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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?
ASTROLOGY RIDICULED. 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 majort; 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 at my bastardizing.
Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster!
of Great Bear, the constellation so named.
A FATHER'S CURSE ON HIS CHILD. 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 on her brow of youth ; With cadentt 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 !
FLATTERING SYCOPHANTS. That such a slave as this should wear a sword, Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain [these, Which are too intrinseI t'unloose! smooth every That in the natures of their lords rebels ; [passion 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.
* 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.
PLAIN BLUNT MEN.
This is some fellow, Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect A saucy roughness, and constrains the garb, Quite from his nature: He cannot flatter, he ! An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth: And they will take it, so ; if not, he's plain. These kind of knaves I know, which in this plain. Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends, [ness 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 ever penury, in contempt of man, Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with filth; Blanket my loins; elfall 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 I, nails, sprigs of rosemary; And with this horrible object, from low farms, Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes, and mills, Sometime with lunátic bandsg, sometime with Enforce their charity.
* Simple or rustic. + Hair thus knotted was supposed to be the work of elves and fairies in the night. Skewers.
THE FAULTS OF INFIRMITY PARDONABLE.
Fiery? the fiery duke ?-Tell the hot duke, No, but not yet :—may be, he is not well : (that 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.
Thy sister's naught: 0, Regan, she hath tied Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here.
[Points to his Heart.
All's not offence, that indiscretion finds, And dotage terms so.
I pr’ythee, daughter, do not make me mad; I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell : We'll no more meet, no more see one another :But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter; Or, rather, a disease that's in my flesh, Which I must needs call mine : thou art a boil, A plague-sore, an embossed* carbuncle, In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide thee; Let shame come when it will, I do not call it : I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot, Nor tell tales of thee to high judging Jove.
THE NECESSARIES OF LIFE FEW.
O, reason not the need : our basest beggars
LEAR ON THE INGRATITUDE OF HIS DAUGHTERS. You see me here, you gods, a poor old
man, As full of grief as age; wretched in both! If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts Against their father, fool me not so much To bare it tamely; touch me with noble anger! O, let not women's weapons, water-drops, Stain my man's cheeks !—No, you unnatural hags, I will have such revenges on you both, That all the world shall—I will do such things,What they are, yet I know not; but they shall be The terrors of the earth. You think, I'll weep; No, I'll not weep: I have full cause of weeping; but this heart Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws, Or ere I'll weep:20, fool, I shall go
0, sir, to wilful men, The injuries, that they themselves procure, Must be their schoolmasters.