Date of publication: 2017-09-01 08:49
You should always have before your eyes death, disease, poverty, blindness, exile, calumny, and infamy, as ills which are incident to human nature. If any one of these ills falls to your lot, you will bear it the better, when you have reckoned upon it. I answer, if we confine ourselves to a general and distant reflection on the ills of human life, that can have no effect to prepare us for them. If by close and intense meditation we render them present and intimate to us, that is the true secret for poisoning all our pleasures, and rendering us perpetually miserable.
The temple of wisdom is seated on a rock, above the rage of the fighting elements, and inaccessible to all the malice of man. The rolling thunder breaks below and those more terrible instruments of human fury reach not to so sublime a height. The sage, while he breathes that serene air, looks
I know not if our Scottish ladies derive any thing of this humour from their Scythian ancestors but, I must confess that I have often been surprized to see a woman very well pleased to take a fool for her mate, that she might govern with the less controul and could not but think her sentiments, in this respect, still more barbarous than those of the Scythian women above-mentioned as much as the eyes of the understanding are more valuable than those of the body.
Accordingly we find no vice so irreclaimable as avarice: And though there scarcely has been a moralist or philosopher, from the beginning of the world to this day, who has not levelled a stroke at it, we hardly find a single instance of any person’s being cured of it. For this reason, I am more apt to approve of those, who attack it with wit and humour, than of those who treat it in a serious manner. There being so little hopes of doing good to the people infected with this vice, I
All ills arise from the order of the universe, which is absolutely perfect. Would you wish to disturb so divine an order for the sake of your own particular interest? What if the ills I suffer arise from malice or oppression? But the vices and imperfections of men are also comprehended in the order of the universe:
The clergy had concurred with the king’s arbitrary designs and, in return, were allowed to persecute their adversaries, whom they called heretics and schismatics. The established clergy were episcopal the non-conformists presbyterian: So that all things concurred to throw the former, without reserve, into the king’s party and the latter into that of the parliament.
But surely the instability of fortune is a consideration not to be overlooked or neglected. Happiness cannot possibly exist, where there is no security and security can have no place, where fortune has any dominion. Though that unstable deity should not exert her rage against you, the dread of it would still torment you would disturb your slumbers, haunt your dreams, and throw a damp on the jollity of your most delicious banquets.
The source of degeneracy, which may be remarked in free governments, consists in the practice of contracting debt, and mortgaging the public revenues, by which taxes may, in time, become altogether intolerable, and all the property of the state be brought into the hands of the public. This practice is of modern date. The Athenians , though governed by a republic, paid near two hundred per Cent. for those sums of money, which any emergence made it necessary for them to borrow as we learn from Xenophon 5 originally '*' footnotes have been numbered for ease of reference 5 * . Among the moderns, the
That there is a natural difference between merit and demerit, virtue and vice, wisdom and folly, no reasonable man will deny: Yet is it evident, that in affixing the term, which denotes either our approbation or blame, we are commonly more influenced by comparison than by any fixed unalterable standard in the nature of things. In like manner, quantity, and extension, and bulk, are by every one acknowledged to be real things: But when we call any animal great or little , we always
But here it may be proper to make a distinction. All absolute governments must very much depend on the administration and this is one of the great inconveniences attending that form of government. But a republican and free government would be an obvious absurdity, if the particular checks and controuls, provided by the constitution, had really no