S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
When Secretary Walsingham arrived at old age he retired to the country to end his days in privacy. Some of his former companions came one day to see him, and rallied him for his melancholy. His answer deserves serious consideration: No, I am not melancholy, but I am serious; and it is very proper that we should be so! Ah, my friends, while we laugh, everything is serious about us. God is serious, who exerciseth patience towards us; Christ is serious, who shed his atoning blood for us; the Holy Ghost is serious, who striveth against the obstinacy of our hearts; the Holy Scriptures are serious books: they present to our thoughts the most serious concerns in all the world; the holy sacraments represent very serious and awful matters; the whole creation is serious in serving God and us; all in heaven are serious; all who are in hell are serious. How then can we be gay and trifling?
At another time this great man wrote to Lord Burleigh, We have lived long enough to our country, to our fortunes, and to our sovereign: it is high time that we began to live for ourselves and to God.