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And, by Jove, we meet with some persons who affirm that the death of every one is not to be lamented, but only of those who die untimely; for they have not tasted of those things which we call enjoyments in the world, as a nuptial bed, proficiency in learning, the coming up to an height in any thing, the honor of magistracy and charges in the government. It is for the sake of these things that we condole with those who lose friends by untimely death, because they were frustrated of their hopes; but in the meanwhile we are ignorant that a sudden death doth not at all differ from any other, considering the condition of human nature. For as when a journey is enjoined into a remote country, and there is a necessity for every one to undertake it, and none hath liberty to refuse, though some go before and others follow, yet all must arrive at the same stage at last; so when we all lie under an obligation of discharging the same debt, it is not material whether we pay sooner or later. But if any one's death may be called untimely, and consequently an evil, that appellation suits only with that of children and infants, and especially of those who are newly born. But this we bear steadfastly and with patience; but when those that are grown up die, we take on heavily, because we fondly hoped that when their years were full blown they would then have an uninterrupted [p. 323] state of health. Now if the age of man were limited to the space of twenty years, we should not think that he who had arrived to fifteen died an untimely death, but that he had filled up a just measure of living; but one that had attained twenty, or at least had approached very near it, we should applaud for his good fortune, as if he had enjoyed the most happy and perfect life in the world. So if life were prolonged to two hundred years as its fixed period, and any one died at a hundred, we should howl over him as if he had been hastily cut off.

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load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1928)
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