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Makes mouths at the invisible event;
To all that fortune, death, and danger, dare,
Who cannot condemn rashness in cold blood?
But who is man, that is not angry?
The poor beetle, that we tread upon, In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great As when a giant dies.
The past and future.
O thoughts of men accurst!
Past, and to come, seem best; things present, worst.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Content and Discontent.
Outlives incertain pomp, is crown'd before :‡
The one is filling still, never complete;
† Homicide in our own defence, by a merciful interposition of the law, is considered justifiable.
i.e. Arrives sooner at the completion of its wishes.
The other, at high wish. Best state, contentless,
Treason, silent in its operations.
Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep;
Malice its extent.
To cut the head off, and then hack the limbs ;
The value of a good name.
Good name, in man, and woman,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
"Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands : But he, that filches from me my good name,
Robs me of that, which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
Slander, certain in its aim.
Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
As level as the cannon to his blank,§
Transports his poison'd shot.
The age is grown so picked, that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe.
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries:
* Best states contentless have a wretched being-a being worse
than that of the worst states that are content.
Prov. xxii. 1.
And we must take the current when it serves,
When fortune means to men most good,
She looks upon them with a threatening eye.
Natural defects impair virtues.
Oft it chances in particular men,
That, for some vicious mole of nature in them,
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,*
Shall in the general censure take corruption
To his own scandal.§
Now breathless Wrong
Shall sit and pant in your great chairs of ease;
With fear and horrid flight.
Riches not true which are to be courted.
Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
Brags of his substance, not of ornament:
They are but beggars that can count their worth.
A grandam's name is little less in love,
Than is the doting title of a mother;
They are as children, but one step below. 24-iv. 4.
† Star, signifies a scar of that appearance.
§ Eccles. x. 4.
Pride hath no other glass To show itself but pride; for supple knees Feed arrogance, and are the proud man's fees.
Neglect of departed friends.
As we do turn our backs
From our companion, thrown into his grave;
Slink all away; leave their false vows with him,
A dedicated beggar to the air,
With his disease of all-shunn'd poverty,
Walks, like contempt, alone.
Decay of pomp.
Vast confusion waits
(As doth a raven on a sick-fallen beast) The imminent decay of wrested pomp.*
The ostent of our love, which, left unshown,
Sufferings softened by sympathy.
When we our betters see bearing our woes,
Infirmity doth still neglect all office,
Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourselves, When nature, being oppress'd, commands the mind, To suffer with the body.
The power of melancholy.
O hateful Error, Melancholy's child!
* Greatness arrested from its possessor.
† Show, token.
States clear from distress.
Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of men
But kill'st the mother that engender'd thee.
Truth and Beauty, their excellence.
Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
233 Man values only what he sees and knows.
The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it,
Friendship with the wicked, dangerous.
The love of wicked friends converts to fear;
The earth, that's nature's mother, is her tomb;
None but for some, and yet all different.
Nature, oft perverted by man.
O, mickle is the powerful grace,† that lies
* Plain. † Virtue.
ti.e. To the inhabitants of the earth.