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AT many times I brought in my accounts,
Laid them before you; you would throw them off,
And say you found them in mine honesty.

Shakspere. Then thou shalt see him plunged, when least he fears, At once accounting for his deep arrears.


Sum up at night what thou has done by day; And in the morning what thou hast to do. Dress and undress thy soul. Watch the decay, And growth of it. If with thy watch, that too Be down, then wind up both. Since we shall be Most surely judged, make thy accounts agree.

Herbert. Why were they proud? because their marble founts Gushed with more pride than do a wretch's tears? Why were they proud? because fair orange mounts Were of more soft ascent than lazar stairs? Why were they proud? because red-lined accounts Were richer than the songs of Grecian years.



THUS they in mutual accusation spent

The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning,
And of their vain contest appeared no end.


That good man who drank the poisonous draught
With mind serene, and could not wish to see
His vile accuser drink as deep as he.


None have accused thee; 'tis thy conscience cries,
The witness in the soul that never dies;
Its accusation, like the moaning wind
Of wintry midnight, moves thy startled mind.
Oh! may it melt thy hardened heart, and bring
From out thy frozen soul the life of spring.

Mrs. Hale.





EXPERIENCE is by industry achieved,
And perfected by the swift course of time.

Virtue, and that part of philosophy
I will apply, that treats of happiness,
By virtue specially to be achieved.



Had you, some ages past, this race of glory

Run, with amazement we should read your story; But living virtue, all achievement past,

Meets envy still to grapple with at last.

Act! for in action are wisdom and glory;
Fame, immortality-these are its crown;
Would'st thou illumine the tablets of story?—
Build on achievements thy dome of renown.


From the German.

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,,

Learn to labour and to wait.



WE must not stint

Our necessary actions, in the fear
To cope malicious censurers, which ever,
As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
That is new trimmed, but benefit no further
Than vainly longing. What we oft do best
By sick interpreters, or weak ones, is

Not ours, or not allowed; what worst, as oft
Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
For our best act.

Nature hath assigned

Two sovereign remedies for human grief;
Religion, sweet, firmest, first, and best,


Strength to the weak, and to the wounded balm;

And strenuous action next.



Away, then; work with boldness and with speed,
On greatest actions greatest dangers feed.



For good and well must in our actions meet;
Wicked is not much worse than indiscreet.

Our acts our angels are, or good or ill;
The fatal shadows that walk by us still.


John Fletcher.

every noble action, the intent
Is to give worth reward-vice punishment.
Beaumont and Fletcher.

The body sins not; 'tis the will
That makes the action good or ill.

Our unsteady actions cannot be
Manag'd by rules of strict philosophy.


Sir. R. Howard. Good actions crown themselves with lasting bays; Who deserves well needs not another's praise.


Not always actions show the man; we find
Who does a kindness is not therefore kind;
Perhaps prosperity becalmed his breast-
Perhaps the wind just shifted from the east:
Not therefore humble he who seeks retreat;
Pride guides his steps, and bids him shun the great:
Who combats bravely is not therefore brave;

He dreads a death-bed like the meanest slave:
Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise;
His pride in reasoning, not in acting, lies.

The reputation

Of virtuous actions past, if not kept up
With an access and fresh supply of new ones,
Is lost and soon forgotten.

The keen spirit



Seizes the prompt occasion, makes the thoughts
Start into instant action, and at once

Plans and performs, resolves and executes!

Hannah More.



Do something! do it soon! with all thy might;
An angel's wing would droop if long at rest,
And God inactive were no longer blest.
Some high or humble enterprise of good
Contemplate till it shall possess thy mind,
Become thy study, pastime, rest, and food,
And kindle in thy heart a flame refined:
Pray heaven for firmness thy whole soul to bind
To this high purpose; to begin, pursue,
With thoughts all fix'd, and feelings purely kind;
Strength to complete, and with delight review,
And strength to give the praise where all is due.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way,
But to act, that each to-morrow
Finds us further than to-day.

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Trust no future howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead past bury its dead!
Act! act! in the living present,
Heart within, and God o'erhead!


'Tis human actions print the chart of time.

R. Montgomery.


FOR I did play a lamentable part:
Madam, 'twas Ariadne passioning
For Theseus' perjury, and unjust flight;
Which I so lively acted with my tears,
That my poor mistress, moved therewithal,
Wept bitterly; and, would I might be dead,

If I in thought felt not her very sorrow.-Shakspere.

When a good actor doth his part present,
In every act he our attention draws,
That at the last he may find just applause.



When, with mock majesty and fancied power,
He struts in robes, the monarch of an hour;
Oft wide of nature must he act a part,

Make love in tropes, in bombast break his heart;
In turn and simile resign his breath,

And rhyme and quibble in the pains of death.

Whose every look and gesture was a joke
To clapping theatres, and shouting crowds,



And made even thick-lipp'd, musing melancholy
To gather up her face into a smile,
Before she was aware.

Actors I've seen, and of no vulgar name,
Who being from one part possessed of fame,


Whether they are to laugh, cry, whine, or bawl,
Still introduce the favourite part in all.


Speech! is that all? and shall an actor found
An universal fame on partial ground?
Parrots themselves speak properly by rote,
And in six months my dog shall howl by note.
I laugh at those who when the stage they tread,
Neglect the heart to compliment the head;
With strict propriety their cares confined,
To weigh out words while passion halts behind.
To syllable-dissectors they appeal:

Allow them accent, cadence-fools may feel;

But spite of all the criticising elves,

Those who would make us feel must feel themselves.


In shabby state they strut, in tattered robe,
The scene a blanket, and a barn the globe;
No high conceits their moderate wishes raise,
Content with humble profit, humble praise.
Let dowdies simper, and let bumpkins stare,
The strolling pageant hero treads on air;
Pleased for his hour, he to mankind gives law,
And snores the next out on a truss of straw.


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