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done by degrees and gentle augmentations. Diligence and moderation are the best steps, whereby to climb to any excellency. Nay, it is rare if there be any other way. The heavens send not down their rain in floods, but by drops and dewy distillations. A man is neither good, nor wise, nor rich, at once : yet softly creeping up these hills, he shall every day better his prospect; till at last he gains the top. Now he learns a virtue, and then he damns 1 a vice. An hour in a day may much profit a man in his study, when he makes it stint and custom. Every year something laid up, may in time make a stock great. Nay, if a man does but save, he shall increase ; and though when the grains are scattered, they be next to nothing, yet together they will swell the heap. He that has the patience to attend small profits, may quickly grow to thrive and purchase: they be easier to accomplish, and come thicker. So, he that from every thing collects somewhat, shall in time get a treasury of wisdom. And when all is done, for man, this is the best way. It is for God, and for Omnipotency, to do mighty things in a moment: but, degreeingly to grow to greatness, is the course that he hath left for man.
CONTENT MAKES RICH.
Every man either is rich, or may be so; though not all in one and the same wealth. Some have abundance, and rejoice in it; some a competency, and are content; some having nothing, have a mind desiring nothing. He that hath most, wants something; he that hath least, is in something supplied; wherein the mind which maketh rich, may well possess him with the thought of store, Who whistles out more content than the low-fortuned ploughman, or sings more merrily than the abject cobbler that sits under the stall ? Content dwells with those that are out of the eye of the world, whom she hath never trained with her gauds, her toils, her lures. Wealth is like learning, wherein our greater knowledge is only a larger sight of our wants. Desires fulfilled, teach us to desire more; so we that at first were pleased, by removing from that, are now grown insatiable. Wishes have neither end; nor end. So, in the midst of affluency, we complain of penury, which, not finding, we make. For to possess the whole world with a grumbling mind, is but a little more specious poverty. If I be not outwardly rich, I will labor to be poor in craving desires; but in the virtues of the mind, (the best riches,) I would not have a man exceed me. He that hath a mind contentedly good, enjoyeth in it boundless possessions. If I be pleased in myself, who can add to my happiness ? as no man lives so happy,
1 Used in the Latin sense of damno, to condemn, to renounce.
but to some his life would be burdensome; so we shall find none so miserable, but we shall hear of another that would change calamities.
MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER. Though prayer should be the key of the day, and the lock of the night, yet I hold it more needful in the morning, than when our bodies do take their repose. For howsoever sleep be the image or shadow of death,—and when the shadow is so near, the substance cannot be far,—yet a man at rest in his chamber is like a sheep impenned in the fold ; subject only to the unavoidable and more immediate hand of God: whereas in the day, when he roves abroad in the open and wide pastures, he is then exposed to many more unthought-of accidents, that contingently and casually occur in the way: retiredness is more safe than business : who believes not a ship securer in the bay, than in the midst of the boiling ocean? Besides, the morning to the day, is as youth to the life of a man: if that be begun well
, commonly his age
is virtuous : otherwise, God accepts not the latter service, when his enemy joys in the first dish. Why should God take thy dry bones, when the devil hath sucked the marrow out ?
SAMUEL BUTLER. 1612–1680. WHILE Andrew Marvell was the leading prose wit of the reign of Charles II., Samuel Butler was the author of the best burlesque poem in the language. He was born at Strensham, in Worcestershire, in 1612. It cannot be ascertained whether he enjoyed a university education or not; but his writings show that his scholarship, however acquired, was both varied and profound. In early life he was employed as a clerk to the county magistrate of Worcestershire, where he enjoyed ample leisure for reading and medita. tion; and afterwards, in the household of the Countess of Kent, where he had the use of an ample library, which he did not fail to improve. Hence, he went into the employment of Sir Samuel Luke, one of Cromwell's officers, where he saw much of the unfavorable side of the Puritans; and here, it is supposed, he first conceived the idea of his satirical epic upon them. The first part of the poem was published three years after the Restoration; and though it was the delight of the court, and quoted everywhere and in all circles, the poet reaped nothing but empty praise. In 1664, the second part was published, but still no pecuniary reward was received from the court, for whom he chiefly wrote, and to whose gratification he chiefly contributed. It was not till 1678 that the third part appeared, and in 1680 he died, and so poor was he, that he was buried at the sole expense of a friend, in a churchyard. after a place in Westminster Abbey had been refused. But what gratitude, or any noble feeling could be expected from Charles II., or any of his licentious court?
