected, that most people seek companions less to be talked to than to talk.


Amusement is the happiness of those that cannot



Never stay dinner for a clergyman, who is to make a morning visit ere he comes, for he will think it his duty to dine with any greater man that asks him.


A contented man is like a good tennis-player, who never fatigues and confounds himself with running eternally after the ball, but stays till it comes to him.


Two things are equally unaccountable to reason, and not the object of reasoning; the wisdom of God, and the madness of man.


Many men, prejudiced early in disfavour of mankind by bad maxims, never aim at making friendships; and, while they only think of avoiding the evil, miss of the good that would meet them. They begin the world knaves, for prevention, while others only end so after disappointment.

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No woman hates a man for being in love with her; but many a woman hates a man for being a friend

to her.


The eye of a critick is often, like a microscope, made so very fine and nice, that it discovers the atoms, grains, and minutest particles, without ever comprehending the whole, comparing the parts, or seeing all at once the harmony.


A king may be a tool, a thing of straw; but if he serves to frighten our enemies, and secure our property, it is well enough: a scarecrow is a thing of straw, but it protects the corn.


The greatest things and the most praiseworthy, that can be done for the publick good, are not what require great parts, but great honesty therefore for a king to make an amiable character, he needs only to be a man of common honesty, well advised.


Notwithstanding the common complaint of the knavery of men in power, I have known no great mini ters, or men of parts and business, so wicked as their inferiours; their sense and knowledge preserve them from a hundred common rogueries; and when they become bad, it is generally more from the necessity of their situation, than from a natural bent to evil.

XCV. What


Whatever may be said against a premier or sole minister, the evil of such a one, in an absolute gɔvernment, may not be great: for it is possible, that almost any minister may be a better man than a king born and bred.


A man coming to the waterside is surrounded by all the crew: every one is officious, every one makes applications, every one offering his services; the whole bustle of the place seems to be only for him. The same man going from the waterside, no noise is made about him, no creature takes notice of him, all let him pass with utter neglect !-the picture of a minister when he comes into power, and when he goes out.

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