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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Gay
 
        A justice with grave justices shall sit;
He praise their wisdom, they admire his wit.
  1
        Alas! you know the cause too well;
The salt is spilt, to me it fell.
Then to contribute to my loss,
My knife and fork were laid across;
On Friday, too! the day I dread;
Would I were safe at home, in bed!
Last night (I vow to Heaven ’tis true)
Bounce from the fire a coffin flew.
Next post some fatal news shall tell:
God send my Cornish friends be well!
  2
        And when a lady’s in the case,
You know all other things give place.
  3
        Because my blessings are abus’d,
Must I be censur’d, curs’d, accus’d?
Even virtue’s self by knaves is made
A cloak to carry on the trade.
  4
        By outward show let’s not be cheated;
An ass should like an ass be treated.
  5
        Consider, man; weigh well thy frame,
The king, the beggar, is the same;
Dust form’d us all. Each breathes his day,
Then sinks into his native clay.
  6
        Could fools to keep their own contrive,
On what, on whom could gamesters thrive?
  7
        Cowards are cruel, but the brave
Love mercy, and delight to save.
  8
        Dogmatic jargon learnt by heart,
Trite sentences hard terms of art,
To vulgar ears seemed so profound,
They fancied learning in the sound.
  9
                  Free men freely work:
Whoever fears God, fears to sit at ease.
  10
        Friendship, like love, is but a name,
Unless to one you stint the flame.
The child, whom many fathers share,
Hath seldom known a father’s care.
’Tis thus in friendships; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.
  11
            Fools, to talking ever prone
Are sure to make their follies known.
  12
        From kings to cobblers ’tis the same;
Bad servants wound their masters’ fame.
  13
        He first that useful secret did explain,
That pricking corns foretold the gathering rain.
  14
        He, who would free from malice pass his days,
Must live obscure, and never merit praise.
  15
        How bless’d, how envied were our life,
Could we but ’scape the poulterer’s knife!
But man, curs’d man, on turkeys preys,
And Christmas shortens all our days:
Sometimes with oysters we combine,
Sometimes assist the savory chine.
From the low peasant to the lord,
The turkey smokes on every board.
  16
        How happy could I be with either,
  Were t’other dear charmer away!
But while ye thus tease me together,
  To neither a word will I say.
  17
        I hate the man who builds his name
On ruins of another’s fame.
  18
        I know you lawyers can with ease,
Twist your words and meanings as you please;
That language, by your skill made pliant,
Will bend to favor every client;
That ’tis the fee directs the sense,
To make out either side’s pretence.
  19
        I never, with important air,
In conversation overbear.
*        *        *        *        *
My tongue within my lips I rein;
For who talks much must talk in vain.
  20
 
 
        If the heart of a man is depressed with cares,
The mist is dispell’d when a woman appears.
  21
        In beauty, faults conspicuous grow;
The smallest speck is seen on snow.
  22
        In every age and clime we see,
Two of a trade can ne’er agree.
  23
        In every rank, or great or small,
’Tis industry supports us all.
  24
        Learning by study must be won;
’Twas ne’er entail’d from sire to son.
  25
        Lest men suspect your tale untrue,
Keep probability in view.
  26
        Life is a jest, and all things show it,
I thought so once, but now I know it.
  27
        Look round, the wrecks of play behold,
Estates dismember’d, mortgag’d, sold!
Their owners now to jails confin’d,
Show equal poverty of mind.
  28
        My tongue within my lips I rein,
For who talks much must talk in vain.
  29
        Nor love, nor honor, wealth, nor power,
Can give the heart a cheerful hour
When health is lost. Be timely wise;
With health all taste of pleasure flies.
  30
        O happy unown’d youths! your limbs can bear
The scorching dog-star and the winter’s air,
While the rich infant, nurs’d with care and pain,
Thirsts with each heat and coughs with every rain!
  31
        Oh, bane of man! seducing cheat!
Can man, weak man, thy power defeat?
