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Until a king be by; and then his state
Empties itself, as doth an inland brook
Into the main of waters.—Music, hark !

Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house.

Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect : Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.

Ner. Silence bestows the virtue on it, madam.

Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
When neither is attended ; and, I think,
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season seasoned are
To their right praise and true perfection!



As you like it, act ii. scene 1.
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 venomous,
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.


As you like it, act ii. scene 2. Adam. 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.

1 A belief of Shakespeare's age.

Take that: and He that doth the ravens feed,
Yea, providentially 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.

Ori. O good old man, how well in thee appears
The constant service of the antique world,
When service sweat for duty, not for meed;
Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
Where none will sweat but for promotion,
And having that, do,choke their service up
Even with the having ; it is not so with thee.
But, poor old man, thou prun'st a rotten tree,
That cannot so much as a blossom yield,
In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.
But come thy ways, we'll go along together;
And ere we have thy youthful wages spent,
We'll light upon some settled low content.

Adam. Master, go on; and I will follow thee,
To the last gasp, with truth and royalty.


Richard III, act i. scene 4.

Brakenbury. Why looks your grace so heavily to-day?

Clarence. 0, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreains,
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.

Brak. What was your dream, my lord ? I pray you tell me.

Clar. Methought that I had broken from the Tower,
And was embark’d to cross to Burgundy,
And in my company my brother Glo'ster,
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches. Thence we look’d tow'rd England,
And cited up a thousand heavy times,

During the wars of York and Lancaster,
That had befallen us. As we pac'd along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Glo'ster stumbled; and in falling
Struck me, that sought to stay him, overboard
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
O Lord, methought what pain it was to drown !
What dreadful noise of waters in my ears !
• What sights of ugly death within mine eyes !
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;

A thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon ;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels.
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,
That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock’d the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.

Brak. 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 find the empty, vast, and wand'ring air,
But sinother'd it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.

Brak. Awak'd you not with this sore agony?

Clar. O, no, my dream was lengthened after life. 0, then began the tempest to my soul. I pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood, With that grim ferryman which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. The first that there did greet my stranger soul Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick, Who cried aloud—“What scourge for perjury Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ?” And so he vanish’d. Then came wand'ring by A shadow like an angel, with bright hair Dabbled in blood, and he shriek'd out aloud“ Clarence is come; false, fleeting, perjur'd Clarence, That stabb'd me in the field by Tewkesbury ; Seize on him, furies, take him to your

torments !” With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends Environ'd me, and howlèd in mine ears

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1 Prince Edward, the son of Henry VI


Such hideous cries, that with the very noise
I, trembling, wak’d; and for a season after
Could not believe but that I was in hell :
Such terrible impression made my

Brak. No marvel, lord, that it affrighted you ;
I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.

Clar. Ah ! Brakenbury, I have done those things That now give evidence against my soul, For Edward's sake; and see how he requites me! O God ! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee, But thou wilt be aveng'd on my misdeeds, Yet execute thy wrath on me alone : O, spare my guiltless wife and my poor children ! I prithee, Brakenbury, stay by me; My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.


Hamlet, act i. scene 3. And these few precepts in thy memory See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel ; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch’d, unfledg’d comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel : but, being in, Bear 't, that the opposèd may beware of thee. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice : Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express’d in fancy ; rich, not gaudy: For the apparel oft proclaims the man; And they in France, of the best rank and station, Are of a most select and generous chief in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be: For loan oft loses both itself and friend; And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all, -to thine own self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell ; my blessing season this in thee !


Hamlet, act iii, scene 3. O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven! It hath the primal eldest curse upon 't, A brother's murder !-- Pray can I not, Though inclination be as sharp as will ; My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent; And, like a man to double business bound, I stand in pause where I shall first begin, And both neglect. What if this cursed hand Were thicker than itself with brother's blood ? Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy, But to confront the visage of offence ! And what's in prayer, but this twofold force, To be forestallèd, ere we come to fall, Or pardon'd, being down! Then I'll look up; My fault is past. But, 0, what form of prayer Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder ! That cannot be; since I am still possess'd Of those effects for which I did the murder, My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. May one be pardon'd, and retain the offence ? In the corrupted currents of this world, Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice ; And oft ’tis seen, the wicked prize itself Buys out the law: but 'tis not so above : There is no shuffling, there the action lies In his true nature; and we ourselves compellid, Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults, To give in evidence. What then? What rests ? Try what repentance can : what can it not? Yet what can it, when one can not repent ? O wretched state ! O bosom black as death! O limèd soul, that struggling to be free, Art more engag'd! Help, angels, make assay ! Bow, stubborn knees! and, heart with strings of steel, Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe : All may be well.


Henry IV. part ii. act iii. scene 1. How many thousands of my poorest subjects Are at this hour asleep! O gentle sleep,

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