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Deceecity, men happen to be married to it, I can coxcomb? A man, who is excessive in his pains only give them St. Paul's advice: “Brethren, and diligence, and who consumes the greatest the time is short; it remains, that they, that
part of his time in furnishing the remainder have wives, be as though they had none. --But
with all conveniences and even superfluities, is I would that all men were even as I myself.” to angels and wise men no less ridiculous; he does
In all cases, they must be sure, that they do as little consider the shortness of his passage, that mundurn ducere, and not mundo nubere. They | he might proportion his cares accordingly. It is, must retain the superiority and headship over it:
alas, so narrow a strait betwixt the womb and bappy are they, who can get out of the sight of the grave, that it might be called the Pas de Vie, this deceitful beauty, that they may not be led | as well as that the Pas de Calais. So truch as into temptation ; who have not only
We are all épíuegos (as Pindar calls us), creaquitted the metropolis, but can abstain from ever tures of a day, and therefore our Saviour bounds seeking the next market-town in their country.
our desires to that little space: as if it were very probable that every day should be our last, we are taught to demand even bread for no longer a
time. The Sun ought not to set upon our core. CLAUDLAVSOLD MAN OF VERONA. tousness, no more than upon our anger ; but, as
toGod Almighty a thousand years are as one day, DE SENE VERONENSI, QUI SUBURBIUM NUNQUAM
so, in direct opposition, one day to the covetous EGRESSUS EST.
man is as a thousand years; tam brevi fortis
jaculatur ævo multa, so far he sboots beyond FELIX, qui patriis, &c.
his butt: one would think, he were of the opinion
of the Millenaries, and hoped for so long a reign Happy the man, who his whole time doth bound
upon Earth. The patriarchs before the flood,
who enjoyed almost such a life, made, we are Within th' enclosure of his little ground.
sure, less stores for the maintaining of it; they, Happy the man, whorn the same humble place
who lived nine hundred years, scarcely provided (Th' bereditary cottage of his race)
for a few days; we, who live but a few days, From his first rising infancy has known,
provide at least for nine hundred years. What And by degrees sees gently bending down,
a strange alteration is this of human life and With natural propension, to that earth Which both preservd his life, and gave him birth.
manners ! and yet we see an imitation of it in
every man's particular experience; for we begin Him no false distant lights, by fortune set,
not the cares of life, ţill it be half spent, and Could ever into foolish wanderings get.
still increase them, as that decreases. He never dangers either saw or feard :
What is there among the actions of beasts so The dreadful storms at sea be uever heard.
illogical and repugnant to reason? When they He never heard the shrill alarms of war,..
do any thing, which seems to proceed from that Or the worse noises of the lawyers' bar.
which we call reason, we disdain to allow them No change of consuls anarks to him the year,
that perfection, and attribute it only to a natural The change of seasons is his calendar.
instinct: and are not we fools, too, by the same The cold and heat, winter and summer shows;
kind of instinct? If we could but learn to “ numAutumn by fruits, and spring by flowers, he knows He measures time by land-marks, and has found
ber our days” (as we are taught to pray that we
might), we should adjust much better our other For the whole day the dial of his ground.
accounts; but, whilst we never consider an end A neighbouring wood, born with himself, he sees,
of them, it is no wonder if our cares for them be And loves his old contemporary trees.
without end, too. Horace advises very wisely, He'as only heard of near Verona's name,
and in excellent good words,
that choak the mother-plant, and hinder it from bearing fruit. And in another place, to the same sense,
THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE. AND UN. Vitæ summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare
longam ; CERTAINTY OF RICHES.
which Seneca does not mend, when he says I you should see a man, who were to cross from Oh! quanta dementia est spes longas inchoanDover to Calais, run about very busy and soli- tium ! but he gives an example there of an accitoas, and trouble bimself many weeks before in quaintance of his, named Senecio, who, from a making provisions for his voyage, would you com very mean beginning, by great industry in turnmend him for a cautious and discreet person, ing about of money through all ways of gain, had or laugh at him for a timorous and impertinent attained to extraordinary riches, but died on a • 1 Cor, vč. 29. 7.
