S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
A man of great sagacity in business, and he preserved so great a vigour of mind even to his death, when near eighty, that some who had known him in his younger years did believe him to have much quicker parts in his age than before.
He does anger too much honour who calls it madness, which being a distemper of the brain, and a total absence of all reason, is innocent of all the ill effects it may produce, whereas anger is an affected madness, compounded of pride and folly, and an intention to do commonly more mischief than it can bring to pass.
Envy is a weed that grows in all soils and climates, and is no less luxuriant in the country than in the court; is not confined to any rank of men or extent of fortune, but rages in the breasts of all degrees. Alexander was not prouder than Diogenes; and it may be, if we would endeavour to surprise it in its most gaudy dress and attire and in the exercise of its full empire and tyranny, we should find it in schoolmasters and scholars, or in some country lady, or the knight her husband; all which ranks of people more despise their neighbours than all the degrees of honour in which courts abound; and it rages as much in a sordid, affected dress as in all the silks and embroideries which the excess of the age and folly of youth delight to be adorned with. Since then it keeps all sorts of company, and wriggles itself into the liking of the most contrary natures and dispositions, and yet carries so much poison and venom with it that it alienates the affections from heaven, and raises rebellion against God himself, it is worth our utmost care to watch it in all its disguises and approaches, that we may discover it in its first entrance, and dislodge it before it procures a shelter or retiring-place to lodge and conceal itself.
If we can forbear thinking proudly of ourselves, and that it is only Gods goodness if we exceed other men in anything; if we heartily desire to do all the good we can to others; if we do cheerfully submit to any affliction, as that which we think best for us, because God has laid it upon us; and receive any blessings He vouchsafes to confer upon us, as His own bounty, and very much above our merit; He will bless this temper of ours into that humility which He expects and accepts.
There is no art or science that is too difficult for industry to attain to: it is the gift of tongues, and makes a man understood and valued in all countries and by all nations. It is the philosophers stone that turns all metals, and even stones, into gold, and suffers no want to break into its dwelling. It is the north-west passage, that brings the merchants ships as soon to him as he can desire. In a word, it conquers all enemies, and makes fortune itself pay contribution.
Angry and choleric men are as ungrateful and unsociable as thunder and lightning, being in themselves all storms and tempests; but quiet and easy natures are like fair weather, welcome to all, and acceptable to all men: they gather together what the others disperse, and reconcile all whom the others incense: as they have the good will and the good wishes of all other men, so they have the full possession of themselves, have all their own thoughts at peace, and enjoy quiet and ease in their own fortune, how strait soever it may be.