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The quality of mercy is not strain’d;
It droppeth as the gentle dew from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesses him that gives, and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mighty; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.

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Though justice be thy plea, consider this-
That in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.


Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
Draw near them then in being merciful;
Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge. Shakspere.

The greatest attribute of heaven is mercy,
And 't is the crown of justice, and the glory,
Where it may kill with right, to save with pity.

Beaumont and Fletcher.
He's a bad surgeon, that, for pity, spares
The part corrupted, till the gangrene spread,
And all the body perish; he that 's merciful
Unto the bad, is cruel to the just. Randolph.

O Mercy, heavenly bond, sweet attribute!
Thou great, thou best prerogative of power!
Justice may guard the throne, but join’d to thee,
On rocks of adamant it stands secure,
And braves the storms beneath; soon as thy smiles
Gild the rough deep, the foaming waves subside,
And all the noisy tumult sinks to peace.

William Somerville. Hate shuts her soul when dove-eyed Mercy pleads.

Charles Sprague. Heaven oft in mercy smites, even when the blow Severest is.

Joanna Baillie. 430



MERIT. “Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.” And well said too; for who shall go about To cozen fortune, and be honourable Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume To wear an undeserved dignity. O, that estates, degrees, and offices, Were not derived corruptly! and that clear honour Were purchas'd by the merit of the wearer! How many then should cover, that stand bare! How many be commanded, that command!

Shakspere. Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll; Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.

Pope. Let high birth triumph! What can be more great? Nothing—but merit in a low estate.


Which, when I saw rehearsed, I must confess,
Made my eyes water, but more merry tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.

Lively and gossiping,
Stored with the treasures of the tattling world,
And with a spice of mirth, too.


But then her face,
So lovely, yet so arch-so full of mirth,
The overflowing of an innocent heart;-
It haunts me still, though many a year has fled,
Like some wild melody.


It is like mockery of the silent night
To choose her hours for merriment, but thus
We struggle with the natural laws, and make
Our life a strange disorder.

L. E. L.





METAPIIYSIC. The mathematics, and the metaphysics, Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you.

Shakspere. The Metaphysic's but a puppet motion That goes with screws, the notion of a notion; The copy of a copy, and lame draught Unnaturally taken from a thought: That counterfeits all pantomimic tricks, And turns the eyes like an old crucifix; That counterchanges whatsoe'er it calls B’another name, and makes it true or false; Turns truth to falsehood, falsehood into truth, By virtue of the Babylonian's tooth.


THEN flaming meteors, hung in air, were seen,
And thunders rattled through a sky serene.

ne.-Dryden. O, poet! thou had’st been discreeter,

Hanging the monarch's hat so high,
If thou had'st dubbed thy star a meteor,

Which did but blaze, and rove, and die. Prior.
Gone-like a meteor, that o'erhead
Suddenly shines, and ere we've said
"Look! look, how beautiful!”—'t is fled! Moore.


What so strong But wanting rest will also want of might?--Spenser. Quoth she, great grief will not be told,

And can more easily be thought than said; Right so, quoth he, but he that never would Could never: will to might gives greatest aid.

Spenser. Wherefore should not strength and might There fail, where virtue fails?

Milton. 432




In war, was never lion's rage so fierce;
In peace, was never gentle lamb more mild.

As the leaf doth beautify the tree,
The pleasant flowers bedeck the painted spring,
Even so in men, of greater reach and power,
A mild and piteous thought augments renown.

Thos. Lodge. The same majestic mildness held its place, Nor lost the monarch, in the dying face. Dryden.

His probity and mildness shows
His care of friends, and scorn of foes. Addison.

UNNUMBERED spirits round thee fly,
The light militia of the lower sky.


As when the trumpet sounds, the o’erloaded state
Discharges all her poor and profligate;
Crimes of all kinds dishonour'd weapons wield,
And prisons pour their filth into the field;
Thus nature's refuse, and the dregs of men,
Compose the black militia of the pen.


In reason's absence mimic fancy wakes
To imitate her: but misjoining shapes,
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams.

The busy head with mimic art runs o'er
The scenes and actions of the day before. Swift.

Who would with care some happy fiction frame,
So mimics truth, it looks the very same. Granville.

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All things received do such proportion take,

As those things have wherein they are received; So little glasses little faces make,

And narrow webs on narrow frames are weaved. Then what vast body must we make the mind, Wherein are men, beasts, trees, owns, seas, and

lands; And yet each thing a proper place doth find, And each thing in the true proportion stands.

Sir John Davies. His sweetest mind, 'Twixt mildness tempered and low courtesy, Could leave as soon to be as not be kind;

Churlish despite ne'er looked from his calm eye, Much less commanded in his gentle heart, To baser men fair looks he would impart; Nor could he cloak ill thoughts in complimental art.

Phineas Fletcher. Our better mind Is as a Sunday garment, then put on When we have nought to do, but at our work We wear a worse for thrift.


The hand of time alone disarms
Her face of its superfluous charms,
But adds for every grace resign'd
A thousand to adorn her mind.


The immortal mind superior to its fate,
Amid the outrage of external things,
Firm as the solid base of this great world,
Rests on its own foundation.

The mind doth shape itself to its own wants,
And can bear all things.

Joanna Baillie. Hard task, vain hope, to analyze the mind, If each most obvious and particular thought, Not in a mystical and idle sense, But in the words of reason deeply weighed, Hath no beginning.


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