Thursday, May 05, 2011
Absalom and Achitophel
In pious times, ere priestcraft did begin...35-36:
What faults he had, — for who from faults is free?55-56:
His father could not, or he would not see.
They led their wild desires to woods and caves,94-95:
And thought that all but savages were slaves.
Impoverished and deprived of all command,114-115:
Their taxes doubled as they lost their land.
Some truth there was, but dashed and brewed with lies,163-164:
To please the fools, and puzzle all the wise.
Great wits are sure to madness near allied,198-199:
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.
But wild ambition loves to slide, not stand,504:
And fortune's ice prefers to virtue's land.
Pretending public good, to serve their own.532:
Nothing to build, and all things to destroy.533-534:
But far more numerous was the herd of such,545-548:
Who think too little, and who talk too much.
A man so various, that he seemed to be555-558:
Not one, but all mankind's epitome;
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
Was everything by starts, and nothing long.
Railing and praising were his usual themes;588:
And both, to show his judgment, in extremes;
So over violent, or over civil,
That every man with him was God or devil.
And never broke the Sabbath but for gain.589-590:
Nor ever was he known an oath to vent,781-782:
Or curse, unless against the government.
Nor is the people's judgment always true:968:
The most may err as grossly as the few.
Never was patriot yet, but was a fool.