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ally preferred before him, yet the age wherein he lived, which had contemporaries with him, Fletcher and Jonson, never equalled their to him in their esteem; and in the last king's court, when Ben's rep utation was at highest, Sir John Suckling, and with him the greater part of the courtiers, set our Shakspeare far above him.
As for Jonson, to whose character I am now arrived, if we look upon him while he was himself (for his last plays were but his do tages), I think him the most learned and judicious writer which any theatre ever had. He was a most severe judge of himself, as well as others. One cannot say he wanted wit, but rather that he was frugal of it. In his works you find little to retrench or alter. Wit, and lan guage, and humor, also in some measure, we had before him; but something of art was wanting to the drama, till he came. He man aged his strength to more advantage than any who preceded him. You seldom find him making love in any of his scenes, or endeavoring to move the passions; his genius was too sullen and saturnine to do it gracefully, especially when he knew he came after those who had performed both to such a height. Humor was his proper sphere; and in that he delighted most to represent mechanic people. He was deeply conversant in the ancients, both Greek and Latin, and he borrowed boldly from them; there is scarce a poet or historian among the Roman authors of those times, whom he has not translated in Sejanus and Catiline. But he has done his robberies so openly, that one may see he fears not to be taxed by any law. He invades authors like a monarch; and what would be theft in other poets, is only victory in him. With the spoils of these writers he so represents old Rome to us, in his rites, ceremonies, and customs, that if one of their poets had written either of his tragedies, we had seen less of it than in him. If there was any fault in his language, 'twas that he weaved it too closely and laboriously, in his comedies especially: perhaps. too, he did a little too much Romanize our tongue, leaving the words which he translated almost as much Latin as he found them; wherein, though he learnedly followed their language, he did not enough com ply with the idiom of ours. If I would compare him with Shakspeare, I must acknowledge him the more correct poet, but Shakspeare the greater wit. Shakspeare was the Homer, or father of our dramatic poets: Jonson was the Virgil, the pattern of elaborate writing: I admire him, but I love Shakspeare.
ALGERNON Sidney 1621-1684. (Manual, p. 206.)
FROM THE "DISCOURSES ON GOVERNMENT."
153. INFLUENCE OF GOVERNMENT ON THE CHARACTER OF A PEOPLE Men are valiant and industrious when they fight for themselves and their country. They prove excellent in all the arts of war and peace, when they are bred up in virtuous exercises, and taught by their
fathers and masters to rejoice in the honors gained by them. They love their country when the good of every particular man is compre hended in the public prosperity, and the success of their achievements is improved to the general advantage. They undertake haz ards and labor for the government, when it is justly administered: when innocence is safe, and virtue honored; when no man is distin guished from the vulgar, but such as have distinguished themselves by the bravery of their actions; when no honor is thought too great for those who do it eminently, unless it be such as cannot be communicated to others of equal merit. They do not spare their persons, purses, or friends, when the public powers are employed for the public benefit, and imprint the like affections in their children from their infancy. The discipline of obedience, in which the Romans were bred, taught them to command: and few were admitted to the magistracies of inferior rank, till they had given such proofs of their virtue as might deserve the supreme. Cincinnatus, Camillus, Papirius, Fabius Maximus, were not made dictators that they might learn the duties of the office, but because they were judged to be of such wisdom, valor, integrity, and experience, that they might be safely trusted with the highest powers; and, whilst the law reigned, not one was advanced to that honor who did not fully answer what was expected from him. By these means the city was so replenished with men fit for the greatest employments, that even in its infancy, when three hundred and six of the Fabii were killed in one day, the city did lament the loss, but was not so weakened to give any advantage to their enemies: and when every one of those who had been eminent before the second Punic war, Fabius Maximus only excepted, had perished in it, others arose in their places, who surpassed them in number, and were equal to them in virtue. The city was a perpetua¦ spring of such men, as long as liberty lasted; but that was no sooner overthrown, than virtue was torn up by the roots: the people became base and sordid; the small remains of the nobility slothful and effeminate; and, their Italian associates becoming like to them, the empire, whilst it stood, was only sustained by the strength of foreigners. The Grecian virtue had the same fate, and expired with liberty. * * * It is absurd to impute this to the change of times; for time changes nothing; and nothing was changed in those times, but the government, and that changed all things. This is not accidental, but ac rording to the rules given to nature by God, imposing upon all things necessity of perpetually following their causes. Fruits are always of the same nature with the seeds and roots from which they come, and trees are known by the fruits they bear. As a man begets a man, and a beast a beast, that society of men which constitutes a government upon the foundation of justice, virtue, and the common good, will always have men to promote those ends, ard that which intends the advancem.ent of one man's desires and vanity will abound in those that will foment them.
JOHN RAY. 1628-1705. (Manual, p. 261.)
FROM "THE WISDOM OF GOD IN CREATION."
154. CIVILIZATION DESIGNED BY THE CREator.
I persuade myself that the bountiful and gracious Author of man i being and faculties, and all things else, delights in the beauty of h: creation, and is well pleased with the industry of man in adorning the earth with beautiful cities and castles, with pleasant villages and country houses; with regular gardens and orchards, and plantations of all sorts of shrubs, and herbs, and fruits for meat, medicine, or moderate delight; with shady woods and groves, and walks set with rows of elegant trees; with pastures clothed with flocks, and valleys covered over with corn, and meadows burdened with grass, and whatever else differenceth a civil and well-cultivated region from a barren and desolate wilderness.
