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The Deceit of Appearances.
The world is still deceiv'd with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But, being season'd with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament ?
There is no vice so simple, but assumes
Some mark of virtue on its outward parts.
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars ;
Who, inward search'd have livers white as milk?
And these assume but valour's excrement,
To render them redoubted. Look on beauty,
And you shall see 'tis purchased by the weight;
Which therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest that wear most of it :
So are those crisped snaky golden locks,
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind,
Upon supposed fairness, often known
To be the dowry of a second head,
The skull that bred them in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the guiled * shore
To a most dangerous sea ; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty ; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
To entrap the wisest.
What find I here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit ? † What demi-god
: + Portrait.
Hath come so near creation ? Move these eyes ?
Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
Seem they in motion ? Here are sever'd lips,
Parted with sugar breath ; so sweet a bar
Should sunder such sweet friends : here in her hairs
The painter plays the spider ; and hath woven
A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men,
Faster than gnats in cobwebs : but her eyes,–
How could he see to do them? having made one,
Methinks, it should have power to steal both his,
And leave itself unfurnish’d.
I'll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak;
I'll have my bond: and therefore speak no more.
l'll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool,
To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield
To Christian intercessors.
Act IV. Shylock's Reason for Revenge. You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive Three thousand ducats : I'll not answer that : But, say, it is my humour ; is it answer'd ? What if my house be troubled with a rat, And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats To have it baned ? * What, are you answer'd yet ?
The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath : it is twice bless'd;
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 scepter'd 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. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,-
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation : we do pray for mercy ;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much,
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
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 :
* A small dish used in the sacrarnental service.
Such harmony is in immortal souls ;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
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 naught so stockish, hard and full of rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath no 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.
A good deed.
How far that little candle throws his beams !
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
Nothing good out of Season.
The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
When neither is attended ; and, I think
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought,
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise and true perfection !
Hermia, daughter of Egeus, is in love with Lysander contrary to her father's will, he wishing her to marry Demetrius. An appeal is made by Egeus to Theseus, Duke of Athens, who condemns Hermia to death or perpetual celibacy except she marries the man of her father's choice. On hearing this sentence, Hermia and Lysander determine to escape beyond the sway of the Duke, and be married privately. Helena, who is in love with Demetrius, (who, however, does not return her love), informs him of the escape of the lovers, on which he pursues them, followed by Helena. In a wood near Athens, Oberon, king of the fairies, overhears a conversation between Helena and Demetrius, in which he rudely repulses her love. The fairy king instructs Puck, an attendant fairy, to squeeze the juice of a certain plant on the eyelids of Demetrius whilst he is asleep, by which he will be charmed into violent love for the first living object that meets his eyes when he awakes, it being presumed that Helena will be this object. Puck by mistake anoints the eyes of Lysander, whose waking eyes first lighton Helena, to whom, in obedience to the charm, he at once transfers his affections. Oberon, discovering Puck's error, releases Lysander from the spell, thus restoring his love for Hermia, whilst Demetrius retains his newly awakened affection for Helena. The underplot, in which Titania the fairy queen figures prominently, adds greatly to the interest of the drama.
A Father's Authority.
To you your father should be as a god ;
One that compos’d your beauties ; yea, and one