Unmoved though Witlings sneer and Rivals rail, Studious to please, yet not ashamed to fail. He scorns the meek address, the suppliant strain. With merit needless, and without it vain. In Reason, Nature, Truth, he dares to trust:Ye Fops, be silent: and ye Wits, be just. .
To-morrow's action! Can that hoary wisdom, Borne down with years, still doat upon tomorrow! That fatal mistress of the young, the lazy, The coward, and the fool, condemn'd to lose A useless life in waiting for to-morrow, To gaze with longing eyes upon to-morrow, Till interposing death destroys the prospectStrange! that this general fraud from day to day Should fill the world with wretches undetected. The soldier, labouring through a winter's march, Still sees to-morrow drest in robes of triumph; Still to the lover's long-expecting arms To-morrow brings the visionary bride. But thou, too old to hear another cheat,Learn, that the present hour alone is man's. .
When learning's triumph o'er her barb'rous foes First reared the stage, immortal Shakespeare rose; Each change of many-colored life he drew, Exhausted worlds, and then imagined new: Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign, And panting Time toiled after him in vain. .
A transition from an author's book to his conversation, is too often like an entrance into a large city, after a distant prospect. Remotely, we see nothing but spires of temples and turrets of palaces, and imagine it the residence of splendour, grandeur and magnificence; but when we have passed the gates, we find it perplexed with narrow passages, disgraced with despicable cottages, embarrassed with obstructions, and clouded with smoke. .
The student who would build his knowledge on solid foundations, and proceed by just degrees to the pinnacles of truth, is directed by the great philosopher of France to begin by doubting of his own existence. In like manner, whoever would complete any arduous and intricate enterprise, should, as soon as his imagination can cool after the first blaze of hope, place before his own eyes every possible embarrassment that may retard or defeat him. He should first question the probability of success, and then endeavour to remove the objections that he has raised. .
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