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Rumour, its diffusiveness.
Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures;
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
Loud Rumour speaks: I, from the orient to the drooping west, Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold The acts commenced on this ball of earth : Upon my tongues continual slanders ride; The which in every language I pronounce, Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
That do converse and waste the time together,
Friendship is constant in all other things,
Therefore,* all hearts in love use their own tongues; Let every eye negotiate for itself,
And trust no agent: for beauty is a witch,
Against whose charms faith melteth into blood.†
Happiness, where delusive.
O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes!
The effect of show on weak minds.
The fool multitude, that choose by show, Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach; Which pries not to th' interior, but, like the martlet,
*Therefore.' Let, which is found in the next line, is understood † Passion.
Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
It is the witness still of excellency,
To put a strange face on his own perfection. 6-ii. 3.
For nature, crescent,† does not grow alone
In thews and bulk; but as this temple waxes,
O, what authority and show of truth
The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.
A goodly apple rotten at the heart;
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
The guilt being great, the fear doth still exceed,
Glory grows guilty of detested crimes;
When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
O perilous mouths,
That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
Bidding the law make court'sy to their will;
+ Matt. iv. 6.
O, what may man within him hide,
Most pond'rous and substantial things!
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
When we for recompense have praised the vile,
Which aptly sings the good.
Will poor folks lie,
That have afflictions on them; knowing 'tis
A punishment, or trial? Yes; no wonder,
When rich ones scarce tell true: To lapse in fulness Is sorer, than to lie for need; and falsehood
Is worse in kings, than beggars.§
O, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
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 thun
Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt,
Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled¶ oak,
† False and feeble pretences.
Sorer, a greater or heavier crime.
The noble saying of John of France, That if truth were banished all other places of the earth, she ought still to find a dwelling in the hearts of kings.'
Than the soft myrtle !-O, but man, proud man!
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
You are above,
You justicers, that these our nether crimes
That comfort comes too late;
'Tis like a pardon after execution:
That gentle physic, given in time, had cured me;
Things to be valued by their worth.
From the lowest place when virtuous things proceed, The place is dignified by the doer's deed:
Where great additions* swell, and virtue none,
It is a dropsied honour: good alone
Is good, without a name; vileness is so:†
The property by what it is should go,
We must not stint‡
Our necessary actions, in the fear
To cope malicious censurers; which ever,
That is new trimm'd; but benefit no farther
Judgment of weak minds not to be regarded.
By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
Good is good independent of any worldly distinction, and so is vileness vile. + Retard.
| Sometime. T Approved.
Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile :*
In the fatness of these pursy times,
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg;
Yea, curbf and woo, for leave to do him good.
O wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run from brakest of vice, and answer none;
Satan outwitting himself.
The devil knew not what he did, when he made man politic; he crossed himself by't: and I cannot think, but, in the end, the villanies of man will set him clear.
Ingrateful man, with liquorish draughts,
And morsels unctuous, greases his pure mind,
Mental deformity and virtue.
In nature there's no blemish, but the mind;
* Titus i. 15.
Brakes of vice,' means the engine of torture. In Holinshed, p. 670, it is mentioned, the said Hawkins was cast into the Tower, and at length brought to the brake,' &c. This engine is still to be seen in the Tower.