51 Carin, xi. 6.
Ibid. iv. 15.
sudden, after having supped merrily, in ipso Thou dost thyself wise and industrions deem;
Officious fool! that needs must meddling be
In business, that concerns not thee! Insere nunc, Melibæe, pyros; pone ordine For when to future years thou' extend'st thy vites !
Thou deal'st in other men's affairs.
Children again, for age prepare;
Provisions for long travel they design, For this Senecio I have no compassion, because In the last point of their short line. he was taken, as we say, in ipso facto, still labouring in the work of avarice; but the poor rich man Wisely the ant against poor winter hoards in St Luke (whose case was not like this) I could The stock, which summer's wealth affords: pity, methinks if the Scripture would permit In grasshoppers, that must at autumn die, me; for he seems to have been satisfied at last, How vain were such an industry ! he confesses he had enough for many years, he bids his soul take its ease; and yet for all that, of power and honour the deceitful light God says to him, “ Thou fool, this night thy Might half excuse our cheated sight, soul shall be required of thee; and the things If it of life the whole small time would stay thou hast laid up, who shall they belong to 8}” And be our sunshine all the day ; Where shall we find the causes of this bitter reproach and terrible judgment? We may find, 1 Like lightning, that, begot but in a cloud think, two; and God, perhaps, saw more. First, (Though shining bright, and speaking that he did not intend true rest to his soul, but loud) only to change the employments of it from ava- Whilst it begins, concludes its violent race, rice to luxury; his design is, to eat, and to drink, And where it gilds, it wounds the place. and to be merry. Secondly, that he went on too long before he thought of resting; the fullness Oh scene of fortune, which dost fair appear of his old barns had not sufficed him, he would Only to men that stand not near! stay till he was forced to build new ones: and Proud poverty, that tinsel bravery wears! God meted out to him in the same measure; since And, like a rainbow, painted tears! he would have more riches than his life could contain, God destroyed his life, and gave the Be prudent, and the shore in prospect keep ; fruits of it to another.
In a weak boat trust not the deep; Thus God takes away sometimes the man from Plac'd beneath envy, above envying rise; his riches, and no less frequently riches from the Pity great men, great things despise, man: what hope can there be of such a marriage, where both parties are so fickle and uncertain ? The wise example of the heavenly lark, by what bonds can such a couple be kept long Thy fellow-poet, Cowley, mark; together?
Above the clouds let thy proud music sound,
Thy humble nest build on the ground.
Or, what is worse, be left by it? [quit,
A Letter to Mr. S. L.
And clip or pinion her wing;
sign of withdrawing myself from all tumult and As not to cut off thy entail ;
business of the world, and consecrating the little
rest of my time to those studies, to which Nature Yet Death at all that subtilty will laugh ;
had so motherly inclined me,and from which ForDeath will that foolish gardener mock,
tune, like a step-mother, has so long detained Who does a slight and annual plant engraff
But nevertheless (you say, which but is Upon a lasting stock,
ærugo mera, a rust which spoils the good me tal it grows upon. But you say) you would ad
vise me not to precipitate that resolution, but to 1 Buc. i. 4.
stay a while longer with patience and complai
sance, till I had gotten such an estate as might * Luke xii. 20.
afford me (according to the saying of that per
soa, whom you and I love very much, and would Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise ; believe as soon as another man)cum dignitate oti- He who defers this work from day to day, um. This were excellent advice to Joshua, who Does on a river's bank expecting stay, could bid the Sun stay too. But there is no fooling Till the whole stream, which stopt him, should with life, when it is once turned beyond forty.
