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And from her chamber window he would catch
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!
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,
Receive in either by this dear encounter.
Romeo and Juliet, Act II.
THE garden yields
A soft amusement, a humane delight.
ARMSTRONG. On Health.
KNOWLEDGE OF CHARACTER.
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.
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.
SIR P. SIDNEY.
MACBETH'S SOLILOQUY BEFORE THE MURDER OF DUNCAN.
* 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.
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
That tears shall drown the wind.-I have no spur
Man hardly hath a richer thing,
Than honest mirth,* the which well-spring
AND therein sat a lady fresh and fayre,
That to her might move cause of merriment;
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 ;
WHEN thou dost tell another jest, therein
* Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.
Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin;
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?
BUT saints whom oaths and vows oblige,
For if the devil, to serve his turn,
Can tell truth, why the saints should scorn,
I think there's little reason why;
Else h' has a greater pow'r than they,
'Tis the temptation of the devil
So in the wicked there's no vice,
Is't not ridiculous, and nonsense,
A saint should be a slave to conscience,