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been so much the study of Quarles, as justness. in his conclusions; and yet most of the maxims in this book seem to have been the result of his own meditation. Perhaps the eagerness of the author to render his axioms striking, sometimes leads him too much into antithesis, and playing upon words; but this is the only defect which can be imputed to this excellent little work. It is divided into four Centuries, and dedicated by the author, to “the glorious object of our expectation, Charles, Prince of Wales," afterwards Charles the Second. Happy would it have been for that licentious monarch, if he had paid a little more attention to the admirable lessons it contains.
The first Century chiefly consists of political maxims, some of which we will select.
“ Before thou undertake a war, let thine eye number thy forces, and let thy judgement weigh them: if thou hast a rich enemy, no matter how poore thy souldiers be, if couragious and faithfull : trust not too much the power of thy treasure, for it will deceive thee, being more apt to expose thee for a prey, than to defend thee: Gold is not able to finde good souldiers ; but good souldiers are able to find out gold.”
“ If the territories of thy equal enemy are situated far south from thee, the advantage is thine, whether he make offensive or defensive war: if north, the advantage is his. Cold is lesse tolerable than heat: this is a friend to nature; that, an enemy.”
“ If thou desire to know the power of a state, observe in what correspondence it lives with her neighbouring state : If she make allyance with the contribution of money, it is an evident signe of weaknesse: If with her valour, or repute of forces, it manifests a native strength: It is an infallible signe of power to sell friendship; and of weaknesse to buy it: That which is bought with gold, will hardly be maintained with steele."
“ It much conduces to tlie dishonour of a king, and the ill-fare of his kingdome, to multiply nobility, in an over-proportion to the common people. Cheape honour darkens majesty; and a numerous nobility brings a state to necessity.”
“ It is great prudence in a statesman to discover an inconvenience in the birth ; which, so discovered, is easie to be supprest: But if it ripen into a custome, the sudden remedy thereof is often worse than the disease : in such a case, it is better to temporize a little, than to struggle too much. He that opposes a full-aged inconvenience too suddenly, strengthens it.”,
“ It is the part of a wise magistrate to vindicate a man of power or state-imployment from the malicious scandals of the giddy-headed multitude, and to punish it with great severity. Scandall breeds hatred; hatred begets division; division makes faction; and faction brings ruine."
“If thou entertaine any forraigne souldiers into thine army, let them beare thy colours, and be at thy pay, lest they interest their owne prince. Auxiliary souldiers are the most dangerous. A forraigne prince needs no greater invitation to seize upon thy city, than when he is required to defend it.”
“ It is more excellent for a prince to have a provident eye for the preventing future mischiefes, than to have a potent arme for the suppressing present evils. Mischiefes in a state are like hectique feavers in a body: In the beginning, hard to be knowne, but easie to be cured; but, let it alone a while, it becomes more easie to be knowne, but more hard to be cured.”
“ If thou be ambitious of honour, and yet fearfull of the canker of honour, envy; so behave thy selfe, that opinion may be satisfied in this, that thou seekest merit, and not fame ; and that thou attributest thy preferment rather to Providence, than thy own vertue. Honour is a due debt to the deserver; and who ever envied the payment of a debt? A just advancement is a providentiall act; and who ever envied the act of Providence ?".
“Let not thine army at the first encounter be too prodigall in her assaults, but husband her strength for a dead lift. When the enemy hath abated the fury of his first heat, let him then feel thou hast reserved thy forces for the last blow: so shall the honour he hath gained by his valour increase the glory of thy victory : fore-games, when they prove, are speediest; but after-games, if wisely played, are surest."
The second Century is dedicated to Mrs. Elizabeth Usher, only daughter of the learned Usher, Archbishop of Armagh.The maxims contained in it are ethical and economical. We will take a few, almost at random.
“ A promise is a child of the understanding and the will: the understanding begets it, the will brings it forth. He that performes it, delivers the mother: he that breakes it, murthers the child. If he be begotten in the absence of the understanding, it is a bastard; but the child must be kept. If thou mistrust thy understanding, promise not ; if thou hast promised, break it not : it is better to maintain a bastard then to murther a child.”
“ If evill men speake good, or good men evill, of thy conversation, examine all thy actions, and suspect thy selfe. But if evill men speake evill of thee, hold it as thy honour; and, by way of thankefulnesse, love them; but upon condition, that they continue to hate thee.”
“To tremble at the sight of thy sinne, makes thy faith the lesse apt to tremble: the devils beleeve and tremble, because they tremble at what they beleeve; their beliefe brings trembling: thy trembling brings beliefe.”
“ If thou desire to be truly valiant, feare to doe any injury: He that feares not to doe evill, is alwayes afraid to suffer evill: he that
never feares is desperate : and he that feares alwayes, is a coward. He is the true valiant man, that dares nothing but what he may, and feares nothing but what he ought.”
“ If thou stand guilty of oppression, or wrongfully possest of another's right, see thou make restitution before thou givest an almes: if otherwise, what art thou but a thief, and makest God thy
“When thou prayest for spiritual graces, let thy prayer be absolute; when for temporall blessings, adde a clause of God's pleasure: in both, with faith and humiliation: So shalt thou, undoubtedly, receive what thou desirest, or more, or better. Never prayer rightly made, was made unheard, or heard, ungranted."
“ Not to give to the poor, is to take from him. Not to feed the hungry, if thou hast it, is to the utmost of thy power to kill him.. That, therefore, thou mayst avoid both sacriledge and murther, be charitable."
“ Hath any wronged thee? Be bravely revenged: sleight it, and the work's begun; forgive it, and 'tis finisht: he is below himselfe that is not above an injury.”
The third Century consists of general maxims, a few of which follow.
“ Art thou banisht from thy owne country ? thanke thy owne folly: hadst thou chosen a right home, thou hadst been no exile. Hadst thou commanded thy owne kingdome, all kingdomes had been thy owne. The fool is banisht in his owne country: the wiseman is in his owne country, though banisht: the foole wanders, the wiseman travels.”
" Gaze not on beauty too much, lest it blast thee; nor too long, lest it blind thee: nor too near, lest it burne thee; if thou like it, it deceives thee; if thou love it, it disturbs thee; if thou lust after it, it destroyes thee: if vertue accompany it, it is the heart's paradise; if vice associate it, it is the soule's purgatory: it is the wise man's bonefire, and the foole's furnace."
“Take no pleasure in the folly of an idiot, nor in the fancy of a lunaticke, nor in the frenzie of a drunkard. Make them the object of thy pity, not of thy pastime; when thou beholdest them, behold how thou art beholding to him that suffered thee not to be like them. There is no difference between thee and them, but God's favour.”
“ Use law and physicke only for necessity; they that use them otherwise, abuse themselves into weake bodies, and light purses: they are good remedies, bad businesses, and worse recreations."
“ If what thou hast received from God thou sharest to the poore, thou hast gained a blessing by the hand; if what thou hast taken from the poore, thou givest to God, thou hast purchased a curse into the bargaine. He that puts to pious uses what he hath got by impious usury, robs the spittle to make an hospitall; and the cry of the one, will out-plead the prayers of the other.”
“ Give not thy tongue too great a liberty, lest it take thee prisoner. A word unspoken is, like the sword in the scabberd, thine; if vented, thy sword is in another's hand. If thou desire to be held wise, be so wise as to hold thy tongue."
“Wouldst thou multiply thy riches ? Diminish them wisely. Or wouldst thou make thy estate entire ? Divide it charitably. Seeds that are scattered encrease; but, hoarded up, they perish." ..
“ The Clergy is a copy-book, their life is the paper, whereof some is purer, some coarser. Their doctrine is the copies, some written in a plain hand, others in a flourishing hand, some in a text hand, some in a Roman hand, others in a court hand, others in a bastard Roman. If the choise be in thy power, chuse a book that hath the finest paper; let it not be too straight nor too loosely bound, but easie to lye open to every eye. Follow not every copy, lest thou be good at none. Among them all, chuse one that shall be most legible and usefull, and fullest of instructions. But if the paper chance to have a blot, remember, the blot is no part of the copy.” .
“ Wisdome without innocency is knavery; innocency without wisdome is foolery: be, therefore, as wise as serpents, and innocent as doves. The subtilty of the serpent instructs the innocency of the dove; the innocency of the dove corrects the subtilty of the serpent. What God hath joyned together, let no man separate."
We have already quoted enough, as we think, to make our readers acquainted with the value of this collection. We must, nevertheless, make an extract or two from the last Century.
“ Infamy is where it is received: if thou art a mudde wall, it will stick; if marble, it will rebound : if thou storme at it, 'tis thine : if thou contemne it, 'tis his."
“Let not the sweetnesse of contemplation be so esteemed, that action be despised: Rachel was more faire, Lea more fruitfull. As contemplation is more delightfull, so is it more dangerous: Lot was upright in the city, and wicked in the mountaine.”
“ If thou expect death as a friend, prepare to entertaine it. If thou expect death as an enemy, prepare to overcome it. Death has no advantage, but when it comes a stranger."
“ In the meditation of divine mysteries, keep thy heart humble, and thy thoughts holy. Let philosophy not be ashamed to be confuted, nor logic blush to be confounded; what thou canst not prove, approve; what thou canst not comprehend, beleeve; and what thou canst beleeve, admire: so shall thy ignorance be satisfied in thy faith, and thy doubts swallowed up with wonders; the best way to see daylight, is to put out thy candle."
w be enabled to make a select when all is so great poet, her the goodnesers have no needciated with dulriety
We have now finished our extracts, though, when all is so excellent, it is a difficult matter to make a selection. We think our readers will now be enabled to judge with what propriety the name of Quarles has been hitherto associated with dulness and imbecility. His admirers have no need to palliate any of his defects by the goodness of intention. If he were not a great poet, he was something much better than an ordinary one. He was a man of strong native ability, quick intuition, great sagacity, and by no means devoid of wit. Had he chosen to give his parts and study to general literature, few seem better calculated to have succeeded. But his object was to be useful, extensively and substantially useful. He rejected the triumphs which literary pre-eminence presented, to “ walk humbly with God," to paraphrase the Scriptures for the pious, and to expound to the devout their sayings, their promises, and their consolations. He renounced the posthumous rewards of fame, and contented himself with the applauses of his own conscience; with the lives of saints and martyrs before him, he loved to follow in their footsteps, and looked not forward except to a joyful eternity. And shall such prostration of intellect be without its merit and reward ? Shall a character, so truly excellent, be depreciated by the scoffs of idle wit, or the attacks of empty satire? It is to be hoped- not, at least for the credit of human nature; and, therefore, when the name of Quarles is mentioned, let it never be mentioned without praise.
Maurice, l'rinter, Fenchurch-street.