ePub 版


never but in cases of necessity: affability, mildness, tenderness, and a word which I would fain bring back to its original signification of virtue,-I mean good-nature, are of daily use; they are the bread of mankind, and staff of life.



True courage but from opposition grows;
And what are fifty, what a thousand slaves,
Match'd to the sinew of a single arm
That strikes for liberty?


True courage is not the brutal force
Of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve
Of virtue and of reason. He who thinks
Without their aid to shine in deeds of arms,
Builds on a sandy basis his renown;
A dream, a vapour, or an ague-fit,
May make a coward of him.


True courage has so little to do with anger, that there lies always the strongest suspicion against it, where this passion is highest. True courage is cool and calm. The bravest of men have the least of a brutal bullying insolence; and in the very time of danger are found the most serene, pleasant, and free. Rage, we know, can make a coward forget himself and fight. But what is done in fury or anger can never be placed to the account of Shaftesbury.


[blocks in formation]



And helter-skelter have I rode to thee;
And tidings do I bring, and lucky joys,
And golden times, and happy news of price.

COURTESY-Illustrious Example of.

I would that you would all read, ladies, and consider well, the traits of an opposite character which have just come to light (to me, I am ashamed to say, for the first time) in the biography of Sidney Smith. The love and admiration which that truly brave and loving man won from every one, rich or poor, with whom he came in contact, seems to me to have arisen from the one fact that, without perhaps having any such conscious intention, he treated rich and poor, his own servants and the noblemen his guests, alike, and alike courteously, considerately, cheerfully, affectionately; so leaving a blessing, and reaping a blessing, wheresoever he went. Kingsley.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

COVETOUSNESS-Servitude of.

The covetous man is a downright servant, a man condemned to work in mines, which is the lowest and hardest condition of servitude; and, to increase his misery, a worker there for he knows not whom: "He heapeth up riches, and knows not who shall enjoy them;" it is only sure that he himself neither shall nor can enjoy them. He is an indigent, needy slave; he will hardly allow himself clothes and boardwages; he defrauds not only other men, but his own genius; he cheats himself for money. But the servile and miserable condition of this wretch is so apparent, that I leave it, as evident to every man's sight as well as judg ment. Cowley.

COWARD-Character of the.

Bold at the council-board; But cautious in the field, he shunn'd the sword. Dryden.

A coward; a most devout coward: religious in it. Shakspeare.

I know him a notorious liar,
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Look bleak in the cold wind.

Rich people who are covetous are like the cypress tree: they may appear well, but are fruitless; so rich persons have the means to be generous, yet some are not so; but they should consider they are only trustees for what they

COWARD-Contempt for the.

Milk-liver'd man,

possess, and should show their wealth to be | That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrong,

[blocks in formation]

COWARD-Kindness of the.

A coward is the kindest animal; 'Tis the most forgiving creature in a fight. Dryden.

CREATION-Beauties of.

Doth not the pleasantness of this place carry in itself sufficient reward for any time lost in it? Do you not see how all things conspire together to make the country a heavenly dwelling? Do you not see the blades of grass, how in colour they excel the emerald, every one striving to pass his fellow, and yet they are all kept of an equal height! And see you not the rest of those beautiful flowers, each of which would require a man's wit to know, and his life to express! Do not these stately trees seem to maintain their flourishing old age, with the only happiness of their being clothed with a continued spring, because no beauty here should ever fade? Doth not the air breathe health, which the birds, delightful both to ear and eye, do daily solemnize with the sweet concert of their voices? Is not every echo thereof a perfect music? and those fresh and delightful brooks, how slowly they slide away, as loth to leave the company of so many things united in perfection, and with how sweet a murmur they lament their forced Drake, 1629. departure !

We cannot look around us, without being struck by the surprising variety and multiplicity of the sources of Beauty of Creation, produced by form, or by colour, or by both united. It is scarcely too much to say, that every object in nature, animate or inanimate, is in some manner beautiful, so largely has the Creator provided for our pleasures through the sense of sight. It is rare to see anything which is in itself distasteful, or disagreeable to the eye, or repulsive: while on this, however, they are alone entitled to pronounce who have cultivated the faculty in question; since, like every other quality of mind as of body, it is left to ourselves to improve that, of which the basis has been given to us, as the means of cultivating it have been placed in our power.


