Page images
PDF
EPUB

should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you,

you

should hear him.-Steele.

or that

SOCIETY, HOW TO EXCEL IN.—To attain excellence in society, an assemblage of qualifications is requisite: disciplined intellect, to think clearly, and to clothe thought with propriety and elegance; knowledge of human nature, to suit subject to character; true politeness, to prevent giving pain ; a deep sense of morality, to preserve the dignity of speech; and a spirit of benevolence, to neutralize its asperities, and sanctify its powers.—Sigourney.

SOCIETY, HOW TO EXCEL IN.—He who sedulously attends, pointedly asks, calmly speaks, coolly answers, and ceases when he has no more to say, is in possession of some of the best requisites of man.—Lavater.

SOCIETY, INFLUENCE OF EVIL. I have often wondered how the fishes can retain their fresh state, and yet live in salt waters, since everything partakes the nature of the place where it abides, and of that which is around it. So it is with evil company, for besides that it blemisheth our reputation, and makes us thought evil though we be good, it also inclines us insensibly to ill, and works in us, if not an approbation, yet a less dislike to those sins to which our eyes and ears are thus continually inured. For this reason, by the grace of God I will ever shun it. I may have a bad acquaintance; but I will never have a wicked companion.- Bishop Hall.

SOCIETY, INTERCOURSE IN.–From social intercourse are derived some of the highest enjoyments of life; where there is a free interchange of sentiments, the mind acquires new ideas; and by a frequent exercise of its powers, the understanding gains fresh vigor. --Addison.

SOCIETY, POLISHED.—There exists a strict relation between the class of power, and the exclusive and polished circles. The last are always filled, or filling from the first. Fashion, though in a strange way, represents all manly virtue. It is virtue gone to seed; a kind of posthumous honor; a hall of the past. Great men are not commonly in its halls: they are absent in the field: they are working, not triumphing. Fashion is made up of their children.—R. W. Emerson.

SOCIETY, PROGRESS OF.- -The history of any private family, however humble, could it be fully related for five or six generations, would illustrate the state and progress of society, better than the most elaborate dissertation.-Southey.

SOCIETY, SUCCESS IN.—The secret of success in society, is a certain heartiness and sympathy. A man who is not happy in company, cannot find any word in his memory that will fit the occasion; all his information is a little impertinent. A man who is happy there, finds in every turn of the conversation equally lucky occasions for the introduction of what he has to say.

The favorites of society, and what it calls “ whole souls," are able men, and of more spirit than wit, who have no uncomfortable egotism, but who exactly fill the hour and the company, contented and contenting.-R. W. Emer

son.

SOLITUDE.-Those beings only are fit for solitude, who like nobody, are like nobody, and are liked by nobody.Zimmerman.

SOLITUDE.--It has been said that he who retires to solitude is either a beast or an angel; the censure is too severe, and the praise unmerited: the discontented being, who retires from society, is generally some good-natured man, who has begun his life without experience, and knew not how to gain it in his intercourse with mankind. — Goldsmith.

SOPHISTRY.-Sophistry is like a window curtain-it pleases as an ornament, but its true use is to keep out the light.

SORROW.-Sorrow is a kind of rust of the soul, which every new idea contributes in its passage to scour away. It is the putrefaction of stagnant life, and is remedied by exercise and motion. -Johnson.

SORROW.-If there is an evil in this world, 'tis sorrow and heaviness of heart. The loss of goods,—of health,—of coronets and mitres, are only evil, as they occasion sorrow;take that out--the rest is fancy, and dwelleth only in the lead of man. -Sterne.

SORROW OF OTHERS. -He that hath pity on another man's sorrow, shall be free from it himself; and he that delighteth in, and scorneth the misery of another, shall one time or other fall into it himself.—Sir W. Raleigh.

SOUL, THE.—We may compare the soul to a linen cloth ; it must be first washed, to take off its native hue and color, and to make it white; and afterwards it must be ever and anon washed to preserve and to keep it white.- South.

SOUL, THE.—The soul, considered with its Creator, is like one of those mathematical lines that may draw near to another for all eternity without a possibility of touching it: and can there be a thought so transporting, as to consider ourselves in these perpetual approaches to him, who is not only the standard of perfection but of happiness !— Addison.

SOUNDS, THE POWER OF.— -We take our ideas from sounds which folly has invented : fashion, bon ton, and virtù, are the names of certain idols, to which we sacrifice the genuine pleasures of the soul : in this world of resemblance, we are contented with personating happiness; to feel it is an art beyond - Mackenzie.

SPEAKING ONE'S MIND.—Nothing is more silly than the pleasure some people take in “ speaking their minds." A man of this make will say a rude thing, for the mere pleasure

us.

of saying it, when an opposite behavior, full as innocent, might have preserved his friend, or made his fortune.-Steele.

SPEECH. It is usually said by grammarians, that the use of language is to express our wants and desires ; but men who know the world hold, and I think with some show of reason, that he who best knows how to keep his necessities private, is the most likely person to have them redressed; and that the true use of speech is not so much to express our wants, as to conceal them.— Goldsmith,

SPELLING.--It is a shame for a man to be so ignorant of this little art (spelling) in his own language, as to be perpetually confounding words of like sound, and different significations; the consciousness of which defect makes some men, otherwise of good learning and understanding, averse to writing even a common letter.-Franklin.

SPIRIT.-Spirit is now a very fashionable word; to act with spirit, to speak with spirit, means only to act rashly, and to talk indiscreetly. An able man shows his spirit by gentle words and resolute actions; he is neither hot nor timid. - Chesterfield.

SPIRIT, HIGH.-High spirit in man, is like a sword, which, though worn to annoy his enemies, yet is often troublesome in a less degree to his friends: he can hardly wear it so inoffensively, but it is apt to incommode one or other of the company: it is more properly a loaded pistol, which accident

fire and kill one. — - Shenstone. SPIRIT, PUBLIC.--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 ?

SPIRITS.--He that loseth wealth, loseth much; he that loseth friends, loseth more; but he that loseth his spirits, loseth all.--Spanish Maxim.

alone may

STATE, THE FUTURE.--The prospect of a future state is the secret comfort and refreshment of my soul; it is that which makes nature look gay about me; it doubles all my pleasures, and supports me under all my afflictions. I can look at disappointments and misfortunes, pain and sickness, death itself, and what is worse than death, the loss of those who are dearest to me, with indifference, so long as I keep in view the pleasures of eternity, and the state of being in which there will be no fears nor apprehensions, pains nor sorrow, sickness nor separation.-Spectator.

STATESMAN.—The true genius that conducts a state is he, who doing nothing himself, causes everything to be done; he contrives, he invents, he foresees the future, he reflects on what is past, he distributes and proportions things; he makes early preparations, he incessantly arms himself to struggle against fortune, as a swimmer against a rapid stream of water; he is attentive night and day, that he may leave nothing to chance. — Telemachus.

STEWARDSHIP, OUR.-Our children, relations, friends, honors, houses, lands, and endowments, the goods of nature and fortune, nay, even of grace itself, are only lent. It is our misfortune, and it may be added, our sin, to fancy they are given. We start, therefore, and are angry when the loan is called in. We think ourselves masters, when we are only stewards, and forget that to each of us it will one day be said, "Give an account of thy stewardship."-Bishop Horne.

STORY-TELLING.-Story-telling is subject to two unavoidable defects; frequent repetition and being soon exhausted; so that whoever values this gift in himself, has need of a good memory, and ought frequently to shift his company, that he may not discover the weakness of his fund; for those who are thus endowed, have seldom any other revenue, but live upon the main stock.-Swift.

« PreviousContinue »