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The phrases in their context!


It is the same case with temperance, frugality, economy, resolution: As on the other hand, prodigality, luxury, irresolution, uncertainty, are vicious, merely because they draw ruin upon us, and incapacitate us for business and action.
As wisdom and good-sense are valued, because they are useful to the person possessed of them; so wit and eloquence are valued, because they are immediately agreeable to others.
On the other hand, good humour is loved and esteemed, because it is immediately agreeable to the person himself.
It is evident, that the conversation of a man of wit is very satisfactory; as a chearful good-humoured companion diffuses a joy over the whole company, from a sympathy with his gaiety.
These qualities, therefore, being agreeable, they naturally beget love and esteem, and answer to all the characters of virtue.
It is difficult to tell, on many occasions, what it is that renders one man's conversation so agreeable and entertaining, and another's so insipid and distasteful.
As conversation is a transcript of the mind as well as books, the same qualities, which render the one valuable, must give us an esteem for the other.
This we shall consider afterwards.
In the mean time it may be affirmed in general, that all the merit a man may derive from his conversation (which, no doubt, may be very considerable) arises from nothing but the pleasure it conveys to those who are present.
In this view, cleanliness is also to be regarded as a virtue; since it naturally renders us agreeable to others, and is a very considerable source of love and affection.
No one will deny, that a negligence in this particular is a fault; and as faults are nothing but smaller vices, and this fault can have no other origin than the uneasy sensation, which it excites in others, we may in this instance, seemingly so trivial, dearly discover the origin of the moral distinction of vice and virtue in other instances.
Besides all those qualities, which render a person lovely or valuable, there is also a certain JE-NE-SCAI-QUOI of agreeable and handsome, that concurs to the same effect.
In this case, as well as in that of wit and eloquence, we must have recourse to a certain sense, which acts without reflection, and regards not the tendencies of qualities and characters.
Some moralists account for all the sentiments of virtue by this sense.
Their hypothesis is very plausible.
Nothing but a particular enquiry can give the preference to any other hypothesis.
When we find, that almost all the virtues have such particular tendencies; and also find, that these tendencies are sufficient alone to give a strong sentiment of approbation: We cannot doubt, after this, that qualities are approved of, in proportion to the advantage, which results from them.
The decorum or indecorum of a quality, with regard to the age, or character, or station, contributes also to its praise or blame.
This decorum depends, in a great measure, upon experience.
It is usual to see men lose their levity, as they advance in years.
Such a degree of gravity, therefore, and such years, are connected together in our thoughts.