Leighton and Coleridge.

It is an argument of a candid ingenuous mind, to delight in the good name and commendations of others; 79 to pass by their defects and take notice of their virtues; and to speak and hear of those willingly, and not endure either to speak or hear of the other; for in this indeed you may be little less guilty than the evil speaker, in taking pleasure in it, though you speak it not. He that willingly drinks in tales and calumnies, will, from the delight he hath in evil hearing, slide insensibly into the humour of evil speaking. It is strange how most persons dispense with themselves in this point, and that in scarcely any societies shall we find a hatred of this ill, but rather some tokens of taking pleasure in it; and until a Christian sets himself to an inward watchfulness over his heart, not suffering in it any thought that is uncharitable, or vain self-esteem, upon the sight of others' frailties, he will still be subject to somewhat of this, in the tongue or ear at least. So then, as for the evil of guile in the tongue, a sincere heart, truth in the inward parts, powerfully redresses it; therefore it is expressed, Psal. XV, 2, That speaketh the truth from his heart; thence it flows. Seek much after this, to speak nothing with God, nor men, but what is the sense of a single unfeigned heart. O sweet truth! excellent but rare sincerity! he that loves that truth within, and who is himself at once the truth and the life, He alone can work it there! Seek it of him.

It is characteristic of the Roman dignity and sobriety, that, in the Latin, to favour with the tongue (favere lingua) means, to be silent. We say. Hold your tongue! as if it were an injunction, that could not be carried into effect but by manual force, or the pincers of the forefinger and thumb! And verily--I blush to say it--it is not women and Frenchmen only that would rather have their tongues bitten than bitted, and feel their souls in a strait-waistcoat, when they are obliged to remain silent.

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