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Shakespeare.

SOLITUDE.

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 venomous, 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.

MUSIC.

I am never merry when I hear sweet music.

The reason is, your spirits are attentive :
For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud,
Which is the hot condition of their blood;
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
Or any air of music touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze,
By the sweet power of music: therefore the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods ;
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of

rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath not music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus :
Let no such' man be trusted.

If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again ;-it had a dying fall :
O! it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour.

HUMAN LIFE.

Reason thus with life :If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing That none but fools would keep. A breath thou art, Servile to all the skiey influences, That do this habitation, where thou keep'st, Hourly afflict : merely, thou art Death's fool; For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun, Yet run'st toward him still: 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; yet grossly fear'st Thy death, which is no more : thou’rt not thyself ; For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains That issue oụt 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 : friend hast thou none; For thy 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. What's yet in this
That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
Lie hid more thousand deaths : yet death we fear,
That makes these odds all even.

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, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. 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 ballad Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, the soldier, Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard; Jealous in honour, 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 lined, 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 shank ; and his big manly voice, . Turning again toward 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 every thing.

MERCY.

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 this 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.

MOONLIGHT.

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank !
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night,
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica : look, how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold :
There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold'st,
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims :
Such harmony is in immortal souls ;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.

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