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perpetual caution is a kind of underground wisdom that doth not care to see the light.

To desire what belongeth to another man is misprision of robbery.

A difficulty raiseth the spirits of a great man ; he hath a mind to wrestle with it, and give it a fall. A man's mind must be very low, if the difficulty doth not make a part of his pleasure. The pride of compassing may more than compare with the pleasure of enjoying.

It is a piece of arrogance to dare to be drunk, because a man showeth himself without a veil.

Good manners is such a part of good sense that they cannot be divided; but that which a fool calleth good breeding is the most unmannerly thing in the world. Right good manners require so much sense that there is hardly any such thing in the world.

He that can be quite indifferent when he seeth another man injured, hath a lukewarm honesty that a wise man will not depend upon.

Half the truth is often as arrant a lie as can be made.

A man who is master of patience is master of everything else.

A man that doth not use his reason is a tame beast; a man that abuses it is a wild one.

Misspending a man's time is a kind of self-homicide ; it is making life to be of no use.




(From “ Life and Works of Sir George Savile, Bart., First Marquis

of Halifax," by H. C. Foxcroft.)

I must tell you that no respect is lasting but that which is produced by our being in some degree useful to those

that pay it; where that faileth, the homage and the reverence go along with it, and fly to others where something may be expected in exchange for them. And upon this principle the respects even of the children and the servants will not stay with one that doth not think them worth their care, and the old housekeeper shall make a better figure in the family than the lady with all her fine clothes, if she wilfully relinquish her title to the government; therefore take heed of carrying your good breeding to such a height as to be good for nothing, and to be proud of it. . . . No age ever erected altars to insignificant gods, they all had some quality applied to them to draw worship from mankind; this maketh it the more unreasonable for a lady to expect to be considered and at the same time resolve not to deserve it. Good looks alone will not do.

You are to have as strict a guard upon yourself amongst your children as if you were amongst your enemies; they are apt to make wrong inferences, to take encouragement from half words, and misapply what you may say or do, so as either to lessen their duty or to extend their liberty farther than is convenient. Let them be more in awe of

kindness than of your power. . Your servants are in the next place to be considered ; and you must remember not to fall in the mistake of thinking, that because they receive wages, and are so much inferior to you, therefore they are below your care to know how to manage them. It would be as good reason for a master workman to despise the wheels of his engine because they are made of wood. These are the wheels of your family. . . . Besides, the inequality which is between you must not cause you to forget that Nature maketh no such distinction, but that servants may be looked upon as humble friends, and that returns of kind


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ness and good usage are as much due to such of them as deserve it, as their service is due to us when we require it. A foolish haughtiness in the style of speaking, or in the manner of commanding them, is in itself very undecent.

You are never to neglect the duty of the present hour, to do another thing which, though it may be better in itself, is not to be unseasonably preferred. . .

I must not forget one of the greatest articles belonging to a family, which is the expense. It must not be such as by failing either in the time or measure of it may

rather draw censure than gain applause. If it was well examined, there is more money given to be laughed at than for anything in the world, though the purchasers do not

.. The art of laying out money wisely is not attained to without a great deal of thought..

In your clothes avoid too much gaudiness; do not value yourself upon an embroidered gown; and remember that a reasonable word, or an obliging look, will gain you more respect than all your fine trappings. . . . Fix it in your thoughts, as an unchangeable maxim, that nothing is truly fine but what is fit. . .

Remember that children and fools want every thing, because they want wit to distinguish; and, therefore, there is no stronger evidence of a crazy understanding than the making too large a catalogue of things necessary, when in truth there are so very few things that have a right to be placed in it. ...

I must in a particular manner recommend to you a strict care in the choice of your friendships. The violent intimacies, when once broken, of which they scarce ever fail, make such a noise; the bag of secrets untied, they fly about like birds let loose from a cage, and become the entertainment of the town. Do not lay out

your friendships too lavishly at first, since it will, like other things, be so much the sooner spent; neither let be of too quick a growth. .

Avoid being the first in fixing a hard censure; let it be confirmed by the general voice before you give in to it; neither are you then to give sentence like a magistrate, or as if you had a special authority to bestow a good or ill name at your discretion.

You are to consider that the invisible thing called a Good Name is made up of the breath of numbers that speak well of you ; so that if, by a disobliging word, you silence the meanest, the gale will be the less strong which is to bear up your esteem.

I must with more than ordinary earnestness give you caution against vanity, it being the fault to which your sex seemeth to be the most inclined; and since affectation, for the most part, attendeth it, I do not know how to divide them. ... The first may be called the root of self-love, the other the fruit; vanity is never at its full growth till it spreadeth into affectation, and then it is complete. .. Vanity maketh a woman tainted with it so topful of herself that she spilleth it upon the company.

After having said this against vanity, I do not intend to apply the same censure to pride well placed and rightly defined. It is an ambiguous word; one kind of it is as much a virtue as the other is a vice; but we are naturally so apt to choose the worst that it is become dangerous to commend the best side of it. . . . A pride that raiseth a little anger to be outdone in anything that is good will have so good an effect that it is very hard to allow it to be a fault.

Diversions are the most properly to be applied to ease and relieve those who are oppressed by being too much

employed; those that are idle have no need of them, and yet they above all others give themselves up to them. To unbend our thoughts when they are too much stretched by our cares is not more natural than it is necessary, but to turn our whole life into a holiday is not only ridiculous but destroyeth pleasure instead of promoting it. The mind, like the body, is tired by being always in one posture; too serious breaketh it, and too diverting looseneth it. It is variety that giveth the relish.

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