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THE BEAUTIFUL IN THE MIND ONLY. we practise," does not allow me to conceal that I I am of opinion that there is nothing of any kind take delight in it. so beautiful, but there is something still more
NECESSITY. beautiful, of which this is the mere image and expression--as a portrait is from a person's face-a|
The inventions dictated by necessity are of an something which can neither be perceived by the carne
by the earlier date than those of pleasure. eyes, the ears, nor any of the senses; we comprehend it merely in the thoughts of our minds.
WISDOM IN NOT THINKING THAT ONE KNOWS THAT
OF WHICH HE IS IGNORANT.
For this cause he imagined that Socrates was For there have been grandiloquent orators, so to called the wisest of men by Apollo, because all wisspeak, impressive and sonorous in their language, 1 dom consists in this, not to think that we know vehement, versatile, and copious; well trained and what we do not know. prepared to excite and turn the minds of their au- Voltaire in the “ Histoire d'un bon Bramin" says:dience. While the same effect has been produced “The Brahmin said to me one day: I should wish never ta by others, by a rude, rough, unpolished mode of
have been born. I asked him why. He answered: I have address, without finish or delicacy; others, again,
been studying for forty years: they are forty years lost. I am
teaching others, and I am ignorant of everything." have effected the same by smooth, well-turned pe The Earl of Sterline (Lond. fol. 1637, p. 7) says in his riods.
“Recreations with the Muses:"
" Yet all that I have learned (beinge toyles now past), NEAT ORATORS.
By long experience, and in famous schooles, On the other hand, there are orators of subtle
Is but to know my ignorance at last.
Who think themselves most wise are greatest fooles. ** and acute minds, well educated, making every subject which they treat clear, but adding little in reality to our knowledge, refined and correct in their
TRUTH AT THE BOTTOM OF A WELL. language. Among these some are crafty, but un Accuse nature, who has completely hid, as Depolished, and on purpose rude and apparently un-mocritus says, truth in the bottom of a well. skilful; while others exhibit more elegance in their barrenness and want of spirit—that is to say, they
Shakespeare (“Hamlet," act ii. 80. 2) says something to the are facetious, flowery in their language, and admit
“If circumstances lead me, I will find of a few ornaments.
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre." THE POWER OF THE VOICE DERIVED FROM THREE
This is not unlike what Æschylus (Supp. 1044) says: SOUNDS.
“Who is able to fathom with the eye the mind of mighty Wonderful indeed is the power of the voice
Jove, a vista, the depth of which cannot be reached."
There is a very pretty idea in “ Don Quixote," v. 10, which which, though consisting merely of three sounds
seems to refer to this proverbial expression:the bass, treble, and tenor-yet possesses great “Truth may be stretched out thinly, but there can be mo strength, and a sweet variety, as is shown in songs. rent, and it always gets above falsehood as oil does above
water." EXCESS OFFENDS MORE THAN FALLING SHORT.
PAINTERS. In everything we must consider how far we ought to go, for though everything has its proper Painters see many things in the shade and the medium, yet too much is more offensive than too | height which we do not see. little. Hence Apelles used to say, that those painters committed a fault who did not know what
THE SENSES. was enough.
In my opinion there is the greatest truth in the THE ELOQUENT MAN.
senses, if they are sound and strong, and if all
| things are removed which oppose and impede He is the eloquent man who can treat subjects of them an humble nature with delicacy, lofty things impressively, and moderate things temperately.
PAINTING. • IGNORANCE OF THE PAST.
The eyes are charmed by paintings, the ears by
music, Not to know what happened before one was born, is always to be a child.
REASON A LIGHT TO LIGHTEN OUR STEPS. IN GREAT ARTS THE HEIGHT DELIGHTS vs. Reason is as it were a light to lighten our steps For in all great arts, as in trees, it is the height and guide us through the journey of life. that charms us; we care nothing for the roots or trunks, yet it could not be without the aid of
Nothing is more delightful than the light of
truth. TO BE ASHAMED OF OUR PROFESSION. That very common verse which forbids us " to
LIKE AS TWO EGGS. be ashamed of speaking of the profession which! Like as two eggs, according to the proverb.
FALSEHOOD OFTEN BORDERS ON TRUTH.
MONEY. So close does falsehood approach to truth, that! Money is the creator of many pleasures. he wise man would do well not to trust himself in the narrow ledge.
Temperance is the moderating of one's desires THE CONTEMPLATION OF NATURE IS THE FOOD / in obedience to reason, OF THE MIND.
