Famous Reviews eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 560 pages of information about Famous Reviews.
friends on an important point of conduct, is an imprudence we would by no means recommend; indeed, it is a species of selfishness, if, in listening only to the dictates of passion, a man sacrifices to its gratification the happiness of those most dear to him as well as his own; though it is not now-a-days the most prevalent form of selfishness.  But it is no condemnation of a sentiment to say, that it becomes blameable when it interferes with duty, and is uncontrolled by conscience:  the desire of riches, power, or distinction—­the taste for ease and comfort—­are to be condemned when they transgress these bounds; and love, if it keep within them, even though it be somewhat tinged with enthusiasm, and a little at variance with what the worldly call prudence, i.e., regard for pecuniary advantage, may afford a better moral discipline to the mind than most other passions.  It will not at least be denied, that it has often proved a powerful stimulus to exertion where others have failed, and has called forth talents unknown before even to the possessor.  What, though the pursuit may be fruitless, and the hopes visionary?  The result may be a real and substantial benefit, though of another kind; the vineyard may have been cultivated by digging in it for the treasure which is never to be found.  What though the perfections with which imagination has decorated the beloved object, may, in fact, exist but in a slender degree? still they are believed in and admired as real; if not, the love is such as does not merit the name; and it is proverbially true that men become assimilated to the character (i.e., what they think the character) of the being they fervently adore:  thus, as in the noblest exhibitions of the stage, though that which is contemplated be but a fiction, it may be realized in the mind of the beholder; and, though grasping at a cloud, he may become worthy of possessing a real goddess.  Many a generous sentiment, and many a virtuous resolution, have been called forth and matured by admiration of one, who may herself perhaps have been incapable of either.  It matters not what the object is that a man aspires to be worthy of, and proposes as a model for imitation, if he does but believe it to be excellent.  Moreover, all doubts of success (and they are seldom, if ever, entirely wanting) must either produce or exercise humility; and the endeavour to study another’s interests and inclinations, and prefer them to one’s own, may promote a habit of general benevolence which may outlast the present occasion.  Every thing, in short, which tends to abstract a man in any degree, or in any way, from self,—­from self-admiration and self-interest, has, so far at least, a beneficial influence in forming the character.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Famous Reviews from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook