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Rumour, its diffusiveness.

Rumour is a pipe

Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures;
And of so easy and so plain a stop,

That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it.

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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.

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In companions

That do converse and waste the time together,
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must be needs a like proportion
Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit.

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Friendship is constant in all other things,
Save in the office and affairs of love:

9-iii. 4.

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.

6-ii. 1.

O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes!

10-v. ii.


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,
Even in the force* and road of casualty.

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It is the witness still of excellency,

9-ii. 9.

To put a strange face on his own perfection. 6-ii. 3.


Intellectual advancement.

For nature, crescent,† does not grow alone

In thews and bulk; but as this temple waxes,
The inward service of the mind and soul
Grows wide withal.

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O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!

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The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul, producing holy witness,
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek ;

A goodly apple rotten at the heart;

36-i. 3.

6-iv. 1.

O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

9-i. 3.

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The guilt being great, the fear doth still exceed,
And extreme fear can neither fight nor fly,
But coward-like with trembling terror die.

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Glory grows guilty of detested crimes;


When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
We bend to that the working of the heart.



O perilous mouths,

8-iv. 1.

That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof!

Bidding the law make court'sy to their will;
Hooking both right and wrong to th' appetite,
To follow as it draws!

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5-ii. 4.

+ Matt. iv. 6.

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O, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side!
How may likeness,* made in crimes,
Making practice on the times,
Draw with idle spiders, stringst

Most pond'rous and substantial things!

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5-iii. 2.

Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.

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36-iii. 1.

When we for recompense have praised the vile,
It stains the glory in that happy verse

Which aptly sings the good.

27-i. 1.

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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.§

31-iii. 6.

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O, it is excellent

To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

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Could great men thunder

5-ii. 2.

As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,

For every pelting, petty officer,


Would use his heaven for thunder: nothing but thun

Merciful Heaven!

Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt,

Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled¶ oak,

* Appearance.

† 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.'


T Knotted.

Than the soft myrtle !-O, but man, proud man!
Drest in a little brief authority-

Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence,-like an angry ape,

Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
As make the angels weep.


5-ii. 2.

Divine Justice.

You are above,

34-iv. 2.

You justicers, that these our nether crimes
So speedily can venge!

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That comfort comes too late;

'Tis like a pardon after execution:

That gentle physic, given in time, had cured me;
But now I am past all comforts here, but prayers.


Things to be valued by their worth.

25-iv. 2.

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,
Not by the title.

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We must not stint‡

Our necessary actions, in the fear

To cope malicious censurers; which ever,
As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow,

That is new trimm'd; but benefit no farther
Than vainly longing.


11-ii. 3.

25-i. 2.

Judgment of weak minds not to be regarded.
What we oft do best,

By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd;T what worst, as oft,

* Titles.

Good is good independent of any worldly distinction, and so is vileness vile. + Retard.

§ Encounter.

| Sometime. T Approved.

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Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile :*
Filths savour but themselves.

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In the fatness of these pursy times,

Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg;

Yea, curbf and woo, for leave to do him good.

25-i. 2.

34-iv. 2.

36-iii. 4.

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O wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power
To seduce!

36-i. 5.

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Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:

27-i. 2.

Some run from brakest of vice, and answer none;
And some condemned for a fault alone.


Satan outwitting himself.

5-ii. 1.

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.

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Ingrateful man, with liquorish draughts,

27-iii. 3.

And morsels unctuous, greases his pure mind,
That from it all consideration slips.


Mental deformity and virtue.

27-iv. 3.

In nature there's no blemish, but the mind;
None can be call'd deform'd, but the unkind:

* Titus i. 15.

† Bend.

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.

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