페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

countries with his parents, and got acquainted which pleases at all times, and delights all kinds with all the principal philosophers of his time, of of men. For when men of different pursuits, whom the most distinguished were Ammonius Sac- modes of life, inclinations, ages, and reasoning cas, Origen, Plotinus, and Amelius. He then set-powers, all unite in admiration of a particular tled at Athens, where he collected a large number work, then this united assent, and combination of of pupils, to whose instruction he devoted himself so many different judgments, stamps a high and with such zeal that he had little time for the com- unequivocal value on that work which meets with position of any literary production. Towards the such admiration, end of his life he travelled to the East, and was induced to remain at Palmyra in the service of Queen GREATEST THOUGHTS UTTERED BY THE GREATZenobia. He encouraged her to assert her inde

' EST SOULS. pendence, and is said to have dictated a spirited! For it is impossible for those who have low, letter to the Emperor Aurelian, renouncing the al- mean, and grovelling ideas, and who have spent legiance of the Romans. When Aurelian took the their lives in mercenary employments, to produce city of Palmyra, A.D. 273, Longinus was given up anything worthy of admiration, or to be a posto the Romans, who ordered him to be executed, session for all times. Grand and dignified exa fate to which he submitted with the utmost firm- pressions must be looked for from those, and those ness. Of all his works, which were numerous, all alone, whose thoughts are ever employed on that has come down to us consists of a consider-glorious and noble objects. able part of his work “On the Sublime."

LET THERE BE LIGHT. IN WHAT DOES MAN MOST RESEMBLE THE GODS ? In the same way the Jewish lawgiver, a man of

For well did Pythagoras answer the question, no ordinary genius, when he had conceived in his “In what do we most resemble the gods?” when mind a just idea of the grandeur of the Supreme he replied, “In doing good and speaking truth.” Being, has given expression to it in noble lan

So Proverbs (xiv. 22)—“Mercy and truth be to them that de guage, in the beginning of his work containing vise good;” and Ephesians (ví. 14)—“Stand, having your loins His laws:-“ And God said,” “What?" “Let girt about with truth;” and Psalms (xcviü. 3)—"He hath re- there be light: and there was light. Let the membered His mercy and His truth."

earth be: and the earth was.” THE SUBLIME.

So Genesis (i. 3)—“And God said, Let there be light: and

there was light." But the sublime, when it is introduced at a seasonable moment, has often carried all before it

HOMER. with the rapidity of lightning, and shown at a So that, in the Odyssey, we may liken Homer glance the mighty power of genius.

with justice to the setting sun, whose glory, in

deed, still remains, though the excessive heat of GENIUS,

his beams has abated. Genius may at times want the spur, but it stands as often in need of the curb.

SUBLIME SPIRIT OF THE ANCIENTS.

In like manner, from the sublime and lofty FROM THE SUBLIME TO THE RIDICULOUS.

spirit of the ancients there flow certain emana· Little by little we depart from the terrible and tions, like vapors from

the terrible and tions, like vapors from the sacred vents, which reach the ridiculous.

penetrate imperceptibly into the breasts of imita(Napoleon adopted this idea when he said, “There is only a tors

tors, inspiring those who are not distinguished

inspiring those step from the sublime to the ridiculous '']

for genius with the fire and vigor of others. GREAT ATTEMPTS.

FEELINGS OF AN AUTHOR RESPECTING HIS WORK. They call to remembrance the maxim, that “In

For if any man, at the very moment he is comgreat attempts 'tis glorious e'en to fall."

| posing a work, should be filled with dread lest he PUERILITY.

should be producing what will not live beyond his

own life and time, it must necessarily be that the What is the idea implied in puerility? Why, it labors of such a man, who feels so little confiis certainly nothing more than the expressions and

dence in himself that he cannot look forward to ideas that naturally occur to a schoolboy, and

the esteem and applause of succeeding ages, which become flat and insipid from being over

should be imperfect and abortive. wrought. And those persons are apt to fail in this particular who, aiming at an over-subtle, accurate,

