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Joseph Hall

Perfection is the child of time.

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He is great enough that is his own master.

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Death borders upon our birth, and our cradle stands in the grave.

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Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl chain of all virtues.

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A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was.

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The Domestic Tudor's Position

A gentle squire would gladly entertain
Into his house some trencher chapelain;
Some willing man that might instruct his sons,
And that would stand to good conditions.
First, that he lie upon the truckle-bed
Whiles his young master lieth o'er his head.
Second that he do on no default
Ever presume to sit above the salt.
Third that he never change his trencher twice.
Fourth that he use all common courtesies:
Sit bare at meals and one half rise and wait.
Last, that he never his young master beat,
But he must ask his mother to define,
How many jerks she would his breech should line.
All these observed, he could contented be,
To give five marks and winter livery.

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On Simony

Saw'st thou ever Siquis patcht on Pauls Church door
To seek some vacant vicarage before?
Who wants a churchman that can service say,
Read fast and fair his monthly homily?
And wed and bury and make Christen-souls?
Come to the left-side alley of St. Paules.
Thou servile fool, why could'st thou not repair
To buy a benefice at Steeple-Fair?
There moughtest thou, for but a slendid price,
Advowson thee with some fat benefice:
Or if thee list not wait for dead mens shoon,
Nor pray each morn the incumbents days were doone:
A thousand patrons thither ready bring,
Their new-fall'n churches, to the chaffering;
Stake three years stipend: no man asketh more.
Go, take possession of the Church porch door,
And ring thy bells; luck stroken in thy fist
The parsonage is thine, or ere thou wist.
Saint Fool's of Gotam mought thy parish be
For this thy base and servile Simony.

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The Impecunious Fop

See'st thou how gaily my young master goes,
Vaunting himself upon his rising toes;
And pranks his hand upon his dagger's side;
And picks his glutted teeth since late noon-tide?
'Tis Ruffio: Trow'st thou where he dined to-day?
In sooth I saw him sit with Duke Humphrey.
Many good welcomes, and much gratis cheer,
Keeps he for every straggling cavalier;
An open house, haunted with great resort;
Long service mixt with musical disport.
Many fair younker with a feathered crest,
Chooses much rather be his shot-free guest,
To fare so freely with so little cost,
Than stake his twelvepence to a meaner host.
Hadst thou not told me, I should surely say
He touched no meat of all this livelong day;
For sure methought, yet that was but a guess,
His eyes seemed sunk for very hollowness,
But could he have--as I did it mistake--
So little in his purse, so much upon his back?

[...] Read more

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Virgidemarium (excerpt)

With some pot-fury, ravish'd from their wit,
They sit and muse on some no-vulgar writ:
As frozen dunghills in a winter's morn,
That void of vapours seemed all beforn,
Soon as the sun sends out his piercing beams,
Exhale out filthy smoke and stinking steams;
So doth the base, and the fore-barren brain,
Soon as the raging wine begins to reign.
One higher pitch'd doth set his soaring thought
On crowned kings, that fortune hath low brought;
Or some upreared, high-aspiring swain,
As it might be the Turkish Tamberlain:
Then weeneth he his base drink-drowned spright
Rapt to the three-fold loft of heaven height,
When he conceives upon his feigned stage
The stalking steps of his great personage,
Graced with huff-cap terms and thund'ring threats,
That his poor hearers' hair quite upright sets.
Such soon as some brave-minded hungry youth
Sees fitly frame to his wide-strained mouth,

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The Kings Prophecie

What Stoick could his steely brest containe
(If Zeno self, or who were made beside
Of tougher mold) from being torne in twaine
With the crosse Passions of this wondrous tide?
Grief at ELIZAES toomb, orecomne anone
With greater ioy at her succeeded throne?


Me seems the world at once doth weep & smile,
Washing his smiling cheeks with weeping dew,
Yet chearing still his watered cheeks the while
With merry wrinckles that do laughter shew;
Amongst the rest, I can but smile and weepe,
Nor can my passions in close prison keepe.


Yet now, when Griefe and Ioy at once conspire
To vexe my feeble minde with aduerse might,
Reason suggests not words to my desire,
Nor daines no Muse to helpe me to endite;

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