be gone, The seeking for a fortune then, is but a desperate That runs, and as it runs, for ever will run on. after-gane : it is a hundred to one, if a man fling two sixes and recover all; especially, if his Cæsar (the man of expedition above all others) hand be no luckier than mine.
was so far from this folly, that whensoever, in a There is some help for all the defects of for- journey, he was to cross any river, he never went tune; for, if a man cannot attain to the length of one foot out of his way for a bridge, or a ford, or a his wishes, he may have his remedy by cutting of ferry; but flung himself into it immediately, and them shorter. Epicurus writes a letter to ido- swam over: and this is the course we ought to meneus (who was then a very powerful, wealthy, imitate, if we meet with any stops in our way to and, it seems, bountiful person) to recommend to happiness. Stay, till the waters are low; stay, him, who had made so many men rich, one Py- till some boats come by to transport you ; stay, thocles, a friend of his, whom he desired might be till a bridge be built for you ; you had even as made a rich man too; “but I entreat you that good stay till the river be quite past. Persius you would not do it just the same way as you have (who, you use to say, you do not know whether done to many less deserving persons, but in the he be a good poet or no, because you cannot unmost gentlemanly manner of obliging him, which derstand him, and whom therefore, I say, I know is not to add any thing to his estate, but to take to be not a good poet) has an odd expression of something from his desires.”
these procrastinators, which, methinks, is full of The sum of this is, that, for the uncertain hopes fancy: of some conveniences, we ought not to defer the execution of a work that is necessary ; especially, Jam cras hesternum consumpsimus ; ecce aliud when the use of those things, which we would Egerit hos annos.
(cras stay for, may otherwise be supplied ; but the loss Our yesterday's to morrow now is gone. of time, never recovered: nay, farther yet, though And still a new to morrow does come on ; we were sure to obtain all that we had a mind to, We by to morrows draw up all our store, though we were sure of getting never so much Till the exhausted well can yield no more. by continuing the game, yet, when the light of life is so near going out, and ought to be so And now, I think, I am even with you, for precious, le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle, the your otium cum dignitate, and festina lente, play is not worth the expense of the candle : and three or four other more of your new Latin after having been long tost in a tempest, if our sentences: if I should draw upon you all my masts be standing, and we have still sail and forces out of Seneca and Plutarch upon this subtackling enough to carry us to our port, it is no ject, I should orerwhelm you ; but I leave those, matter for the want of streamers and top-gal- as Triarii, for your next charge. I shall only lants;
give you now a light skirmish out of an epigram- tere velis,
matist, your special good friend; and so, vale. Totos pande sinus-, A gentleman in our late civil wars, when his quarters were beaten up by the enemy, was taken
MARTIAL, Lib. V. Epigr. lix. presoner, and lost his life afterwards, only by Cras te victurum, cras dicis, Posthume, semstaying to put on a band, and adjust his periwig: he would escape like a person of quality, or not at all, and died the noble martyr of ceremony and gentility. I thinkyour counsel of festina
TO MORROW you will live, you always cry: lente is as ill to a man who is flying from the In what far country does this morrow lie, world, as it would have been to that unfortunate That 'tis so mighty long ere it arrive? well-bred gentleman, who was so cautious as not Beyond the Indies does this morrow live? to fly undecently from his enemies ; and there | Tisso far fetch'd this morrow, that I fear
"Twill be both very old and very dear. fore I prefer Horace's advice before yours,
To morrow I will live, the fool does say: -sapere aude,
To day itself's too late ; the wise liv'd yesterday. Incipe Begin; the getting out of doors is the greatest port of the journey. Varro teaches us that Latin proverb, portam itineri longissimam
MARTIAL, Lib. II. Epigr. xc. esse: but to return to Horace,
Quinctiliane, vagæ moderator summe juven--Sapere aude:
te, &c, Incipe vivendi rectè qui prorogat horam, Rasticus expectat, dum labitur annis: at ille WONDER not, sir, (you who instruct the tour Labitur, & iabetur in omne volubilis ævum?." In the true wisdom of the sacred gown)
That I make haste to live, and cannot hold , Juv. i. 150. Lib. 1. Agric. ? 1 Ep. ii. 4 1. Patiently out till 1 grow rich and olde
Life for delays and doubts no time does give, but of this part, which here set down (il a tery
Too low for envy for contempt too higb.
