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Wlien we have shuffled off this mortal coil,'
Must give us pause:—There's the respect2
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 delay,
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,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But diat die dread of somedung after death,—
The undiscover'd countty from whose bourn
No traveller returns,—puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er widi die pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With tills regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
nam. Act III. Scene I.
The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
Merckaxt c/ lento, Act IV. Scene t.
ACTIVITY NECESSARY TO KEEP FAME BRIGHT."
Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
1 Turmoil, bustle, t There** the consideration.
I This admirable speech of Ulysses to Achilles, to induce him to leave liis tont, find come again tntc U* Held ot action, though not much read, Is scarcely Inferior to any thing in Shakspearc.
Those scraps are good deeds past: which are devour'd
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done: Perseverance, dear my lord,
Keeps honor bright: To have done, is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
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 way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an enter'd 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'er-run 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 out-strctch'd, as lie would fly,
Grasps in the comer: Welcome ever smiles,
And farewell goes out sighing. 0, 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 new-born gauds,
Though they are mado and moulded of tilings past;
And give to dust, that is a little gilt,1
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 Ajax;
Since tilings in motion sooner catch the eye
Than what not stirs. The cry went once on thee,
And still it might: and yet it may again,
If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive,
And case thy reputation in thy tent;
Whose glorious deeds, but in these fields of late,
Made emulous missions2 'mongst the gods themselves,
And drave great Mars to faction.
Troika and Crtmdtt, Act 111. Scene II.
———— So work die honey bees;
1 Ihut Ihtl it a tittle out, means, ordinary performances ostentatiously displayed, and lauded by tbe favor of friends. Gilt o'er-duited, means, splendid actions of preceding ages, the remembrance of which Is weakened by time.
2 Kmtitom mimont refers to tile machinery of Homer, which makes the deiUea descend from heaven to engage on cither side. 8 Law. 4 That la, of different degrees.
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home;
Henry T., Act I. Scene II.
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
These names, united in their lives by friendship and confederate genius, have always been considered together; for they wrote together, their works were published together, nor is it possible now to assign to each his specific •hare of their joint labors. Some of the productions of each, however, are distinctively known.
Francis Beaumont was bom in Leicestershire, in 15S6. He studied at Oxford, and thence passed to the Inner Temple; but the law had few charms for him, and, in conjunction with his friend Fletcher, he devoted his short life to the drama, and died in 1616, in the thirtieth year of his age.
John Fletcher was the son of Dr. Richard Fletcher, bishop of London, and was born in that city in 1576. He was educated at Cambridge: little, however, is known of his life. He survived his coadjutor nine years, dying of the plague in 1625.
The plays of Beaumont and Fletcher consist of tragedies, comedies, and mixed pieces. That they have many and great merits is undoubtedly true; but there are two things wliich will ever be a bar to their being generally read: one is, that they have not that truthfulness to nature which alone can permanently please; and the other is, that they are filled with so much that is repulsive to a delicate and virtuous mind. Still, as lias been justly remarked, a proper selection from the works of these dramatists would make a volume of refined sentiment, and of lofty and sweet poetry, combined with good sense, humor, and pathos. In lyrics they have not been surpassed, not even by Shakspeare or Milton; and to these, therefore, we shall confine our extracts.'
ADDRESS TO MELANCHOLY.
Hence, all yon vain delights;
1 Sober, grave. I Executioners.
2 Bead-HaillU'l "Age of Elizabeth," and Lamb's "Specimens ot Dramatic PocU."
But only melancholy;
Oh, sweetest melancholy,
"Welcome folded anus and fixed eyes,
A sight that piercing mortifies;
A look that's fasten'd to the ground,
A tongue chain'd up without a sound;
Fountain heads, and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves:
Moonlight walks, where all the fowls
Are warmly housed, savo bats and owls j
A midnight bell, a passing groan,
These are the sounds we feed upon:
Then stretch our bones in a still, gloomy valley;
Nothing so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.
THE LIFE OF MAN.
Like to the falling of a star,
See, the day begins to break,
EXHORTATION TO EARLY RISING.
Shepherds, rise, and shako off sleep 1
Bag and bottle for the field!
THE SHEPHERD'S EVENING.
Shepherds all, and maidens fair,