RARE THINGS. When we are contemplating and pondering on In every art, science, and we may say even in he works of nature, we are supplying, as it were, virtue itself, the best is most rarely to be found. is natural food to the mind: our thoughts assume loftier character, and we learn to look down on HUNGER BEST SEASONING FOR FOOD, what is buman; while we meditate on the vault!
| I hear Socrates saying that the best seasoning for
I hear Snor if heaven above, our own affairs appear petty food is hunger, for drink, thirst. nd contemptible; our mind derives delight from what is so sublime and inscrutable.
WHO CAN KNOW WHAT A DAY MAY BRING Bo Psalm vii. 4:
FORTH? * When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the Can any one find out how his body shall be, I do soon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man
| not say a year hence, but even at evening?
HIS DEEDS DIFFER FROM HIS WORDS.
His deeds do not agree with his words.
PAST LABORS. tion of virtue, when we are led to the performance
It is generally said “Past labors are pleasant.” of duty by pleasure as its recompense.
Euripides says, for you all know the Greek verse,
“The recollection of past labors is pleasant." THE EFFECT OF IGNORANCE. Through ignorance of what is good and what is
THE FICKLE AND TRIFLING. bad, the life of man is greatly perplexed.
Who does not hate the mean, the vain, the fickle,
and the trifling ? DEATH ALWAYS IMPENDING. Death approaches, which is always impending
MANKIND BORN FOR SOCIETY. over us, like the stone over Tantalus; then comes | We have been born to unite with our fellow-men, superstition, with which he, who is racked, can and to join in community with the human race. never have peace of mind.
So 1 John i. 7:
" But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have HOW WE ARE RELIEVED FROM SUPERSTITION. | fellowship one with another." When we know the nature of all things, we are LITERATURE NECESSARY TO THE MIND. relieved from superstition, freed from the fear of the multivation of the
The cultivation of the mind is a kind of food death, and not disturbed by ignorance of circum- supplied for the soul of man stances, from which often arise fearful terrors.
THE BEGINNINGS OF THINGS.
The beginnings of all things are small.
Justice is seen in giving every one his own. MAN BORN FOR TWO THINGS.
HABIT. Man has been born for two things-thinking and
Habit is as it were a second nature. acting. THE TRUTH.
ARTS CHERISHED BY RESPECT SHOWN TO THEM. Nature has inspired man with the desire of see- The honor shown to arts cherishes them, for all ing the truth.
are incited to their pursuit by fame; the arts
which are contemned by a people make always HOW BEAUTIFUL VIRTUE IF SHE COULD BE little progress. SEEN.
Moore says:What fervent love of herself would Virtue excite
" Where none admire, 'tis useless to excel; if she could be seen!
Where none are beaux, 'tis vain to be a belle.” Plato speaks (" Phedrus," c. 31 or 250 D.) in the same noble | PROPER EXPRESSION DOES NOT ALWAYS FOLLOW language:-For sight is the sharpest of our bodily senses,
CORRECT THOUGHT. though wisdom cannot be seen by it. How vehement would be the love she would inspire, if she came before our sight,
It may happen that a man may think rightly, 4 showed us any such clear image of hersell, and so would yet cannot express elegantly what he thinks. But all other lovable things.
that any one should commit his thoughts to writ
ing, who can neither arrange or explain them, nor
TO ERR WITH PLATO! amuse the reader, is the part of a man unreasona- By Hercules, I prefer to err with Plato, whom bly abusing both his leisure and learning.
| know how much you value, than to be right in the
company of such men. DEATH. I am unwilling to die, but I care not if I were
A PROFESSION. dead.
Let a man practise the profession which he bes
knows. WHILE I READ, I ASSENT. While I read, I assent; when I have laid down
THE TRUTH. the book, and have begun to meditate on the im- Nature has imbued our minds with an insatiabl mortality of the soul, all this feeling of acqui- desire to be acquainted with the true. escence vanishes.
THE SOUL IMPRISONED IN THE BODY. ANTIQUITY.
When I reflect on the nature of the soul, it Antiquity, the nearer it was to its divine origin, much more difficult for me to conceive what lik perhaps perceived more clearly what things were the soul is in the body, where it dwells as in true.
foreign land, than what like it must be when ALL NATIONS ACKNOWLEDGE A GOD.
has left the body and ascended to heaven, its ow
peculiar home. No nation is so barbarous, no one is so savage, whose mind is not imbued with some idea of the
idea of thel So 1 Chronicles xxix. 15:gods. Many entertain foolish ideas respecting
“For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as we 1100118 tdeas Tospecting all our fathers." them, yet all think that there is some divine power And Matthew xxv. 84:and nature:
“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom per So 1 John vi. 1:
pared for you from the foundation of the world." “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God."
THE MIND OF THE ASTRONOMER IS DIVINE.
