Page images

In politics, as in life, we must above all things wish only for the attainable.

106 Heine : Wit, Wisdom, and Pathos. From Lutetia."

Men's ambition is generally proportioned to their capacity. Providence seldom sends any into the world with an inclination to attempt great things who have not abilities likewise to perform them.

107 Johnson: Works. VI. 275. (Oxford Edition, 1825.)

A purchased slave has but one master; an ambitious man must be a slave to all who may conduce to his aggrandizement. 108 La Bruyère : Characters. Of the Court. (Rowe,

Translator.) The wise man is cured of ambition by ambition. 109 La Bruyère : Characters. Of Personal Merit.

(Rowe, Translator.) Ambition does not see the earth she treads on: the rock and the herbage are of one substance to her. 110 Landor: Imaginary Conversations. Tiberius and

Vipsania. Ambition is but avarice on stilts and masked. 111 Landor : Imaginary Conversations. Lord Brooke

and Sir Philip Sidney. Ambition is indeed the most inconsiderate of passions, none of which are considerate; for the ambitious man, by the weakest inconsistency, proud as he may be of his faculties, and in patient as he may be to display them, prefers the opinion of the ignorant to his own. He would be what others can make him, and not what he could make himself without them. Nothing, in fact, is consistent and unambiguous but virtue. 112 Landor: Imaginary Conrersations. Aristoteles and

Callisthenes. The largest ambition has the least appearance of ambition when it meets with an absolute impossibility in compassing its object. 113

La Rochefoucauld : Reflections. No. 91. What seems generosity is often disguised ambition, that despises small to run after greater interest. 114

La Rochefoucauld : Reflections. No. 246. Honors and public favors sometimes offer themselves the more readily to those who have no ambition for them. 115 Liry : The History of Rome. Bk. iv. Ch. 57.

(Baker, Translator.) Laboring toward distant aims sets the mind in a higher key, and puts us at our best.

116 Parkhurst: Sermons. I. The Pattern in the Mount. A mind free from ambition is a main help to political gentleness. Ambition, on the contrary, is hard-hearted, and the greatest fomenter of envy.

117 Plutarch: Lives. Aristides and Marcus Cato.

Though ambition in itself is a vice, yet it is often the parent of virtues. 118 Quintilian : Education of an Orator. Bk. i. Ch. 2,

Sec. 22. (Wutson, Translator.) It is not position, but mind, that I want. 119 Mme. Roland : To Her Father when rejecting a Suitor.

Which dreams, indeed, are ambition; for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream. 120

Shakespeare: Hamlet. Act ii. Sc. 2. The poor make themselves poorer as apes of the rich, and the merely rich carry themselves like princes. 121

Lew Wallace : Ben-Hur. Bk. iv. Ch. 11. AMERICA see Freedom, Government, Great Brit

ain, Liberty, Newspapers, Patriotism, Philistinism, Public Opinion

In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book, or goes to an American play, or looks at an American picture or statue ? 122 Sydney Smith : Review on Seybert's Annals of

the United States. America has proved that it is practicable to elevate the mass of mankind — that portion which in Europe is called the laboring, or lower, class — to raise them to self-respect, to make them competent to act a part in the great right and great duty of self-government; and she has proved that this may be done by education and the diffusion of knowledge. She holds out an example a thousand times more encouraging than ever was presented before, to those nine-tenths of the human race who are born without hereditary fortune or hereditary rank. 123 Daniel Webster: The Bunker IIill Monument,

June 17, 1843. AMIABILITY

Amiableness is the object of love, the scope and end is to obtain it, for whose sake we love, and which our mind covets to enjoy. 124 Burton : Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. iii. Sec. i.

Mem. 1, Subs. 2. AMITY

With him who knocks at the door of peace, seek not hostility. 125 Saadi: The Gulistan. Ch. 8. Rules for Conduct

in Life. No. 14.

AMUSEMENT - see Reading, Play.

The city . . . has May games, feasts, wakes and merry meetings to solace themselves.

Let them freely feast, sing, and dance, have their puppet plays, hobby-horses, tabors, crowds, bag-pipes, etc., play at ball, and barley brakes.

126 Burton: Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. ii. Sec. 2, Mem. 4.
Amusement to an observing mind is study.
127 Disraeli (Earl of Beaconsfield): Contarini Fleming.

Pt. i. Ch. 23. Poetry makes a principal amusement among unpolished nations; but in a country verging to the extremes of refinement, painting and music come in for a share. 128

Goldsmith : The Traveller. Dedication. The moment a man finds a contradiction in himself between his amusements and his humanity, it is a signal that he should give them up. 129

Leigh Hunt : Table Talk. Sporting. I am a great friend to public amusements, for they kecp people from vice. 130

Johnson : Boswell's Life of Johnson. II. 169.

(George Birkbeck Hill, Editor, 1887.)

ANCESTRY - see Fame, Merit.

A man who has ancestors is like a representative of the past.

