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I incline to hope rather than fear;
And gladly banish squint suspicion.1

Beware of desperate steps; the darkest day,
Live till to-morrow, will have passed away.

What mortal his own doom may guess?
Let none despond; let none despair.3

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2 Cowper.

1 Comus.
4 Rambles, No. 44. (by Mrs. E. Carter).
6 Swift.

7 Hume.


The greatest honour you can pay to the Author of your being, is by such a cheerful behaviour as discovers a mind satisfied with His dispensations.* Cheerfulness is the best hymn to the Creator. Aim not at joy, but rest content with ease.5 The world is divided into two sects- those that hope the best, and those that fear the worst. The former is the wiser, the nobler, and the most pious principle.R

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

I was ever disposed to see the favourable rather than the unfavourable side of things; a turn of mind which it is more happy to possess than to be born to an estate of ten thousand a year.7

Whoever grows too weary and impatient of the condition he is in, will too impatiently project to get out of it; and that, by degrees, will shake, or baffle, or delude his innocence. We have no reason to blush for the poverty which is not brought upon us by our own faults. So long as it pleases

3 Byron (Mazeppa).

5 Pope.

God to give me health (which, I thank Him, I have in a good measure), I shall think He intends that I should outlive these sufferings; and when He sends me sickness, I shall, I hope, with the same submission, believe that He intends to remove me from greater calamities.1

Sperat infestis, metuit secundis
Alteram sortem bene præparatum
Pectus. Informes hyemes reducit
Jupiter, idem

Summovet. Non, si male nunc, et olim
Sic erit. Quondam citharâ tacentem
Suscitat musam, neque semper arcum
Tendit Apollo.

Rebus angustis animosus atque
Fortis appare: sapienter idem
Contrahes vento nimium secundo
Turgida vela.

God willeth what He doth; and if His will accord not with thine, wilt thou doubt which is wisest and best?

It is right to be content with what we have, not with what we are: the exact reverse is the case with most men."

I cannot persuade myself that it is any part of wisdom to be miserable to-day because I may be so some time or other.

If thou sendest for miseries so far off, there will

1 Lord Clarendon.-See M'Diarmid, Lives of British Statesmen. 2 Mackintosh (Life).

not be an hour pass wherein some disconsolation or other will not come upon thee.

Let folk bode well, and strive to do their best,
Nae mair's required let Heaven make out the rest. 1


Eye me, blest Providence, and square my trial
To my proportion'd strength!2

It is very unreasonable to disquiet ourselves about distant evils, it often happening that the presence of the things themselves suggests better expedients-wiser and quicker counsels to us, than all our wisdom and forethought at a distance can do. "The morrow," says our Lord, "shall take thought for the things of itself;" that is, it shall bring with it a power and strength of mind answerable to its necessities - a frame of spirit every way suited to our circumstances and occasions.3

Be not over-exquisite
To cast the fashion of uncertain evils;

For grant they be so-while they rest unknown,
What need a man forestall his date of grief,
And run to meet what he would most avoid;
Or if they be but false alarms of fear,
How bitter is such self-delusion.4

Never meet fear half way.

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Chi stolta il mal figura
Affretta il proprio affanno,
Ed assicura un danno
Quando e' dubbioso ancor.1

To be resign'd when ills betide,
Patient when favours are denied,

And pleas'd with favours given;
This is the wise, the virtuous part,
This is that incense of the heart
Whose fragrance reacheth Heaven!

If the evil of the day be not intolerable (though sufficient, God knows, at any period of life) we may, or at least we should, nay, we must (whether patiently or impatiently) bear it, and make the best of what we cannot make better, but may make worse. May you be as happy hereafter as honest men may expect, and need not doubt, while (knowing nothing more) they know that their Maker is merciful. 2

Then patient bear the sufferings you have earned,
And by those sufferings purify the mind;

Let wisdom be, by past misconduct, learned;
Or pious die, with penitence resigned,

And to a life more happy and refined,
Doubt not you shall new creatures yet arise.3

My son, despise not thou the chastening of the

Lord: neither be weary of his corrections.

1 Metastasio (Attilio Regolo).
2 Pope to Swift.

3 Thomson (Castle of Indolence).

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For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.'

Je priois en santé, maintenant je me résigne : la préparation à la mort c'est une bonne vie; je n'en connois point d'autre.2

Qui s'endort dans le sein d'un père n'est pas en souci de réveil.3

Resign thyself to the protection of thy God, and then wilt thou sleep sound and wake in comfort. ........ But we must not provoke that Heaven in our wantonness, which we invoke in our misery.4

I believe God supports me above my own strength for the sake of my friends who are concerned for me, and in return for the resignation with which I endeavour to submit to His will.5

God's will be done! I have acted, as I thought, for the best, and I now go on, alone and sorrowful, with an entire trust in God's providence and mercy.


I know but one way of fortifying my soul against these gloomy presages and terrors of mind, and that is, by securing to myself the friendship and protection of that Being who disposes of events, and governs futurity. He sees at one view the whole thread of my existence: when I lay me down to sleep, I recommend myself to His care; when I awake, I give myself up to His direction.

2 La Nouvelle Héloïse.

4 Scott (The Monastery).

1 Job.

3 Ibid.

5 Lord Lyttleton, after the death of his wife.

6 Bishop Heber (Journal).

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