No. 3 Gleanings (found in Mr Atticus Scriblerus’s room)
“Te veniente — Te decendente die requiro!” — this would be a good motto for a teacher.
“Busy people are generally shortsighted, as the Bee sees only an inch before her nose.” (NB Put this aside for my next satirical essay)
The gentleness of a wife mollifies her husband’s agitated mind and fills it with agreeable thoughts; as the oil which composes the waves, tinges them also with beautiful colours. [A pretty sentence for Mrs Bustleton’s novel]
Infidelity in a lover (says La Fontaine) is very little if we know it, and nothing if we do not. (Ditto. Can sell it as an original thought.)
No spies are so successful as those who have no salary but their own vanity. Men will say before a fool what they would not say before a wise man, forgetting that both fools and parrots can repeat.
Some very good characters are seen best when near. We do not see the golden grains in Arabesque work at a distance.
A woman’s wit and talents often endanger her. The lamps which illuminate a palace of ice are apt to dissolve what they render so sparkling. (NB This will fill a corner in my treatise on Female and Genius)
Ladies who wish to be men are not wise enough to be good women. A male child used in older times to be called a knave child — this would have afforded a comical inference, if the word knave had not been in those times a titular addition, thus — “Willhillmus de Derby, Knave.” Lord Aircastle would give something for this hint, as a note to his essay on British Antiquities.
A Simile for my next tragedy in any place —
As in lugubrous mines
The flintmill sends a thousand sparks around,
SO in the regions of black earthly woe
Stern stubborn souls emit perpetual light
While waxen tapers perish.
To a Lady winding silk —
The elephant’s tusk and the crocodile’s tooth
A skein of soft silk can entangle;
And in a silk cord, if ’twas twisted by you,
The strongest and wisest would dangle!
Sir Pertinax has had this verse six months in his pocket as an impromptu, ready for fit occasions. NB He has not paid for it yet.