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NATHANIEL LEE
English dramatist
(1653? - 1692)

All fear, but fear of heaven, betrays a guilt,
  And guilt is villainy.
      - [Guilt]

Am I to blame, if nature threw my body
  In so perverse a mould! yet when she cast
    Her envious hand upon my supple joints,
      Unable to resist, and rumpled them
        0n heaps in their dark lodging; to revenge
          Her bungled work, she stamped my mind more fair,
            And as from chaos, huddled and deform'd,
              The gods struck fire, and lighted up the lamps
                That beautify the sky; so she inform'd
                  This ill-shap'd body with a daring soul,
                    And, making less than man, she made me more.
      - [Deformity]

As well the noble savage of the field
  Might tamely couple with the fearful ewe;
    Tigers might engender with the timid deer;
      Wild, muddy boars defile the cleanly ermine,
        Or vultures sort with doves; as I with thee.
      - [Aversion]

By heavens, my love, thou dost distract my soul!
  There's not a tear that falls from those dear eyes,
    But makes my heart weep blood.
      - [Tears]

Groans and convulsions, and discolour'd faces,
  Friends weeping round us, blacks, and obsequies,
    Make death a dreadful thing; the pomp of death
      Is far mare terrible than death itself.
      - [Funerals]

I could perceive with joy, a silent show'r
  Run down his silver beard.
      - [Tears]

I found her on the floor
  In all the storm of grief; yet beautiful!
    Sighing such a breath of sorrow, that her lips,
      Which late appear'd like buds, were now o'er-blown!
        Pouring forth tears, at such a lavish rate,
          That were the world on fire, they might have drown'd
            The wrath of heaven, and quench'd the mighty ruin.
      - [Tears]

I weep, 'tis true; but Machiavel, I swear
  They're tears of vengeance; drops of liquid fire!
    So marble weeps, when flames surround the quarry,
      And the pil'd oaks spout forth such scalding bubbles,
        Before the general blaze.
      - [Tears]

If we must pray,
  Rear in the streets bright altars to the gods,
    Let virgin's hands adorn the sacrifice;
      And not a grey-beard forging priest come here,
        To pry into the bowels of their victim,
          And with their dotage mad the gaping world.
      - [Clergymen]

In taking leave,
  Thro' the dark lashes of her darting eyes,
    Methought she shot her soul at ev'ry glance,
      Still looking back, as if she had a mind
        That you should know she left her soul behind her.
      - [Parting]

Marriage to maids is like a war to men;
  The battle causes fear, but the sweet hopes
    Of winning at the last, still draws 'em in.
      - [Matrimony]

Nature herself started back when thou wert born,
  And cried, "the work's not mine."
    The midwife stood aghast; and when she saw
      Thy mountain back and thy distorted legs,
        Thy face itself,
          Half-minted with the royal stamp of man,
            And half o'ercome with beast, she doubted long
              Whose right in thee were more;
                And know not if to burn thee in the flames
                  Were not the holier work.
      - [Deformity]

Oh! I will curse thee till thy frighted soul
  Runs mad with horror.
      - [Curses]

Then he will talk--good gods, how he will talk!
      - Alexander the Great (act I, sc. 1) [Talk]

'Tis beauty calls, and glory shows the way.
      - Alexander the Great; or The Rival Queens
         (act IV, sc. 2) [Beauty]

When the sun sets, shadows, that showed at noon
  But small, appear most long and terrible.
      - Oedipus,
        said to be written by Lee and Dryden
        [Sun]

Vows with so much passion, sears with so much grace,
  That 'tis a kind of Heaven to be deluded by him.
      - Rival Queens (act I, sc. 1) [Vows]

While foulest fiends shun thy society.
      - Rival Queens (V, I, 86) [Suicide]

When Greeks joined Greeks, then was the tug of war,
  The labored battle sweat, and conquest bled
    . . . . .
      Philip fought men, but Alexander women.
      - The Rival Queens; or, Alexander the Great
         (act IV, sc. 2) [Battle : War]

The stars, heav'n sentry, wink and seem to die.
      - Theodosius [Stars]

As man; false man, smiling destructive man.
      - Theodosius (act III, sc. 2, l. 50) [Man]


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