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the wrong; which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser to day than he was yesterday.

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

Flowers of rhetoric in sermons 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.

It often happens, that those are the best people whose characters have been most injured by slanderers : as we usually find that to be the sweetest fruit which the birds have been pecking at.

The eye of the critic is often like a microscope; made so 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 same kind as that which they show for a football: 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


Honour is but a fictitious kind of honesty; a mean but a necessary substitute for it in societies who have none: it is a sort of a paper credit, with which men are obliged to trade who are deficient in the sterling cash of true morality and religion.

Persons of great delicacy should know the certainty of the following truth: there are abundance of cases which occasion suspense, 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 simplicity. Every noble truth and sentiment was expressed by the former in a natural manner; in word and phrase simple, perspicuous, and incapable of improvement. What then remained for later writers, but affectation, witticism, and conceit ?


WHAT a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! 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 easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than to be one of the twenty to follow my own teaching

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.

Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.

The sense of death is most in apprehension ;
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance feels a pang as great,
As when a giant dies.

How far the little candle throws its 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 silence,
But never task'd for speech.

The cloudcapp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
And, like the baseless fabric of a vision,
Leave not a wreck behind! We are such stuff
As dreams are made of, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well, When our deep plots do fail; and that should teach us, There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Roughhew them how we will.

The Poet's eye, in a fine phrenzy rolling, Doth glance from heav'n to earth, from earth to heav'n ; 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.

Heav'n 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 touchd,
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 breastplate 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.


Oh, World! thy slippery turns: Friends now fast sworn,
Whose double bosoms 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 dissension 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,
While we enjoy it; but being lack'd and lost,
Why then we reck the value; then we find
The virtue, that possession would not show us,
While it was ours.

Cowards die many 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 some soul of goodness in things evil, Would men observingly distil it out; For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers, 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 mast, Ready with every nod to tumble down Into the fatal bowels of the deep.

Who shall


about To cozen fortune, and he honourable Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume To wear an undeserved dignity. O that estates, degrees, and offices, Were not derived corruptly; that clear honour Were purchased by the merit of the wearer! 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's snow
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 sore.

'Tis slander,
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 slander 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 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
The way to dusky death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more! It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

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