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books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and fome few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books alfo may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that fhould be only in the lefs important arguments, and the meaner forts of books; else distilled books are like com. mon diftilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning to feem to know that he doth not.





RUST me, this unwary pleasantry of thine will fooner or later bring thee into fcrapes and difficulties, which no after-wit can extricate thee out of. In these fallies, too oft, I fee, it happens, that the perfon laughed at confiders himself in the light of a person injured, with all the rights of fuch a fituation belonging to him; and when thou vieweft him in that light too, and reckoneft upon his friends, his family, his kindred and allies, and musterest up with them the many recruits which will lift under him from a fenfe of common danger; 'tis no extravagant arithmetic to fay, that for every ten jokes, thou haft got a hundred enemies; and, till thou haft gone on, and raised a fwarm of wafps about thine ears, and ait half stung to death by them, thou wilt never be convinced it is fo.

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I CANNOT fufpect it in the man whom I efteem, that there is the least spur from spleen or inalevolence of intent in these fallies. I believe and know them to be truly honeft and fportive; but confider, that fools cannot diftinguish

this, and that knaves will not; and thou knowest not what it is, either to provoke the one, or to make merry with the other; whenever they affociate for mutual defence, depend upon it they will carry on the war in fuch a manner against thee, my dear friend, as to make thee heartily fick of it, and of thy life too.

REVENGE from fome baneful corner fhall level a tale of difhonour at thee, which no innocence of heart or integrity of conduct shall fet right. The fortunes of thy house fhall totter-thy character, which led the way to them, fhall bleed on every fide of it-thy faith queftioned— thy works belied-thy wit forgotten-thy learning trampled on. To wind up the last scene of thy tragedy, CryELTY and COWARDICE, twin ruffians, hired and fet on by MALICE in the dark, fhall ftrike together at all thy infirmities and mistakes; the heft of us, my friend, lie open there; and truft me-when, to gratify a private appetite, it is once refolved upon, that an innocent and a helpess creature shall be facrificed, it is an eafy matter to pick up ticks enough from any thicket where it has strayed, to make a fire to offer it up with. STERNE.



SPEAK the fpeech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you,


trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lieve the town crier had spoke lines. And do not faw the air too much with your hand thus: but ufe, all gently; for in the very torrent, tempeft, and, as I may fay, whirlwind of your paffion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it fmoothnefs. Oh! it offends me to the foul, to hear a robuftious perriwig-pated fellow tear a paffion to tatters, to very rags,


to fplit the ears of the groundlings; who (for the most part) are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb fhows and noife: I would have fuch a fellow whipped for o'erdoing termagant; it outherods Herod.-Pray you, avoid it.

BE not too tame neither; but let your own difcretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the act, with this fpecial obfervance, that you o'erftep not the modefty of nature: for any thing fo overdone is from the purpose of playing; whofe end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show Virtue her own feature, Scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and preffure. Now this overdone or come tardy of, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve: the cenfure of one of which muft in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh! there be players. that I have seen play, and beard others praife, and that highly, (not to fpeak it profanely,) that, neither having the accent of Chriftian, nor the gait of Chriftian, Pagan, nor man, have fo ftrutted and bellowed, that I have thought fome of Nature's journeymen had made them, and not made them well, they imitated humanity fo abominably.

AND let thofe that play your clowns, fpeak no more than is fet down for them: for there be of them that will themfelves laugh, to fet on fome quantity of barren fpectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, fome neceffary quetion of the play be then to be contidered :that's villainous; and fhows a moit pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. SHAKSPEARE.




HEAV'N from all creatures hides the book of Fate,

All but the page prescrib'd, their prefent ftate;


From brutes what men, from men what spirits know,
Or who could fuffer being here below?

The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to day,
Had he thy reafon, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the laft, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
O blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n;
Who fees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall;
Atoms or fyftems into ruin hurl'd,

And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then, with trembling pinions foar ;
Wait the great teacher, Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that Hope to be thy bleffing now.
Hope fprings eternal in the human breaft;
Man never IS, but always TO BE bleft:
The foul, uneafy and confin'd from home,
Refts and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the

poor Indian whofe untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, and hears him in the wind;
His foul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the folar walk, or milky way;

Yet fimple Nature to his hope has given,

Behind the cloud-topp'd hill, an humbler Heav'n;
Some fafer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier ifland in the wat'ry waste,
Where flaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, nor Christians thirst for gold.
To Be, contents his natural defire,

He asks no angel's wing, no feraph's fire:
But thinks, admitted to that equal fky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.


Go, wifer thou! and in thy fcale of fenfe,
Weigh thy Opinion against Providence;
Call imperfection what thou fanciest fuch,
Say, here he gives too little, there too much:
Destroy all creatures for thy fpcrt or guft,
Yet cry, if Man's unhappy, God's unjust;
If man alone ingrofs not Heav'n's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there:
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Rejudge his juftice, be the GoD of GOD.
In Pride, in reas'ning Pride, our errour lies;
All quit their fphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,
Men would be Angels, Angels would be Gods.
Afpiring to be Gods, if Angels fell,
Afpiring to be Angels, Men rebel:
And who but wishes to invert the laws

Of ORDER, fins against th' Eternal Cause.



SEE through this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high progreffive life may go!
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vaft chain of Being! which from God began,
Nature, ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can fee,
No glafs can reach; from Infinite to thee,
From thee to Nothing. On fuperior powers
Were we to prefs, inferior might on ours;
Or in the full creation leave a void,

Where one step broken, the great scale's deftroy'd:
From Nature's chain whatever link you ftrike,
Tenth or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.



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