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To be most solace to itself,
Best cure for angry mind.
No change of fortune's calms
Can cast my comforts down :
When fortune smiles, I smile to think
How quickly she will frown;
And when in froward mood,
She pr v'd an angry foc,
Small gain I found to let her conu
Less loss to let her go.
XVIII. JOSHUA SYLVESTER.
A CONTENTED MIND.
I weigh not fortune's frown or smile,
I joy not much in carthly joys;
I seek not state, I reck not style,
J. am not fond of fancy's toys;
I rest so pleased with what I have,
I wish no more, no more I crave.
I quake not at the thunder's crack,
I tremble not at noise of war,
I swoon not at the news of wrack,
I shrink not at a blazing star :
I fear not loss, I hope not gain,
I envy none, I none disdain.
I see ambition never pleas’d,
I see some Tantals stary'd in store;
I see gold's dropsy seldom eas’d,
I see e'en Midas
I neither want, nor yet abound :
Enough's a feast; content is crown'd.
I feign not friendship where I hate,
I fawn not on the great in show,
I prize, I praise a mean estate,
Neither too lofty nor too low; This, this is all my choice, my cheer, A mind content, a conscience clear,
XIX. FULK GREVILLE LORD BROOKE.
Tyrants must have care
To cherish these assemblies of estate
Which in great monarchies true glasses are,
To show men’s grief, excesses to abato,
Brave moulds for laws, a medium that in out,
Joins with content a people to the throue.
XX. SIMON WASTELL.
Like to the damask rose you see,
Or like a blossom on a tree,
Or like a dainty flower of May,
Or like the morning to the day,
Or like the sun, or like the shade,
Or like the gourd which Jonas had,
E'en such is man ;-whose thread is spun,
Drawn out, and cut, and so is done.-
The rose withers, the blossom blasteth,
The flower fades, the morning hasteth,
The sun sets, the shadow flies,
The gourd consumes ;—the man he dies.
Like to the grass that's newly sprung,
Or like a tale that's new begun,
Or like the bird that's here to day,
Or like the pearly dew of May,
Or like an hour, or like a span,
Or like the singing of a swan,
E'en such is man ;—who lives by breath,
Now here, now there, in life and death.--
The grass withers, the tale is ended,
The bird is flown, the dew's ascended,
The hour is short, the span not long,
The swan's near death,-man's life is done.
Think of her worth, and think that God did mean
This worthy mind should worthy things embrace : Blot not her beauties with thy thoughts unclean,
Nor her dishonour with thy passion base. Kill not her quickening power with surfeitings:
Mar not her sense with sensuality : Cast not away her wit on idle things ;
Make not her free-will slave to vanity. And when thou think’st of her eternity,
Think not that death against her nature is ; Think it a birth: and when thou goest to die,
Sing like a swan, as if thou went'st to bliss.
XXII. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.
1. OTHELLO'S APOLOGY. Most potent, grave, and reverend seigniors, My very noble and approv'd good masters ; That I have ta’en away this old man's daughter, It is most true ; true, I have married her; The very head and front of my offending Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech, And little bless'd with the soft phrase of peace; For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith, Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used Their dearest action in the tented field; And little of this great world can I speak, More than pertains to feats of broil and battle ; And therefore little shall I grace my cause In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience, I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver Of my whole course of love ; what drugs, what charms, What conjuration and what mighty magic, For such proceeding I am charg’d withal, I won his daughter. Her father loved me, oft invited me; Still question'd me the story of my life, From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortune,
That I have pass'd.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
To th' very moment that he bade me tell it;
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field :
Of hair-breadth 'scapes, i' th' imminent deadly breach :
Of being taken by the insolent foe,
And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,
And portance. In my traveller's history:
(Wherein of antres vast, and deserts wild,
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven,
It was my hint to speak). These things to hear
Would Desdem.ona seriously incline.
But still the house affairs would draw her hence,
Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse; which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate;
Whereof by parcels she had something beard,
But not intentively. I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs :
She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful,
She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
That heav'n had made her such a man; she thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake ;
She lov'd me for the dangers I had passed ;
And I lov'd her, that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have us’d.
2. DUKE AND LORD.
DUKE. Now, my co-mates, and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these wonds
More free from peril than the envious court ?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference : as the icy fang,
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind;
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say,
This is no flattery: these are counsellors,
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head :
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
-Come, shall we go, and kill us venison ?
And yet it irks me, the poor dappled fools,
Being native burghers of this desert city,
Should in their own confines, with forked heads,
Have their round haunches gor’d.
Indeed, my lord,
The melancholy Jaques grieves much at that;
And in that kind swears you do more usurp
Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
To-day my lord of Amiens, and myself,
Did steal behind him as he lay along
Under an oak, whose antique roots peep out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood;
To the which place a poor sequester'd stag,
That from the hunter's aim had ta’en a hurt,
Did come to languish ; and, indeed, my lord,
The wretched animal heav'd forth such groans,
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
Almost to bursting; and the big round tears
Coursed one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool,
Much markéd of the melancholy Jaques,
Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook.
Augmenting it with tears.
But what said Jaques ?