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DEATH Take away but the pomps of death, the disguises and solemn bugbears, the tinsel, and the actings by candle-light, and proper and fantastic ceremonies, the minstrels and the noise-makers, the women and the weepers, the swoonings and the shriekings, the nurses and the physicians, the dark room and the ministers, the kindred and the watchers; and then to die is easy, ready, and quitted from its troublesome circumstances. It is the same harmless thing that a poor shepherd suffered yesterday, or a maid-servant to-day.

Holy Dying, III, vii, 4.

FRIENDSHIP FRIENDSHIP is equal to all the world, and of itself hath no difference; but it is differenced only by accidents, and by the capacity or incapacity of them that receive it. . . . For thus the Sun is the eye of the world; and he is indifferent to the Negro, or the cold Russian, to them that dwell under the line, and them that stand near the Tropics, the scalded Indian, or the poor boy that shakes at the foot of the Riphean hills; but the fluxures of the heaven and the earth, the conveniency of abode, and the approaches to the North and South respectively change the emanations of his beams; not that they do not pass always from him, but they are not equally received below, but by periods and changes, by little inlets and reflections, they receive what they can. And some have only a dark day and a long night from him, snows and white cattle, a miserable life, and a perpetual harvest of catarrhs and consumptions, apoplexies and

dead palsies. But some have splendid fires, and aromatic spices, rich wines and well digested fruits, great wit and great courage, because they dwell in his eye, and look in his face, and are the courtiers of the Sun, and wait upon him in his chambers of the East.

Of Friendship. SENTENCES ALTHOUGH he came not in the spirit of Elias, but with meekness and gentle insinuations, soft as the breath of heaven, not willing to disturb the softest stalk of a violet, yet his second coming shall be terrors, such as shall amaze all the world, and dissolve it into ruin and a chaos.

Of Godly Fear, i.


Much safer is it to go to the severities of a watchful and a sober life; for all that time of life is lost, when wine and rage and pleasure and folly steal away the heart of a man, and make him go singing to his grave.

The House of Feasting, ii.

The pleasure is supported by little things, by the experience of fools and them that observed nothing, and the relishes tasted by artificial appetites; by art and cost, by violence and preternatural desires, by the advantage of deception and evil habits, by expectations and delays, by dreams and in considerations. These are the harlots' hands that build the fairy castle.

Apples of Sodom, i.

The tongue of a babbler may crush a man's bones, or break his fortune upon her own wheel; and whatever the effect be, yet of itself it is the betraying of a trust, and, by reproach, often times passes on to intolerable calamities, like a criminal to his scaffold through the execrable gates of cities.

The Good and Evil Tongue, ii.

THERE is no blessed soul goes to heaven, but he makes a general joy in all the mansions where the Saints do dwell, in all the chapels where the Angels sing.

Of Christian Prudence.

For so have I seen an amorous person tell the minutes of his absence from his fancied joy; and while he told the sands of his hour-glass, or the throbs and little beatings of his watch, by dividing an hour into so many members, he spun out its length by number, and so translated a day into the tediousness of a month.

Holy Dying, I, iii, 2.

It must needs be that such a man must die when he ought to die, and be like a ripe and pleasant fruit falling from a fair tree, and gathered into baskets for the planter's use.

Ibid., I, iii, 3.


The harmony that is made by an herd of evening wolves, when they miss their draught of blood in their midnight revels.

Ibid., I, v, 2.

A BROTHER, if he be worthy, is the readiest and nearest to be a friend; but till he be so, he is but the twilight of the day, and but the blossom to the fairest fruit of Paradise.

Of Friendship. ROBERT SOUTH


WORDS OF SOBERNESS “I SPEAK the words of Soberness,” said St. Paul (Acts xxvi, 25), and “I preach the Gospel not with the enticing words of man's wisdom” (1 Cor. ii, 4). This was the way of the Apostles discoursing of things sacred. Nothing here “of the fringes of the Northstar”; nothing of “Nature's becoming unnatural”; nothing of the “down of Angels' wings,” or “the beautiful locks of Cherubim"; no starched similitudes, introduced with a "Thus have I seen a cloud rolling in its airy mansion," and the like. No, these were sublimities above the rise of the apostolic spirit. For the Apostles, poor mortals, were content to take lower steps, and to tell the world in plain terms "that he who believed should be saved, and that he who believed not should be damned.” And this was the dialect which pierced the conscience, and made the hearers cry out, “Men and brethen, what shall we do?” It tickled not the ear, but sunk into the heart; and when men came from such sermons, they never commended the preacher for his taking voice or gesture; for the fineness of such a simile, or the quaintness of such sentence; but they spoke like men conquered with the overpowering force and evidence of the most concerning truths; much in the words of the two disciples going to Emmaus, "Did not our hearts burn within us, while He opened to us the scriptures?” Sermon preached at Christ Church, Oxon,

April 30, 1668.



CHIMES OF VERSE I BELIEVE I can tell the particular little chance that filled my

head first with such chimes of verse, as have never since left ringing there; for I remember, when I began to read, and to take some pleasure in it, there was wont to lie in my mother's parlour (I know not by what accident, for she herself never in her life read any book but of devotion) but there was wont to lie Spenser's works. This I happened to fall upon, and was infinitely delighted with the stories of the knights, and giants, and monsters, and brave houses, which I found everywhere there (though my understanding had little to do with all this) and by degrees, with the tinkling of the rhyme and dance of the numbers; so that, I think, I had read him all over before I was twelve years old, and was thus made a poet.

Essays: Of Myself.

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