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And, like an anchorite, gives over
This world for th' heaven of a lover?

I grant (quoth she) there are some few
Who take that course, and find it true;
But millions whom the same doth sentence
To heav'n* b' another way-repentance.

Hudibras, Part III., Canto I. MARRIAGE of all states,

Makes most unhappy, or most fortunates.


Jenny. A DISH of married love right soon grows cauld,
And dozens done to nane as fowk grow auld.

Peggy. But we'll grow auld together, and ne'er find

The loss of youth, when love grows on the mind.
Bairns and their bairns mak sure a firmer tie
Than aught in love the like of us can spy.
See yon twa elms that grow up side by side,
Suppose them some years syne bridegroom and bride;
Nearer and nearer ilka year they've prest,

Till wide their spreading branches have increast,
And in their mixture now are fully blest;
This shields the other frae the eastern blast,
That in return defends it frae the west.

Sic as stand single,-(a state sae liked by you),
Beneath ilk storm, frae every airt maun bow.
A. RAMSEY. Gentle Shepherd.


THE day of election is madman's holiday, 'tis the golden day of liberty which every voter on that day takes to market, and is his own salesman; for man, at that time being considered as a mere machine, is acted upon as machines are; and to make his wheels move properly, he is properly greased in the fist. Every freeholder enjoys his portion of septennial insanity; he'll eat and drink with everybody without paying for it; because he's bold and free; then he'll knock down everybody who won't say

Good heaven no doubt the nuptial state approves,
Since it chastises still what best it loves.

POPE. January and May.

as he says, to prove his abhorrence of arbitrary power, and preserve the liberty of Old England for ever, huzza !



Sir Francis. O, THE good of our country is above all things; what a noble and glorious thing it is, Mrs. Motherly, that England can boast of five hundred zealous gentlemen, all in one room, all of one mind, upon a fair occasion, to go altogether by the ears for the good of their country.

CONGREVE. A Journey to London.



SHOULD once the world resolve t' abolish

All that's ridiculous, and foolish,
It would have nothing left to do,

T' apply in jest or earnest to,
No business of importance, play,
Or state, to pass its time away.

BUTLER. Miscellaneous Thoughts.

How are thy painted beauties doted on
By light and empty idiots!

how pursued

With oven and extended appetite !

How they do sweat, and run themselves from breath,
Raised on their toes, to catch thy airy forms,

Still turning giddy till they reel like drunkards,
That buy the merry madness of one hour
With the long irksomeness of following time.
O how despised and base a thing is man
If he not strive t'erect his grovelling thoughts
Above the strain of flesh! but how more cheap,
When ev'n his best and understanding part
(The crown and strength of all his faculties)
Floats like a dead drown'd body, on the stream
Of vulgar humour, mixt with commonest dregs?
To gaze on novelties; so vice were one.
Tut, she is stale, rank, foul, and were it not
That those (that woo her) greet her with lockt eyes
(In spite of all th' impostures, paintings, drugs,

* Every man has just as much vanity as he wants understanding.


Which her bawd custom dawbs her cheeks withal)
She would betray her loath'd and leprous face,
And fright th' enamour'd dotards from themselves;
But such is the perverseness of our nature
That if we once but fancy levity

(How antick and ridiculous so e'er

It suits with us,) yet will our muffled thoughts
Choose rather not to see, than avoid it;

And if we can but banish our own sense,
We act our mimick tricks with that free licence,
That lust, that pleasure, that security,

As if we practised in a pasteboard case

And no one saw the motion but the motion.

BEN JONSON. Cynthia's Revels.


LORD, in my silence how do I despise
What upon trust

Is styled honour, riches, or fair eyes;
But is fair dust!



But when I view abroad both regiments,
The World's and Thine;

Thine clad with simpleness, and sad events;
The other fine,

Full of glory and gay weeds,

Brave language, braver deeds:

That which was dust before, doth quickly rise,
And prick mine eyes.


OUR pains are real things, and all
Our pleasures but fantastical;
Diseases of their own accord,
But cures come difficult and hard;
Our noblest piles and stateliest rooms,
Are but outhouses to our tombs;
Cities, though e'er so great and brave,
But mere warehouses to the grave;
Our bravery's but a vain disguise,
To hide us from the world's dull eyes,
The remedy of a defect

With which our nakedness is deck'd;

Yet makes us swell with pride, and boast,
As if we had gained by being lost.

BUTLER. On the Weakness and Misery of Man.


SWEET stream, that winds through yonder glade,

Apt emblem of a virtuous maid,

Silent and chaste she steals along,

Far from the world's gay busy throng;
With gentle yet with prevailing force,
Intent upon her destined course;
Graceful and useful all she does,
Blessing and blest where'er she goes;
Pure-blossom'd as that watery glass,
And heaven reflected in her face.



IN a drear-nighted December,

Too happy, happy tree,

Thy branches ne'er remember


green felicity:

The north cannot undo them,

With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them

From budding at the prime.

In a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;

But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting

About the frozen time.

Ah! would 'twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passèd joy?
To know the change and feel it,
When there is none to heal it,
Nor numbed sense to steal it,
Was never said in rhyme.


YESTERDAY the sullen year

Saw the snowy whirlwind fly;
Mute was the music of the air,
The herd stood drooping by:
Their raptures now that wildly flow
No yesterday nor morrow know;
'Tis man alone that joy descries
With forward and reverted eyes.

GRAY. Ode on Vicissitude.

BUT, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice and men
Gang aft a-gley,

And leave us nought but grief and pain,
For promised joy.

Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But, och! I backward cast my e'e
On prospects drear!

And forward, tho I canna see,

I guess and fear.

BURNS. To a Field Mouse.


Reign of the Saints.

AND now the saints began their reign,
For which th' had yearn'd so long in vain,
And felt such bowel-hankerings,

To see an empire all of kings

Deliver'd from th' Egyptian awe

Of justice, government, and law.

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For when they came to shape the model,
Not one could fit another's noddle;
But found their light and gifts more wide
From fadging than th' unsanctified;
While every individual brother
Strove hand to fist against another;
And still the maddest and most crackt
Were found the busiest to transact;

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