The poem of “Hudibras” is unique in European literature. It was evi
dently suggested by the adventures of Don Quixote; for as Cervantes sent forth his hero upon a chivalrous crusade to right wrongs, and redress grievances, in order to bring the institution of chivalry, of which he claims to be the personification, into contempt; so Sir Hudibras, claiming to be a representative of the true Presbyterian character, goes forth “a colonelling," against all those popular sports, of which the Puritans of the day had such a holy horror, to make this ect appear in the most ridiculous light. But the Puritan of Butler is an aggravated caricature, rather than a faithful portrait;' and though the poem possesses “an excess of wit, rhymes the most original and ingenious, and the most apt and burlesque metaphors, couched in an easy, gossiping, colloquial metre; yet it would be as impossible to read Hudibras to an end at once, as to dine on cayenne or pickles. It administers no food to the higher and more permanent feelings of the human mind. The moral comes to be felt to be without dignity, the wit without gayety or relief, the story lagging and flat. Even the rhymes, amusing as they are, become, after a time, like the repetitions of a mimic, tiresome and stale."
DESCRIPTION OF HUDIBRAS.
When civil dudgeon first grew high,
1 The following, on the character of the Puritans, is taken from an article on Milton in the 42d vol, of the Edinburgh Review; an article which, for its truth and eloquence, stands first among the writings of "the great essayist of the age"-T. B. Macaulay.
“The Puritans were men whose minds had derived a peculiar character from the daily contemplation of superior beings and eternal interests. Not content with acknowledging, in general terms, an overruling Providence, they habitually ascribed every event to the will of the Great Being, for whose power nothing was too vast, for whose inspection nothing was too minute. To know him, to serve him, to enjoy him, was with them the great end of existence. They rejected with contempt the ceremonious homage which other sects substituted for the pure worship of the soul. If they were unacquainted with the works of philosophers and poets, they were deeply read in the oracles of God. Ir their names were not found in the registers of heralds, they felt assured that they were recorded in the Book of Life. If their steps were not accompanied by a splendid train of menials, legions of ministering angels had charge over them. Their palaces were houses not made with hands; their diadems crowns of glory which should never fade away! On the rich and the eloquent, on nobles and priests, they looked down with contempt: for they esteemed themselves rich in a more precious treasure, and eloquent in a more sublime language; nobles by the right of an earlier creation, and priests by the imposition of a mightier hand.
“The Puritan, indeed, was made up of two different men; the one all self-abasement, penitence, gratitude, passion; the other, proud, calm, inflexible, sagacious. He prostrated himself in the dust before his Maker: but he set his foot on the neck of his king. In his devotional retirement, he prayed with convulsions, and groans, and tears. People who saw nothing of the godly but their uncouth visages, and heard nothing from them but their groans and their whining hymns, might laugh at them. But those had little reason to laugh who encountered them in the hall of debate or in the field of battle. These fanatics brought to civil and military Affairs a coolness of judgment, and an immutability of purpose, which some writers have thought inconsistent with their religious zeal, but which were, in fact, the necessary effects of it. The intensity of their feelings on one subject made them tranquil on every other. One overpowering sentiment had subjected to itself pity and hatred, ambition and fear. Death had lost its terrors, and pleasure its charms. They had their smiles and their tears, their raptures and their sorrows, but not for the things of this world.
"Such we believe to have been the character of the Puritans. We perceive the absurdity of their manners. We dislike the sullen gloom of their domestic habits. We acknowledge that the tone of their minds was often injured by straining after things too high for mortal reach: and we know that in spite of their hatred of popery, they too often fell into the worst vices of that bad system, mtolerance and extravagant austerity. Yet, when all circumstances are taken into consideration, we do not hesitate to pronounce them a brave, a wise, an honest, and a useful body."
When hard words, jealousies, and fears
But here some authors make a doubt
Some hold the one, and some the other,
1 The speaking of a stick as one word, with the stress upon a, heightens the burlesque, and conse quently is rather an excellency than a fault.
2 Butler's hero, Sir Samuel Luke, was not only a colonel in the parliament army, but also Scout master-General in the counties of Bedford, Surrey, &c.
8 That is, he kneeled to the king when he knighted him, but seldom upon any other occasion.
4 Sancho Panza says of Don Quixote, “that he is a main scolard, Latins it hugely, and talks his own mother tongue as well as one of your Varsity Doctors."
All this by syllogism true,
1 Tycho Brahe was an eminent Danish mathematician.
By Erra Pater, it is thought that Butler alluded to one William Lilly, a famous astrologer of those times.
8 As a justice of the peace, he bad a right to inspect weights and measures.