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Every man knows his own but not others? defects and miseries; and ?tis the nature of all men still to reflect upon themselves their own misfortunes, not to examine or consider other men?s, not to confer themselves with others; to recount their own miseries but not their good gifts, fortunes, benefits which they have, to ruminate on their adversity, but not once to think on their prosperity, not what they have but what they want.
Every man thinks with himself, I am well, I am wise, and laughs at others; and ?tis a general fault amongst them all, that which our forefathers approved?diet, apparel, humours, customs, manners?we deride and reject in our time as absurd.
It is a kind of policy in these days to prefix a fantastical title to a book which is to be sold; for as larks come down to a day-net, many vain readers will tarry and stand gazing, like silly passengers, at an antic picture in a painter?s shop that will not look at a judicious piece.
Petrarch observes, that we change language, habits, laws, customs, manners, but not vices, not diseases, not the symptoms of folly and madness?they are still the same. And as a river, we see, keeps the like name and place, but not water, and yet ever runs, our times and persons alter, vices are the same, and ever be. Look how nightingales sang of old, cocks crowed, kine lowed, sheep bleated, sparrows chirped, dogs barked, so they do still: we keep our madness still, play the fool still; we are of the same humours and inclinations as our predecessors were; you shall find us all alike, much as one, we and our sons, and so shall our posterity continue to the last.