FANOY IN ORATORY. and, above all, a sweet style, imperceptibly degen- What, then, is the use of allowing full play to erate into vulgar language and frothy affectation. the fancy in oratory? It is, perhaps, that it en

ables us to make our speeches impassioned and WHAT IS REALLY SUBLIME ?

full of vigor. That is really grand and sublime which, the more we consider, the more difficult, nay, I would say

IT IS AN ART TO CONCEAL ART. impossible, it is to withstand; the impression of For art may then be termed perfect and comwhich sinks so deep, and is so engraven on the plete, when it seems to be nature; and nature mind, that it cannot be effaced. In a word, you then is most successful, when she conceals what may pronounce that to be truly and really sublime aid she receives from art.

WHAT NATURE DESIGNED MAN FOR.

MENANDER. Nature never meant man to be a low, grovel.

BORN B.C. 342-DIED B.C. 291. ling creature; but, placing him in the world, as in a wide and crowded theatre, intended that he

ontre intended that he MENANDER, the most celebrated poet of the new should be the spectator of her mighty works, giv-comedy, was a native of Athens, son of Diopeithes ing him an eager desire for every honorable pur and Hegesistrate, flourishing in the time of the suit. From the first moment of his birth, she

successors of Alexander. He was born the same implanted in his soul an inextinguishable love for year his father commanded the Athenian forces all that is good and noble, and a constant longing

on the Hellespont, against Philip of Macedon. to approach nearer to the Divine nature.

He was educated under the eye of his paternal

uncle, Alexis, the comic poet, and received inFREE GOVERNMENT THE NURSE OF GENIUS.

struction from Theophrastus, the philosopher.

He was the intimate friend of Epicurus, enjoyed Must we at last give credit to that common ob- the friendship of Demetrius Phalereus, and was servation so highly praised, that free government | greatly admired by the first Greek king of Egypt, is the true nurse of genius, and that in such a Ptolemy, the son of Lagus. He is said to have state alone do perfect orators flourish, and with been drowned while he was swimming in the harit decline or die? For Liberty, it is said, is alone bor of Peiræeus, near which he had an estate. fitted to bring out the noble thoughts of men of Notwithstanding his fame as a poet, his public genius, filling them with hopes of success, with a dramatic career, during his lifetime, was not generous emulation and desire for victory. And particularly successful; for, though he composed above all, as the labors of orators are nobly re-upwards of a hundred comedies, he only gained warded in free states, it brings into full play the the prize eight times. innate powers of their mind, which are sharpened and polished by constant practice; and the free

THE BACHELOR IS HAPPY. dom of their thoughts, as might be expected, Happy am I, who have no wife. shines forth clearly in the liberty of their debates.

CHILDREN TO BE BOUND TO YOU BY GENTLENESS. SLAVERY.

We ought to lead our child to the right path,

not by severity, but by persuasion. Slavery, however easy may be its chains, cannot be altogether divested of its bitterness, and can

THE RELATIVES OF THE POOR. only be regarded as a prison of the soul, and al. It is difficult to discover the relatives of a poor public dungeon.

man, for no one likes to acknowledge his relation

ship with one who is in want, lest he should be LOVE OF MONEY AND LOVE OF PLEASURE.

asked for assistance. For love of money is the disease which renders

THE POOR. us most pitiful and grovelling, and love of pleasure

The poor man is full of fears, and imagines himis that which renders us most despicable.

self despised by all mankind. The man who enjoys only a moderate fortune is apt to look on the dark

side of life. LUCIAN

THE POOR. LUCIAN, a classic satirist and humorist of the

irist and humorist of the Whoever first discovered the means to support first merit, was born at Samorata, in Syria, in the

the poor increased the number of the miserable; early part of the second century of our era.

for it would have been more simple for the man

who could not live happily to die. THE WORLD TO COME.

