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MERCY FREQUENTLY MISTAKEN.
Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so;
Pardon is still the nurse of second wo.
MERCY IN GOVERNORS COMMENDED..
No ceremony that to great ones ’longs,
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
Become them with one half so good a gracę, *
THE DUTY OF MUTUAL FORGIVENESS.
Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once;
And He that might the vantage best have took,
Found out the remedy: How would you be,
If he, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are? O, think on that;
And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Like man new made.
Yet show some pity. Ang. I show it most of all, when I show justice, For then I pity those I do not know, Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall; And do him right, that, answering one foul wrong. Lives not to act another.
THE ABUSE OF AUTHORITY. 0, it is excellent To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant. Could great men thunder, As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet, For every pelting,* petty officer, Would use his heaven for thunder; nothing but
thunder. Merciful heaven! Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt, Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarledt oak, * Paltry.
Than the soft myrtle-0, but man, proud man?
Drest in a little brief authority;
Most ignorant of what he's most assurd,
His glassy essence,--like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
As make the angels weep: who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.
THE PRIVILEGE OF AUTHORITY.
Great men may jest with saints: 'tis wit in them, But, in the less, foul profanation. That in the captain's but a choleric word, Which in the soldier is fiat blasphemy.
Hark, how L'!l bribe
you. Ang. How! bribe me? Isab. Ay, with such gifts, that heaven shall share
Lucio. You had marr'd all else.
Isab. Not with fond shekels of the tested* gold, Or stones, whose rates are either rich, or poor, As fancy values them: but with true prayers, That shall be up at heaven, and enter there, Ere sun-rise; prayers from preservedt souls, From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate To nothing temporal.
THE POWER OF VIRTUOUS DUTY.
Is this her fault, or mine? The tempter, or the tempted, who sins most? Ha! Not she; nor doth she tempt: but it is I, That lying by the violet, in the sun, Do, as the carrion does, not as the flower, Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be, That modesty may more betray our sense Than woman's lightness? Having waste ground
Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary,
And pitch our evils there?[ 0, fy, fy, fy!
* Attested, stamped.
+ Preserved from the corruption of the world.
# See 2 Kings, x. 27.
What dost thou? or what art thou, Angelo?
Dost thou desire her foully, for those things
That make her good? o, let her brother live.
Thieves for their robbery have authority,
When judges steal themselves. What? do I love her,
That I desire to hear her speak again,
And feast upon her eyes? What is't I dream on?
O cunning enemy, that, to catch a saint,
With saints dost bait thy hook! Most dangerous
Is that temptation, that doth goad us on
To sin in loving virtue: never could the strumpet,
With all her double vigour, art, and nature,
Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid
Subdues me quite.
LOVE IN A GRAVE SEVERE GOVERNOR.
When I would pray and think, I think and pray
To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words;
Whilst my invention hearing not my tongue,
Anchors on Isabel: Heaven in my mouth,
As if I did but only chew his name;
And in my heart, the strong'and swelling evil
f my conception: The state, whereon I studied,
Is like a good thing, being often read,
Grown fear'd and tedious; yea, my gravity,
Wherein (let no man hear me) I take pride,
Could I, with boot,* change for an idle plume,
Which the air beats for vain. O place? O form!
How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit,
Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
To thy false seeming?
FORNICATION AND MURDER EQUALLED.
It were as good
To pardon him, that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness, that do coin heaven's image
In stamps that are forbid: 'tis all as easy
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put mettle in restrained means,
To make a false one.
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,
But graciously to know I am no better.
Ang. Thu's wisdom wishes to appear most bright,
When it doth tax itself,
TEMPORAL FAR BETTER THAN ETERNAL DEATH.
Better it were, a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him,
Should die for ever.
Nay, women are frail too.
Isab. Ay, as the glasses where they view them-
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women !-Help heaven! men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay call us ten times frail;
For we are soft as our complexions are,
And credulous to false prints.*
The miserable have no other medicine,
But only hope..
REFLECTIONS ON THE VANITY OF 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 dost this habitation, where thou keep?st,
Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun,
And yet run'st toward him still: Thou art not noble;
For all the accommodations that thou bear'st,
Are nurs’d by baseness: thou art by no means
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 art not thyself; ?
For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains
That issue out 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;
, 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 thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
Do eurse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,
For ending thee no soồner: Thou hast nor youth,
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;t and when thou art old, and rieh,
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.
THE TERRORS OF DEATH MOST IN APPREHENSION,
0, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
Lest thou a ferverous life should'st entertain,
And six or seven winters more respect
Than a perpetual honour. Dar’st thou die?
The sense of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.
RESOLUTION FROM A SENSE OF HONOUR.
Why give you me this shame?
you I can a resolution fetch
From flowery tenderness? If I must die,
+ Leprous eruptions.