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That makes no breach of faith and love,
Is but between two legs a race,
To get before and win the post,
Yet when they 're at their races' ends
They're still as kind and constant friends,
And, to relieve their weariness,
By turns give one another ease;
AN APOLOGY FOR PLAGIARIES.
As none but kings have power to raise
A wit-excise on verse or prose,
And they his vassals that supply him;
And more impartially conceive
What's fit to choose and what to leave.
And wit that's made of wit and sleight
UPON THE WEAKNESS AND MISERY OF MAN.
Our pains are real things, and all
With which our nakedness is decked,
Yet makes us smile with pride and boast
DISTICHS AND SAWS.
[From Hudibras and Miscellanies.]
Rhyme the rudder is of verses,
With which like ships they steer their courses.
In the hurry of a fray
'Tis hard to keep out of harm's way.
(3) Honour is like a widow, won
With brisk attempt and putting on,
Great commanders always own What's prosperous by the soldier done.
(5) Great conquerors greater glory gain By foes in triumph led than slain.
(6) Ay me! what perils do environ
The man that meddles with cold iron!
(7) Valour's a mousetrap, wit a gin, That women oft are taken in.
(8) In all the trade of war no feat
Is nobler than a brave retreat, For those that run away and fly Take place at least of the enemy. (9) He that runs may fight again,
Which he can never do that's slain. (10) Fools are known by looking wise,
As men tell woodcocks by their eyes. (11) Night is the sabbath of mankind
To rest the body and the mind. (12) As if artillery and edge-tools
Were the only engines to save souls! (13) Money that, like the swords of kings, Is the last reason of all things.
(14) He that complies against his will Is of his own opinion still.
Those that write in rhyme still make The one verse for the other's sake.
(16) He that will win his dame must do
What is worth in anything But so much money as 'twill bring? (18) The Public Faith, which every one
Is bound to observe, is kept by none.
(19) He that imposes an oath makes it, Not he that for convenience takes it. (20) Opinion governs all mankind,
Like the blind's leading of the blind.
(21) The worst of rebels never arm
To do their king and country harm,
(22) The soberest saints are more stiff-neckèd Than the hottest-headed of the wicked.
(23) Wedlock without love, some say, Is like a lock without a key.
(24) Too much or too little wit
Do only render the owners fit
Loyalty is still the same,
The subtler all things are,
(29) Authority is a disease and cure
Which men can neither want nor well endure.
[WENTWORTH DILLON, Earl of Roscommon, was born in Ireland in 1634. He spent the best part of his life in France and Italy, and died in Lo..don Jan. 17, 1684-85.]
Lord Roscommon was a man of taste and judgment, who had imbibed in France a liking for Academic forms of literature, and who attempted to be to English poetry what Boileau was to French. He did not come forward as a writer till late in life, when he produced two thin quartos of frigid critical poetry, An Essay on Translated Verse, 1681, and Horace's Art of Poetry, 1684. There was little originality in these polite exercises, but they were smoothly and sensibly written, with a certain gentlemanlike austerity. Pope has noted that, 'in all Charles' days, Roscommon only boasts unspotted lays.' He was the friend of Dryden, and the admirer of Milton, whose sublimity he lauded in terms that recall the later praise of Addison.
EDMUND. W. GOSSE