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Mellow your colours, and imbrown the teint:
Add ev'ry grace, which Time alone can grant,
To future ages shall your fame convey,
And give more beauties than he takes away.

DRYDEN. Epistles.

FROM hence the rudiments of art began;
A coal or chalk first imitated man:
Perhaps the shadow taken on a wall
Gave outlines to the rude original,

Ere canvas yet was stain'd, before the grace
Of blended colours found their use and place.
By slow degrees the godlike art advanced,
As man grew polish'd, picture was enhanced:
Greece added posture, shade, and perspective,
And then the mimic piece began to live.
Yet perspective was lame,* no distance true,
But all came forward in one common view:
No point of light was known, no bounds of art,
When light was there it knew not to depart,
But glaring on remoter objects play'd;
Not languish'd, and insensibly decay'd.

Rome raised not art, but barely kept alive,
And with old Greece unequally did strive:
Till Goths and Vandals, a rude northern race,†
And all the matchless monuments deface.
Then all the Muses in one ruin lie,
And rhyme began to enervate poetry.‡
Thus, in a stupid military state,

The pen and pencil find an equal fate.
Flat faces, such as would disgrace a screen,
Such as in Bantam's embassy were seen,
Unraised, unrounded, were the rude delight
Of brutal nations, only born to fight.

By her side the obsequious Ham is pouring his soft flatteries into her When she walketh abroad (here it is on another sample) he shadeth her at two miles off with his umbrella. It is like an allegory of love triumphing over space.

HOOD. Fancies on a Teacup.

+ Gibbon, mentioning the destruction of brass statues after the taking of Constantinople, observes, "The soul of genius evaporated in smoke, and the remnant of base metal was coined," &c.

But those that write in rhyme, still make
The one verse for the other's sake;

Decline and Fall.

Long time the sister arts in iron sleep,
A heavy sabbath did supinely keep:

At length in Raphael's age, at once they rise,
Stretch out their limbs and open all their eyes.
Thence rose the Roman and the Lombard line,
One colour'd best and one did best design,
Raphael's, like Homer's, was the nobler part,
But Titian's painting look'd like Virgil's art.

DRYDEN. Epistle to Keller.


ALL worldly joys go less,

To the one joy of doing kindnesses.


KINDNESS in women, not their beauteous looks,

Shall win my love.

Taming of the Shrew, Act IV.

KINDNESS has resistless charms,

All things else but weakly move:

Fiercest anger it disarms,

And clips the wings of flying love.
Beauty does the heart invade,

Kindness only can persuade,

It gilds the lover's servile chain,

And makes the slave grow pleased and vain.


SWEETNESS of temper is not an acquired, but a natural excellence; and, therefore, to recommend it to those who have it not, may be deemed rather an insult than an advice.


HE that doth the kindness hath the noblest pleasure of the two.

For, one for sense and one for rhyme,

I think's sufficient at one time.

Hudibras, Part II., Canto 1.

Rhyme is incapable of expressing the greatest thoughts naturally, and the lowest it cannot with any grace.


Essay on Dramatic Poetry. That curse,

T' imprison and confine his thoughts in verse;

To hang so dull a clog upon his wit,
And make his reason to his rhyme submit.

BUTLER. Upon Rhyme.


To have received from one to whom we think ourselves equal, greater benefits than we can hope to requite, disposes to counterfeit love but really to secret hatred; and puts a man into the state of a desperate debtor, that in declining the sight of his creditor, secretly wishes him where he might never see him


THINK, too, how oft in weak and sickly minds,
The sweets of kindness lavishly indulged,
Rankle to gall; and benefits too great

To be repaid, sit heavy on the soul,
As unrequited wrongs.


GRAY. Agrippina.