May I not also say, that this beauty has been conferred, in wisdom, as in beneficence? It is one of the revelations which the Creator has made of Himself to man. He was to be admired and loved: it was through the demonstrations of His character that we could alone see Him and judge of Him: and in thus inducing or compelling us to admire and love the visible works of His hand, He has taught us to love and adore Himself. This is the great lesson which the beauty of creation teaches, in addition to the pleasure which it affords; but, for this, we must cultivate that simpie, and surely amiable piety, which learns to view the Father of the Universe in all the works of that universe. Such is the lesson taught by that certainly reasonable philosophy which desires to unite what men have too much

laboured to dissever; a state of mind which is easily attainable, demands no effort of feeling beyond that of a simple and good heart, and needs not diverge into a weak and censurable enthusiasm. Much therefore is he to be pitied or condemned, who has not cultivated this faculty in this manner: who is not for ever looking round on creation, in feeling and in search of those beauties; that he may thus bend in gratitude and love before the Author of all Beauty. Macculloch.

CREATION-Diversity of.


The ever-varying brilliancy and grandeur of the landscape, and the magnificence of the sky, sun, moon, and stars, enter more tensively into the enjoyment of mankind than we, perhaps, ever think, or can possibly apprehend, without frequent and extensive investigation. This beauty and splendour of the objects around us, it is ever to be remembered, is not necessary to their existence, nor to what we commonly intend by their usefulIt it therefore to be regarded as source of pleasure, gratuitously superinduced upon the general nature of the objects themselves, and in this light, as a testimony of the divine goodness, peculiarly affecting. Dwight.



[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

He formed mirrors of the atoms of the world, And He cast a reflection from His own face ou every atom!

[ocr errors]


To Thy clear-seeing eye whatsoever is fair
When thou regardest it aright, is a reflection
from His face.
Sir William Jones.
CREATION-Wisdom displayed in the.
We are raised by science to an under-
standing of the infinite wisdom and goodness
which the Creator has displayed in all His
works. Not a step can we take in any direc-
tion without perceiving the most extraordinary
traces of design; and the skill everywhere
conspicuous is calculated in so vast a propor-
tion of instances to promote the happiness of
living creatures, and especially of ourselves,
that we feel no hesitation in concluding, that
if we knew the whole scheme of Providence,
every part would appear to be in harmony
with a plan of absolute benevolence. Inde
pendently, however, of this most consoling in-
ference, the delight is inexpressible of being

able to follow the marvellous works of the Great Author of nature, and to trace the unbounded power and exquisite skill which are exhibited by the most minute, as well as the mightiest parts of His system. Brougham.

CREATOR-Infinite Wisdom of the.

Researches into the springs of natural bodies and their motions, should awaken us to admiration at the wondrous wisdom of our Creator, in all the works of nature. Watts.

Wonderful indeed are all His works.
Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all
Had in remembrance always with delight;
But what created mind can comprehend
Their number, or the wisdom infinite
That brought them forth, but hid their causes



I saw when at His word the formless mass,
The world's material mould, came to a heap;
Confusion heard His voice, and wild uproar
Stood ruled, stood vast infinitude confined;
Till at His second bidding darkness fled,
Light shone, and order from disorder sprung:
Swift to their several quarters hasted then
The cumbrous elements, earth, flood. air, fire;
And this ethereal quintessence of heaven
Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
That roll'd orbicular, and turn'd to stars
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they


Each had his place appointed, each his course;
The rest in circuit walls this universe. Milton.

[blocks in formation]

CREEDS-succeed according to Truth.

Not a flower

Mahomet's creed we call a kind of Chris

But shows some touch, in freckle, streak, or tianity. The truth of it is imbedded in portentous error and falsehood; but the truth of


« 上一頁繼續 »