Imatges de pÓgina



To some shrewd sharper, ere it buds again.
Estates are landscapes, gazed upon awhile,
Then advertised, and auctioneer'd away.



Cowper's Task, b. 3.

A thousand fantasies

Begin to throng into my memory,

Of calling shapes, and beck'ning shadows dire,
And airy tongues, that syllable men's names
On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses.

I took it for a fairy vision

Of some gay creatures of the element,
That in the colours of the rainbow live,
And play i' th' plighted clouds.

Milton's Comus.

Beautiful Spirit! with thy hair of light,
And dazzling eyes of glory, in whose form


The charms of Earth's least mortal daughters grow
To an unearthly stature, in an essence

Of purer elements; while the hues of youth,-
Carnation'd like a sleeping infant's cheek,
Rock'd by the beating of her mother's heart,
Or the rose tints, which summer's twilight leaves
Upon the lofty glacier's virgin snow,

The blush of earth, embracing with her heaven,—
Tinge thy celestial aspect, and make tame

The beauties of the sunbow which bends o'er thee.

Byron's Manfred, a. 2, s. 2.


Dishonour waits on perfidy. The villain

Shou'd blush to think a falsehood: 'Tis the crime

Of cowards.

Cha. Johnson's Sultaness.

Let falsehood be a stranger to thy lips;
Shame on the policy that first began

To tamper with the heart to hide its thoughts!
And doubly shame on that inglorious tongue

That sold its honesty and told a lie. Havard's Regulus. The seal of truth is on thy gallant form,

For none but cowards lie.


Murphy's Alonzo.

Will future fame my present ills relieve?
And what is fame, that flutt' ring noisy sound,
But the cold lie of universal vogue ?

Thousands of men fall in the field of honour,
Whose glorious deeds die in inglorious silence,
Whilst vaunting cowards, favour'd by blind fortune,
Reap all the fruit of their successful toils,

And build their fame upon their noble ruins.

H. Smith's Princess of Parma.

Vain empty words

Of honour, glory, and immortal fame,

Can these recal the spirit from its place,
Or re-inspire the breathless clay with life?

What tho your fame with all its thousand trumpets,
Sound o'er the sepulchres, will that awake

The sleeping dead? Sewell's Sir Walter Raleigh.
I courted fame but as a spur to brave

And honest deeds; and who despises Fame
Will soon renounce the virtues that deserve it.

Mallet's Mustapha.

Some, when they die, die all; their mould'ring clay

Is but an emblem of their memories;

The space quite closes up thro' which they pass'd:
That I have liv'd, I leave a mark behind,

Shall pluck the shining age from vulgar time,

And give it whole to late posterity.

Young's Busiris, a. 5.

Men's actions to futurity appear

But as th' events to which they are conjoin'd
To give them consequence.
A fallen state


age and weakness fall'n, no hero hath; For none remains behind unto whose pride The cherish'd mem'ry of his acts pertains.

Joanna Baillie's Constantine Paleologus, a. 2, s. 4.

In stress of weather, most; some sink outright;
O'er them, and o'er their names, the billows close;
To-morrow knows not they were ever born.
Others a short memorial leave behind,

Like a flag floating, when the bark's ingulph'd;
It floats a moment, and is seen no more:

One Cæsar lives; a thousand are forgot.

Young's Night Thoughts, n. 8.

Knows he, that mankind praise against their will,
And mix as much detraction as they can ?
Knows he, that faithless fame her whisper has,
As well as trumpet? That his vanity
Is so much tickled from not hearing all?

Absurd! to think to over-reach the grave,
And from the wreck of names to rescue ours :.
The best concerted schemes men lay for fame
Die fast away: only themselves die faster.
The far-fam'd sculptor, and the laurell'd bard,
Those bold insurers of eternal fame,
Supply their little feeble aids in vain.


Blair's Grave.

Sepulchral columns wrestle but in vain,
With all subduing time; her cankering hand
With calm, deliberate malice wasteth them:
Worn on the edge of days, the brass consumes,
The busto moulders, and the deep-cut marble,
Unsteady to the steel, gives up its charge.
Ambition, half-convicted of her folly,
Hangs down the head and reddens at the tale.



So fancy dreams. Disprove it, if ye can,
Ye reas❜ners broad awake, whose busy search
Of argument, employ'd too oft amiss,
Sifts half the pleasures of short life away.

Cowper's Yardley Oak.


Man tho' limited

By fate, may vainly think his actions free,
While all he does, was at his hour of birth,
Or by his gods, or potent stars ordain'd.

Rowe's Royal Convert, a. 1, s. 1.


The love of kings is like the blowing of
Winds, which whistle sometimes gently among
The leaves, and straightway turn the trees up by
The roots; or fire, which warmeth afar off,
And burneth near hand; or the sea, which makes
Men hoist their sails in a flattering calm,
And to cut their masts in a rough storm. They
Place affection by times, by policy,

By appointment; if they frown, who dares call
Them unconstant? if they betray secrets, who
Will term them untrue? if they fall to other
Loves, who trembles not, if he calls them unfaithful ?
Lilly's Alexander and Campaspe.

'Tis ever thus when favours are denied ;
All had been granted but the thing we beg;
And still some great unlikely substitute,
Your life, your souls, your all of earthly good,
Is proffer'd in the room of one small boon.

Joanna Baillie's Basil, a. 2, s. 2.


No trifle is so small as what obtains,
Save that which loses favour; 'tis a breath
Which hangs upon a smile! a look, a word,
A frown, the air-built tow'r of fortune shakes,
And down the unsubstantial fabric falls.

Hannah More's Daniel, p. 1.


I have seen them,

Like boding owls, creep into tods of ivy,
And hoot their fears to one another nightly.

Beaumont's Bonduca.

When the sun sets, shadows that shew'd at noon
But small, appear most long and terrible :
So when we think fate hovers o'er our heads,
Our apprehensions shoot beyond all bounds;
Owls, ravens, crickets, seem the watch of death;
Nature's worst vermin scare her godlike sons.
Echoes, the very leaving of a voice,

Grow babbling ghosts, and call us to our graves.
Each mole-hill thought, swells to a huge Olympus;
While we, fanatstic dreamers, heave and puff,
And sweat with an imagination's weight.

Lee's Edipus.

I feel my sinews slacken'd with the fright,
And a cold sweat thrills down all o'er my limbs,
As if I were dissolving into water. Dryden's Tempest.

My blood ran back,

My shaking knees against each other knock'd!
On the cold pavement down I fell entranc'd,
And so unfinish'd left the horrid scene!

Dryden's All for Love.

The wretch that fears to drown, will break through


Or, in his dread of flames, will plunge in waves.

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