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SAFER to reconcile a foe, than make

A conquest of him, for the conquest's sake;
This tames the power of doing present ill,
But that disarms him of the very will.



WHAT stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted?
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just;
And he but naked, though locked up in steel,
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.


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From the Latin of Martial.

"TO-MORROW I will live," the fool doth say-
To-day itself's too late; the wise lived yesterday.


To hide true worth from public view,
Is burying diamonds in their mine;
All is not gold that shines, 'tis true;
But all that is gold-ought to shine!




THERE is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.



WHAT is grandeur, what is power?
Heavier toil, superior pain.
What the bright reward we gain?
The grateful memory of the good.

Sweet is the breath of vernal shower,

The bee's collected treasures sweet,

Sweet Music's melting fall; but sweeter yet
The still small voice of Gratitude.




WHO read a chapter when they rise,
Shall ne'er be troubled with ill eyes.

Who shuts his hand hath lost his gold;
Who opens it hath it twice told.
Who goes to bed and doth not pray,
Maketh two nights to every day.
Who by aspersions throw a stone
At the head of others, hit their own.



KNOWLEDGE descries alone;

Wisdom applies;

That makes some fools, this maketh none but wise.
In my afflictions, Knowledge apprehends
Who is the author, what the cause, and ends:
It finds that Patience is my sad relief,

And that the hand that caused can cure my grief.
To rest contented here is but to bring
Clouds without rain, and heat without a spring;
But sacred Wisdom doth apply that good
Which simple Knowledge barely understood.
Wisdom concludes, and in conclusion proves,
That wheresoever God corrects, he loves.



LIKE to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are;
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew;
Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
Or bubbles which on water stood:
Even such is man, whose borrowed light
Is straight called in, and paid to-night.
The wind blows out, the bubble dies;
The spring entombed in autumn lies;
The dew dries up, the star is shot;
The flight is past-and man forgot!

H. King.


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PRINCIPAL EVENTS OF HIS LIFE.-Geoffrey Chaucer-the Father of English Poetry-was born in the year 1328, and died in 1400; so that his era comprehends the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II. It was the age of Gower and Wycliffe in England, of Dante (who died in 1321), Boccacio, and Petrarch in Italy, and of Froissart in France; but amongst these eminent names, that of Chaucer shines with no feeble lustre. He was

"Our morning-star of song, that led the way

To welcome the long-after coming beam

Of Spenser's light, and Shakspere's perfect day."

Chaucer was born in London, and learnedly educated at either Oxford or Cambridge, it is uncertain which, for both claim him; he may perhaps have passed from the one to the other. When rather more than thirty years of age, he appears in public life as a soldier, and moreover as a prisoner, during the invasion of France by Edward III. When he was liberated is not known; but we soon after find him honoured with the patronage and friendship of John of Gaunt, with whom he became subsequently more closely connected, by the marriage of his wife's sister with that prince. In 1372 he visited Italy, as an envoy of the government; and during this journey he is thought to have formed an acquaintance

with Petrarch at Padua. He resided many years at Woodstock,1 in a house granted him by the king; and here, when more than sixty years of age, he wrote his principal work-"The Canterbury Tales." His attachment-in common with John of Gaunt-to the religious tenets of Wycliffe (which however he in after life abjured), involved him in the political factions of the age, and on one occasion he was for some time obliged to conceal himself on the continent from the pursuit of the court party. It is doubtful whether he viewed this religious question in any other than a political light, though old John Foxe, the martyrologist, says, that he "no doubt, saw in religion as much almost as even we doe now, and uttereth in his workes no lesse, and seemeth to be a right Wiclevian, or els was never any." Chaucer died on the 25th of October, 1400, and was buried in that part of Westminster Abbey which is now known as "Poets' Corner."

PRINCIPAL WORKS.-The chief works of Chaucer are the "Romaunt of the Rose," "Troilus and Creseide," "The House of Fame,' "The Flower and the Leaf," and the "Canterbury Tales." This last work consists of tales told in turn by a number of pilgrims to the shrine of Thomas-à-Becket, according to an agreement entered into at the suggestion of the host of the Tabard Inn (now the Talbot), in Southwark, at whose "hostelrie" they had all assembled previous to setting out. The introductory part of the poem is called the Prologue. It furnishes us with graphic and discriminative sketches of the twenty-nine individuals who formed the party. The tales then follow.

CHARACTERISTIC SPIRIT AND STYLE.-"In elevation and elegance, in harmony and perspicuity of versification, he surpasses his predecessors in an infinite proportion: his genius was universal, and adapted to themes of unbounded variety: his merit was not less in painting familiar manners with humour and propriety, than in moving the passions, and in representing the beautiful or the grand objects of nature with grace and sublimity. In a word, he appeared with all the lustre and dignity of a true poet, in an age which compelled him to struggle with a barbarous language, and a natural want of taste, and when to write verses at all was regarded as a singular qualification."2

"What an intimate scene of English life in the fourteenth century do we enjoy in those tales, beyond what history displays, by glimpses, through the stormy atmosphere of her scenes, or the antiquary can discover by the cold light of his researches! Our

(1) See Akenside's "Inscription for a Statue to Chancer," p. 130, of this volume. (2) Warton. History of English Poetry," § xviii, last Ed.

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