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Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak; Augurs, and understood relations, have

By magot-pies, and choughs, and rooks, brought forth The secret'st man of blood.

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Fear frames disorder, and disorder wounds
Where it should guard.


Circumspection in bounty.

"Tis pity, bounty had not eyes behind;

15-iii. 4.

22-v. 2.

That man might ne'er be wretched for his mind.

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27-i. 2.

'Tis not good that children should know any wickedness: old folks have discretion, as they say, and know the world.

3-ii. 2.



Yield not thy neck

To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind
Still ride in triumph over all mischance.

23-iii. 3.

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There's none

27-i. 2.

Can truly say, he gives, if he receives.

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(Servile to all the skiey influences,)

That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
Hourly afflict: merely, thou art Death's fool;
For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun,

And yet run'st toward him still: Thou art not noble; For all the accommodations that thou bear'st

Are nursed by baseness: Thou art by no means valiant;

For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork

Of a poor worm: Thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provok'st.

Thou art not thyself;
For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains
That issue out of dust: Happy thou art not:
For what thou hast not, still thou striv'st to get;
And what thou hast, forget'st: Thou art not certain;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,*
After the moon: If thou art rich, thou art poor;
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And Death unloads thee: Friends hast thou none;
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
The mere effusion of thy proper loins,

Do curse the gout, serpigo,† and the rheum,

For ending thee no sooner: Thou hast nor youth, nor age;

But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,

Dreaming on both: for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms

Of palsied eld; and when thou art old, and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,
To make thy riches pleasant. Yet in this life
Lie hid more thousand deaths: yet death we fear.


Intemperance, the evil of it.

Boundless intemperance

In nature is a tyranny; it hath been

Th' untimely emptying of the happy throne,
And fall of many kings.

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How quickly nature falls into revolt,

When gold becomes her object!

For this, the foolish over-careful fathers

5-iii. 1.

15-iv. 3.

Have broke their sleep with thoughts, their brains with

Their bones with industry:


* Affects, affections.

† Leprous eruptions.

† Old age.

For this, they have engross'd and piled up
The canker'd heaps of strange-achieved gold;
For this they have been thoughtful to invest
Their sons with arts, and martial exercises:
When, like the bee, tolling* from every flower

The virtuous sweets;

Our thighs pack'd with wax, our mouths with honey,
We bring it to the hive; and, like the bees,
Are murder'd for our pains.

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How sour sweet music is,

When time is broke, and no proportion kept!
So is it in the music of men's lives.

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Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.


Jests misplaced may be fatal.

His jest will savour but of shallow wit,

19-iv. 4.

17-v. 5.

29-ii. 2.

When thousands weep more than did laugh at it.


Simplicity in pleasing.

20-i. 2.

That sport best pleases, that doth least know how:
Where zeal strives to content, and the contents
Die in the zeal of them which it presents,
Their form confounded makes most form in mirth;
When great things labouring perish in their birth.


8-v. 2.


The cloy'd will,

(That satiate yet unsatisfied desire,

That tub both fill'd and running,) ravening first
The lamb, longs after for the garbage.


Human corruption.

All is oblique;

There's nothing level in our cursed natures,

31-i. 7.

But direct villany.

* Taking toll, gathering.

27-iv. 3.

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That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly;
So distribution should undo excess,

And each man have enough.


The same.

Sometimes we are devils to ourselves,

34-iv. 1.

When we shall tempt the frailty of our powers,
Presuming on their changeful potency.

26-iv. 4.

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Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain,
Which, with pain purchased, doth inherit pain.

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8-i. 1.

Violent fires soon burn out themselves:

Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short; He tires betimes, that spurs too fast betimes;

With eager feeding, food doth choke the feeder:

Light Vanity, insatiate cormorant,

Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.

17-ii. 1.


Youth and age distinguished.

Youth no less becomes

The light and careless livery that it wears.
Than settled age his sables and his weeds,

Importing health and graveness.*

36-iv. 7.

* A young man regards show in dress; an old man health.

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Base men, being in love, have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to them.

350 The most promising hopes often blasted.
As in the sweetest bud

The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

As the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turn'd to folly; blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.

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37—ii. 1.

'Tis not the many oaths, that make the truth;
But the plain single vow, that is vow'd true.
What is not holy, that we swear not by,
But take the Highest to witness.*

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The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades, when speaking fails.


Delusion of imagination.

O, who can hold a fire in his hand,
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus ?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite,
By bare imagination of a feast?

2-i. 1.

11—iv. 2.

13-ii. 2.

Or wallow naked in December snow,
By thinking on fantastic summer's heat?
O, no! the apprehension of the good,
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more,
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the sore.

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This is the very ecstasy of love,

Whose violent property foredoes† itself,

17-i. 3.

*The sense is, we never swear by what is not holy, but take to witness the Highest-the Divinity.

+ Destroys.

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