131 Bulwer-Lytton : The Lady of Lyons. Act ii. Sc. 1.
Wisdom of our ancestors.
132 Burke : Discussion on the Traitorous Correspondence

Bill. 1793. Conceal not the meanness of thy family, nor think it disgraceful to be descended from peasants; for when it is seen that thou art not thyself ashamed, none will endeavor to make thee so. 133

Cervantes : Don Quixote. Pt. ii. Ch. +3.

(Jarvis, Translator.) This is the true pride of ancestry. It is founded in the tenderness with which the child regards the father, and in the romance that time sheds upon history. 134 George William Curtis : Prue and I. VI. Family

Portraits. Being convinced that, for a person who thinks himself to be somebody, there is nothing more disgraceful than to exhibit himself as held in honor, not on his own account, but for the renown of his forefathers; for hereditary honor is to descendants a treasure honorable and magnificent. 135

Plato : Menezenus.Sec. 19. (Burges,


We come into the world with the mark of our descent, and with our characters about us. 136 Le Sage : Gil Blas. Bk. x. Ch. 10. (Smollett,

Translator.) Reason, indeed, will soon inform us that our estimation of birth is arbitrary and capricious, and that dead ancestors can have no influence but upon imagination. 137

Johnson: The Adrenturer. No. 111. l'roud men are very much mistaken. Their ancestors have baft all things which are in their power to them, - riches, images, the noble recollection of themselves; they have not left their virtue, nor were they able: it alone can neither be presented as a gift, nor received. 138 Sallust: The Jugurthine War. Sec. 85. (Ramage,

Translator.) The glory of ancestors sheds a light around posterity; it allows neither their good nor bad qualities to remain in obscurity. 139 Sallust : The Jugurthine War. Sec. 85. (Ramage,

Translator.) All history shows the power of blood over circumstances as much as agriculture shows the power of the seeds over the soils. 140 E. P. Whipple : Outlooks on Society, Literature, and

Politics. American Principles.

ANGER - see Cruelty, Hatred.

Anger is a bow that will shoot sometimes where another feeling will not. 141

llenry Ward Beecher : Life Thoughts. Sire hath its force abated by water, not by wind; and anger must be allayed by cold words, and not by blustering threats. 142 Anne Bradstreet: Printed in 1867 from a MS. left

by the Author. Anger helps complexion, saves paint. 143 Congreve: The Way of the World. Act i. Sc. 9.

Anger is an expensive luxury in which only men of a certain income can indulge. 144 George Il'illiam Curtis : Prue and I. VI. Titbot

tom's Spectacles. Anger is one of the sinews of the soul. 145 Fuller : The Holy and Profane States. The Holy

State. Of Anger. Anger is a fierce and sudden flame, which may be kindled in the noblest breasts; but in these the slow droppings of an unforgiving temper never take the shape and consistency of enduring hatred." 146 George S. Hillard : Life and Campaigns of George B.

McClellan. Ch. 13.

The flame of anger, bright and brief, sharpens the barb of Love. 147

Landor: Miscellaneous. LXVI. Anger may repast with thee for an hour, but not repose for a night; the continuance of anger is hatred, the continuance of hatred turns malice. That anger is not warrantable which hath seen two suns. 148

Quarles : Enchiridion. Cent. II. No. 60. Beware of him that is slow to anger; anger, when it is long in coming, is the stronger when it comes, and the longer kept. 149

Quarles : Enchiridion. Cent. II. No. 67. Anger, when excessive, createth terror. 150 Saadi : The Gulistan. Ch. 8. Rules for Conduct

in Life. No. 18. The greatest remedy for anger is delay.

151 Seneca: Of Anger. Bk. iv. Ch. 29. (Stewart, Trans.) ANGLING

We may say of angling as Dr. Boteler said of strawberries: “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did;" and so, if I might be judge, God never did make a more calm, quiet, innocent recreation than angling.

152 Izaak Walton : The Complete Angler. Pt. i, Ch. 5. ANTICIPATION

Hope deceives, enjoyment undeceives.
153 Joseph Roux : Meditations of a Parish Priest.

Pt. v., ix. (Hapgood, Translator.)

There is one species of terror which those who are unwilling to suffer the reproach of cowardice have wisely dignified with the name of antipathy. 154

Johnson: Rambler. No. 126. ANTIQUARIAN - see Antiquity

A mere antiquarian is a rugged being.
1.35 Johnson: Boswell's Life of Johnson. III. 278.

(George Birkbeck Hill, Editor, 1887.) ANTIQUITY – see Antiquarian.

Nothing is old but the mind.
156 Emerson : Letters and Social Aims. Progress of

Culture. They who make research into antiquity, may be said to pass often through many dark lobbies and dusky places before they come to the Aula lucis, the great hall of light; they must repair to old archives, and peruse many moulded and moth-eaten records, and so bring light, as it were, out of darkness, to inform the present world what the former did, and make us see truth through our ancestors' eyes. 157

James Howell: Londonopolis.

« PreviousContinue »