A DAUGHTER. Dost thou not know what punishment awaits the A daughter is an embarrassing and ticklish poswicked after this life, and in what happiness the session. good live?

So Sheridan (“The Duenna,” act i. sc. 3) So Matthew (XV. 46)." And these shall go away into ever

“If a daughter you have, she's the plague of your life, lasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

No peace shall you know, though you've buried your wife!
At twenty she mocks at the duty you taught her-

Oh, what a plague is an obstinate daughter!"
MEN KNOW NOT THE TRUTH.
As they are men, they know not the truth.

HAIL, FATHERLAND.

Hail, beloved land! I embrace thee, seeing thee So Ephesians (iv. 8)—“Having the understanding darkened after a long time; for it is not every land I so adbecause of the blindness of their hearts.

dress, but only when I see my own; for what supGOD IS OMNISCIENT.

ports me with food, that I regard as a god. .

So Scott (" Lay of the Last Minstrel," can. vi. st. 1) When thou committest a sin, thou mayest per

"Breathes there the man with soul so dead, haps conceal it from men, but thou wilt not con

Who never to himself has saidceal it from God, however much thou strivest.

This is my own, my native land ?"

A PROPHET.

LOVE.

FIGHT NOT AGAINST GOD. Love blinds all men, both those who act reasona

Fight not against the decrees of God, nor add bly and those who act foolishly.

other annoyances to the occurrences of life; bear

patiently whatever happens. HABITS.

So Acts (v. 20)—"We ought to obey God rather than man." For habits are never to be neglected.

THE ILLS OF FORTUNE.
THE EVENTS OF LIFE.

The noble ought to bear with patience the evils

of life which Fortune brings upon them, when Man must be prepared for every event. of life, or

they have not themselves to blame. for there is nothing that is durable.

EVIL COMMUNICATIONS.
SON AND DAUGHTER.

Evil communications corrupt good manners. A wise son is a delight to his father, while a daughter is a troublesome possession.

So Proverbs (x. 1)——“A wise son maketh a glad father; but The wisest man is the best prophet and coun. a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother."

sellor. GOD.

PRUDENCE. All places are the temple of God, for it is the

Prudence and forethought are the origin of mind which prays to God.

much that is good, if they be applied to a proper So Acts (vii. 48)-"Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in obiect. temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye

IMPRUDENCE. build mo ! saith the Lord; or what is the place of my rest ? Hath not my hand made all these things ?"

It requires little exertion on our part to bring

misfortune upon ourselves. HOW THE CHARACTER OF MAN IS KNOWN.

KNOW THYSELF. The character of man is known from his conversation.

In many things thou dost not well to say,

“Know thyself;" for it would be better to say, THE WISH IS FATHER TO THE THOUGHT. “ Know others.” He who sees and expects only what he wishes

THE SLUGGARD. is a foolish judge of what is true.

A procrastinator, born merely to consume the So Shakespeare (“King Henry IV.," part iii., act iv., sc. 4)—

fruits of the earth; a miserable wretch; a useless “Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought."

| being on earth, acknowledging that he has been RICHES.

brought up in vain. Riches are blind, and render men blind who set

INDUSTRY. their affections upon them.

Who can be happy without strenuous labor? ANNOYANCES OF LIFE.

FOLLY. In everything thou wilt find annoyances, but It is not in the power of a foolish person to esthou oughtest to consider whether the advantages cape misfortune. do not predominate.

80 Proverbs (X. 10)—“A prating fool shall fall;" and (xxvii. TO DIE YOUNG.

22)—“Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar." He whom the gods love dies young.

GOOD RESULTS.

That which turns out well is better than any EVERY DIFFICULTY IS OVERCOME BY LABOR.

law. He who labors diligently need never despair. We can accomplish everything by diligence and

CHANCE. labor.

Chance is, as it seems, a kind of god, for it preWHAT IS UNEXPECTED.

serves many things which we do not observe. I have not been unfortunate, whence I might

THE JUST have expected; but all things that are unexpected No just man has ever become suddenly rich. cause surprise.

