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That makes no breach of faith and love,
But rather sometimes serves to improve.
For as in running every pace

Is but between two legs a race,
In which both do their uttermost

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;
So all those false alarms of strife
Between the husband and the wife,
And little quarrels, often prove
To be but new recruits of love,
When those who 're always kind or coy
In time must either tire or cloy.

[From Miscellanies.]


As none but kings have power to raise
A levy which the subject pays,
And though they call that tax a loan
Yet when 'tis gathered 'tis their own;
So he that's able to impose

A wit-excise on verse or prose,
And still the abler authors are
Can make them pay the greater share,
Is prince of poets of his time

And they his vassals that supply him;
Can judge more justly of what he takes
Than any of the best he makes,

And more impartially conceive

What's fit to choose and what to leave.
For men reflect more strictly upon
The wit of others than their own;

And wit that's made of wit and sleight
Is richer than the plain downright :
As salt that's made of salt's more fine
Than when it first came from the brine,
And spirit's of a nobler nature
Drawn from the dull ingredient matter.


Our pains are real things, and all
Our pleasures but fantastical.
Diseases of their own accord,
But cures come difficult and hard.
Our noblest piles and stateliest rooms
Are but outhouses to our tombs ;
Cities though ne'er so great and brave
But mere warehouses to the grave.
Our bravery's but a vain disguise
To hide us from the world's dull eyes,
The remedy of a defect

With which our nakedness is decked,

Yet makes us smile with pride and boast
As if we had gained by being lost.


[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,
With entering manfully and urging;
Not slow approaches, like a virgin.


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
As Love does when he bends his bow:
With one hand thrust the lady from,
And with the other pull her home.


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,
But draw their swords to do them good,
As doctors use, by letting blood.

(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
For nothing, but to be undone
Much easier than if they had nonc.
(25) In little trades more cheats and lying
Is used in selling than in buying;
But in the great unjuster dealing
Is used in buying than in selling,


Loyalty is still the same,
Whether it win or lose the game;
True as the dial to the sun,
Although it be not shined upon.


The subtler all things are,
They're but to nothing the more near.
(28) Things said false and never meant
Do oft prove true by accident.

(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.


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