England in 1685: Being Chapter III of the History of England

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Página 135 - There is scarcely a page of the history or lighter literature of the seventeenth century which does not contain some proof that our ancestors were less humane than their posterity. The discipline of workshops, of schools, of private families, though not more efficient than at present, was infinitely harsher.
Página 149 - Of these the false Achitophel was first, A name to all succeeding ages curst : For close designs and crooked counsels fit, Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit, Restless, unfixed in principles and place, In power unpleased, impatient of disgrace ; A fiery soul, which working out its way, Fretted the pigmy body to decay And o'er-informed the tenement of clay.
Página 150 - With public zeal to cancel private crimes. How safe is treason, and how sacred ill, Where none can sin against the people's will!
Página 138 - ... when men died faster in the purest country air than they now die in the most pestilential lanes of our towns, and when men died faster in the lanes of our towns than they now die on the coast of Guiana.
Página 147 - A man so various that he seemed to be Not one, but all mankind's epitome : Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong, Was everything by starts and nothing long ; But in the course of one revolving moon Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon ; Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking, Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking.
Página 147 - Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking, Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking. Blest madman, who could every hour employ, With something new to wish, or to enjoy ! Railing and praising were his usual themes, And both, to show his judgment, in extremes : So over-violent, or over-civil, That every man with him was God or Devil. In squandering wealth was his peculiar art ; Nothing went unrewarded but desert. Beggared by fools, whom still he found too late ; He had his jest, and...
Página 13 - The country rings around with loud alarms, And raw in fields the rude militia swarms; Mouths without hands; maintained at vast expense, In peace a charge, in war a weak defence ; Stout once a month they march, a blustering band, And ever, but in times of need, at hand...
Página 39 - It was very seldom that the country gentleman caught glimpses of the great world ; and what he saw of it tended rather to confuse than to enlighten his understanding. His opinions respecting religion, government, foreign countries and former times, having been derived not from study, from observation, or from conversation with enlightened companions, but from such traditions as were current in his own small circle, were the opinions of a child.
Página 138 - ... that the peasant of Dorsetshire may think himself miserably paid with twenty shillings a week; that the carpenter at Greenwich may receive ten shillings a day; that labouring men may be as little used to dine without meat as they now are to eat rye bread; that sanitary police and medical discoveries may have added several more years to the average length of human life; that numerous comforts and luxuries which are now unknown, or confined to a few, may be within the reach of every diligent and...
Página 46 - He was permitted to dine, with the family; but he was expected to content himself with the plainest fare. He might fill himself with the corned beef and the carrots : but, as soon as the tarts and cheesecakes made their appearance, he quitted his seat, and stood aloof till he was summoned to return thanks for the repast, from a great part of which he had been excluded...

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