« PreviousContinue »
As many other manish cowards have,
That do outface it with their semblances.
ACT II. 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;
And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
To-day, my lord of Amiens, and myself,
Did steal behind him, as he lay along
Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
To the which place a poor sequester'd stag,
That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
Did come to languish: and, indeed, my lord,
* Barbed arrows.
The wretched animal heav'd forth such groans,
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
Almost to bursting; and the big round tears
Cours’d one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase: and thus the hairy fool,
Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
Stood on the extremest verge of the swist brook,
Augmenting it with tears.
But what said Jaques?
Did he not moralize this speciacle?
1 Lord. O, yes, into a thousand similes. First, for his weeping in the needless stream; Poor deer, quoth he, thou mak’st a testament As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more To thct which had too much: Then, being alone, Left and abandon’d of his velvet friends;
Tis right, quoth he; this misery doth part The flux of company; Anon, a careless herd, Full of the pasture, jumps along by him, And never stays to greet him; Ay, quoth Jaques, Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens; Tis just the fashion: Wherefore do you look Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?
GRATITUDE IN AN OLD SERVANT.
But do not so: I have five hundred crowns, The thrifty hire I sav'd under your father, Which I did store, to be my foster-nurse, When service should in my old limbs lie lame, And unregarded age in corners thrown; Take that: and He that doth the ravens feed, Yea, providently caters for the sparrow, Be comfort to my age! Here is the gold; All this I give you: let me be your servant; Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty. For in my youth I never did apply Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood: Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo The means of weakness and debility; Therefore my age is as a lusty winter, Frosty, but kindly: let me go with you;
P'R do the service of a younger man
In all your business and necessities.
DESCRIPTION OF A LOVER.
0, thou didst then ne'er love so heartily:
If thou remember'st not the slightest folly
That ever love did make thee run into,
Thou hast not lov'd:
Or if thou hast not sat as I do now,
Wearying thy hearer in thy mistress' praise,
Thou hast not lov’d:
Or if thou hast not broke from company,
Abruptly, as my passion now makes me,
Thou hast not lov’d.
DESCRIPTION OF A FOOL, AND HIS MORALIZING ON
Good-morrow, fool, quoth I: No, sir, quoth he,
Call me not fool, till heaven hath sent me fortune:
And then he drew a dial from his poke;
And looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
Says, very wisely, It is ten o'clock:
Thus may we see, quoth he, how the world wags:
'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine;
And after an hour more, 'iwill be eleven;
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe, and ripe,
And then, from hour to hour, we rot, and rot,
And thereby hangs a tale. When I did hear
The motley fool thus moral on the time,
My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,
That fools should be so deep-contemplative;
And I did laugh, sans intermission,
An hour by his dial-O noble fool!
A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.
Duke S. What fool is this?
Jaq. O worthy fool!-One that hath been a cour
And says if ladies be but young, and fair,
They have the gift to know it: and in his brain
Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit
* The fool was anciently dressed in a party-coloured coat.
After a voyage,-he hath strange places crammid
With observation, the which he vents
In mangled forms.
A FOOL'S LIBERTY OF SPEECH.
I must have liberty
Withall, as large a charter as the wind,
To blow on whom I please; for so fools have:
And they that are most galled with my fully,
They most must laugh: And why, sir, must they so?
The why is plain as way to parish church:
He, that a fool doth very wisely hit,
Doth very foolishly, although he smart,
Not to seem senseless of the bob; if not,
The wise man's folly is anatomiz'd
Even by the squand'ring glances of the fool,
Why, who cries out on pride, That can therein tax any private party? Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea, Till that the very means do ebb? What woman in the city do I name, When that I say, The city-woman bears The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders? Who can come in, and say, that I mean her, When such a one as she, such is her neighbour? Or what is he of basest function, That says his bravery* is not on my cost, (Thinking that I mean him,) but therein suits His folly to the mettle of my speech? There then; How, what then? Let me see wherein My tongue hath wrong'd him: if he be free, Why then, my taxing like a wild goose flies, Unclaim'd of any man.
But whate'er you are,
That in this desert inaccessible,
Under the shade of melancholy boughs,
Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time;
If ever you have look'd on better days;
If ever been where bells have knolld to church;
If ever sat at any good man's feast;
If ever from your eye-lids wip'd a tear,
And know what 'tis to pity, and be pitied,
Let gentleness my strong enforcement be.
THE SEVEN AGES.
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,
Muling and puking in the nurse's arms;
And then, the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creepnig like snail
Unwillingly to school; And then, the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, a soldier;
Full of strange oatos, 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 lin’d,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut.
Full of wise saws and modernt instances,
And so he plays his part: The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon;
With spectacle on nose, and pouch on side;
His youthful hose well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; 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 every thing.
INGRATITUDE. A SONG.
Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkindt
As man's ingratitude;
Violent. + Trite, common. * Unnaturai.