Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled. Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again; and when the hill stood still he was never a whit abashed, but said, If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.
Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel.
And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and goes, like the warbling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air.
When you wander, as you often delight to do, you wander indeed, and give never such satisfaction as the curious time requires. This is not caused by any natural defect, but first for want of election, when you, having a large and fruitful mind, should not so much labour what to speak as to find what to leave unspoken. Rich soils are often to be weeded.
Pyrrhus, when his friends congratulated to him his victory over the Romans under Fabricius, but with great slaughter of his own side, said to them, Yes; but if we have such another victory, we are undone.22
Note 3. Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes; Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell, Aspiring to be angels, men rebel. Alexander Pope: Essay on Man, ep. i. line 125. [back]
Note 13. The bee enclosed and through the amber shown, Seems buried in the juice which was his own. Martial: book iv. 32, vi. 15 (Hays translation).
I saw a flie within a beade Of amber cleanly buried. Robert Herrick: On a Fly buried in Amber.
Pretty! in amber to observe the forms Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms. Alexander Pope: Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, line 169. [back]
Note 14. As in the little, so in the great world, reason will tell you that old age or antiquity is to be accounted by the farther distance from the beginning and the nearer approach to the end,the times wherein we now live being in propriety of speech the most ancient since the worlds creation.George Hakewill: An Apologie or Declaration of the Power and Providence of God in the Government of the World. London, 1627.
For as old age is that period of life most remote from infancy, who does not see that old age in this universal man ought not to be sought in the times nearest his birth, but in those most remote from it?Blaise Pascal: Preface to the Treatise on Vacuum.
It is worthy of remark that a thought which is often quoted from Francis Bacon occurs in [Giordano] Brunos Cena di Cenere, published in 1584: I mean the notion that the later times are more aged than the earlier.Whewell: Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, vol. ii. p. 198. London, 1847.
We are Ancients of the earth, And in the morning of the times. Alfred Tennyson: The Day Dream. (LEnvoi.) [back]
Note 15. The sun, though it passes through dirty places, yet remains as pure as before.Advancement of Learning (ed. Dewey).
The sun, too, shines into cesspools and is not polluted.Diogenes Laertius: Lib. vi. sect. 63.
Spiritalis enim virtus sacramenti ita est ut lux: etsi per immundos transeat, non inquinatur (The spiritual virtue of a sacrament is like light: although it passes among the impure, it is not polluted).Saint Augustine: Works, vol. iii., In Johannis Evang. cap. i. tr. v. sect. 15.
The sun shineth upon the dunghill, and is not corrupted.John Lyly: Euphues, The Anatomy of Wit (Arbers reprint), p. 43.
The sun reflecting upon the mud of strands and shores is unpolluted in his beam.Taylor: Holy Living, chap. i. p. 3.
Truth is as impossible to be soiled by any outward touch as the sunbeam.John Milton: The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. [back]
Note 16. Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness.John Wesley (quoted): Journal, Feb. 12, 1772.
According to Dr. A. S. Bettelheim, rabbi, this is found in the Hebrew fathers. He cites Phinehas ben Yair, as follows: The doctrines of religion are resolved into carefulness; carefulness into vigorousness; vigorousness into guiltlessness; guiltlessness into abstemiousness; abstemiousness into cleanliness; cleanliness into godliness,literally, next to godliness. [back]
Our life is but a span.New England Primer. [back]
Note 18. This line frequently occurs in almost exactly the same shape among the minor poems of the time: Not to be born, or, being born, to die.William Drummond: Poems, p. 44. Bishop King: Poems, etc. (1657), p. 145. [back]
Note 19. Tall men are like houses of four stories, wherein commonly the uppermost room is worst furnished.Howell (quoted): Letter i. book i. sect. ii. (1621.)
Often the cockloft is empty in those whom Nature hath built many stories high.Thomas Fuller: Andronicus, sect. vi. par. 18, 1.
Such as take lodgings in a head That s to be let unfurnished. Samuel Butler: Hudibras, part i. canto i. line 161. [back]
Note 20. The custom is not altogether obsolete in the U. S. A. [back]
Note 21. Is not old wine wholesomest, old pippins toothsomest, old wood burns brightest, old linen wash whitest? Old soldiers, sweetheart, are surest, and old lovers are soundest.John Webster: Westward Hoe, act ii. sc. 2.
Old friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were easiest for his feet.Selden: Table Talk. Friends.
Old wood to burn! Old wine to drink! Old friends to trust! Old authors to read!Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that age appeared to be best in these four things.Melchior: Floresta Española de Apothegmas o sentencias, etc., ii. 1, 20.
What find you better or more honourable than age? Take the preheminence of it in everything,in an old friend, in old wine, in an old pedigree.Shakerley Marmion (16021639): The Antiquary.
I love everything that s old,old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine.Oliver Goldsmith: She Stoops to Conquer, act i. [back]
Note 22. There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.Montaigne: Of Cannibals, chap. xxx. [back]