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Each day's a mistress, unenjoy'd before;
DRYDEN. Aurenge-Zebe, Act IV.
'Tis not the stoic's lesson got by rote,
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,
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.
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
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,
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.
FITZOSBORNE. Letter 42.
RELIGIOUS DISPUTES AND INTOLERANCE.
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,
STRIVING against his quiet all he can,
And what is that at best but one whose mind
DRYDEN. Essay on Satire.
THAT man's unwise will search for ill,
* Hence 'tis that holy wars have ever been
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 ;*
Than all the nursery of elves?
For fear does things so like a witch,
* There needs no other charm, nor conjurer,
BUTLER, Miscellaneous Thoughts.
Sets up communities of senses,
To chop and change intelligences;
Can see with ears, and hear with noses:
With too much, as too little fear; *
Will run away from death by dying;
And those they fled, like lions, rout.
Hudibras, Part III., Canto 3.
Northumberland. How doth my son and brother?
And would have told him half his Troy was burn'd,
* Cowards, 'tis said, in certain situations
And then perform, from downright desperation,
Despair takes heart, when there's no hope to speed;
Fear, that braver feats performs
Hudibras, Part III., Canto 1.
Greece yet unconquer'd, kept alive the war,
POPE. Iliad, Book XV.