Wherefore? Through lack of arms to fight the foe: We had no arms or merely lawful ones, An unimportant sword and blunderbuss, Against a foe, pollent in potency, The amasius, and our vixen of a wife. Well then, how culpably do we gird loin And once more undertake the high emprise, Unless we load ourselves this second time With handsome superfluity of arms, Since better is “too much” than “not enough,” And “plus non vitiat,” too much does no harm, Except in mathematics, sages say. Gather instruction from the parable!

Author and Text

The day that Youth had died,
There came to his grave-side,
In decent mourning, from the county’s ends,
Those scatter’d friends
Who had lived the boon companions of his prime,
And laughed with him and sung with him and wasted,
In feast and wine and many-crown’d carouse,
The days and nights and dawnings of the time
When Youth kept open house,
Nor left untasted
Aught of his high emprise and ventures dear,

No quest of his unshar’d–
All these, with loitering feet and sad head bar’d,
Followed their old friend’s bier.

Author and Text

All my emprises have been fill’d with Thee,
My speculations, plans, begun and carried on in thoughts of Thee,
Sailing the deep or journeying the land for Thee;
Intentions, purports, aspirations mine, leaving results to Thee.

Author and Text

Since I have undertaken to manhandle this Leviathan, it behooves me to approve myself omnisciently exhaustive in the enterprise; not overlooking the minutest seminal germs of his blood, and spinning him out to the uttermost coil of his bowels. Having already described him in most of his present habitatory and anatomical peculiarities, it now remains to magnify him in an archæological, fossiliferous, and antediluvian point of view. Applied to any other creature than the Leviathan—to an ant or a flea—such portly terms might justly be deemed unwarrantably grandiloquent. But when Leviathan is the text, the case is altered. Fain am I to stagger to this emprise under the weightiest words of the dictionary. And here be it said, that whenever it has been convenient to consult one in the course of these dissertations, I have invariably used a huge quarto edition of Johnson, expressly purchased for that purpose; because that famous lexicographer’s uncommon personal bulk more fitted him to compile a lexicon to be used by a whale author like me.

Author and Text

Emprise in Chaucer:

And more-over I seye, that though ye han sworn and bihight to perfourne your emprise, and nathelees ye weyve to perfourne thilke same emprise by Iuste cause, men sholde nat seyn therefore that ye were a lyer ne forsworn. / For the book seith, that “the wyse man maketh no lesing whan he turneth his corage to the bettre.” / And al-be-it so that your emprise be establissed and ordeyned by greet multitude of folk, yet thar ye nat accomplice thilke same ordinaunce but yow lyke.

And after, whan ye han examined your conseil as I have seyd biforn, and knowen wel that ye may parfourne youre emprise, conferme it thanne sadly til it be at an ende.

Ye han erred also, for it semeth that yow suffyseth to han been conseilled by thise conseillours only, and with litel avys; / wher-as, in so greet and so heigh a nede, it hadde been necessarie mo conseillours, and more deliberacioun to parfourne your emprise. / Ye han erred also, for ye han nat examined your conseil in the forseyde manere, ne in due manere as the caas requireth.

Locations in Text

Emprise in Spenser:

Therewith Sir Guyon left his first emprise,
And turning to that woman, fast her hent
By the hoare lockes, that hong before her eyes,
And to the ground her threw
: yet n’ould she stent
Her bitter rayling and foule reuilement,
But still prouokt her sonne to wreake her wrong;
But nathelesse he did her still torment,
And catching hold of her vngratious tong,
Thereon an yron lock, did fasten firme and strong.

Suffise it then, thou Money God (quoth hee)
That all thine idle offers I refuse.
All that I need I haue; what needeth mee
To couet more, then I haue cause to vse?
With such vaine shewes thy worldlings vile abuse:
But giue me leaue to follow mine emprise.
Mammon was much displeasd, yet no’te he chuse,
But beare the rigour of his bold mespise,
And thence him forward led, him further to entise.

The sight whereof did all with gladnesse fill:
So vnto him they did addeeme the prise
Of all that Tryumph. Then the trompets shrill
Don Braggadochios name resounded thrise:
So courage lent a cloke to cowardise.
And then to him came fayrest Florimell,
And goodly gan to greet his braue emprise,
And thousand thankes him yeeld, that had so well
Approu’d that day, that she all others did excell.

Therefore whylome to knights of great emprise
The charge of Iustice giuen was in trust,
That they might execute her iudgements wise,
And with their might beat downe licentious lust,
Which proudly did impugne her sentence iust.

Whereof no brauer president this day
Remaines on earth, preseru’d from yron rust
Of rude obliuion, and long times decay,
Then this of Artegall, which here we haue to say.

Locations in Text