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Not like the elemental fire that burns
In household uses, lamely struggling up,
This way and that way winding as it rises,
But right and upright reached his proper sphere
Where burns the fire eternal and sincere.
Joy unexpected, best.
Joys unexpected, and in desperate plight,
Are still most sweet, and prove from whence they
When earth's still moon-like confidence in joy
Is at her full, true joy descending far
From past her sphere, and from the highest heaven 10 That moves and is not moved.
Inward help the best help.
I will stand no more
On others' legs, nor build one joy without me.
If ever I be worth a house again,
I'll build all inward: not a light shall ope
The common out-way; no expense, no art,
No ornament, no door, will I use there;
But raise all plain and rudely like a rampier,
Against the false society of men,
That still batters
All reason piece-meal; and, for earthly greatness
All heavenly comforts rarifies to air,
I'll therefore live in dark; and all my light,
Like ancient Temples, let in at my top.
This were to turn one's back to all the world,
And only look at heaven.
Therefore when our diseas'd affections
Harmful to human freedom, and storm-like
Inferring darkness to th' infected mind,
Oppress our comforts: 'tis but letting in
The light of reason, and a purer spirit
Take in another way; like rooms that fight
With windows 'gainst the wind, yet let in light.
FURTHER EXTRACTS FROM THE SAME.
BY THE SAME.
CATO's Speech at Utica to a Senator, who had exprest fears on his account.
Away, Statilius; how long shall thy love
Exceed thy knowledge of me, and the Gods,
Whose rights thou wrong'st for my right? have not I
Their powers to guard me, in a cause of theirs?
Their justice and integrity to guard me
In what I stand for? he that fears the Gods,
For guard of any goodness, all things fears,
Earth, seas, and air; heav'n; darkness; broad day-
Rumour, and silence, and his very shade:
And what an aspen soul has such a creature!
How dangerous to his soul is such a fear;
In whose cold fits, is all Heav'n's justice shaken
To his faint thoughts; and all the goodness there,
Due to all good men by the Gods' own vows;
Nay, by the firmness of their endless being;
All which shall fail as soon as any one
Good to a good man in them: for his goodness
Proceeds from them, and is a beam of theirs.
O never more, Statilius, may this fear
Taint thy bold bosom, for thyself or friend,
More than the Gods are fearful to defend.
His thoughts of Death.
Poor slaves, how terrible this Death is to them!-
If men would sleep, they would be wrath with all
That interrupt them; physic take, to take
The golden rest it brings; both pay and pray
For good and soundest naps: all friends consenting
In those kind invocations; praying all
"Good rest the Gods vouchsafe you." But when
Sleep's natural brother, comes, that's nothing worse
But better, (being more rich-and keeps the store--
Sleep ever fickle, wayward still, and poor),——
O how men grudge, and shake, and fear, and fly
His stern approaches! all their comforts, taken
In faith, and knowledge of the bliss and beauties
That watch their wakings in an endless life,
Drown'd in the pains and horrors of their sense
Sustain'd but for an hour.
His Discourse with ATHENODORUS on an After Life.
Cato. As Nature works in all things to an end,
So, in the appropriate honour of that end,
All things precedent have their natural frame;
And therefore is there a proportion
Betwixt the ends of those things and their primes :
For else there could not be in their creation
Always, or for the most part, that firm form
In their still like existence, that we see
In each full creature. What proportion then
Hath an immortal with a mortal substance?
And therefore the mortality to which
A man is subject, rather is a sleep
Than bestial death; since sleep and death are called 20 The twins of nature. For, if absolute death
And bestial, seize the body of a man,
Then is there no proportion in his parts,
(His soul being free from death), which otherwise
Retain divine proportion. For, as sleep
No disproportion holds with human souls,
But aptly quickens the proportion
Twixt them and bodies, making bodies fitter
To give up forms to souls, which is their end:
So death, twin-born of sleep, resolving all
Man's body's heavy parts, in lighter nature
Makes a re-union with the spritely soul;
When in a second life their beings given,
Hold their proportions firm in highest heaven.
Athenodorus. Hold you our bodies shall revive ;
Our souls again to heaven?
Cato. Past doubt; though others
Think heav'n a world too high for our low reaches. Not knowing the sacred sense of him that sings, "Jove can let down a golden chain from heaven, 40
Which, tied to earth, shall fetch up earth and seas"-
And what's that golden chain but our pure souls,
That, govern'd with His grace, and drawn by Him,
Can hoist the earthy body up to him?-
The sea, the air, and all the elements,
Compressed in it; not while 'tis thus concrete,
But 'fined by death, and then giv'n heav'nly heat.—
We shall, past death,
Retain those forms of knowledge, learn'd in life:
Since, if what here we learn, we there shall lose, 10
Our immortality were not life, but time:
And that our souls in reason are immortal,
Their natural and proper objects prove,
Which Immortality and Knowledge are:
For to that object ever is referr'd
The nature of the soul, in which the acts
Of her high faculties are still employ'd.
And that true object must her powers obtain,
To which they are in nature's aim directed;
Since 'twere absurd to have her set an object
Which possibly she never can aspire.
His last words.
-now I am safe;
Come, Cæsar, quickly now, or lose your vassal.
Now wing thee, dear Soul, and receive her heaven.
The earth, the air, and seas I know, and all
The joys and horrors of their peace and wars;
And now will see the Gods' state, and the stars.
Greatness in Adversity.
Vulcan from heav'n fell, yet on 's feet did light,
And stood no less a God than at his height.
BY THE SAME.
-he is a man
Of matchless valour, and was ever happy
In all encounters, which were still made good
With an unwearied sense of any toil,
Having continued fourteen days together
Upon his horse; his blood is not voluptuous,
Nor much inclined to women; his desires
Are higher than his state; and his deserts
Not much short of the most he can desire,
If they be weigh'd with what France feels by them.
He is past measure glorious: and that humour
Is fit to feed his spirits, whom it possesseth
With faith in any error; chiefly where
Men blow it up with praise of his perfections:
The taste whereof in him so soothes his palate,
And takes up all his appetite, that oft times
He will refuse his meat, and company,
To feast alone with their most strong conceit.
Ambition also cheek by cheek doth march
With that excess of glory, both sustain'd
With an unlimited fancy, that the king,
Nor France itself, without him can subsist.
Men's Glories eclipsed when they turn Traitors.
As when the moon hath comforted the night,
And set the world in silver of her light,
The planets, asterisms, and whole State of Heaven,
In beams of gold descending: all the winds
Bound up in caves, charg'd not to drive abroad
Their cloudy heads: an universal peace
(Proclaim'd in silence) of the quiet earth:
Soon as her hot and dry fumes are let loose,
Storms and clouds mixing suddenly put out
The eyes of all those glories; the creation
Turn'd into Chaos; and we then desire,
For all our joy of life, the death of sleep.
So when the glories of our lives (men's loves,
Clear consciences, our fames and loyalties),
That did us worthy comfort, are eclips'd,
Grief and disgrace invade us; and for all
Our night of life besides, our misery craves
Dark earth would ope and hide us in our graves.
Opinion of the Scale of Good or Bad.
-there is no truth of any good
To be discern'd on earth; and, by conversion,
Nought therefore simply bad; but as the stuff