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Yes, we may say, but an untimely death from many doth extort groans and passionate complaints. But the way to dry up these sorrows is so expedite and easy, that every vulgar poet hath prescribed it. Consider what consolation a comedian puts in the mouth of one who comforts another upon so sad an occasion:—
If this with certainty thou could'st have known,
That Fortune always would have kindness shown,
That nothing but what's good would him befall,
His death thou justly might'st untimely call.
But if calamities were imminent,
And Death the fatal mischief did prevent,
To give to things the character that's due,
Death was the most obliging of the two.

It therefore being uncertain whether it was for his advantage that he departed this life and was freed from all the miseries that attend it, we had thereby lost all that we fancied we could enjoy in him whilst he was living. And Amphiaraus in the poet doth not do amiss when he consoles the mother of Archemorus, who was even sick with grief for the untimely death of her infant son. He speaks.:—

There is no man whom sorrow doth not seize;
Our children die while others we beget.
At last we die ourselves, and mortals grieve
As they give dust to dust; but human life
Must needs be reaped like a full crop of corn.
One man must live, another die: why weep
For this, which by necessity must be?
There is no hardship in necessity.1

1 From the Hypsipyle of Euripides.

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load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1928)
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