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HONOUR DUE TO PERSONAL VIRTUE only, not TO BIRTH.
From 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. She is young, wise, fair; In these to nature she's immediate heir; And these breed honour: that is honour's scorn, Which challenges itself as honour's born, And is not like the sire: Honours best thrive, When rather from our acts we them derive Than our foregoer: the mere word's a slave, Debauch'd on every tomb; on every grave, A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb, Where dust and damn'd oblivion, is the tomb Of honour'd bones indeed.
SELF-ACCUSATION OF TOO GREAT LOVE.
That chase thee from thy country, and expose
That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
† Good is good independent of any worldly distinction, and so is vileness vile.
And, though I kill him not, I am the cause
With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere
A MAID'S HONOUR.
The honour of a maid is her name; ana no legacy is so rich as honesty.
ADVICE TO YOUNG WOMEN.
Beware of them, Diana; their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of lust, are not the things they go under:† many a maid hath been seduced by them; and the misery is, example, that so terrible shows in the wreck of maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession, but that they are limed with the twigs that threaten them. I hope, I need not advise you farther; but, I hope, your own grace will keep you where you are, though there were no farther danger known, than the modesty which is so lost.
CUSTOM OF SEDUCERS.
Ay, so you serve us,
Till we serve you: but when you have our roses
†They are not the things for which their names would make them pass.
Mine honour's such a ring:
Let's take the instant by the forward top; For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees The inaudible and noiseless foot of time Steals ere we can effect them.
EXCUSE FOR UNSEASONABLE DISLIKE.
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues
A COWARDLY BRAGGART.
Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great, Twould burst at this: Captain, I'll be no more; But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft As captain shall: simply the thing I am Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart, Let him fear this; for it will come to pass, That every braggart shall be found an ass. Rust, sword! cool, blushes! and, Parolles live, Safest in shame! being fool'd, by foolery thrive! There's place, and means, for every man alive.
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
To a most hideous object: Thence it came,
AS YOU LIKE IT.
MODESTY AND COURAGE IN YOUTH
I BESEECH you, punish me not with your hard thoughts; wherein I confess me much guilty, to deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes, go with me to my trial: wherein if I be foiled, there is but one shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one dead that is willing to be so: I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty.
We still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learn'd, play'd, eat together;
Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.
ROSALIND PROPOSING TO WEAR MEN'S CLOTHES.
Because that I am more than common tall,
As many other manish cowards have,
SOLITUDE PREFERRED TO A COURT LIFE, AND THE ADVANTAGES OF ADVERSITY.
Now, my co-mates, and brothers in exile, Hath not old custom made this life more sweet Than that of painted pomp? are not these woods More free from peril than the envious court? Here feel we but the penalty of Adam, The seasons' difference; as the icy fang, And churlish chiding of the winter's wind; Which, when it bites and blows upon my body, Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say, This is no flattery: these are counsellors That feelingly persuade me what I am. Sweet are the uses of adversity; Which, like the toad, ugly and venemous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
REFLECTIONS ON THE WOUNDED STAG.
Duke S. Come, shall we go and kill us venison? And yet it irks me, the poor dappled fools,— Being native burghers of this desert city,Should, in their own confines, with forked heads,* Have their round haunches gor'd.
1 Lord. Indeed, my lord,
The melancholy Jaques grieves at that;