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That borrow their behaviours from the great,*
What, shall they seek the lion in his den,
And fright him there? And make him tremble there?
King John, Act V.
THE wise and prudent conquer difficulties
He alone has energy that cannot be deprived of it.
OUR doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
Measure for Measure, Act I., Scene 5.
IT deserves to be considered that boldness is ever blind, for it sees not dangers and inconveniences. Whence 'tis bad in council though good in execution. The right use of bold persons, therefore, is that they never command in chief; but serve as seconds, under the direction of others. For in council 'tis good to see dangers, and in execution not to see them unless they are very great. BACON. Essays.
ANTIQUITY! thou wondrous charm, what art thou? that being nothing art everything! When thou wert, thou wert not antiquity-then thou wert nothing, but hadst a remoter
* Carried away by the irresistible influence which is always exercised over men's minds by a bold resolution in critical circumstances.
† Our remedies oft' in ourselves do lie,
antiquity, as thou calledst it, to look back to with blind veneration; thou thyself being to thyself flat, jejune, modern! What mystery lurks in this retroversion? or what half Januses are we, that cannot look forward with the same idolatry with which we for ever revert! The mighty future is as nothing being everything! The past is everything being nothing!
What were the dark ages? Surely the sun rose as brightly then as now, and man got him to his work in the morning. Why is it we can never hear mention of them without an accompanying feeling as though a palpable obscure had dimmed the face of things, and that our ancestors wandered to and fro groping?
CHARLES LAMB. Elia-Oxford in the Vacation.
'Tis not antiquity, nor author,
That makes truth truth, altho' Time's daughter,
'Twas he that put her in the pit
Before he pull'd her out of it;
Can make a gentleman, scarce a year old,
To be descended of a race
Of ancient kings in a small space,
Hudibras, Part II., Canto 3.
REVERENCE OF ANTIQUITY.
SARCASTICALLY referred by Hobbes to the contention men have with the living, not with the dead, to these ascribing more than their due that they may obscure the glory of the other.
HUME says the humour of blaming the present and admiring the past is strongly rooted in human nature, and has an influence even on persons endued with the profoundest judgment and most extensive learning.
Essays, Part II., Essay 12.
AN established government has an infinite advantage by that very circumstance of its being established, the bulk of mankind being governed by authority, not reason, and never attributing authority to anything that has not the recommendation of antiquity.
Ibid., Essay 16.
TIRED nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep!
Where fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes;
And lights on lids unsully'd with a tear.
YOUNG. Night Thoughts, Night I.
SOFT closer of our eyes!
Low murmurer of tender lullabies!
Light hoverer around our happy pillows!
Most happy listener! when the morning blesses
That glance so brightly at the new sun rise.
How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Why, rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
And hush'd with buzzing night flies to thy slumber,
And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
* It seldom visits sorrow: when it doth
It is a comforter.
Tempest, Act II.
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
Henry IV., Second Part, Act III.
SLEEP is a god too proud to wait in palaces,
His poppy grows among the corn,
The halcyon sleep will never build his nest
'Tis not enough that he does find
Clouds and darkness in their mind;
'Tis not enough, he must find quiet too.
COWLEY. Horace, Ode I., Book III.
'Twas now the time when Phoebus yields to night,
And rising Cynthia sheds her silver light,
Wide o'er the world in solemn pomp she drew,
Her airy chariot hung with pearly dew;
All birds and beasts lie hush'd; sleep steals away
POPE. Thebais of Statius.
A FLOCK of sheep that leisurely pass by,
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Even thus last night, and two nights more I lay,
Can snore upon the flint, when restive sloth.
Finds the down pillow hard.
Cymbeline, Act III.
And could not win thee, Sleep! by any stealth :
Without thee what is all the morning's wealth?
THE crowd are gone, the revellers at rest;
BYRON. Lara, Canto I.
SANCHO PANZA'S PRAISE OF SLEEP.
"I KNOW not what that means," replied Sancho; "I only know that while I am asleep, I have neither fear, nor hope, neither trouble, nor glory; and blessings on him who invented sleep, the mantle that covers all human thoughts; the food that appeases hunger; the drink that quenches thirst; the fire that warms cold; the cold that moderates heat; and lastly, the general coin that purchases all things; the balance and weight that makes the shepherd equal to the king, and the simple to the wise."
SLEEP is death's younger brother, and so like him, that I never dare trust him without my prayers.
SIR T. BROWN.
CARE-charmer sleep, son of the sable night,*
* Care-charming Sleep, thou easer of all woes,