Open main menu

Page:Samuel Johnson (1911).djvu/69

This page needs to be proofread.


not called, will betray him to crimes, which in his original scheme were never proposed.

He, therefore, that would govern his actions by the laws of virtue, must regulate his thoughts by those of reason ; he must keep guilt from the recesses of his heart, and re- member that the pleasures of fancy, and the emotions of desire, are more dangerous as they are more hidden, since they escape the awe of observation, and operate equally in every situation, without the concurrence of external opportunities.

��IT is justly remarked by Horace, that how- soever every man may complain occasionally of the hardships of his condition, he is seldom willing to change it for any other on the same level : for whether it be that he, who follows an employment, made choice of it at first on account of its suitableness to his inclination ; or that when accident, or the determination of others, has placed him in a particular station, he, by endeavouring to reconcile himself to it, gets the custom of viewing it only on the fairest side ; or whether every man thinks that class to which he belongs the most illus- trious, merely because he has honoured it with his name ; it is certain that, whatever be

�� �