Gold banish’d honor from the mind,
And only left the name behind;
Gold sow’d the world with ev’ry ill,
Gold taught the murderer’s sword to kill;
’Twas gold instructed coward hearts
In treachery’s more pernicious arts.
  32
        One common fate we both must prove;
You die with envy, I with love.
  33
            Parents, to their offspring blind,
Consult nor parts, nor turn of mind;
But, ev’n in infancy, decree
What this, what t’other son shall be.
  34
        Remote from cities liv’d a Swain,
Unvex’d with all the cares of gain;
His head was silver’d o’er with age,
And long experience made him sage.
  35
        Reproachful speech from either side
The want of argument supplied;
They rail, reviled; as often ends
The contests of disputing friends.
  36
        She lik’d his soothing lutes, his presents more,
And granted kisses, but would grant no more.
  37
        So comes a reck’ning when the banquet’s o’er,
The dreadful reck’ning, and men smile no more.
  38
        Such is the country maiden’s fright,
When first a red-coat is in sight;
Behind the door she hides her face;
Next time at distance eyes the lace.
  39
        Sweet as refreshing dews or summer showers,
To the long parching thirst of drooping flowers;
Grateful as fanning gales to fainting swains
And soft as trickling balm to bleeding pains.
Such are thy words.
  40
        That man must daily wiser grow,
Whose search is bent himself to know.
  41
                    The brave
Love mercy, and delight to save.
  42
        The careful insect ’midst his works I view,
Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew,
With golden treasures load his little thighs,
And steer his distant journey through the skies.
  43
        The glorious Author of the universe,
Who reins the winds, gives the vast ocean bounds,
And circumscribes the floating worlds their rounds!
  44
        The healthy huntsman, with a cheerful horn,
Summons the dogs and greets the dappled Morn.
The jocund thunder wakes the enliven’d hounds,
They rouse from sleep, and answer sounds for sounds.
  45
        The husband’s sullen, dogged, shy,
The wife grows flippant in reply;
He loves command and due restriction,
And she as well likes contradiction.
She never slavishly submits;
She’ll have her way, or have her fits.
He his way tugs, she t’ other draws;
The man grows jealous and with cause.
  46
        The lion is beyond dispute
Allow’d the most majestic brute;
His valor and his generous mind
Prove him superior of his kind.
  47
        The man to Jove his suit preferr’d;
He begg’d a wife; his prayer was heard.
Jove wonder’d at his bold addressing:
For how precarious is the blessing!
  48
        The man who, with undaunted toils
Sails unknown seas to unknown soils,
With various wonders feasts his sight;
What stranger wonders does he write!
We read, and in description view
Creatures which Adam never knew:
For, when we risk no contradiction
It prompts the tongue to deal in fiction.
  49
        The prince, who kept the world in awe,
The judge, whose dictate fix’d the law,
The rich, the poor, the great, the small,
Are levell’d: death confounds ’em all.
  50
        The rising blushes, which her cheek o’erspread,
Are opening roses in the lily’s bed.
  51
        The vain coquette each suit disdains,
And glories in her lover’s pains;
With age she fades—each lover flies,
Contemn’d, forlorn, she pines and dies.
  52
        Those who in quarrels interpose,
Must often wipe a bloody nose.
  53
        Thus, when the villain crams his chest,
Gold is the canker of the breast;
’Tis avarice, insolence, and pride,
And every shocking vice beside:—
But when to virtuous hands ’tis given,
It blesses, like the dews of heaven:
Like heaven, it hears the orphans’ cries,
And wipes the tears from widows’ eyes.
  54
        ’Tis thus that on the choice of friends
Our good or evil name depends.
  55
        Titles and profit I resign,
The post of honor shall be mine.
  56
        To all apparent beauties blind,
Each blemish strikes an envious mind.
  57
        To lordlings proud I tune my lay,
  Who feast in bower or hall;
Though dukes they be, to dukes I say,
  That pride will have a fall.
