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Submit, and own yourselves our slaves;
And 'cause we do not make it known,
Nor publickly our int'rest own,
Like sots, suppose we have no shares
In ord❜ring you and your affairs;
When all your empire and command
You have from us at second hand :
As if a pilot, that appears

To sit still only while he steers,
And does not make a noise and stir
Like every common mariner.


Knew nothing of the card, nor star,
And did not guide the man of war;
Nor we, because we don't appear
In councils, do not govern there;
While, like the mighty Prester John,
Whose person none dares look upon,
But is preserved in close disguise,
From being made cheap to vulgar eyes.

W'enjoy as large a pow'r unseen,
To govern him as he does men :
And in the right of our Pope Joan,
Make Emp'rors at our feet fall down;
Or Joan de Pucel's braver name,
Our right to arms and conduct claim;
Who, though a spinster, yet was able
To serve France for a Grand Constable.
We make and execute all laws;
Can judge the judges and the cause;
Prescribe all rules of right or wrong
To th' long robe, and the longer tongue;
'Gainst which the world has no defence,
But our more pow'rful eloquence.
We manage things of greatest weight
In all the world's affairs of state.

Hudibras, The Lady's Answer.

BUT for thee

I had persisted happy: had not thy pride
And wandering vanity, when least was safe,
Rejecting my forewarning, and disdain'd

Not to be trusted; longing to be seen,
Though by the devil himself, him overweening
To over-reach; but, with the serpent meeting,
Fool'd and beguiled; by him thou, I by thee,
To trust thee from my side; imagined wise,
Constant, mature, proof against all assaults;
And understood not all was but a show
Rather than solid virtue; all but a rib
Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears,
More to the part sinister, from me drawn ;
Well if thrown out, as supernumerary
To my just number found. O! why did God,
Creator wise that peopled highest heaven
With creatures masculine, create at last
This novelty on earth, this fair defect
Of nature, and not fill the earth at once
With men, as angels, without feminine;
Or find some other way to generate

Mankind? This mischief had not then befallen,
And more that shall befall; innumerable
Disturbances on earth through female snares,
And straight conjunction with the sex: for either
He never shall find out fit mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake;

Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain,

Through her perverseness, but shall see her gain'd.
By a far worse: or, if she love, withheld

By parents; or his happier choice too late
Shall meet, already link'd and wedlock bound
To a fell adversary, his hate or shame:

Which infinite calamity shall cause

To human life, and household peace confound.

Paradise Lost, Book X.


THERE is a jewel which no Indian mine can buy,
No chemic art can counterfeit ;

It makes men rich in greatest poverty,
Makes water wine, turns wooden cups to gold,
The homely whistle to sweet music's strain;
Seldom it comes, to few from heaven sent,
That much in little-all in naught-Content.

WILBYE. Madrigals.

ART thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers?
O sweet content!

Art thou rich, yet is thy mind perplex'd?
O punishment!

Dost thou laugh to see how fools are vex'd
To add to golden numbers, golden numbers?

O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content!
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;

Honest labour bears a lovely face;

Then hey noney, noney, hey noney, noney.

Canst drink the waters of the crispèd spring?

O sweet content!

Swimmest thou in wealth, yet sinkest in thine own tears?
O punishment!

Then he that patiently wants burden bears,
No burden bears, but is a king, a king!

O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content !
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;

Honest labour bears a lovely face;

Then hey noney, noney, hey noney, noney.

T. DEKKER. Patient Grissell.

THE fountain of content * must spring up in the mind; and he who has so little knowledge of human nature, as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own dispositions, will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove.


CONSIDER not things absent as if they were already present, but out of the present choose such things as are most agreeable, and remember how greatly they would have been missed had they not been present. Take care however that by this contentment, thou are not gradually induced to set thy heart upon those things, so as to be disturbed at any time if they should be wanting.


When we cannot find contentment in ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.


He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper; but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances.


To be anxious for nothing but what Nature demands as necessary, if it is not the way to an estate, is the way to what men aim at by getting an estate.

Spectator, No. 143.

WHEN you have pared away all the vanity, what solid and natural contentment does then remain, which may not be had with five hundred pounds a year?

Anne Bullen.


I swear, 'tis better to be lowly born,
And range with humble livers in content,
Than to be perk'd up in a glistering grief,
And wear a golden sorrow.

Old Lady.

Is our best having.

Our content


Henry VIII. Act II., s. 3.

PEACE, muttering thoughts and do not grudge to keep

Within the walls of your own breast;

Who cannot on his own bed sweetly sleep,

Can on another's hardly rest.

Gad not abroad at every quest and call

Of an untrained hope or passion:

To court each place or fortune that doth fall,
To wantonness in contemplation.



THE real use of travelling to distant countries, and of studying the annals of past times, is to preserve men from the contraction of mind* which those can hardly escape whose whole communion is with one generation, and in one neighbourhood; who arrive at conclusions by means of an induction not sufficiently copious, and who therefore constantly confound exceptions with rules, and accidents with essential properties.

MACAULAY. Essays. BOSWELL. Life of Johnson. Jaques. I PR'YTHEE, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted with thee.

Rosalind. They say you are a melancholy fellow.
Jaq. I am so; I do love it better than laughing.

* Valentine. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus;
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I., s. 1.

Ros. Those that are in extremity of either, are abominable fellows; and betray themselves to every modern censure, worse than drunkards.

Jaq. Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.

Ros. Why, then, 'tis good to be a post.

Jaq. I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor the courtier's, which is proud; nor the soldier's, which is ambitious; nor the lawyer's, which is politic; nor the lady's, which is nice; nor the lover's, which is all these: but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects; and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me, in a most humorous sadness.

Ros. A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to be sad: I fear you have sold your own lands, to see other men's; then, to have seen much, and to have nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands.

Jaq. Yes, I have gained my experience.


Ros. And your experience makes you sad; I had rather have a fool to make me merry, than experience to make me sad; and to travel for it too.

Orl. Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind!

Jaq. Nay, then, God be wi' you, an you talk in blank verse.


Ros. Farewell, monsieur traveller. Look, you lisp, and wear strange suits; disable all the benefits of your own country; be out of love with your nativity, and almost chide God for making you that countenance you are, or I will scarce think you have swam in a gondola.

As You Like It, Act IV.

As the Spanish proverb says, "He, who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him,”—so it is in travelling; a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.


THE bee, though it finds every rose has a thorn, comes back loaded with honey from his rambles, and why should not other tourists do the same.


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