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Mother of worldly-working dreams! we view
The sombre hours that round thee stand,
With down-cast eyes (a duteous band!)
Their dark robes dripping with the heavy dew.
COLERIDGE. Song of the Pixies.

THE sun grew low, and left the skies,
Put down (some write) by ladies' eyes,
The moon pull'd off her veil of light,
That hides her face by day from sight,
(Mysterious veil, of brightness made,
That's both her lustre and her shade,)
And in the lanthorn of the night,
With shining horns hung out her light;
For darkness is the proper sphere,
Where all false glories use t' appear.
The twinkling stars began to muster,
And glitter with their borrow'd lustre,
While sleep the weary'd world relieved,
By counterfeiting death revived.


Hudibras, Part II., Chap. 1.

THE sun was sunk, and after him the star
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Twilight upon the earth, short arbiter
'Twixt day and night, and now from end
Night's hemisphere had veil'd the horizon round.

Paradise Lost, Book IX.

NIGHT, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumb'ring world,
Silence, how dead! and darkness how profound!
Nor eye, nor list'ning ear, an object finds;
Creation sleeps! 'Tis as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and nature made a pause,
An awful pause! prophetic of her end.

Night Thoughts. Night I.

* But see while thus our sorrows we discourse,
Phoebus hath finished his diurnal course;

The shades prevail: each bush seems bigger grown;
Darkness, like state, makes small things swell and frown.



Chorus. Now entertain conjecture of a time,

When creeping murmur, and the poring dark,

Fills the wide vessel of the universe.

From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night,
The hum of either army stilly sounds

That the fix'd sentinels almost receive

The secret whispers of each other's watch;
Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames
Each battle sees the other's umber'd face;
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs,
Piercing the night's dull ear, and from the tents,
The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.

The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
And the third hour of drowsy morning name.
Henry V., Act IV.


BE wise to day, 'tis madness to defer;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead,
Thus on, till wisdom is pushed out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time,
Year after year it steals till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

YOUNG. Night Thoughts, Night I.
In human hearts what bolder thoughts can rise,
Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn?
Where is to-morrow? In another world.

For numbers this is certain; the reverse
Is sure to none.

Ibid., Night I.

DARE to be wise, and now
Begin. The man who has it in his power

To practise virtue and protracts the hour;
Waits like the clown, to see the brook run low,
Which careless flows, and will for ever flow.

HORACE. Book I., Epistle 2.

DEFER not till to-morrow to be wise;
To-morrow's sun on thee may never rise.


Ir may be affirmed as a truth well founded in observation, though perhaps hardly to be credited upon assertion, that even in matters personally and seriously affecting themselves, most men will put off thinking definitively until they have to act, to write, or to speak.

H. TAYLOR. Statesman.

THE only remedy for such a turn of mind is resolutely to keep to the first decision, whatever it may be, without dwelling on its advantages or disadvantages, and allowing any useless regrets after the thing is done; and, even if a mistake is often made at the outset, from want of the habit of ready and unwavering judgment, it will be far less mischievous, than weak and wretched indecision; and in time the faculty of knowing the real tastes or inclinations, without hesitations or regrets, will be cultivated in the mind. Gentle Life.


TIME wears all his locks before,*
Take thy hold upon his forehead;
When he flies he turns no more,

And behind his scalp is naked.
Works adjourned have many stays,
Long demurs breed new delays.

Drops do pierce the stubborn flint,

Not by force but often falling;

Custom kills by feeble dint,

More by use than strength and vailing.

Single sands have little weight,

Many make a drawing freight.



“VAINE-GLORIOUS Elfe," said he, "dost not thou weet
That money can thy wantes at will supply?

Shields, steeds, and armes, and all things for thee meet
It can purvay in twinckling of an eye,

Time is painted with a lock before, and bald behind, signifying thereby, that we must take time (as we say) by the forelock, for when it is once past there is no recalling it.

And crowns and kingdomes to thee multiply.
Do not I kings create, and throw the crowne
Sometimes to him that low in dust doth lie;
And him that raign'd into his roome thrust downe,
And whom I lust do heape with glory and renown?
All otherwise, said he, I riches read,

And deeme them roote of all disquietness;

First got with guile, and then preserved with dread,
And after spent with pride and lavishnesse,
Leaving behind them griefe and heavinesse;
Infinite mischiefs of them doe arise,

Strife and debate, bloodshed and bitternesse,
Outrageous wrong, and hellish covetize,

That noble heart in great dishonour doth despise.
Ne thine be kingdomes, ne the scepters thine,
But realmes and rulers thou dost both confound,
And loyall truth to treason dost incline ;
Witnesse the guiltless blood pour'd oft in ground,
The crowned often slaine, the slayer crowned;
The sacred diademe in pieces rent

And purple robe gored with many a wound,

Castles surprised, great cities sackt and brent,

So mak'st thou kings, and gaynest wrongfull government.

Faery Queen, Book II., Canto 7.

EXTOL not riches then, the toil of fools,

The wise man's cumbrance, if not snare; more apt
To slacken virtue, and abate her edge

Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise.

Paradise Lost, Book II,

Bastard. Mad world! mad kings! mad composition!
John, to stop Arthur's title in the whole,

Hath willingly departed with a part;

And France (whose armour conscience buckled on,
Whom zeal and charity brought to the field,
As God's own soldier,) rounded in the ear

With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil-
That broker that still breaks the pate of faith-
That daily break-vow-he that wins of all,
Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids;
Who, having no external thing to lose

But the word maid, cheats the poor maid of that—

That smooth-faced gentleman, tickling commodity;
Commodity-the bias of the world;

The world, who of itself is 'peised well;
Made to run even, upon even ground;
This sway of motion, this commodity,
Makes it take head from all indifferency,
From all direction, purpose, course, intent;
And this same bias, this commodity,

This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,
Clapp'd on the outward eye of fickle France,
Hath drawn him from his own determined aid,
From a resolved and honourable war,
To a most base and vile-concluded peace.
And why rail I on this commodity?

But for because he hath not woo'd me yet;
Not that I have the power to clutch my hand,
When his fair angels would salute my palm:
But for my hand, as unattempted yet,
Like a poor beggar raileth on the rich.
Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail,
And say, there is no sin but to be rich;
And, being rich, my virtue then shall be,
To say, there is no vice but beggary:
Since kings break faith upon commodity,
Gain, be my lord! for I will worship thee.

King John, Act II.

EVERY man is rich or poor, according to the proportion between his desires and enjoyments. Of riches as of every thing else, the hope is more than the enjoyment; while we consider them as the means to be used at some future time for the attainment of felicity, ardour after them secures us from weariness of ourselves, but no sooner do we sit down to enjoy our acquisitions than we find them insufficient to fill up the vacuities of life. Nature makes us poor only when we want necessaries, but custom gives the name of poverty to the want of superfluities. It is the great privilege of poverty to be happy unenvied, to be healthy without physic, secure without a guard, and to obtain from the bounty of nature what the great and wealthy are compelled to procure by the help of art. Adversity has ever been considered as the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, particularly being free from flatterers. Prosperity is too apt to prevent us from

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