ADVERSITY.
A MODEST ASSURANCE NECESSARY.

No one ought ever to despond in adverse circumThy modesty, if thou art of grave demeanor, stances, for they may turn out to be the cause of will appear suitable in the eyes of the world, my good to us. friend; if thou humblest thyself, and makest little

So Job (v. 17)—“Behold, happy is the man whom God cor of thyself, this is thought a just despising of recteth; therefore despise not thou the chastening of the thyself.

Almighty;" and Hebrews (xii. 6)"For whom the Lord lov

eth."

eth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receive ||

MAN. 80 Shakespeare (“As You Like It," act. ii., sc. 1)

I maintain that he is most happy who, after con"Sweet are the uses of adversity;

templating at his ease those beautiful objects of Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,

nature, the sun, stars, water, clouds, fire, has deWears yet a precious jewel in his head."

parted speedily to the home whence he came. And “ Measure for Measure," (act. iv., sc. 6)

Whether he live a hundred years or a few, he will “ 'Tis a physic

always have the same objects before him. ConThat's bitter to sweet end."

sider, therefore, the time of which I speak to be

merely the place of meeting and sojourning KNOW THYSELF.

for men, where we meet together, traffic, are That saying, “Know thyself,” has this meaning, cheated, gamble, and amuse ourselves. If thou that thou get acquainted with thy own abilities, departest early, thou wilt enjoy the better fate; and with what thou art able to accomplish. thou hast gone furnished with provisions for the

way, hated by no one. He who remains a longer THE POOR.

time in the world, after all his labors, at last The poor are always considered to be under the

comes to an end, and, reaching a miserable old

age, finds himself in want of everything. Roampeculiar care of the gods.

ing about, he finds enemies, who lay snares for So Psalms (lxix. 33)_" For the Lord heareth the poor, and, despiseth not His prisoners."

him: having at last come to an end, the spirit

parts from the body with great difficulty. THE CONTINGENCIES OF FORTUNE.

LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. It does not become any living man to say, “ This

Cease to lean on your own understanding, for will not happen to me."

the wisdom of man is nothing else but the dicTHE GOOD ARE KNOWN BY A BLUSH. tates of chance, whether that be considered Divine

inspiration or pure intellect. It is this that rules, Whoever blushes seems to be good.

turns, and preserves all things, while the wisdom So Young (Night vi., 1. 496)

of man is mere smoke and idle talk; believe what “The man that blushes is not quite a brute," I say, and you will not have cause to blame me.

All things that we do or meditate are the results THE HONORABLE.

of chance, though we ascribe them to our own A good and honorable character is a safe provi- wisdom. Chance directs all things: we ought to sion for every event and every turn of fortune. call this, whether intellect or forethought, as the

only goddess, unless we foolishly take pleasure in GOD.

vain appellations. God takes particular care of the good.

So Proverbs (üi. 5)—"Lean not unto thine own understand

ing." COUNTRY LIFE.

TRUTH. Men are taught virtue and a love of independence by living in the country.

To speak the truth is always the best policy;

this I maintain to be the safest course in life. PLEASURE AND PAIN CLOSELY UNITED.

WOMAN. There is no pleasure of life, sprouting like a tree from one root. but there is some pain closely Of all wild beasts on earth or in sea, the greatjoined to it; and, again, nature brings good out of est is a woman. evil.

SOCIAL LIFE.
THE PAINS OF LIFE.

How pleasant is life if you live with those with If thou expungest from life all that part which whom you think you should live, and not merely thou passest unhappily, it reduces life to a small for yourself! infinitesimal fragment.

THE WICKED.
A SERVANT.

If we were all eager to resist the man who inIt is safest for a servant to do what be is order- flicted injury, and were ready to bring aid, regarded, as the proverb says.

ing any injury done as done to ourselves, and if

we were prepared to assist each other, there would PLEASANT AT TIMES TO PLAY THE FOOL.

be less mischief done by the bad; for when these It is not always suitable to be wise; to play the men found that they were watched and properly fool in some things is proper.

punished, they would either be few in number, or So Ecclesiastes (iii. 4)—“A time to mourn and a time to

and a time to would disappear altogether. dance."

