Billeder på siden


DEAN SWIFT said that the only advantageous partnerships he knew were those between two sedan-chairmen, or two sawyers in the same pit.


"THAT was excellently observed," say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.


To observations, which ourselves we make,
We grow more partial for th' observer's sake;
To written wisdom, as another's,
Maxims are drawn from notions, these from guess.



WE think very few people sensible except those who are of our opinion. ROCHEFOUCAULD.


THOSE who are formed to win general admiration are seldom calculated to bestow individual happiness.



ALIKE he thwarts the hospitable end,
Who drives the free, or stays the hasty friend:
True friendship's laws are by this rule exprest,
Welcome the coming, speed the going guest.


POPE. Iliad, Book XV.

THE mind is more exhilarated and gratified by advancing in small things, than by resting on great ones.


BACON. Essays.

WE are born for society and for the intercourse of each other, the faculties with which our organization is endowed, and her disposition to virtue can only be developed in our daily communication with beings of our own species. We ought and must not avoid the society of men, nor bury ourselves in continual solitude. For the inability to commit sin does not constitute sanctity. He alone is holy who, surrounded by temptation and enticement, is enabled to resist their temptation.

ZSCHOKKE. Hours of Meditation.

THOU dost presume too much, poor needy wretch,
To claim a station in the firmament,
Because thy humble cottage or thy tub,
Nurses some lazy or pedantic virtue,

In the cheap sunshine or by shady springs,
With roots and potherbs, where thy cold right hand
Tearing these human passions from the heart,
Upon whose stock fair blooming virtues flourish,
Degradeth nature and benumbeth sense,
And Gorgon like, turns active men to stone.
We not require the dull society

Of your necessitated temperance,

Or that unnatural stupidity

That knows not joy nor sorrow; nor your forced,

Falsely exalted, passive fortitude,

Above the active: * this low abject brood

That fix their seats in mediocrity,

Become your servile mind; but we advance
Such virtues only as admit excess,
Brave bounteous acts, regal magnificence,
All-seeing prudence, magnanimity,

That knows no bound, and that heroic virtue
For which antiquity hath left no name,

But patterns only.

CAREW. Cœlum Britannicum.

ALL who joy would win

Don Juan, Canto II.

Must share it.-Happiness was born a twin.

THOUGH shame it were, could I not look around,
By the reflexion of your pleasure pleased.†

[blocks in formation]

I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary. That virtue, therefore, which is but a youngling in the contemplation of evil, and knows not the utmost that vice promises to her followers, and rejects it, is but a blank virtue, not a pure.


+ Who partakes in another's joys is a more humane character than he who partakes in his griefs. LAVATER.


Constance's Lamentation over her son Arthur.

AND, father cardinal, I have heard you say,
That we shall see and know our friends in heaven:
If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
For, since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
To him that did but yesterday suspire,

There was not such a gracious creature born.
But now will canker sorrow eat my bud,
And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
And he will look as hollow as a ghost;
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit;
And so he'll die; and, rising so again,

When I shall meet him in the court of heaven,
I shall not know him: therefore never, never
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.

Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief.
Constance. He talks to me, that never had a son.
K. Philip. You are as fond of grief as of your child.
Constance. Grief fills the room up of my absent child,

Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me;
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then have I reason to be fond of grief.


King John, Act III.


Kent. DID your letters pierce the queen to any
of grief?
Gent. Ay, sir; she took them, read them in my presence;

And now and then an ample tear trill'd down
Her delicate cheek: it seem'd, she was a queen
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her.

Kent. O, then it moved her.

* And in thy bowers of Camelot or of Usk
Thy shadow still would glide from room to room,

And I should evermore be vext with thee
In hanging robe or vacant ornament,
Or ghostly footfall echoing on the stair.


Gent. Not to a rage; patience and sorrow strove

Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and tears
Were like a better day: Those happy smiles,
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,
As pearls from diamonds dropp'd.—In brief, sorrow -
Would be a rarity most beloved, if all

Could so become it.

Kent. Made she no verbal question ?

Gent. 'Faith, once or twice she heaved the name of father
Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart; ;

Cried, Sisters! sisters!-Shame of ladies! sisters!
Kent! father! sisters! What? i' the storm? i' the night?
Let pity not be believed? Then she shook

The holy water from her heavenly eyes,

And clamour moisten'd: then away she started

To deal with grief alone.

King Lear, Act IV.

THUS long my grief has kept me dumb,

Sure there's a lethargy in mighty woe:

Tears stand congeal'd, and cannot flow;

And the sad soul retires into her inmost room:
Tears for a stroke foreseen, afford relief,

But unprovided for a sudden blow,

Like Niobe we marble grow,

And petrify with grief.

DRYDEN. Ode to the Memory of Charles II.

HE that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend.
Eternity mourns that. 'Tis an ill cure
For life's worst ills, to have no time to feel them.
Where sorrow's held intrusive and turned out,
There wisdom will not enter, nor true power,
Nor aught that dignifies humanity.


YET had our Pilgrimage bin free,
And smooth without a thorne,
Pleasures had foil'd Eternitie,

And Tares had choakt the Corne.

Thus by a Crosse, Salvation runnes;
Affliction is a mother,

Whose painfull throes yield many sons,
Each fairer than the other.

A silent Teare can pierce Thy throne,
When lowd Joyes want a wing;

And sweeter aires streame from a grone,
Than any arted string.

H. VAUGHAN. Silex Scintillans.

OH sacred sorrow by whom souls are tried,
Sent not to punish mortals but to guide;
If thou art mine (and who shall proudly dare
To tell his Maker he has had his share !)
Still let me feel for what my pangs are sent,
And be my guide and not my punishment!

CRABBE. The Parish Register Burials.
GIVE sorrow words; the grief that does not speak,
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break.
Macbeth, Act IV.

Indamora. WHEN graceful sorrow in her pomp appears,
Sure she is dress'd in Melesinda's tears.

Your head reclined, (as hiding grief from view,)
Droops like a rose, surcharged with morning dew.*
DRYDEN. Aurenge-Zebe, Act III.

GRIEFE all in sable sorrow fully clad,

Downe hanging his dull head with heavy cheere,
Yet inly being more than seeming sad.†

Faery Queen, Book III., Canto 12.

To mourn without measure is folly, not to mourn at all insensibility.‡


[blocks in formation]


Solace the guiltless. Drop the pearly flood
On thy sweet infant, as the full-blown rose,
Surcharged with dew, bends o'er its neighb'ring bud.


+ No wringing of the hands and knocking the breast, or wishing oneself unborn; all which are but the ceremonies of sorrow, the pomp and ostentation of an effeminate grief, which speak not so much the greatness of the misery as the smallness of the mind. SOUTH.

Too much sensibility creates unhappiness, too much insensibility creates crime. TALLEYRAND.

« ForrigeFortsæt »