Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

the wrong ; which is but faying in other words, that he is wifer to day than he was yeiterday.

Wherever I find a great deal of gratitude in a poor man, I take it for granted there would be as much gencrosity if he were a rich man.

Flowers of rhetoric in fermons or serious discourses are like the blue and red flowers in corn, pleasing to those who come only for amusement, but prejudicial to him who would reap the profit.

Ir often happens that those are the beft people, whose characters have been molt injured by flanderers ; as we usu. ally find that to be the sweetest fruit, which the birds have been picking at.

The eye of the critic is often like a microscope ; made fo very fine and nice, that it discovers the atoms, grains, and minutest particles, without ever comprehending the whole, comparing the parts, or seeing all at once the harmony.

Men's zeal for religion is much of the fame kind as that : which they fow for a fout bail : whenever it is contested for, every one is ready to venture their lives and limbs in the dispute ; but when that is once at an end, it is no more thought on, but sleeps in oblivion, buried in rubbish, which no one thinks it worth his pains to rake into, much less to

- remove.

Honour is but a fi&itious kind of honefty; a mean but a necessary fubstitute for it, in societies who have none; it is a sort of paper credit, with which men are obliged to trade, who are deficient in the sterling calh of true moFality and religion.

Persons of great delicacy hould know the certainty of the following truth: there are abundance of cases which oscafion fufpenfe, in which whatever they determine they will repent of the determination ; and this through a propensity of human nature to fancy happiness in those schemes which it does not pursue.

THE chief advantage, that ancient writers can boast over modern ones, seems owing to fimplicity. Every noble truth and sentiment was expressed by the former in a natural manner; in word and phrase fimple, perspicuous, and incas pable of improvement. What then remained for later writers, but affectation, witticism, and conceit?

CHAP. VIII.

1

HAT a piece of work is man! how noble in reafon! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehen. fion how like a god! 1

If to do, were as. easy 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 instructions: I can easier 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 brass ; their virtues we write in water.

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and illi together ; our viriues 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 most in apprehension ; And the

poor

beetle that we tread upon, In corporal fufferance feels a pang as great As when a giant dies.

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

LOVE

Love all, trust a few;
Do wrong to none ; be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than in use : keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key; be check'd for Glences
But never tak'd for speech.

The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The folemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit shall diffolve;
And, like the baseless fabric of a vifion,
Leave not a wreck behind! We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our lictle life
Is rounded with a fleep.

Oui indiscretion sometimes serves 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 eyes, in a fine phrenzy 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 dio,
Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues
Did not

forth of us, 'twere all alike
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd,
But to fine issues : nor nature never lends
The smalleft fcruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddefs, the determines,
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks and use.'

WHAT

What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted?
Thrice is he arm'd that hath his quarrel just :
And he but naked (though lock'd up in Steel)
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.

CHAP. IX. O., World! thy slippery turns: Friends now falt fworn, Whofe double bosoms feem to wear one heart, Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal and exercise Are fill together; who twine (as 'twere) in ldve Infeparable; thall within this hoor, On a diffenfion of a doit, break out To bittereft enmity. So 'Fellest foes, Whose passions and whose plots have broke their fleep, 'To take the one the other, by some chance, Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends, And interjoin their issues.

So it falls out,
That what we have we prize not to the worth
While we enjoy it; but being lack'd and loft,
Why then we wreak the value; then we find
The virtue that posseflion would not show 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 should fear;
Seeing that death, a neceffary end,
Will come, when it will come.

There is some foul of goodnefs in things evil,
Would men observingly distil it out,
For our bad neighbour makes us early ftirrers :

which

Which is both healthful and good husbandry;
Besides, they are our outward consciences,
And preachers to us all; admonishing.
That we should dress 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 sailor on a maf,
Ready with every nod to tumble dowa
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.

Who shall

go

about
To cozen fortune, and be honourable
Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume
To wear an undeserved dignity.
O that eftates, degreer, and offices,
Were not derived corruptly, that clear honour
Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
How
many

then Bould cover that itand bare! How many be commanded, that command !

Oh who can hold a fire in his hand
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
By bare imagination of a feast?
Or wallow naked in December fnow
By thinking on fantastic summer's heat?
Oh, no! the apprehension of the good
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse;
Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more,
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the fore.

'Tis flander, Whose cdge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue

Outvenogs

« VorigeDoorgaan »