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Gifts, not our own.
Heaven doth with us as we with torches do;
Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues
As if we had them not.* Spirits are not finely touch'd,
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
Both thanks and use.†
Thyself and thy belongings
Are not thine own so proper, as to waste
Faults, extenuation of.
Oftentimes, excusing of a fault,
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse;
Modern and present opinions contrasted.
*Matt. v. 15, 16.
† Interest. Matt. xxv. 20, &c.
And, like a shifted wind unto a sail,
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about;
Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected,
The future anticipated by the past.
There is a history in all men's lives,
Wise men superior to woes.
Wise men ne'er wail their present woes, But presently prevent the ways to wail.
To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Patience, unmoved, no marvel though she pause;*
But were we burden'd with like weight of pain,
Men's last words to be regarded.
The tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony;
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain,
For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
He, that no more must say, is listen'd more
Than they, whom youth and ease have taught to glose;
More are men's ends mark'd, than their lives before: The setting sun, and music at the close,
* To pause is to rest, to be in quiet.
ti. e. Who have no cause to be otherwise.
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last;
Self-interest, its influence.
They say, miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons, to make modernt and familiar things, supernatural and causeless. Hence is it, that we make trifles of terrors; ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.§ 11-ii. 3.
Blessings undervalued, till irrecoverable.
Love, that comes too late Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
To the great sender turns a sour offence,
Crying, That's good, that's gone: our rash faults
Not knowing them, until we know their grave;
That wishing well had not a body in't,
Which might be felt: that we, the poorer born,
† Poised, balanced.
§ Fear means here, the object of fear.
i. e. And show by realities what we now must only think.
Though those, that are betray'd.
Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
In obstinate condolement,* is a course
Blessed be those,
How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,
As surfeit is the father of much fast,
So every scope by the immoderate use
Turns to restraint: Our natures do pursue
(Like rats that ravin|| down their proper bane) A thirsty evil, and when we drink, we die.
Elevation, exposed to censure.
O place and greatness, millions of false eyes
And rack thee in their fancies!
Human actions viewed by Heaven.
If pow'rs divine
Behold our human actions, (as they do,)
*Condolement, for sorrow.
1 Thess. iv. 13.
† Incorrect, for untutored.
§ 1 Tim. vi. 6.
Voraciously devour. ¶ Inquisitions, inquiries.
That we shall die, we know; 'tis but the time,
The honour of a maid is her name; and no legacy is so rich as honesty.
The service of the foot
Being once gangrened, is not then respected
Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
That honour, which shall bate his scythe's keen edge,
Honours not hereditary.
Honours best thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Where dust, and damn'd oblivion, is the tomb
Confidence, not to be placed in man.
O momentary grace of mortal men,
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast;
Ready, with every nod, to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.
Submission to Providence.
I do find it cowardly and vile,
* i.e. Through all succeeding ages.