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And from her chamber window he would catch
Her beauty farther than the falcon spies;
And constant at her vespers would he watch,
Because her face was turned to the same skies;
And with such longing all the night outwear,
To hear her morning step upon the stair.

KEATS. Isabella.

Orlando. My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.

Rosalind. Break an hour's promise in love? He that will divide a minute into a thousand parts, and break but a part of the thousandth part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said of him, that Cupid hath clapped him o' the shoulder, but I warrant him heart-whole.

As You Like It, Act IV.

O HAPPY is that man an' blest!

Nae wonder that it pride him!
Wha's ain dear lass, that he likes best,
Comes clinkin' down beside him:
Wi' arm reposed on the chair-back,
He sweetly does compose him;
Which by degrees, slips round her neck,
And loof upon her bosom,

Unkenn'd that day.

BURNS. Holy Fair.

Romeo. Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy

Be heap'd like mine, and that thy skill be more,
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath
This neighbour air, and let rich music's tongue
Unfold the imagined happiness that both

Receive in either by this dear encounter.


Romeo and Juliet, Act II.

THE garden yields

A soft amusement, a humane delight.
To raise th' insipid nature of the ground,
Or tame its savage genius to the grace
Of careless sweet rusticity, that seems
The amiable result of happy chance,
Is to create, and gives a godlike joy
Which every year improves.




NATURE is often eclipsed, sometimes conquered, but seldom extinguished. Force makes her more violent in the recoil. Doctrine and precept check the natural affections, but custom alone is that which perfectly subdues and conquers Nature. Every one's natural disposition is best discovered (1.) By familiar acquaintance, for here there is no affectation. (2.) In passions, because these throw off all regard to rules and precepts. (3). In new and extraordinary cases, because here custom forsakes us.

BACON. Essays.

As for that second hand knowledge of men's minds, which is to be had from the relation of others, it will be sufficient to observe of it, that defects and vices are best learned from enemies-virtues and abilities from friends-manners and times from servants, and opinions and thoughts from intimate acquaintance, for popular fame is light; the judgment of superiors uncertain, before whom men walk more masked and secret. The truest character comes from domestics.*


IT many times falls out, that we deem ourselves much deceived in others, because we first deceived ourselves.


If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly. If the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch,
With his surcease, success,-that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,-
We'd jump the life to come.-But, in these cases,
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor. This even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
To our own lips. He's here in double trust:

* The character of men or women is perhaps better known by the treatment of those below them than by anything else, for to them they rarely condescend to play the hypocrite.

Gentle Life..

First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek-hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;

And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,

That tears shall drown the wind.-I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on the other.

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Man hardly hath a richer thing,

Than honest mirth,* the which well-spring
Watereth the roots of rejoicing,
Feeding the flowers of flourishing:

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AND therein sat a lady fresh and fayre,
Making sweete solace to herselfe alone;
Sometimes she song as loud as larke in ayre,
Sometimes she laught that nigh her breath was gone;
Yet was there not with her else any one

That to her might move cause of merriment;
Matter of mirth enough, though there were none

She could devise, and thousand waies invent

To feede her foolish humour and vaine jolliment.

Faëry Queen, Book II., Canto 6.


It is an observation of Plutarch (in his Life of Lysander), that he who over-reaches by a false oath declares that he fears his enemy, but despises his God.

COMMON Swearing, if it have any serious meaning at all, argues in man a perpetual distrust of his own reputation, and is an acknowledgment that he thinks his bare word not to be worthy of credit.

I'LL take thy word for faith, nor ask thine oath ;
Who shuns not to break one, will sure crack both.

WHEN thou dost tell another jest, therein
Omit the oaths, which true wit cannot need;

* Sport that wrinkled Care derides,

And Laughter holding both his sides.


Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin;
He pares his apple that will cleanly feed.
Play not away the virtue of that name

Which is thy best stake, when griefs make thee tame.


THE perjurer's a devil let loose; what can


up his hands, that dares mock God and man?

Silex Scintillans.

BUT saints whom oaths and vows oblige,
Know little of their privilege;


For if the devil, to serve his turn,

Can tell truth, why the saints should scorn,
When it serves theirs, to swear and lie;

I think there's little reason why;

Else h' has a greater pow'r than they,
Which 'twere impiety to say.
W're not commanded to forbear
Indefinitely at all to swear;
But to swear idly, and in vain,
Without self-interest or gain:
For breaking of an oath, and lying,
Is but a kind of self-denying;
A saint-like virtue.

'Tis the temptation of the devil
That makes all human actions evil :
For saints may do the same thing by
The spirit, in sincerity,
Which other men are tempted to,
And at the devil's instance do;
And yet the actions be contrary,
Just as the saints and wicked vary.

So in the wicked there's no vice,
Of which the saints have not a spice;
And yet that thing that's pious in
The one, in th' other is a sin.

Is't not ridiculous, and nonsense,

A saint should be a slave to conscience,

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