ILL to man's nature, as it stands perverted, hath a natural motion strongest in continuance; but good has a forced motion strongest at first. Surely every medicine is an innovation, and he that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator, and if time of course alter all things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end? It is true that what is settled by custom, though it be not good, yet at least it is fit; and those things which have long gone together, are as it were confederate within themselves; whereas new things piece not so well; but though they help by their utility, yet they trouble by their inconformity; besides they are like strangers, more admired and less favoured. All this is true if time stood still: which contrariwise moveth so round that a forward retention of custom is as turbulent a thing as an innovation; and they that reverence too much of old times are but a scorn to the new. It were good therefore that men, in their innovations should follow the example of time itself, which indeed innovateth greatly, but quietly and by degrees scarce to be perceived; for otherwise whatever is new is unlooked for, and ever it mends some and mars others; and he that is holpen takes it for a fortune and thanks the time; and he that is hurt for a wrong, and imputeth it to the author. It is good also not to try experiments in states, except the necessity be urgent, or the utility evident; and well to beware that it be the reformation that draweth on the change, and not the desire of change that pretendeth the

reformation. And lastly, that the novelty though it be not rejected yet be held for a suspect.

BACON. Essays.

A SPIRIT of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.



CUSTOM is the plague of wise men, and the idol of fools.

If it were seriously asked (and it would be no untimely question) who of all teachers and masters that have ever taught, hath drawn the most disciples after him, both in religion and in manners? it might be not untruly answered, Custom. Though virtue be commended for the most persuasive in her theory, and conscience in the plain demonstration of the spirit finds most evincing; yet so it happens for the most part, that Custom still is silently received for the best instructor; filling each estate of life and profession with abject and servile principles, depressing the high and heaven-born spirit of man far beneath the condition wherein either God created him or sin hath sunk him. To pursue the allegory, Custom being but a mere face, as echo is a mere voice, rests not in her unaccomplishment, until by secret inclination she accorporate herself with error, who being a blind and serpentine body without a head, willingly accepts what he wants, and supplies what her incompleteness went seeking. Hence it is that error supports Custom, Custom countenances error; and these two between them would persecute and chase away all truth and solid wisdom out of human life, were it not that God, rather than man, once in many ages calls together the prudent and religious counsels of men, deputed to repress the incroachments, and to work off the inveterate blots and obscurities wrought upon our minds by the subtle insinuating of error and custom who, with the numerous and vulgar train of their followers, make it their chief design to envy and cry down the industry of free reasoning, under the terms of humour and innovation: as if the womb of teeming truth were to be closed up, if she presumed to bring forth aught that sorts not with their unchewed notions and suppositions.


MEN commonly think according to their inclinations; speak according to their learning and imbibed opinions; but generally act according to Custom. BACON. Essay.


HABITS work more constantly and with greater facility than Reason; which, when we have most need of it, is seldom fairly consulted, and more rarely obeyed.

And therefore,

LOCKE. On Education.

SINCE Custom is the principal ruler of human life, let men endeavour to engraft good customs.

BACON. Essays.

CUSTOM'S the world's great idol we adore,
And knowing this, we seek to know no more.
What education did at first conceive,

Our ripen'd age confirms us to believe.

The careful nurse and priest are all we need,
To learn opinions and our country's creed;
The parent's precepts early are instill'd,

And spoil the man, while they instruct the child.

CUSTOM does often reason over-rule,
And only serves for reason to the fool.



It is on few

MANKIND act more from Habit than Reflection.* only and great occasions, that men deliberate at all; on fewer still that they institute anything like a regular inquiry into the moral rectitude or depravity of what they are about to do, or wait for the result of it. We are for the most part determined at once, and by an impulse which is the effect and energy of pre-established habits. And this constitution seems well adapted to the exigencies of human life, and to the imbecility of our moral principle. In the current occasions and rapid opportunities of life, there is oftentimes little leisure for reflection; and, were there more, a man, who has to reason about his duty,

*Valentine. How use doth breed a habit in a man;
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,

I better brook than flourishing peopled towns:
Here I can sit alone, unseen of any,

And, to the nightingale's complaining notes,

Tune my distresses, and record my woes.

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act II.

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