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The same.

770 To sue to live, I find, I seek to die; And seeking death, find life.o

5-iii. 1. 771

Devotional retirement.
I myself will lead a private life,
And in devotion spend my latter days,
To sin's rebuke, and my Creator's praise."

23-iv. 6. 772

Joyous expectation of death.
I every day expect an embassage
From my Redeemer to redeem me hence.9

24-ii. 1.

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Shakspeare's humility.
No longer mourn for me when I am dead,
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O if (I say, you


When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse;
But let your love even with my life decay:
Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
And mock you with me after I am gone.

0, lest the world should task you to recite
What merit lived in me, that you should love
After my death,—dear love, forget me quite,
For you in me can nothing worthy prove;


The same.

• Phil. i. 21.

9 James iv. 14.

P A holy resolution.


Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,
To do more for me than mine own desert,
And hang more praise upon deceased I,
Than niggard truth would willingly impart;
0, lest your true love may seem false in this,
That you for love speak well of me untrue,
My name be buried where my body is,
And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
For I am shamed by that which I bring forth,
And so should you, to love things nothing worth.



775 His detestation of a theatrical life. Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there, And made myself a motley to the view, Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most Made old offences of affections new.

[dear, Most true it is, that I have look'd on truth Askance and strangely; but, by all above, These blenches gave my heart another youth, And worse essays proved thee my best of love. Now all is done, save what shall have no end: Mine appetite I never more will grind On newer proof, to try an older friend, A God in love, to whom I am confined. Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best, E'en to thy pure and most most loving breast.



The same. O for my sake do thou with Fortune chide, 9 The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds, That did not better for my life provide, Than public means, which public manners breeds. Thence comes it that my name receives a brand, And almost thence my nature is subdued To what it works in, like the dyer's hand. Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd; Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink Potions of eysell," 'gainst my strong infection;

9 The editor is confident that our author, who was so sound a moralist, meant not by what he here says, to cast any reflection on Divine Providence. The expressions made use of are merely poetical: For. tune, in the language of poetry, is an imaginary being, supposed to distribute the lots of life according to her own humour,


No bitterness that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance to correct correction.



His cure of self-love.
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye,
And all my soul, and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shews me myself indeed,
Beated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read,
Self so self-loving were iniquity.

778 Contemplation on the shortness of life.
That time of year thou may'st in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang,
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sun-set fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie;
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.



An apostrophe to his soul.
Poor Soul, the centre of my sinful earth,'
Fool'd by those rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within, and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short à lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend ?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy Body's end?


• Vile body. Phil. iii. 1.

t Ps. xc. 10.

Then, Soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms Divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed," without be rich no more:
So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men:
And, death once dead, there's no more dying then.


780 The foundation of his faith and hope in Christ alone.

“In the name of God, amen. I, William Shakspeare, at Stratford-upon-Avon, in the county of Warwick, gent. ; in perfect health and memory, God be praised! do make and ordain this, my last will and testament, in manner and form following; that

First, I commend my soul into the hands of God my creator, hoping, and assuredly believing, through the only merits of Jesus Christ, my Saviour, to be made partaker of life everlasting; and my body to the earth whereof it is made."

is to say:

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From his Wil.

u Feeding upon Christ by faith. I Luke xx. 36---55. 1 Cor. xv. 55. Rev. xxi. 4.




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