FRIENDS.
TRUTH.

Not only are the riches of friends common propTruth when not sought after, sometimes comes erty, but their wisdom and forethought also to light.

Tought to be so.

HEIGHT OF IMPUDENCE.

THE PURSE-PROUD. The man who cannot blush, and who has no When thou seest a man elated with pride glory. feelings of fear, has reached the acme of impu-l ing in his riches and high descent, rising even dence.

above fortune, look out for his speedy punishment,

for he is only raised the higher that he may fall IGNORANCE.

with a heavier crash. There is nothing more daring than ignorance.

WHO KNOWS THE FUTURE.
UNFORESEEN MISFORTUNE.

The proud and supercilious are like fools when

they say, “I shall think of it by and by;" for Ah me! unforeseen misfortune is apt to bring on

since thou art mortal, how dost thou know that madness.

thou wilt have time to consider anything, miseraGOOD HEALTH.

ble even in the midst of prosperity ? For thy fort

une, of its own accord, even while thou sleepest, In good health we are ready to give advice to

sometimes is improving, and again goes to wreck. the sick.

THE MOTE IN OUR BROTHER'S EYE.
LOVERS.

No one sees his own faults, but is lynx-eyed to
The wrath of lovers lasts only a short time. those of his neighbor.
LAW.

So Luke (vi. 41)—“And why beholdest thou the mote that

is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in Law when kept is nothing else but law; whereas thine own eye ?” law broken is both law and executioner.

CONSCIENCE.
LAW.

The man who is conscious to himself of crime, If thou respect the law, thou wilt not be terrified even though he be of the boldest nature, becomes by the law.

a coward.

So Shakespeare ("Hamlet," act iii., sc. 1)
LAW.

“Thus conscience does make cowards of us all." Do not first suffer the punishment of the law,

SILENCE. and then learn its nature; but, before thou suffer, anticipate it by thy respect for it.

Nothing is more useful to man than silence. FALSEHOOD AND TRUTH.

A WORD SPOKEN.

It is as easy to draw back a stone throwp with It is better to prefer falsehood to truth when it force from the hand as to recall a word once is injurious.

spoken. MUTUAL ASSISTANCE.

GOODNESS OF DISPOSITION. If we gave assistance to each other, no one How sweet is goodness of disposition when temwould be in want of fortune.

pered with wisdom!

WICKEDNESS.

GOODNESS OF DISPOSITION. Wickedness does not act according to reason. By Minerva, goodness of disposition and honesty

of character are happy possessions and a wonderABUSING THE GOOD THINGS OF LIFE. ful provision for life. Conversing with such a For he who abuses the good things of life is a

man, even for a short time, I become well inclined

to him. Some will say, in opposition to this, that senseless being and not happy.

it is eloquence, particularly of the wise, that inINJURE NO MAN.

spires confidence. Why, then, do I curse others

who are equally eloquent? It is not so, but it is Do injury to no man.

the character of the speaker, and not merely his THE PLAUSIBLE.

words, that persuades us to feel confidence in

what is said.
The plausible has sometimes greater power than
the truth, and more influence over the multitude.

THE ENVIOUS.
A LIE.

The envious man is an enemy to himself, for his

mind is always spontaneously occupied with its Every wise and honorable man hates a lie.

own unhappy thoughts. So Proverbs (xiii. 5)—“A righteous man hateth lying."

ENVY.
A LIAR.

O young man, thou dost not seem to me to be No liar long escapes discovery.

aware that everything is deteriorated by its own So Proverbs (xix. 5)—"He that speaketh lies shall not es- imperfections, and that what hurt

imperfections, and that what hurts comes from within. Thus rust corrodes iron, if thou rightly

cape."

« 이전계속 »