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Enter LUCIUS, with Wine and Tapers.

Bru. Speak no more of her.-Give me a bowl of wine :

In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius.

[Drinks. Cas. My heart is thirsty for that noble pledge: Fill, Lucius, till the wine o'erswell the cup;

I cannot drink too much of Brutus' love. [Drinks.


There is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.



Bru. No, Cassius, no: think not, thou noble RoThat ever Brutus will go bound to Rome; [man, He bears too great a mind. But this same day Must end that work, the ides of March begun; And whether we shall meet again, I know not. Therefore our everlasting farewell take :For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius! If we do meet again, why we shall smile; If not, why then this parting was well made. Cas. For ever, and for ever, farewell, Brutus !

If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed :

If not, 'tis true, this parting was well made.

Bru. Why then, lead on.-O, that a man might The end of this day's business, ere it come! [know But it sufficeth, that the day will end,

And then the end is known.

MELANCHOLY, THE PARENT of error. O hateful error, melancholy's child!

Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of men
The things that are not! O error, soon conceiv'd,
Thou never com'st unto a happy birth,

But kill'st the mother that engender'd thee.


This was the noblest Roman of them all:
All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar;
He, only, in a general honest thought,
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle; and the elements
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up,
And say to all the world, This was a man!

King Lear.



LET it be so,-Thy truth then be thy dower:
For, by the sacred radiance of the sun;
The mysteries of Hecate, and the night;

By all the operations of the orbs,

From whom we do exist, and cease to be;
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity* and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me


Hold thee, from thist, forever. The barbarous Scythi-
Or he that makes his generation‡ messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
As thou my sometime daughter.


+ From this time.

His children.


Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound: Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague* of custom; and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,

For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Lag of a brother! Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality,
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake?


This is the excellent foppery of the world! that, when we are sick in fortune, (often the surfeit of our own behaviour) we make guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains by necessity: fools, by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon's tail; and my nativity was under ursa major§; so that it follows, I am rough and lecherous.-Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.


Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend,

More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster!

*The injustice. + Traitors.

†The nicety of civil institution. § Great bear, the constellation so named.


Hear, nature, hear;

Dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if
Thou didst intend to make this creature fruitful,
Into her womb convey sterility!

Dry up in her the organs of increase;
And from her derogate* body never spring
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen; that it may live,
And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her!
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth;
With cadent + tears fret channels in her cheeks;
Turn all her mother's pains, and benefits,
To laughter and contempt; that she may feel
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!



THAT such a slave as this should wear a sword, Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as these, Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain


Which are too intrinse ‡ t'unloose: smooth every pas

That in the natures of their lords rebels;
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Reneges, affirm, and turn their halcyon|| beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters,
As knowing nought, like dogs, but following.


This is some fellow, Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect

* Degraded. + Falling. + Perplexed. § Disowned. The bird called the king-fisher, which, when dried and hung up by a thread, is supposed to turn his bill to the point from whence the wind blows.

A saucy roughness, and constrains the garb,
Quite from his nature: He cannot flatter, he!—
An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth:
An they will take it, so: if not, he's plain.

These kind of knaves I know, which in this plainness
Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty silly* ducking observants,
That stretch their duties nicely.


While I may scape,

I will preserve myself: and am bethought
To take the basest and most poorest shape,
That every penury, in contempt of man,

Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with filth;
Blanket my loins; elf† all my hair in knots ;
And with presented nakedness outface
The winds, and persecutions of the sky.
The country gives me proof and precedent
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks‡, nails, sprigs of rosemary;
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes, and mills,
Sometime with lunatic bans §, sometime with prayers,
Enforce their charity.


Fiery? the fiery duke?—Tell the hot duke, that→ No, but not yet:-may be, he is not well: Infirmity doth still neglect all office,

Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourselves, When nature, being oppress'd, commands the mind To suffer with the body: I'll forbear;

And am fallen out with my more headier will,

To take the indispos'd and sickly fit

For the sound man.

*Simple or rustic.

Hair thus knotted was supposed to be the work of elves

and fairies in the night.

+ Skewers.

§ Curses.

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