Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

But Priam found the fire ere he his tongue,"
And I my Percy's death ere thou report'st it.
Henry IV., Second Part, Act I., Scene 1.

A fine Image of Fear.

Almena. It was a fancy'd noise, for all is hush'd.
Leonora. It bore the accent of a human voice.
Al. It was thy fear, or else some transient wind
Whistling thro' hollows of this vaulted isle;
We'll listen

Leo. Hark!

Al. No, all is hush'd, and still as Death! 'Tis dreadful!
How reverend is the face of this tall pile;

Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads,
To bear aloft its arch'd and ponderous roof,
By its own weight made steadfast and immoveable,
Looking tranquillity! It strikes an awe
And terror on my aching sight; the tombs
And monumental caves of death look cold
And shoot a chillness to my trembling heart.
Give me thy hand, and let me hear thy voice:
Nay quickly speak to me, and let me hear
Thy voice, my own affrights me with its echoes.

CONGREVE. Mourning Bride.

AGHAST the maiden rose,

White as her veil, and stood before the Queen
As tremulously as foam upon the beach

Stands in a wind, ready to break and fly.

TENNYSON. Idylls-Guinevere.

[blocks in formation]

A DWARF standing upon the shoulders of a giant, may see farther than the giant himself.

BURTON. Anatomy.

SYMPATHIES AND ANTIPATHIES.

OF Sympathies and Antipathies how much might be written without defining them any better than by the pithy lines"The reason why I cannot tell,

I do not like thee, Doctor Fell."

LADY BLESSINGTON. Thoughts.

CREDITORS.

CREDITORS have better memories than debtors, and creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.

GOOD SERVANT.

FRANKLIN.

IF

you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself.

LATE RISING.

Ibid.

He who rises late, must trot all day, and will scarcely overtake his business at night.

TO BLOSSOMS.

FAIR pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?

Your date is not so past,

But you may stay yet here awhile
To blush and gently smile,-
And go at last.

What, were ye born to be

An hour or half's delight,
And so to bid good night?
'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,-
And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have

FULLER.

Their end, though ne'er so brave :
And after they have shown their pride
Like you, awhile, they glide
Into the grave.

HERRICK.

BUILDING.

THE man who builds, and wants wherewith to pay,
Provides a house from which to run away.

In Britain, what is many a lordly seat
But a discharge in full for an estate?

YOUNG.

NEVER build after you are five-and-forty; have five years' income in hand before you lay a brick; and always calculate the expense at double the estimate.

KETT.

HOUSES are built to live in, and not to look on; therefore let use be preferred before uniformity, except where both may be had. Leave the goodly fabrics of houses, for beauty only to the enchanted palaces of the poets, who build them with small cost.

BACON. Essays.

IMITATION.

SO

FOR as water ascends no higher than the first spring knowledge derived from Aristotle will at most rise no higher again than the knowledge of Aristotle. And therefore, tho' a scholar must have faith in his master, yet a man well instructed must judge for himself; for learners owe to their masters only a temporary belief, and a suspension of their own judgment till they are fully instructed; and not an absolute resignation or perpetual captivity Let great authors therefore have their due; but so as not to defraud Time, which is the Author of Authors and the Parent of Truth.

BACON, Preliminaries.

IMPROVEMENT IN MECHANICS PROGRESSIVE, BUT OTHERWISE IN PHILOSOPHY.

THE mechanic arts commonly advance towards perfection in a

* 'Tis scarce possible at once to admire and excel an author, as water rises no higher than the reservoir it falls from.

[ocr errors]

BACON.

source of daily improvement from a rough, unpolished state, sometimes prejudicial to the first inventors; whilst Philosophy, and the intellectual sciences, are like statues, celebrated and adorned but never promoted; nay, they sometimes appear most perfect in the original author, and afterwards degenerate. For when men once take up with the opinions of others they no longer improve the sciences, but servilely bestow their talents in adorning and defending some particular authors.

BACON. Preliminaries.

OPPORTUNITY.

THERE is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune!

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows, and in miseries.

Julius Cæsar, Act III.

NATURE creates merit, and fortune brings it into play.

LOQUACITY.

ROCHEFOUCAULD.

THE common fluency of speech in many men, and most women, is owing to a scarcity of matter, and a scarcity of words, for whoever is a master of language and has a mind full of ideas, will be apt in speaking to hesitate upon the choice of both; whereas common speakers have only one set of ideas, and one set of words to clothe them in; and these are always ready at the mouth: so people come faster out of a church when it is almost empty, than when a crowd is at the door.

FOR he at any time would hang
For th' opportunity t' harangue;

And rather on a gibbet dangle,

Than miss his dear delight, to wrangle;
In which his parts were so accomplisht,

That, right or wrong, he ne'er was non-plusht;
But still his tongue ran on, the less

Of weight it bore, with greater ease;
And with its everlasting clack
Set all men's ears upon the rack.
No sooner cou'd a hint appear,
Than up he started to picqueer,

SWIFT.

And made the stoutest yield to mercy,
When he engaged in controversy,
Not by the force of carnal reason,
But indefatigable teazing;
With volleys of eternal babble,

And clamour, more unanswerable.*

Hudibras, Part III., Canto 2.

IT is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles; the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out.

POPE.

Bassanio. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff; you shall seek all day ere you find them; and, when you have them, they are not worth the search.

Merchant of Venice, Act I.

I KNOW a lady that loves talking so incessantly, she won't give an echo fair play; she has that everlasting rotation of

*Widow. Go, save thy breath for the cause; talk at the bar, Mr. Quaint ; you are so copiously fluent, you can weary any one's ears sooner than your own tongue. Go, weary our adversaries' counsel and the court; go, thou art a fine spoken person.

[blocks in formation]

*

*

Come, Mr. Blunder, talk what you will, but be sure your tongue never stand still; for your own noise will secure your sense from censure. The Plain Dealer.

WYCHERLY.

To talk eternally and loud
And altogether, in a crowd,
No matter what, for in the noise
No man minds what another says;
To assume a confidence beyond
Mankind for solid and profound;
And still the less and less they know
The greater dose of that allow;
Decry all things: for to be wise
Is not to know but to despise;
And deep judicious confidence

Has still the odds of wit and sense,

And can pretend a title to

Far greater things than they can do.

BUTLER. On our Ridiculous Imitation

of the French.

« ForrigeFortsæt »