Page images

Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her king.--Id.

Antonio. I pray you, think you question with a Jew:
You may as well go stand upon the beach,
And bid the main flood bate his usual height;
You may as well use question with the wolf,
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb;
You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag their high tops, and to make no noise,
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;
You may as well do anything most hard,
As seek to soften that (than which what's harder ?)
His Jewish heart :-Act 4. Sc. 1.

Portia. 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 sceptred 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 merey 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.-Id.

Lorenzo. 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 :
Such harmony is in immortal souls ;
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close us in, we cannot bear it.-Act 5. Sc. 1.

Lorenzo. 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.--Id.

Portia. That light we see is burning in my hall,
How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

Nerissa. When the moon shone we did not see the candle.

Portia. So doth the greater glory dim the less;
A substitute shines brightly as a king,
Until a king be by; and then his state
Empties itself, as doth an inland brook
Into the main of waters. Musick ! Hark!

Nerissa. It is your musick, madam, of the house.
Portia. Nothing is good, I see, without respect;
Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.

Nerissa. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
Portia. 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 å musician than the wren.
How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise, and true perfection - Id.

Duke Senior. 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

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 venomous,
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 everything. - Act 2. Sc. l.

Duke Senior. 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 baunches gor'd.
lst. Lord.

Indeed, my lord,
The melancholy Jaques grieves much 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
l'pon the brook that brawls along this wood;
To the which place a poor sequester'd stag,
T.hat from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
D'd come to languish ; and, indeed, my Lord,
The wretched animal heaved forth such groans,
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
Almost to bursting ; and the big round tears
Coursed 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 swift brook,
Augmenting it with tears.
Duke Senior.

But what said Jaques ?
Did he not moralize this spectacle ?

1st Lord. O! yes, into a thousand similies. First, for his weeping in the needless stream; “ Poor deer,” quoth he, “thou makst a testament As worldlings do, giving the sum of more To that wbich had too much!" Then, being alone, Left and abandon's 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 ?"-Id.

Adam.. 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:


But, poor

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;
I'll do the service of a younger man
In all your business and necessities.

Orlando. O! good old man; how well in thee appears
The constant service of the antique world,
When service sweat for duty, not for need!
Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
When none will sweat, but for promotion;
And having that, do choke their service up
Even with the having; it is not so with thee,

old man, thou prun’st a rotten tree,
That cannot so much as a blossom yield,
In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry;
But come thy ways, we'll go along together ;
And ere we have thy youthful wages spent,
We'll light upon some settled low content.

Adam. Master, go on, and I will follow thee,
To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.-
From seventeen years till now almost fourscore
Here lived I, but now live here no more.
At seventeen years many their fortunes seek;
But at fourscore, it is too late a week ;
Yet fortune cannot recompense me better,
Than to die well, and not my master's debtor.-Sc. 3.

Jaques. A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest,
A motley fool ;-a miserable world!
As I do live by food, I met a fool ;
Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,
And rail'd on lady Fortune in good terms,
In good set terms,-and yet a motley fool.
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, 'twill 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 Senior. What fool is this? Jaques. O! worthy fool,one that hath been a courtier ; And says, if ladies be but


and fair,
They bave the gift to know it: and in his brain,-
Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit
After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd
With observation, the which he vents
In mangled forms:-0! that I were a fool,
I am ambitious of a motley coat.-Sc. 7.

the thorny point
Of bare distress bath ta'en from me the show
Of smooth civility.-Id.

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,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
And then, the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school: and then, the lover;
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow: Then, a soldier ;
Full of strange oaths, 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 modern instances,
And so he plays his part: The sixth age shifts

« PreviousContinue »