The mind that has comprehended the revol LAW OF NATURE IS THE CONSENT OF ALL NATIONS. tions and the complicated movements of th
In everything the consent of all nations is re- heavenly bodies, has proved that it resembles the garded as the law of nature.
of the Being who bas fashioned and placed the
| in the vault of heaven. THE HUSBANDMAN PLANTS FOR POSTERITY.
PHILOSOPHY. The industrious husbandman plants trees, of
" Philosophy, the mother of all arts, what else i which he himself will never see a berry.
it, except, as Plato says, the gift, as I say, the it
vention, of the gods? It is she that has taugl TO DIE FOR ONE'S COUNTRY.
us first to worship them, next has instructed u Nobody could ever meet death in defence of his in the legal rights of mankind, which arise out country without the hope of immortality.
the social union of the human race, then ba
shown us the moderation and greatness of th THE POET.
mind; and she too has dispelled darkness from I fly from mouth to mouth, ever living.
the mind as from the eyes.
So Ecclesiastes ii. 28:-
“For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom There resides in the human breast, I know not and knowledge, and joy." how, a certain anticipation of future ages; this
THE SOUL. · exists and appears chiefly in the noblest spirits; if it were taken from us, who is there so mad as to Whatever that principle is which feels, cor lead a life of danger and anxiety?
ceives, lives, and exists, it is heavenly and divine
and therefore must be eternal. THE SOUL EXISTS BY CONSENT OF ALL NATIONS. So Romans v. 5:
“The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Hol As nature tells us, there are gods, and we know, Ghost, which is given unto us." by the understanding, what like they must be, so, by the consent of all nations, we believe that the
THE MIND, soul exists for eternity; but where it is to exist, Although thou art not able to see the mind a and of what nature it is, we must learn from the man, as thou seest not God, yet as thou recognis understanding.
est God from His works, so thou must acknowl
edge the divine power of the mind from its recol DIFFICULT TO RELIEVE THE MIND FROM THE
lection of past events, its powers of invention, from THRALDOM OF THE SENSES.
its rapidity of movement, and the desire it has fo It requires a powerful intellect to release the the beautiful. mind from the thraldom of the senses, and to
So Romans i, 20:wean the thoughts from confirmed habits. | “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the
world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that! ALL MEN NOT SUSCEPTIBLE OF IMPROVEMENT. are made, even his eternal power and God-head."
All fields are not fruitful.
the following Philosophy is the cultivation of the mental effect, and thus he spoke: “ There are two roads fai
faculties; it roots out vices and prepares the mind and two directions which souls take on leaving
to receive proper seed. the body. Those who have spent their lives in vicious practices, giving themselves wholly up to
DEATH. the lusts of the body, so as to become blinded to He who is preparing destruction for another, all that is good, or who have sunk into the mire may be certain that his own life is in danger. of private filth and wickedness, or who have committed inexpiable crimes against their country,
НАВІТ, such go to a separate abode, away from the gods.
Great is the power of habit, Those, on the other hand, who have kept themselves pure and chaste, little subject to fleshly
REASON. lusts, but imitating the life of the gods, find no
Reason is the mistress and queen of all things. difficulty in returning to those from whom they came.
There is no greater theatre for virtue than conThat divine principle, that rules within us, for- | science. bids us to leave this world without the order of
THE WICKEDNESS OF MAN. the Divinity.
Now as soon as we have been ushered into the THE LIFE OF PHILOSOPHERS.
light of day and brought up, at once we are The whole life of philosophers is a commentary
engaged in every kind of wicked practice and the on death.
utmost perversity, so that we seem to have sucked
in error almost with our nurse's milk. LIFE LENT TO US AT INTEREST BY NATURE.
GLORY. Nature has bestowed on us life at interest like
Glory is something that is really and actually money, no day being fixed for its repayment.
existing, and not a mere sketch; it is the united
expression of approval by the good, the genuine INNUMERABLE ROADS TO THE GRAVE.
testimony of men who have the power of forming There are innumerable roads on all sides to the a proper judgment of virtuous conduct; it is the grave.
sound given back by virtue, like the echoes of the
woods, which, as it usually attends on virtuous THE MAN WHO HAS LIVED LONG ENOUGH.
actions, is not to be despised by the good. Every man has lived long enough who has gone! Milton ("* Paradise Regained,” b. iii. 1. 25) thus speaks of through all the duties of life with unblemished glory:character.
"Glory, the reward
That sole excites in high attempts, the flame
Of most erected spirits, most tempered pure
Ethereal, who all pleasures else despise."
DISEASES OF THE MIND.