If a country thus planted and adorned, thus polished and civilized, thus improved to the height by all manner of culture for the support and sustenance, and convenient entertainment of innumerable multitudes of people, be not to be preferred before a barbarous and inhospitable Scythia, without houses, without plantations, without cornfields or vineyards, where the roving hordes of the savage and truculent inhabitants transfer themselves from place to place in wagons, as they can find pasture and forage for their cattle, and live upon milk, and flesh roasted in the sun at the pommels of their saddles; or a rude and unpolished America, peopled with slothful and naked Indians. instead of well built houses, living in pitiful huts and cabins, made of poles set endwise; then surely the brute beast's condition and manner of living, to which what we have mentioned doth nearly approach, is to be esteemed better than man's, and wit and reason was in vain bestowed on him.
JOHN BUNYAN. 1628-1688. (Manual, pp. 221-225.)
FROM "THE PII GRIM'S PROGRESS."
155. THE VALLEY OF HUMILIATION.
Now they began to go down the hill into the valley of humiliation. It was a steep hill, and the way was slippery; but they were very careful; so they got down pretty well. When they were down in the val ley, Piety said to Christiana, this is the place where Christian, your husband, met with that foul fiend Apollyon, and where they had that dreadful fight that they had. I know you cannot but have heard thereof. But be of good courage; as long as you have here Mr. Greatheart to be your guide and conductor, we hope you will fare the better. So when these two had cominitted the pilgrims unto the con dict of their guide, he went forward, and they went after.
Then said Mr. Greatheart, we need not be so afraid of this valley, for here is nothing to hurt us, ur less we procure it to ourselves. "Tis true Christian did here meet with Apollyon, with whom he also had a sore combat; but that fray was the fruit of those slips that he got in his going down the hill, for they that get slips there must look for combats here. And hence it is that this valley has got so hard a rame; for the common people, when they hear that some frightful thing has befallen such a one in such a place, are of opinion that that place is haunted with some foul fiend or evil spirit, when, alas! it is for the fruit of their own doing that such things do befall them the'e.
This valley of humiliation is of itself as fruitful a place as any the crow flies over; and I am persuaded, if we could hit upon it, we might find somewhere hereabouts something that might give us an account why Christian was so hardly beset in this place.
Then said James to his mother, Lo! yonder stands a pillar, and it looks as if something was written thereon: let us go and see what it is. So they went, and found there written, “Let Christian's slip, before he came hither, and the battles that he met with in this place, be a warning to those that come after." Lo! said their guide, did not I tell you that there was something hereabouts that would give intimation of the reason why Christian was so hard beset in this place? Ther turning himself to Christiana, he said, no disparagement tɔ Christian more than to many others whose hap and lot it was; for it is easier going up than down this hill, and that can be said but of few hills in all these parts of the world. But we will leave the good man; he is at rest; he also had a brave victory over his enemy; let Him grant, that dwelleth above, that we fare no worse, when we come to be tried, than he!
But we will come again to this valley of humiliation. It is the best and most fruitful piece of ground in all these parts. It is fat ground, and, as you see, consisteth much in meadows; and if a man was to come here in summer-time, as we do now, if he knew not anything before thereof, and if he also delighted himself in the sight of his eyes, he might see that which would be delightful to him. Behold how green this valley is! also how beautiful with lilies! I have known many laboring men that have got good estates in this valley of humiliation. "For God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble;" for indeed it is a very fruitful soil, and doth bring forth by handf ls. Some also have wished that the next way to their Father's house were here, that they might be troubied no more with either hiller mountains to go over; but the way is the way, and there's an end.
Now, as they were going along and talking, they espied a boy feeding his father's sheep. The boy was in very mean clothes, but of a fresh and well-favored countenance, and as he sat by himself he sung. "Hark," said Mr. Greatheart, "to what the shepherd's boy saith;' so they hearkened, and he said, —
He that is down needs fear no fall;
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,
And, Lord! contentment still I crave,
Because thou savest such.
That go on pilgrimage:
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
Then said their guide, do you hear him? I will dare to say this boy lives a merrier life, and wears more of that herb called heart's-ease in his bosom than he that is clad in silk and velvet! but we will proceed in our discourse.
THE GOLDEN CITY.
Now I saw in my dream that by this time the pilgrims were got over the Enchanted Ground, and entering into the country of Beulah, whose air was very sweet and pleasant, the way lying directly through it, they solaced them there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually the singing of birds, and saw every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land. In this country the sun shineth night and day; wherefore it was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of reach of the Giant Despair; neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle. Here they were within sight of the city they were going to, also here met them some of the inhabitants thereof, for in this land the shining ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of Heaven. In this land, also, the contract between the bride and bridegroom was renewed; yea, here, "as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so did their God rejoice over them." Here they had no want of corn and wine; for in this place they met abundance of what they had sought for in all their pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from out of the city-loud voices-saying, "Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold thy salvation cometh. Behold, his reward is with him!" Here all the inhabitants of the country called them "the holy people, the re deemed of the Lord, sought out," &c.
Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts more remote from the kingdom to which they were bound; and drawing nearer to the city yet, they had a more perfect view thereof it was built of pearls and precious stones; also the streets thereof were paved with goid; so that, by reason of the natural glory of the city, and the reflections of the sunbeams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick; Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same disease: wherefore