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Nature is fine in love: and, where 'tis fine,
The effects of Poverty and Riches.
Twinn'd brothers of one womb,—
Whose procreation, residence, and birth,
Scarce is dividant,-touch them with several fortunes; The greater scorns the lesser: Not nature,
To whom all sores lay siege, can bear great fortune, But by contempt of nature.†
Raise me this beggar, and denude that lord;
The senator shall bear contempt hereditary,
It is the pasture lards the browser's sides,
He, that a fool doth very wisely hit,
Even by the squand'ring glances of the fool.‡
To be generous, guiltless, and of free disposition, is to take those things for bird-bolts, that you deem cannon-bullets. There is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove. 4-i. 5.
*Love is the passion by which nature is most exalted and refined; and as substances refined and subtilized easily obey any impulse, or follow any attraction, some part of nature, so purified and refined, flies off after the attracting object, after the thing it loves.
ti. e. Human nature, besieged as it is by misery, admonished as it is of want and imperfection, when elevated by fortune, will despise beings of nature like its own.
Unless men have the prudence not to appear touched with the sarcasms of a jester, they subject themselves to his power; and the wise man will have his folly anatomized, i.e. dissected and laid open, by the squandering glances or random shots of a fool.
§ Short arrows.
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
None are so surely caught,* when they are catch'd,
Customs, new, heedlessly followed.
Though they be never so ridiculous,
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?
The great man down, you mark, his favourite flies;
For who not needs, shall never lack, a friend;
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Why should a man, whose blood is warm within,
Sleep, when he wakes? and creep into the jaundice
*These are observations worthy of a man who has surveyed hu. man nature with the closest attention.
Power, loss of it, is loss of homage.
'Tis certain, greatness, once fallen out with fortune,
Hath any honour; but honour for those honours
Which when they fall, as being slippery standers,
Love, in its spring and in its maturity.
My love is strengthen'd, though more weak in seem-
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night,
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight.
Who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's 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;
What's past, and what's to come, is strew'd with
Minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
There's nothing serious in mortality:
All is but toys: renown, and grace, is dead.
But by bad courses may be understood,
That their events can never fall out good. 17-ii. 1.
Virtue preserved from fell destruction's blast,
Led on by heaven, and crown'd with joy at last.
Riches cannot procure happiness for their possessors. The aged man that coffers up his gold,
Is plagued with cramps, and gouts, and painful fits;
The sweets we wish for turned to loathed sours,
The consequences of evil.
We bid ill be done,
When evil deeds have their permissive pass,
Wisdom and Learning.
Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,
That will not be deep search'd with saucy looks;
Save base authority from others' books.
Universal plodding prisons up
The nimble spirits in the arteries;
As motion, and long-during action, tires
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.
287 Affections not felt are disbelieved or despised.
Cowards father cowards, and base things sire base: Nature hath meal, and bran; contempt, and grace. 31-iv. 2.
* 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.
† Smith's theory of moral sentiments shows, agreeably to Thucydides, that sentiments, when above the tone of others, reach not their sympathy.