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Correctors of the Press. The labours of these persons were likewise, in the early editions of books, commemorated by verses, which set forth the merit of these useful scholars. I find four rather boastful lines to this effect at the end of a volume, printed by Sextus Russingems, at Naples, 1472.
Sixtus hoc impressit, sed bis tamen ante revisit,
Egregius Doctor Petrus Oliverius.
Lætus emas, mendis nam caret istud opus.
Sixtus the copies printed with much care,
Melanges d'Histoire et de Literature.
Early Marriage. This should prove a state most eligible, if we consider the early appearance of those passions which induce us to it. The reason why marriages are undertaken late in life is the condition of what is called refined society. Were men and women contented with the pleasures of domestic life, and did they look to home for happiness, which is to be found there only, the expenses of matrimony would decrease. The wife, instead of being a new source of expense, would be really an help-mate, and the care in the education of children a pleasant employment to both parties. But the love of home is not a common passion, and most stare about the world and around them, as if happiness was to be sought in every other place but its real residence. A prudent and virtuous couple may exclaim, in the beautiful lines of the dramatic poet,
How near am I now to a happiness
The earth exceeds not!
As are the conceal'd comforts of a man
Middleton's Women Beware of Women.
Roughness of Manners. Should any person of talents and acquirements put no restraint upon his vanity, and bring forth all his powers, whenever an opportunity occurred of shewing his parts and learning, he would, no doubt, appear a more able man than a modest person could possibly seem; yet he would gain the name, which Dr. Johnson bore, of being a “ tremendous companion," and lose that of an amiable man and agreeable friend. Extreme vanity and selfishness will often despise the gentle character, and say,
like the tyrant, oderint dum metuant. Let them, however, be awed into gentleness by the scriptural account of Seth, whose hand was against every ons, and every one's hand was against him.
Accent and Syllabic Quantity distinguished
We compare quantity to musical tones, differing in long and short, as, upon whateverline they stand, a semibreve differs from a minin. We compare accent to musical tunes, differing in high and low, as d upon the third line differs from g upon the first, be its length the same, or be it longer or shorter.—Harris's Philolog. Enquiries, vol i. part 2, page 68.
A Character. Perhaps no description of a character exceeds, in nice discrimination, and the variety of particulars, the following portrait of Mason, the poet, by his friend Gray. “A good and well-meaning creature, but in simplicity a child : he reads little or nothing, writes in abundance, and that with a design to make a fortune by it, which does not, however, appear to bave been the case. A little vain, but in so harmless and comical a way, that it does not offend; a little ambitious, but withal so ignorant of the world and its ways, that this does not hurt him in one's opinion : so sincere and undisguised, that no mind with a single spark of generosity would ever think of hurting him, he lies so open to injury: but so indolent, that if he cannot overcome this habit, all his good qualities will signify nothing at all.” ~Chalmers's Biographical Dictionary.
The Art of Gardening. Before the rules which now mark the general taste of laying out ground, and which exemplify the poet's saying,
" All art is nature to advantage dress’d;" the good sense and natural feelings of Mr. Addison thus discovered themselves : “ I do not know whether I am singular in my opinion, but for my own part I would rather look upon a tree in all its luxuriancy and diffusion of boughs and branches, than when it is cut and trimmed into a mathematical figure; and cannot but fancy, that an orchard in flower looks infinitely more delightful than all the little labyrinths of the most finished parterre." Notwithstanding this ample yet sportive declaration of his taste, the author of “ An Analytical Inquiry into the Principles of Taste” ob
a bold scepticism for so cautious a writer in that age.” Surely this learned and ingenious inquirer' must have forgotten the sly and humorous mode of writing so peculiar to Addison, when he considered him as sceptical.
Pretty and Handsome. These terms have been so jumbled in common conversation, that a doubt has sometimes arisen if they be not the same character of beauty: the classic mythology will illustrate this difference. Venus and Juno were opposite portraits : Juno, lofty in mien, and majestic in person: to Venus were given smiles the most winning and attractive. A pretty woman gains at first sight your tender affections, as a handsome woman by degrees commands your respect, for she often carries, with regularity of features, a sternness in them very incompatible with the more rapid attraction of sweetness and affability,
Popular State. The insecurity of individuals, both with respect to life and property, in a state of popular government, is well described in the following extract. Speaking of the ill usage of some honest