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STUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness, and retiring; for ornament is in discourse; and for ability is in the judgment and disposition of business; for expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one ; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules is the humor of a scholar; they perfect nature, and are perfected by experience — for natural abilities are like natural plants that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them, for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation.

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts

made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books : else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man; and, therefore, if a man write little, he had need of a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.



Ah, Sir Lancelot, there thou liest; thou wert never ,matched of none earthly knight's hands. And thou wert the courtliest knight that ever bare shield; and thou wert the truest friend to thy lover that ever bestrode horse; and thou wert the truest lover, of a sinful man, that ever loved woman; and thou wert the kindest man that ever stroke with sword; and thou wert the goodliest person that ever came among press of knights; and thou wert the meekest man and the gentlest that ever eat in hall among ladies; and thou wert the sternest knight to thy mortal foe that ever put spear in rest.



SWEET is the rose, but grows upon a brere;
Sweet is the juniper, but sharp his bough ;
Sweet is the eglantine, but pricketh near;
Sweet is the firbloom, but his branches rough ;
Sweet is the cyprus, but his rind is tough;
Sweet is the nut, but bitter is his pill ;
Sweet is the broom flower, but yet sour enough ;
And sweet is moly, but his root is ill;
So, every sweet with sour is tempered still,
That maketh it be coveted the more:
For easy things that may be got at will
Most sorts of men do set but little store.
Why then should I account of little pain,
That endless pleasure shall unto me gain?



FULL little knowest thou that hast not tried
What hell it is in suing long to bide:
To loose good days that might be better spent ;
To waste long nights in pensive discontent;
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow;
To feed on hope, to pine with feare and sorrow;
To have thy prince's grace, yet want her peers’;
To have thy asking, yet wait many years ;

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To fret thy soule with crosses and with cares ;
To eate thy hearte through comfortless despairs;
To fawn, to crouch, to wait, to ride, to run,
To spend, to give, to want, to be undone.



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A KNIGHT there was, and that a worthy man,
That fro the tyme that he first bigan
To riden out, he lovéd chivalrie,
Trouthe, and honour, freedom, and courtoisie.
Full worthy was he in his lordés werre,
And thereto hadde he ridden, no man ferre,
As well in Christendom as in Heathenesse,
And evere honoured for his worthynesse.
At Alisaundre he was when it was wonne.
Full oftetime he had the bord bigonne
Aboven alle nations in Pruce.
In Lettow hadde he reysèd and in Russe
No Christen man so oft of his degree.
In Gernade at the seege else hadde he be
Of Algesir and ridden in Belmarye.
At Lyes was he and at Satalie
When they were wonne and in the Greaté Sea.
At many a noble army hadde he be,
At mortal batailles hadde he been fifteen,
And foughten for oure feith at Tramyssene,
In lystes thries and ay slain his foo.

This ilke worthy knight hadde been also
Sometymé with the lord of Palatye,
Agayn another hethen in Turkye;
And everemoore he had a sovereign poise.
And though that he were worthy he was wys,
And of his port as meeke as is a mayde
He nevere yet no vileynye he sayde
In all his lyfe unto no maner wight.
He was a verray parfit, gentil knight.



It must be so. Plato, thou reasonest well !
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality ?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction ?
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us,
'Tis Heaven itself, that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.

Eternity! — thou pleasing dreadful thought !
Through what variety of untried being,
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass !
The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me;
But shadows, clouds and darkness rest upon

it. Here will I hold. If there's a Power above us, — And that there is, all Nature cries aloud

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