Joseph Hall

British bishop and writer (1574-1656)
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Joseph Hall (July 1, 1574September 8, 1656) was an English bishop and satirist.


  • A legal thief, a bloodless murderer,
    A fiend incarnate, a false usurer.
    • Virgidemarium (1598) IV.
  • So little in his purse, so much upon his back.
    • Portrait of a Poor Gallant.
  • 'Mongst all these stirs of discontented strife,
    O, let me lead an academic life;
    To know much, and to think for nothing, know
    Nothing to have, yet think we have enow.
    • Discontent of Men with Their Condition.
  • Death borders upon our birth, and our cradle stands in the grave.
    • Epistles, Decade III, epistle 2. Compare: "And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb./Our birth is nothing but our death begun", Edward Young, Night Thoughts, night v., line 718.
  • There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl laid up in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen, nor never shall be.
    • Contemplations, Book VI, "The Veil of Moses". Compare: "Full many a gem of purest ray serene / The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear", Thomas Gray, Elegy, stanza 14.
  • Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl chain of all virtues.
    • Christian Moderation, introduction.
  • Perfection is the child of time…
    • Quo vadis? A just Censure of Travel (1617).
  • He is wealthy enough, that wanteth not: he is great enough, that is his own master: he is happy enough, that lives to die well.
    • Three Centuries of Meditations and Vowes century III, LIX.
  • How easy it is for men to be swollen with admiration of their own strength and glory, and to be lifted up so high as to lose sight both of the ground whence they rose, and the hand that advanced them.
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 532.
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