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Books THE BEST COUNSELLORS.—A prince without letters, is a pilot without eyes. All his government is groping. In sovereignty it is a most happy thing not to be compelled; but so it is the most miserable not to be counselled. And how can he be counselled that cannot see to read the best counsellors (which are books); for they neither flatter us, nor hide from us? He may hear you will say; but how shall he always be sure to hear truth ļ or be counselled the best things, not the sweetest? They say princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom.

Which is an argument, that the good counsellors to princes are the best instruments of a good age. For though the prince himself be of a most prompt inclination to all virtue ; yet the best pilots have need of mariners, besides sails, anchor, and other tackle.

(Discoveries : Illiteratus princeps).

FRANCIS BEAUMONT AND JOHN FLETCHER. 77

FRANCIS BEAUMONT AND JOHN

FLETCHER.

[Fletcher: Born, 1576. Died, 1625.

Beaumont: Born, 1586. Died, 1616. They wrote 53 plays, 40 of which are generally accepted as produced solely by Fletcher, and 13 by both authors.]

THE PLEASURE OF BOOKS.

Give me leave
T' enjoy myself; that place that does contain
My books, the best companions, is to me
A glorious court, where hourly I converse
With the old sages and philosophers;
And sometimes, for variety, I confer
With kings and emperors, and weigh their

counsels;
Calling their victories, if unjustly got,
Unto a strict account, and, in my fancy,
Deface their ill-plac'd statues. Can I then
Part with such constant pleasures, to embrace
Uncertain vanities ? No; be it your care
T'augment your heap of wealth; it shall be mine
T increase in knowledge.

(The Elder Brother, i., 2.)

THE WORTH OF A BOOK.

Duke. What's this ? a poor gown ?
And this a piece of Seneca ?
Archas.

Yes, sure, Sir,
More worth than all your gold (yet you've enough

on't) And of a mine far purer, and more precious ; This sells no friends, nor searches into counsels, And yet all counsel, and all friends live here, Sir; Betrays no faith, yet handles all that's trusty.

(The Loyal Subject, ii. 5.)

ROBERT HERRICK. [Born, 1591. Educated at Cambridge. Presented to the living of Dean Prior, 1629; ejected, 1648. Published “Hesperides; or, Works both Humane and Divine,” 1648. Restored to his living, 1660. Died, 1674.]

TO HIS BOOKE.

While thou didst keep thy candor undefild,
Dearly I lov'd thee, as my first-borne child;

But when I saw thee wantonly to roame
From house to house, and never stay at home;
I brake my bonds of love, and bad thee goe,
Regardlesse whether well thou sped'st or no.
On with thy fortunes then, whate're they be;
If good I'll smile, if bad I'll sigh for thee.

(Hesperides.)

GOOD VERSES.

Trust to good verses, then ;

They onely will aspire,
When pyramids, as men,

Are lost i’ th' funerall fire.

And when all bodies meet

In Lethe, to be drown'd;
Then onely numbers sweet,

With endless life are crown'd.

(Ibid.)

TO HIS BOOKE.

Thou art a plant, sprung up to wither never,
But like a laurell, to grow green for ever.

(Ibid.)

UPON HIMSELF.

Thou shalt not all die ; for while love's fire shines
Upon his altar, men shall read thy lines ;
And learn'd musicians shall, to honour Herrick's
Fame and his name, both set and sing his lyricks.

(Ibid.)

TO A FRIEND.

Looke in my booke, and herein see
Life endlesse sign'd to thee and me :
We o’re the tombes and fates shall flye,
While other generations die.

(Ibid.)

ON HIS BOOKE.

The bound, almost, now of my booke I see;
But yet no end of those therein or me;
Here we begin new life; while thousands quite
Are lost, and theirs, in everlasting night.

(Ibid.)

THE CROWNING LINE.

For those my unbaptised rhymes,
Writ in my wild unhallowed times ;

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