« PreviousContinue »
I have somewhere seen it observed, that we should
make the same use of a Book that the Bee does of a
Flower; she steals sweets from it, but does not injure it.
To the Reader.
Among the Attributes which distinguish Mankind, none are of a higher order than veneration for the True, and love of the Beautiful. The former regulates and refines the moral feelings, and the latter supplies a never failing source of rational enjoyment ,-their influences, also, are so intimately combined, that in appreciating Truth we are taught to discover Beauty, and in contemplating Beauty to elicit Truth.
The aim of the Philosopher, the Moralist, and the Poet, has been to promote the exercise of these attributes, and to their works, the exemplars of their experience, wisdom, and genius, we naturally turn from the bustle and cares of Life for Solace, Instruction, and Amusement.
But many have not the means, the leisure, or the application required to profit by the advantages to be derived from the perusal of Books in their original form, and it is to such, that the numerous compilations, moral and poetical, which illustrate and adorn our modern Literature, are of the greatest value.
If to a portion they afford but a transient gratification, snatched during the intervals of worldly Occupation, to others they present inducements, frequently irrosistible, to extend the scope of their intellectual faculties, and to exercise them to their oiun honor and to the benefit of their fellow-men.
This consideration has actuated the Compiler in sending his little Book into the World. How far he has succeeded in his attempt to discern and appreciate the True and the Beautiful the reader will determine. The collection, doubtless, will be found deficient of that copious illustration, and perspicuous arrangement, with which the taste and judgment of a practised literary hand would have embellished it.
The Compiler, nevertheless, hopes for the reader's indulgence, and he ventures to offer, in palliation of his faults, both of omission and commission, the following passage from a very acute and judicious writer : “ There are few minds but might furnish some instruction and entertainment out of their scraps, their odds and ends of thought. They who cannot weave an uniform web, may at least produce a piece of patchwork, which may be useful, and not without a charm of its own.”
Acquaintance. — Cowley. we engage into a large Acquaintance and various most of our time: we expose our Life to a quotidian Ague of frigid Impertinences, which would make a wise Man tremble to think of. Now, as for being known much by sight, and pointed at, I cannot comprehend the Honour that lies in that: whatsoever it be, every Mountebank has it more than the best Doctor.
Acquaintance. Lord Bacon. is good discretion not to make too much of any man
Acquaintance. - La Rochefoucauld, THAT makes us like new Acquaintances is not so of change, as disgust at not being sufficiently admired by those who know us too well, and the hope of being more so by those who do not know so much of us.
Acquirement. Colton. THAT which we acquire with the most difficulty we fortune are usually more careful of it than those who have inherited one.
Acting. From the French. THERE is no secret in the heart which our Actions
do not at all times conceal the workings of the Mind.