Th' unknown are better than ill known':
Rumour can ope the grave. Pleasures abroad, the sport of Nature yields, Acquaintance I would have, but when't depends Her living fountains, and her smiling fields; . Not on the number, but the choice, of friends. And then at home, what pleasure is 't to see A little, cleanly, cheerful, family!
Books should, not business, entertain the light, Which if a chaste wife crown, no less in her And sleep, as undisturb'd as deatli, the night. Than fortune, I the golden mean prefer.
My house a cottage more
For all my use, no luxury.
My garden painted o'er
Thus would I double my life's fading space; XI.
For he, that runs it well, twice runs his race.
And in this true delight,
I would not fear, nor wish, my fate; It is a hard and nice subject for a man to write But boldly say each night, of himself; it grates his own heart to say any To morrow let my sun his beams display, thing of disparagement, and the reader's ears to Orin clouds hide them; I have liv'd to day. hear any thing of praise from him. There is no danger from me of offending him in this kind; You may see by it, I was even then acquaintneither my mind, nor my body, nor my fortune, | ed with the poets (for the conclusion is taken allow me any materials for that vanity. It is out of Horace3); and perhaps it was the imma. sufficient for my own contentment, that they ture and immoderate love of them, which stampt have preserved ine from being scandalous or re- | first, or rather engraved, these characters in me: markable on the di fective side. But, besides they were like letters cut into the bark of a that, I shall here speak of myself only in rela young tree, which with the tree still grow pro. tion to the subject of these precedent discourses, portionably. But, how this love came to be and shall be likelier thereby to fall into the produced in me so early, is a hard question: I contempt, than rise up to the estimation, of believe, I can tell the particular little chance most people.
that filled my head first with such chimes of As far as my memory can return back into my verse, as have never since left ringing there : for past life, before I knew, or was capable of guess- | I remember, when I began to read, and to take ing, what the world, or the glories or business of some pleasure in it, there was wont to lie in my it, were, the natural aficcions of my soul gave mother's parlour, (I know not by what accident, me a secret bent of aversion from them, as some for she herself never in her life read any book plants are said to turn away from others, by an but of devotion) but there was wont to lie Spenantipathy imperceptible to themselves, and in-ser's works ; this I happened to fall upon, and scrutable to than's understanding. Even when was infinitely delighted with the stories of the I was a very yomg boy at school, instead of knights, and giants, and monsters, and brave running about on holy-days and playing with my houses, which I found every where there (though fellox's, I was wont to steal from thein, and my understanding had little to do with all this ;) walk into the fields, ejihor alone with a book, or and, by degrees, with the tinkling of the rhyine with some one companion, if I could find any and dance of the numbers; so that, I think, I of the same temper. I was then, too, so much had read him all over before I was twelve an enruly to al constraint, that my masters years old, and was thus made a poet as imcould never prevail on me, by any persuasiops or meiliately as a child is made an eunuch. encouragements, to kart without book the com- 1. With these affections of mind, and my heart mon rules of grammar; in which they cispensed wholly set upon letters, I went to the university, with nealue, because hey found I made a / but was soon torn from thence by that violent shist to do the usual exercise out of my own read- public storm, which would suffer nothing to stand ing and oservation. That I was then of the where it did,but rooted up every plant, even from same mind as I am now (which, I confess, I won- | the princely cedars to me the hyssop, Yet, I had der at myseif) may appear by the latter end of as good fortune as could have befallen me in such an ode, which I hade when I was but thirteen | a tempest; for I was cast by it into the family of years old, and which was then printed with many other verses. The beginning of it is boyish;
3° 3 Od. xxix. 41.
