Beauties of English Index

Some Pieces of Wonderful Prose : Death

It is therefore Death alone that can suddenly make man to know himself. He tells the proud and insolent that they are but Abjects and humble them at the instant and makes them cry, complain and repent, yea, even to hate their fore passed happiness. He takes the account of the rich and proves him a beggar : a naked beggar which hath interest in nothing but in the gravel that fills his mouth. He holds a glass before the eyes of the most beautiful and makes them see therein their deformity and rottenness. And they acknowledge it.

O! Eloquent, just and mighty Death, whom none could advise, thou host pervaded. What none bath dared thou hast done. And whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised. Thou hast down together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty and ambition of man and covered it all over with these two narrow words,

Hic Jacet.

By Sir Walter Raleigh : A History of the World

Beauties of English Index

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