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"Vobis male sit, malæ tenebræ
Orci, quæ omnia bella devoratis !!
O my love!
Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty :
Thou art not conquered ; beauty's ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And Death's pale flag is not advanced there.
Ah, dear Juliet, Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe That unsubstantial Death is amorous, And that the lean abhorred monster keeps Thee here in dark to be his paramour ? For fear of that, I still will stay with thee, And never from this palace of dim night Depart again; here, here will I remain With worms that are thy chambermaids. O, here Will I set up my everlasting rest, And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last ! Arms, take your last embrace and lips, O you The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss A dateless bargain to engrossing death! Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide! Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark ! Here's to my love. O, true apothecary ! Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.
Romeo and Juliet, v. 3.
Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more : it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Macbeth, v. 5. (Prospero loq.)
We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.
Tempest, iv. 1.
(Cæsar loq.) LET me have men about me that are fat; Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights: Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look: He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous. Would he were fatter! But I fear him not: Yet if my name were liable to fear, I do not know the man I should avoid So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much ; He is a great observer, and he looks Quite through the deeds of men; he loves no plays, As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music; Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
As if he mocked himself and scorned his spirit
That could be moved to smile at anything.*
Julius Cæsar, i. 2.
THIS was the noblest Roman of them all :
All the conspirators save only he
Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar :
He only, in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
to all the world - This was a man.'
Julius Cæsar, v. 5.
(Lady Anne loq.)
Set down, set down your honourable load,
If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,
Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king !
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster !
* As for the particular case, Cassius was probably enough a mere selfish plotter. But Cæsar's language, it is worth observing, accurately expresses the popular partiality for ósleek,' and easy-going Optimism. It is the way of the world to have an aversion for everything that is apt to disturb its placid contentment with the general arrangement of things in this best of all possible worlds.'
Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood !
Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost,
To hear the lamentations of poor Anne,
Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughtered son,
Stabbed by the self-same hand that made these
Lo! in these windows that let forth thy life,
Ι I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.
Cursed be the hand that made these fatal holes !
Cursed be the heart that had the heart to do it !
Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!
More direful hap betide that hated wretch,
That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
Or any creeping venomed thing that lives!
If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
And that be heir to his unhappiness!
If ever he have wife, let her be made
As miserable by the death of him
As I am made by my poor lord and thee!
Kin Richard III., i. 2,
THE TORTURE OF A GUILTY CONSCIENCE.
0, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days,
So full of dismal terror was the time !
Methought that I had broken from the Tower,
And was embarked to cross to Burgundy ;
And, in my company, my brother Gloucester;
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England,
And cited up a thousand fearful times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster
That had befallen us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloucester stumbled; and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
Lord ! Lord ! methought, what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears !
What ugly sights of death within mine eyes !
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks ;
Ten thousand men that fishes gnawed upon ;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scattered in the bottom of the sea :
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
Which wooed the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mocked the dead bones that lay scattered by.
Gaoler. Had you such leisure in the time of death To gaze upon the secrets of the deep ?
Clar. Methought I had : and often did I strive
To yield the ghost: but still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
To seek the empty, vast and wandering air;