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And look at last up to that sovereign Light,
From whose pure beams all perfect beauty
That kindleth love in every godly spright, -
Even the love of God, which loathing brings
Of this vile world, and these gay-seeming things;
With whose sweet pleasures being so possest,
Thy straying thoughts henceforth for ever rest.
SHAKSPEARE. MERCY.—Family Shakspeare, vol. iii. p. 63.
THE quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heav'n
Upon the place beneath. It is twice bless'd ;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown :
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty, -
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this scepter'd sway:
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute to GoD himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Tho' justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy;
And that same pray’r doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.
Count RY LIFE-Family Shakspeare, vol. iii, p. 103.
Now, my co-mates, and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp are not these woods
More free from peril, than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The season's difference; as, the icy phang,
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even 'till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say
This is no flattery: these are counsellors,
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head:
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
Degree.—Family Shakspeare, vol. vii. p. 253.
- DEGREE being vizarded,
The unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask.
The heavens themselves, the planets, and this
Observe degree, priority, and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office, and custom, in all line of order:
And therefore is the glorious planet, Sol,
In noble eminence enthron'd and spher'd
Amidst the other; whose med'cinable eye
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
And posts, like the commandment of a king,
Sans check, to good and bad: But when the planets,
In evil mixture, to disorder wander,
What plagues, and what portents what mutiny
What raging of the sea 2 shaking of earth 2
Commotion in the winds? frights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixture ? O, when degree is
Which is the ladder of all high designs,
The enterprize is sick How could communities,
Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,
Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
The primogenitive and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,
But by degree, stand in authentic place
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And, hark, what discord follows each thing
In mere oppugnancy. The bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
And make a sop of all this solid globe:
Strength should be lord of imbecility,
And the rude son should strike his father dead :
Force should be right, or, rather, right and wrong
(Between whose endless jar justice resides,)
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
Then every thing includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite.
FRoM MARTIAL, lib. ii. epig. 53.
Would you befree? 'Tis your chief wish, you say;
Come on, I'll shew thee, friend, the certain way.
If to no feasts abroad thou lov'st to go,
Whilst bounteous GoD does bread at home bestow;
If thou the goodness of thy clothes dost prize
By thine own use, and not by others' eyes;
If (only safe from weathers) thou canst dwell
In a small house, but a convenient shell;
If thou, without a sigh or golden wish,
Canst look upon thy beechen bowl and dish;
If in thy mind such power and greatness be,
The Persian king's a slave, compar'd with thee.
FROM THE PARADISE LOST.-Book iii. l. 1.
HAIL, holy light, offspring of Heav'n first-born,
Or of th' eternal co-eternal beam, . . .
May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluenee of bright essence increate.
Or, hear'st thou rather pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell ? before the sun,
Before the heav'ns thou wert, and at the voice
Of GoD, as with a mantle didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing,
Escap'd the Stygian pool, though long detain'd,..
And feel thy sovereign vital lamp ; but thou.
Re-visit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain.
To find thy piercing ray. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt,
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief.