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Each day's a mistress, unenjoy'd before;
Like travellers, we're pleased with seeing more.
Did you but know what joys your way attend,
You would not hurry to your journey's end.

DRYDEN. Aurenge-Zebe, Act IV.

'Tis not the stoic's lesson got by rote,
The pomp of words and pedant dissertations,
That can sustain thee in that hour of terror:
Books have taught cowards to talk nobly of it,
But when the trial comes they stand aghast.
Hast thou consider'd what may happen after it ?*
How thy account may stand and what to answer?



WE watch'd her breathing thro' the night,

Her breathing soft and low,

And in her breast the wave of life

Kept heaving to and fro.

But when the morn came dim and sad,
And chill with early showers,
Her quiet eyelids closed-she had

Another morn than ours.


THEY are all gone into the world of light!

And I alone sit ling'ring here!

Their very memory is fair and bright,

And my sad thoughts doth clear.

Dear, beauteous death; the Jewel of the Just!

Shining nowhere but in the dark;

What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,

Could man outlook that mark!


* It can never be matter of indifference to a thinking man, whether he is

to be happy or miserable beyond the grave.

BUTLER. Analogy.

He that hath found some fledg'd bird's nest may know

At first sight if the bird be flown;

But what fair dell or grove he sings in now,

That is to him unknown.

H. VAUGHAN. Silex Scintillans.


ALL wit and fancy, like a diamond
The more exact and curious 'tis ground,
Is forced for every carat to abate

As much in value, as it wants in weight.

BUTLER. Miscellaneous Thoughts.

A MAN of quick and active wit

For drudgery is more unfit,

Compared with those of duller parts,

Than running nags to draw in carts.


To endeavour to work upon the vulgar with fine sense, is like endeavouring to hew blocks with a razor.

AND, as thy weak companions round thee sit,
For eminence in folly deem'd a wit.


Character of an Old Rake.

Great and Small Wits.

As it is the characteristic of great wits to convey a great deal in a few words, so, on the contrary, small wits have the gift of speaking much and saying nothing.



CAN two contradictory opinions, says the pious man, be equally true? May they not, it may be answered, may they not be equally accepted by the Almighty Father, if offered to him with equal sincerity and humility of spirit, and after the same petitions for his grace and assistance?

SMYTH. Lectures on Modern History.

METHINKS we should scarce be so embittered against those who differ from us in principle and practice, were we oftener to reflect how frequently we have varied from ourselves in both these articles. A man must either have passed his time without reflecting, or his thoughts must have run in a very limited

channel, who has not experienced many remarkable revolutions of mind.



THE real ground on which these religious exclusions were and always have been defended, is that of terror, terror lest the inferior sect by obtaining political power, should after a struggle for equality contend at last for superiority. It is not very creditable to human nature, to observe that when this terror is really felt, it operates in a contrary way. In the settlements of religious claims and differences, the inferior sect often gains something from the fears, but never from the generosity of the superior.

SMYTH. Lectures on Modern History, Lecture 19.


No seared conscience is so fell,

As that which has been burned with zeal ;*

For Christian charity's as well

A great impediment to zeal,

As zeal a pestilent disease

To Christian charity, and peace.

BUTLER. Miscellaneous Thoughts.

THE sob'rest saints are more stiff-neckèd,
Than th' hottest headed of the wicked.



STRIVING against his quiet all he can,
For the fine notion of a busy man;

And what is that at best but one whose mind
Is made to tire himself and all mankind.

DRYDEN. Essay on Satire.

THAT man's unwise will search for ill,
Who may prevent it sitting still.

* Hence 'tis that holy wars have ever been
The horrid'st scene of blood and sin;
For when religion does recede

From her own nature, nothing but a breed

Of prodigies and hideous monsters can succeed.


BUTLER. Ode upon an Hypocritical Nonconformist.


O! MANY a shaft at random sent,

Finds mark the archer little meant!

And many a word at random spoken,

May soothe or wound a heart that's broken!

SCOTT. Lord of the Isles, Canto V.


I SHALL never apologise to you for egotism. I think very few men writing to their friends have enough of it.



A MAN'S Own good-breeding is the best security against other people's ill manners.


Viola. THE rudeness that hath appeared in me, have I learned from my entertainment.


Twelfth Night, Act I.

WHO would believe what strange bugbears

Mankind creates itself, of fears,

That spring like fern, that insect weed,

Equivocally, without seed;

And have no possible foundation,

But merely in th' imagination;

And yet can do more dreadful feats

Than bags, with all their imps and teats ;*
Make more bewitch and haunt themselves

Than all the nursery of elves?

For fear does things so like a witch,
"Tis hard t' unriddle which is which:

* There needs no other charm, nor conjurer,
To raise infernal spirits up, but fear;
That makes men pull their horns in, like a snail,
That's both a prisoner to itself, and jail;
Draws more fantastic shapes, than in the grains
Of knotted wood, in some men's crazy brains;
When all the cocks, they think they see, and bulls
Are only in the inside of their skulls.

BUTLER, Miscellaneous Thoughts.

Sets up communities of senses,

To chop and change intelligences;
As Rosicrucian virtuosos

Can see with ears, and hear with noses:
And when they neither see nor hear,
Have more than both supply'd by fear;
That makes 'em in the dark see visions,
And hag themselves with apparitions;
And when their eyes discover least,
Discern the subtlest objects best;
Do things not contrary, alone,
To th' course of nature, but its own;
The courage of the bravest dunt,
And turn poltroons as valiant;
For men as resolute appear


With too much, as too little fear; *
And when they're out of hopes of flying,

Will run away from death by dying;
Or turn again to stand it out,

And those they fled, like lions, rout.

Hudibras, Part III., Canto 3.

Northumberland. How doth my son and brother?
Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night,

And would have told him half his Troy was burn'd,

* Cowards, 'tis said, in certain situations
Derive a sort of courage from despair,

And then perform, from downright desperation,
Much more than many a bolder man would dare.

Ingoldsby Legends.

Despair takes heart, when there's no hope to speed;
The coward then takes arms, and does the deed.

Fear, that braver feats performs
Than ever courage dar'd in arms.


Hudibras, Part III., Canto 1.

Greece yet unconquer'd, kept alive the war,
Secure of death, confiding in despair.

POPE. Iliad, Book XV.


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