Page images

be idle, or the industrious to be at leisure. We must be always doing, or suffering.--Zimmerman.

IDLENESS AND LABOR.-Idleness is a constant sin, and labor is a duty. Idleness is the devil's home for temptation, and for unprofitable, distracting musings; while labor profiteth others and ourselves.- Baxter.

IDLENESS AND POVERTY.–To be idle and to be


have always been reproaches; and therefore every man endeavors with his utmost care to hide his poverty from others, and his idleness from himself.-Johnson.

IDLENESS, ITS MISERY.—A man who is able to employ himself innocently, is never miserable. It is the idle who are wretched. If I wanted to inflict the greatest punishment on a fellow-creature, I would shut him alone in a dark room without employment.

IDLENESE, ITS TAXES.—It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon all that is spent in absolute sloth, or doing nothing, with that which is spent in idle employments, or amusements that amount to nothing. Sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the key often used is always bright.-Franklin.

IDLERS, BUSY. -Among those whom I never could persuade to rank themselves with idlers, and who speak with indignation of my morning sleeps and nocturnal rambles, one passes the day in catching spiders, that he may count their eyes with a microscope; another erects his head, and exhibits the dust of a marigold separated from the flower with a dexterity worthy of Leuwenhoeck himself. Some turn the wheel of electricity; some suspend rings to a loadstone, and


[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

find that what they did yesterday they can do again to-day. Some register the changes of the wind, and die fully con. vinced that the wind is changeable.—There are men yet more profound, who have heard that two colorless liquors may produce a color by union, and that two cold bodies will grow hot if they are mingled; they mingle them, and produce the effect expected, say it is strange, and mingle them again.The Idler-Johnson.

IDLERS, THEIR VISITS.—The idle levy a very heavy tax upon the industrious when, by frivolous visitations, they rob them of their time. Such persons beg their daily happiness from door to door, as beggars their daily bread, and like them sometimes meet with a rebuff. A mere gossip ought not to wonder if we are tired of him, seeing that we are indebted for the honor of his visit solely to the circumstance of his being tired of himself.

IGNORANCE.--He that does not know those things which are of use and necessity for him to know, is but an ignorant man, whatever he may know besides.Tillotson.

IGNORANCE.—There never was any party, faction, sect, or cabal whatsoever, in which the most ignorant were not the most violent; for a bee is not a busier animal than a blockhead.-Pope.

IGNORANCE.--It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance; for it requires knowledge to perceive it; and therefore he that can perceive it hath it not.Bishop Taylor.

IGNORANCE AND PURITY.—Ages of ignorance and simplicity are thought to be ages of purity. But the direct contrary I believe to be the case. Rude periods have that grossness of manners, which is as unfriendly to virtue as lux: ury itself. Men are less ashamed as they are less polished.

- Warton.


IGNORANCE, ITS CONCEALMENT.—It is as great a point of wisdom to hide ignorance, as to discover knowledge.

IGNORANCE OF LAW.--Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because 'tis an ex: cuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to confute him.- Selden.

IGNORANCE OF THE WORLD.-A man who has taken his ideas of mankind from the study alone, generally comes into the world with a heart melting at every fictitious distress. Thus he is induced, by misplaced liberality, to put himself into the indigent circumstances of the person he relieves.Goldsmith.

ILL-MANNERS.—Pride, ill-nature, and want of sense, are the three great sources of ill-manners; without some one of these defects, no man will behave himself ill for want of experience, or what, in the language of fools, is called knowing the world.-Swift.

ILL-NATURE.—The world is so full of ill-nature, that I have lampoons sent me by people who cannot spell, and satires composed by those who scarce know how to write.Spectator.

ILL-NATURE.—It is impossible that an ill-natured man can have a public spirit; for how should he love ten thousand men who never loved one ?-Pope.

IMAGINATION.—Many have no happier moments than those that they pass in solitude, abandoned to their own imagination, which sometimes puts sceptres in their hands or mitres on their heads, shifts the scene of pleasure with endless variety, bids all the forms of beauty sparkle before them, and gluts them with every change of visionary luxuryJohnson.

IMITATION.—Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half-possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.-Emerson.

IMMORTALITY.—The greater part of those who deny the immortality of the soul, only maintain this opinion because they wish it. But in the height of their sinful pleasures, the truth which stares them in the face begins on earth that punishment, to the fulness of which they are doomed hereafter.— Jewish Spy.

IMPATIENCE.-In all evils which admit a remedy, impatience should be avoided, because it wastes that time and attention in complaints, which, if properly applied, might remove the cause.—Johnson.

IMPERFECTIONS.—I am too conscious of mine own imperfections, to rake into and dilate upon the failings of other men; and though I carry always some ill-nature about me,

I yet it is, I hope, no more than is in this world necessary for a preservative.--Marvell.

IMPERTINENCE.—Receive no satisfaction for premeditated impertinence; forget it, forgive it, but keep him inexorably at a distance who offered it.- Lavater.

IMPROVEMENT.—Judge of thine improvement, not by what thou speakest or writest, but by the firmness of thy mind, and the government of thy passions and affections.Fuller.

IMPRUDENCE.—Want of prudence is too frequently the want of virtue; nor is there on earth a more powerful advo cate for vice than poverty.- Goldsmith.

IMPUDENCE.—A man has no more right to say an uncivil thing, than to act one; no more right to say a rude thing to another, than to knock him down.Johnson.

INCLINATIONS.—It is very pleasant to follow one's inclinations; but unfortunately, we cannot follow them all: they are like the teeth sown by Cadmus—they spring up, get in each other's way, and fight.—Landon.

INCLINATIONS, GOOD.-A good inclination is but the first rude draught of virtue; but the finishing strokes are from the will; which, if well disposed, will by degrees perfect; if ill disposed, will by the superinduction of ill habits, quickly deface it. --South.

INCONSTANCY.—Nothing that is not a real crime makes a man appear so contemptible and little in the eyes of the world as inconstancy, especially when it regards religion or party. In either of these cases, though a man perhaps does but his duty in changing his side, he not only makes himself bated by those he left, but is seldom heartily esteemed by those he comes over to.--Addison.

INDECISION.—In matters of great concern, and which must be done, there is no surer argument of a weak mind,than irresolution; to be undetermined where the case is so plain, and the necessity so urgent To be always intending to live a new life, but never to find time to set about it; this is as if a man should put off eating, and drinking, and sleeping, from one day and night to another, till he is starved and destroyed.Tillotson.

INDEPENDENCE, NATIONAL.—The moral progression of a people can scarcely begin, till they are independent.—Martineau.

INDISCRETION.—An indiscreet man is more hurtful than an ill-natured one; for the latter will only attack his ene.

« PreviousContinue »