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William Shakespeare.

[From As You Like It.]

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, [ARMS.

Mewling and puking in his nurse's

And then, the whining school-boy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. And then,

the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woful


Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then,

the soldier, Full of strange oaths, and bearded

like the pard, Jealous in honor, sudden and quick

in quarrel: Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth. And

then, the justice, In fair round belly, with good capon


With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth

age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, With spectacles on nose, and pouch

on side;

His youthful hose well saved, a world too wide

For his shrunk shanks; and his big manly voice,

Turning again towards childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness, and mere oblivion:

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

[From As You Like It.]

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude!
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the

green holly: Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:

Then heigh-ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh

As benefits forgot!
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp

As friend remembered not.
"Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho, Ac."

[From Hamlet..]


To Be, or not to be, that is the question—

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles.

And, by opposing end them? To die — to sleep — lend

No more: and by a sleep to say we

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to! —'tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To die — to sleep —

To sleep !— perchance to dream!—

ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death, what

dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal


Must give us pause — there's the respect

That makes calamity of so long life: For who would bear the whips and

scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud

man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's


The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin! Who would fardels bear, [life, To groan and sweat under a weary But that the dread of something after death —

That undiscovered country from

whose bourn No traveller returns, — puzzles the


And makes us rather bear those ills we have, [of?

Than fly to others that we know not Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;

And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,

And enterprises of great pith and moment.

With this regard, their currents turn awry,

And lose the name of action.

[From Hamlet.]


Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.

The friends thou hast, and their

adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hooks

of steel;

But do not dull thy palm with enter

tcrtainment Of each new-hatched, unpledged com

rade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in Bear it, that the opposer 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 expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy;

For the apparel oft proclaims the man; And they in France, of the best rank

and station, Are 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!

[From The Merchant of Venice.]

The world is still deceived with ornament. In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,

But being seasoned with a gracious voice,

Obscures the show of evil? In religion.

What damned error, but some sober brow

Will bless it, and approve it with a text,

Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?

There is no voice so simple, but assumes

Some mark of virtue on its outward parts.

How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false

As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins

The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars;

Who, inward searched, have livers white as milk!

And these assume but valor's excrement,

To render them redoubted. Look on beauty,

And you shall see 'tis purchased by

the weight, Which therein works a miracle in


Making them lightest that wear most of it.

So are those crisped snaky, golden locks,

Which make such wanton gambols

with the wind Upon suppose.1 fairness, often known To be the dowry of a second head, The skull that bred them in the sepulchre.

Thus ornament is but the guiled shore

To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf

Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,

The seeming truth which cunning times put on

To entrap the wisest.

{From The Merchant of Venice.]

The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed;

It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.

'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes

The throned monarch better than his crown:

His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.

But mercy is above the sceptred sway;

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings; It is an attribute to God himself; And earthly power doth then show

likest God's, When mercy seasons justice.

[ From Troilus and Cressida.]


Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back, Wherein he puts alms for oblivion, A great-sized monster for ingratitudes:

Those scraps are good deeds past:

which are devoured As fast as they are made, forgot as


As done: Perseverance, dear my lord, Keeps honor bright: To have done,

is to hang Quite out of fashion, like a rusty


In monumental mockery. Take the instant way;

For honor travels in a strait so narrow,

Where one but goes abreast: keep

then the path; For emulation hath a thousand sons, That one by one pursue. If you give


Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,

Like to an entered tide, they all rush by,

And leave you hindmost; — Or, like a gallant horse fallen in first rank,

Lie there for pavement to the abject rear.

O'errun and trampled on. Then what

they do in present, Though less than yours in past, must

o'ertop yours: For time is like a fashionable host That slightly shakes his parting guest

by the hand; And with his arms outstretched, as

he would fly, Grasps in the comer. Welcome ever


And farewell goes out sighing. O,

let not virtue seek Remuneration for the thing it was; For beauty, wit,

High birth, vigor of bone, desert in service,

Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all

To envious and calumniating time.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin, —

That all with one consent, praise newborn gauds,

Though they are made and moulded of things past;

And give to dust, that is a little gilt,

More laud than gilt o'er-dusted.

The present eye praises the present object:

Then marvel not, thou great and

complete man, That all the Greeks begin to worship


Since things in motion sooner catch

the eye Than what not stirs.

[From Henry VIII.\

Farewell, a long farewell to all my

greatness! This is the state of man: To-day he

puts forth The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow

blossoms, And bears his blushing honors thick

upon him; The third day comes a frost, a killing


And when he thinks, good easy man,

full surely His greatness is a ripening, nips his


And then he falls as I do, I have

ventured, Like little wanton boys, that swim on


These many summers in a sea of glory;

But far beyond myUepth: my highblown pride

At length broke under me; and now

has left me, Weary and old with service, to the


Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.

Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye!

[from Measure for Measure.]

Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;

To lie in col d obstruction, and to rot; This sensible warm motion to become A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit

To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed


To be imprisoned in the viewless winds,

And blown with restless violence

round about The pendent world: or to be worse

than worst Of those, that lawless and incertain


Imagine howling: His too horrible!

The weariest and most loathed worldly life,

That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment

Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To what we fear of death!

[from The Tempest.]


Our revels now are ended: these our actors,

As I foretold you, were all spirits, and

Are melted into air. into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision.

The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve:

And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind! We are

such stuff As dreams are made of, and our little


Is rounded with a sleep.

(From Cymbeline.]

Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;

Thou thy worldly task hast done. Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:

Golden lads and girls all must,

As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o' the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;

Care no more to clothe and eat,
To thee the reed is as the oak.

Tlx sceptre, learning, physic, must,

All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash, Nor th' all-dreaded thunder-stone;

Fear not slander, censure rash, Thou hast finished joy and moan.

All lovers young, all lovers must.

Consign to thee, and come to dust,

[From Venus and Adonis.]


Look, when a painter would surpass the life,

In limning out a well-proportioned steed,

His art with Nature's workmanship at strife.

As if the dead the living should exceed:

So did this horse excel a common


In shape, in courage, color, pace and bone.

Round-hoofed, short-jointed, fetlocks

shag and long, Broad breast, full eyes, small head,

and nostrils wide, High crest, short ears, straight legs,

and passing strong, Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock,

tender hide: Look, what a horse should have, he

did not lack, Save a proud rider on so proud a


Sometimes he scuds far off, and then

he stares; Anon he starts at stirring of a feather, To bid the wind a base he now prepares

And whe'r he run, or fly, they know

not whether. For through his mane and tail the

high wind sings, Fanning the hairs, which wave like

feathered wings.


When in disgrace with fortune and

men's eyes, I all alone lieweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my

bootless cries, [fate, And look upon myself, and curse my Wishing me like to one more rich in


Featured like him, like him with

friends possessed, Desiring this man's art, and that

man's scope, With what I most enjoy contented


Yet in these thoughts myself almost

despising, Haply I think on thee, — and then

my state ling (Like to the lark at break of day arisFrom sullen earth) sings hymns at

heaven's gate; For thy sweet love remembered,

such wealth brings, That then I scorn to change my

state with kings.

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