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is not now a system, an entire table of coherent truths to be found, or a frame of holiness, but some shivered parcels. And if any, with great toil and labor, apply themselves to draw out here one piece, and there another, and set them together, they serve rather to show how exquisite the divine workmanship was in the original composition, than for present use to the excellent purposes for which the wholɛ first designed.
GILBERT BURNET. 1643-1715. (Manual, p. 262.)
168. CHARACTER OF WILLIAM III.
He had a thin and weak body, was brown-haired, and of a clear and delicate constitution. He had a Roman eagle nose, bright and sparkling eyes, a large front, and a countenance composed to gravity and authority. All his senses were critical and exquisite. He was always asthmatical; and the dregs of the small-pox falling on his lungs, he had a constant deep cough. His behavior was solemn and serious, seldom cheerful, and but with a few. He spoke little, and very slowly, and most commonly with a disgusting dryness, which was his character at all times, except in a day of battle; for then he was all fire, though without passion. He was then everywhere, and looked to everything. He had no great advantage from his education. De Witt's discourses were of great use to him; and he, being apprehensive of the observation of those who were looking narrowly into everything he said or did, had brought himself under an habitual caution that he could never shake off, though, in another sense, it proved as hurtful as it was then necessary to his affairs. He spoke Dutch, French, English, and German equally well; and he understood the Latin, Spanish, and Italian; so that he was well fitted to command armies composed of several nations. He had a memory that amazed all about him, for it never failed him. He was an exact observer of men and things. His strength lay rather in a true discerning and sound judgment than in imagination or invention. designs were always great and good; but it was thought he trusted too much to that, and that he did not descend enough to the humors of his people to make himself and his notions more acceptable to them. This, in a government that has so much of freedom in it as olis, was more necessary than he was inclined to believe. His re. seredness grew on him; so that it disgusted most of those who served him. But he had observed the errors of too much talking more than those of too cold a silence. He did not like contradiction, sor to have his actions censured; but he loved to employ and favor those who had the arts of complaisance; yet he did not love flatterers. His genius lay chiefly in war, in which his courage was more admired than his conduct. Great errors were often committed by hum; but his heroical ccurage set things right, as it inflamed those
who were about him. He was too lavish of money on some occa sions, both in his buildings and to his favorites; but too sparing it rewarding services, or in encouraging those who brought intelligence. He was apt to take ill impressions of people, and these stuck long with him; but he never carried them to indecent revenges. He gave too much way to his own humor almost in everything, not excepting that which related to his own health. He knew all foreign affairs ell, and understood the state of every court in Europe very particuaily. He instructed his own ministers himself; but he did not apply enough to affairs at home. He believed the truth of the Christian eligion very firmly, and he expressed a horror of atheism and blasphemy; and though there was much of both in his court, yet it was always denied to him and kept out of his sight. He was most exemplarily decent and devout in the public exercises of the worship of God; only on week days he came too seldom to them. He was an attentive hearer of sermons, and was constant in his private prayers and in reading the Scriptures; and when he spoke of religious matters, which he did not often, it was with a becoming gravity. His indifference as to the forms of church government, and his being zealous for toleration, together with his cold behavior towards the clergy, gave them generally very ill impressions of him. In his deportment towards all about him, he seemed to make little distinction between the good and the bad, and those who served well or those who served him ill.
SIR ISAAC NEWTON. 1642-1727. (Manual, p. 260.)
FROM A "LETTER TO LOCKE."
169. EFFECT OF AN EXPERIMENT UPON Light.
The observation you mention with Boyle's book of colors, I once made upon myself, with the hazard of my eyes. The manner was this; I looked a very little while upon the sun in the looking-glass with my right eye, and then turned my eyes into a dark corner of my chamber, and winked, to observe the impression made, and the circles of colors which encompassed it, and how they decayed by degrees, and at last vanished. This I repeated a second and a third ¡ime.
At the third time, wher the phantasm of light and colors about was almost vanished, intending my fancy upon them to see their last appearance, I found to my amazement that they began to return, and by little and little to become as lively and vivid as when I had newly looked upon the sun. But when I ceased to intend my fancy upon them, they vanished again. After this I found, that as often as I went into the dark and intended my mind upon them, as when a man looks earnestly to see anything which is difficult to be seen, I could make the phantasm return without looking any more upon the
sun; and the oftener I made it return, the more easily I could make it return again. And at length, by only repeating this, without look ing any more upon the sun, I made such an impression on my eyes, that if I looked upon the clouds, or a book, or any bright object, I saw upon it a round bright shape like the sun; and, which is still stranger, though I looked on the sun with my right eye only, and not with my left, yet my fancy began to make the impression upon my left eye as well as upon my right; for if I shut my right eye, and looked upon a book or the clouds with my left eye, I could see the spectrum of the sun almost as plain as with my right eye, if I did but intend my fancy a little while upon it; for at first, if I shut my right eye, and looked with my left, the spectrum of the sun did not appear till I intended my fancy upon it; but by repeating, this appeared every time more easily; and now, in a few hours' time, I had brought my eyes to such a pass, that I could look upon no bright object with either eye but I saw the sun before me, so that I durst neither write nor read; but to recover the use of my eyes, shut myself up in my chamber, made dark, for three days together, and used all means to divert my imagination from the sun; for if I thought upon him, I presently saw his picture, though I was in the dark. But by keeping in the dark, and employing my mind about other things, I began in three or four days to have some use of my eyes again, and by forbearing a few days longer to look upon bright objects, recovered them pretty well; though not so well but that, for some months after, the spectrum of the sun began to return as often as I began to meditate upon the phenomenon, even though I lay in bed in midnight, with iny curtains drawn. But now I have been very well for many years, though I am apt to think, that if I durst venture my eyes, I could still make the phantasm return by the power oˆ my fancy.
POFE, SWIFT, AND THE POETS IN THE REIGNS OF QUEEN ANNK GEORGE I., AND GEORGE II.
ALEXANDER POPE. 1688-1744. (Manual, pp. 265-272;) 170. FROM THE ESSAY ON CRITICISM."
Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
She gives in large recruits of needful Pride!
What wants in blood and spirits, swelled with wind.
And fills up all the mighty void of sense.
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last:
But, those attained, we tremble to survey
SOUND AN ECHO TO THE SENSE.
"Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the maix,
171. FROM THE "ESSAY ON MAN."
THE SCALE OF BEING.
Far as Creation's ample range extends,
Remembrance and Reflection, how allied;