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

Page 768

John Townsend Trowbridge. (1827– ?) (continued)
    With years a richer life begins,
  The spirit mellows:
Ripe age gives tone to violins,
  Wine, and good fellows.
          Three Worlds.
    The all-enclosing freehold of Content.
          Guy Vernon.
Robert Barnabas Brough. (1828–1860)
    My Lord Tomnoddy is thirty-four;
The Earl can last but a few years more.
My Lord in the Peers will take his place:
Her Majesty’s councils his words will grace.
Office he’ll hold and patronage sway;
Fortunes and lives he will vote away;
And what are his qualifications?—ONE!
He’s the Earl of Fitzdotterel’s eldest son.
          My Lord Tomnoddy.
George Walter Thornbury. (1828–1876)
          Man’s life is but a jest,
A dream, a shadow, bubble, air, a vapor at the best. 1 
          The Jester’s Sermon.
    The fool that eats till he is sick must fast till he is well.
          The Jester’s Sermon.
Note 1.
See Gay, page 350: Life is a jest and all things show it;
I thought so once, but now I know it.
  Life ’s but a series of trifles at best. Anonymous.
  Life is an empty dream. Robert Browning. Paracelsus, ii. [back]