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Half our knowledge we must snatch, not take.
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'T is from high life high characters are drawn ; A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn.
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'T is education forms the common mind: Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined.
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Manners with fortunes, humours turn with climes,
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Odious! in woollen ! 't would a saint provoke,
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And you, brave Cobham! to the latest breath
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Whether the charmer sinner it, or saint it,
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Choose a firm cloud before it fall, and in it
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Fine by defect, and delicately weak.
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With too much quickness ever to be taught ;
To heirs unknown descends th' unguarded store,
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* Tempora mutantur nos et mutamur in illis.
Virtue she finds too painful an endeavour,
Content to dwell in decencies for ever. Epistle ii. Line 163.
Men, some to business, some to pleasure take;
But every woman is at heart a rake.
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See how the world its veterans rewards!
A youth of frolics, an old age of cards.
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Oh! blessed with temper, whose unclouded ray
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She who ne'er answers till a husband cools,
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And mistress of herself, though china fall.
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Woman's at best a contradiction still. Epistle ii. Line 270.
Who shall decide, when doctors disagree,
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Blest paper-credit! last and best supply!
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But thousands die without or this or that,
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The ruling passion, be it what it will,
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Extremes in nature equal good produce.
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Rise, honest muse! and sing the man of Ross.
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Who builds a church to God, and not to fame,
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Good sense, which only is the gift of Heaven,
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To rest, the cushion and soft dean invite,
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AN ESSAY ON CRITICISM.
'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none Go just alike, yet each believes his own.+
One science only will one genius fit;
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And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art.
Pride, the never failing vice of fools.
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* In the reign of Charles II. a certain worthy divine at Whitehall thus addressed himself to the auditory at the conclusion of his sermon :-' In short, if you don't live up to the precepts of the gospel, but abandon yourselves to your irregular appetites, you must expect to receive your reward in a certain place, which 't is not good manners to mention here.' -TOM BROWN. Laconics.
But as when an authentic watch is shown,
So in our very judgments, &c.
SUCKLING. Epilogue to Aglaura.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring :*
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise.
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
True wit is nature to advantage dressed,
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Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.
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Such laboured nothings, in so strange a style.
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In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold,
Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
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These equal syllables alone require,
Though oft the ear the open vowels tire,
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* A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.
LORD BACON. Essay on Atheism.
† 'High characters,' cries one, and he would see
A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length Part ii. Line 156.
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense :
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For fools admire, but men of sense approve.
Envy will merit as its shade pursue,
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But like a shadow, proves the substance true.
To err is human, to forgive divine.
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All seems infected that th' infected spy,
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And make each day a critic on the last.
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* Solvuntur tardosque trahit sinus ultimus orbes.