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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
Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike

As if we had them not.* Spirits are not finely touch'd,
But to fine issues: nor nature never lends

The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,

Both thanks and use.†

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Thyself and thy belongings

Are not thine own so proper, as to waste
Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thee.


Faults, extenuation of.

Oftentimes, excusing of a fault,

Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse;
As patches, set upon a little breach,
Discredit more, in hiding of the fault,
Than did the fault before it was so patch'd.


Modern and present opinions contrasted.
In this, the antique and well-noted face
Of plain old form is much disfigured:

*Matt. v. 15, 16.
ti. e. Blemish.

5-i. 1.

5-i. 1.

16-iv. 2.

† Interest. Matt. xxv. 20, &c.

And, like a shifted wind unto a sail,

It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about;
Startles and frights consideration;

Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected,
For putting on so new a fashion'd robe.


The future anticipated by the past.

16-iv. 2.

There is a history in all men's lives,
Figuring the nature of the times deceased:
The which observed, a man may prophecy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life; which in their seeds,
And weak beginnings, lie intreasured.


Wise men superior to woes.

19-iii. 1.

Wise men ne'er wail their present woes, But presently prevent the ways to wail.

To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Gives, in your weakness, strength unto your foe,
And so your follies fight against yourself.

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17-iii, 2.

Patience, unmoved, no marvel though she pause;*
They can be meek, that have no other cause.f
A wretched soul, bruised with adversity,
We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry;

But were we burden'd with like weight of pain,
As much, or more, we should ourselves complain.


Men's last words to be regarded.

The tongues of dying men

Enforce attention like deep harmony;

14-ii. 1.

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.

† Flatter.

As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last;
Writ in remembrance, more than things long past.



Self-interest, its influence.
Commodity, the bias of the world;
The world, who of itself is peised† well,
Made to run even, upon even ground;
Till this advantage, this vile drawing bias,
This sway of motion, this commodity,
Makes it take head from all indifferency,
From all direction, purpose, course, intent.

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17-ii. 1.

16-ii. 2.

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
Make trivial price of serious things we have,

Not knowing them, until we know their grave;
Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
Destroy our friends, and after weep their dust.


Wishes, unsubstantial.

"Tis pity

That wishing well had not a body in't,

11-v. 3.

Which might be felt: that we, the poorer born,
Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
Might with effects of them follow our friends,
And show what we alone must think;|| which ne'er
Returns us thanks.



† Poised, balanced.

11-i. 1.

§ Fear means here, the object of fear.

i. e. And show by realities what we now must only think.

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Though those, that are betray'd.

Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
Stands in worse case of woe.

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To persevere

31-iii. 4.

In obstinate condolement,* is a course
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief:
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven;
A heart unfortified, or mind impatient;
An understanding simple and unschool'd.‡



Blessed be those,

36-i. 2.

31-i. 7.

How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,
Which seasons comfort.



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.

5-i. 3.

O place and greatness, millions of false eyes
Are stuck upon thee! volumes of report
Run with these false and most contrarious quests T
Upon thy doings! thousand 'scapes** of wit
Make thee the father of their idle dream,

And rack thee in their fancies!


Human actions viewed by Heaven.

If pow'rs divine

Behold our human actions, (as they do,)
I doubt not then, but innocence shall make
False accusation blush, and tyranny
Tremble at patience.

*Condolement, for sorrow.

1 Thess. iv. 13.

5-iv. 1.

13-iii. 2.

† Incorrect, for untutored.

§ 1 Tim. vi. 6.

** Sallies.

Voraciously devour. ¶ Inquisitions, inquiries.

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That we shall die, we know; 'tis but the time,
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.

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29-iii. 1.

The honour of a maid is her name; and no legacy is so rich as honesty.


11-iii. 5.


The service of the foot

Being once gangrened, is not then respected
For what before it was.

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28-iii. 1.

Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
Th' endeavour of this present breath may buy

That honour, which shall bate his scythe's keen edge,
And make us heirs of all eternity.*


8-i. 1.

Honours not hereditary.

Honours best thrive,

When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our fore-goers: the mere word's a slave,
Debauch'd on every tomb; on every grave,
A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb,

Where dust, and damn'd oblivion, is the tomb
Of honour'd bones indeed.


Confidence, not to be placed in man.

O momentary grace of mortal men,

11-ii. 3.

Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hope in air of your fair looks,

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.

24-iii. 4.

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