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hood by the worst of tongues, so neither can a liar be made a true man by forcing a coward to eat his words, or a murderer become an honest man by a lucky (or rather unlucky) thrust of a lawless sword.
[St John's College Fellowships, 1833.]
15. But unless these things, which I have above proposed, one way or other, be once settled, in my fear, which God avert, we instantly ruin; or at best become the Servants of one or other single Person, the secret Author and Fomenter of these Disturbances. You have the sum of my present Thoughts, as much as I understand of these Affairs freely imparted, at your request, and the Perswasion you wrought in me, that I might chance hereby to be some way serviceable to the Commonwealth, in a time when all ought to be endeavouring to do what good they can, whether much, or but little. With this you may do what you please, put out, put in, communicate or suppress: you offend not me, who only have obeyed your Opinion, that in doing what I have don, I might happen to offer something which might be of som use in this great time of need. However I have not bin wanting to the opportunity which you presented before me, of shewing the readines which I have in the midst of my Unfitness to whatever may be requir'd of me, as a publick Duty.
[Trinity College, 1833.]
16. This tale might pass on Josephus ; for in him I believe I read it: but surely the love of our country is a lesson of reason, not an institution of nature. Education and habit, obligation and interest, attach us to it, not instinct. It is however so necessary to be cultivated, and the prosperity of all societies, as well as the grandeur
of some, depends upon it so much, that orators by their eloquence, and poets by their enthusiasm, have endeavoured to work up this precept of morality into a principle of passion. But the examples which we find in history, improved by the lively descriptions, and the just applauses or censures of historians, will have a much better and more permanent effect than declamation, or song, or the dry ethics of mere philosophy. In fine, to converse with historians is to keep good company: many of them were excellent men, and those who were not such have taken care however to appear such in their writings. It must be therefore of great use to prepare ourselves by this conversation for that of the world; and to receive our first impressions and to acquire our first habits, in a scene where images of virtue and vice are continually represented to us in the colours that properly belong to them, before we enter on another scene, where virtue and vice are too often confounded, and what belongs to one is ascribed to the other.
[Trinity College, 1833.]
17. DEATH closes a man's reputation, and determines it as good or bad. This, among other motives, may be one reason why we are naturally averse to launching out into a man's praise till his head is laid in the dust. While he is capable of changing we may be forced to retract our opinions. He may forfeit the esteem we have conceived of him, and sometime or other appear to us under a different light from what he does at present, In short, as the life of any man cannot be called happy or unhappy, so neither can it be pronounced virtuous or vicious before the conclusion of it.
It was upon this consideration that Epaminondas,
being asked whether Chabrias, Iphicrates, or he himself, deserved most to be esteemed; “you must first see us die,” said he,“ before that question can be answered.”
[King's College, 1833.]
18. If it be true, that the Passions are the Principles of Human Actions, it will become our best wisdom so to manage them, as to retain their vigour, whilst we keep them under strict command. They must be governed rather like free subjects than slaves; lest in the endeavours to render them obedient, they should become abject, and unfit for the important purposes, to which they were designed: it was a great error in those Philosophers, who insisted upon an absolute indifference and vacancy from all Passion; since nothing can be more contrary to reason, than to divest one's self of Humanity, in order to acquire Tranquillity of Mind; and to eradicate the Principles of Action, because they may produce ill effects.
[Trinity College Fellowships, 1833.]
19. I DENY not, but that it is of greatest concernment in the Church and Commonwealth, to have a vigilant eye how books demean themselves as well as men; and thereafter to confine, imprison, and do sharpest justice on them as malefactors; for books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a progeny of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon's teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good
almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye. (Classical Tripos, 1834.]
20. In these extremities, the perverse obstinacy of the Athenians was very strange, who leaving at their backs, and at their own doors, an enemy little less mighty than themselves, did yet send forth another fleet into Sicil, to invade a people no less puissant, which never had offended them. It often happens indeed that prosperous event makes foolish counsel seem wiser than it was, which came to pass many times among the Athenians, whose vain conceits Pallas was said to turn unto the best. But where unsound advice, finding bad proof, is obstinately pursued, neither Pallas nor Fortune can be justly blamed for a miserable issue. This second fleet of the Athenians, which better might have served to convey home the former that was defeated, after some attempts made to small purpose against the Syracusans, was finally (together with the other part of the navy, which was there before) quite vanquished and barred up into the haven of Syracuse, whereby the camp of the Athenians, utterly deprived of all benefit by sea, either for succour or departure, was driven to break up and fly away by land, in which flight they were overtaken, routed, and quite overthrown in such wise that scarce any man escaped. [Classical Tripos, 1834.]
21. THE stateliness of houses, the goodliness of trees, when we behold them, delighteth the eye: but that foundation which beareth up the one, that root which ministereth unto the other nourishment and life,
In like manner,
is in the bosom of the earth concealed; and if there be occasion at any time to search into it, such labour is then more necessary than pleasant, both to them which undertake it, and for the lookers on. the use and benefit of good laws, all that live under them may enjoy with delight and comfort, albeit the grounds and first original causes from whence they have sprung, be unknown, as to the greatest part of men they are.
[Trinity College, 1834.]
22. THERE are many animals, which, though far from being large, are yet capable of raising ideas of the sublime, because they are considered as objects of terror; as serpents and poisonous animals of almost all kinds : and to things of greater dimensions if we annex an adventitious degree of terror, they become without comparison greater. A level plain of a vast extent on land is certainly no mean idea; the prospect of such a plain may be as extensive as a prospect of the ocean, but can it ever fill the mind with any thing so great as the ocean itself? This is owing to several causes, but it is owing to none more than this, that this ocean is an object of no small terror; indeed terror is in all cases whatever either more openly or latently the ruling principle of the Sublime. [St John's College Classical Examination, 1834.]
23. Dux atque imperator vitæ mortalium animus est : qui ubi ad gloriam virtutis via grassatur, abunde pollens potensque, et clarus est, neque fortuna eget; quippe quæ probitatem, industriam, aliasque artis bonas neque dare neque eripere cuiquam potest: sin captus pravis cupidinibus, ad inertiam, et voluptates corporis pessum datus est, perniciosa lubidine paullisper usus :