Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury

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He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself, for every man hath need to be forgiven.

Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury (March 3 1583August 20 1648) was a British soldier, diplomat, historian, poet, autobiographer and metaphysician, sometimes called "the father of deism". The poet George Herbert was his brother.

Sourced[edit]

Verse quotations are cited from John Churton Collins (ed.) The Poems of Lord Herbert of Cherbury (London: Chatto and Windus, 1881).

  • Now that the April of your youth adorns
    The garden of your face.
    • "Ditty in Imitation of the Spanish Entre tantoque el'Avril", line 1
  • Sleep, Nurse of our life, Care’s best reposer,
    Nature's high'st rapture, and the vision giver.
    • "To his Mistress for her True Picture", line 11
  • Our life is but a dark and stormy night,
    To which sense yields a weak and glimmering light,
    While wandering Man thinks he discerneth all
    By that which makes him but mistake and fall.
    • "To his Mistress for her True Picture", line 49
  • Let then no doubt, Celinda, touch,
    Much less your fairest mind invade:
    Were not our souls immortal made
    Our equal loves can make them such.
    • "An Ode Upon a Question Moved Whether Love Should Continue for Ever", line 121

The Autobiography[edit]

Quotations are cited from Sidney Lee (ed.) The Autobiography of Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, revised edition (London: Routledge, 1906).

  • I must no less commend the study of anatomy, which whosoever considers, I believe will never be an atheist; the frame of man's body and coherence of his parts, being so strange and paradoxal, that I hold it to be the greatest miracle of nature.
    • P. 31
  • He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself, for every man hath need to be forgiven.
    • P. 34
  • There [is] no little vigour and force added to words, when they are delivered in a neat and fine way, and somewhat out of the ordinary road, common and dull language relishing more of the clown than the gentleman. But herein also affectation must be avoided; it being better for a man by a native and clear eloquence to express himself, than by those words which may smell either of the lamp or inkhorn.
    • Pp. 35-6
  • A good rider on a good horse, is as much above himself and others, as this world can make him.
    • P. 39


Misattributed[edit]

  • Sum up at night what thou has done by day.
    • This line, in the more grammatical form, "Sum up at night what thou hast done by day", is from George Herbert's The Temple, The Church Porch, line 451.

External links[edit]