Imatges de pÓgina

pensity of human nature to fancy happiness in those schemes which it does not pursue.

The chief advantage that ancient writers can boaft 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, perfpicuous, and incapable of improvement. What then remained for later writers, but affectation, witticism, and conceit?

[blocks in formation]


HAT a piece of work is man! how noble in rea

fon ! how infinite in faculties ! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel ! in apprehension how like a God!

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 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 brass ; 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 sense of death is most in apprehenfion; 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 naughty world.

-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 filence,
But never talk'd for speech.

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

Our indiscretion fometimes 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.

[ocr errors]

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
Did not go 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 smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks and use.

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

[blocks in formation]

OH, world, thy sippery turns ! Friends now faft sworn,

Whofe double bofoms seem to wear one heart,
Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal and exercise
Are still together ; who twine (as 'twere) in love
Inseparable ; shall within this hour,
On a diffenfion of a doit, break out
To bitterest enmity. So fellest foes,
Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep,
To take the one the other, by some chance,
Some trick not worth an egg, shall


dear friends, And interjoin their issues.

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



The virtue that possession would not shew us
Whilst it was ours.


times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste 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 necessary end,
Will come, when it will come.

There is fome foul of goodness in things evil,
Would men observingly distil it out,
For our bad neighbour makes us early firrers:
Which is both healthful, and good husbandry ;
Besides, they are our outward confciences,
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 failor on a maft,
Ready with every nod to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.

Who shall


To cozen fortune, and be honourable
Without the stamp of merit? Let none presame.
To wear an undeferved dignity.
O that estates, degrces, and offices,
Were not derived corruptly, that clear honour
Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!

How How many

then should cover that stand 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 (now,
By thinking on fantastic summer's heat
Oh, no! the apprehension 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; Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie All corners of the world. Kings, queens, and states, Maids, matrons, nay the secrets 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 ;
mitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries.

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

« AnteriorContinua »