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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Joseph Addison 1672-1719 John Bartlett

    The dawn is overcast, the morning lowers,
And heavily in clouds brings on the day,
The great, the important day, big with the fate
Of Cato and of Rome.
          Cato. Act i. Sc. 1.
    Thy steady temper, Portius,
Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud, and Cæsar,
In the calm lights of mild philosophy.
          Cato. Act i. Sc. 1.
    ’T is not in mortals to command success,
But we ’ll do more, Sempronius,—we ’ll deserve it.
          Cato. Act i. Sc. 2.
    Blesses his stars and thinks it luxury.
          Cato. Act i. Sc. 4.
    ’T ’s pride, rank pride, and haughtiness of soul;
I think the Romans call it stoicism.
          Cato. Act i. Sc. 4.
    Were you with these, my prince, you ’d soon forget
The pale, unripened beauties of the north.
          Cato. Act i. Sc. 4.
    Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover,
Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense.
The virtuous Marcia towers above her sex.
          Cato. Act i. Sc. 4.
    My voice is still for war.
Gods! can a Roman senate long debate
Which of the two to choose, slavery or death?
          Cato. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    Great Pompey’s shade complains that we are slow,
And Scipio’s ghost walks unaveng’d amongst us!
          Cato. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty
Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.
          Cato. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    The woman that deliberates is lost.
          Cato. Act iv. Sc. 1.
    Curse all his virtues! they ’ve undone his country.
          Cato. Act iv. Sc. 4.
    What a pity is it
That we can die but once to save our country!
          Cato. Act iv. Sc. 4.
    When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
The post of honour is a private station. 1
          Cato. Act iv. Sc. 4.
    It must be so,—Plato, thou reasonest well!
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?
Or whence this secret dread and inward horror
Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
’T is the divinity that stirs within us;
’T is Heaven itself that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.
Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
          Cato. Act v. Sc. 1.
    I ’m weary of conjectures,—this must end ’em.
Thus am I doubly armed: my death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me:
This in a moment brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secured in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, 2
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds.
          Cato. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Sweet are the slumbers of the virtuous man.
          Cato. Act v. Sc. 4.
    From hence, let fierce contending nations know
What dire effects from civil discord flow.
          Cato. Act v. Sc. 4.
    For wheresoe’er I turn my ravish’d eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise,
Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground. 3
          A Letter from Italy.
    Unbounded courage and compassion join’d,
Tempering each other in the victor’s mind,
Alternately proclaim him good and great,
And make the hero and the man complete.
          The Campaign. Line 219.
    And, pleased the Almighty’s orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm. 4
          The Campaign. Line 291.
    And those that paint them truest praise them most. 5
          The Campaign. Last line.
    The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
    Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth;
While all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
    For ever singing as they shine,
The hand that made us is divine.
    Should the whole frame of Nature round him break,
In ruin and confusion hurled,
He, unconcerned, would hear the mighty crack,
And stand secure amidst a falling world.
          Horace. Ode iii. Book iii.
    In all thy humours, whether grave or mellow,
Thou ’rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow,
Hast so much wit and mirth and spleen about thee,
There is no living with thee, nor without thee. 6
          Spectator. No. 68.
    Much may be said on both sides. 7
          Spectator. No. 122.
    The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd’s care;
His presence shall my wants supply,
And guard me with a watchful eye.
          Spectator. No. 444.
    Round-heads and wooden-shoes are standing jokes.
          Prologue to The Drummer.
Note 1.
Give me, kind Heaven, a private station,
A mind serene for contemplation!
Title and profit I resign;
The pot of honour shall be mine.
John Gay: Fables, Part ii. The Vulture, the Sparrow, and other Birds. [back]
Note 2.
Smiling always with a never fading serenity of countenance, and flourishing in an immortal youth.—Isaac Barrow (1630–1677): Duty of Thanksgiving, Works, vol. i. p. 66. [back]
Note 3.
Malone states that this was the first time the phrase “classic ground,” since so common, was ever used. [back]
Note 4.
This line is frequently ascribed to Pope, as it is found in the “Dunciad,” book iii. line 264. [back]
Note 5.
He best can paint them who shall feel them most.—Alexander Pope: Eloisa to Abelard, last line. [back]
Note 6.
A translation of Martial, xii. 47, who imitated Ovid, Amores iii. 11, 39. [back]
Note 7.
Much may be said on both sides.—Henry Fielding: The Covent Garden Tragedy, act i. sc. 8. [back]