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For fear of what might fall, so to prevent*
The time of life :-(arming myself with patience)
To stay the providence of some high powers,
That govern us below.

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29-v. 1.

There is so great a fever on goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it: novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous to be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive, to make societies secure; but security enough to make fellowships accursed: much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world.

5-iii. 2.

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Miracles are ceased;

And therefore we must needs admit the means,
How things are perfected.


The apprehension of evils.

Doubting things go ill, often hurts more

Than to be sure they do: For certainties

20-i. 1.

Either are past remedies: or, timely knowing,
The remedy then born.

31—i. 7.



I hold it cowardice

To rest mistrustful, where a noble heart
Hath pawn'd an open hand in sign of love.

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Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours,

23-iv. 2.

Makes the night morning, and the noontide night.
Princes have but their titles for their glories,

An outward honour for an inward toil;

And, for unfelt imaginations,

They often feel a world of restless cares:
So that, between their titles, and low name,
There's nothing differs but the outward fame.

*To anticipate.

24-i. 4.

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Nor are those empty-hearted, whose low sound
Reverbs* no hollowness.

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34-i. 1.

He, that is proud, eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise. 26-ii. 3.

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Labouring art can never ransom nature
From her unaidable estate.

-Nature is made better by no mean,

But nature makes that mean: so, o'er that art,
Which, you say, adds to nature, is an art,
That nature makes. You see, we marry
A gentler scion to the wildest stock;
And make conceive a bark of baser kind
By bud of nobler race: This is an art

Which does mend nature,-change it rather: but
The art itself is nature.


11-ii. 1. & 13-iv. 3.


The greatest are misthought

For things that others do; and, when we fall,
We answer others' meritst in our name.

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30-v. 2.

That we were all, as some would seem to be,
Free from our faults, as faults from seeming free!


Custom, supreme in its power.

5-iii. 2.

What custom wills, in all things should we do't,
The dust on antique time would lie unswept,
And mountainous error be too highly heap'd
For truth to over-peer.‡

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28-ii. 3.

When we in our viciousness grow hard, (O misery on't!) the wise gods seel our eyes;


† Overlook.

† Merits, or demerits.

& Close up.

In our own filth drop our clear judgments; make us
Adore our errors; laugh at us, while we strut
To our confusion.*


30-iii. 11.


Fearful commenting

Is leaden servitor to dull delay;

Delay leads impotent and snail-paced beggary.


Virtue contrasted with Vice.

24—iv. 3.

What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted ?‡
Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just;
And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel,
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.

40 The wretchedness of human dependence. O how wretched

22-iii. 2.

Is that poor man, that hangs on princes' favours!
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.§


Prayers denied, often profitable.

We, ignorant of ourselves,

25-iii. 2.

Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit,

By losing of our prayers.||

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30-ii. 1.

Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living.¶


Recreation, a preventive of Melancholy. Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue,

But moody and dull Melancholy,

(Kinsman to grim and comfortless Despair ;)
And, at her heels, a huge infectious troop
Of pale distemperature, and foes to life?

*Rom. i. 28. 2 Thess. ii. 11. Isa. xliv. 20.

11-i. 1.

14-v. 1.

†Timorous thought and cautious disquisition are the dull at

tendants on delay.

§ P's. cxviii. 9. Isa. xiv. 12

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The instant action (a cause on foot)

Lives so in hope, as in an early spring

We see th' appearing buds; which, to prove fruit,
Hope gives not so much warrant, as despair,
That frosts will bite them.

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By how much unexpected, by so much
We must awake endeavour for defence;
For courage mounteth with occasion.


Pride, its universality.

Why, who cries out on pride,

19-i. 3.

16-ii. 1.

That can therein tax any private party?
Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea,
Till that the very very means do ebb?
What woman in the city do I name,
When that I say, The city-woman bears
The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?
Who can come in, and say, that I mean her,
When such a one as she, such is her neighbour?
Or what is he of basest function,

That says, his bravery is not on my cost
(Thinking that I mean him), but therein suits
His folly to the mettle of my speech?

There then; How, what then? Let me see wherein
My tongue hath wrong'd him; if it do him right,
Then he hath wrong'd himself; if he be free,

Why then, my taxing like a wild-goose flies,
Unclaim'd of any man.


10—ii. 7.


How, in one house,

34-ii. 4.

Effrontery of Vice.

I ne'er heard yet,

Should many people, under two commands,

Hold amity ?*


That any of these bolder vices wanted

Less impudence to gainsay what they did,

Than to perform it first.

*Matt. vi. 24.

13-iii. 2.



What things are we!

Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves, till they attain to their abhorred ends; so he, that contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself.* 11-iv. 3.

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The jewel, best enamelled,

Will lose his beauty; and though gold 'bides still,
That others touch, yet often touching will
Wear gold; and so no man that hath a name,
But falsehood and corruption doth it shame.†

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14-ii. 1.

The shrug, the hum, or ha; these petty brands,
That calumny doth use:-

For calumny will seart

Virtue itself:-these shrugs, these hums, and ha's,
When you have said, she's goodly, come between,
Ere you can say, she's honest.


Impediments increase desire.

13—ii. 1.

All impediments in fancy's course
Are motives of more fancy.


Reputation invaluable.

11-v. 3.

The purest treasure mortal times afford,
Is-spotless reputation; that away,

Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
Is-a bold spirit in a loyal breast.

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Foundations fly the wretched; such, I mean,
Where they should be relieved.

* i. e. Betrays his own secrets in his own talk.

17-i. 1.

31-iii. 6.

† Gold will long bear the handling; however, often touching will wear even gold; just so the greater character, though as pure as gold itself, may in time be injured by the repeated attacks of falsehood and corruption.

Brand as infamous.

§ Love.

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