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MORE proselytes and converts use t'accrue
To false persuasions than the right and true ;
For error and mistake are infinite,
But truth has but one way to be i' th' right;
As numbers may t’ infinity be grown,
But never be reduc'd to less than one.
ALL wit and fancy, like a diamond,
The more exact and curious ’tis ground,
Is forc'd for every carat to abate
As much in value as it wants in weight.
THE great St. Lewis, king of France,
Fighting against Mahometans,
In Egypt, in the holy war,
Was routed and made prisoner :
The Sultan then, into whose hands
He and his army fell, demands
A thousand weight of gold, to free
And set them all at liberty.
The king pays down one half o'th' nail,
And for the other offers bail,
The pyx, and in ’t the eucharift,
The body of our Saviour Christ.
The Turk consider'd, and allow'd
The king's security for good :
Such credit had the Christian zeal,
In those days, with an Infidel,
That will not pass for two-pence now,
Among themselves, 'tis grown fo low.
THOSE that go up-hill use to bow
Their bodies forward, and stoop low,
To poise themselves, and sometimes creep,
When th’ way is difficult and steep :
So those at court, that do address
By low ignoble offices;
Can stoop to any thing that's base,
To wriggle into trust and grace;
Are like to rise to greatness sooner
Than those that go by worth and honour.
ALL acts of grace, and pardon, and oblivion,
Are meant of services that are forgiven,
And not of crimes delinquents have committed,
And rather been rewarded than acquitted.
LIONS are kings of beasts, and yet their power
Is not to rule and govern, but devour :
Such favage kings all tyrants are, and they
No better than mere beasts that do obey.
NOTHING's more dull and negligent
Than an old lazy government,
That knows no interest of state,
But such as serves a present strait,
And, to patch up, or shift, will close,
Or break alike, with friends or foes;
That runs behind hand, and has spent
Its credit to the last extent;
And, the first time 'tis at a loss,
Has not one true friend nor one cross.
THE Devil was the first o'th' name
From whom the race of rebels came,
Who was the first bold undertaker
Of bearing arms against his Maker,
And, though miscarrying in th' event,
Was never yet known to repent,
Though tumbled from the top of bliss
Down to the bottomless abyss ;
A property which, from their prince,
The family owns ever since,
And therefore ne'er repent the evil
They do or suffer, like the devil.
THE worft of rebels never arm
To do their king or country harm;
But draw their swords to do them good,
As doctors cure by letting blood.
NO feared conscience is so fell
As that which has been burnt with zeal
For Christian charity 's as well
A great impediment to zeal,
As zeal a pestilent disease
To Christian charity and peace.
AS thifles ear the softest down,
To hide their prickles till they 're grown,
And then declare themselves, and tear
Whatever ventures to come near ;
So a smooth knave does greater feats
Than one that idly rails and threats,
And all the mischief that he meant
Does, like a rattle-snake, prevent.
MAN is supreme lord and master
Of his own ruin and difaster
Controls his fate, but nothing less
In ordering his own happiness;
For all his care and providence
Is too, too feeble a defence
To render it secure and certain
Against the injuries of Fortune;
And oft, in spite of all his wit,
Is loft with one unlucky hit,
And ruin’d with a circumstance,
And mere punctilio, of chance.
DAME Fortune, fome men's tutelar,
Takes charge of thein without their care;
Does all their drudgery and work,
Like Fairies, for them in the dark;
Conducts them blindfold, and advances
The naturals by blinder chances ;
While others by desert or wit
Could never make the matter hit,
But still, the better they deserve,
Are but the abler thought to starve.
GREAT wits have only been preferr’d, In princes trains to be interr'd,
And, when they cost them nothing, plac'd
Among their followers not the last;
But while they livd were far enough
From all admittances kept off.
A S gold, that 's proof against th' assay,
Upon the touchstone wears away,
And having stood the greater test,
Is overmaster'd by the least;
So some men, having stood the hate
And spiteful cruelty of Fate,
Transported with a false caress
Of unacquainted happiness,
Loft to humanity and sense,
Have fall'ı as low as infolence.
INNOCENCE is a defence
For nothing else but patience ;
'Twill not bear out the blows of Fate,
Nor fence against the tricks of state ;
Nor from th' oppression of the laws
Protect the plain'st and justest cause;
Nor keep unspotted a good name
Against the obloquies of Fame;
Feeble as Patience, and as soon,
By being blown upon, undone.
As beasts are hunted for their furs,
Men for their virtues fare the worse.