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"It may be said of Shakspeare, that from his works may be collected a system of civil and economical prudence.
He has himself been imitated by all succeeding writers; and it may be doubted, whether from all his successors more maxims of theoretical knowledge, or more rules of practical prudence, can be collected, than he alone has given to his country.”
Gifts, not our own. Heaven doth with us as we with torches do; Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike As if we had them not.* Spirits are not finely touch'd, But to fine issues : nor nature never lends The smallest scruple of her excellence, But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines Herself the glory of a creditor, Both thanks and use.t
5-i. 1. 2
Thyself and thy belongings
Faults, extenuation of.
16-iv. 2. 4 Modern and present opinions contrasted. In this, the antique and well-noted face Of plain old form is much disfigured :
* Matt. v. 15, 16. I i. e. Blemish.
| Interest. Matt. xxv. 20, &c.
And, like a shifted wind unto a sail,
The future anticipated by the past. There is a history in all men's lives, Figuring the nature of the times deceased : The which observed, a man may prophecy, With a near aim, of the main chance of things As yet not come to life; which in their seeds, And weak beginnings, lie intreasured. 19-iii. 1. 6
Wise men superior to woes.
Wise men ne'er wail their present woes,
14-ii. 1. Men's last words to be regarded.
The tongues of dying men Enforce attention like deep harmony; Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in
vain, For they breathe truth that breathe their words in
pain. He, that no more must say, is listen’d more Than they, whom youth and ease have taught to
glose;f More are men's ends mark’d, than their lives before :
The setting sun, and music at the close,
* To pause is to rest, to be in quiet.
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last;
17-ii. 1. 9
Self-interest, its influence.
16-ii. 2. 10
Assured wisdom. They say, miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons, to make moderns and familiar things, supernatural and causeless. Hence is it, that we make trifles of terrors; ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.
11 Blessings undervalued, till irrecoverable.
Love, that comes too late
That wishing well had not a body in't,
† Poised, balanced. Ordinary.
§ Fear means here, the object of fear. i. c. And show by realities what we now must only think.