The diseases of the mind are more destructive For we have not been framed or created without an
ut and in greater number than those of the body. design nor by chance, but there has been truly some certain power, which had in view the happi
HEALTH. ness of mankind; neither producing nor maintaining a being, which, when it had completed all its.
When the mind is in a disturbed state, like the labors, should then sink into the eternal misery of body, health cannot exist. death: rather let us think that there is a haven and refuge prepared for us.
THE ATICIPATION OF EVILS.
Epicurus thinks that it is foolish to anticipate OUR LAST DAY.
future evils, which may never happen: "sufficient That last day brings not to us extinction but unto the day is the evil thereof." merely change of place.
PAIN AND DISEASE.
There is no mortal whom pain and disease do How few philosophers are there whose habits. not reach. mind, and lives are constituted as reason demands.
FOLLY TO TEAR ONE'S HAIR IN SORROW. So Proverbs xx. 9:“Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure
It is folly to tear one's hair in sorrow, as if grief from my sin ?"
I could be assuaged by baldness.
THE FOOL LYNX-EYED TO THE FOLLIES OF HIS Milton in his “ Comus" (1. 484) thus eulogizes philosophy:NEIGHBORS.
“How charming is Divine Philosophy! It is the peculiar quality of a fool to be quick in
Not harsh and crabbed as dull fools suppose;
But musical as is Apollo's lute. seeing the faults of others, while he easily forgets
And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets, his own.
Where no crude surfeit reigns." Sosicrates (Fr. Com. Gr., p. 1182) says:
SOCRATES. “We are quick to see the evil conduct of others, but when we ourselves do the same, we are unconscious of it."
Socrates was the first who brought down philos
ophy from heaven, introducing it into the abodes WHAT IS ILLUSTRIOUS IS ATTAINED BY LABOR.
of men, and compelling them to study the science
of life, of human morals, and the effects of things What is there that is illustrious, that is not also
good and bad. attended by labor ?
Milton ("Paradise Regained," b. iv. 1. 201) says of Socrates:
“ To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear, DUST TO DUST.
From heaven descended to the low-roof'd house Dust must be consigned to dust.
Of Socrates: see there his tenement,
Whom well inspired the oracle pronounced So Ecclesiastes xii. 7:
Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was."
Mellifluous streams that water'd all the schools And iii. 20:
Of Academicks, old and new." "All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again."
So Psalm lxxxiv. 10:
“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had HATRED.
rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God than dwell in, Hatred is ingrained anger.
the tents of wickedness."
It is fortune, not wisdom, that rules the life of Anger is the desire of punishing the man who man. seems to have injured you.
THE MIND OF MAN. So Proverbs xxvii. 4:
The mind of man, a particle plucked from the “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous."
| intellect of the Almighty, can be compared with
nothing else, if we may be forgiven for saying so, DISCORD.
than with God himself. Discord is anger more bitter than hatred, con- So Joel ii. 28:ceived in the inmost breast.
"I will pour out my Spirit upon all filesh."
And Luke iv. 18:-
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." When money is coveted, and reason does not
THE POET. cure the desire, there a disease of the mind exists,
ind exists, I have not yet known a poet who did not think and that disease is called “ avarice."
himself superexcellent. THE CORRUPTION OF OPINIONS.
ONE'S OWN. Hence it happens that mental diseases take His own is beautiful to each. their rise from the corrupt state of the sentiments.
STRIVING AFTER DIVINE THINGS. A LAUGH ADMISSIBLE, BUT NOT A GUFFAW. The very meditating on the power and nature of Though a laugh is allowable, a horse-laugh is
God excites the desire to imitate that eternal Being. abominable.
So Colossians iii. 2: - "Set your affections on things above, not on things on the
VIRTUE Philosophy, thou guide of life! Thou searcher after virtue, and banisher of vice! What would
Virtue joins man to God. not only we ourselves, but the whole life of men,
So 3 John il:have been without thy aid? It is thou that found
“He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath
not seen God." edst cities, collectedst men in social union; thou that broughtest them together first in dwellings, BETTER TO RECEIVE THAN DO AN INJURY. then in marriage, then in all the delights of litera
It is far better to receive than to do an injury. ture; thou discoveredst laws, bestowedst on men virtuous habits: to thee we fly for aid. One day THE MIND OPPRESSED BY EXCESSIVE EATING. spent virtuously, and in obedience to thy precepts,
precepts, We cannot use the mind aright, when the body is worth an immortality of sin.
is filled with excess of food and drink. . Sophocles (Antig. 354) thus speaks of man:
“And he hath taught himself language, lofty wisdom, and FATHERLAND WHEREVER WE ENJOY OURSELVES. the customs of civic law." In fact he represents speech and language as the beginning.
| Our country is wherever we find ourselves to be of civilization,