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A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice;
To be imprisoned in the viewless winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendent world, or to be worse than worst
Of those, that lawless and uncertain thoughts
Imagine howling! 'Tis too horrible !
The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To what we fear of death.
-Measure for Measure.
BE absolute for death; either death or life
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life-
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art
(Servile to all the skiey influences),
That dost this habitation, where thou keep’st,
Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun,
And yet run'st toward him still. Thou art not noble;
For all the accommodations that thou bear'st,
Are nursed by baseness. Thou art by no means valiant;
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provok’st; yet grossly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself;
For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains
That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not:
For what thou hast not, still thou striv'st to get;
And what thou hast, forget'st. Thou art not certain ;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
After the moon. If thou art rich, thou art poor;
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none;
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,
For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Dreaming on both: for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms
Of palsied eld; and when thou art old, and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,
To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this
That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
Lie hid more thousand deaths: yet death we fear
That makes these odds all even.
-Measure for Measure.
Angelo. We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch and not their terror.
Ay, but yet
Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas! this gentleman,
Whom I would save, had a most noble father.
Let but your honour know
(Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue)
That, in the working of your own affections,
Had time cohered with place, or place with wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of your blood
Could have attained the effect of your own purpose,
you had not, some time in your life,
Erred in this point which now you censure him, .
And pulled the law upon you.
Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus;
Another thing to fall. I not deny,
The jury, passing on the prisoner's life,
May, in the sworn twelve, have a thief or two
Guiltier than him they try. What's open made to justice,
That justice seizes. What know the laws,
That thieves do pass on thieves? 'Tis very pregnant,
The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it,
Because we see it; but what we do not see,
We tread upon, and never think of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence,
For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
When I, that censure him, do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die!
Escal. Well, Heaven forgive him ! and forgive us all !
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run from brakes of vice, and answer none;
And some condemned for a fault alone.
-Measure for Measure.
COULD great men thunder
As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet;
For every pelting, petty officer
Would use his heaven for thunder;
Nothing but thunder. Merciful Heaven!
Thou rather with thy sharp, sulphureous bolt
Splitst the unwedgeable and gnarled oak,
Than the soft myrtle. Oh, but man-proud man!
Dressed in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high Heaven
As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.
-Measure for Measure.
Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar,
And the creature run from the cur?—There,
There thou mightst behold the great image of authority:
A dog's obeyed in office.
Through tattered clothes small vices do
Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks ;
Arm it in rags—a pigmy's straw doth pierce it. --King Lear.
Julia. Oh, know'st thou not his looks are my soul's food ?
Pity the dearth that I have pined in,
By longing for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.
Lucetta. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire;
But qualify the fire's extreme rage,
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
Jul. The more thou dam'st it up, the more it burns;
The current, that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know'st, being stopped, impatiently doth rage;
But when his fair course is not hindered,
He makes sweet music with the enamelled stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;
And so by many winding nooks he strays,
With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course.
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love;
And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil,
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.
-Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Duke. There is a lady, sir, in Milan here,
Whom I affect; but she is nice and coy,
And nought esteems my aged eloquence:
Now, therefore, would I have thee to my tutor
(For long agone I have forgot to court:
Besides, the fashion of the time is changed);
How, and which way, I may bestow myself,
To bé regarded in her sun-bright eye.
Valentine. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,
More than quick words, do move a woman's mind.
Duke. But she did scorn a present that I sent her.
Val. A woman sometimes, scorns what best contents her:
Send her another; never give her o'er;
For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you,
But rather to beget more love in you:
If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone;
For why, the fools are mad, if left alone.
Take no repulse, whatever she doth say;
For, get you gone, she doth not mean away:
Flatter, and praise, commend, extol their graces ;
Though ne'er so black, say they have angels' faces.
That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
· WOMAN'S DUTY.
FY, fy! unknit that threatening unkind brow;
And dart not scornful glances from those eyes
To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor:
It blots thy beauty, as frosts bite the meads;
Confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds;
And in no sense is meet or amiable.
A woman moved is like a fountain troubled
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
Will deign to sip, or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy lord, they life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee
And for thy maintenance : commits his body
To painful labour, both by sea and land;
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
While thou liest warm at home, secure and safe ;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks, and true obedience-
Too little payment for so great a debt.
Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
And when she's froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel,
And graceless traitor to her loving lord ?
I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace;
Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
Where they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft, and weak, and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world;
But that our soft conditions and our hearts
Should well agree with our external parts ?
Come, come, you froward and unable worms!
My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
My heart as great; my reason, haply, more,
To bandy word for
word, and frown for frown.
But now I see our lances are but straws;
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
That seeming to be most, which we least are.
Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot;
And place your hands below
husband's foot: In token of which duty, if he please,
My hand is ready-may it do him ease. —Taming of the Shrew.
ALL tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights
Are spectacled to see him. Your pratling nurse
Into a rapture lets her baby cry,
While she chats him : the kitchen malkin pins
Her richest lockram about her reechy neck,
Clambering the walls to eye him. Stalls, bulks, windows,
Are smothered up, leads filled, and ridges horsed,
With variable complexions--all agreeing
In earnestness to see him: seld-shown flamens
Do press among the popular throngs, and puff
To win a vulgar station : our veiled dames
Commit the war of white and damask in
Their nicely-gauded cheeks, to the wanton spoil