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Mine honour's such a ring:
My chastity's the jewel of our house,
Bequeath'd down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i'the world,
In me to lose.
LIFE CHEQUERED. The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.
A COWARDLY BRAGGART. Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great, "Twould burst at this: Captain, I'll be no more; But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft As captain shall: simply the thing. I am Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart, Let him fear this; for it will come to pass, That every braggart shall be found an ass. Rust, sword! cool, blushes! and, Parolles live, Safest in shame! being fool’d, by foolery thrive! There's place, and means, for every man alive.
Let's take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
The inaudible and noiseless foot of time
Steals ere we can effect them.
EXCUSE FOR UNSEASONABLE DISLIKE.
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue:
Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
Which warp'd the line of every other favour;
Scorn’d a fair colour, or expressd it stol'n;
Extended or contracted all proportions,
To a most hideous object: Thence it came,
That she, whom all men prais’d, and whom myself,
Since I have lost, have lov'd, was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.
MODESTY AND COURAGE IN YOUTH.
I BESEECH you, punish me not with your
hard thoughts; wherein I confess me much guilty, to deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes, go with me to my trial: wherein if I be foiled, there is but one shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one dead that is willing to be so: I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty
We still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learn'd, play'd, eat together;
And wheresoe'er we went, like Juno's swans,
Still we went coupled, and inseparable.
Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.
ROSALIND PROPOSING TO WEAR MEN'S CLOTHES.
Were it not better,
Because that I am more than common tall,
That I did suit me all points like a man?
A gallant curtle-ax* upon my thigh,
A boar-spear in my hand; and (in my heart
Lie there what hidden woman's fear there will,)
We'll have a swashingt and a martial outside:
As many other manish cowards have,
That do outface it with their semblances.
SOLITUDE PREFERRED TO A COURT LIFE, AND THE
ADVANTAGES OF ADVERSITY.
Now, my co-mates, and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference; as the icy fang,
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind;
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say,
This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venemous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing
NEFLECTIONS ON THE WOUNDED STAG.
Duke S. Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
And yet it irks' me, the poor dappled fools,-
Being native burghers of this desert city,--
Should, in their own confines, with forked heads, *
Have their round haunches gor'd.
1 Lord. Indeed, my lord,
The melancholy Jaques grieves at that;
And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
To-day, my lord of Amiens, and myself,
Did steal behind him, as he lay along
Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
To the which place a poor sequester'd stag,
That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
Did come to languish: and, indeed, my lord,
* Barbed arrows.
The wretched animal heav'd forth such groans,
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
Almost to bursting; and the big round tears
Cours'd one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase: and thus the hairy fool,
Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
Stood on the extremest verge of the swist brook,
Augmenting it with tears.
But what said Jaques?
Did he not moralize this spectacle?
1 Lord. O, yes, into a thousand similes. First, for his weeping in the needless stream; Poor deer, quoth he, thou makost a testament As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more To that which had too much: Then, being alone, Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends; 'Tis right, quoth he; this misery dot. part The flux of company; Anon, a careless herd, Full of the pasture, jumps along by him, And never stays to greet him; Ay, quoth Jaques, Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens; Tis just the fashion: Wherefore do you
look poor and brokén bankrupt there?
GRATITUDE IN AN OLD SERVANT.
But do not so: I have five hundred crowns,
The thrifty hire I sav'd under your father,
Which I did store, to be my foster-nurse,
When service should in my old limbs lie lame,
And unregarded age in corners thrown;
Take that: and He that doth the ravens feed,
Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,
Be comfort to my age! Here is the gold;
All this I give you: let me be your servant;
Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty:
For in my youth I never did apply
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood:
Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
The means of weakness and debility;
Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
Frosty, but kindly: let me go with you;
I'll do the service of a younger man
In all your business and necessities.
DESCRIPTION OF A LOVER.
0, thou didst then ne'er love so heartily:
If thou remember'st not the slightest folly
That ever love did make thee run into,
Thou hast not lov'd:
Or if thou hast not sat as I do now,
Wearying thy hearer in thy mistress' praise,
Thou hast not lov'd:
Or if thou hast not broke from company,
Abruptly, as my passion now makes me,
Thou hast not lov'd.
DESCRIPTION OF A FOOL, AND HIS MORALIZING ON
Good-morrow, fool, quoth I: No, sir, quoth-he,
Call me not fool, till heaven hath sent me fortune:
And then he drew a dial from his poke;
And looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
Says, very wisely, It is ten o'clock:
Thus may we see, quoth he, how the world wags:
Tis but an hour ago since it was nine;
And after an hour more, 'twill be eleven;
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe, and ripe,
And then, from hour to hour, we rot, and rot,
And thereby hangs a tale. When I did hear
The motley fool thus moral on the time,
My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,
That fools should be so deep-contemplative;
And I did laugh, sans intermission,
An hour by his dial-O noble fool!
A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.*
Duke S. What fool is this?
Jaq. O worthy fool!-One that hath been a cour-
And says if ladies be but young, and fair,
They have the gift to know it: and in his brain,
Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit
* The fool was anciently dressed in a party-coloured coat.