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Rosalind. With a thief to the gallows: for though he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.

Orlando. Who stays it still withal ?

Rosalind. With lawyers in the vacation : for they sleep between term and term, and then they perceive not how time moves.

sls you like it. Act iii. Scene 2.

VALUE OF TIME.

K. Richard. Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.

Gaunt. But not a minute, king, that thou canst give;
Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow :*
Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage.

King Richard II. Act i. scene 3.

Hotspur.

The time of life is short;
To spend that shortness basely, were too long,
If life did ride upon a dial's point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour.

1st part King Henry IV. Act v. Scene 2.

ILL NEWS TRAVELS FAST.

K. Edward IV. Is Clarence dead ?- The order was re

vers'd!
Gloster. But he, poor man, by your first order died,
And that a winged Mercury did bear;
Some tardy cripple bore the countermand,
That came too lag to see him buried.

King Richard III. Act ii. Scene 1.

# Dr. Johnson observes, with reference to this passage, that “it is matter of very melancholy consideration, that all human advantages confer more power of doing evil than good."

Romeo.

.

Sad hours seem long.

Romeo and Juliet. Act i. Scene 1.

lago. Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.

Othello. Act ii, Scene 3.

a

The time of clocks and watches is but an arbitrary measurement. We have seen what Rosalind and Orlando say, of its varying with different people according to their occupations. The sum of the world's observations on time may be thus briefly described :

1:- on reviewing the past, it appears long, if many events have been crowded into it, and short if the memory can supply but a few. It is precisely the reverse with the present—then the more numerous and interesting the occupations, the shorter the time appears. And with regard to the future; if anticipated events are agreeable, the intermediate time appears slow; if disagreeable, the time seems only too rapid. The following observations of Confucius, the Chinese sage, on the course of time, is so curiously in harmony with Shakspere's views, that my readers will excuse my introducing it here. I have rendered it into English without, I believe, departing much from the author, if Schiller's German ver. sion be faithful to the original.

A SAYING OF CONFUCIUS ON TIME.

“ A threefold aspect has the course of Time.

The Future loiteringly wends its way ;
Swift as the winged arrow from the bow,
The Present glances by, leaving the Past
Motionless-irrecoverably lost.
Impatient eagerness will nought avail

To wing its heavy flight, on its approach :
Irresolution, to its sore dismay,
Will find it come and go, heedless alike
Of fears and of procrastinating doubts,
Careering on in dread rapidity ;
While sad remorse may seek the mightiest spell
In vain to aid it in recovering
One instant of immoveable past time.
Wouldst thou, then, wisely choose that path of life
Which terminates in happiness and peace,
Serenely wait and ponder on the Future-
The present pass in innocence and virtue-
Thus thou wilt make of it a valued friend,
And no sad thoughts will cause the Past to bear
The semblance of a mortal enemy.

a

A most extraordinary illustration of the notorious worthlessness of human judgment, in measuring the duration of time, occurs in the celebrated trial of Richard Patch for the murder of his master, which took place near the close of the last century. The deceased was a respectable tradesman, near London, and the prisoner Patch his confidential clerk and intended partner; and the facts of the case were shortly these. The prisoner had been spending the evening in friendly chat with the deceased, and at his house. The parlour in which they sat (drinking grog) opened into the same passage as the door of the kitchen, and nearly opposite to the latter. The prisoner had occasion to leave the parlour, crossed the passage, leaving the parlvur door open and deceased sitting rather drowsy in his chair,-went into the kitchen, where he got a candle from the deceased's maid-servant; and on the testimony of the latter it was that the case principally depended. She swore that Patch, on leaving the kitchen, walked straight along the passage to the front door of the house, that she heard him open it and go out, that she heard his steps as he walked along past the front of the house, and through a court yard beyond,—that she heard him enter an outhouse at the end of the court, and slam the door after him, and instantly after, (mark the instantly) a pistol went off, close by her, between the kitchen and the parlour, and her master staggered in, shot by some one who had taken his aim from the passage, and through the open parlour door! The counsel, in defence of the prisoner, stated that the distance between the outhouse and the parlour door had been measured, and was found to be about seventy feet, (I speak from memory) with some turnings on the way. Now, he argued, (and fairly) that no human being could possibly run, or even fly, seventy feet, and take a deliberate aim with a pistol instantly, that the maid-servant's testimony was honest, and if she was to be believed, the prisoner must be acquitted. Whereupon the counsel for the crown replied, that without casting a doubt on the witness's truth, the evidence was not worth the jury's attention ; for it was notorious that people's judgment as to the duration of time is so dependent on how they happen to be occupied, and so liable to be warped by agitation and other causes, that it is next to worthless in most cases, and particularly so in such an important one as was then before them. The judge took the same view in his charge to the jury, who followed his lordship’s direction, paid no attention to that all important word “ instantly,and found the prisoner guilty! The propriety of their verdict was confirmed by other evidence, and the prisoner hung.

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TREASURES.

LOST AND PRESENT.

Friar.

For so it falls out, That what we have we prize not to the worth, Whiles we enjoy it; but being lack'd and lost, Why, then we rack the value ; then we find The virtue, that possession would not show us Whiles it was ours.

Much ado about Nothing. Act iv. Scene l.

King.

Our rash faults
Make trivial price of serious things we have,
Not knowing them until we know their grave;
Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
Destroy our friends, and after weep their dust.

Al's well that ends well. Act v. Scene 3.

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Gaunt.

The tongues of dying men Enforce attention, like deep harmony: Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain ; For they breathe truth, that breathe their words in pain. Ile that no more must say is listen’d more Than they whom youth and ease have taught to gloze; More are men's ends mark'd than their lives before: The setting sun, and music at the close,

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