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The virtue that possession would not shew us
Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death a necessary end,
Will come, when it will come.
There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers:
O momentary grace of mortal men,
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!-
Ready with every nod to tumble down
-Who shall go about
To cozen fortune and be honourable
O that estates, degrees, and offices,
Were not derived corruptly, that clear honour
How many then should cover that stand bare!
Oh, who can hold a fire in his hand,
Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue
All corners of the world. Kings, queens, and states,
There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
A DERVISE travelling through Tartary, being arrived at the town of Balk, went into the king's palace by mistake, as thinking it to be a public inn or caravansary. Having looked about him for some time, he entered into long gallery, where he laid down his wallet, and spread his carpet, in order to repose himself upon it after the manner of the eastern nations. He had not been long in this posture before he was discovered by some of the guards, who asked him what was his business in that place? The Dervise told them he intended to take up his night's lodging in that caravansary. The guards let him know, in a very angry manner, that the house he was in was not a caravansary, but the king's palace. It happened that the king himself passed through the gallery during this debate, and smiling at the mistake of the Dervise, asked him how he could possibly be so dull as not to distinguish a palace from a caravansary? Sir, says the Dervise, give me leave to ask your majesty a
question or two. Who were the persons that lodged in this house when it was first buiit? The king replied his ancestors. And who, says the Dervise, was the last person that lodged here? The king replied, His father. And who is it, says the Dervise, that lodges here at present? The king told him, that it was he himself. And who, says the Dervise, will be here after you? The king answered, the young prince his son. Ah, Sir,' said the Dervise, a house that changes its inhabitants so often, and receives such a perpetual succession of guests, is not a palace, but a caravansary.'
WE are told that the Sultan Mahmoud, by his perpetual wars abroad, and his tyranny at home, had filled his dominions with ruin and desolation, and half unpeopled the Persian Empire. The visier to this great Sultan (whether an humourist or an enthusiast, we are not informed) pretended to have learned of a certain Dervise to understand the language of birds, so that there was not a bird that could open his mouth, but the visier knew what it was he said. As he was one evening with the emperor, in their return from hunting, they saw a couple of owls upon a tree that grew near an old wall out of a heap of rubbish. I would fain know, says the Sultan, what those two owls are saying to one another; listen to their discourse and give me an account of it. The visier approached the tree, pretending to be very attentive to the two owls. Upon his return to the Sultan, Sir, says he, I have heard part of their converation, but