Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

penfity of human nature to fancy happiness in those schemes which it does not purfue.

THE chief advantage that ancient writers can boaft over modern ones, feems owing to fimplicity. Every noble truth and sentiment was expreffed by the former in a natural manner, in word and phrase simple, perfpicuous, and incapable of improvement. What then remained for later writers, but affectation, witticism, and conceit ?

CHA P. VIII.

W

HAT a piece of work is man! how noble in reafon! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how exprefs and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehenfion how like a God!

Ir to do, were as eafy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages princes palaces. He is a good divine who follows his own inftructions: I can eafier teach twenty what were good to be done, than to be one of the twenty to follow my own teaching.

MEN's evil manners live in brafs; their virtues we write in water.

THE web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together; our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.

THE fenfe of death is moft in apprehenfion; And the poor beetle that we tread upon,

In

[ocr errors]

In corporal fufferance feels a pang as great,
As when a giant dies.

How far the little candle throws his beams! So fhines a good deed in a naughty world.

LOVE all, truft a few,

Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than in ufe: keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key: be check'd for filence,
But never task'd for speech.

The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The folemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherits, fhall diffolve;
And, like the baseless fabric of a vision,
Leave not a wreck behind! we are fuch ftuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a fleep.

OUR indifcretion fometimes ferves us well,

When our deep plots do fail; and that should teach us,
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.

THE Poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven And as imagination bodies forth

The form of things unknown, the Poet's pen

Turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing,
A local habitation and a name.

HEAVEN doth with us, as we with torches do,

Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues
forth of us, 'twere all alike

Did not go
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd,
But to fine iffues: nor nature never lends
The smallest fcruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, fhe determines
Herfelf the glory of a creditor,

Both thanks and use.

WHAT ftronger breaft-plate than a heart untainted?
Thrice is he arm'd that hath his quarrel juft:
And he but naked (tho' lock'd up in fteel)
Whofe confcience with injustice is corrupted.

CHA P.

IX.

OH, world, thy flippery turns! Friends now faft fworn,

Whofe double bofoms feem to wear one heart, Whofe hours, whofe bed, whose meal and exercise Are still together; who twine (as 'twere) in love Infeparable; fhall within this hour,

On a diffenfion of a doit, break out

To bittereft enmity. So felleft foes,

Whofe paffions and whose plots have broke their sleep,
To take the one the other, by fome chance,
Some trick not worth an egg, fhall grow
And interjoin their issues.

dear friends,

So it falls out,

That what we have we prize not to the worth,
Whiles we enjoy it; but being lack'd and loft,
Why then we wreak the value; then we find
D

[ocr errors]

The

The virtue that poffeffion would not shew us
Whilft it was ours.

COWARDS die many times before their deaths; The valiant never tafte of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men fhould fear;
Seeing that death, a neceffary end,

Will come, when it will come.

THERE is fome foul of goodness in things evil,
Would men obfervingly diftil it out,

For our bad neighbour makes us early firrers:
Which is both healthful, and good husbandry;
Befides, they are our outward confciences,
And preachers to us all; admonishing,
That we should drefs us fairly for our end.

O MOMENTARY grace of mortal men,
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hope in th' air of men's fair looks,
Lives like a drunken failor on a mast,

Ready with every nod to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.

WHO fhall go about

To cozen fortune, and be honourable

Without the ftamp of merit? Let none prefame.
To wear an undeferved dignity.

O that estates, degrees, and offices,

Were not derived corruptly, that clear honour
Were purchafed by the merit of the wearer!

1

How

How many then should cover that ftand bare!
How many be commanded, that command!

OH, who can hold a fire in his hand,
By thinking on the frofty Caucafus ?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite,
By bare imagination of a feaft?

Or wallow naked in December fnow,
By thinking on fantastic fummer's heat?
Oh, no! the apprehenfion of the good,
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse;
Fell forrow's tooth doth never rankle more,
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the fore.

'Tis flander;

Whofe edge is fharper than the fword; whofe tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whofe breath
Rides on the pofting winds, and doth belie
All corners of the world. Kings, queens, and states,
Maids, matrons, nay the fecrets of the grave,
This viperous flander enters.

THERE is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows, and in miferies.

TO-MORROW, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty space from day to day,
To the last fyllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
D 2

The

« ZurückWeiter »