Page:Samuel Johnson (1911).djvu/235

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The traveller wanders through a naked desert, gratified sometimes, but rarely, with the sight of cows, and now and then finds a heap of loose stones and turf in a cavity be- tween rocks, where a being, born with all those powers which education expands and all those sensations which culture refines, is condemned to shelter itself from the wind and rain. Philo- sophers there are who try to make themselves believe that this life is happy, but they believe it only while they are saying it, and never yet produced conviction in a single mind; he, whom want of words or images sunk into silence, still thought, as he thought before, that privation of pleasure can never please, and that content is not to be much envied when it has no other principle than ignorance of good.

It is said, and said truly, that experience is the best teacher ; and it is supposed that as life is lengthened experience is increased. But a closer inspection of human life will discover that time often passes without any incident which can much enlarge knowledge or ratify j udgment. When we are young we learn much, because we are universally ignorant, we ob- serve every thing because every thing is new. But, after some years, the occurrences of daily life are exhausted ; one day passes like another p

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