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By this descent from the pinnacles of art no honour will be loft ; for the condescenfions of learning are always overpaid by gratitude. An elevated genius employed in little things, appears, to use the simile of Longinus, like the sun in his evening declination; he remits his fplendor but retains his magnitude ; and pleases more though he dazzles less.
ON THE ADVANTAGES OF UNITING GENTLE-
Mentioned to you, some time ago, a sentence, which I
would moft earnesty wish you always to retain in your thought, and observe in your conduct ; it is fuavièr in modo, fortitèr in re. I do not know any one rule sa unexceptionably useful and necessary in every part of life.
THE fuavitèr in modo alone would degenerate and fink into a mean, timid complaisance, and paffiveness, if not supported and dignified by the fortitèr in re ; which would also run into impetuofity and brutality, if not tempered and softened by the fuavitèr in modo : however, they are seldom united. The warm choleric man, with strong animal spirits, despises the fuavitèr in modo, and thinks to carry all before him by the fortitèr in re. He may possibly, by great accident, now and then succeed, when he has only weak and timid people to deal wich; but his general fate will be, to shock, offend, be hated and fail. On the other hand, the cunning crafty man thinks to gain all his ends by the suavitèr in modo only: he becomes all things to all men ; he seems to have no opinion of his own,and servilely adopts the present opinion of the present per
fon ; he insinuates himself only the into esteem of fools, but is foon detected, and surely despised, by every body else. The wise man (who differs as much from the cunning, as from the choleric man) alone joins the
suavitèr in modo with the fortitèr in re.
If you are in authority, and have a right to command, your commands delivered fuavitèr in modo will be willingly, cheerfully, and consequently well obeyed ; whereas if given only fortitèr, that is brutally, they will rather, as Tacitus, says, be interpreted than executed. For my own part, if I bade my footman bring me a glass of wine, in a rough insulting manner, I should expect, that in obeying me, he would contrive to spill some of it upon me ; and I am sure I should deserve it. A cool steady resolution should show, that where you have a right to command, you will be obey. ed; but, at the same time, a gentleness in the manner of enforcing that obedience, should make it a cheerful one, and soften, as much as possible, the mortifying conscioufness of inferiority. If you are to ask a favour, or even tổ folicit your due, you must do it suavitèr in modo, or you will give those, who have a mind to refuse you either, a pretence to do it, by resenting the manner ; but, on other hand, you must, by a steady perseverance and decent tenaciousness, show the fortitèr in re. In short, this precept is the only way I know in the world, of being loved with being despised, and and feared without being hated. It constitutes the dignity of character, which
wife man must endeavour to establish. If therefore
have a hastiness in your temper, which anguardedly breaks out into indiscreet sallies, or rough expressions, to either your superiors, your equals, or your inferiors, watch it narrowly, check it carefully, and call the fuavitèr in modo to your assistance : at the first im
pulse of passion be filent, till you can be foft. Labour even to get the command of your countenance so well, that those cmotions may not be read in it: a moft unspeakable advana tage in business! Onthe other hand, let no complaisance, no gentleness of temper, no weak desire of pleasing on your part, no wheedling, coaxing, nor flattery, on other people's, make you recede one jot from any point that reason and prudence have bid you pursue ; but return to the charge, persist, persevere, and you will find most things attainable that are poffible. A yielding, timid meekness is always abused and insulted by the unjust and the unfeeling ; but meekness, when sustained by the fortiter in re, is always respected, commonly successful. In your friendships and connections, as well as in your enmities, this rule is particularly useful : let your firmness and vigour preserve and invite attachments to you ; but, at the same time, let
your manner hinder the enemies of your friends and dependents from becoming your's : let your enemies be disarmed by the gentleness of your manner, but let them feel, at the same time, thc fteadiness of your just resentment ; for there is a great difference between bearing malice, which is always ungenerous, and a resolute felf-defence, which is always prudent and justifiable.
I CONCLUDE with this observation. That gentleness of manners, with firmness of mind, is a short, but full description of human perfection, on this side of religious and moral duties.
ERE I to explain what I understand by good sense,
I should call it right reason ; but right reason that arises not from formal and logical deductions, but from a fort of intuitive faculty in the foul, which distinguishes by imme. diate perception : a kind of innate fagacity, that in many of its properties seems very much to resemble instinct. It would be improper, therefore, to say, that Sir Isaac Newton shewed his good sense, by those amazing discoveries which he made in natural philofophy ; the operations of this gift of Heaven are rather instantaneous, than thie result of any tedious process. Like Diomed, after Minerva had endued him with the power of discerning gods from mortals, the man of good sense discovers at once the truth of those objects he is most concerned to distinguish ; and conducts himself with suitable caution and security.
It is for this reason, possibly, that this quality of the mind is not so often found united with learning as one could wish : for good sense being accustomed to receive her discoveries without labour or ftudy, she cannot so easily wait for those truths, which being placed at a distance, and lying concealed under numberlefs covers, require much pains and application to unfold.
But though good sense is nor in the number, not always, it must be owned, in the company of the sciences; yet is it (as the most fenfible of poets has justly observed)
• fairly worth the feven.' Rectitude of understanding is indeed the most useful, as well as the most noble of human endowments, as it is the fove.
reign guide and director in every branch of civil and social intercourse.
UPON whatever occasion this enlightening faculty is ex erted, it is always sure to act with distinguished eminence ; but its chief and peculiar province seems to lie in the commerce of the world. Accordingly we may observe, that those who have conversed more with men than with books; whose wisdom is derived rather from experience than contemplation ; generally possess this happy talent with superior perfectior, For good sense, though it cannot be acquired, may be improved ; and the world, I believe, will ever be found to afford the most kindly foil for its cultivation,
TUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and for abi.
lity. The chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring ; for ornament, is in discourse ; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of bufiness. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars one by one ; but the general counsels, and the plots, and marthalling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies is Noth; to use them too much for ornament is affectation ; to make judgment wholly by their rules is the humour of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience ; for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by duty, and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wife men use them : F 2