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the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes. Cæs. Cowards die many times before their deaths;
the valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders, that I yet have heard,
it seems to me most strange that men should fear;
seeing that death, a necessary,
will come when it will come.
ADAM I'm well assured, you will not send one poor thought after me, much less a mes
to know the truth; but if you do, he'll find,
in some unfinish'd part of the creation,
where Night and Chaos never were disturb’d,
but bed-rid lie in some dark rocky desert,
there will he find a thing—whether a man,
or the collected shadows of the desert
condens'd into a shade, he 'll hardly know;
this figure he will find walking alone,
poring one while on some sad book at noon
by taper-light, for never day shone there:
sometimes laid grovelling on the barren earth,
moist with his tears, for never dew fell there:
and when night comes, not known from day by dark-
but by some faithful messenger of time,
he 'll find him stretcht upon a bed of stone,
cut from the bowels of some rocky cave,
offering himself either to Sleep or Death;
and neither will accept the dismal wretch:
at length a Slumber, in its infant arms,
takes up his heavy soul, but wanting strength
to bear it, quickly lets it fall again;
at which the wretch starts up, and walks about
all night, and all the time it should be day;
till quite forgetting, quite forgot of every thing
but Sorrow, pines away, and in small time
of the only man that durst inhabit there,
becomes the only Ghost that dares walk there.
EXHORTATION TO CONTENTMENT
to walk in paths untroubled with a thorn, from the first hour that gave thee vital air consigned to pleasure and exempt from care: heedless to wile away the day and night in one unbroken banquet of delight, pamper each ruling sense, secure from ill, and own no law superior to thy will; if partial heaven had ever sworn to give this happy right as thy prerogative, then blame the gods, and call thy life the worst, thyself of all mankind the most accurst! but if with us the common air you draw, subject alike to nature's general law, and on thy head an equal portion fall of life's afflicting weight imposed on all, take courage from necessity, and try boldly to meet the foe thou canst not fly. Thou art a man like others doomed to feel the quick descent of Fortune's giddy wheel; weak human race! we strive to soar from sight with wings unfitted to the daring flight; restless each fleeting object to obtain, we lose in minutes what in years we gain. But why should'st thou, my honour'd friend, repine? no grief peculiar or unknown is thine! though Fortune smile no more as once she smiled, nor pour her gifts on thee, her favourite child, patient and firm, the present ill redress, nor, by despairing, make thy little less.
silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
they to their grassy couch, these to their nests
were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale;
she all night long her amorous descant sung;
silence was pleased: now glowed the firmament
with living sapphire: Hesperus, that led
the starry host, rode brightest, till the moon,
rising in clouded majesty, at length
apparent queen unveiled her peerless light,
and o'er the dark her silver mantle threw ;-
“To morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east
with first approach of light, we must be risen,
and at our pleasant labour, to reform
yon flowery arbours, yonder alleys green,
our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
that mock our scant manuring, and require
more hands than ours to lop their wanton growth.
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums,
that lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth,
ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease;
meanwhile, as Nature wills, night bids us rest."
To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorned :-
“My author and disposer, what thou biddest
unargued I obey: so God ordains:
God is thy law, thou mine; to know no more
is woman's happiest knowledge, and her praise.
With thee conversing I forget all time;
all seasons and their change, all please alike.
THE CHARACTER OF GERMANICUS
CAIUS SILIUS-LUCIUS ARRUNTIUS
E was a man most like to virtue; in all
and every action, nearer to the gods, than men, in nature; of a body as fair as was his mind; and no less reverend in face, than fame: he could so use his state, tempering his greatness with his gravity, as it avoided all self-love in him, and spight in others. What his funerals lack'd in images and pomp, they had supply'd with honourable sorrow, soldiers' sadness, a kind of silent mourning, such as men (who know no tears, but from their captives) use to shew in so great losses. Arr. I am sure
he was too great for us, and that they knew
who did remove him hence. Sab. When men grow
honour'd and lov’d, there is a trick in state
(which jealous princes never fail to use)
how to decline that growth, with fair pretext,
and honourable colours of employment,
either by embassy, the war, or such,
to shift them forth into another air,
where they may purge, and lessen; so was he:
and had his seconds there, sent by Tiberius,
and his more subtle dam, to discontent him;
to breed, and cherish mutinies; detract
his greatest actions; give audacious check
to his commands; and work to put him out
in open act of treason. All which snares
when his wise cares prevented, a fine poison
was thought on, to mature their practices.
'HE night grows on, and you are for your meeting;
I'll therefore end in few. Be resolute,
and put your enterprise in act; the more
actions of depth and danger are consider'd,
the less assuredly they are perform’d:
and thence it happeneth, that the bravest plots,
not executed straight, have been discover'd.
Say, you are constant, or another, a third,
or more; there may be yet one wretched spirit,
with whom the fear of punishment shall work
'bove all the thoughts of honour and revenge.
You are not now to think what's best to do,
as in beginnings; but, what must be done,
being thus enter'd; and slip no advantage
that may secure you. Let 'em call it mischief:
when it is past, and prosperid, 'twill be virtue.
They're petty crimes are punish’d, great rewarded.
Nor must you think of peril, since attempts
begun with danger, still do end with glory;
and, when need spurs, despair will be call’d wisdom.
Less ought the care of men, or fame to fright you,
for they that win do seldom receive shame
of victory, howe'er it be achieved,
and vengeance, least: for who, besieged with wants,
would stop at death, or any thing beyond it ?
Come, there was never any great thing yet
aspiréd, but by violence or fraud:
and he that sticks, for folly of a conscience,
to reach it-
Cat. Is a good religious fool.
AVE I a tongue to doom my brother's death,
my brother kill'd no man,-his fault was thought,
and yet his punishment was bitter death.
Who sued to me for him? who, in my wrath,
kneeld at my feet, and hade me be advis'd?
who spoke of brotherhood ? who spoke of love?
who told me how the poor soul did forsake
the mighty Warwick, and did fight for me?
who told me, in the field at Tewksbury,
when Oxford had me down, he rescued me,
and said, “Dear brother, live, and be a king'?
Who told me, when we both lay in the field
frozen almost to death, how he did lap me
even in his garments, and did give himself,
all thin and naked, to the numb cold night?
All this from my remembrance brutish wrath
sinfully plucked, and not a man of you
had so much grace to put it in my mind.
But when your carters or your waiting-vassals
have done a drunken slaughter, and defac'd
the precious image of our dear Redeemer,
you straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon ;
and I, unjustly too, must grant it you :-
but for my brother not a man would speak,-
nor I, ungracious, speak unto myself
for him, poor soul. The proudest of you all
have been beholding to him in his life ;
yet none of you would once plead for his life.-
O God, I fear, thy justice will take hold
on me, and you, and mine, and yours for this!