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Page:Samuel Johnson (1911).djvu/101

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cannot but admire the secret concatenation of society that links together the great and the mean, the illustrious and the obscure ; and consider with benevolent satisfaction, that no man, unless his body or mind be totally dis- abled, has need to suffer the mortification of seeing himself useless or burdensome to the community : he that will diligently labour, in whatever occupation, will deserve the susten- ance which he obtains, and the protection which he enjoys : and may lie down every night with the pleasing consciousness of having contributed something to the happiness of life.

Contempt and admiration are equally in- cident to narrow minds: he whose compre- hension can take in the whole subordination of mankind, and whose perspicacity can pierce to the real state of things through the thin veils of fortune or of fashion, will discover meanness in the highest stations, and dignity in the meanest ; and find that no man can become venerable but by virtue, or contempt- ible but by wickedness.

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