Guilt, though it may attain temporal splendor, can never confer real happiness; the evil consequences of our crimes long survive their commission, and, like the ghosts of the murdered, forever haunt the steps of the malefactor; while the paths of virtue, though seldom those of worldly greatness, are always those of pleasantness and peace.
What various scenes, and O! what scenes of Woe, Are witness'd by that red and struggling beam! The fever'd patient, from his pallet low, Through crowded hospitals beholds it stream; The ruined maiden trembles at its gleam, The debtor wakes to thought of gyve and jail, The love-lorn wretch starts from tormenting dream; The wakeful mother, by the glimmering pale, Trims her sick infant's couch, and soothes his feeble wail.
I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?
The Book of Books Within this ample volume lies The mystery of mysteries. Happiest they of human race To whom their God has given grace To read, to fear, to hope, to pray, To lift the latch, to force the way; But better had they ne'er been born That read to doubt or read to scorn.
Perhaps the perusal of such works may, without injustice, be compared with the use of opiates, baneful, when habitually and constantly resorted to, but of most blessed power in those moments of pain and of langour, when the whole head is sore, and the whole heart sick. If those who rail indiscriminately at this species of composition, were to consider the quantity of actual pleasure it produces, and the much greater proportion of real sorrow and distress which it alleviates, their philanthropy ought to moderate their critical pride, or religious intolerance.
All live by seeming. The beggar begs with it, and the gay courtier Gains land and title, rank and rule, by seeming; The clergy scorn it not, and the bold soldier Will eke with it his service.--All admit it, All practise it; and he who is content With showing what he is, shall have small credit In church, or camp, or state.--So wags the world.
Who o'er the herd would wish to reign, Fantastic, fickle, fierce, and vain! Vain as the leaf upon the stream, And fickle as a changeful dream; Fantastic as a woman's mood, And fierce as Frenzy's fever'd blood. Thou many-headed monster thing, Oh who would wish to be thy king!