  58
        True constancy no time no power can move;
He that hath known to change, ne’er knew to love.
  59
        We frequently misplace esteem,
By judging men by what they seem,
To birth, wealth, power, we should allow
Precedence, and our lowest bow.
  60
        We know that wealth well understood,
Hath frequent power of doing good;
Then fancy that the thing is done,
As if the power and will were one;
Thus oft the cheated crowd adore
The thriving knaves that keep them poor.
  61
        What happiness the rural maid attends,
  In cheerful labor while each day she spends!
She gratefully receives what Heav’n has sent,
  And, rich in poverty, enjoys content.
  62
        What will not luxury taste? Earth, sea, and air,
Are daily ransack’d for the bill of fare;
Blood stuff’d in skins is British Christians’ food,
And France robs marshes of the croaking brood.
  63
        When rogues like these (a sparrow cries)
To honours and employments rise,
I court no favor, ask no place,
For such preferment is disgrace.
  64
        Whence is thy learning? hath thy toil
O’er books consumed the midnight oil?
  65
        Where the brass knocker, wrapt in flannel band,
Forbids the thunder of the footman’s hand,
Th’ upholder, rueful harbinger of death,
Waits with impatience for the dying breath.
  66
        While there is life, there’s hope, (he cried,)
Then why such haste?—so groan’d and died.
  67
        Who hath not heard the rich complain
Of surfeits, and corporeal pain?
He barr’d from every use of wealth,
Envies the ploughman’s strength and health.
  68
        Why are those tears? why droops your head
Is then your other husband dead?
Or does a worse disgrace betide?
Hath no one since his death applied?
  69
        Why is the hearse with scutcheons blazon’d round,
And with the nodding plume of ostrich crown’d?
The dead know it not, nor profit gain;
It only serves to prove the living vain,
How short is life; how frail is human trust!
Is all this pomp for laying dust to dust?
  70
        Why lose we life in anxious cares,
To lay in hoards for future years?
Can these, when tortur’d by disease,
Cheer our sick hearts, or purchase ease?
Can these prolong one gasp of breath,
Or calm the troubled hour of death?
  71
  “Adieu,” she cries, and waved her lily hand.  72
  A lady of genius will give a genteel air to her whole dress by a well-fancied suit of knots, as a judicious writer gives a spirit to a whole sentence by a single expression.  73
  A lost good name is ne’er retriev’d.  74
  Because its blessings are abused, must gold be censured, cursed, accused?  75
  Brother, brother, we are both in the wrong.  76
  By her we first were taught the wheedling arts.  77
  Consider man, weigh well thy frame; the king, the beggar, are the same; dust formed us all.  78
  Cynthia, fair regent of the night, oh, may thy silver lamp from heaven’s high bower direct my footsteps in the midnight hour.  79
  Envy is a kind of praise.  80
  He best can pity who has felt the woe.  81
  In books and love the mind one end pursues, and only change the expiring flame renews.  82
  In love we are all fools alike.  83
  Just education forms the man.  84
  Lashed into Latin by the tingling rod.  85
  Merit was ever modest known.  86
  No gale disturb the trees, nor aspen leaves confess the gentle breeze.  87
  Praise is only praise when well addressed.  88
  Pride is increased by ignorance; those assume the most who know the least.  89
  Shadow owes its birth to light.  90
  The bloom of young desire and purple light of love.  91
  The smallest speck is seen on snow.  92
  They most assume, who know the least.  93
  Thus shadow owes its birth to light.  94
  To friendship every burden’s light.  95
  To shoot at crows is powder flung away.  96
  Two of a trade can ne’er agree.  97
  We only part to meet again.  98
  What frenzy dictates, jealousy believes.  99
  What woman can resist the force of praise?  100
  Where true fortitude dwells, loyalty, bounty, friendship and fidelity may be found.  101
  Who live on fancy, and can feed on air.  102
  Who talks much, must talk in vain.  103
  With thee conversing I forget the way.  104
 
 
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