one of the best persons, and into the court of one No matter, Cowlév; let proud Fortune see, of the best princesses, of the world. Now, though That thou canst her despise no less than she does. I was here engaged in ways most contrary to
thee. the original design of my lifs, that is, into much Let alther gifts the portion be company, and no small business, and into a dai Of folly, lust, and flattery. is sizht of grentness, both militant and trium Praud, extortion, calamny, phaut (for that was the state then of the English Murder, infidelity, and French courts); vet all this was so far from Rebellion, and hypocrisy. a't-rink my opinion, that it orly added the con Do thou not grieve nor blush to be, firmation of reason to that which was before but As all th' inspired tuneful men, natural inclination. I saw plainly all the paint And all thy great forefathers, were, from Homer of that kind of life, the nearer I came to it; and
down to Ben. that beauty, which I did not fall in love with, when, for aught I knew, it was real, was not like However by the failing of the forces which I to bewitch or entice me, when I saw that it was had expected, I did not quit the design which I adulterate. I met with several great per- had resolved on ; I cast myself into it a corpis sms, whom I liked very well ; but could not perdu, without making capitulations, or taking perceive that any part of their greatness was to counsel of Fortune. But God laughs at a man, be liked or desired, no more than I would be glad who says to his soul, “ Take thy ease: I met or content to be in a storm, though I saw many presently not only with many little incumbranships which rid safely and bravely in it; a storm ces and impediments, but with so much sickness would not agree with my stomach, if it did with a new misfortune to me) as would have spoiled my courage. Though I was in a crowd of as the happiness of an emperor as well as mine: good company as could be found any where ; yet I do neither repent, nor alter my course.' though I was in business of great and honourable Non ego perfidum dixi sacramentum: nothing trust; thongh I eat at the best table, and enjoy- shall separate me from a mistress which I have ed the best conveniences for present subsistence loved so long, and have now at last married ; that naght to he desired by a man of my condi- though she neither has brought me a rich portina in banishment and public distresses; yet I tion, nor lived yet so quietly with me as I hoped could not abstain from renewing my old school. from her : bry's wish, in a copy of verses to the same effeet:
-Nec vos, dulcissima mundi
Nomina, vos Musa, libertas, otia, libri, Well then 4; I now do plainly see
Hortique, silvæque, animâ remanente, relinThis busy world and I shall ne'er agree, &c. quam. And I never then proposed to myself any other
Nor by me e'er shall you, advantage from his majesty's happy restoration You, of all names the sweetest and the best, but the getting into some moderately convenient You Muses, books, and liberty and rest; ntreat in the country; which I thought in that You, gardens, fields, and woods, forsaken be, ease I might easily have compassed, as well as As long as life itself forsakes not me. some others, with no greater probabilities or pretences, have arrived to extraordinary fortunes : But this is a very pretty ejaculation. Because but I had before written a shrewd prophecy I have concluded all the other chapters with a against myself; and I think Apollo inspired me copy of verses, I will maintain the humour to in the truth, though not in the elegance, of the last. it: « Thou neither great at court, nor in the war,
Martial, Lib. X. Epigr. xlvii. Nor at the exchange, shalt be, nor at the wrang
Vitam que faciunt beati vrem & ling bar. Content thyself with the small barren praise,
SINCE, dearest friend, 'tis your desire to see
A true receipt of happiness from me;
These are the chief ingredients, if not all:
Take an estate neither too great or small,
Which quantum sufficit the doctors call :
Let this estate from parents' care descend;
The getting it too much of life does spend :
Take such a ground whose gratitude may be
A fair encouragement for industry,
Let constant fires the winter's fury tame;
And let thy kitchen's be a vestal flame.
Thee to the town let never suit at law,
And rarely, very rarely, business, draw.
In undisturbed peace, yet not in sleep.
Without which all the composition's vain.