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A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it.

8-v. 2.


Folly, its effects. None are so surely caught,' when they are catch’d, As wit turn’d fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd, Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school; And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool. The blood of youth burns not with such excess, As gravity's revolt to wantonness. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note, As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote; Since all the power thereof it doth apply, To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity. 8-v. 2.

270 Customs, new, heedlessly followed.

New customs,
Though they be never so ridiculous,
Nay, let them be unmanly, yet are follow'd.

25-i. 3. 271

Fashion. Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity, (So it be new, there's no respect how vile,) That is not quickly buzz’d into the ears? 17-ii. 1.


Hollow friendship.
The great man down, you mark, his favourite flies;

advanced makes friends of enemies.
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend:
For who not needs, shall never lack, a friend;
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly seasons him his enemy.

36-iii. 2.


Melancholy. Why should a man, whose blood is warm within, Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? Sleep, when he wakes? and creep into the jaundice By being peevish?

9-i. 1.

i These are observations worthy of a man who has surveyed human nature with the closest attention.



Power, loss of it, is loss of homage. 'Tis certain, greatness, once fallen out with fortune, Must fall out with men too: What the declined is, He shall as soon read in the eyes of others, As feel in his own fall: for men, like butterflies, Shew not their mealy wings, but to the summer; And not a man, for being simply man, Hath


honour; but honour for those honours
That are without him, as place, riches, favour,
Prizes of accident as oft as merit:
Which when they fall, as being slippery standers,
The love that lean'd on them as slippery too,
Do one pluck down another, and together
Die in the fall.

26-iii. 3.

275 Love, in its spring and in its maturity. My love is strengthen’d, though more weak in seemI love not less, though less the show appear:

[ing; That love is merchandised, whose rich esteeming The owner's tongue doth publish every where. Our love was new, and then but in the spring, When I was wont to greet it with my lays; As Philomel in summer's front doth sing, And stops his pipe in growth of riper days; Not that the summer is less pleasant now Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night, But that wild music burdens every bough, And sweets grown common lose their dear delight.

Poems. 276

Conscience. Who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the laws delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life; But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn No traveller returns, -puzzles the will; And makes us rather bear those ills we have, Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

36-iii. 1.


277 What's past, and what 's to come, is strew'd with

husks, And formless ruin of oblivion.

26-iv. 5.


Time, the effects of.
Minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.

23-ij. 4. 279

There's nothing serious in mortality:
All is but toys: renown, and grace, is dead.

15-ii. 3. 280 But by bad courses may be understood, That their events can never fall out good. 17-ii. l.

Bad courses.


Virtue preserved.
Virtue preserved from fell destruction's blast,
Led on by heaven, and crown'd with joy at last.

34-v. 3.

282 Riches cannot procure happiness for their possessors. The aged man that coffers up his gold, Is plagued with cramps, and gouts, and painful fits; And scarce hath eyes his treasure to behold, But like still-pining Tantalus he sits, And useless barns the harvest of his wits; Having no other pleasure of his gain, But torment that it cannot cure his pain. So then he hath it, when he cannot use it, And leaves it to be master'd by his young; Who in their pride do presently abuse it; Their father was too weak, and they too strong, To hold their cursed-blessed fortune long.

The sweets we wish for turn to loathed sours,
Even in the moment that we call them ours.



The consequences of evil.

We bid ill be done, When evil deeds have their permissive pass, And not the punishment.

5--i. 4.


Wisdom and Learning. Study is like the heaven's glorious sun, That will not be deep search'd with saucy looks; Small have continual plodders ever won, Save base authority from others' books. 8-i. 1.


Universal plodding prisons up
The nimble spirits in the arteries;
As motion, and long-during action, tires
The sinewy vigour of the traveller.

8-iy. 3.

286 The effects of the want of judgment and taste.

When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's good wit seconded with the forward child, Understanding; it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room.k

10- iii. 3.

287 Affections not felt are disbelieved or despised.
How sometimes nature will betray its folly,
Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime
To harder bosoms !!

13-i. 2.

285 Cowards father cowards, and base things sire base: Nature hath meal, and bran; contempt, and grace.

Human nature.

31-iv. 2.

k Implies, that the entertainment was mean, and the bill was extravagant. It is said by Rabelais, there was only one quarter of an hour in human life passed ill, and that was between the calling for the reckoning and the paying for it.

1 Smith's theory of moral sentiments shews, agreeably to Thu. cydides, that sentiments, when above the tone of others, reach not their sympathy.


Sorrow distorts appearances.
Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows,
Which shew like grief itself, but are not so:
For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears,
Divides one thing entire to many objects;
Like perspectives,” which, rightly gazed upon,
Shew nothing but confusion; eyed awry,
Distinguish form.

17-ii. 2. 290 Fortitude under afflictions.

Bid that welcome Which comes to punish us, and we punish it Seeming to bear it lightly.

30-iv. 12. 291

Adversity, the uses of. Sweet are the uses of adversity; Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head. 10-ii. 1.


From Rumour's tongues They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.

19- Induction. 293

Time. Time. I, -that please some, try all; both joy, and

terror, Of good and bad; that make, and unfold, error.

13-iv. Chorus.



Mankind different in exterior only.
Are we not brothers ?

So man and man should be;.
But clay and clay differs in dignity,
Whose dust is both alike.

31-iv. 2.

m Amongst mathematical recreations, there is one in optics, in. which a figure is drawn, wherein all the rules of perspective are inverted, so that if held in the same position with those pictures which are drawn according to the rules of perspective, it can present nothing but confusion: and to be seen in form, and under a regular appear. ance, it must be looked upon from a contrary station; or, as Shakspeare says, eyed awry.

This curious double allusion to an optical experiment, not even now very familiar, shews the strength, comprehensiveness, and subtilty, of the poet's observation. The anamorphosis cylinder and polymorphic prism are both introduced

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