Excerpt from The Poems of Dryden, Vol. 3
For this reafon, my lord, though you have courage in an heroical degree, yet I afcribe it to you, but as your fecond attribute: mercy, beneficenco, and com paiiion, claim precedence, as they are firfi: in the divine nature. An intrepid courage, which is inherent in your grace, is at hell but a holiday kind of virtue, to he feldom exercifed, and never but in cafes of necefiity afi'ahility, mildnefs, tendemefs, and a word, which I would fain bring back to its orignal fignification ol virtue, I mean Good-nature, are of daily ufe they are the bread of mankind, and Raff of life neither figbs, nor tears, nor groans, nor curfes of the vanquifhed, follow of compaﬂion, and of charity but a fin cere pleafure and ferenity of mind, in him who per forms an action of mercy, which cannot fuﬂ'er the mis fortunes of another, without redrefs; left they lhould bring a kind of contagion along with them, and pollute the happinefs which he enjoys.
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