Of Revenge (1907)

Red capitals are in sequences by Clark Sutherland Northup

Pink  capitals are copied from the short sequence of sentence initials

Blue capitals are copied from the long sequence of sentence initials


page 15



  1.     Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more
  2. man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it
  3. out.    For as for the first wrong, it doth but offend the
  4. law; but the revenge of that wrong putteth the law
  5. out of office.   Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is
  6. but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he
  7. is superior; for it is a prince’s part to pardon.    And
  8. Solomon, I am sure, saith, It is the glory of a man to 
  9. pass by an offence.   That which is past is gone, and
  10. irrevocable; and wise men have enough to do with
  11. things present and to come; therefore they do but trifle
  12. with themselves, that labor in past matters.   There
  13. is no man doth a wrong for the wrong’s sake; but
  14. thereby to purchase himself profit, or pleasure, or
  15. honor, or the like.   Therefore why should I be angry
  16. with a man for loving himself better than me.   And if
  17. any man should do wrong merely out of ill-nature, why,
  18. yet it is but like the thorn or briar, which prick and
  19. scratch, because they can do no other.   The most tol-
  20. erable sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there
  21. is no law to remedy;  but then let a man take heed the
  22. revenge be such as there is no law to punish; else a
  23. man’s enemy is still before hand, and it is two for one.           end of page 15
  24. Some, when they take revenge, are desirous the party            page 16
  25. should know whence it cometh.   This is the more gen-
  26. erous.   For the delight seemeth to be not so much in
  27. doing the hurt as in making the party repent.   But
  28. base and crafty cowards are like the arrow that flieth
  29. in the dark.   Cosmus, duke of Florence, had a des-
  30. perate saying against perfidious or neglecting friends,
  31. as if those wrongs were unpardonable; You shall read 
  32. (saith he) that we are commanded to forgive our ene- 
  33. mies; but you never read that we are commanded to for- 
  34. give our friends.   But yet the spirit of Job was in a
  35. better tune: Shall we (saith he) take good at God’s 
  36. hands, and not be content to take evil also?   And so of
  37. friends in a proportion.   This is certain, that a man
  38. that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green,
  39. which otherwise would heal and do well.   Public re-
  40. venges are for the most part fortunate; as that for the
  41. death of Caesar; for the death of Pertinax; for the
  42. death of Henry the Third of France; and many
  43. more.   But in private revenges it is not so.   Nay
  44. rather, vindictive persons live the life of witches; who,
  45. as they are mischievous, so end they infortunate.