Saturday, April 9, 2011

Parallel - Tides and Currents

First, Shakespeare:

"There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood leads on to  fortune...
And we must take the current when it serves,"
   Julius Caesar  4.3.216

and Bacon

"The tides and currents of received errors"
   Reading on the Statute of Uses

"I set down reputation because of the peremptory tides and currents it hath; which if they be not taken in their due time, are seldom recovered, it being extreme hard to play an
after game of reputation."
  The Advancement of Learning

"The tides of any opportunities... the periods and tides of estates"
    Letter to Robert Cecil

Comment: J.M. Robertson (p. 429) gives 11 other instances of tide or current metaphors. The nearest in meaning is the proverb: "The tide tarrieth no man". But Bacon and Shake-Speare spell out the idea more fully, and none of the other instances uses tides and currents in conjunction, as does the Shake-Speare passage and two of the three Bacon passages.

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