« PreviousContinue »
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,t and the rheum,
For ending thee no sooner: Thou hast nor youth,
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.
THE TERRORS OF DEATH MOST IN APPREHENSION
0, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
Lest thou a serverous life should'st entertain,
And six or seven winters more respect
Than a perpetual honour. Darst thou die?
The sense of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.
RESOLUTION FROM A SENSE OF HONOUR,
Why give you me this shame?
you I can a resolution fetch
From flowery tenderness? If I must die,
*Affects, affections. † Leprous cruptions
I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms.
THE HYPOCRISY OF ANGELO.
There my father's grave
Did utter forth a voice! Yes, thou must die:
Thou art too noble to conserve a life
In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy,-
Whose settled visage and deliberate word
Nips youth i'the head, and follies doth enmew,
As falcon doth the fowl,—is yet a devil;
His filth within being cast, he would appear
A pond as deep as bell.
Death is a fearful thing.
Isab. And shamed life a hateful,
Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where
To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot:
This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice;
To be imprison'd in the viewlesst winds,
And blown with restless violence about
The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
or those, that lawless and incertain thoughts
Imagine howling!-'tis too horrible!
The weariest and most loathed worldly lise,
That age, ach, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To what we fear of death.
Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful
The evil that thou causest to be donc,
That is thy means to live: Do thou but this
What 'tis to cram a maw, or clothe a back,
From such a filthy vice: say to thysell,
From their abominable and beastly touches
I drink, I eat, array myself, and live.
Canst thou believe thy living is a lise,
So stinkingly depending? Go, mend, go, mend
Take, oh take, those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, but seal'd in vain.
Hide, oh hide, those hills of snow,
Which thy frozen bosom beare,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
Are of those that April wears:
But my poor heart first set free,
Bound in those icy chains by thec.
GREATNESS SUBJECT TO CENSURE. O place and greatness, millions of false eyes, Are stuck upon thee! volumes of report Run with these false and most contrarious quests Upon thy doings! thousand 'scapes* of wit Make thee the father of their idle dream, And rack thee in their fancies.
As fast lock'd up in sleep, as guiltless labour When it lies starklyt in the traveller's bones.
ACT V. CHARACTER OF AN ARCH HYPOCRITE. O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believ'st There is another comfort than this world, That thou neglect me not, with that opinion That I am touch'd with madness: make not impod
sible That which but seems unlike: "Tis not impossible * Sallies.
But one, the wicked'st caitiff on the ground,
May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute,
As Angelo; even so may Angelo,
In all his dressings,* characts, titles, forms,
Be an arch-villain: believe it, royal prince,
If he be less, he's nothing; but he's more,
Ilad I more name for badness.
MIRTH AND MELANCHOLY.
NOW, by two-headed Janus,
Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time:
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes,
And laugh, like parrots, at a bag-piper;
And other of such vinegar aspect,
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
You have too much respect upon the world:
They lose it, that do buy it with much care.
THE WORLD'S TRUE VALUE.
I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A stage where every man must play a part.
Let me play the Fool: With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come: And let my liver rather heat with wine,
heart cool with mortifying groans. Why should a man, whose blood is warm within, Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? Sleep when he wakes? and creep into the jaundice By being peevish?
* Habits and characters of office
I tell thee what, Antonio,-
I love thee, akd it is my love that speaks;
There are a sort of men, whose visages
Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond;
And do a wilful stillness* entertain,
With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion
of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;
As who should say, I am Sir Oracle,
And, when I ope r.y lips, let no dog bark!
0, my Antonio, I do know of these,
That therefore only are reputed wisc,
For saying nothing.
LOQUACITY. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice: his reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff; you shall seek all day ere you find them; and, when you have them, they are not worth the search.
MEDIOCRITY. For aught I see, they are as sick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing: It is no mean happiness, therefore, to be seated in the mean; superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.
SPECULATION MORE EASY THAN PRACTICE. If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages, princes' palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier tcach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot temper leaps over a cold decree; such a hare is madness the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel tha cripple.