A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 14.
which they are actuated.  But time accomplishes two great things for those who are capable of improvement; it demonstrates the erroneousness of many of the judgments they had formed of the human character and conduct, and it discloses within their own breasts, several very disquieting principles and mortifying drawbacks, which necessitate them to lower the estimate they had made of their own excellence.  Where, from uncommon circumstances, this tuition has never been applied, we shall find at forty, the same petulance and conceit which characterised the clever, it may be, but certainly foolish youth of eighteen; and some persons there are, who, not quite ignorant of the process, are so much enraged at it, that they continue through life to display the same offensive appearances, out of mere spite, and because they have not the honesty to acknowledge that they ever stood in need of instruction.  G.F. appears to have been in the first-mentioned predicament; and probably his early death occurred in the midst of a salutary though severe correction.—­E.
[7] “This group of islands, which we had now cursorily examined in the space of forty-six days, seems to be well worth the attention of future navigators, especially if they should ever be sent out upon the liberal plan of making discoveries in all the various branches of science.  I will not pretend to say that they would find great riches of silver and pearls, which Quiros was forced to speak of, in order to engage an interested, avaricious court, to support his great and spirited undertakings.  These incitements are not necessary now-a-days, when several monarchs in Europe have convinced the world that they can institute voyages of discovery, with no other view than the increase of human knowledge, and the improvement of man-kind.  The sums which some of their predecessors have lavished on parasites, have been found sufficient to make an immense progress, nay to produce a new and important revolution in the state of the sciences, which have ever required a trifling expence to triumph over the numberless obstacles that ignorance, envy, or superstition opposed against them.”—­G.F.
This gentleman we see, is capable of courtesy.  The terms in which it is expressed, however, are sufficiently guarded against admitting too great a latitude of application, and consequently, are not particularly liable to abuse—­the less so indeed, as it is likely, that those who might most covet his commendation, would be found best entitled to it.  The recent distractions of Europe, however, have not enhanced the claims of its monarchs to the honour of patronising such important undertakings.  Some of them, it is probable, are content with the common but assuredly not less expensive ambition of having shared, though but by proxy, in a more splendid speculation for fame:  And the glory so acquired, they may chance to think, is ample enough, without farther concern, to gild their names throughout all succeeding generations. 
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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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