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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 reacht 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 come; 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
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 rampire,
Against the false society of men,

That still batters

All reason piece-meal; and, for earthly greatness

All heavenly comforts rarifies the air.

I'll therefore live in dark; and all my light,

Like ancient Temples, let in at my top.

That where to turn one's back to all the world,

And only look at heaven.

-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.


A Nuntius (or Messenger) in presence of King Henry the Third of France and his court tells the manner of a combat, to which he was witness, of three to three; in which D'Ambois remained sole survivor ; begun upon an affront passed upon D'Ambois by some courtiers.


Nuntius. I saw fierce D'Ambois and his two brave friends
Enter the field, and at their heels their foes,
Which were the famous soldiers, Barrisor,
L'Anou, and Pyrrhot, great in deeds of arms:
All which arriv'd at the evenest piece of earth
The field afforded, the three challengers

Turn'd head, drew all their rapiers, and stood rank'd;
When face to face the three defendants met them,

Alike prepar'd, and resolute alike.

Like bonfires of contributory wood

Every man's look show'd, fed with other's spirit;
As one had been a mirror to another,

Like forms of life and death each took from other ;
And so were life and death mix'd at their heights,
That you could see no fear of death (for life)
Nor love of life (for death): but in their brows
Pyrrho's opinion in great letters shone;
That "life and death in all respects are one."

Henry. Past there no sorts of words at their encounter!
Nuntius. As Hector twixt the hosts of Greece and Troy,

When Paris and the Spartan king should end

The nine years' war, held up his brazen lance

For signal that both hosts should cease from arms,
And hear him speak: so Barrisor (advis'd)
Advanced his naked rapier 'twixt both sides,
Ript up the quarrel, and compar'd six lives
Then laid in balance with six idle words;
Offer'd remission and contrition too:
Or else that he and D'Ambois might conclude
The others' danger. D'Ambois lik'd the last :
But Barrisor's friends (being equally engag'd

In the main quarrel), never would expose
His life alone to that they all deserv'd.
And (for the other offer of remission)
D'Ambois (that like a laurel put in fire

Sparkled and spit) did much much more than scorn
That his wrong should incense lim so like chaff
To go so soon out, and, like lighted paper,
Approve his spirit at once both fire and ashes;
So drew they lots, and in them fates appointed
That Barrisor should fight with fiery D'Ambois ;
Pyrrhot with Melynell; with Brisac L'Anou:
And then like flame and powder they commixt,
So sprightly, that I wish'd they had been Spirits ;
That the ne'er-shutting wounds, they needs must open,
Might as they open'd shut, and never kill.*
But D'Ambois' sword (that light'ned as it flew)
Shot like a pointed comet at the face
Of manly Barrisor; and there it stuck:

Thrice pluck'd he at it, and thrice drew on thrusts
From him, that of himself was free as fire;
Who thrust still, as he pluck'd, yet (past belief)
He with his subtil eye, hand, body, 'scap'd;
At last the deadly bitten point tugg'd off,
On fell his yet undaunted foe so fiercely
That (only made more horrid with his wound)

Great D'Ambois shrunk, and gave a little ground:
But soon return'd, redoubled in his danger,
And at the heart of Barrisor seal'd his anger.
Then, as in Arden I have seen an oak

Long shook with tempests, and his lofty top
Bent to his root, which being at length made loose
(Even groaning with his weight) he 'gan to nod
This way and that, as loth his curled brows
(Which he had oft wrapt in the sky with storms)
Should stoop; and yet, his radical fibres burst,

* One can hardly believe but that these lines were written after Miltor had described his warring angels.

Storm-like he fell, and hid the fear-cold earth:
So fell stout Barrisor, that had stood the shocks
Of ten set battles in your highness' war
'Gainst the sole soldier of the world Navarre.
Guise. O piteous and horrid murder!
Beaupre. Such a life

Methinks had metal in it to survive
An age of men.

Henry. Such often soonest end.

Thy felt report calls on; we long to know
On what events the others have arrived.

Nuntius. Sorrow and fury, like two opposite fumes Met in the upper region of a cloud,

At the report made by this worthy's fall,

Brake from the earth, and with them rose Revenge,
Ent'ring with fresh pow'rs his two noble friends:
And under that odds fell surcharg'd Brisac,
The friend of D'Ambois, before fierce L'Anou;
Which D'Ambois seeing as I once did see,
In my young travels through Armenia,
An angry unicorn in his full career
Charge with too swift a foot a Jeweller
That watcht him for the treasure of his brow;
And, ere he could get shelter of a tree,
Nail him with his rich antler to the earth;
So D'Ambois ran upon reveng'd L'Anou,
Who eyeing th' eager point borne in his face,
And. giving back, fell back, and in his fall
His foe's uncurb'd sword stopt in his heart:
By which time all the life-strings of th' two other
Were cut, and both fell (as their spirit flew)
Upwards and still hunt honor at the view.
And now, of all the six, sole D'Ambois stood
Untouch't, save only with the others' blood.
Henry. All slain outright but he?

Nuntius. All slain outright but he:
Who kneeling in the warm life of his friends
(All freckled with the blood his rapier rain'd)

He kist their pale lips, and bade both farewell.

False Greatness.

As cedars beaten with continual storms,
So great men flourish; and do imitate
Unskilful statuaries, who suppose,

In forming a Colossus, if they make him
Straddle enough, strut, and look big, and gape,
Their work is goodly: so men merely great,
In their affected gravity of voice,

Sowerness of countenance, manners' cruelty,
Authority, wealth, and all the spawn of fortune,
Think they bear all the kingdom's worth before them;
Yet differ not from those Colossick statues,
Which, with heroic forms without o'erspread,
Within are nought but mortar, flint, and lead.


as great seamen using all their wealth
And skills in Neptune's deep invisible paths,
In tall ships richly built and ribb'd with brass,
To put a girdle round about the world;

When they have done it, coming near the haven,
Are fain to give a warning piece, and call


poor staid fisherman that never past

His country's sight, to waft and guide them in:
So when we wander furthest through the waves
Of glassy Glory, and the gulfs of State,
Topt with all titles, spreading all our reaches,
As if each private arm would sphere the earth,
We must to Virtue for her guide resort,
Or we shall shipwreck in our safest port.

Nick of Time.

There is a deep nick in Time's restless wheel

For each man's good, when which nick comes, it strikes:

As Rhetorick yet works not persuasion,

But only is a mean to make it work :

So no man riseth by his real merit,

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